African politicians and scholars commended the speech delivered by Chinese President Xi Jinping at the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) in Johannesburg, saying it charted the course for the future development of China-Africa cooperation.[Special coverage]
In a keynote speech at the opening ceremony of the second FOCAC summit on Friday, Xi outlined a raft of measures to strengthen China-Africa ties and announced 10 major plans to boost bilateral win-win cooperation.
"President Xi Jinping's speech was great in the sense that it identified areas where Africa is interested in and which are on our agenda 2063. Those are areas we are going to cooperate on and take this relationship to new heights," said Chairperson of the African Union Commission (AUC) Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma on Saturday.
The AU Chairperson said African states are ready to cooperate with China in order to promote economic growth and social transformation.
"We are going to cooperate with China...in modernizing agriculture, infrastructure, energy, training of the young people and culture," Zuma said.
She added that a partnership with China will be critical to helping African countries implement ambitious infrastructure projects.
"The cooperation with China will enable us to implement the three networks project which include highways, railways and aviation," Zuma said.
South Africa's Minister of Environmental Affairs Edna Molewa said Xi connected effectively with the African audience when he delivered his speech at the FOCAC summit.
"The speech by President Xi Jinping was great. He spoke candidly on issues that are dear to us African people. He also highlighted weighty issues regarding China-Africa cooperation," Molewa said.
She added that African countries are optimistic China will fulfill its pledge to support industrial progress, environmental protection and skills development in the continent.
"The content of President Xi's historic speech reiterated the importance China is attaching to the African continent, together with the sincere desire of the Chinese leadership to make China's relations with Africa strategic," Sudanese political analyst Abdul-Rahim al-Sunni told Xinhua.
"The Chinese president's proposal to upgrade the ties with Africa to a comprehensive strategic and cooperative partnership reiterates China's determination to press ahead its win-win ties with the continent," he added.
Botswana Ambassador to China Sasara Chasala George said that Chinese political leaders are fully behind Africa's quest to achieve peaceful development.
"President Xi Jinping's announcement of 60 billion U.S. dollars was a confirmation China means well in its relationship with Africa," Chasala George said, adding that African states should put strong measures in place to ensure bilateral ties with China do not falter.
Zimbabwe's Minister of Industry and Commerce Mike C. Bimha, told Xinhua that the Chinese president's speech "is very encouraging" and reiterated that China is very genuine and very serious about its relations with Africa.
Bimha said President Xi's 10-point proposal for promoting China-Africa relations showed that "China wants to be a true friend of Africa, and we should see more and more cooperation. So I'm happy with President Xi's speech."
This proposal "is the best a head of state can propose and the best to have come up from FOCAC," Bimha said.