President Adama Barrow has said that The Gambia’s new membership into the Forum for China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC), which the Gambia formally became a member this week, would add great value to the country’s quest to attain the goals and objectives of the National Development Plan (2018-2021).
President Barrow expressed delight for The Gambia’s participation in the FOCAC Summit noting that The Gambia stands to derive great benefit from the immense experience of member countries as well as the progress in trade registered between China and Africa. President Barrow said the theme of the Summit reflects a platform for strategic alliances and a basis for national development.
President Adama Barrow was speaking at the Round Table Meeting on the second day of the summit, where fifty-two African Heads of State and Government expressed appreciation to President People Xi Jinping and the People’s Republic of China for the initiative to strengthen the cooperation between China and Africa for a shared community of mutual respect and benefit.
Additionally, the President joined his colleagues in adopting the Beijing Declaration towards a stronger China -Africa Community with a shared future, and the FOCAC Beijing Action Plan 2019-2021.
In his statement the Gambian leader thanked FOCAC members for welcoming The Gambia into the Forum and commended China for the support accorded to his government to develop the country’s infrastructure, health, agriculture sectors and human resource development.
In his closing remarks, President Xi Jinping declared that the FOCAC outcome documents adopted at the Summit represent a shared desire to strengthen the China-Africa cooperation, as it was developed through dialogue and consultations. He further stated that FOCAC creates a platform for cooperation and development, urging members to strengthen communication and cement new relations based on respect and mutual benefit. He urged the gathering to commit and remain steadfast in delivering the plan of action with honor.
On the global front, the Chinese leader said FOCAC is an opportunity for members to take strategic leading role in global development; thus, encouraging them to be committed to the declaration and manage the implementation expeditiously. President Jinping emphasised that members should make their voices heard and to be determined.
He concluded that the pledge of US$60 billion demonstrates the importance China attaches to consolidating the China-Africa Cooperation, emphasising that they stay true to the mission of a shared community of a future with mutual benefit for both parties.