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UK and Zambia to expand clean energy partnership with green investment targets

British Foreign Secretary James Cleverly will travel to Zambia on Thursday and announce the expansion of the UK’s clean energy partnership with the African country.

Mr Cleverly will unveil new targets to drive green investment, which includes up to £2.5 billion ($3.2 billion) of private sector investment in Zambia’s mining, minerals, and renewable energy sectors, and up to £500 million in government-backed investments.

He will also pledge up to £150 million of private sector investment into the country’s small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

The new targets will be delivered through the UK-Zambia Green Growth Compact, signed in 2021 and has already seen more than £78 million dedicated to Zambian SMEs.

As the first UK foreign secretary to visit Zambia in more than 30 years, Mr Cleverly will tour a copper mine and sign a preliminary agreement on critical minerals such as copper, cobalt, and others essential to the global clean energy transition.

“Working together with our partners in Zambia, the UK is driving the clean energy transition,” he said.

“The UK-Zambia Green Growth Compact and our landmark agreement on critical minerals will support investment between UK and Zambian business, creating jobs in both countries and improving environmental and social standards.

“Together we will build a stronger, greener, more prosperous future for both countries, which benefits us all.”

Mr. Cleverly also visited Nigeria and Ghana during his three-country, four-day African tour, where he reaffirmed the UK’s commitment to advance trade, investment and green growth.

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“We’ll Remove Bottlenecks to Investments, Reposition Economy to Favor Youth Population,” Says President Tinubu

President Bola Tinubu Friday in Abuja assured the manufacturing and service sectors that more reforms will be unfolded to enable efficiency and attract investments, saying the ongoing economic ”revolution” will be deliberately steered to capture and favour teeming youths in the country.

“We have a responsibility to revolutionize the economy so that our youths can share in the prosperity of the nation, otherwise we are only waiting for the dreams to be charted,” the President told a delegation from MTN led by Group Chairman, Mcebisi Jonas, at the State House.

“If you have any problems or impediments do let us know. We are ready to remove bottlenecks to investments in the economy,” the President noted while acknowledging the sweeping changes across the world, largely driven by technology.

President Tinubu said the growing rural-urban migration can only be controlled with more investments in digital technology that will directly improve healthcare systems and education for the poor.

“I am happy you are moving from Corporate Social Responsibility to be more incisive and inquisitive with technology so that we can see how we can partner structurally,” the President stated.

“You can do a lot for the economy by partnering with us. We believe no one can succeed alone. The structural adjustments we are making are to ensure we face the right direction and arrive at a destination that caters for our people.

“You and I will make sure that the people have a share of that prosperity. We will, together, build a well-informed society. We have to re-assess the journey. I am glad that the stock market is responding positively to the structural adjustments,” he added.

The MTN Group Chairman said the company had a plan of investing $3.5 billion in the economy over the next five years, with a broader vision of becoming a pan-African company by moving investments from the Middle East and focusing more on Africa, especially Nigeria, where it gets the highest return on investment.

Jonas congratulated the President for the upswing of interest in the country within a short period since he assumed office, on May 29, 2023, promising to support in mobilisation of other investors with about $1.5 trillion to look towards Nigeria, where reforms had been styled to favour business and encourage inclusive development.

“The message you have given us is that Nigeria is investible, and with your election, we are seeing decisive, prompt, and keen interest in structural reforms,” the MTN Group Chairman noted.

The Group President/CEO of MTN, Ralph Mupita, Chairman of MTN Nigeria, Ernest Ndukwe and Chief Executive Officer, Olutokun Karl Toriola were part of the meeting.

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ENTERTAINMENT: Forces of change in the creative industries-Going beyond tech

As we are nearing the end of the first half of 2023, we have all become more comfortable with change and disruption. Whether it is the pandemic, environmental factors, unstable global economic conditions, or tech evolution, we have learned to bounce back quickly. One industry that has had to be particularly agile during the past few years is the filmmaking industry.

