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Chinese Ambassador to Ghana H.E. Mdm. Sun Baohong Attended the Opening Ceremony of the China-Africa Joint Research and Exchange Program Conference on China-Africa Relations

On the 4th of July, 2017, Chinese Ambassador to Ghana H.E. Mdm. Sun Baohong attended and addressed the opening ceremony of the China-Africa Joint Research and Exchange Program Conference on China-Africa Relations. More than 100 representatives including H.E. Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, Vice-President of Ghana, H.E. Shu Zhan, Former Chinese Ambassador to Eritrea and Rwanda, Dr. Emmanuel Akwetey, Director of the Institute for Democratic Governance (IDEG) , and experts and scholars from the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, Zimbabwe, Côte d'Ivoire and Ghana, Ghanaian relevant government departments and research institutions and Chinese enterprises in Ghana attended the opening ceremony.

Dr. Emmanuel Akwetey welcomed guests to the conference. He said that in reference to his own expreience in China, China has succeeded in lifting 700 million people our of poverty in the past four decades, which is the greatest miracle in human history. As President Xi Jinping indicated in his book Out of Poverty, these achievements should be attributed to China's strategy with economic development at the center, efficient and pragmatic operation mechanism of government agencies, and the unity of Chinese people. Africa hopes to learn from China's experience to realize industrialization and economic transformation as early as possible.

In her speech, Ambassador Sun recalled the traditional friendship between China and Africa and introduced the great achievements of China-Africa relations and cooperation since the establishment of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation. Ambassador Sun pointed out that China-Africa cooperation respects the ownership in choosing way of development, emphasizes treating each other with equality, conforms to the trend of times, complements each other and is innovation-driven. These are the important reasons why China-Africa cooperation can withstand the test of history. Ambassador Sun stressed that China will continue to adhere to the guideline in conducting cooperation with Africa featuring sincerity, real results, affinity and good faith as well as the policy of upholding justice and pursuing shared interests, innovate the mechanism for cooperation and develop new areas of cooperation, and strengthen the connectivity of development strategies with African countries. China will make positive contributions to the economic transformation and sustainable development of Africa.

Vice President H.E. Dr. Bawumia congratulated the convening of the conference on behalf of President Akufo Addo, and said that it was of special significance for Ghana to hold such a meeting for the first time. Dr. Bawumia said that, since Deng Xiaoping started the reform and opening up process, China has made remarkable achievements and has become the world's second largest economy in just 40 years. It is worth learning by all African countries. Dr. Bawumia recalled the outcomes of his official visit to China in June and said that China has been sincere in helping African countries to develop their economies for years and has already become Africa's largest trading partner. China-Africa cooperation in the fields of infrastructure, investment and financing is also at the forefront of international cooperation in Africa. African countries have benefited a lot and China-Africa cooperation is by no means "neo-colonialism." Africa should further deepen pragmatic cooperation with China and achieve 440 billion USD in trade volumn between China and Africa by 2025. The Belt and Road Initiative proposed by President Xi Jinping will link Africa with the Eurasian continent (Asia and Europe), and Ghana hopes to join in as soon as possible.

The two-day conference on China-Africa Relations was jointly organized by the Chinese Embassy in Ghana and the Institute for Democratic Governance (IDEG) in Ghana under the Sino-African Joint Research and Exchange Program of Forum on China-Africa Cooperation with the theme Building resilient industrialization and infrastructure for African economic transformation: China’s role. The conference was aimed at exploring the achievements and opportunities facing China and Africa in strengthening cooperation in the field of industry and infrastructure, as well as the role China plays in Africa's economic transformation.

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