China's growing role in Africa offers encouraging opportunities for the region's economic and social development, Jeffery Sachs, director of the UN Millennium Project, said at a seminar on "China-Africa Partnership in the 21th Century" on Tuesday in Beijing.
China's diplomatic, economic and people-to-people relations with African nations have expanded dramatically over the last five years, said Jeffery.
Sachs, who is a special advisor to UN Secretary General Kofi Annan on the Millennium Development Goal, said Sino-African trade is growing more rapidly than Chinese trade with the rest of the world.
According to Chinese figures, Sino-African trade volume has surged from less than US$10 billion in 2000 to US$39.7 billion last year.
Sachs said China has made record-breaking progress in the fight against poverty and is now eager to share its success with other developing countries.
"Backed by the experience and confidence gained from its own economic breakthroughs, China is stepping up its efforts to support Africa's economic development. The benefits to Africa are sure to be enormous," the UN official said.
Sachs said China is providing significant assistance to countries across the African continent in trying to relieve disease, hunger and poverty.
The seminar was co-hosted by the UN systems in China and the China-Africa Business Council.
Participants in the seminar include representatives of the Chinese government, academic institutions and the African diplomatic and business community in Beijing.
(Xinhua News Agency August 16, 2006)