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China and Africa: A Closer Community for a Better World

The world will never be the same after COVID-19. Yet in a world changed and changing in ways unseen before, certain things do endure. The fraternity between China and Africa is one of them. Forged in the early nationhood of the People's Republic of China and African countries, such friendship has grown into a towering tree defying winds and rains over the decades.

 And certainly, it will not be deterred by COVID-19. From 4 to 9 January 2021, Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi started his official visits to the world with a five-nation tour to Africa, a proud tradition upheld by every Chinese foreign minister over the past 30 years. Rain or shine, China and Africa are always there for each other. President Xi Jinping visited Africa on his maiden foreign trip in 2013. Many African leaders, like Tanzanian founding father Julius Nyerere, visited China quite a few times. From building TAZARA to fighting Ebola, China never hesitates to help African brothers and sisters. From applauding China's return to the UN to rebutting unfair accusation against China, Africa always stands with China.

 The timing of Foreign Minister's visit cannot be more relevant: 2021 is an anniversary year of diplomatic ties between China and several of the five African countries; the concluding year for the follow-through of Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) Beijing Summit; and, most importantly, a year when solidarity is vital for humanity to emerge from the challenges of our lifetime.

 

True friends don’t leave each other at the sign of danger, according to an African proverb. When the world is in the depth of winter, due to a coronavirus which no one knew before, solidarity between China and African countries sends a warm spring breeze. For China, it is a snowfall of goodwill letters from African leaders and assistance in kind, priceless as an expression of friendship. For Africa, it is the medical supplies and professionals sent from China in addition to the online experience sharing sessions that China held with African friends.

 

For example, when Botswana detected its first COVID case last March, China was among the first to send medical supplies. Last September, a 46-member Chinese medical team braved the pandemic to begin their two-year long work in Botswana. At the Princess Marina Hospital in Gaborone and the Nyangabgwe Hospital in Francistown, the Chinese doctors threw themselves into the treatment of urgent cases, including a little boy with acute abdominal disease, often before the patients were tested COVID-positive. It was more than courtesy when Sethomo Lelatisitswe, Botswana’s assistant minister of health and wellness, once commented this, “Botswana will forever cherish the assistance from China”.

 

Now, with China and Africa working together to make vaccines more affordable and accessible in the developing world, there is a greater chance for humanity to prevail over this trying time.

 

But the world needs to look beyond the pandemic. China is pursuing national rejuvenation and a better life for its people. So is Africa. With the African Continental Free Trade Area taking off on 1 January 2021 and China reinforcing its domestic market and the international one, a lot more can be done by the two coming together. When it comes to getting things done, China and Africa are no talkers but doers: an MOU was signed between China and Nigeria during Foreign Minister Wang’s visit to spearhead bilateral cooperation across the board; Chinese companies like Huawei have been helping with ICT training for the next-generation Nigerian talents; D.R. Congo and Botswana became the 45th and 46th members joining the big family of Belt and Road cooperation; a grand blueprint has been drawn up for China-Tanzania cooperation in infrastructure, human resources training, investment and trade; a demonstration zone of South-South cooperation on climate change will be built to support climate change response in Seychelles, a paradise on the Indian Ocean.

 

Heading to a shared future with their strengths combined, China and Africa can work together toward: a healthy Africa with greater public health capacity, an Africa strong in manufacturing, a connected Africa with across-the-continent infrastructure, trade and financial links, a green Africa that prospers while preserving its grasslands, mountains and lakes, a digital Africa that thrives on the fourth industrial revolution, a bumper African harvest for all Africans, a secure Africa where guns are silenced and peace restored, and an Africa drawing on a greater pool of professional talents.

 

Sincerity, real results, affinity and good faith. This is the guiding principle set out by President Xi Jinping during his visit to Tanzania in 2013. Up to date, China has built for Africa 6,000 kilometers of railways, the same mileage of highways, over 130 medical facilities and more than 170 schools. China sees to it that every promise be turned into real results.

 

When the world today suffers the greatest recession since the 1930s, what else is more needed than solidarity and partnership? When the 1.4 billion Chinese and 1.3 billion Africans prosper together, humanity will have a brighter future.

 

In the 21st century, as in the past, a closer China-Africa community is a force for good for this world.

 

China and Africa: A Closer Community for a Better World

PAP Highlights Major Happenings, Political Situation Of Cameroon

Your Excellency,

EXPECTATIONS FOR 2021

Accept Calvary greetings and my best of regards to you and your family as you step into 2021.

Mr. president, before I delve into the crux of the matter, I must admit that uneasy lies the head that wears the crown. I recognize it is not an easy thing leading a nation especially one like ours with a multitude of diverse cultures and linguistic backgrounds.

However, Mr. President, it is in the face of such a challenge that we judge leadership and statesmanship in a man called to lead.

