China-Africa solidarity summit on COVID-19 holds today

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South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, in his capacity as the Chairperson of the African Union (AU), will participate in a virtual Extraordinary China-Africa Solidarity Summit against Covid-19 co-hosted by the Forum for China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) and the AU.

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The aim of the Summit, scheduled for today, Wednesday, June 17, 2020, is “to explore opportunities for African states to leverage multilateral cooperation, through the FOCAC mechanism, so that resources and knowledge can be mobilised in efforts to combat the COVID-19 pandemic,” the office of President Ramaphosa said a statement sent to TODAY NEWS AFRICA in Washington D.C..

FOCAC is an official forum that coordinates cooperation between the People’s Republic of China and African states.

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The AU said due to technical constraints, not all FOCAC Member States have been invited.

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Participants will include the Extended AU Bureau which includes the Republic of Kenya, the Republic of Mali, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), the Arab Republic of Egypt, the Republic of Zimbabwe, the Republic of Rwanda and the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia.  

Other participants will include Chairpersons Regional Economic Communities (REC’s) with the Republic of Madagascar representing the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA); Chad for the Community of Sahel–Saharan States (CEN–SAD); the Republic of Rwanda for the East African Community (EAC). 

The Republic of Gabon will represent the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS); the Republic of Niger will represent the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), and the Republic of Sudan will represent the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD).

The State of Libya will represent the Arab Maghreb Union (UMA), while the Democratic People’s Republic of Algeria and the Federal Republic of Nigeria will participate as initiating members of the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD). 

On the Chinese side, President Xi Jinping will be in attendance.

. “Convening this extraordinary summit at this crucial moment demonstrates once again the China-Africa brotherhood through thick and thin,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said on Wednesday.

The Secretary General of the United Nations António Guterres and the Director General of the World Health Organization Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus will also attend as special guests.

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