DCPAUC

Celebration of the First Anniversary of the Establishment of the Chinese Mission to the African Union Speech by H.E. Erastus Mwencha, Deputy Chairperson, African Union Commission. Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, 3rd May 2016

May 03, 2016

H.E Mr. Kuang Weilin, China Ambassador to the AU
Excellencies, Permanent Representatives to the AU
Excellencies, Distinguished members of the Diplomatic corps and the international community,
Distinguished Guests,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
It is my pleasure to attend and be part of the First Anniversary of the Establishment of the Chinese Mission to the African Union. I welcome you to this AU Conference Center, which remains a symbol of China-Africa friendship. On behalf of the African Union, allow me to congratulate the People of the Republic of China on this 1st anniversary and wish you prosperity in the coming days and in future.
This anniversary couldn’t have come at a better time particularly with the growing China-Africa relationship. I recall with appreciation H.E President Xi Jinping’s first visit overseas, after taking office in 2013, was here, in Africa, where he put forward the principles of mutual shared values and collaboration.
The visit by H.E. Li Keqiang, the Prime Minister of the State Council of the People's Republic of China in May 2014, was in this same building where you sit and he gave an astounding speech. We therefore laud the growing mutual trust and frequent high-level exchanges.
Allow me to also commend the improved relationship and strengthened ties with China, since the appointment of an Ambassador to the African Union H.E Ambassador Kuang Weilin. This demonstrates further commitment by the people of the Republic of China, away from the bilateral engagements we have had in past.
Distinguished Guests,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
The Forum on China-Africa Cooperation — FOCAC —summit late last year, illustrated the heightened cooperation between us. The FOCAC mechanism testified to a greater China-Africa cooperation, which then gives us the confidence to build on past achievements and chart the course for future development. We can only aspire to make this better and fully implement the 10 major plans announced by H.E President Xi and the commitment to offer 60 billion U.S. dollars of funding support to ensure smooth implementation of the initiatives for next three years. The partnership between the AU and China is grounded on areas of collaboration, to walk hand and hand with us, in our envisioned Africa’s Agenda 2063 and our cooperation therefore must strive to enhance the living standards of our people.
Distinguished Guests,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I acknowledge the MOU signed to boost our strategic partnership on the promotion of cooperation on railway, roads, regional aviation networks and industrialization fields. With the global demand for commodities shrinking, many African countries are now looking to make the transition to industrialized economies. The China-Africa industrialization program, which outlines the first of 10 new initiatives on investment, economic and trade cooperation zones articulated as building and upgrading industrial parks in Africa, educating 200,000 African specialists and a quota of 40,000 trainees in China, then presents us with a strategic cooperative partnership with immense potential.
Our bilateral trade has grown to around USD 220 billion by the 2015 and China's FDI in Africa has grown to over 30 billion US Dollars, and the prospects are even bigger, influenced by the size of our combined domestic markets and labour force. Let me also reassure you that Africa remains committed on developing its infrastructure and addressing the gaps of inadequate professional and skilled personnel as articulated in the Action plan for cooperation on regional infrastructure construction in Africa.
Distinguished Guests,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Security threat is a global phenomenon that calls for an all- inclusive- approach. Africa is keen to continue its partnership with China to address the security hot buttons. We acknowledge the 1.2 Million US Dollars donation to the Peace Funds and continue to seek greater counterterrorism cooperation to contain the militants scourge caused by the Boko Haram in Nigeria, Al-Shabab in Somalia, and al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb in northwestern Africa. Let us work together in military and technological cooperation, personnel training, and intelligence sharing to eliminate these cells. These radical and extreme elements continue to pose grave risk to not only Africa, but the international community living and working in Africa.
Distinguished Guests,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
We are looking at increased cooperation to address the vagaries of climate change. China-Africa green development cooperation project is critical to enable the green, low-carbon and sustainable development that are key for clean energy, wildlife protection, environmentally friendly agriculture and smart city construction. China being the world’s leading investor in renewables energy, we can indeed borrow a leaf from you and import technologies as commitment to Africa’s rational development.
Distinguished Guests,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
As we reflect the true nature of China- Africa cooperation and the challenges as we move ahead, let us also explore new ways of cooperation. Africa has rolled its sleeves for the establishment of the African Centres for disease control and prevention and the Aviation cooperation; we therefore call for your usual collaboration in walking with us in these paths. Your support during the Ebola crisis has not been forgotten. Closer home, we also seek your support in the renovation of the AU headquarters Old building. We are counting on the support of the New Chinese Mission to the African Union to facilitate this.
Distinguished Guests,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
As I conclude, our enhanced solidarity and cooperation will largely depend on solid cooperation and mutual understanding. In this regard, let me commend the people-to-people exchanges on scholarships, training and comparison of cultures and laws. I must also point out the friendly cooperation, in areas of governance, development, institutional capacity cooperation such as the upgrading and improvement of the New complex and the construction of the expansion project with additional essential facilities to improve its service efficiency and also, undertaking to train the AU technical team in the operation and maintenance of this building for the last four years and agreeing to continue doing so, for the next two years. We further look forward to the ground breaking ceremony for the expansion project of the integrated service centre project next month (June 2016), and we will be inviting you and hope to see you there.
I thank you all.