Five years running now sir, the people of the former British Southern Cameroons have been ravaged by a war that many today believe could have been avoided, had the right considerations and consultations be taken and or made from the onset.

Must I start by recalling sir, that we are talking here of a people who for past 55 years tabled their grievances to the state of Cameroon in all legitimacy an in the ambits of the law in the hope that their cries and worries could be heeded to and handled accordingly but this was never the case.

Mr. Presedent, in 2016, they once again tabled their worries, took to the streets in nonviolent demonstrations to publicly stage their frustration once again; that of not being recognized and treated as the citizens that they ought to be, that of being assimilated like you confirmed yourself in France sir, that the initial plan was to assimilate them into the francophone majority but it failed.

Your excellency, they complained and reminded you, the father of the nation of the injustices they were undergoing, of the fact that all their institutions were either being shutdown of francophonised. Let me spare you the litany and simply refer you to the resolutions of the AAC 1 and 2 of the 90s which were duly transmitted to you.

Today, this 3rd day of January in the year of our Lord 2021, I write to you in pains not only as a citizen but also as a person whose umbilical cord was buried in that part of the country, to find out where my people ever went wrong in this union that many today justly or unjustly term an ungodly one.

I write to find out from you why in four years of blood bath, maiming, raping, kidnappings for ransoms and other very degrading inhumane and unjust treatment of the people of West Cameroon, you have opted to maintain the military option to this crisis as the only way forward, in spite of advice from those very people you call friendly and partner countries on the need for a more genuine and inclusive dialogue on a neutral ground?

Your excellency, shall I join the band of the dishonest Cameroonians who chant your praises on platforms claiming you are not given the right information. Shall I go by such a rhetoric to give them reason thus implying that you are not the man in control?

When we are the head, we accept the praises when it is good but should also shoulder the blames when the going gets tough.

Sir, I believe you are better informed on this Anglophone issue more than anyone else way back when you were Prime Minister and you know the right thing to be done.

Give dialogue, genuine dialogue a second chance. In case you may not know with whom to dialogue as some of your defenders claim sir, at least you have Sisiku AyukTabe in your keeping. Use him sir, to get to those with whom you can dialogue.

Meet friendly countries like the USA, Canada, use the UNO and for sure, they will be able to help you locate the persons with whom to dialogue.

Intellectual dishonesty sir is the original sin that has led us to where we find ourselves today. People who think they can distort history and wipe it out with just a stroke like some chalk writing on a blackboard.

This carnage may last a thousand years, it shall all end round the table with people talking. So, why not spare the deaths now and go for dialogue? Humility is a quality in leadership and not a vice. Retracting from the previous path taken and that has not done this country and the suffering masses any honour will be a salutary move.

If truly you have been misled all this while, if truly the lives of the West Cameroonians matter to you, if truly you are that leader mandated to rule with the interest of all the masses at heart, then I urge you this day to step out of your comfort zone Mr. president, take a stroll in the streets of Bamenda, Buea, Kumba or say Kumbo just to name but these and get the temperature on the ground.

I feel obliged to remind you, that the measures taken so far by your government have been largely misplaced in terms of priorities and objectivity as far as containing the crisis is concerned. That like many have described them, they have been more of conspicuous measures and window dressings that did or do not in anyway answer to the concerns and aspirations of the of the people.

How many more souls shall have to let flow blood before we understand that the methods used till date have not yielded any fruit? How many more young Cameroonians will have to be jailed arbitrarily or die innocently before we sit up for meaningful and consequential actions for change?

Sir, I appeal to your innermost person, that as the leader that you are, you should this year consider the pains that our mothers and fathers have and continue to endure for five years now.

Release the arrested persons, create room for another dialogue for the first did not yield results.

You will bear me witness, that like you clearly stated in your end of year speech, that the separatists have “…maintained an atmosphere of terror and insecurity” and this cannot permit your government to implement the resolutions of the initial dialogue.

Moreover, we must not fool ourselves sir, elections, decentralization or the regional presidents are not the solution to the current crisis we are facing. On the contrary, in an attempt to impose such on the people without taking a keen look on their initial demands, in an attempt to wave away their worries under the carpet, am afraid your government is only paving a way for prolonged suffering on the masses who today have been trapped between two guns, between the harmer and the anvil.

Sir, reconsider your strategies, listen to people out of your sphere and following and work towards bringing on board, all voices that matter both at home and abroad in solving the crisis.

Once again, I wish you a happy new year, abundance of health and trust you will grant this epistle a second thought and act accordingly. God Bless Cameroon.

Yours compatriot,

NJINE ELVIS BANEH

National Communication Sectary

Popular Action Party

 

 

 

PAP Highlights Major Happenings, Political Situation Of Cameroon
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