Canon’s new report (written in conjunction with The Future Laboratory) – The Future of Filmmaking, reveals the industry’s efforts to be a catalyst of change that inspires the creative industry to transform its narrative and to shine its spotlight on topics that will be significant in shaping the future of our world, and that of the African continent.

Interestingly, the report sheds light on the human landscape and its power to create, cultivate, and drive change. The power of people ultimately makes things happen and pushes us toward progress and advancement in any industry. The report highlights four crucial aspects that may be driven by tech but not necessarily led by tech. In my view, these are significant factors directly proportional to the content creation and filmmaking industries and will undoubtedly shape the future of these industries.

Rise of the Creative Class

According to the UNESCO report, global cultural and creative industries (CCIs) are estimated to generate about $2.25 trillion annually, which accounts for 3% of the global GDP and employment of around 30 million people worldwide. It is fascinating to see the rise of this creator economy, which the report identifies as the “New Creative Class”. As we witnessed an unprecedented boom in digitalization over the last 10 years, this creative class sprang into action using technologies to deliver a fresh and novel take on content creation.

If we lens in on the African continent, which is closer to home and more interesting to me, we see some remarkable trends in the creative economy. In Nigeria, as this report shows, the sector employs 4.2 million people and is expected to employ a further 2.7 million by 2025, an increase of more than 50% in the next two years.

Despite the significant contribution made by the new creative class toward societal and economic progress, there still seems to be a gap in recognition compared to other industries. The emerging community of content creators is striving to achieve fair working conditions, equitable payment models, and new standards in the industry that reflect their value and contributions. This is a positive development for the creative sector in its rightful plea to be recognized and treated fairly compared to other industries.

Stay Local

The explosion of digital technologies may have given us the power to do anything from anywhere, but like all things, too much of anything is not always good and has its own consequences. With the plethora of content choices that suddenly became available for audiences consumers worldwide, an interesting trend emerged. People slowly started taking their eyes off the global stage and shifted their gaze towards local and homemade content that told stories of their land and their people.

Given our natural desire as humans to find meaning, connectivity, and relatability, the narrative of authentic stories led independent storytellers, documentary-makers, content creators, and filmmakers to explore topics that local people resonate with. So, it’s no surprise that global streaming giants like Netflix and Disney are investing in Africa to tap the unexplored potential and talent. The report encapsulates the essence of the ‘Stay global, go local’ movement and asserts that media organizations and creative firms will progressively be compelled to shift sight closer to home when it comes to entertainment and content production.

Conscious Consumption

The current climate crisis affects us all, no matter which industry or walk of life we come from. The severity of climate change needs to be taken seriously globally, and genuine efforts must be made for scaled initiatives to reduce our carbon footprints. The streaming industry is no exception to this; the carbon impact of the industry drastically needs to be reduced by adopting a more sustainable approach towards this issue.

The report underpins the significance of consumer demand as a key driver toward adopting sustainable practices and better industry standards. With people gaining more awareness about the environmental impact of their consumption choices, they are likely to demand pro-environmental practices, thus compelling the industry to adopt a pro-active approach towards sustainability.

Inclusive Innovation

The Future of Filmmaking report highlights the positive development of inclusivity and diversity. It emphasizes that the new creative class is at the forefront of inclusivity and is not afraid to challenge the already-established broadcasters. This new generation of creators identifies technology to harness change and propel social progress. Decentralization will be a key trend touching every area of the industry, from financing to licensing and distribution and more, creating new opportunities for the underrepresented creators and bringing them closer to their fans.

Continuing the Legacy of Storytelling

These trends are a wake-up call to many in the industry to pay attention to the changing needs of people and to evolve with them. However, we must always return to the basics and remember the importance of telling stories. While these trends affect the industry by and large, the shifts create more freedom for storytellers to come forth and tell their stories in unique and inspiring ways, enabling them to create content that is responsive to the tastes, locations, and ethics of their audiences in a way that has never been possible before.

