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General News of Monday, 30 August 2021

Source: GNA

China proposes China-Africa partnership plan on digital innovation

Deng Li, Chinese Assistant Foreign Minister Deng Li, Chinese Assistant Foreign Minister

Deng Li, Chinese Assistant Foreign Minister, has announced China's proposals for the China-Africa Partnership Plan on Digital Innovation at the China-Africa Internet Development and Cooperation Forum.

A statement issued by the Chinese Foreign Ministry, and copied to the Ghana News Agency, said the forum, hosted by the Cyberspace Administration of China, was attended by ministerial-level officials from African countries and the African Union Commission in charge of digital and telecommunications affairs, diplomatic envoys to China, Chinese and African scholars and entrepreneurs.

Mr Deng said that Chinese President Xi Jinping had reiterated that China would explore broader cooperation with Africa in such new business forms as digital economy, smart city, and 5G at the Extraordinary China-Africa Summit on Solidarity against COVID-19 last year.

The statement recalled that Mr Wang Yi, China State Councilor and Foreign Minister, made the proposal for China and Africa to cooperate in building a Digital Africa during his visit to Africa earlier this year.

It said China was ready to work with Africa to formulate and implement a China-Africa Partnership Plan on Digital Innovation.

The statement said strengthening the digital infrastructure was to unclog the information artery of economic and social development and China would share its digital technologies with Africa to promote digital infrastructure connectivity.

It noted that Chinese enterprises would be encouraged to work with their African partners to participate in digital infrastructure projects including; fiber optic backbone networks, cross-border connectivity and new-generation mobile communication networks.

It said China would also help expand Internet access in Africa's remote areas to connect the last mile of the information network.

The statement said secondly, growing the digital economy to promote integrated development of digital technologies and the real economy and China would support Africa in raising the level of digitization in the public and corporate sectors and promoting industrialization by applying new technologies such as cloud computing, artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things and mobile payment.

It said China would strengthen e-commerce cooperation with Africa to bring more quality African products into the Chinese market, and leverage cross-border e-commerce to speed up the integration of Africa's information and industrial chains and promote digital education to overcome the "talent bottleneck" that constrains digital innovation.

It noted that China would implement the "Talented Young Scientist Program", the "Cirrus Innovative Talent Exchange Programme" and other initiatives to step up China-Africa cooperation on distance education and provide support for Africa in training talents in digital-related fields.

Mr Deng said China's initiatives were not empty visions that stayed only on paper and China would work with the African side to formulate and implement this partnership right away and strive for early harvests.

He noted that with the support of the Chinese side, several fiber optic backbone network projects would be implemented.

The statement said in September, the "African Products Online Promoting Season" and China-Africa BDS Cooperation Forum would be held in succession.

It said China would also work with Africa to make plans for the digital cooperation initiatives to be launched in the next three years, which will be included in the outcome document of the next Forum on China-Africa Co-operation (FOCAC) meeting.

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