11 July 2018

Africa: 2018 FOCAC Summit - Exploring Employment Opportunities for Africa

Scholars from Africa and China have been given responsibility to further research into ways of strengthening cooperation.

Proposals for milestone discussions at the forthcoming Beijing Summit of the China-Africa Cooperation Forum, FOCAC, in September this year, have been made. Scholars from Africa and China made the proposals during two days of The Seventh Meeting of the China-Africa Think Tanks Forum in the Chinese capital Beijing, July 4-5. Three hundred scholars from China and Africa attended the event.

Merthold Monyae of the University of Johannesburg, South Africa, speaking on "The African Dimension of the One Belt One Road: Strengthening the African Union's Agenda 2063," highlighted the critical need to sit together with the goal of knowing what the problems are and solving them than focus on criticising the west for raising issues like death, war, poverty.

"China is saying it has lifted over 700 million people out of poverty in the world, China-Africa should look at how many of these people are Africans.

Secondly, let us not only look Chinese investments on a macro level, let's also look at them on the micro level; how much has these investments contributed in lifting the African people (youths) out of poverty. Instead of focusing only on maritime security on our waters in Africa, whereby soldiers are deployed and China is also playing a vital role in assisting Africa in that area, let us look at how to explore African waters to provide jobs for African youths.

The implementation of One Belt, One Road should encourage the growth of industries and the springing forth of related industries along the axis," Monyae suggested.

Prof. Stephane Ngwanza, Deputy Director in Charge of Studies at IRIC, made the point that China in 2015 created 26,000 jobs in South Africa of which 90 per cent were local. He noted that China's Foreign Direct Investment in Africa should be backed by macro and micro investment policies and that after infrastructural investments, there should be training of local employees in order to retain talents.

The scholars remarked that a lot of Chinese companies don't know policies in African countries and besides there are some problems in the alignment of such policies.


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