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Declaration of the 1st Meeting of the China-Africa Think Tank Forum
2011/11/23

Representatives of think tanks, political and business leaders from China and 27 African countries including Angola, Benin, Botswana, Cameroon, Democratic Republic of Congo, Republic of Congo, Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Lesotho, Mauritius, Morocco, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, Rwanda, South Africa, Tanzania, Togo, Tunisia, Uganda, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Sudan, Zimbabwe and African regional organizations such as the African Union, and countries from other parts of the world, have gathered here in Hangzhou and Jinhua, China for the 1st Meeting of the China-Africa Think Tank Forum (CATTF I) from 27 to 28 October, 2011 and have agreed to promulgate the following declaration.

 

We regard China-Africa Think Tanks Forum (CATTF) as a positive initiative and believe that it is timely and necessary to convene its 1st meeting at this time. We also believe it should be an shared platform and regular institution for dialogues and exchanges between Chinese and African think tanks in the new era. Upholding the tenets of "Civil Participation, Government Support, Frank Dialogue and Seeking Consensus", CATTF will be instrumental to set up links among Chinese and African think tanks, and scholars from other parts of the world with an interest in Sino-African relations to conduct dialogues, exchanges and studies on Africa's political and economic situation, Sino-African relations and related issues, in a bid to promote mutual understanding, consolidate friendship, present recommendations and give a better play to the role of Chinese and African think tanks in boosting the comprehensive cooperative relations between the two sides.

 

We have noticed that the fast development of the cooperative relations between China and Africa in the past decade, both with the greatest development potential, in various fields has attracted world-wide interests and attention. The Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) has played an indispensable role. In the next decade, this relationship will continue to grow with a broader outlook, facing more challenges and difficulties to be addressed. Chinese and African scholars should theoretically review and systematically analyze this relationship for the healthy, mutually beneficial and sustainable development of Sino-African cooperative relations in the next decade in the interests of the peoples of China and Africa.

 

In light of this development, CATTF Iis themed "Sino-African Relations in the Second Decade of the New Century", and we have reviewed the achievements of the development of Sino-African Relations in the past decade, analyzed the existing problems and challenges facing current Sino-African relations and looked into the development outlook and areas of potential innovation in the next decade. Under this main theme, CATTF Iwas divided into three sub-topics on which indepth discussions were conducted. The three sub-topics are: Africa's security situation and Sino-African cooperation in the fields of peace and security, Africa's finance and investment environment and Sino-African cooperation in the fields of finance and investment, and people-to-people and cultural exchanges between China and Africa and the role of Chinese and African think tanks.

 

CATTF Iemphasized that achieving peace, security and stability is the prerequisite for Africa's development. Entering the new century, the situation of peace and security in Africa has improved considerably, whereas in some regions and countries the situation is still worsening, presenting new problems and challenges. China and Africa should strengthen cooperation in this respect and China should play a more active role in building peace and security in Africa.

 

CATTF Iacknowledges that Africa has made significant achievements in economic and social development in recent years, and there is still huge potential. Financial and investment cooperation between Africa and other parts of the world has been growing continuously, but Africa's financial and investment environment should be further improved. CATTF Ibelieves that Chinese and African financial institutions should support the development of small- and medium-sized enterprises, expand Africa's job market and boost African exports to China, so that Sino-African cooperation can be mutually beneficial, win-win and serve the interests of more African people.

 

It is our firm belief that the modern revival of developing countries has made great headway and the human race are standing at a crossroad toward a brighter future, however with more prominent challenges. At this stage, exchanges between Chinese and African think tanks are becoming ever more important. CATTF Iacknowledges that China and Africa have two of the world's greatest civilizations, boasting long history and rich cultural heritage. The ideological and academic community of the two sides will have to make joint efforts to conduct more dialogues to enhance South-South, South-North and East-West consensus so that we can live together in a harmonious, peaceful and secure world .

 

We are all happy with the achievements of CATTF I. As an institutionalized platform for dialogues between Chinese and African civil society within the framework of FOCAC, China-Africa Think Tanks Forum will be held annually in China or Africa.

 

We express our sincere gratitude to the Chinese follow-up Committee of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation for its guidance, the People's Government of Zhejiang Province, China Development Bank and the Chinese People's Institute of Foreign Affairs for their generous support, and the Institute of West Asian and African Affairs under the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, China Institute of International Studies, Shanghai Institutes for International Studies and China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations for their collaboration. We also thank the host ZhejiangNormal University and its Institute of African Studies and China-Africa Business school as the Standing Secretariat China-Africa Think Tanks Forum (CATTF) for their tireless work of logistics, protocols and the preparation of documents.

 

 

China-Africa Think Tanks Forum

Jinhua, China, October 28, 2011

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