Sailing the giant ship of China-South Africa friendship and cooperation toward greater success

Sailing the giant ship of China-South Africa friendship and cooperation toward greater success

At the invitation of President Matamela Cyril Ramaphosa, I will soon make a state visit to the Republic of South Africa and attend the 15th BRICS Summit

It will be my sixth visit to the promising land of the “rainbow nation”.

South Africa is home to the great statesman Nelson Mandela, and it boasts the richest tourist resources, the longest road network, the biggest securities exchange, and the busiest airports and harbours in Africa. The country exudes unique charm with the perfect amalgam of the ancient and the modern, and of nature and culture.

Each of my visits to South Africa gave me new impressions. But the deepest is invariably the brotherly sentiments we have toward each other.

Our friendship has traversed a long span of time. As early as in the mid-20th century, the newly founded People’s Republic of China lent firm support to the South African people in fighting apartheid, and stood with the African National Congress as comrades and friends.

Our friendship has defied the obstacles of mountains and oceans. Facing the sudden onslaught of COVID-19, China was among the first to provide anti-pandemic supplies to South Africa, reaffirming our special brotherhood.

More recently, China also provided to the country emergency power equipment. Over the past 25 years since the establishment of diplomatic ties, our relationship has achieved leapfrog development—from a partnership to a strategic partnership, and then to a comprehensive strategic partnership.

It is one of the most vibrant bilateral relations in the developing world. Our relationship has entered a “golden era”, enjoying broad prospects and a promising future.

In recent years, President Ramaphosa and I have maintained close communication through visits, meetings, phone calls and letters. We jointly explore cooperation opportunities, pursue development, and stand up to common challenges.

Our strategic mutual trust has been deepening steadily. We give each other firm support on issues involving our respective core interests and major concerns, and maintain coordination on major international and regional issues. We work together to practice true multilateralism and push for the building of a more just and equitable international order.

South Africa was the first African country to sign the Belt and Road cooperation document with China. It has been China’s biggest trading partner in Africa for 13 years in a row, as well as one of the African countries with the largest stock of Chinese investment.

The pie of bilateral cooperation is getting bigger. South Africa’s wines, rooibos tea, and aloe vera gels are trending products in China. Many Chinese companies are expanding their operation and at the same time taking more social responsibilities in South Africa.

Automobiles and home appliances with Chinese brands yet made in South Africa are very popular among local consumers, and are now owned by numerous South African households.

South African companies are also racing to invest in the Chinese market to seize the abundant business opportunities, and they have made important contribution to China’s economic growth.

South Africa’s Ubuntu philosophy advocates compassion and sharing. It resonates well with the values of Confucianism—“love the people and all beings and seek harmony among all nations”.

In 2015, I participated in the Year of China activities in South Africa, and witnessed the gratifying achievements of our Year of China/South Africa programs.

Last April, the faculty and students of the Confucius Institute at Durban University of Technology wrote me a letter in Chinese, expressing their fondness for the Chinese culture and thanking China for the valuable opportunities provided to young Africans chasing their dreams.

I find it very heart-warming. Indeed, these vibrant people-to-people exchanges enhance the empathy between our peoples, and enable our friendship to be passed down from generation to generation.

The China-South Africa relationship is standing at a new historical starting point. It has gone beyond the bilateral scope and carries increasingly important global influence. During my forthcoming visit, I look forward to working with President Ramaphosa to chart the plan for a new chapter of our comprehensive strategic partnership.

President of the People’s Republic of China Xi Jinping. Picture: Supplied

China and South Africa should be fellow companions sharing the same ideals.

As an ancient Chinese saying goes, “A partnership forged with the right approach defies distance; it is thicker than glue and stronger than metal and rock.”

We need to increase our experience sharing on governance, and firmly support each other in independently exploring a path to modernization that suits our respective national conditions. We should fear no hegemony, and work with each other as real partners to push forward our relations amid the changing international landscape.

China and South Africa should be pacesetters for solidarity and cooperation.

We will succeed because of our biggest strengths in high economic complementarity and the solid foundation for cooperation.

We need to further synergise development strategies, promote stronger cooperation in infrastructure, digital economy, scientific and technological innovation and energy transition, and ensure that more people of our two countries will benefit from the development outcomes.

China welcomes more South African products to its market, and encourages more Chinese companies to invest and do business in South Africa as an effort of support for South Africa’s target to double its inbound investment over the next five-year period.

China and South Africa should be inheritors of China-Africa friendship.

