China and Africa will always be a community with a shared future. At least its policy is strategically focused on sustainable development, and China has indeed proven, over the years, in many aspects of its relationship with Africa. The results are seen especially with all kinds of infrastructures that have been built in recent years. And, of course, the appreciable results reflect the level of commitment to the action plans reached at the triennial summits.
By Kester Kenn Klomegah
In its white paper, it is stated that China’s approach involves basic principles, including maintaining a people-centered approach in pursuing practical cooperation with efficiency. In its cooperation with Africa, it gives priority to the interests and well-being of the peoples of Africa and works for their benefit.
China is determined to fully honor the promises it has made to its African friends. Developing solidarity and cooperation with African countries has been the cornerstone of Chinese foreign policy. In the fight against the coronavirus, China will deliver one billion vaccines to Africa – with a population of 1.3 billion. This further indicates its efforts to promote cooperation in the provision of basic health care.
With the coronavirus outbreak in December 2019, China became the first country in the world to convene an anti-pandemic summit with Africa. He further called on international partners to increase their support to Africa, while repeatedly providing medicines including vaccines to many African countries.
Most recently, at the last summit held in November, Chinese President Xi Jinping made important policies to advance China-Africa cooperation and strengthen cooperation amid the pandemic. In order to support, he pledged a billion doses. He has made deliveries to many African countries.
China is actively honoring its commitment to make vaccines a global public good. Just as Chinese vaccines had just hit the market and domestic supplies were tight, China began supplying vaccines to Africa to support its fight against the pandemic.
As of November 2021, China has provided over 1.7 billion doses of Covid-19 vaccine to over 110 countries and organizations, including 50 African countries and the AU Commission, and is working to provide a global total of two billion doses by the end of 2021. In addition, he has donated US$100 million to COVAX, which aims to ensure that all countries have access to a safe and effective vaccine.
COVAX is a global program coordinated by the World Health Organization in partnership with GAVI – the Vaccine Alliance, the Center for Epidemics Preparedness Innovations and many others. Producing countries are free to donate vaccines through COVAX.
Chinese companies are actively engaging in joint vaccine production in Africa with local companies, helping countries, in accordance with their wishes, to achieve localized vaccine production. According to reports, Chinese companies have started localized production in Egypt and signed cooperation agreements with Morocco and Algeria.
After the Covid-19 hit, in coordination with local governments, enterprises and social organizations, China provided emergency anti-pandemic supplies – including 120 batches of nucleic testing reagents, protective equipment, masks, eye protection and ventilators – to 53 African countries and the AU based on their respective needs, with these emergency supplies reaching almost all parts of the continent. He has also sent medical teams to several countries on the continent.
China has also actively shared its anti-epidemic experience with African countries and sent anti-epidemic medical expert groups or short-term anti-epidemic medical teams to 17 African countries to fight the epidemic alongside the local population.
He pushed for the earlier start of the construction of the headquarters of the Africa Center for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC), a project supported by China. This shows another milestone in the construction of the Africa CDC Headquarters located in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
At the 2018 Beijing Summit and the 7th Ministerial Conference of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) held in Beijing, the Chinese government expressed its commitment to support the construction of the Africa CDC headquarters. African leaders welcomed it and pledged to support the realization of the project.
Located in the African Village, south of Addis Ababa, the new site covers an area of 90,000 m2 with a total construction area of nearly 40,000 m2. When completed, the building will include an emergency operations center, data center, laboratory, resource center, briefing rooms, training center, conference center, offices and apartments for expatriates, all to be built, furnished and equipped by the government. from China.
In accordance with a number of agreements between the AU and the Chinese government, the AU Commission and the People’s Ministry of Commerceit is The Republic of China signed the Africa CDC Headquarters Construction Project Implementation Agreement in July 2020.
The headquarters building is expected to become one of the best equipped centers for disease control in Africa, enabling Africa CDC to play its role as the technical institution coordinating disease prevention, surveillance and control on the continent, by partnership with national public health authorities. Member States’ health institutes and ministries.
HE Amira Elfadil Mohamed, Commissioner for Humanitarian Affairs and Social Development and HE Ambassador Liu Yuxi, Head of the People’s Missionit is Republic of China in Ethiopia attended the ceremony on behalf of the African Union Commission and the Government of the People’s Republic of China respectively.
Speaking at the ceremony, Commissioner Elfadil said the completion of the first phase represents 45% of the total construction. “While celebrating our success in achieving 45% full project completion in an impressive record 348 days. The African Union would like to express its sincere gratitude to the Government of the People’s Republic of China for funding the entire of the project, as well as to all the stakeholders who played their respective roles and tirelessly helped the team achieve its goal,” she said.
In his address, HE Ambassador Liu Yuxi underscored the close China-Africa partnership. “As we speak, the Covid-19 pandemic continues to wreak havoc across the world. However, this cannot prevent China-Africa cooperation from developing in depth and substance. China and Africa are s help each other, team up in the midst of difficulties and treat each other wholeheartedly.
He added that the Africa CDC building itself is a manifestation of beneficial and practical work for the people of Africa. China will do its utmost to help African countries respond to the pandemic and restore economic and social development.
In battling COVID-19, China and Africa have faced serious challenges, helping each other and fighting side by side to defeat the pandemic through solidarity and cooperation.
China participates in the African Vaccine Manufacturing Partnership (AVMP) launched by the African Union in April 2021. This continental vision for vaccine manufacturing is to “ensure that Africa has rapid access to vaccines to protect the safety public health, establishing a sustainable development of vaccines and manufacturing ecosystem in Africa.
It is also a magnificent testimony to China’s unwavering support for Africa. “Together, we have written a magnificent chapter of mutual assistance amid complex changes, and set a shining example for building a new kind of international relations,” Xi said later in one of his speeches. , and stressed the principles of China’s African policy as a pursuit. the greater good and shared interests.
China and Africa jointly launched an initiative on partnership for Africa’s development this year. He stresses that all countries should conduct cooperation with Africa on the basis of respecting Africa’s sovereignty and listening to Africa’s voice, make full use of each other’s advantages and put their efforts together effectively, and do more beneficial and practical work for well-being. to be of the African people.
China and Africa work closely together. At the initiative of China and African countries, FOCAC was inaugurated at its first ministerial conference in Beijing in October 2000, with the objectives of responding to the challenges of economic globalization and seeking common development. FOCAC now has 55 members, including China, the 53 African countries that maintain diplomatic relations with China and the AU Commission.
Beyond the borders of Africa, China expresses and calls for the intensification of development and the basic needs of the disadvantaged populations in Africa. During his participation in the general debate of the 76th session of the United Nations General Assembly, Chinese President Xi Jinping proposed the Global Development Initiative, calling on the international community to accelerate the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for United Nations for Sustainable Development.