The permanent secretary 1 at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, International Cooperation and Gambians Abroad has praised the collective willingness of China and Africa to the principles of FOCAC.
Speaking at the 16th senior officials meeting of Forum on China Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) from 22nd to 26th October 2023 in Beijing, China, Lang Yabou reiterated The Gambia’s commitment to the strengthening of Sino-Africa relations.
“Both Africa and China are putting in tremendous and commendable efforts into implementing the Four Outcome documents adopted in the Ministerial Conference in Dakar, Senegal, including the Dakar Declaration and the Nine Programmes for China-Africa Cooperation announced by His Excellency Xi Jinping in Dakar.
Whilst we strive to implement the FOCAC Dakar Action Plan 2022-2024, The Gambia joins other African States in further strengthening the Sino-Africa relations and remain committed to implementing the Belt and Road Initiative, Global Development Initiative, the China-Africa Cooperation Vision 2035, etc for a more sustainable and prosperous future for our two peoples,” he said.
Ahead of the FOCAC summit next in Beijing, PS Yabou commended the “mutual trust, shared prosperity, solidarity and pragmatism that defined China-Africa relations especially within the context of FOCAC.
“It is a friendship, cooperation and partnership based on commitment, appreciation of our common destiny and desire to build better a future of win-win outcome. It is for this reasons that, despite the current geopolitical tensions facing the global community, this relationship registered tremendous gains for both sides. With the above in mind, The Gambia would like China and African partners to do the following:
o Continue to help in identifying comparative advantages of member states vis-à-vis production and manufacturing with value addition and cooperate further for the provision of technical support and capacity building to productive sectors of the various countries, and share best practices in order to facilitate competitiveness in industry and manufacturing.
o We commend the decision of China to offer Zero Tariff Preferential Treatment for Primary Goods from Least Developed Countries (LDC’s) and call for further action to ensure the removal of both tariff and non-tariff barriers to provide easy access to goods and produce from Africa.
o Further expansion of the China-FAO-South-South Cooperation Trust Fund with a view to increasing crop yield between 30-60 percent in all vulnerable countries facing climate adverse impacts on agricultural production.
o In addition, the Chinese side to support transformation of the agricultural sector from its current mostly subsistence format to an industrialized sector with the potential for value addition for export and for skilled employment creation. This should be in addition to strategies aimed at increasing productivity to guaranteeing food security for the continent in the medium to long term in tandem with the objectives of Agenda 2063 of the African Union and Agenda 2030 and Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations.
o More support for Africa’s industrialization, energy sector, infrastructure development, digital economy, support for its young people, women and African voices on global issues especially those directly affecting the continent.”