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China-Africa Forum Adds Value to Sino-African Ties: Ethiopian FM

Ethiopian Foreign Minster Seyoum Mesfin has said that the upcoming second China-Africa Cooperation Forum will help African countries to boost their multidimensional cooperation with China 

In an exclusive interview with Xinhua in Addis Ababa Sunday, Seyoum said the forum scheduled to be held in Addis Ababa, capital of Ethiopia next month will give an additional value to the development activities between the governments of China and African countries.


"The confidence is that this forum will give an additional value and create constructive engagement between the private sectors, business enterprises of China and African countries," added the minister.


He said that the Ethiopian government is proud of hosting the forum for the first time in the African region where some African leaders and most foreign ministers are expected to attend the forum.


Seyoum indicated that the forum would also create various opportunities for African countries and China to enter into mutually beneficial investment and trade cooperation.


''I think every African country is aware that Chinese companies are entering into the continent in many investment and construction activities. This is as a result of China-Africa Cooperation Forum. The technical scientific cooperation was also augmented by the establishment of the forum.


"More than that they have increased genuine and constant interaction between China and Africa. It is now becoming inspiring and constructive relationship of cooperation," Seyoum said.


In the upcoming forum, a big business conference comprising major enterprises from China and almost all business chambers from the African region are also expected to hold their conference prior to the ministerial conference.


And also Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao will attend the ministerial conference of the forum.


''We have the government cooperation forum. We have the business forum involving African and Chinese enterprises which would naturally lead into a much more cooperation between China and Africa.


"The Chinese premier carrying his message of support and strong dedication and commitment from China is most welcome,'' he added.


Talking about Ethio-Chinese relationship, Seyoum told Xinhua that China is assisting Ethiopia in trade and development cooperation as well as political dialogue and understanding.


"Chinese support particularly in the capacity building program is extremely remarkable. You might know that it was the Chinese experts and the Chinese curriculum who assisted us to develop our curriculum for the middle level agriculture colleges. There are about 30 experts who trained our trainers in the colleges," Seyoum said.


According to the minister, the colleges have trained in the last two years about 10,000 local trainers and this year these colleges have enrolled about 12,000 trainers.


''Chinese existence here is very helpful and remarkable," he added.


The Chinese side is actively involved in the Ethiopian capacity building efforts, particularly in the agricultural and non-agricultural training, and launched various training courses for specialized technicians.


So far, 200 Chinese teachers have successively given training courses all around Ethiopia and their work is highly commended by the Ethiopian leadership.


The China-Africa Cooperation Forum was established in 2000 with the framework of collective dialogue between China and African countries to promote peace and development on the basis of equality.


The first conference was held in the year of 2000 in Beijing, China during which the Beijing Declaration was adopted by the delegates coming from some 45 African countries.


And the second forum is expected to endorse the Addis Ababa Action Plan after evaluating the Beijing Declaration.


Foreign ministers, trade and industry ministers, representatives of business community and more than 100 Chinese companies would participate in the forum.


(Xinhua News Agency November 23, 2003)

Sino-Ethiopian Bilateral Cooperation Further Strengthened
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