CHINA, A DEPENDABLE PARTNER IN OUR CHANGE AGENDA – BUHARI

President Muhammadu Buhari Saturday in
South Africa said that the Peoples Republic of
China remains a strategic and dependable
partner in his administration’s determination
to change the direction and content of
governance, including the management of the
country’s resources with priority on
accountability, transparency and result-
orientation in governance.
President Buhari stated this in his address at
the Roundtable of Chinese and African Leaders
on the last day of the Johannesburg Summit
of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation
(FOCAC). While noting that his administration
has since its inauguration in May this year,
embarked upon the “task of re-focusing our
governance on the real needs of the vast
majority of Nigerians,” the President said he
was confident that China “will always stand
shoulder to shoulder with us in our quest to
fulfill the aspirations of our people to propel
them to prosperity.”
On the 15-year-old FOCAC, President Buhari,
who commended the theme of the Second
Summit, “China-Africa Progressing Together:
Win-Win Cooperation for Common
Development, expressed the hope that it would
“engender the right platform to engage Africa
in all fields of human endeavours such as
provision of essential infrastructure, skills
development and capacity building,
diversification of our economies and
beneficiation of resources.”
While identifying with the laudable objectives
of FOCAC in cultivating, fostering and
deepening political, economic, technological,
social and other forms of relations between
China and Africa, President Buhari praised
China for the vision behind the establishment
of FOCAC as a platform for higher level Africa-
China relationship.
According to the Nigerian leader, “Africa
expects Chinese investment flows to the real
sector of our economies to promote African
enterprises. Our over-riding objectives are to
tackle the challenge of unemployment, wealth
creation, food security and industrialization.”
He also stressed the crucial link between
political stability, security and sustainable
development on the African continent. “We are
convinced that Africa can only leverage
productively on the potentials of ties with
strategic and development partners in an
atmosphere of political stability and security
of lives and property as well as in a policy
environment that guarantees the sanctity of
collaborative joint ventures and investment on
the basis of agreed rules and regulations,”
President Buhari said.
Drawing the attention of the Summit to the
threat posed by global challenges such as
fresh political conflicts, terrorism and other
forms of extremism; trans-border crimes;
illegal arms trade; irregular migration and
cybercrimes, he said collective action was
required to confront these new threats to
global peace. “These are veritable threats to
peace and security and without peace and
security we cannot succeed in our
development objectives,” he stressed.
According to President Buhari, China and
Africa must work together to confront the
above threats, as well as the challenge of
climate change “for which Africa remains
badly affected with severe threats to food
security and social stability,” in addition to
“unacceptable levels of poverty, unemployment
and youth restiveness.”
The President said he looks forward to Second
FOCAC (after China hosted the first one in
2006) coming out with a clear and
sustainable roadmap for what he described as
“this strategic engagement which will be
mutually beneficial to both Africa and China in
the efforts at promoting rapid socio-economic
development for” both partners.
FEMI ADESINA

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