All in all, the report tells me that this is an exciting time to be a creator, with the industry opening its doors to new opportunities that reflect change, growth, development, and progress.

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ENTERTAINMENT: Cannes Film Festival 2023 and expectations

The Cannes Film Festival line-up is now complete and looks like one of the best line-ups in years. After the official selection was announced last Thursday, further additions have been made in the past few days, with the Critics Week and Directors’ Fortnight selections confirmed.

Pixar’s latest movie Elemental — the fourth time the American animation house has graced Cannes — was unveiled as the closing film. The story centres around a city where living embodiments of the elements — water, fire, land, and air — all reside.

Already the 2023 selection feels like a year of comebacks. In competition, vying for the Palme d’Or, is Jonathan Glazer’s The Zone of Interest, a German-Polish adaptation of the 2014 Martin Amis novel. Glazer hasn’t made a film since 2013’s much-acclaimed sci-fi Under The Skin.

Set in Auschwitz during the Second World War, The Zone of Interest tells the story of a Nazi officer who has fallen for the camp commandant’s wife. It stars Sandra Huller, featured in the Cannes favourite Toni Erdmann, and marks Glazer’s first time in a Cannes competition.

With six female directors — the festival’s highest-ever number — also competing for the Palme d’Or, another major returning voice is Catherine Breillat. The provocative French director behind Romance and A ma soeur! has been absent from our screens for a decade, since she made 2013’s Abuse of Weakness, with Isabelle Huppert. Her new feature, L’Ete dernier, which stars Lea Drucker, is being billed as an intense family drama.

There’s also a much-heralded return for the French filmmaker of Vietnamese heritage, Tran Anh Hung, who won the Camera d’Or in Cannes — the prize awarded to the best debut — in 1993 for The Scent of Green Papaya. He last directed 2016’s Eternity, and he’s now returning with The Passion of Dodin Bouffant. Adapted from the 1924 novel by Marcel Rouf, this 19th century-set love story set in a renowned kitchen stars former real-life partners Juliette Binoche and Benoit Magimel.

In Director’s Fortnight, France’s Michel Gondry is also back for his first movie in eight years. While he’s kept himself busy making shorts and music videos, the director of the Oscar-winning Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind last made a feature with 2015’s little-seen Microbe and Gasoline. His latest, The Book of Solutions, is described as an off-beat existential comedy and features Pierre Niney, the French actor famed for playing fashion giant Yves Saint Laurent.

Of course, all eyes will be on the out-of-competition Killers of the Flower Moon by Martin Scorsese. Remarkably, it’s Scorsese’s first time in Cannes since 1984’s After Hours (his famous 1976 movie Taxi Driver also played there, winning the Palme d’Or).

This new work, his first for Apple TV+, centres on the Oklahoma murders in the Osage Nation during the 1920s, when oil was found on tribal land. It’s also the first time his two most beloved actors, Robert De Niro and Leonardo DiCaprio — who last co-starred in 1993’s This Boy’s Life and 1996’s Marvin’s Room — have ever featured together in a Scorsese movie.

Martin Scorsese's Killers of the Flower Moon is among the out-of-competition highlights. Apple TV+
Martin Scorsese’s Killers of the Flower Moon is among the out-of-competition highlights. Apple TV+

You also have to wonder if The Old Oak will mark the swansong of veteran British director Ken Loach, who turns 87 in June. Then again, predictions that the two-time Palme d’Or winner is retiring have been wide of the mark before. Following recent efforts, I, Daniel Blake and Sorry We Missed You, this latest effort is another drama located in England’s northeast, set around a declining mining community, and dealing with the arrival of Syrian refugees.

Away from the comebacks and the sign-offs, the Critics Week and Director’s Fortnight line-ups also have included some exciting additions from the Mena region. In Critics Week, Amjad Al-Rasheed’s Inshallah Walad (Inshallah a Boy) marks the first-ever Jordanian film to compete in the Cannes sidebar. Shot in the Jordanian capital of Amman, it tells the story of a young widow, Nawal, and her daughter, who are about to lose their home.

