south african ambassador to china
South Africa hosted the Johannesburg Summit of FOCAC in December 2015, under the theme Africa-china Progressing Together: Win-win Cooperation for Common Development. The summit further consolidated the partnership between Africa and China through South-south cooperation, with a special focus on industrialization and regional integration of economies in Africa. It was the first FOCAC summit on African soil that led to major breakthroughs as we stepped up our efforts to bring more meanings to Africachina solidarity through concrete business and commercial ventures.
At the Johannesburg Summit, Chinese President Xi Jinping made concrete promises to Africa. He pledged $60 billion to ensure that we remove all these impediments that prevent Africa from developing at the pace it is supposed to develop at. China has now made a very big footprint in Africa, especially with regards to infrastructure development, agriculture, agriculture modernization in particular, and manufacturing, and almost at every corner of Africa the significance of China has been felt very positively. Some African countries have seen their roads being built, some have seen their airports or parliament buildings being constructed. These have been significant inputs by China.
South Africa will continue to actively drive Africa’s regional integration efforts, including developing the continental north-south rail and road links, expanding ports and energy capacity, and [improving] skills.
This directly speaks to the African Union Agenda 2063, which is at the core of South Africa’s foreign policy.
The industrialization effort of African is dependent on various countries’ ability to attract foreign direct investment. China is strategically positioned to cooperate with Africa to realize its dreams in this regard. Partnering with China will yield more real results if the investments can create local employment in a socially and environmentally sustainable way.