Chinese and African officials have reiterated commitment to further enhancing their partnership and cooperation between China and Africa in different arenas, promoting sustainable development towards mutual benefits based on respect and win-win situation.

A two day international conference that deliberates on joint efforts of China and Africa in further promoting sustainable development kicked off on Friday on the premises of the AU headquarters in Ethiopia’s capital Addis Ababa.

In his opening remarks, the Chinese Mission Head to AU, Liu Yuxi, has reiterated China’s continued commitment to further strengthening its partnership and cooperation with Africa towards ensuring mutually beneficial outcomes based on mutual respect and win-win situation.

The Ambassador said China will continue to provide support and assistance to Africa in the continent’s endeavours in economic diversification, industrialisation and capacity building among others, with emphasis on green economic development.

He noted that China will not spare efforts to help Africa in dealing with challenges facing the continent in its strides to ensure sustainable development.

Promoting sustainable development, the conference dwells upon issues related to economic structural transformation, education, employment, ecological and environmental protection, natural resource management, urbanisation and infrastructure, whereby a mechanism is also expected to be established as a platform for scholarly engagements between China and Africa on sustainable development towards shared benefits.

Speaking on his part, the AU Commissioner for Trade and Industry, Albert Muchanga, has hailed the China-Africa partnership which is being strengthened from time to time, particularly through the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) platform.

The Commissioner noted that the partnership and cooperation between the two sides through FOCAC has helped the realisation of tangible results in infrastructure development, human capacity building, and technology transfer among others.

With the operations of the Africa continental free trade area (AfCFTA), Muchanga has also noted that the Chinese proposed Belt & Road Initiative offers a great opportunity for Africa to develop its gigantic infrastructure projects and build transport networks linking different parts of the continent.

Recalling that China and Africa have been enjoying long-standing ties based on common historical background and common development agenda, Arkebe Oqubay, Ethiopia’s Minister and Special Adviser to the Prime Minister, said China is an important strategic friend of the African continent.

Reiterating that China’s development is an inspiration to Africa, Oqubay said China has been playing key role in Africa’s socio-economic development, by partnering with the continent in trade, infrastructure development, investment, and capacity building among others.

“It is important to see that China has played role in the progress of humanity,” he said, recalling that China has been able to register remarkable results in addressing poverty, whereby it has lifted about 700 million people from poverty over the past four decades.