By Kester Kenn Klomegah
China and Africa will always be a community of destiny. At least its policy is strategically focused on sustainable development, and China has indeed proven itself, over the years, in many aspects of relations with Africa.
The results are particularly visible with all kinds of infrastructure that were built in those years. And, of course, the significant results reflect the level of commitment to the action plans that emerged from the triennial summits.
In its white paper, it is said that China’s approach involves basic principles, including maintaining a people-centered approach in pursuing practical cooperation effectively. In its cooperation with Africa, it gives priority to the interests and well-being of the African peoples and works for their benefit.
China is determined to fully honor the promises it has made to its African friends. The development of solidarity and cooperation with African countries has been the cornerstone of China’s foreign policy. In the fight against the coronavirus, China will provide Africa with a billion vaccines – with a population of 1.3 billion. This further indicates its efforts to promote cooperation in the delivery of basic health care.
With the coronavirus outbreak in December 2019, China was 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 himself providing drugs, including vaccines, to many African countries himself at various times.
Most recently, at the last summit held in November, Chinese President Xi Jinping drew up important policies aimed at advancing China-Africa cooperation and strengthening cooperation amid the pandemic. To support, he promised a billion doses. It has made deliveries to many African countries.
China is actively honoring its commitment to making vaccines a global public good. 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 had provided more than 1.7 billion doses of the Covid-19 vaccine to more than 110 countries and organizations, including 50 African countries and the AU Commission, and is striving to provide a total of – two billion doses by the end. 2021. In addition, he donated $ 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 more. 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, according to their wishes, to achieve localized vaccine production. According to some reports, Chinese companies have started localized production in Egypt and signed cooperation agreements with Morocco and Algeria.
After the Covid-19 strike, in coordination with local governments, businesses and social organizations, China provided emergency anti-pandemic supplies – including 120 lots of nucleic acid test reagents, protective equipment, masks, eye protectors and ventilators – to 53 African countries and the AU according to their respective needs, with these emergency supplies reaching almost all regions of the continent. She 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 groups of anti-epidemic medical experts or short-term anti-epidemic medical teams to 17 African countries to fight the epidemic alongside the local population.
He called for the earlier start of construction of the headquarters of the African Center for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC), a project supported by China. This shows another huge step 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 greeted him with appreciation 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 Ministry of Commerce of the People’s Republic of China have signed the Implementation Agreement on the construction project of the Africa CDC headquarters 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 a technical institution coordinating disease prevention, surveillance and control on the continent, by partnership with the national public health service. member state health institutes and ministries.
HE Amira Elfadil Mohamed, Commissioner for Humanitarian Affairs and Social Development and HE Ambassador Liu Yuxi, Head of Mission of the People’s Republic of China in Ethiopia attended the ceremony on behalf of the African Union Commission and of the Government of the People’s Republic of China.
Speaking at the ceremony, Commissioner Elfadil said that the completion of the first phase accounts for 45% of the total construction. “While celebrating our success in achieving 45% of total project completion in an impressive 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 project, and to all stakeholders who played their respective roles and tirelessly helped the team achieve its objective, ”she said.
In his address, HE Ambassador Liu Yuxi underlined the close Sino-African partnership. “As we speak, the Covid-19 pandemic is still wreaking havoc around the world. However, this cannot prevent China-Africa cooperation from developing in depth and substance. China and Africa help each other, team up in the midst of hardship, and treat each other wholeheartedly. “
He added that the Africa CDC building itself is a manifestation of beneficial and practical work for the African people. China will do everything possible to help African countries cope with the pandemic and restore economic and social development. In fighting the Covid-19, China and Africa have taken on 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 aims to “ensure that Africa has timely access to vaccines to protect security public health, establishing a sustainable vaccine development and manufacturing ecosystem in Africa.
It is also a magnificent testament to China’s unwavering support for Africa. “Together, we wrote a wonderful chapter of mutual assistance in a context of complex change, and set a shining example for building a new kind of international relations,” Xi said later in one of his comments. speech, emphasizing the principles of China’s African policy as the pursuit of the greater good and shared interests.
China and Africa jointly launched an Africa Development Partnership Initiative this year. He stresses that all countries should conduct cooperation with Africa on the basis of respect for Africa’s sovereignty and listening to Africa’s voice, fully asserting their respective advantages and pooling their efforts effectively, and do more beneficial and practical work for the welfare of the African people.
China and Africa are working 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 objective of responding to the challenges arising from 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 improvement of the basic needs of underprivileged populations in Africa. During 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 United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable development.