In order to further strengthen the friendly cooperation between China and Africa under the new circumstances, work together to address the challenges of economic globalization and seek common development, the Chinese and African governments jointly proposed to hold the Ministerial Conference of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) in Beijing from 10 to 12 October 2000 and FOCAC was officially established.
FOCAC's mission is to make equal-footed consultation, enhance understanding, expand consensus, strengthen friendship and promote cooperation.¡¡
Up to now, FOCAC's membership includes China and 50 African countries having diplomatic relations with China, as well as the African Union Commission. The African member countries include Algeria, Angola, Benin, Botswana, Burundi, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, the Republic of the Congo, Comoros, Cote d'Ivoire, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Djibouti, Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gabon, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Mauritius, Morocco, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Africa, Sudan, Tanzania, Togo, Tunisia, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe and the Republic of South Sudan.
According to the Procedures of the Follow-up Mechanism of FOCAC which took effect in 2002, the Ministerial Conference is held every three years and the Senior Officials Meeting and official preparatory meeting are held respectively one year and a few days before the Ministerial Conference. African diplomatic envoys to China hold at least two meetings a year with the Secretariat of the Chinese Follow-up Committee. The Ministerial Conferences and the Senior Officials Meetings are convened alternately in China and Africa within the framework of FOCAC. Moreover, the China-Africa Regular Political Dialogue Mechanism at Foreign Minister's Level within the FOCAC framework was officially launched in September 2007.
The Second, Third and Fourth Ministerial Conferences were held respectively in Addis Ababa, Beijing and Sharm el-sheikh in 2003, 2006 and 2009. The Fifth Ministerial Conference will be held in Beijing in July 2012.
Ever since its establishment, FOCAC has served as an effective platform for China-Africa collective dialogue and practical cooperation, and has promoted comprehensive and in-depth development of China-Africa cooperation in a broader range, in more fields and at a higher level. It is particularly worth noting that the new type of strategic partnership between China and Africa featuring political equality and mutual trust, economic cooperation and mutual benefit and cultural exchanges, which was established at the Beijing Summit of FOCAC held in 2006, is a milestone in the history of China-Africa relations.
Source: the website of FOCAC and the website of the State Council Information Office
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