Senegalese President Macky Sall speaks at the opening ceremony of the Eighth Ministerial Conference of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) in Dakar, Senegal, Nov. 29, 2021. (Xinhua/Li Yan)
Senegalese President Macky Sall said that Africa and China want to go further in their common ambition to achieve shared prosperity for the well-being of the African and Chinese peoples.
DAKAR, Nov. 30 (Xinhua) -- Senegalese President Macky Sall said that Africa and China want to go further in their common ambition to achieve shared prosperity for the well-being of the African and Chinese peoples.
In remarks delivered at the opening ceremony of the 8th Ministerial Conference of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC), which kicked off here Monday, Sall said that Senegal, the FOCAC's co-chair, is pleased to host this important meeting three years after the FOCAC's last momentous summit in Beijing, to further strengthen the long Chinese-African tradition of cordial friendship and dynamic partnership.
The president said that since the FOCAC was established 21 years ago, Africa and China have moved forward hand in hand, pragmatically and effectively, as evidenced by the intensification of bilateral trade, investments, and the many achievements under various action plans.
He said the theme of the conference, "Deepen China-Africa Partnership and Promote Sustainable Development to Build a China-Africa Community with a Shared Future in the New Era," is highly relevant because of the ever-increasing changes and the global challenges to which Africa and China must adapt by further strengthening their relations of political and economic solidarity.
Noting that the friendship has been successfully tested against the COVID-19 pandemic, the president thanked China for its continued support for Africa's health response and economic recovery efforts.
During his speech, Sall proposed five priorities for the Ministerial Conference Roadmap, including health security, agricultural modernization, technical and vocational training, infrastructure development and the development of Africa's industrial capacities.
The president encourages Chinese companies to take a more confident and optimistic view of investing in Africa.
People exercise at a seaside fitness park in Dakar, Senegal, Nov. 24, 2021. (Xinhua/Li Yan)
"Twenty-one years after its launch, we can be proud of the achievements of our Forum, thanks to the collaboration of our States, our cities, our companies, and our peoples, in a spirit of friendly friendship, active solidarity, mutual trust and respect," he said. "Friendship, solidarity, trust, and respect. This is where the strength of our Forum lies; and it is this force that must continue to carry our vision and ambitions for the future, in order to deepen the China-Africa partnership and promote sustainable development to build a China-Africa community with a shared future in the new era."
President Felix Tshisekedi of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, also the current chairperson of the African Union, in a speech delivered to the conference via video link, said the FOCAC conference, through constructive and sincere dialogue, will take a look at the progress made over the years and define the main orientations of China-Africa cooperation for the next three years.
He said the conference is held with the view of strengthening solidarity between stakeholders in the face of major challenges, including socio-economic development, climate change, security and stability as well as the establishment of justice and peace within the international community.
Azali Assoumani, president of the Comoros, also in a speech delivered via video link, said the historic achievements of Africa-China cooperation are undeniable and are the pride of our countries. "Whether it is in the field of consolidating peace and security, eradicating poverty, or tackling climate change, the results of this cooperation make us gratified," he said.
"We will do our best to ensure that this synergy effect continues to be consolidated, especially through the Belt and Road Initiative to achieve better connectivity and more efficient economic growth on our continents," he said. ■