The FOCAC Africa-China Poverty Reduction and Development Conference is being held in Beijing and Guizhou Province from August 14 to 16 under the theme "Belt and Road and China-Africa Poverty Reduction Cooperation." The conference will contribute to the exchanges, cooperation and knowledge sharing in the fields of social development and poverty alleviation between China and Africa.
China’s poverty reduction achievements
China's achievements in poverty reduction are well documented, and the country is a forerunner among developing countries to meet the UN Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). It has made a major contribution to the global poverty reduction mission.
Since the start of the reform and opening-up policy more than 800 million Chinese people have been lifted out of poverty. The rural poor population has been reduced to 30.46 million and the incidence of poverty has dropped to 3.1 percent at the end of 2017.
China's poverty alleviation strategy is to explore actively and practice courageously based on the national conditions, thus developing a road of anti-poverty strategies with Chinese characteristics.
China and African countries are both developing countries, and we have many similarities in poverty reduction and development situations. Therefore, both sides can share many development models and experiences with each other.
The fundamental reason for China's successful poverty alleviation lies in its insistence on eliminating poverty, improving people's livelihood, and achieving common prosperity as the essential requirements of socialism with Chinese characteristics.
Picking peaches has effectively increased the income of locals in Guizhou Province, China. (Photo: VCG)
The driving force for China's successful poverty reduction is to always adhere to the reform and opening-up policies, maintain sustained and steady economic growth, and continuously introduce social policies conducive to the development of poverty-stricken areas and poor people, which has laid a solid foundation for large-scale poverty reduction.
Africa can enjoy its second mover advantage and strengthen its trade, investment and international cooperation through participating in the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), which will facilitate the economic growth, poverty reduction, and social development of the continent.
In the great practice of eliminating poverty, we have accumulated abundant valuable experience, which is also useful for the poverty reduction work of African countries.
First, we must adhere to the government-oriented method, integrate poverty alleviation into the country's overall development strategy, promote it as a strategic task, concentrate on large-scale special poverty alleviation actions, and implement specific development plans for women, children, people with disabilities, and ethnic minorities.
Secondly, we must utilize the targeted poverty alleviation strategy and improve the effectiveness of poverty reduction, and solve the problem of who needs assistance, who is responsible for the work, what assistance measures should be adopted, and how to implement an exit mechanism for those who have been lifted out of poverty. Therefore, we can provide precise assistance and tackle the root causes of poverty.
African girls learn English language at an orphanage in Kenya. (Photo: VCG)
Third, we must continue to increase investment and strengthen financial support. The government should play a leading role, while social capital should also be invited to participate in poverty alleviation.
Fourth, we must adhere to social mobilization, unite all forces, and make the government and society work together to realize extensive participation in poverty alleviation.
Fifth, we must emphasize strict standards, strengthen assessment and supervision, and ensure that the work of poverty alleviation is solid, and the results are genuine, so that the effectiveness of poverty alleviation can withstand the test of practice and history.
Sixth, we should incentivize people to develop themselves, fully mobilize them, and let their power support poverty alleviation.
International cooperation to share the experience
International cooperation is an effective way to learn and share poverty alleviation experiences in different countries, and promote poverty reduction capacity.
Africa can learn from the Chinese model in poverty alleviation work. (Photo: VCG)
China is now promoting BRI globally to allow more countries and people benefit from the results of international poverty reduction cooperation. With the rapid advancement of the BRI platforms, opportunities for strengthening poverty reduction cooperation will continue to increase.
The mechanism advocated by China in this regard focuses on strengthening people-to-people contacts without attaching any conditions, and taking the needs of the grassroots community in the recipient countries into account in a participatory manner, which is fundamentally different from Western countries’ aid pattern with various additional conditions.
In addition, this new mechanism is based on the South-South cooperation and treats partner countries as brothers, making it possible for them to fully participate in the management of poverty reduction cooperation projects, which will demonstrate their equality.
This new pattern of international poverty reduction cooperation will help improve people's livelihood in partner countries, promote the connections between the people, lay an ideal foundation of public opinion for the "Belt and Road" cooperation, and help consolidate the friendly and cooperative relations between China and Africa.
Africa also has the second mover advantage in industrialization as well as poverty reduction and development. In the future, Africa can fully utilize China’s poverty reduction models with the most significant effect and prominent innovative experience, and continuously achieve new results in shared development. Therefore, Africa will contribute to poverty reduction of the region and the progress of a community with a shared future for mankind.