The Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) is paying attention to the industrialisation of African countries to ensure every country achieves sustainable economic development through exports of primary commodities, Foreign Affairs and International Trade Minister Dr Frederick Shava has said.
He said this in his address this week at the 8th ministerial conference of the FOCAC in Dakar, Senegal.
Chinese President Xi Jinping also addressed the conference.
Running under the theme, "Deepening the Sino-Africa Partnership and Promoting Sustainable Development to Building China-Africa Community with a Shared Future in the New Era," Ambassador Shava said FOCAC had become a benchmark in the international development cooperation discourse because of its pragmatism and result oriented thrust.
He said the theme of the conference was befitting as it demonstrates the ability of the FOCAC Framework to adapt to current and future developments for the mutual benefit of people.
"We are glad that since its inception, FOCAC has paid attention to the industrialisation of African countries. History has evidently demonstrated that no country can achieve sustainable economic development through exports of primary commodities," said Ambassador Shava.
"We, therefore, welcome the fact that under FOCAC we have committed, through partnerships and cooperation, to African countries adding value to their commodities and thereby boost intra-African trade as well as trade with China itself.
"We welcome President Xi's offer to encourage Chinese companies to invest more in Africa. We also welcome the strong emphasis on trade facilitation with a view to removing impediments and bottlenecks to China-Africa trade."
Zimbabwe has already taken the lead in the industrialisation drive and is set to roll-out a developmental strategy aimed at helping rural communities which are in export-oriented crop production, revamp and industrialise their projects.
Government believes the rural communities, which are in export-oriented agricultural production, would play a leading midwifery role towards delivering the rural industrialisation drive.
The industrialisation drive is set to help Zimbabwe achieve its quest for an empowered upper middle income status by 2030, as espoused by President Mnangagwa.
It is against this background that the Government is now targeting to ramp up production, build value addition hubs and support services around the already producing and exporting centres.
In is keynote speech, President Xi explained why China and Africa have a close relationship.
"The key lies in an everlasting spirit of China-Africa friendship and cooperation forged between the two sides, which features sincere friendship and equality, win-win for mutual benefit and common development, fairness and justice, and progress with the times and openness and inclusiveness," said President Xi.
"This truly captures the relations of China and Africa working together in good and hard times over the past decades, and provides a source of strength for the continuous growth of China-Africa friendly relations.
"Let me also make it solemnly clear that China will never forget the profound friendship of African countries and will remain guided by the principle of sincerity, real results, amity and good faith and the principle of pursuing the greater good and shared interests."
President Xi added that China will work together with African friends to promote and carry forward the spirit of China-Africa friendship and cooperation from generation to generation.
To this end, the Chinese Government has stood with African countries during the Covid-19 pandemic through availing vaccines and response equipment for both purchase and donations