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Water agreement takes centre stage in China

AFRICAN leaders were at the forefront of building relations with President Xi Jingping.President Xi Jingping and President Cyril Ramaphosa co-chaired the two day Beijing Summit of the Forum on China Africa Cooperation (FOCAC).

South Africa and the People’s Republic of China have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) relating to  water resources.

The MOU seeks to establish and reinforce co-operation between South Africa and China on the efficient utilisation, management and sustainable development of water resources.

In the agreement the two governments agreed on areas of co-operation.

These include enacting and implementation of water policies, laws and regulations; integrated management and utilisation of water resources; comprehensive river basin planning; comprehensive utilisation of rain water; and planning, designing, construction, operation and maintenance of water-related infrastructure.

The areas of co-operation also include small hydropower development; hydrology and water resources monitoring; groundwater utilisation, protection and management; flood control, drought relief and disaster mitigation; climate change impacts on water resources and countermeasures; coordination and cooperation in international water events; training and capacity building.

The working agreement between the two countries came during President Cyril Ramaphosa’s State Visit to the People’s Republic of China where he co-chaired a two-day Beijing Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) with Chinese President Xi Jinping.

President Ramaphosa said the dialogue during the Beijing summit reflects the unique and strategic nature of the partnership between Africa and China.

“Through FOCAC and other forums, China has worked to ensure that Africa’s development is prominent on the international agenda.”

President Ramaphosa said the continent appreciated the decision made by China to provide new funding to African countries to the value of $60 billion and to invest in initiatives in areas such as industrial development, infrastructure, human resource development, health care, the green economy, and peace and security.

 President Xi said China stands ready to strengthen comprehensive cooperation with African countries to build a path of high-quality development that is suited to respective national conditions, inclusive and beneficial to all.

FOCAC was formally founded in 2000. Since then, China and African countries have held the 2006 Beijing summit and the 2015 Johannesburg summit, which have promoted cooperation between the two countries.   

www.SAnews.gov.za