We need to leverage the all-round, multi-tiered and institutionalized mechanisms for people-to-people exchanges between our two countries, and continue to advance exchanges and cooperation in culture, tourism, education, sports, media, universities, sub-national governments and the youth. We must keep the spirit of China-Africa friendship and cooperation as alive and strong as ever across the vast lands of China and Africa.

China and South Africa should be champions of our common interests.

What the world needs today is peace, not conflict; what the world wants is coordination, not confrontation. China and South Africa, as natural members of the Global South, should all the more work together to appeal for greater voice and influence of developing countries in international affairs, promote accelerated reform of international financial institutions, and oppose unilateral sanctions and the “small yard, high fence” approach. We should jointly safeguard our common interests.

The BRICS Summit is another important agenda during my visit to South Africa. This is the third time for the Summit to take place on this continent brimming with vibrancy and hope. I still have vivid memories of the Summit in the picturesque Sanya, China’s Hainan Province, when South Africa made the formal debut as a member of the BRICS family.

Over the past 12 years, South Africa has made important contributions to the development of BRICS cooperation mechanism, further substantiating BRICS cooperation and extending its influence.

Now more and more countries are knocking on the door of BRICS, aspiring to join our cooperation.

This is a testament to the vitality and influence of the BRICS cooperation mechanism. China is ready to work with fellow BRICS partners to act on the BRICS spirit of openness, inclusiveness and win-win cooperation, build consensus on important issues, carry forward our tradition of independent diplomacy, and resolutely uphold international equity and justice. We will urge the international community to refocus on development issues, promote a greater role by the BRICS cooperation mechanism in global governance, and make the voice of BRICS stronger.

It has been ten years since I put forth “sincerity, real results, amity and good faith” as the principles for China to develop its relations with Africa. The past decade has witnessed our joint pursuit of a China-Africa community with a shared future in the new era, and the completion and handover of a host of projects including the Africa CDC Headquarters, the Foundiougne Bridge in Senegal, the Nairobi Expressway and the Mombasa-Nairobi Railway, renewing China-Africa friendship across the vast lands of China and Africa.

In face of the profound changes unseen in a century, a strong China-Africa relationship and productive China-Africa cooperation will provide more fresh impetus to global development and ensure greater stability of the world.

This is an international responsibility and historical mission entrusted to the 2.8 billion Chinese and African peoples. We will convene a China-Africa Leaders’ Dialogue.

I will work with African leaders to bring more active, effective and sustainable development initiatives to Africa, expand cooperation in agriculture, manufacturing, new energy and digital economy, and facilitate Africa’s economic integration, industrialization and agricultural modernization. China will continue to work for substantive progress in African Union’s joining of the G20 this year, and looks forward to a greater role by African countries and the AU in international and regional affairs.

As an ancient Chinese poem goes, “With high tide and tailwind, it is time to sail a smooth ride.”

Looking ahead into the next 25 years, the giant ship of China-South Africa friendship and cooperation will sail forward, and we will make even greater progress in the building of a China-Africa community with a shared future in the new era as well as the building of a community with a shared future for mankind.

* Xi Jinping is the President of the People’s Republic of China.

** The views expressed do not necessarily reflect the views of IOL or Independent Media.




During their stay in the Central African Republic, medical experts from China conduct treatment while also teaching their know-how of Chinese medicine to the Central African population. They continue to write the moving story of friendship between China and Africa.

As Presidentl Xi Jinping pointed out, they are not just angels in white coats saving the dying and caring for the wounded, they are also messengers of China – Africa friendship.

The Chinese Medical Practitioners are the 19th Chinese medical aid team to the Central African Republic set out from Jiaxing city, Zhejiang province, for an 18-month overseas medical aid mission. Their specialties include neurology, ophthalmology, gynecology and acupuncture, among others.

Story by Sarah Marjorey Kisakye

Back to China!

Back to China!

Back to China!

International students have started physical classroom learning after 3 years of online modeled teaching.

Many international students are thrilled to be back to study in China or start their academic journey after China Reopened to International Students after more 3 years of the Covid 19 pandemic.

China eased its border restrictions and quarantine requirements late last year, 2022.

The Eastern Tiger is one of the most sort after destinations for International students, largely attributed to more scholarship opportunities, relatively cheaper tuition dues and cost of living compared to many other countries.

Security and variable employment opportunities after graduation are also other considering factors that have led to made China’s popularity among international students.

