November 05th, 2009 | www.chinaview.cn Backgrounder: China-Africa Cooperation Forum
The fourth ministerial meeting of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) will be held in the Egyptian resort of Sharm el-Sheikh on Nov. 8-9.
The main agenda of the upcoming conference is to review the implementation of the Beijing Declaration and the Program for China-Africa Cooperation in Economic and Social Development and two documents adopted during the first ministerial meeting of the forum held in Beijing.
The meeting is also aimed to explore new initiatives and measures on Sino-African cooperation in priority areas such as human resources development, agriculture, infrastructure development, investment and trade.
Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao, Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and some African heads of state or government are expected to address the opening ceremony.
The forum is expected to adopt the Sharm el-Sheikh Declaration and Sharm el-Sheikh Action Plan, defining new programs of China-Africa cooperation in the next three years.
In October 2000, Africa and China launched the FOCAC as a platform for collective consultation, dialogue and partnership in the form of South-South cooperation, in order to further strengthen the friendly relations between the two sides, and to jointly meet the challenges of the Millennium Development Goals and economic globalization.
The FOCAC, a collective consultation and dialogue mechanism between China and African countries, is the first of its kind in the history of Sino-African relationship. It is a major and future-oriented move taken by both sides in the context of South-South cooperation to seek common development in the new situation.
The first FOCAC ministerial conference, held in Beijing in October 2000, was organized to address globalization and enhance cooperation between China and African countries with about 500 attendees from China and 45 African countries that have diplomatic relations with China, and other representatives.
The meeting adopted two official documents, namely the Beijing Declaration and the Program for China-Africa Cooperation in Economic and Social Development, which provided a framework for the establishment of a new-type, long-term and stable partnership of equality and mutual benefit between China and Africa, and a blueprint of China-Africa cooperation in political, economic, social development and other fields in the year to come.
To strengthen the FOCAC mechanism and better implement its follow-up actions, the Chinese side established its FOCAC Follow-up Committee in December 2001, which is composed of senior officials from 21 ministries, commissions and agencies.
In December 2003, the second ministerial conference of FOCAC was convened in Addis Ababa, capital of Ethiopia. Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao attended the conference together with leaders and officials from 44 African countries and representatives of some international and African regional organizations.
The third ministerial meeting was held on Nov. 3, 2006 in Beijing, attended by ministers and representatives from China and 48 African countries, to make the final preparation for the Beijing Summit of the FOCAC, the biggest ever of its kind.
At the opening ceremony of the Beijing summit on Nov. 6, 2006, Chinese President Hu Jintao announced a package of major assistance, investment, trade and other key cooperation projects with Africa in an effort to forge a new type of strategic partnership and strengthen cooperation in more areas and at a higher level.
Hu also offered a five-point proposal to cement closer ties between China and Africa.
The Beijing summit adopted an action plan that aims to boost bilateral cooperation to a higher level and strengthen cooperation in politics, economy, international affairs and social development.Editor: Wang Guanqun