African Needs Assessment under FOCAC
On 30 July 2021, Development Reimagined supported a high-level consultation meeting “African Needs Assessment under FOCAC” organized by Chinese Academy of International Trade and Economic Cooperation (CAITEC), the only think tank and research body affiliated to Ministry of Commerce of China (MOFCOM). African Ambassadors and senior diplomats were invited to the conference to discuss specific cooperation needs and priorities of their country and explore how stakeholders can further deepen China-Africa cooperation in agriculture and health under FOCAC.
Food security and agricultural development are important concerns for Africa. Participants raised a number of key points to improve agricultural cooperation including:
- Provide assistance to improve agricultural productivity through technology transfer and technical cooperation and strengthening training and technical programmes in planting, irrigation and pest control.
- Support Africa to establish agricultural products processing industry and enhance the added value of agricultural products
- Facilitate the import of African agricultural products.
- Loans to Africa should benefit more SMEs. Micro-finance platforms could be set up to support agriculture sector, as well as women working in agriculture.
Public health services and overall economic development in Africa are experiencing a huge shock due to COVID-19. The participants therefore proposed the following action points to address China-Africa health cooperation in the era of COVID-19:
- Africa needs continuous support on vaccines from China and international partners. Local manufacture in Africa will help reduce vaccine prices and increase accessibility.
- China should increase its investment in Africa’s health sector and support the development of pharmaceutical industry in Africa.
- Strengthen capacity building for Africa’s overall health system; expand training programmes for local health workers and support health research.
- Support Africa CDC to enhance regional cooperation.
Based on the discussion from the participants, CAITEC proposed some suggestions for improve China- Africa Cooperation, in particular for FOCAC 2021. These include establishing long-term plans for cooperation on health and agriculture from the top level and improvement in the evaluation mechanism of the FOCAC. Furthermore, it was suggested cooperation should continue to focus on capacity building for Africa’s agriculture and health sector, whilst also encouraging investment in to support local manufacture and value-added production. Finally, it was recommended that trade agreements should be optimized and new innovative financial instruments should be introduced to benefit African SMEs.
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