Chinese Youth Artist promotes African friendship

Chinese Youth Artist promotes African friendship

Chinese Youth Artist promotes African friendship

Hello everyone, I am Oscar Yang, and I’m 24 years old.
I come from China in Jinhe Town, Genhe City, Inner Mongolia, and I have lived in Beijing since 2014.
I started drawing new friends I have meet from other countries after attending the Spanish Day event that was held at the Cervantes Institute in Beijing in 2016 and the USTB International Cultural Festival in 2017, I made friends from several African, Caribbean and Latin American countries, and over the years, I have committed to developing the cause of friendly cooperation and exchange with people from different cultures than I. My art is my way of building a bridge of shared community and future for mankind and promoting the development of friendly cooperation and mutual assistance among countries in the world.

Interviewed by Sarah Marjorey

The African School in China.

The African School in China.

China-Equatorial Guinea Friendship Primary School

As soon as you enter the school building, you are welcomed by the brightly done paintings and calligraphy works full on the walls, delighting your eyes and heart. The works displayed on the walls are all made by the teachers and students of the school.
One of the walls, is written the Chinese inscription, “Long live China-Africa friendship”

The “China-Equatorial Guinea Friendship Primary School”, founded in 1918, was originally named Jinping County No. 1 Primary School. It is one-hundred-year-old school. The Government of Equatorial Guinea and China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs play departmental tasks towards the development of the school.
The school has been a big tie factor in cementing “China-Equatorial Guinea Friendship. More developmental work was recently made on the school in June 2016, seeing the grand opening of a five-story teaching building and a sports field.
Through this school, the young Chinese learn more about African countries and develop a great passion for Africa.

The new teaching building was named “Friendship Building”, with a total of 20 classrooms. Among the series of special exhibition rooms on the first floor, is the Equatorial Guinea dedication exhibition room, which is particularly eye-catching. On the wall of the exhibition room, a student wrote: “What is friendship? Friendship is caring, friendship is mutual assistance, friendship is spring breeze, and friendship is the driving force for one’s progress.”
Bathed in the spring breeze of friendship, the school has expanded from the original 32 teaching classes with 1,600 students to 45 teaching classes with more than 2,000 students. The configuration of the library, painting room, and other functional rooms also provide the necessary foundation for students’ hobbies. The students are glad to show off their talents of calligraphy, paintings, dancing and singing.
The interesting interaction is quite a unique experience, rich with a history of friendship between the two countries and how it has remained operational for years.
The Principal of the school,
In China, youth are taught to love and serve their country, as well as having clear visions and skills to serve national interests.
In photos :Ms. Ran Hong Yang poses for a photograph and a storied class building, students keenly attending a class.

Story by Sarah Marjorey Kisakye

<strong>Africa and China have developed a fruitful partnership to address the agricultural challenges of African countries</strong>

Africa and China have developed a fruitful partnership to address the agricultural challenges of African countries

The World Bank and the International Monetary Fund predicted very recently that the global economic growth will slow down. The IMF, however, pointed out that output would be more resilient than previously anticipated, inter alia, due to the reopening of China’s economy and that a global recession would probably be avoided.

Despite these cautious predictions, Akinwumi Adesina, president of the African Development Bank, expressed a more positive outlook for Africa on Jan 19, saying that the continent is “set to outperform the rest of the world in economic growth over the next two years, with real gross domestic product (growth) averaging around 4 percent in 2023 and 2024 “.

An AfDB report furthermore reflected that all the continent’s five regions remain resilient with a steady outlook for the medium-term, despite facing significant headwinds due to global socio-economic shocks. As regards sub-Saharan Africa, the IMF anticipates that its economic growth will increase moderately to 3.8 percent in 2023 and climb to 4.1 percent in 2024.

The AfDB, however, cautioned in its report that risks including tightening global financial conditions, with the associated increase in domestic debt service costs as well as soaring food and energy prices as a result of climate change with its damaging impact on domestic food supply, continue to pose considerable threats to the continent.

Agriculture is a major source of income for most of the rural population of vast parts of Africa. It accounts for half of total employment and more than 32 percent of Africa’s gross domestic product.

Africa has substantial agro-ecological resources but for many reasons, the significant potential of the continent’s agricultural growth has yet to be realized. Paradoxically, food security, for one, is not assured. An “agricultural revolution” is needed with enhanced modernization, seeking solutions through technology transfers, mechanization and increased productivity.

It is in this context that African governments have consistently viewed agriculture as an important driver of growth, development and jobs on the continent. The AU adopted the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme in 2003, a framework with the aim to accelerate coordinated economic and structural transformation by improving agricultural productivity, increasing investment and sharing knowledge.

