(Yicai Global) Sept. 4 -- China has achieved miracles utterly beyond the reach of any other country over the past several decades, liberating hundreds of millions shackled to a vicious circle of poverty and disease, forming its own modern economic system, and driving global economic growth.
Its success story has raised many eyebrows among other developing nations -- African countries above all -- and this attests to the importance of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC), Microsoft founder Bill Gates argues in an article that appeared yesterday in the state People's Daily newspaper.
African nations are at a turning point that presents both challenges and perils. Africa's population will at least double and hit 2.5 billion by 2050, estimates project. If Africa's younger generations can grow in a healthy manner and get a good education like their Chinese counterparts, they will take the lead in driving economic growth on the continent and changing the status quo, Gates believes.
China and Africa have established a profound cooperative relationship over the last several decades that has inspired millions. The Forum on China-Africa Cooperation, the Belt and Road initiative and the formation of the International Development Cooperation Agency have contributed greatly to effective development planning and economic prosperity in African countries by sharing the experience and lessons China learned in its economic transition. China boasts unique advantages in this regard, he noted.
Two things are particularly relevant to economic development in Africa, in Gates' view. The first is how to eradicate the diseases and poverty that still persist in many regions, and the second is how to unleash African countries' great agricultural potential.
Health is of paramount importance, Gates observed. China has become an increasingly important leader in medical innovations. For example, no malaria cases were reported in the country last year, which is a really remarkable achievement that comes as a product of drug innovation and an effective disease monitoring and control system. China can offer other developing economies effective and affordable solutions to eradicate malaria, he suggested.
Agriculture is another area where China can help African countries develop faster. Over the last several decades, the productivity of the Chinese agricultural industry grew at a pace four to six times faster than sub-Saharan Africa's. If Africa can learn from China in terms of its knowledge, experience and resources and achieve a similar transformation of its agricultural sector, the continent's future will be very promising.
The Gates Foundation will continue to support China's efforts to raise innovation and to share its disease monitoring and control experience with African nations, as this will help these countries prevent and control malaria and other epidemics, he pledged. The foundation will also introduce a series of projects encouraging Chinese companies to invest in Africa to contribute to developing healthcare and agriculture on the continent and improving its living standards, he added.
Editor: Ben Armour