Tuesday September 4, 2018
Excellency, President Xi Jinping, President of the People’s Republic of China and General Secretary of the Chinese Communist Party. Your Excellency, President Cyril Ramaphosa, President of the Republic of South Africa. Your Excellency, President Paul Kagame, President of Rwanda and the Chairperson of the African Union. Your Excellency, Musa Faki Mohamed, Chairperson of the African Union Commission. Excellencies, fellow Heads of States and governments, Ladies and Gentlemen, It is indeed a great honor and pleasure to address this momentous gathering celebrating China-Africa relations in the historic city of Beijing.
Allow me to begin by thanking the government and the people of the People’s Republic of China for the warm welcome and hospitality accorded to me and my delegation.
I would also like to take this opportunity to thank the government of the People’s Republic of China, and the current co-chair of FOCAC, the Government of the Republic of South Africa for the tremendous efforts spent in ensuring the successful organization of this Forum.
I wish to also congratulate the government of Senegal for becoming the next co-chair of FOCAC. Ladies and gentlemen, China has historically been a partner for Somalia in major development projects, as much as it has been for many other countries in Africa.
Since its launching in the year 2000, the FOCAC Summit has propelled China-Africa cooperation, and has provided a model that demonstrates China’s dedication to mutually-beneficial South-South cooperation.
Indeed, each Summit brings forth practical mechanisms that enhance development cooperation, and provide key platforms for dialogue, and strengthened mutual trust.
This year’s Summit has a special significance, because it marks an historic achievement after 18 years of fruitful cooperation between China and Africa under the FOCAC framework.
We appreciate the inclusive nature of the regular consultations and negotiations, which led to this Summit’s successful outcomes. Somalia fully supports the adoption of the joint declaration on “Building a Closer Community with a shared future between China and Africa” and the Beijing Action Plan of FOCAC. Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen Yesterday, in his celebrated address at the opening ceremony of the Forum on China Africa Cooperation, president Xi Jinping presented a comprehensive roadmap lifting China-Africa cooperation to a new strategic partnership status.
The 8 major initiatives that president Xi proposed, and the new funds that were pledged, will ensure that crucial areas of cooperation will result in real tangible results.
China has always delivered on its promises, and I am confident that in the next three years we will see more delivered. The synergy between China’s Belt and Road Initiative and Agenda 2063 of the African Union further solidifies the common aspirations for development the people of Africa and China share. Both initiatives complement Somalia’s National Development Plan, which is in line with the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen, In this gathering, let us celebrate the 40th anniversary of China’s “reform and opening up” policy that lifted 700 million people out of poverty; a tremendous achievement from which we can map an historic trajectory for success by combining effective policies with relentless hard work.
It also shows that the fundamentals of peace, security, and stability cannot be reached without meeting the fundamental aspirations and basic needs of the people.
This experience holds lessons for Somalia. Somalia has made notable progress in achieving peace, security, stability, good governance and zero tolerance on corruption. Somalia’s coastline has historically been key to facilitating trade between China, Africa and the Arabian Peninsula.
Now, with the implementation of the Belt and Road Initiative, and our reserves of untapped resources, Somalia has the potential of becoming a driving force for regional connectivity and prosperity. By seizing these potential economic opportunities, Somalia can contribute to regional and global stability and prosperity.
Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen It is my belief that FOCAC plays a key role in facilitating the necessary investments and people to people connections to realize mutual benefits. In its unwavering desire to sustain stability and nurture economic growth, Somalia is committed to welcoming all forms of investment to develop our vast wealth of untapped resources and reap meaningful results through Win-Win cooperations.
Finally, please accept my highest regards and gratitude, that of my delegation and the people of the Federal Republic of Somalia. Wishing you all a successful Summit and fruitful discussions.
I thank you.Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Federal Republic of Somalia – Office of the President.