* Edmundo Galiza Matos Junior, speaking on behalf of Africa at the opening of the First Asia-Africa Youth Festival, Beijing
Distinct leaders of the People's Republic of China, young Asians, Africans and our host China
Ladies and gentlemen
- We Fit it to honor to proceed with a speech in representation of all the young Africans, invited by our country friend and brother, China and we thank you, but above all hope to renew our laces of brotherhood here;
- Let me start by making a historical, social and political framing of our wonderful continent, Africa;
- The north of Africa is the oldest region of the world. The Egyptian civilization blossomed and was interrelated with most of the cultural areas of the Mediterranean world.
- During the fifteen century, exploring Europeans of Portugal, Spain, France, England and the Netherlands had arrived in Africa and had initiated the trade of slaves.
- Our ancestors were used to develop the occident as slaves. The first scientific trips to Africa accomplished by Charles-Jacques Poncet in the Abissínia; James Bruce, looking for the place where the Nile was born; Friedrich Konrad travelling in the Libyan desert on camel; Henry Morton Stanley and David Livingstone in the basin of Congo, had opened the doors for the division of a continent that destroyed and modified the social, economic structures, religious politics and of the majority of the territory of black Africa.
- The colonies that had started its independence process after World War II and concluded in 1960 (nineteen sixty) up to 1975 (nineteen seventy five) had faced serious problems of national integration;
- Africa registers poverty levels, however has a fast growth of the population better than the food levels that it must produce.
- We are a continent of 54 countries that has gained its political independence , but we are not totally independent under the economical point of view because we have 21 of the 31 poorest countries of the world that face malnutrition, illiteracy and low quality of life.
- However, we are rich and our wealth during many years, has served the colonialists and in some cases even racist regimes, as it was the case of Apartheid.
- Africa is the continent that lives pursued by stigma of sub development. It is seen as the region of the world victim of wars, genocides, epidemics, that even with the help and partnerships of the Occident, we have not succeeded, persisting in the cycle of poverty and sub development. For Africa, China appears as an alternative to the relations with the traditional donors and the possibility to opt to another source of external aid.
- Africa is rich in terms of ethnic, cultural, mineral, social diversity and politics. We have extensive fertile lands for agriculture, we house huge amounts of the most looked after minerals, we have huge amounts of potential young people that need to be capacitated, we have many rivers and lakes that can be used to mitigated the extensive power shortage that many African countries face in this case china is the right partner to continue developing electricity projects.
- In Africa great thinkers and leaders of this world have emerged, from Samora Machel, Nelson Mandela, Agostinho Neto, Kwame Nkrumah, Jomo Kenyata, Ahmed Sekou, Haile Selassie, Eduardo Mondlane, Ahmed Bem Bena, Josiah Tongogara, Mwalimumu Julius Nyerere, Leopold Senghor and many more that this venue does not have time for us to mention.
- To all those and the excessively anonimous ones that fought, and fight for our free Africa, to our Chinese brother that even far away from us contributed to the liberation of Africa namely ……….. we want to use this opportunity to say thank you.
- Our hope, as African, is to see our continent prospering day-after day because we believe in a cooperation based on friendship and respect between the People, with mutual advantages;
- We believe in the reinforcement of the relations between China and Africa because the capital that China has to invest and the technology it has, needs raw materials to support its industry, to feed its population, and to continue to increase its volumes of export to conquer the international markets.
- Africa is in honest growth. We have raw materials and we need infrastructures and technology that China possesses for its exploration that implies the continuity and increase of investments.
- In the context of my country, Mozambique, for example, president Xi Jinping and president Filipe Nyusi have signed an important agreement of global strategic partnership, thus joining efforts for the development of Perola do Indico, as we call #Mozambique.
- Recently I passed through Luanda and saw the big city of Quilamba, result of efforts of the Chinese Goverment and 10 thousand Chinese workers who gave the Angolan people quality habitation. This is not only seen in this country we have many examples trough out Africa where we have seen and continue seeing the work that the Chinese constructs are doing in Africa just to mention a few
- The commercial and enterprenual involvement of the Chinese people in the sectors of construction, agriculture, the extraction of natural resources helps our people to counterbalance the strong dependence on the traditional donors therefore reducing our debts, in offers of donations and concession of preferential loans, in technical empowerment and the supply of low cost construction. The volume of the aid that the expansion of trade with Chinese investments makes our economies grow and this result in the well-being of our people, particularly of the young people, US.
- The aims contained in the new strategic partnership of China that are in the “Public Politics of China for Africa” and made public in the Beijing Forum for Cooperation China – Africa of 2006, discloses a different approach to that of the old colonies that explored mother Africa. Namely the acquisition of energy and raw material that will support the Chinese economy, cultivate the political support, consolidate the role of China in the international organizations.
- As young africans, we understand that it is important to increase the economic and political interaction with the African continent and we request to our leaders a bigger dynamism in the relations that result in concrete politics and action plans for a better Chinese-African cooperation.
- We young Africans believe the strategic partnership with China, will take us from being exporters of raw materials to exporters of finished products;
- We young Africans believe in a model of commercial and enterprise partnerships that will promote private-private business relations, that we will not allways depend on endorsement of Governments and States;
- We young Africans believe that the Chinese investment in Africa - whenever possible in partnerships with the locals -, in the production and transformation of natural resources, for export of product, half finished goods to the Chinese market and global market, that this will result in work for young Africans.
- It is our understanding, that this is one of the forms that China will promote a sustainable development of young Africans.
- As young, we manifest our satisfaction for the investment of China in public infrastructures and the direct establishment of the Chinese commercial banks in African countries;
- This partnership promotes the desired competition in the financial sector, handspike the Chinese private investment in Africa and to commercial cooperation with China includes the facilitation of imports of Chinese technologies and goods.
- We young Africans believe that cooperation in the field of the culture, arts and sport has a great impact in biggest approach between the people. The Chinese culture and art are object of great circular admiration in Africa. The increase of Martial Arts Schools, for example is a form to develop cooperation and friendship between our people;
- When cooperating with Africa, we understand that China must bet in a transparent and inclusive model, where the chances created by this cooperation are divulged for all, without any type of discrimination no favors and all benefit to the young Africans above all.
- To finish, allow me on behalf of all Africans, to leave a word of gratitude to Comrade President Xi Jiping, to the Communist Party of China, to the leaders of the Youth Party, to the teenagers of China in particular and to all our brothers and sisters of China.
- Thank you very much and we hope this reunion does not end this year let us receive you next year in Africa
Edmundo Galiza Matos Junior
MP of Mozambique