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Nigeria 2015 | DIPLOMACY | GUEST SPEAKER

HE Li Keqiang, Prime Minister of the People's Republic of China, on importance of mutual development goals, joint cooperation, and the potential of African economies.

HE Li Keqiang
BIOGRAPHY
HE Li Keqiang was born in 1955 in Dingyuan County, Anhui Province. After joining the CPC in 1976, he steadily rose through the ranks of the party by occupying several positions, and became a member of the Standing Committee of the Politburo of the 17th CPC Central Committee. Li maintained this position in the 18th CPC Central Committee and was elected Premier of the State Council in 2013. In 2014, he became the Vice-Chairman of the National Security Commission. Li holds a Bachelor in Law from Peking University and has a PhD in Economics.

Since the beginning of this century, Africa has demonstrated strong economic vitality, maintained overall social stability, and emerged as a "pole" of the world in three ways. First, Africa is home to 54 countries, increasingly "speaking with one voice" and playing an ever-growing role in the governance of global affairs. Africa has thus become a major pole in the world political arena. Second, Africa has a total population of one billion and an economic aggregate of over $2 trillion. Of the world's ten fastest growing economies in 2013, seven are in Africa, which indicates its growing weight in the developing world. Africa is, therefore, also a major pole in global economic growth. Third, with more than 1,500 ethnic groups and over 2,000 different languages, Africa is rich in cultural heritage. In the international political and economic landscape, it is always better to have more "poles" than fewer "poles." The rise of Africa as a new pole will only make the world more democratic, stable, dynamic, and colorful, and better facilitate peace, development, and progress in the world.

Inclusive growth refers to employment, fairness, and balanced development in a country. It also refers to balanced development among countries and regions. The mutually beneficial cooperation between China and Africa contributes to the well being of more than 2.4 billion people and more balanced growth of the world economy. This in itself is the most significant inclusive growth in the world. Africa is the continent with the largest number of developing countries. Despite the economic takeoff in many African countries, daunting challenges remain, such as weak infrastructure, underemployment, and poverty. China is the biggest developing country in terms of population and size. China and Africa face many similar problems and share the same task of growing the economy, raising living standards, and promoting social progress. It is encouraging that China-Africa cooperation has and will continue to drive inclusive growth among developing countries. Given the fact that China and Africa are at similar stages of development, they have much to gain from each other's development. China's robust economic growth has brought with it massive exports of African goods and provided strong support for Africa's growth. The enormous potential of Africa's economy has attracted Chinese investment here and has provided greater room for China's own economic development. Africa needs infrastructure and industrial development, whereas China has the spare financing and production capacity in these fields. Cooperation based on such complementarity and mutual benefit will give an even stronger boost to China and Africa's respective development. The China-Africa relationship has stood the test of time and continues to grow from strength to strength. This is a relationship of steadfast mutual support, common development, and mutual learning. Our respect for each other, cultural exchanges, and sharing of development experience is a blessing for our respective development and global prosperity.

China-Africa relations are facing a new historical opportunity. China will work with Africa to put in place a new framework of four principles, six areas, and one platform for advancing China-Africa cooperation. To be specific, we will follow the four principles of treating each other with sincerity and as equals, enhancing solidarity and mutual trust, and jointly pursuing inclusive development as well as innovative and practical cooperation. We will carry out industrial cooperation, financial cooperation, cooperation on poverty reduction, cooperation on environmental protection, cultural and people-to-people exchanges, and cooperation on peace and security. And we will make good use of the platform of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation. We will upgrade China-Africa cooperation in response to new development needs of Africa and elevate our new type of strategic partnership to a new level. China will continue to prioritize infrastructural development in its cooperation with Africa. We will work with Africa to upgrade and build transport infrastructure and to promote connectivity on the African continent in the areas of railways, expressways, and aviation.

Cooperation between China and African countries is based on good faith and complete openness. China is ready to share its advanced and applicable technologies and management expertise with African countries without any reservation. China is ready to accept the form of joint venture agreements with the African side on all projects that it participates in constructing or operating. China is also ready to step up its collaboration with international organizations and relevant countries to make a joint contribution to Africa's development.