Statement by Deputy President
Jacob Zuma at the Second Ministerial Conference of the
China-Africa Co-operation Forum, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia,
15 December 2003
Your Excellency, Prime Minister Zenawi of the Federal
Democratic Republic of Ethiopia,
Your Excellency President Chissano, President of Mozambique
and Chairperson of the African Union,
Your Excellency Prime Minister Wen, of the People's
Republic of China,
Your Excellencies, Heads of State and Government,
The Chairperson of the AU Commission, Professor Konare,
Members of the diplomatic corps,
Thank you for the opportunity of being part of this
dialogue, to share ideas on how to further consolidate
and strengthen relations between Africa and China.
The China-Africa Co-Operation Forum provides an important
platform for Africa and China to discuss co-operation
on various issues. It offers a medium to discuss the
active involvement of China in the rebuilding of our
continent, in line with the objectives and programmes
of the African Union.
The Beijing Declaration and the Programme of Action
agreed upon in 2000 established the framework within
which our relations could be conducted, and reaffirmed
the historic and cordial relations between Africa and
In our quest to achieve sustainable development and
improve the quality of life, we welcome Chinese support
of the objectives of the AU economic blueprint for Africa,
the New Partnership for Africa's Development. It is
our well-considered view that China would align its
development programmes and involvement on the African
continent with those of NEPAD in all spheres.
The priority areas identified under NEPAD continue
to require urgent attention and offer opportunities
for partnership, for example infrastructure development,
human resource development, prevention and treatment
of communicable diseases, agriculture, development of
information communications technology and others.
We are emphasizing the need to work within the African
Union and its programmes because we are firm believers
in multilateralism, in all spheres, regionally and internationally.
In this regard, we urge continued cooperation between
China and Africa in critical matters such as the reform
of international organizations, especially the United
Nations, to make it more representative of the world
today. The recent experiences of unilateralism have
also reminded us of the need to strengthen the UN, to
enable it to play its key role of resolving international
disputes in an orderly manner.
Also important is our co-operation is engaging the
World Trade Organisation system. The unity displayed
during the Cancun trade negotiations within the G20+,
of which China was a part, played a significant role
in trying to get the meeting to meet its Doha commitments.
The unity displayed at Cancun could be a building block
to mobilize support for a just international trading
Also crucial for us, is access to the huge Chinese
market for African goods and services. We believe this
Forum will provide an opportunity to effectively tackle
this issue and find common ground.
We must emphasise that Africa offers a host of opportunities
for interaction between China and Africa in a number
of areas. The Business Forum should co-ordinate our
interaction with regards to trade and investment.
Another area of cooperation is within agriculture,
which is the backbone of most African economies. China
has the expertise, resources, and technology that would
help to improve Africa's agricultural infrastructure
We also view human resource development as another
critical area of collaboration and partnership.
One of our key priorities is the achievement of peace
and stability throughout Africa.
We therefore appreciate the active Chinese support
for peacekeeping operations in some parts of Africa
under the auspices of the African Union and the UN,
through providing personnel as well as financial assistance.
The establishment of the Peace and Security Council
will co-ordinate these efforts more comprehensively,
and we trust that China will extend its active support
to the PSC.
Your Excellencies, we feel strongly that this Forum
should yield tangible results, and that means decisions
that are taken must be implemented without delay. As
a way forward, we need to ensure that proper mechanisms
are put in place to operationalise our undertakings
on both sides, within the ambit of NEPAD. If we do so,
we will see the fruits of this mutually beneficial partnership.
Distinguished delegates, allow me, before I conclude,
to use this opportunity to acknowledge the significant
role that China played in securing the liberation of
Africa. Ours is a solidarity and friendship that was
forged in the trenches of struggle.
We are happy that this solidarity and partnership has
now extended to the current struggle, that of Africa's
Working together in partnership, we will be able to
achieve our common goals.
I wish all delegates fruitful deliberations that will
take our co-operation forward.
I thank you.
The Presidency: Republic of South Africa
15 December 2003