Djibouti: Africa-China Sustainable Cooperation on Economic Structural Transformation, Towards 2030 Agenda

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development calls for special attention to sustainable infrastructure development. Sustainable Development Goal “Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation” is an explicit target which is also considered as means and enabler for the achievement of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Population growth, migration and urbanization trends in emerging economies and developing countries in Africa increased the demand for infrastructure for sustainable development and 2030Agenda. Good infrastructure is needed to provide resilience, combat poverty as well as for public service delivery, such as education, healthcare or access to water and energy, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture.

Djibouti has an important strategic location in the Horn of Africa near the world’s busiest shipping lanes and close to Arabian oilfields. The country is a key point in Maritime Silk Road under the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). It is also the first connection point between Asia, Africa and the European market, and the gateway for trade and exchange for East Africa. In the Djibouti Vision 2035’, the Government identifies multiple development priorities aimed at graduating to middle-income country status and becoming a major commercial, logistic and trade service regional hub and a destination for foreign investment. Djibouti has experienced exceptional economic growth in recent years by leveraging the country strategic location near the world’s busiest shipping lanes and close to Arabian oilfields. The member of the League of Arab States (Arab League) and the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) are among the top 10 performers in the GDP growth, GDP growth in 2017 is estimated at 7.1 per cent, mainly derived by investment in the infrastructure for Ports and Free Zones. The growth and the infrastructure boom makes Djibouti, the ideal place for hosting the first Africa-China Economic forum and Exhibition.

In recent years, the trade and investment cooperation between China and Africa has increased steadily. China is now the largest trade partner for Africa. at the same time, most of the African countries are experiencing reform for industrialization. Building on global initiatives such as Belt and Road Initiative, the 2030Agenda call for sustainable infrastructure and China’s industrial production capabilities, China-Africa Economic cooperation can create a golden opportunity for economic growth in Africa. The cooperation can contribute to growth, promote manufacturing, enhance the ability for self-development, and create more job opportunities. This will ultimately support the economic structural transformation and achievement of the SDGs in Africa and hence significantly roll back poverty.

Realizing the 2030Agenda means of SDGs implementation refers among others to multi-stakeholder partnerships. Public-private partnerships (PPPs) will become increasingly important as a way of delivering sustainable infrastructure that can accelerate economic opportunities and SDGs; The Government of the Republic of Djibouti, Ports and Free Zones Authority (DPFZA) in Djibouti, China Council for the Promotion of International Trade (CCPIT) and Trade Development Bureau, Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) ,  the Government of China, Trade Development Bureau China and Made in Africa Initiative, China Merchant Group in partnership in partnership with the  United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) are organizing the first International Africa-China Economic Forum  and Exhibition from 3rd to 7th  July 2018 in Djibouti, under the theme “Africa-China Sustainable Cooperation on Economic Structural Transformation, Towards 2030 Agenda”

The forum will be a platform for discussion between China and Africa on economic cooperation and utilization of trade opportunities between the two economic blocks as the breakthrough point to promote industrialization and investment for sustainable development. The forum plans to make itself an annual event hosted in Djibouti.  Each year the conference will focus on a specific topic related to 2030 Agenda and the economic cooperation between African countries and China. The event will consist with Davos style panel discussion and deliberation of scientific papers, exhibition, business matchmaking meeting and field visits. The “one alliance + 4 platforms” modality could be formed, Africa-China Sustainable Investment and Trade Alliance and trade cooperation platform, financing cooperation platform, interconnection and intercommunication platform (logistical exchange platform) and industrial development cooperation platform. The forum will conclude by a press-release and statement from the partners to the forum highlighting key recommendation and follow up action

The Economic Forum and Exhibition participation includes government officials China and Africa, Representatives from International Organizations, International Development think tanks concerned with 2030 Agenda and private sector, associations, private sectors, financial institutes.

For this year the forum will witness the event f the official inauguration of the free zone facility developed by IDIPO.

Objective

The main objective of the conference is to “Promote the opportunities for economic collaboration and private sector transformation cooperation between Africa and China for enhancing sustainable development”.

This year the forum will focus on the recently developed infrastructure in Djibouti, the outcome of the public-private partnership between China and Djibouti and how can the African continent benefit from the spillover of the improved logistics network passing through Djibouti to boost economic competitiveness and productivity, value addition of local manufacturing, industrialization and job creation.

Partners to the Economic Forum:

  • The Government of the Republic of Djibouti
  • Ports and Free Zones Authority (DPFZA) in Djibouti
  • Department of Trade and Investment Promotion, China Council for the Promotion of International Trade (CCPIT)
  • Trade Development Bureau, Ministry of Commerce of the People’s Republic of China (MOFCOM)
  • China Merchant Group (CMG)
  • Made in Africa Initiative (MIAI)
  • United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)

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