By Ikenna Emewu
The Forum on China Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) Summit will hold in China this year, the Chinese Foreign Ministry announced on January 2 at the press briefing at the Blue Hall at the Ministry headquarters in Chaoyang District of Beijing.
The 18-year-old FOCAC has been a great success in the implementation of its objective of a virile relationship between the two sides.
FOCAC has 52 African state members, the AU Commission and the Peoples Republic of China as partners, and the cooperation has been worked out in trade, technology, media, diplomacy, agriculture, culture and people-to-people exchanges.
In the media cooperation for instance, while China has hosted 65 African journalists in three batches of the China Public Diplomacy Media Fellowship between 2015 and 2017, a one year programme, it has also trained up to one thousand others.
Also in 2017, up to 10 Chinese journalists took tours of Nigeria and had exchanges and experiences of media practice and the culture of the people.
The last FOCAC Summit held in Jonanessburg, South Africa in 2015.
The FOCAC Johannesburg Summit co-chaired by President Xi Jinping and
President Jacob Zuma in 2015 was a full success, the China Foreign Ministry stated.
It announced in response to a question during the media briefing on FOCAC that: “In 2018, a new FOCAC meeting will be held in China. South Africa and many other African countries all hope to elevate the 2018 FOCAC meeting into a summit. In response to the strong aspirations of the African members of the FOCAC and bearing in mind the practical needs of the development of China-Africa relations, China has decided to hold a FOCAC summit in 2018.”
After 17 years of development, FOCAC has become an important platform for collective dialogue and effective mechanism for practical cooperation between China and Africa as well as a banner that spearheads international cooperation with Africa. The Johannesburg Summit opened up a new stage of China-Africa win-win cooperation and common development.
“At present, the outcomes of the Johannesburg Summit have been effectively implemented in an all round way, which is injecting strong impetus into the development of China-Africa relations. Against the backdrop of profound and complex changes in the international landscape, the Chinese and African leaders will meet again in Beijing to discuss the policy of China-Africa friendly cooperation, plan for the blueprint of China-Africa cooperation in a new era, roll out major measures to lead China-Africa cooperation and development and advance the China-Africa exchange and cooperation in various areas. This is conducive to deepening China-Africa comprehensive strategic partnership for our win-win cooperation and common development at a higher level and will also help to promote south-south cooperation and the development of global partnerships, and inject positive energy into world peace, stability and development.
Following the principle of wide consultation, joint contribution and shared benefits, China will work with African members of FOCAC to prepare for this summit. We believe that with the concerted effort of China and Africa, the FOCAC summit this year
will surely be a historic occasion to strengthen China-Africa solidarity and cooperation,” the ministry assured.
By Ikenna Emewu