Strengthening Africa-China relationship: AU Commission Chairperson and Chinese President hold bilateral meeting

By African Union Commission (AUC)

The Chairperson of the AU Commission Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, and the President of the People's Republic of China, Xi Jinping, have exchanged on critical areas to strengthen the relationship between the African Union and China. They met on 3 December 2015, on the margins of the second Forum for China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) Summit, in Pretoria, Republic of South Africa.

The two leaders were meeting in South Africa barely a month after their meeting in Beijing, China, when the AU Commission Chairperson paid an official visit.

This time around, they exchanged on key areas aimed at strengthening the Africa-China relationship, including skills training, industrialization, poverty eradication, African Centre for Disease Control, peace and security, climate change, as well as the implementation of the MoU within the framework of the 10-year Implementation Plan of Agenda 2063.

[Description: xi meets with zuma]

Following the meeting, the AU Commission Chairperson said she was very inspired by the way China was able to lift up over 700 million people out of poverty within a reasonably short period of time. China plans to lift up the remaining 70 million people out of poverty in five years.

The areas of collaboration identified would help Africa move Africans out of poverty, leapfrog its development and set the pace for an integrated, peaceful and prosperity continent, as envisioned in Africa's Agenda 2063. The partnership between the AU and China is aligned with Africa's needs and priorities.

Both leaders look forward to the outcome of the second FOCAC Summit and to the AU and to the implementation by the AU and its Member States of the outcomes for a win-win China-Africa relationship.

The AU Commission Chairperson announced that she would soon be appointing a dedicated Ambassador to China following the MoU signed between the AU and China in January 2015. The Chinese side has already appointed one.

President Xi Jinping thanked the AUC Chairperson for her commitment in developing a strong relationship between China and Africa. He said China values its relationship with Africa, which is also exemplified by the Chairperson's official visit to China a month earlier.