While many challenges require urgent attention, one of the top priorities is establishing food security which is crucial for sustainable economic development and the long-term prosperity of the African continent. At least one in five Africans goes to bed hungry and an estimated 140 million people in Africa face acute food insecurity, according to the 2022 Global Report on Food Crises 2022 Mid-Year Update produced by the UN World Food Programme, UN Food and Agriculture Organization and other specialized organizations.

Projections show that by 2050, Africa’s population will double. By 2100, one in three people on Earth will be African. Sub-Saharan Africa is home to more than 1 billion people, half of whom will be under the age of 25 years by 2050.

Considering the importance of the agricultural sector for a large segment of the African population, many African countries, while continuing to make progress, are in need of technical assistance to attain higher agricultural growth and find sustainable solutions to their food security challenges. African countries are therefore calling for more international cooperation, focusing on resources, technology, and development support to transform Africa’s agricultural sector.

Agriculture is a significant part of Africa-China cooperation and is of fundamental interest to both sides. Since the decolonization of Africa, China has transferred advanced Chinese agro-food technology to Africa in order to support the continent to mitigate its agricultural challenges. The goal is to leverage Africa and China’s public and private resources such as funding, product and technology and knowledge to promote and sustain inclusive agriculture transformation in Africa. With its many strengths, China’s agricultural development model has proven to be especially valuable to African countries in their endeavors to improve agro-productivity and meet their real and own needs.

Many Africa-China agreements were therefore concluded over the past decade or two to enhance cooperation on agricultural modernization, development of agro-industries, capacity building of young pioneers in farm development, and to increase the export potential of agricultural products as well as food security.

Registering an average annual growth of 14 percent, the trade volume of agricultural products between Africa and China has huge growth potential. But the relationship is not just about trade. According to the Chinese government, nearly 10,000 agricultural officials, technicians, farmers and students from African countries receive training in China each year.

The Chinese government has also launched cooperation programs with agricultural research institutes in more than a dozen African nations and established agricultural technology demonstration centers in 23 African countries which have actively facilitated the ongoing transfer of technology and skills from China to the continent. China continues to strengthen cooperation to help Africa’s agricultural development and poverty eradication efforts, including the appreciated initiative of sending 500 agricultural experts to the continent over the next three years.

The establishment of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation in 2000 has injected significant momentum into agricultural cooperation, delivering tangible outcomes to the African people and also toward the implementation of the AU Agenda 2063 and UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The FOCAC Dakar Action Plan of 2021 includes a number of constructive proposals to extend agricultural cooperation to include the whole industry chain and to continue to share experiences in job creation and poverty reduction through agriculture with a strong focus on alleviating food security. Also of increasing significance is the agreement to advance comprehensive cooperation on climate change with the aim of transitioning to clean and low-carbon energy and to improve the quality of the continent’s development with green cooperation.

Given China’s reputation as a staunch defender of world food security and contributor to global poverty reduction, Africa attaches great importance to its mutually beneficial agricultural cooperation with China which has rapidly grown, establishing a solid foundation for enhanced practical cooperation in the future. Africa welcomes China’s declared approach of strengthening international cooperation with all countries in the interest of global economic growth, development and promotion of economic re-globalization.

The long-standing friendship and excellent relations between China and Africa were strongly reaffirmed by the highly constructive visit of Chinese Foreign Minister Qin Gang to five African countries last month. Africa is of the view, with the support of China, that the continent should be “a stage for international cooperation, not a wrestling ground for major-power rivalry” as was so eloquently stated by Qin during his visit to Ethiopia.

President Ramaphosa extends Lunar New Year wishes to Government and people of China

President Ramaphosa extends Lunar New Year wishes to Government and people of China

President Cyril Ramaphosa extends his best wishes to the Government and people of the People’s Republic of China on the occasion of the Chinese Lunar New Year and Annual Spring Festival.

President Ramaphosa has, on behalf of the Government and people of South Africa, expressed his wish that the advent of the Year of the Rabbit will indeed endow citizens of the People’s Republic of China with the longevity, peace and prosperity associated with the zodiac sign for the year ahead.

South Africa values the vibrant economic relations and political cooperation that characterise its partnership with the People’s Republic of China.

President Ramaphosa said: “My dear brothers and sisters from China and all Chinese communities around the world: I wish you all a happy Lunar New Year and a prosperous Spring Festival 2023.