As part of Director’s Fortnight, Moroccan actor-director Faouzi Bensaidi (Volubilis) will present his latest work Deserts. Starring Fehd Benchemsi, it follows two debt collectors sent by their agency into the Moroccan Sahara. As Bensaidi told Variety when the film was in development, it’s “an abstract Western”, an existential look at “Man against himself, against God and against nature and coming to terms with his own interior violence.” Old and new, this is going to be a very exciting Cannes.

The Cannes Film Festival runs from May 16 to 27



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Visas in Africa are Barriers to Trade and Movement, Says President Ruto

President William Ruto has urged African countries to rethink their visa regimes to boost intra-Africa trade and position the continent for true transformation.

African governments, the President said, should facilitate “people-to-people, business-to-business and government-to-government affairs,” not create barriers.

“The people who introduced visas to Africa have abandoned them. In Europe today, citizens of the 27 countries in the European Union don’t need visas to travel from one country to the other,” he said.

He spoke on Thursday when he met President Emerson Mnangagwa’s special envoy, Ambassador Simbarashe Mumbengegwi, at State House Nairobi.

President Ruto said he will hold discussions with his Zimbabwean counterpart on a visa-free regime between the two countries.

He also said they will discuss the need for more flights from Nairobi to Harare and vice versa.

President Ruto said Kenya opposes the continued economic sanctions against Zimbabwe, adding that they are unnecessary.

“At a time of economic difficulty, climate change effects, and pandemics, sanctions only exacerbate the burden on the citizens of Zimbabwe,” he said.

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AfCFTA: An opportunity for Africa’s youth to accelerate trade and industrialization

The African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) is an opportunity for young people to accelerate Africa’s industrialization and economic transformation through entrepreneurship, youths say, calling for an enabling policy framework.

Through its Youth Protocol, the AfCFTA recognises that young people can play a critical role in the achievement of the free trade zone by initiating youth-led initiatives in agriculture, financial technology, IT and in the creative industry.

However, they note that across the youth-dominant trade areas critical to the AfCFTA, the challenges of infrastructure gap, lack of access to modern technologies, funding, electricity and broadband internet keep the youth on the sidelines of the free trade area.

At an online presentation meeting organized by the Regional Integration and Trade Division (RITD) of the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), nine young mentees who have completed RITD’s “Youth for AfCFTA Mentorship Programme”, presented their final assignment to senior staff in ECA. The youth participants highlighted that the AfCFTA presented huge entrepreneurship opportunities for them but that governments need to implement supportive policies and investment to ensure their participation.

Ms. Mie Vedel-Joergensen, Associate Expert in Economic Affairs, Market Institutions Section of the Regional Integration and Trade Division (RITD) at the ECA said mentees of the “Youth for AfCFTA Mentorship Programme” are winners of a competition launched in March 2022 which led to the mentorship programme in ECA. The competition with the topic; “The African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA): What is in it for young Africans?” was developed by the Youth Alliance for Leadership and Development in Africa (YALDA) in collaboration with the AfCFTA Secretariat, Afreximbank, the International Trade Centre (ITC), the UN Development Programme (UNDP) and ECA. The competition encouraged participants to develop essays, infographics or animation to communicate the potential impact of the AfCFTA on youth in Africa.

The youth participants highlighted that the AfCFTA presented huge entrepreneurship opportunities for them but that governments need to implement supportive policies and investment

According to YALDA, the competition aimed to break information asymmetry among youth on the AfCFTA and promote a bottom-up approach to the policy formulation and implementation by harnessing innovative youth-driven solutions that will contribute to active youth engagement in the popularization of the AfCFTA.

Noting that young people can influence policy decisions in favour of the AfCFTA in addition to providing labour, Ms. Jessica Debby Ndjadila, mentee of the Essay group, said Africa’s youth understood the technology enablers of the free trade area such as Information Technology, supply chain management, and financial technology.

