|Chinese premier announces eight new measures to enhance cooperation with Africa|
SHARM EL-SHEIKH, Egypt, Nov. 8 (Xinhua) -- Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao on Sunday announced eight new measures the Chinese government will take to strengthen China-Africa cooperation in the next three years.
Wen announced the measures while addressing the opening ceremony of the Fourth Ministerial Conference of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) in the Egyptian resort of Sharm el-Sheikh.
The eight new measures, succeeding the eight measures put forward by Chinese President Hu Jintao at the landmark Beijing Summit of the FOCAC in 2006, are aimed at pushing forward China-Africa cooperation in the next three years.
"The Chinese people cherish sincere friendship towards the African people, and China's support to Africa's development is concrete and real," said the premier.
"Whatever change may take place in the world ... our policy of supporting Africa's economic and social development will not change," Wen said.
As the first of the eight new measures, China proposes to establish a China-Africa partnership in addressing climate change. China would enhance cooperation on satellite weather monitoring, development and utilization of new energy sources, prevention and control of desertification and urban environmental protection. China has decided to build 100 clean energy projects for Africa covering solar power, bio-gas and small hydro-power.
Second, China will enhance cooperation with Africa in science and technology. China proposes to launch a China-Africa science and technology partnership, under which China would carry out 100 joint demonstration projects with Africa on scientific and technological research and receive 100 African postdoctoral fellows to conduct scientific research in China.
Third, China will help Africa build up financing capacity. China would provide 10 billion U.S. dollars in concessional loans to African countries, and support Chinese financial institutions in setting up a special loan of 1 billion dollars for small- and medium-sized African businesses. For the heavily indebted countries and least developed countries in Africa having diplomatic relations with China, China would cancel their debts associated with interest-free government loans due to mature by the end of 2009.
Fourth, China will further open up its market to African products. China would phase in zero-tariff treatment to 95 percent of the products from the least developed African countries having diplomatic relations with China, starting with 60 percent of the products within 2010.
Fifth, China will further enhance cooperation with Africa in agriculture. China would increase the number of its agricultural technology demonstration centers in Africa to 20, send 50 agricultural technology teams to Africa and train 2,000 agricultural technology personnel for Africa, in order to help boost the continent's food security.
Sixth, China will deepen cooperation in medical care and health. China would provide medical equipment and anti-malaria materials worth 500 million yuan (73.2 million U.S. dollars) to the 30 hospitals and 30 malaria prevention and treatment centers built by China and train 3,000 doctors and nurses for Africa.
Seventh, China will enhance cooperation in human resources development and education. China would build 50 schools and train 1,500 school principals and teachers for African countries. By 2012, China would increase the number of Chinese government scholarships to Africa to 5,500, and would also train 20,000 professionals for Africa over the next three years.
Eighth, China will expand people-to-people and cultural exchanges. China proposes to launch a China-Africa joint research and exchange program to increase exchanges and cooperation, share development experience, and provide intellectual support for formulating better cooperation policies by the two sides.