Chinese President Xi Jinping welcomed the participants of the Ministerial Forum of China-Africa Health Development, launching a new era in cooperation between China and Africa. “Human development is at the core of development. We hope this forum will substantially push forward health cooperation between China and Africa," said President Xi Jinping at the opening ceremony at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing.
Addressing the opening plenary, UNAIDS Executive Director Michel Sidibé emphasized the enormous positive impact of stronger China-Africa cooperation for health. “The response to HIV can act as a pathfinder for the China-Africa partnership in health development,” said Mr Sidibé. “China can help African countries build on their leadership in the HIV response to advance Africa's response to a range of other health issues.” Mr Sidibé also highlighted the importance of commodity security, with China's unique potential to support Africa to develop sustainable capacity for local manufacture of antiretroviral drugs and other pharmaceuticals. The forum was also attended by the heads of international health organizations - Margaret Chan (WHO), Babatunde Osotimehin (UNFPA), and Mark Dybul (Global Fund).
Speaking during the Forum's opening ceremony, Minister of China's Health and Family Planning Commission Li Bin reiterated China's commitment to building stronger China-Africa ties, noting the long and positive history of China-Africa cooperation on health. “China will continue to strengthen cooperation with international cooperation on global health and population development, and make use of international platforms to explore new approaches to South-South cooperation in the area of health with developing countries in Africa and elsewhere,” said Minister Li.
The Forum featured the negotiation and adoption of the Beijing Declaration, which outlines the commitment and direction of future cooperation between China and Africa in this important area.