“African governments should prioritize intellectual property rights protection,” Ms. Ndjadila said, calling for fiscal policies to drive entrepreneurs into content distribution and the democratization of access to broadband connectivity.

Africa also needs to operationalise the  Pan African Payment and Settlement System (PAPSS), a centralized payment and settlement system for intra-African trade in goods and services developed in  2022. The platform would increase the competitiveness of and investment in youth-dominated start-ups in Africa.

Another group of youth developed an infographic to highlight the benefits of gender inclusion in the AfCFTA. Noting that Sub Saharan  Africa was losing an average of $95 billion annually as a result of gender inequality, the youth felt that investment in mobile and digital solutions can bridge the gender gap in Africa where the proportion of women using the internet was 25% lower than men.

“Implementation of the AfCFTA would increase employment opportunities and wages for unskilled workers and help close the gender wage gap,” said Mr. Richard Muraya, a youth whose group developed an infographic highlighting the opportunity cost of gender inclusion in the AfCFTA.

Mr. Stephen Karingi, Director of Regional Integration and Trade Division at ECA said young people fully understand what the AfCFTA is all about and their information products should be promoted in giving policymakers the right narrative about the free trade area. Besides, the youth have well demonstrated the potential of the AfCFTA and the issues that must be addressed by the protocols developed for the realization of the free trade area.

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African Countries gear up for business as China reopens market

After three years of closed borders under its strict “zero-COVID” policy, China reopened its doors to allow international travelers in — and Chinese with cabin fever out — a move with economic implications around the world, including in Africa.

On the continent, which counts China as its largest trade partner, African importers who sell cheap Chinese-made goods said they were itching to return to China to stock up while many African countries are also hoping to attract Chinese tourists.

While fears about the spread of COVID-19 caused some countries in Asia, Europe and North America to implement negative testing requirements for Chinese travelers, drawing the ire of Beijing, countries like Kenya and South Africa said they would not be implementing any travel restrictions for travelers from China.

African businesses eye China’s reopening

Markets and stocks around the world shot up with China’s reopening, and African businesses are also hoping to cash in on the world’s second-largest economy.

“We are open to going there now and we are looking forward to do that to make sure that we get our businesses back on track,” Samuel Karanja, the CEO of the Importers and Small Traders Association of Kenya, told VOA, adding that the pandemic years have been a “roller coaster” for traders.

“For the past three years, it has been a very difficult moment for those traders because they lost touch with their suppliers. Ideally, the traders could go to China, meet their suppliers or manufacturers, go with samples of the goods that they need to be produced for them, some of them could wait for even weeks to be able to see that the production is completed, and the goods are loaded in containers and they’re coming back to Kenya,” he said.

Karanja said that was how business was done before the pandemic where Kenyan small and medium enterprise owners would travel to Chinese cities including Guangzhou, where they bulk purchased everything from electronics and motorbike spare parts to kitchenware and school stationery. After China implemented its zero-COVID policy, however, the Kenyan businesses had to make purchases remotely, often with the help of unscrupulous middlemen who ripped them off.

Denis Juru, president of the International Cross-Border Traders Association in South Africa, echoed this, telling VOA that China’s reopening has lots of advantages for his organization’s members.

“The opening of Chinese borders will boost the African economy as Chinese products are cheap. African traders new to the business will be able to go and make their choices physically. New companies in China will take this opportunity to convince traders from Africa by reducing prices,” he said.

He noted that traveling to China is expensive but said while staying in-country and shopping online is easier and more economical “some companies in China sell the wrong products online. Therefore, the process of exchange inconveniences African businesses.”

Optimism with caution

As for large corporations that do business with China, Christo van der Rheede, CEO of Agri SA, South Africa’s biggest agricultural organization, was more circumspect about the pros and cons of China’s reopening.

“It remains to be seen how this is going to impact on South Africa. Remember, South Africa’s a big exporter of particular commodities, for example, coal, iron ore, as well as other agricultural commodities to China. Hopefully, this will increase the demand for South African commodities,” he said.