“On behalf of the Government and People of South Africa, I wish the Government and the people of China, including here in South Africa, a happy and fulfilling time of goodwill, celebration and friendship, as you renew the bonds between friends or reunite with family during this period.”

“As we enter the New Year, we are also celebrating the 25th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the Republic of South Africa and the People’s Republic of China in 1998.

“In addition, South Africa will succeed China as Chair and host of the next BRICS Summit, during which we hope to receive His Excellency, President Xi Jinping in South Africa. These occasions provide ample cause for celebration.”

NMG, Huawei partner to tackle lack of jobs

NMG, Huawei partner to tackle lack of jobs

The Nation Media Group (NMG) and Huawei yesterday launched a job fair that will see 10,000 Kenyans trained annually.

The fair also celebrated the digital training of 2,500 youth under the Huawei DigiTruck project over the past three years.

Bringing together the Federation of Kenya Employers and the National Employment Authority, among others, the fair initiated discussions on how employers can bridge the unemployment gap in the country as over five million youths remain jobless. Kenya’s unemployment rate stands at 5.7 per cent, higher than the 2.7 per cent East African average.

Acknowledging the significance of the initiative, Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua said that while opportunities for employment are limited, many graduates do not have the skills required in the job market.

“This job fair is an important link between job seekers, job creators and potential employers or incubators of ideas,” said the DP.

He explained that young people need to take advantage of digital technology to benefit from more than 230 million jobs projected to be created in sub-Saharan Africa as a result of digitisation.

“These jobs will require ICT skills. An estimated $130 million investment opportunities lies in digital skills in Africa,” said Mr Gachagua.

NMG Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Stephen Gitagama said the partnership aims to promote sustainable economic growth, employment and decent work.

“With an estimated 900,000 Kenyan youth entering the job market annually, the situation is not projected to improve, except with targeted efforts and initiatives from the government as well as private sector players.

“ This partnership has come to drive policy discussions on gainful employment across sectors, encourage companies, organisations and institutions to offer jobs/internships to alleviate unemployment, and to mentor, inspire and empower young talents,” he said.

Mr Gitagama added that NMG will continue to create awareness on job opportunities for the youth, as well as share information about career development and networking, and impart the skills required in the job market.

“The Nation Media Group commits to continue partnering with other like-minded institutions like Huawei, government ministries and departments and associations, with the aim of transforming the society it serves,” said Mr Gitagama.

Huawei Kenya Deputy Chief Executive Officer Steven Zhang said his company is committed to connecting Kenya, and that it will continue to contribute to the country by building digital infrastructure, digitising government and businesses, and providing jobs and internships.

“Huawei directly and indirectly employs over 102,000 people and we train several thousand each year. We are a global lead in ICT, and we commit to sharing our knowledge and building capacity amongst Kenyans … Huawei is also keen to support the President’s dream of creating a digital super highway,” said Mr Zhang.

Mr Geoffrey Kaituko, the Principal Secretary for Labour and Skills Development said that close to 1.4 million Kenyans enter the labour market every year. In 2021 alone, the total jobs created were 926,000.

“This shows that every year our economy is unable to generate adequate jobs for participants in the labour market. It is a challenge that the government has accepted and will rise to,” he said.

China a dependable partner for Africa to advance commerce under the AfCFTA

China a dependable partner for Africa to advance commerce under the AfCFTA

China is today the single biggest trading partner with African countries. Geographically, China might be smaller that Africa, Europe or North America. But in terms of population, it’s the most populous nation of 1.3billion people almost the same population as the African continent. So in a way China is by its own right a continent.

Now African countries want to trade more with each other on the continent, and questions have been asked; will this hurt or benefit big trading partners like China?

Chinese officials have publically said that, China is wholly supportive of the AfCFTA, seeing it as a ‘win-win’ solution and arguing that free trade and multilateralism are key foundations to the global system. In November 2020, China’s foreign minister Wang Yi assured African that his government will provide cash assistance and capacity-building training to AfCFTA secretariat.”

The AfCFTA is the world’s largest free trade area of a single market for goods and services of almost 1.3 billion people across Africa that enables deepening economic integration of Africa. It was established in 2018 by the African Continental Free Trade Agreement.

The trade area could have a combined gross domestic product of around $3.4 trillion, but achieving its full potential depends on significant policy reforms and trade facilitation measures across African signatory nations.Th world bank report 2020, estimated that by 2035, real income gains from full implementation of the agreement could be 7 percent, or nearly $450bn.

The AfCFTA aims to reduce tariffs among members and covers policy areas such as trade facilitation and services, as well as regulatory measures such as sanitary standards and technical barriers to trade.

