Address of the President of the Republic of South Africa,
Mr Thabo Mbeki, at the Forum on China-Africa Co-operation (FOCAC) Summit, Great
Hall of The People, Beijing, China, 5 November 2006
President of the People's Republic of China, Hu Jintao,
Your Excellency, Co-Chair
of the Roundtable and Prime Minister of Ethiopia, Meles Zenawi,
Ministers and delegations,
On behalf of my delegation, the government and
people of South Africa, I convey the warmest greetings to the government and people
of the People's Republic of China.
Your Excellency, we are deeply honoured
by China's generous and kind hospitality. This seminal Roundtable and Business
Dialogue give all of us the opportunity to redefine the real meaning of our strategic
partnership within the context of the summit's theme, "Friendship, peace,
co-operation and development."
China's commitment to Africa has already
been demonstrated through tangible and concrete results particularly in terms
of human resource development (HRD), debt relief and investment. Africa is also
committed to China's development and this is evident through the supply of raw
materials, other products and technology transfer.
It is necessary that
we lock in investments in addressing supply side constraints, diversification
and beneficiation of the resources derived from African countries through encouraging
joint ventures between Africa and China.
As we renew our continent and
endeavour to meet the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), we need to develop
our infrastructure and build skills and expertise to enhance our own aim of a
better life for all.
Mr President, as you said at the welcoming banquet
last night, China is a developing country facing many problems and challenges
in economic and social development. Your Excellency went on to say,
Chinese people are now endeavouring to build a moderately prosperous society in
an all round way and accelerate the socialist modernisation drive. Our overall
goal is to quadruple the gross domestic product (GDP) of 2000 by 2020 so that
we will achieve greater progress in the economy, democracy, science, education
and culture, and make society more harmonious and ensure a better life for our
The African continent also faces developmental challenges
that derive from pervasive poverty and underdevelopment. As Africa harnesses its
abundant natural and human resources (HR), we welcome a fair and equitable partnership
with China so that we all achieve and accelerate our economic growth and prosperity.
The Constitutive Act of the African Union (AU) embodies the principles
upon which the African continent bases its collective action.
The New Partnership
for Africa's Development (NEPAD) is a home-grown and internationally agreed framework
for the socio-economic development of our continent. The primary objectives of
NEPAD are to eradicate poverty, to halt the marginalisation of Africa and to integrate
African countries into the global economy.
May we use this forum as a stepping
stone towards transforming our continental relationship with China based on a
shared vision and understanding of our developmental challenges and the advancement
of the NEPAD's objectives.
Our strategic partnership should strive for
a fair and equitable global trading system that is characterised by transparency,
good corporate governance, predictability and poverty alleviation and eradication.
As we redefine our relationship and seek trade and investment opportunities
of mutual benefit, we must adopt a dynamic approach to our strategic partnership
so that we all win in Africa, with Africa and similarly win in China, with China.
A winning partnership is surely one in which we encourage sustainable trade
and investment while promoting a better life for all within sustainable human
settlements. Peace and friendship will surely flourish when we empower and uplift
the poorest of the poor from hunger and unemployment, disease, homelessness, illiteracy
and environmental degradation.
In that spirit, our collective, powerful
and united voice should continuously echo the summit's theme. For as partners
in friendship and peace, our co-operation can only but succeed in promoting mutually
beneficial prosperity and sustainable development.
by: The Presidency
5 November 2006