Media Statement by Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, H. E. Ms Maite Nkoana-Mashabane upon the closing of the Johannesburg Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC), 4-5 December 2015, Sandton, ICC

The past two days have witnessed the historic hosting of the Johannesburg Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) in South Africa.  This was the first FOCAC Summit held on African soil.

The Summit was attended by 48 Heads of State and Government and was co-hosted by H.E. President Jacob Zuma and H.E. President Xi Jinping.  Thirty-eight Foreign Ministers, twenty-four Trade Ministers and twenty-nine other ministers were also in attendance. This demonstrates the confidence that we have in the partnership and the importance that we attach to it.

The Summit clearly illustrated the key principles of the FOCAC relationship, namely mutual trust, win-win cooperation and mutual benefit.

Held under the theme of “China-Africa Progressing Together: Win-Win Cooperation for Common Development”, the Summit endorsed the Johannesburg Declaration and the Johannesburg Plan of Action 2016-2018.  

Our leaders also had the opportunity to meet with Chinese and African business leaders at the China-Africa Business Forum.

The Summit has exceeded our expectations in terms of identifying a constructive and evolved route for Chinese and African collaboration to follow in order to bring about profound socio-economic transformation on our Continent.

Most importantly, we have upgraded this partnership to a higher strategic level, that of a “Comprehensive Strategic and Cooperative Partnership”, thereby ensuring that we are better able to address the pressing needs of our peoples.

The Summit’s Action Plan identifies a number of key priority areas in which the People’s Republic of China will work together with Africa to address the three major bottlenecks that have been identified, namely inadequate infrastructure and skilled personnel and insufficient funding.

President Xi outlined ten cooperative plans or “new measures” that would be introduced to address these bottlenecks.  These include a China-Africa Industrialisation Plan, an Agricultural Modernisation Plan, a Mutual Cooperation on Infrastructure Plan, a Financial Cooperation Plan, a China-Africa Green Development Plan, a China-Africa Trade and Investment Facilitation Plan, a Poverty Reduction Plan, a China-Africa Public Health Cooperation Plan, a China-Africa Cultural and People-to People Cooperation Plan and a China-Africa Peace and Security Cooperation Plan.

In order to ensure the successful implementation of these initiatives, H. E. President Xi Jinping pledged USD 60 billion of support over the next three years, inter alia in the form of grants, zero-interest loans, favourable concessional loans, export credit lines, a China-Africa Fund for Production Capacity Cooperation, debt relief, a Special Loan for the Development of African SMEs, and an additional USD 5 billion contribution to the China Africa Development Fund.

Agreement has also been reached in terms of providing educational and vocational training opportunities, particularly in the public health and agricultural modernisation fields. China will train 200 000 technical personnel, provide 40 000 training opportunities for African personnel, provide 30 000 government scholarships and 2000 educational opportunities.

The complete eradication of poverty, inequality and under-development remain the greatest challenges still facing Africa.  We are convinced that through the measures and steps taken at this Summit, we have made profoundly important advances that will assist in addressing these triple challenges and in the achievement of the goals articulated in the African Union’s Agenda 2063 and its Ten Year Implementation Plan.

We are proud to have the name Johannesburg affixed to the Declaration and Action Plan that have the potential to alter the course of our continent’s growth trajectory so significantly.

We are committed to fully implementing all of our joint commitments and obligations over the coming three years, taking FOCAC to ever-higher heights of achievement to the benefit of all our peoples.

We thank all of the participants for their dedicated work and also the local and international media for their media for their interest.

Enquiries: Nelson Kgwete, 076 431 3078

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