China-Africa dialogue key to enter golden era of cooperation: scholars

Source: 2018-06-04

NAIROBI, June 2 (Xinhua) -- There is need for China and African partners to embark on a dialogue process that would lead to improved bilateral cooperation in the light of evolving geopolitical dynamics, said top scholars attending the 20th Wanshou Forum in Nairobi on Saturday. The event was held outside China for the first time.

Over 50 Chinese and Kenyan scholars attended the Wanshou Forum that brainstormed on building a China-Africa community of shared future through international cooperation in advancing the Belt and Road Initiative.

Li Xuhang, Minister Counselor at the Chinese Embassy in Kenya said that robust interactions and knowledge sharing will catapult Sino-Africa ties to a new era of mutual benefits.

"Both China and Africa have entered a new era with new opportunities and demands. China needs Africa more than ever and Africa needs China more than ever too," said Li.

He added that China and African countries should forge strong ties in their pursuit of common goals like economic growth, social renewal and environmental protection.

Kenya became the first African country to host the 20th version of Wanshou Forum whose theme was opening a new era of China-Africa cooperation in the context of South-South cooperation.

Kenyan scholars hailed the hosting of the forum to discuss novel ways to revitalize Sino-Africa cooperation ahead of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) summit to be held in Beijing in September.

James Kombo, acting Vice Chancellor of Daystar University, said that African countries could draw lessons from China's competitive edge in technology, innovations and economic resilience to tackle the continent's endemic challenges.

The Belt and Road Initiative will help build our capacity, enhance training, transfer of knowledge and skills to boost economic development in Africa, Kombo remarked.

He noted that China's image in Africa has rapidly improved thanks to huge investment flows into strategic areas like manufacturing and transport infrastructure.

Dong Weihua, Deputy Secretary-General of China Council for BRICS Think-Tank Cooperation said that robust exchanges among Chinese and African scholars is key to addressing threats facing both partners that include protectionism, communicable diseases, terrorism and environmental depletion.

She emphasized that both China and Africa share a common heritage and destiny hence the need to improve cooperation across economic, political, social and technological spheres.

"In the new era, all stakeholders in China and Africa, including think-tanks need to intensify exchange of experiences and mutual learning and jointly explore better ways to align development strategies and broaden development paths," Dong remarked.




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