A three-year action plan has been unfolded in Beijing for both Africa and China to enhance progress.
Successes of the 18-year-old Forum on China-Africa Cooperation, FOCAC, have left all participants at the two-day summit of the forum in Beijing sanguine that the future of the over 1.3 billion people in China and over 1.2 billion inhabitants of Africa would be even better.
As the President of Senegal, Macky Sall takes over the co-chairmanship of the FOCAC from Cyril Ramaphosa, President of South Africa; he would be expected to champion the eight-point agenda elaborated by President Xi Jinping of China to ensure the shared future between China and Africa.
Also, the leaders of Africa and China present in Beijing took another firm commitment to adhere to the Belt and Road Initiative conceived by the Chinese leader to harness and bring development and progress to their populations in multi-cultural environment.
With all discussions centred on ways to forge a common destiny for China and Africa there was three main concerns namely: industrialisation, capacity building and agriculture overriding the summit. The content of the two final documents that summarised the aspirations of the leaders of China and Africa even made the vision much clearer.
The Beijing Declaration titled, “Building a closer China-Africa Community of Common destiny” and the Triennial Action Plan (2019-2021) presented by President Xi Jinping in eight-points gave additional meaning to the determination to make life better for people in Africa and China.
Within the next three years and even beyond, China and Africa are expected to work towards industrial promotion, infrastructural connectivity, facilitate trade initiatives, ensure a green development initiative, build the capacity of peoples from both geo-political spheres, foster healthcare concerns, as well as a people-to-people exchanges and work for peace and security.
In solidarity, they think it would be the “surest way to permanently address the current global challenges such as conflicts, insecurity, terrorism, poverty, diseases, climate change and irregular migration.” Looking at the aspirations within the context of the “Belt and Road Initiative” President Xi said the new platform of international cooperation should be turned into “a road of peace, prosperity, openness, green development and innovation and a road that brings together different civilisations.”
To deliver on the promises of Beijing 2018, China and Africa are therefore intending to build infrastructure, cooperate in areas like energy development, transportation, information and communication technologies and cross-border water resources. Issues such as an increase in the representation of “the voice of developing countries in the international affairs, efforts to strengthen Southsouth cooperation which is presently a weak link in the global system, representation of the will and interests of the majority of countries, especially developing countries,” resonated strongly at the FOCAC in Beijing.
Be it President Xi Jinping, Cyril Ramaphosa, Paul Kagame, Paul Biya, Macky Sall, the UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, the President of the African Union, Moussa Faki Mahamat or the other leaders who took turns to express the views, the general perception was that Africa and China can move mountains if they forge on with their collective will. The coming years will tell.