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The Beijing Axis at the 7th Ministerial Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) in Beijing
Tuesday, 11 September 2018 07:28

Source: Xinhua News
Heads of State and Government from Africa and Chinese President Xi Jinping at the Great Hall of the People

BEIJING – 3-4 September 2018 - The Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) 7th Ministerial meeting was held on the 3rd and 4th of September in Beijing, China. The official Forum is between the People’s Republic of China and 53 states in Africa and was hosted by President Xi Jinping, with South African President Cyril Ramaphosa serving as co-host. The forum was attended by 49 African heads of state and of government, members of the international diplomatic corps and various business representatives. Kobus van der Wath, Founder and Group Managing Director of The Beijing Axis, also participated in the two-day summit.

The first day of the summit consisted of three major events. The High Level Dialogue between Chinese and African Leaders and Business Representatives Sixth Conference of Chinese and African Entrepreneurs held at the China National Convention Centre, followed by the official opening ceremony at the Great Hall of the People. A banquet was held at the Great Hall of the People to conclude the end of the first day.

Chinese President Xi Jinping speaking at the Opening Ceremony at the China National Convention Centre

The second day of the summit had only one major event, namely the round table discussion held in the Great Hall of the People. President Xi hosted the first phase of the discussion, followed by President Ramaphosa. Various side events were held during the second day such as the industry business talks at the China World Hotel, and the First Lady conference on China and Africa: Join Hands on a Future Free of Aids.

Kobus van der Wath attended the High Level Dialogue as well as the Opening Ceremony on the first day. The second day of the summit he participated at the industry networking event held at the China World Hotel. Delegates from Africa and China met at this event to discuss industry innovation and possible cross-border business interactions.

The theme of FOCAC 2018 was; “China and Africa: Toward an Even Stronger Community with a Shared Future through Win-Win Co-operation”. In his keynote speech themed “Walk together towards prosperity”, President Xi announced 8 major initiatives at the opening ceremony which China aims to fulfill in Africa, pledging USD 60 bn in financing for these initiatives. USD 50 bn is to come directly from government, whilst President Xi urged private companies from China to invest the other USD 10 bn. These initiatives are in industrial promotion, infrastructure connectivity, trade facilitation, green development, capacity building, health care, people-to-people exchanges, and peace and security.

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, Co-host of FOCAC 2018 in Beijing, speaking at the High Level Business Discussion.

In his speech at the opening ceremony, President Ramaphosa highlighted that the basis of Africa’s relationship with China is; “founded on equality, trust, mutual respect and mutual benefit”. The President also spoke of the great potential Africa shall be as a destination for Chinese investment, through the establishment of the African Continental Free Trade Area (CFTA). President Ramaphosa says he hopes that further Chinese investment would result in the promotion of industrialization in African economies and position the continent as a global competitor.

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