Executive Intelligence Review


Beijing Forum: Reducing Poverty in Africa Requires the Belt and Road

Aug. 14, 2018 (EIRNS)—A three-day Africa-China Poverty Reduction and Development Conference began in Beijing today, one of the many task-oriented meetings being held preparatory to the summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) this September. Following today’s discussions, participants will visit the Experimental Zone in the Bijie region of Guizhou province in the southwest, where China’s poverty reduction program started. Bijie is now considered a model of the program, as its work towards total eradication of poverty in this once bitterly-poor farming region continues.

A CGTN story on the conference emphasized that Africans view poverty reduction and the Belt and Road as mutually necessary. CGTN interviewed one attendee, the Regional Administrative Secretary of Tanzania’s Morogoro Province, Clifford Tandari, who spoke of the necessity of building projects which can help expand Africa’s economy through trade with China. Tandari spoke eagerly of the benefits of the Bagamoya Port project and its accompanying Special Economic Zone in Tanzania as exemplary of how to connect Africa to the great Belt and Road transport corridor.

Introducing modern agriculture technology in Africa was another topic of discussion, CGTN reported. The report by China’s International Poverty Reduction Center that farmland in Africa expanded by nearly 3%, but production only increased by 1.5%, exemplifies that program. CGTN cited another attendee, Josefa Leonel Correia Sacko, the African Union’s Commissioner of Rural Economy and Agriculture, on how

“transforming agriculture in Africa demands empowering the poor farmers with technology. Value addition to agricultural produce is also an element that needs urgent attention.”

This is the 133rd poverty reduction seminar China has held, involving 133 different countries and regions (including all 52 African nations), Liu Yongfu, Director of the State Council’s Office of Poverty Alleviation, reported to the opening session.