JUST IN: Pres ED leaves for FOCAC Summit

Chinese President Xi Jinping

JUST IN: Pres ED leaves for FOCAC Summit

He announced a $60 billion funding package to African countries, some of which is yet to be fully implemented.

What South Africa hopes to see as a key deliverable out of this FOCAC Summit is the establishment of skills development centres in the AU regional economic communities, as it recognises that China as significant technological skills that could be transferred to the continent. A cooperation mechanism between the developing countries has also been dubbed as that Asian country's largest home-field diplomatic activity.

The event will be co-chaired by President Cyril Ramaphosa and China's President Xi Jinping. The President, who departed the country on Monday, August 27, was met upon arrival by Foreign Minister Gbehzohngar Findley, Defense Minister Daniel Ziankahn, Information Minister Lenn Eugene Nagbe, Health Minister Wilhelmina Jallah, and the Minister of Agriculture Minister Dr. Mogana Flomo.

During the summit, the Heads of State will discuss and ratify two major documents, the Beijing Action Plan 2019-2021 and the Beijing Declaration, which will act as guides for China-Africa relations.

Others were Transport Minister Sam Wlue; State Without Portfolio Minister Trokon Kpui; and Liberia's Ambassador to the People's Republic of China Dudley McKinley Thomas and staff at the Embassy.

Another pledge that Beijing has fulfilled from its 2015 summit is expanding the renminbi settlement and currency swap operations with African countries, a pledge under its financial plan.

But China's direct investments to Africa have slowed slightly in recent years, from a peak of US$3.4 billion in 2013 to US$3.1 billion last year, according to data from the Chinese Ministry of Commerce.

The Chinese President and his wife, Peng Liyuan, will later hold a banquet for their guests.

The annual ministerial meeting was held ahead of the 2018 Beijing Focac Summit which officially opens today.

"During the six-day official visit of the Nigerian president, he is expected to join his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, to witness the signing of an agreement on the National Information and Communication Technology Infrastructure Backbone Phase 11 (NICTIB 11) between Galaxy Backbone Limited and Huawei Technologies Limited (HUAWEI) at the cost of United States $328 million facility provided by the Chinese EXIM Bank", a statement from Shehu Garba, Buhari's spokesperson, said.

As a model of South-South cooperation, the FOCAC will make important contributions to world peace and development with demonstrative significance, he said, wishing a complete success of the summit.

The FOCAC is a model of South-South cooperation and the Beijing summit will focus on unity, cooperation and common development, which are highly consistent with the UN's goals and purposes, he said.

China will host more than 1,000 African representatives from over 600 enterprises, business groups, and research institutions at an upcoming conference of Chinese and African entrepreneurs.

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