Rwanda was selected   among countries to kick start trading under the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) framework in a pilot phase that also involves six other countries, namely; Cameroon, Egypt, Ghana, Kenya, Mauritius and Tanzania.

Recently, RwandAir, put in place a preferential freight tariff for Rwanda exporters under the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA, according to media reports. The promotional offer gives Rwanda exporters a low pay of $1.4 per Kilogramme is aimed to motivate the business community to leverage AfCFTA- one of the 13 flagship projects of Agenda 2063 in Africa. It should be noted that in August, 2022 RwandAir had increased airfreight fee on a kilogramme of fresh produce from $1.8 to $2.

So the future of AfCFTA can only be looked at in the mirror of other regional integrations ambitions that came before it. Its liberalized trade regime will, hopefully; gradually lead to an integrated continental market with tariffs phased out on 97% of tariff lines within 10-13 year. This means we expect a fully-fledged AfCTA, between the year 2031 and 2034.

Africa’s traditional trading destination.

Africa export and import patterns have in past been dictated by their former colonial masters, religious and other western historical links. China is a new entrant in this mix and has no historical baggage in Africa.

So let us face the facts; it is not likely that Europe, major colonial powers and Christianity exporters to Africa, nor North America, a successor to European Influence in Africa are going to applaud ACFTA.  It is like children’s seesaw, one can only go up when one goes down and vice versa. The higher Africa goes up the lower the west goes down. On the other hand China and Africa, at least for the moment, don’t have to be on the seesaw.

What will be the linkage between the intra-Africa CFTA and China?

The focus on intra-African links is expected to involve China in two main areas: trade and the building of infrastructure to facilitate trade.


AfCFTA is not going to be implemented by White color business people. The men in suits and neck ties, and the women in high heels, flying in Boeing and Airbuses.  It will only be successful through young men in jeans, truck suits and women in Kitenges. These will require adequate roads and railway.  Infrastructure; which will be necessary for the implementation the reduction; and latter total removal of tariff and non-tariff barriers.

The former colonial masters did not build these roads and railways for the purpose of intra African trade. They built a few and they are not about to do so today. Particularly, the western so called “democratic models”, will not facilitate that. Neither Democrats nor Republican will win votes by promising to build Infrastructure in Africa, the same goes for Europe political parties. On the other hand, china is already dealing with Africa on infrastructure development under the Forum for Africa Cooperation (FOCAC).

China is already the highest investor in African infrastructure, and so Beijing is un-doubted going to play a key role in projects to set up transport corridors that will support African, intra African trade, and industrialization. This is already happening through “The Belt and Road Initiative” (BRI) framework. Africans are not naïve, they don’t see China as a God sent messiah, China has its own interests, what we shall be looking for is a Win –Win partnership.

Potential for trade partnership instead of tensions

The AfCFTA is designed to boost trade amongst African partners. Skeptics argue that, this could be the very reason that is likely to cause friction between Africa and China under AfCFTA , which is the continent’s single-largest trading partner.

Some commentators have accused China’s role as the world’s factory, producing cheap products as being the cause that has stunted the development of African manufacturing and supply chains.

With AfCFTA, Africa will take into account the rules of origin. So contrary to prophets of doom, African will not import cheap “Chinese clothes” and make shirts and pants to export to the neighbours. Countries with vast unutilized land like Zambia, DRC and Tanzania, will grow cotton, or even invite Chinese, and other experts to make clothes for export under AfCFTA.  Countries that traditionally practice animal husbandry, like Rwanda, Uganda, Kenya, Ethiopia, Somalia, Senegal etc. will invite china to process the hides and skins to produce, leather and leather products. This is what will qualify for rules of origin.

For the AfCFTA to succeed we don’t need bureaucracies. We don’t need American Congress, European parliament, or British House of Commons, to act. We need a partner with whom once we come out of the negotiation room, and the deal has been agreed upon the implementation starts immediately.

