The Fifth China-Africa People’s Forum closed on Tuesday morning with the unveiling of 30 cooperative civil programs that China plans to implement in Africa over the next three years. More than 190 guests and representatives from China and 30 African countries attended the meeting in Chengdu, Sichuan province, from July 23-24.
After consultation between Chinese and African NGOs, “The Program for China-Africa People-to-People Friendship and Partnership (2018-2020)” was drafted and announced by Dou Enyong, deputy head of the China NGO Network for International Exchanges. The program includes five major categories: Livelihood Cooperation Projects, Donations and Assistance Work; Capacity-Building and Personnel Exchanges; Development Promotion; Cultural Exchanges; and Exchange Mechanisms.
In the area of livelihood cooperation, China plans to initiate the Smiling Children meal program and a clean drinking water project in Ethiopia and Sudan, as well as a women’s training program in Ethiopia and a refugee assistance program in Uganda and South Sudan.
The Red Cross Society of China will also provide 8 million yuan (US$1.17 million) annually as humanitarian assistance to between four and five national Red Cross Societies in Africa every year. Meanwhile, the China Youth Development Foundation will lead the Project Hope Going to Africa program, with a total of 23 Hope Primary Schools commissioned in Kenya, Tanzania, Namibia, Rwanda and Burundi, with a total funding of US$5.5 million.
In the realm of personnel exchange, the China Family Planning Association will start the “China-Africa: Travel with Love” program in two to five African countries to provide adolescent sex education, reproductive health education and HIV/AIDS prevention programs, as well as a maternity care program.
In the development promotion category, state-owned companies under the supervision of the Beijing government will develop infrastructure projects including highways, water conservancy facilities, housing, rail transport and prospecting, which will also create job opportunities and improve livelihoods for local people.
In cultural exchange, the Beijing Film Academy plans to host the China-Africa International Film Festival in Africa, while in the exchange mechanism category, the Beijing NGO Association for International Exchanges and other organizations plan to strengthen communication with African civil organizations by participating in international conferences and improving structured interchanges.
Dou added that the Chinese and African representatives had more in-depth discussions in various areas at this forum, leading to further agreements, which will be added to “The Program for China-Africa People-to-People Friendship and Partnership (2018-2020)” and carried out in the coming years.
“The programs have demonstrated a roadmap for future exchange and cooperation between Chinese and African civil sectors in the next three years,” said Wang Yajun, deputy director of the International Liaison Department of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China, in his closing speech, in which he praised the Fifth China-Africa People’s Forum as the most fruitful since it was inaugurated in 2011.
Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete, the former president of Tanzania, said of Sino-African ties since the mid-1960s, “China and Africa have always been working together with full force on a series of bilateral or multilateral occasions. Our relationships have gone beyond the traditional relationships between governments, and are also about business and civil societies.”
“Africa is becoming better, thanks to the generosity and help of the Chinese people and Chinese government,” Kikwete continued. “I would love to encourage China’s NGOs to establish stronger relationships with African NGOs. With the Chinese government’s strong support, African NGOs will benefit from many aspects and develop to better achieve their goals.”
Under the theme of “pooling strength from the people for stronger China-Africa friendship and mutual trust,” the Chengdu meeting served as a warmer for the Beijing Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation, to be held in September.