He also noted South Africa needs to weigh the economic benefits with caution around the spread of COVID-19.

“I think economically wise, we’ve seen how the clampdown, the zero(-COVID) policy, has impacted on the logistics, especially import and export logistics, and how that has driven up the cost of shipping throughout the world,” he said. “So hopefully we’ll be able to manage it in a way that will boost our economy and our exports to China, but at the same time we need to manage any outbreak in South Africa very carefully.”

Attracting Chinese visitors

So, what about travel from the other direction: Chinese coming to the continent either for business, to work on Belt and Road infrastructure projects or for tourism?

China's Foreign Minister, Qin Gang, second left, and African Union Commission Chair Moussa Faki Mahamat, center, attend the inauguration of the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Jan. 11, 2023.
China’s Foreign Minister, Qin Gang, second left, and African Union Commission Chair Moussa Faki Mahamat, center, attends the inauguration of the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Jan. 11, 2023.

As soon as the country opened, Beijing was quick to send new Chinese Foreign Minister Qin Gang on his first official visit to the continent on a five-country tour.

In a speech on his first stop in Ethiopia, Qin reassured Africa that China plans to strengthen trade ties and accelerate in-person exchanges.

“First, let us intensify our in-person interactions and connectivity of ideas. The pandemic will be over, and we can see [the] light of hope ahead. … We will expand exchange and cooperation with Africa in various fields and at all levels, including between the governments, legislatures, political parties, militaries and localities,” Qin said. “African political leaders, AU Commission officials at various levels and Africans in the political, business and academic circles are most welcome to visit in due course.”

“We will encourage Chinese companies and people to come to Africa for investment and tourism. We will provide more facilitation to restore two-way personnel exchanges at a faster pace,” he added.

In terms of Chinese visitors to South Africa, however, Rosemary Anderson, national chairperson of the Federated Hospitality Association of South Africa, told VOA the current system leaves much to be desired.

“The Chinese traveler to South Africa has to present themselves in person at an embassy or visa office in China and wait up to months for a visa to be supplied,” she said, noting South Africa only attracted about 93,000 visitors before the pandemic in 2019, out of some 155 million Chinese who traveled abroad.

FILE - Chinese tourists stand outside former South African President Nelson Mandela's house in Johannesburg, South Africa, July, 2, 2013.
FILE – Chinese tourists stand outside former South African President Nelson Mandela’s house in Johannesburg, South Africa, July, 2, 2013.

However, she noted that it was encouraging that Air China has recently started a direct flight between Beijing and Johannesburg.

Anderson said South Africa should do more to attract Chinese travelers, including public and private sector marketing initiatives aimed specifically at the Chinese market, ensuring destination and product information is available on Chinese search engines, and marketing on Chinese social media channels like Weibo and WeChat.

As China reopens to the world, “showing that you are Chinese friendly by, for example, offering payment platforms like WeChat Pay and Alipay, keeping in mind Chinese holiday dates, learning a few key phrases in Mandarin and training tourist guides to speak Mandarin,” would all be useful, she said.



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IMF chief Kristalina Georgieva to visit Zambia, Rwanda- sources

 International Monetary Fund chief Kristalina Georgieva will visit Rwanda later this month after traveling to Zambia, three sources familiar with the plans said on Friday.

Georgieva on Thursday said she would visit Zambia the week after next, but her visit to Rwanda has not been previously reported. Georgieva will travel to Africa after speaking at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland next week.

The IMF had no immediate comment.

Rwanda was the first African country to receive IMF funding under its new Resilience and Sustainability Trust. The IMF in October reached a staff-level agreement with Rwanda on a 36-month financing package valued at $310 million.

At the time, the IMF said the funding would help the country move forward with its economic reforms and build resilience against climate change.

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Africa Is a Big Stage for International Cooperation, Not an Arena for Major-Power Rivalry- Qin Gang

Foreign Minister Qin Gang and Chairperson of the African Union (AU) Commission Moussa Faki Mahamat jointly met the press.

