Africa, China relationship at its highest level ever following summit - Zuma

Johannesburg – The Johannesburg Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation has taken the relationship between the two to its highest level ever, President Jacob Zuma said on Saturday.

Zuma closed the two day summit on Saturday, praising its "historic outcomes".

“The Johannesburg Summit has in essence propelled this partnership to that of a Comprehensive Strategic and Cooperative Partnership. In that way we have ensured that we are better able to address the pressing needs of our peoples.”

He said the relationship between Africa and China was not new.

“China was there when we needed help most and we will never forget that solidarity and comradeship. Africa and China are together a fraternal community with a shared and prosperous future. Africa and China want to prosper together.”

Zuma praised President Xi, who had pledged his support for the continent at the two day summit.

He said Africa fully supported the new high and more focused level of the partnership with China.

“It has the potential to significantly enhance the African Continental agenda, as embodied in African Union Agenda 2063 and its First 10-Year Implementation Plan,” he said.

“The AU Agenda includes the commitments to support railway and road infrastructure, power generation and distribution networks, industrial and technology parks and human resources development, to name but a few. There is also the commitment to significantly enhance trade and investment rates.

Zuma said there was every reason to be upbeat about the future of the FOCAC partnership.

“The Johannesburg Summit Declaration and the Johannesburg Action Plan clearly outline the way forward as we implement the programme of action arising from this Summit.”

He said the agreements made at the summit should translate to concrete action and outcomes that would be felt by ordinary people.

“In this regard, our implementation mechanisms should ensure that we see swift action and that an effective monitoring and evaluation is undertaken.”

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