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China's Poverty Reduction Experience Useful for Africa

Delegates from African countries in Beijing on Thursday attending the seminar, "Supporting Africa's Development: Sharing Experience to Reduce Poverty," called on China to share its experience in poverty alleviation.

"China's reforms over the past 25 years have led to stunning growth and development as well as a dramatic reduction in poverty," said Fola Adeola, head of the Commission for Africa, a regional development organization.

"Africans admire China's success and find its approach to cooperation with them practical, pragmatic and result-oriented," Adeola said.

The commissioner noted African countries can learn a great deal from China's inspiring approach to development, which acknowledges the difficulties, appreciates the complexities and offers an empowering menu of approaches to tackle otherwise overwhelming challenges. Traditional donor partners tend not to have such tangible experience.

Cameroonian Ambassador to China Eleih-Elle Etian said that Africa now struggles with various types of poverty, suffering from shortages of infrastructure, poor economic structures and insufficiencies of capital and talented people. He called for African countries to learn from the experience of China and boost cooperation in such fields as economics, culture and education.

China has provided economic assistance to nearly 900 projects in Africa since the 1950s.

Jin Yongjian, president of the United Nations Association of China, said that as the world's largest developing country, China considers its relations with Africa extremely important. Sino-African cooperation, he noted is a vital component of South-South cooperation.

China will continue to support the African countries' efforts to strengthen international cooperation to promote their national economies and reduce poverty, Jin said.

The Commission for Africa was established by British Prime Minister Tony Blair to take a fresh look at the challenges Africa faces. It has been given the task of gathering facts, examining policies and exploring future directions for the region. The commission is scheduled to conclude its work and submit a report in spring 2005.

The Chinese Foreign Ministry and the Department of International Development of the United Kingdom cosponsored the seminar in Beijing. More than 100 representatives from the Chinese government, African embassies in China, international organizations and Chinese businesses attended.

(China.org.cn, Xinhua News Agency September 24, 2004)

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