Author: Hanane Thamik is currently a Ph.D. scholar at the School of Information Management, Wuhan University, simultaneously a member of the Morocco-China Friendship Exchange Association, the author of China Today ,the former author of CGTN Africa, Africa-China Review, and the Canadian magazine ( Etats de splendeur ). She was chosen as Morocco’s youth representative for the Belt and Road initiative by the Moroccan embassy in China, the Arab youth participant in the 9th Ministerial Meeting of the China-Arab States Cooperation Forum 2020, and the Ambassador of Wuhan City to the world by Changjiang Weekly Magazine, and the Moroccan Youth Representative 2020 (FOCAC, Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs). She also won the awards of the Belt and Road Tourism ambassador 2019, the Outstanding African Student in China 2018, the Cultural Achievement Award by UNESCO, the Wuhan University Outstanding International Students award 2019 and 2021, the Maotai scholarship “Excellent academic performance and outstanding overall performance 2019 and 2021,” the outstanding individual among international students fighting novel coronavirus pneumonia 2020, the only Moroccan winner of the essay contest named “experience China -our anti-epidemic story” 2020 (China Scholarship Council), the Chinese Government Outstanding International Student in China 2020 ( China Scholarship Council ),  the winner of the 5th “My Beautiful Encounter with China” essay contest for international students in China, and recently the first prize of the competition of the 37th Chu Cai Composition Competition. She was one of the successful 54 young people worldwide who has been selected to participate in a training program organized by the United Nations in Switzerland in 2019. She has also more than 20 publications among them the United Nations Geneva 2019 report, Peking University 5000-mile reports 2020 and 2021 which were handed to high-ranking officials at the Ministry of Foreign affairs in Beijing, and her most recent SCI paper, “The Impact of Artificial Intelligence on Sustainable Development in Electronic Markets,” which received attention from many experts across the world and was posted by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations on its official website.

Path towards modernization: responsibilities of young leaders of the CPC and African political parties

Path towards modernization: responsibilities of young leaders of the CPC and African political parties

Your Excellency, LIU Jianchao, Minister of the IDCPC, other leaders of IDCPC present, leaders of African political parties, Chinese experts, young leaders of the CPC and African political parties, brothers and sisters, friends – it is a great pleasure to participate in the China-Africa Thematic Briefing on the Twentieth National Congress of the CPC and the Sixth China-Africa Young Leaders’ Forum under the theme of Path towards modernization: responsibilities of young leaders of the CPC and African political parties.

Kindly allow me first to associate myself with the congratulatory messages from the Secretary General of the United Democratic Alliance (UDA), Honourable Veronica Maina and the Party Leader and President of the Republic of Kenya, H.E Dr William Ruto in congratulating the CPC for the complete success of the 20th National Congress and the re-election of General Secretary Xi Jinping.

Having read through the Report to the 20th National Congress of the CPC presented by General Secretary Xi, I would like to highlight six key points in seeking to identify paths to modernization which African political parties can adapt to and young leaders of the CPC and African political parties can be emboldened to carry forward.

Firstly, it is important to uphold the unified overall leadership of our respective parties. Over the past five years, the CPC has continued to strengthen the overall leadership of the Party and the centralized, unified leadership of the Central Committee. As the cornerstone of the ‘Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era’ the centralized, unified leadership of the Central Committee lends great wisdom and foresight in governance.

The second notable point is the high importance attached to implementing a people-centred philosophy of development.The CPC has worked continuously to ensure people’s access to childcare, education, employment, medical services, elderly care, housing, and social assistance, thus bringing about an all-around improvement in people’s lives.

The philosophy of the United Democratic Alliance (UDA), is that everyone in Kenya matters and through the Party, Kenyans of all walks of life have the opportunity to contribute to nation building and to better their lives and the lives of future generations. The vision of the Party is to realise an equitably empowered Kenyan society anchored on a bottom-up economic model that promotes equal opportunities, shared prosperity and improved economic welfare. A central plank of the UDA manifesto has been job creation, especially for the youth. Bottom up economics is about investing the limited capital available where it will create the most jobs – at the bottom of the pyramid.

Bottom Up Economic model is also in line with my third notable point, which is the Chinese modernization of common prosperity for all in order to meet the people’s aspirations for a better life. Achieving common prosperity is a defining feature of socialism with Chinese characteristics as the CPC embarks on the Second Centenary Goal of building China into a great modern socialist country.

By improving the system of lifelong vocational training and improving the system for creating jobs by encouraging business start-ups, provides a sustainable path to modernization ensuring both long term inclusive economic growth and equity.

The fourth notable point is Advancing Whole-Process People’s Democracy. Complementing the Bottom Up Economic Model, Whole-Process People’s Democracy offers viable solutions in building a ‘Bottom Up Democratic Governance Model’. Through the UDA grassroots Party institutions of County Congresses, Constituency Congress, Ward Congress and Polling Centre Members Committee, we can expand democratic channels, and diversify the forms of democracy. This model is similar and in line with people’s congresses at all levels in China which are formed through democratic elections, responsible to the people, and subject to their oversight.

