China, Africa to plot direction of future cooperation

By Ivy Mungcal on 17 July 2012 08:48:29 PM

What will be the priority areas of Chinese-African cooperation over the next three years?

This will be among key questions to be discussed at the fifth ministerial meeting of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation, which will be held July 19-20 in Beijing, China. Among African leaders expected to attend the meeting are the presidents and prime ministers of South Africa, Benin, Equatorial Guinea, Djibouti, Niger, Ivory Coast, Cape Verde and Kenya.

Aside from setting the future direction of Chinese-African cooperation and developing an action plan to support it, the meeting aims to review progress on actions recommended at the last summit in Egypt and to explore ways to further develop the forum itself. International and regional issues and ways to safeguard common African and Chinese interests will also be tackled.

At the conference’s opening ceremony, Chinese President Hu Jintao will highlight new measures his country will undertake to strengthen cooperation with Africa, including in the areas of investment, aid, integration, peace and security, finance, and people-to-people exchanges.

China, over the past years, has steadily increased its presence in Africa, where it pursues an investment-driven, no-strings-attached aid approach. Traditional donors, who were initially wary of China’s approach, have recently adopted a more welcoming attitude toward the country.

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