Addis Ababa (Xinhua)―Oxfam International has announced that its liaison office to the African Union (AU) will be launching its new “Africa-China Dialogue Platform,” with a view to further opening the debate and discussion on the growing Africa-China partnership.

According to Oxfam, its new “Africa-China Dialogue Platform” will be launched on Wednesday in Ethiopia’s capital Addis Ababa, aiming to encourage and facilitate a constructive engagement and dialogue of citizens, policy makers, researchers and other stakeholders on the growing partnership between Africa and China.

In line with the launch of the platform, a day-long expert seminar will discuss issues on Africa-China engagement and partnership with a specific focus on foreign direct investment and sustainable agriculture.

The agriculture sector is critically important if Africa is to deliver food security for its citizens, said the statement, it is central to Africa’s development path, currently generates 40 percent of Africa’s gross national product (GNP) and constitutes 40 percent of Africa’s exports and 70-80 percent of its employment.

It further stated that the agriculture sector has seen decades of declining investment.

“While African governments have committed to meet the target of investing at least 10 percent of their national budgets to boost agriculture (Malabo Declaration) private investments can also play a constructive role,” noted the statement.

The statement said that trends in foreign direct investment (FDI) in agriculture sector deserve attention, especially with the BRICS countries’ interests in Africa.

In this regard, China has a long history of engagement in Africa’s agriculture, said the statement, under its Go-Out policy and growing economic relations with Africa through FOCAC (Forum for China-Africa Cooperation) and other China-African initiatives, speakers would be invited to present their views on what could be the future impact on communities of Chinese FDI in Africa’s agriculture sector, and what would be best practices to share or lessons for improvement.

It also pointed out that there will be discussion on making Africa-China engagement work for Africa’s sustainable development – the regional impacts and beyond.

It is all to discuss future for Africa-China engagement and areas needed for new research, said the statement, this is to encourage a free-flowing discussion among governments, researchers, civil society organizations, and other stakeholders on the way forward.

The participants include, government officials, African and other diplomats, scholars, representatives of international organizations, think tanks, and civil society organizations, are among others.

Source: Xinhua
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