Wed, 18 May 2022

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CHANGSHA, Dec. 4 (Xinhua) -- The Eighth Ministerial Conference of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC), held in Dakar, Senegal from Nov. 29 to 30, has brought the two sides' cooperation in combating poverty to the global limelight.

Before the forum, China released a white paper on China-Africa cooperation. After years of dedicated efforts, such cooperation has yielded fruitful results, improving the conditions for economic and social development in Africa and bringing tangible benefits to people in both China and Africa, according to the white paper.

Experience sharing on poverty reduction is one of the major practical cooperations between the two sides.

Over the past four decades since China's reform and opening up, China's poverty alleviation efforts have won praise from the international community.

At the end of 2020, Ernest Mbaimba Ndomahina, Sierra Leone's ambassador to China, followed a delegation to visit the village of Shibadong in central China's Hunan Province. The village, dubbed as the birthplace of China's "targeted poverty alleviation," dropped its "poverty-stricken" label in 2016.

During his tour of the village, Ndomahina learned about its industrial development, grassroots governance and ecological restoration.

"I am looking forward to finding good ideas and policies regarding the people's fight against poverty," the ambassador said. "There are also many poor people in Africa. I want to go back and tell our people that China has achieved poverty eradication because of the right leadership, and I believe we can also get rid of poverty."

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At a side event of the 48th session of the UN Human Rights Council, themed "the role of eradication of poverty in promoting and protecting human rights," in October, scholars and journalists from Cameroon and Kenya said China's experience in poverty alleviation is crucial for African countries to achieve self-development.

In recent years, Africa has made significant progress in both infrastructure and industrialization, partly thanks to the "10 major China-Africa cooperation plans" and the "eight major initiatives." A series of projects on railways, roads, airports, ports and power plants have been carried out with substantial assistance from China.

In 2015, Richard, 34, started working at a power plant in Tema, Ghana's largest gas-fired power plant backed by a Chinese energy company.

Richard is now the plant's financial and economic assistant, earning more than 1,500 U.S. dollars each month. "Not only has my life improved since the plant was established and put into operation, but also the lives of those who are living near the plant," Richard said.

"Roads in the village have been repaved and electricity restored. Many locals have been employed by the power plant and their incomes have increased," he explained.

By the end of last year, China had set up more than 3,500 companies in Africa. Notably, more than 80 percent of the companies' employees are locals.

Since 2017, China has increased its service imports from Africa by an average annual growth of 20 percent, creating job opportunities for approximately 400,000 Africans each year.

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Besides, China has helped Africa in the construction of more than 20 agricultural technology demonstration facilities, benefiting over 500,000 people while promoting poverty reduction and elimination.

Andre, a large grower from Madagascar, was upbeat hearing that a Chinese project aimed at assisting Madagascar in improving its food production has recently been signed.

With a total investment of about 200 million euros (about 227 million U.S. dollars), the project will build a 4,000-hectare hybrid rice seed production base in Madagascar.

"Once the project is approved, more than 10 hectares of my rice field will be planted with hybrid rice, which is estimated to increase my rice yield by more than 30 tonnes," Andre said.

The seed production base is able to produce 10,000 tonnes of hybrid rice seeds and supply 400,000 hectares of rice fields, helping 200,000 farmers like Andre increase their yield and income, according to Zhang Lijun, general manager of the Yuan's Madagascar Agricultural Development Co., Ltd.

The facility is expected to help Madagascar achieve a multi-year goal -- to regain its status as an African rice exporter, Zhang added.

"Cooperation between China and Africa provides many fresh opportunities for Africa to rise out of poverty and grow further," said Hong Yonghong, professor and dean of the China-Africa Institute for Business and Law of Xiangtan University.

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