On the afternoon of March 27, 2013, BRICS Leaders-Africa Dialogue Forum was held in Durban, South Africa.
Chinese President Xi Jinping, South African President Jacob Zuma, Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh attended the forum. Senegalese President Macky Sall, Chadian President Idriss Deby, Angolan President Jose Eduardo Dos Santos, President of Cote d'Ivoire Alassane Ouattara, President of Benin Boni Yayi, President of the Republic of Congo Denis Sassou-Nguesso, Mozambican President Armando Guebuza, Uganda's President Yoweri Museveni, Equatorial Guinean President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, Guinea's President Alpha Condé, Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi, Ethiopia's Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn and Chairperson of the African Union Commission Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma attended the dialogue forum.
The participating leaders exchanged views under the theme of "Unlocking Africa's Potential: BRICS and Africa Cooperation on Infrastructure."
At the meeting, the Chinese president stressed that the dialogue between leaders of BRICS and African countries reflected the political will of both sides to realize equality and inclusiveness and seek common development. Xi said the world cannot enjoy stability and prosperity without the peace and development of Africa and international affairs cannot be properly dealt with without Africa's participation, adding that the global governance system would lose vitality without Africa's saying. "The 21st century would surely be a century of rising for Africa," Xi said.
BRICS and African countries are like-minded friends with extensive common interests, he said, noting that the rising of Africa brings opportunities to BRICS countries, likewise, the development of BRICS countries brings opportunities to the continent. Cooperation among the countries' 4 billion people will help to make the world economy more balanced, the international relations more democratic and the foundation for world peace and development more solid, he said. Xi expressed China's support for BRICS countries to build partnerships with Africa, saying the relationships should be based on equality and democracy, and should be strategic and down-to-earth.
BRICS countries should see infrastructure construction in Africa as top priority for international cooperation, jointly participate in the construction of major multinational projects in Africa, promote financial cooperation with Africa and follow the concept of sustainable development, he said.
Xi said that China and Africa have always supported and helped each other. China will prioritize infrastructure construction in Africa within the framework of South-South cooperation and support Africa's integration. The Chinese government is willing to form a cooperative partnership for transnational and trans-regional infrastructure, and help the African nations with the preliminary work of promoting connectivity and resource surveys, which includes consultation, planning, feasibility research and project design. Every year, China would also help Africa to train 300 managing and technical personnel specialized in the field of infrastructure, he said. The Chinese president also said that China would, via such ways as financing, investment, assistance and cooperation, encourage Chinese enterprises and financial institutions to play a part in the construction and management of the transnational and trans-regional infrastructure. The Chinese government has promised to give zero-tariff treatment to 97 percent of the tariff items of exports to China from the least developed nations having diplomatic ties with China, he added, pledging to put in place relevant measures by 2015.
Other leaders of the BRICS nations said the BRICS countries would like to forge a cooperative partnership with Africa, and provide assistance in such sectors as infrastructure so as to promote inclusive and sustainable development in the continent.
The African leaders said the African economy, over the years, has maintained constant and relatively fast growth, and the continent is full of hope. They also said that Africa needs to strengthen its infrastructure, promote integration and industrialization, and lift over-all competitiveness and capacity for sustainable development. The rapid development of BRICS countries provides unprecedented opportunities for Africa. The African nations are willing to set up with the BRICS members a cooperative partnership, which highlights mutual support, mutual benefit and win-win results between emerging economies and developing nations, said the leaders. The African countries are grateful for China's long-term help to the continent, they said, adding that they hoped to step up their cooperation with China.
Wang Huning and Yang Jiechi accompanied Xi during the forum.