Ambassador Ezzat Saad at a symposium on “Africa-China Cooperation in the framework of the Belt and Road and global development initiatives”
On May 12, 2022, Ambassador Dr. Ezzat Saad, ECFA Director, participated in the virtual event organized by the Non-Governmental Organizations Network of the Belt and Road countries on “Ways to enhance Africa-China cooperation in the framework of the Chinese Global Development Initiative (GDI).” He indicated the fact that Africa has learned from China’s development experience; that structural adjustment processes, in order to be achieved successfully, must depend on a combination of development aid, trade and investment, in conjunction with development processes; affirming at the same time that the current global international environment, which is based on competition between major powers, constitutes a major obstacle to any sustainable growth that would allow combating poverty in many regions. He also pointed out that the COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated this competition and doubled protectionist pressures in the global economy, at the expense of global and regional economic integration, at a time when trade barriers, agreements and partnerships from which the United States withdrew during the previous administration were still intact.
Rapid economic growth in countries such as China has lifted millions out of poverty, but progress has been limited in other regions, such as South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa, which together account for 80% of those living in extreme poverty. In fact, “Building a China-Africa Community with a Shared Future in the New Era” is one of the great achievements, thanks to China-Africa cooperation over many years, through a gradual process that began decades ago, and gained momentum with the establishment of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation more than two decades ago.
The various aspects of China-Africa relations have been founded on common concepts and ideas based at their core on equal sovereignty and non-interference in internal affairs, and the right of each country to choose its own development model according to its cultural heritage and value model. In this context, it is necessary to recall the principles governing China-Africa politics, which President Xi Jinping affirmed, which are based on sincerity, real results, amity, good faith, and common interests.
With regard to the exploitation and management of natural resources, environmental goals and the protection of public health, China has a successful experience, and it is hoped that Africans will benefit from it and learn from it through the mechanisms of joint cooperation between the two sides, in order to achieve prosperity. Through the Belt and Road Initiative, Chinese companies have carried out much-needed large-scale projects in Africa, as well as in Asia and Eastern Europe. In many cases, these projects have helped countries build indispensable infrastructure, which is essential to the development of African countries.