The fifth notable point is the great new project of party building. As a relatively new Party, the UDA is on course to consolidate its gains in the recent general elections by building strong Party structures and establishing complete country wide scope. In a similar vein to the CPC’s great project of party building, UDA can also endeavour to strengthen the ideals and convictions of its Party members, see that they are committed to the Party’s purpose, and resolve the fundamental question of the worldview, outlook on life, and values they should embrace.

Of critical importance is the need for training and selecting promising young Party officials and encouraging young officials to work and gain experience in local communities and areas where conditions can test their resolve and provide practical assignments as an important part of their training. In addition, Party building should also include strengthening the Party organizations, keeping a clear focus on the primary level, using Party building initiatives to propel rural revitalization and intensifying Party-building efforts in urban communities.

The last notable point is maintaining a global vision. In that regard it is important that we build synergy between the Chinese path to modernization and the African path to modernization as envisaged in the African Union Agenda 2063.  

The Seven Aspirations of AU Agenda 2063 include a prosperous Africa based on inclusive growth and sustainable development as well as an integrated continent, political united, based on the idea of Pan Africanism and the vision of Africa’s renaissance. Pan Africanism reflects a range of political views. At a basic level, ‘it is a belief that African peoples, both on the African continent and in the Diaspora, share not merely a common history but a common destiny’. In the course of re-imagining Pan-Africanism, the re-owned Pan Africanist Issa Shivji has argued that ‘we should reconstruct it as an ideology of the working people, as an ideology of social emancipation and, therefore, inextricably embedded in the struggle of the working people.’ It is time to champion a ‘Pan Africanism in the New Era’.

Through small-scale pilot programs it is time to establish agriculture value chains and agro industrial parks across the continent as special economic zones whilst harnessing the African free trade area and promoting further African Union economic integration. It is time to reconstruct the Pan African agenda by promoting an African Union – Caribbean Community trade agreement and a Pan African diaspora strategy for attracting high level talent back to the continent. It is time to demand a collective seat on the United Nations Security Council as well as renegotiating the rules of the World Trade Organization. It is time to reconstruct globalization through soft power diplomacy in the promotion of a shared peace and prosperity and in doing so reduce the disparity of wealth and income inequality.

In addition, China has put forward the Global Development Initiative and the Global Security Initiative, and it stands ready to work with the international community to put these two initiatives into action in building a human community with a shared future as the way forward for all the world’s peoples. China is committed to narrowing the North-South gap and supporting and assisting other developing countries in accelerating development. Furthermore, through solidarity and cooperation we can promote greater democracy in international relations, and work to make global governance fairer and more equitable as well as safeguarding the international system with the United Nations at its core.

By striving in unity to pursue the above, the young leaders of today have a critical role to play. In a televised address to the nation on the 21st August 2021, UDA Party leader and now the 5th President of Republic of Kenya following the recent general election, H.E President William Ruto stated:

‘Today, I call on every young person in our country to step forward, stand up to be counted, summon their energy, talent and knowledge to imagine, fashion and create a new Kenya. I urge the young people of our country to refuse to be sidelined, to resist being marginalized but to assume their rightful place in the national discourse. Your place at the center of the national discourse is your right. Do not wait to be invited; it is your place. Your future, and that of our nation, is anchored on your readiness to assume your rightful position. Now henceforth, we must build an alliance of all Kenyans with our young people at the core so that we can tap into our creativity, talents, energy to fashion the new Kenya where success is not based on who you know but how hard you work, a Kenya where nobody is left behind’.

In the concluding remarks in delivering the Report to the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China, General Secretary Xi stated, and I quote;

Young people: You should steadfastly follow the Party and its guidance, aim high but stay grounded, and dare to think big and take action but make sure you can deliver. You should strive to be the new era’s great young generation, a generation with ideals, a sense of responsibility, grit, and dedication. As you endeavour to build China into a modern socialist country in all respects, your youth and vitality will bloom in full splendour”. End of quote

With these few remarks, I call on my fellow young leaders to be the torch bearers in lighting the path to modernization, harness the spirit of China Africa friendship and strive together in unity in building a China Africa community of shared future in the New Era.

As the year draws to an end, allow me to wish you all a peaceful, prosperous and a healthy New Year.

Long live Kenya China friendship!
Long live China Africa solidarity!
Long live the Communist Party of China!
Xie Xie dajia.

Edwin Mwenda
Foreign Affairs Advisor
United Democratic Alliance