President Kagame to speak at FOCAC summit

President Kagame to speak at FOCAC summit

President Paul Kagame will be one of the main speakers at the upcoming Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC), Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi has said.

Wang was speaking yesterday during a news briefing at the Chinese ministry of foreign affairs about the agenda of the upcoming meeting that will attract a number of African Heads of State and Government.

The summit is scheduled to take place on September 3 and 4 in Beijing and is one of the major events on China’s diplomatic calendar in 2018. It will be chaired by President Xi Jinping.

There are currently 55 members of FOCAC, including China, 53 African countries that have diplomatic relations with China, and the African Union Commission (AUC).

According to Wang, President Kagame will be one of the four speakers at the opening ceremony of the forum on the afternoon of September 3. The other speakers are President Xi of China, President Cyril Ramaphosa of South Africa, UN Secretary-General António Guterres, and the Chairperson of AUC, Moussa Mahamat Faki.

According to Wang, at the same event, President Xi will deliver an important keynote speech and announce new steps in China-Africa ties. These will focus on industrial development, infrastructure, trade and investment, human resource development, science education, culture and health, environmental protection as well as peace and security.

The summit will also feature a high-level dialogue between Chinese and African leaders and business representatives. It will involve a conference of Chinese and African entrepreneurs which will be an important side event of the summit.

“The conference will focus on practical and mutually beneficial cooperation and build an important platform for China-Africa business synergy and China-Africa trade ties,” Wang said.

Wang Yi said in June that the two sides will work together to combine the theme with the joint construction of the Belt and Road between China and Africa, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development of the United Nations, the Agenda 2063 of the African Union as well as the development strategies of various African countries to make new planning for win-win cooperation and open up new prospects for common development.

Proposed by Xi in 2013, the Belt and Road Initiative comprises the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, and aims to build trade and infrastructure networks connecting Asia with Europe and Africa along and beyond the ancient Silk Road routes.