Nairobi, 17th November 2020
Mr. Maina Muiruri, Chairman of the Media Council of Kenya,
Mr. Tian Yuhong, Executive Secretary of the All-China Journalists Association,
Ambassador Erastus Mwencha, Former Deputy Chairperson of the African Union Commission,
Mr. David Omwoyo, CEO of the Media Council of Kenya,
Mr. Churchill Otieno, President of the Kenya Editors'Guild,
Distinguished media professionals and experts,
Thank you all for attending the China-Africa Media Cooperation Forum on line or on spot. I am proud that my Embassy is co-hosting this timely event under the theme of China-Africa Media Cooperation in the Digital Era. I wish to express my sincere appreciation to all the team members of the Media Council of Kenya and the Embassy who have worked very hard to ensure the Forum a success.
This year marks the 20th anniversary of the founding of FOCAC, the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation. As President Xi Jinping of China and President Macky Sall of Senegal, the current African Co-Chair of FOCAC, said in a joint congratulatory message to mark this important occasion recently, under the joint efforts made by China and Africa over the past two decades, the FOCAC has grown into an important and dynamic platform for China and Africa to carry out collective dialogues as well as an effective mechanism for practical cooperation, and represents an important flag for South-South cooperation.
It is fair to say that FOCAC has established itself as a pacesetter for international cooperation with Africa, a champion of multilateralism, and a fine example of mutually beneficial cooperation. It has come a long way for good reasons.
Over the past 20 years, China has consistently adhered to China-Africa cooperation and common development. China has always insisted on non-interference in internal affairs, no political conditions, and never forcing others to do anything difficult. China has always paid attention to listening to the voices of Africa, respected Africa's will, and been in line with Africa's needs. Chinese workers sweat, work hard and make progress with their African brothers and sisters. These are what those countries that intend to discredit China-Africa cooperation cannot do at all and what they are unwilling to do. Guided by the principle of upholding justice while pursuing shared interests and the principle of sincerity, real results, affinity, and good faith, China is fully committed to strengthening solidarity and cooperation with Africa. That is the fundamental reason why China-Africa cooperation is welcomed by African countries and appreciated by the African people.
The next FOCAC meeting is scheduled to be held next year in Senegal. China is ready to work with Africa to make good preparations on the arrangements and deliverables of the meeting. As Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi said last Thursday, we hope the meeting will create greater synergy between China's second centenary goal and the AU's Agenda 2063, form new consensus on China-Africa solidarity, explore new cooperation areas, and bring new benefits to the Chinese and African peoples. I am convinced that the meeting will take the China-Africa comprehensive strategic and cooperative partnership to a new height.
This Friday marks the 2020 Africa Industrialization Day (AID). Within the framework of the Second Industrial Development Decade for Africa (1991-2000), the UN General Assembly, in 1989, proclaimed 20 November each year Africa Industrialization Day. Since then, the AID has represented a common aspiration of Africa to accelerate industrialization and speed up economic transformation. We appreciate Africa's firm commitment to this drive. China remains a most reliable partner of Africa in its pursuit of industrialization.
We are working closely with Africa in implementing the industrial promotion initiative as a part of the Eight Major Initiatives of the 2018 Beijing Summit of the FOCAC. We encourage financial institutions to scale up support for China-Africa industrial capacity cooperation. We step up support in the development of industries as well as special economic zones and industrial parks in Africa and carry out technology transfer. We stand ready to share China's experience on industrialization with Africa. Since Covid-19 struck, China and Africa have cooperated in research and local production of PPEs, medical equipment and medicines, and training medical professionals. We will continue to play our part in the Third Industrial Development Decade for Africa (2016-2025) as proclaimed by the UN General Assembly On 25 July 2016.
The Fifth Plenary Session of the 19th Central Committee of the Communist Party of China was successfully held in Beijing last month. While China is about to realize the goal of building a moderately prosperous society in all respects, and embark on a new journey of building a modern socialist country, this plenary session is of great significance in laying out blueprint for China's future development and providing new opportunity for China-Africa cooperation.
In its new journey under the framework of the 14th Five-Year Plan (2021-2025) for National Economic and Social Development and the Long-Range Objectives through the Year 2035, China will continuously share with the world its development opportunities. Chinese manufacturing now makes an important and positive part of the global industrial and supply chains. China has a population of 1.4 billion and a middle-income group of 400 million. Demand on the massive domestic market in China will continue to unleash endless potential for the whole world. African countries will benefit greatly from China's new development.
The Fourth Industrial Revolution, characterized by the digital technologies among others-has ushered in a new era for both China and Africa. Huge potential of digital innovations are emerging all across the continent.
The Media has acted as an early bird in this regard. During the pandemic, many media houses are speeding up their digitization process to adapt to the new normal, which is very inspiring.
African industrialization needs huge investment from both home and abroad. To attract phoenix, we need to build warm nest. A friendly narrative is without a doubt part and parcel of a favorable environment for investment. We hope that the media could play an even more significant role in fostering an enabling environment for African industrialization and China-Africa cooperation.
I wish you fruitful deliberations at the Forum.