Seminar on BRICS-Africa Cooperation held in Johannesburg

On August 29, 2017, Deputy Consul General Ren Xiaoxia reiterated China’s commitment to Africa’s independent growth, expressing China’s hope for closer cooperation with Africa.

Ren made the remarks in a seminar on BRICS-Africa Cooperation: Progress, Prospects and Challenges as a discussant on the topic of African countries’ engagement with China and other development partners in achieving the SDGs and Agenda 2063. The two-day seminar was held by the University of Johannesburg Confucius Institute (UJCI) and the UJ SARChI Chair of African Diplomacy and Foreign Policy, in collaboration with Oxfam International’s Africa-China Dialogue Platform on the eve of Xiamen BRICS Summit.

Ren pointed out that thanks to its openness and inclusiveness, the Belt and Road initiative is in synergy with the African continent's development ambitions and continuously benefiting the African people. The Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC), an engine driving Sino-African cooperation since its establishment in 2000, is increasingly integrating with the Belt and Road Initiative and is playing a leading role in China-Africa partnership as a cooperation mechanism. As a member of BRICS, China is making joint efforts with other members to promote the African development.

She highlighted that practice proves that Chinese companies are playing a significant role as a new driving force of China-Africa economic and trade cooperation. Their presence is visible in various sectors such as railway, road, regional aviation, port, electricity and telecommunication industries which contributes greatly to the African continent’s accelerating its industrialization and boosting its capacity for development.

In response to some skepticism about China’s economic sound performance, Ren said that China's gross domestic product expanded 6.9 percent year on year in the first half of the year and China’s economy has been optimized in both growth and structure guided by the five development concepts of innovation, coordination, greening, opening up and inclusiveness. She urged academics to adapt and change their way of gathering information and developing best suitable methods for research so as to carry out successful and useful research work for cooperation.