Africa, faced with urgent challenges to reduce and eradicate poverty, has a reliable and devoted partner from the East called China, which is also the world's largest developing country. [Special coverage]
During his state visits to Zimbabwe and South Africa, and his attendance at the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) in Johannesburg from Thursday to Saturday, Chinese President Xi Jinping will announce new measures to promote cooperation with Africa, with a focus on improving Africans' livelihood, poverty reduction and investment in the continent.
Africa's industrialization, food security, public health and disease prevention are also high on the agenda of the high-level forum, said Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi ahead of the visits.
The move by China comes at a critical moment for the poverty-stricken continent, with 34 of its countries, among 48 countries globally, being listed as least developed countries by the United Nations last year, and whose development has lagged far behind the rest of the world due to the colonial exploitation by the West.
While big advances in the fight against extreme poverty have been made in East Asia, the Pacific and South Asia, almost half of the population in sub-Saharan Africa still lives in extreme poverty, with less than 1.25 U.S. dollars a day, the UN's Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) said in a report in October.
Actually, it would be impossible for outsiders not to notice the extreme poverty in Africa. Worst still, the enlarging gap between the rich and the poor poses a major threat to the stability in the region.
China was the first developing country to meet the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) of reducing the population living in poverty by half ahead of the 2015 deadline.
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon praised China's remarkable achievements in poverty alleviation in a video message to Global Poverty Reduction and Development Forum held in Beijing in October last year.
"China offers a model for agriculture in developing countries. China invested in agriculture to reduce poverty and successful agricultural projects were built up from the grass roots," said Peter Garry, a lecturer on developmental studies at the University of Witwatersrand in South Africa.
To use an ancient Chinese proverb, China is not only giving the African countries fish, but also teaching them how to fish.