Qin Gang said that China is glad to see any country truly help Africa realize peace and development with sincerity

When asked by journalists about China’s view on the second U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit, Qin Gang said that as permanent members of the United Nations Security Council, China and the United States shoulder important responsibility for world peace, security and development. The China-United States relationship should not be a competitive one or a zero-sum game that enlarges one’s own gain at the expense of the other; otherwise, it will only hurt both sides and even the world. China and the United States should respect each other, coexist in peace, pursue win-win cooperation, and should not harm third-party interests. This corresponds with the trend of the times and the common expectations of the international community.

Qin Gang said that the profound traditional friendship between China and Africa, rooted in mutual support between both sides in the fight for national liberation and originating from mutual help in the course of pursuing development, is a friendly relationship of cooperation featuring sincerity, real results, affinity and good faith based on mutual respect, equality, mutual benefit, and win-win results. Having withstood the test of the changing international landscape, it has grown from strength to strength, and become unbreakable. Since the beginning of the new century, China has built in Africa more than 6,000 kilometers of railways, 6,000 kilometers of roads, nearly 20 ports, and over 80 large-scale power facilities, and funded over 130 hospitals and clinics, over 170 schools, 45 sports venues, and over 500 agricultural projects. These tangible outcomes have played an important role in advancing economic and social development and improving people’s livelihood in Africa, demonstrated the true color of China-Africa relations and the defining color of China-Africa friendship, and been praised by African countries and people.

Qin Gang noted that Africa is an emerging continent full of hope, vigor, and vitality. Without peace and development of Africa, the world would not be in stability and prosperity. Africa needs solidarity and cooperation, rather than bloc confrontation. No country or individual has the power to force African countries to pick sides. Africa should be a stage for international cooperation, not an arena for major-force rivalry. If there is competition, it should be about who does more practical things for the peace and development of Africa and who helps Africa have more representation and say in the international governance agenda. Qin Gang said that China is glad to see any country truly help Africa realize peace and development with sincerity. If African friends wish, China is also ready to carry out trilateral or multilateral cooperation with any other country in Africa to jointly make greater contributions to the development and rejuvenation of Africa.

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Announcing Africa Accelerating 2023 in Toronto: October 10-12

The three-day conference will address and advance the immense opportunities for rapidly accelerating Canada-Africa trade and investment ties.

‘’The 2023 conference in Toronto provides a phenomenal opportunity to welcome African business delegates to Canada’s largest city while offering an enabling platform for networking, B2B meetings, and dealmaking in and around the 3-day program,’’ said Garreth Bloor, President of The Canada-Africa Chamber of Business.

Last year’s 2022 Africa Accelerating conference in Johannesburg, South Africa – sponsored by Ivanhoe Mines Ltd – took place under the theme, Leading from Africa: Toward a new global era enabled through Canada-Africa Collaboration.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was among those who addressed the event in October, joined by government heads, African Union leaders, corporate executives, and entrepreneurs.

The 2023 conference in Toronto provides a phenomenal opportunity to welcome African business delegates to Canada’s largest city

Registration for Africa Accelerating 2023 opens on 16 January 2023. The official theme to be announced will encompass raising investment capital, trade opportunities, new business partnerships, infrastructure, and responsible resource development – building on the track record and lessons learned on the foundation of billions already invested into African markets, through Canada.

Africa Accelerating 2023 will once again include a live interactive virtual participation option. Plenary proceedings will be broadcast to 47 countries, with a reach of an estimated 20 million viewers – showcasing the immense opportunities for all through the acceleration of Canada-Africa trade and investment.

‘’Toronto is a gateway to North American markets and directly connected by air to the African continent,’’ noted Garreth Bloor. ‘’For all joining us in person, our host city provides vital linkages to project partners and investors, driving the two-way trade and investment for deal-making that is at the core of our action-driven agenda for Africa Accelerating 2023.’’


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