H.E. Mr. Wang Yi, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the People’s Republic of China opened the Forum where he highlighted some of the economic growth strategies that the Chinese government have utilized in pulling 750 million out of poverty since 1985 emphasizing the danger of mechanically copying other countries or region’s methods. China adopted a socialist system that it adapted to its own Chinese way and this should also be done in Africa’s case. Development has and will continue to be a top priority for China with the whole country and all regions of China included and rallied in this endeavor. Moreover, the two pillars of agricultural development and processing/industrialization have been at the center of China’s economic growth policy development. Mr. Wang Yi also stated the importance if opening up the economy and adapting to globalization with active participation in global economic policies. This should be countered with adapting the national policies in line with global shifts.
In Mr. Wang’s final remarks he underlined that China will not impose its will on anyone and will continue to support African nations with priority based support that limits exposure to debt.
H.E. Mr. Moussa Faki, Chairperson of the African Union Commission, flowed with a speech of appreciation for the Chinese’s visible and substantial support all across the African continent; a support that Mr. Faki underlined was based on the principles of equity, respect, trust and reciprocal prosperity. Africa and the African Union have developed its Agenda 20163 as its strategic guide towards poverty alleviation. Although he valued the strategic partnerships that the African Union has formed with all continents, he called on all African citizens’ participation by stating that nothing will be achieved without the sweat and tears of Africans.
Relevant stakeholders scholars, policymakers, civil society organizations from across the African continent were later gathered for the experience sharing plenary sessions that drew on case studies highlighting the contrasts and comparisons that could be made with the Chinese model of poverty alleviation strategies and economic growth.