On the evening of May 22nd, RDCY Seminar Series was held in Chongyang Institute for Financial Studies at Renmin University of China (RDCY). Liu Qingjian, director and professor of Center of Middle East and African Studies of School of International Studies at Renmin University of China, was invited to give a lecture. She started with Africa’s development model, and pointed out that the experience of China-Africa cooperation played a leading role in the implementation of “Belt and Road” Initiative (BRI).
Base on years of investigation on African countries` options for their development model and analysis of the inner and outer development conditions, and the effects of China-Africa cooperation, Professor Liu concluded that cooperative development is not only a realistic choice for Africa, but also a better or even the best choice. She believes that the experience of the development on China-Africa cooperation in nearly 20 years has also played a leading role in the implementation of China’s BRI in the world.
Professor Liu noted the selection process and two-dimensional considerations for the development model after Africa’s independence. For the countries, development has become the overwhelming task after the independence of Africa. In the course of pursuing development, African countries have adopted various development models. However, due to the differences of national conditions between African countries and other countries, none of those models has succeeded.
For the regional development, From the Organization of African Unity (OAU) to the current African Union (AU), a series of development declarations, guidelines, plans and proposals have been issued. The AU introduced the “2063 Agenda” in 2015, which shows us the vision and objectives of Africa by the year of 2063. However, we have not yet seen any concrete plans and measures in each independent country so far.
Ms. Liu also described the internal conditions and external environment for the cooperative development of African countries. For internal conditions, African countries need to choose international cooperation counterparts according to their regional and national conditions. Judging from the regional conditions, Africa has vast land resources, adequate and young human resources, abundant natural resources, diverse plant and animal resources. Africa is also rich at tourism and cultural resources.
For the external environment, on the one hand, the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) promotes the development of Sino-African relations. On the other hand, with the deepening of globalization, the rise of emerging economies, and the strengthening of the South-South Cooperation, African countries has boosted cooperative relations with other countries and several cooperation platforms were established.
Later on, professor Liu elaborated the results of China-Africa cooperative development since the 21st century. She said that the cooperation between China and Africa has indeed made Africans feel the sincere treatment from Chinese people.
Professor Liu says that these cooperation cases demonstrate sincerity and action of Chinese government. The demonstration effect can also be considered from both China and Africa. China’s achievements on development and agricultural development have increased Africa’s confidence on agricultural development and poverty reduction, provided the basis for African countries choosing cooperative projects according to their own national conditions and helped them find self-esteem and self-confidence on development.
Lastly, professor Liu emphasized that the experiences and achievements of China-Africa cooperative development not only plays a leading role in the implementation of China’s BRI in developing countries along the route, but also contributes and provides experiences to the connection of China-Africa joint development and the BRI, so as to realize the common development of China and African countries. At the same time, it will promote the cooperation between China and all developing countries in Asia, Africa, and Latin America regions.