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Remarks of H.E. Dr. Zhou Pingjian, Ambassador of China to Nigeria, at the Seminar on China-Africa Cooperation in Information Technology and Digital Economy

28 June 2018, Abuja

Distinguished Guests,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Dear Friends,

Welcome to join us in this Seminar hosted by Nigerian Institute of International Affairs (NIIA) in association with the Chinese Embassy. Allow me to take this opportunity to express my sincere gratitude to NIIA for making this event happen through hard work in a truly professional way. My appreciation also goes to Huawei for its enthusiastic support.

In December 2015, The Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) Johannesburg Action Plan (2016-2018) made it clear that the two sides agreed to actively explore and push forward cooperation in information and communication technology and work together to narrow the digital divide in Africa and promote the building of an information society in Africa. Indeed, much progress has been made in this area since the FOCAC Johannesburg Summit. China remains committed to stepping up cooperation with Africa in information and communication technology and digital economy within the FOCAC framework.

As agreed by both the Chinese side and the African side, China will host the FOCAC Beijing Summit this September which is themed with "win-win cooperation and join hands to build a closer community with a shared future for China and Africa". This timely Seminar, in a sense, could be regarded as a warming-up activity for the upcoming FOCAC Beijing Summit.

FOCAC was incepted in 2000. The past 18 years have seen fruitful progress in China-Africa practical cooperation across the board. As a key platform for the collective dialogue and cooperation between China and African countries, FOCAC has become a model of South-South cooperation and a banner of international cooperation with Africa.

The FOCAC Beijing Summit will unveil new measures for China-Africa all-round cooperation in the next stage and open up new prospects for common development. Both sides will endeavor to combine the theme of the Summit 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 like Nigeria’s ERGP to make new planning for win-win cooperation. China will continue to share its development opportunities with African countries and welcome them on board the train of China’s development. It is believed that the FOCAC Beijing Summit, a meeting of equals for win-win cooperation, will surely become another historic event to strengthen China-Africa solidarity and cooperation.

As President Mahammadu Buhari said in his felicitation message to President Xi Jinping on the occasion of the Chinese lunar new year in February, “I am looking forward to China hosting the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation summit in Beijing in September this year, and have every reason to believe that the Year of Dog will bring us more success stories and mutual benefits for China-Africa cooperation.” We believe President Buhari’s attendance at the upcoming FOCAC Beijing Summit will provide an important opportunity for the further development of China-Nigeria strategic partnership.

  I wish the Seminar a fruitful deliberation.


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