Bridging dreams: The ’China-Africa Dar es Salaam Consensus’ and its path to global development

By Théophile Niyitegeka
On 10 March 2024 at 04:02

China and Africa have seen a steady growth in their relations rooted on mutual trust and respect, leading to several initiatives aimed at fostering shared and sustainable prosperity.

The Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) has emerged as a prominent example of collaborative development efforts, serving as a crucial platform for mutual growth and connectivity.

Within 23 years, Chinese companies have undertaken awe-inspiring infrastructure projects in Africa.

They have undertaken awe-inspiring infrastructure projects in Africa where they have constructed or upgraded more than 10,000 kilometers of railways, nearly 100,000 kilometers of roads, approximately 1,000 bridges, and 100 ports.

These transformative projects have not only enhanced trade, but they have also created millions of jobs, breathing new life into African communities.

In a bid to continue charting the course, another important milestone was reached last week when African and Chinese Think Tanks endorsed the document known as the ‘China-Africa Dar es Salaam Consensus’ - the “Consensus Among African and Chinese Think Tanks on Deepening Global Development Cooperation.”

It was issued following consultation from both sides during the 13th Meeting of the China-Africa Think Tanks Forum which was held in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, on March 8.

This document calls on the international community to deepen development cooperation in accordance with the principles of mutual respect, solidarity, cooperation, openness for mutual benefit, and shared prosperity.

The consensus seeks, among other things, to encourage countries to collaborate towards modernization and foster a community with a shared future for humanity.

It comprises eight specific agreements, prioritizing development, global multipolarity, economic globalization, international financial reform, sustainable development, endogenous development momentum, global security development, and knowledge sharing for development.

These agreements provide significant guidance and principles for human development, with a lasting impact on deepening China-Africa cooperation and global development collaboration.

The release of the “Africa-China Dar es Salaam Consensus” comes at an opportune moment especially in a new era where human society requires increased interdependence, greater wisdom, and a broader consensus in knowledge and ideology.

Speaking to journalists during a virtual press conference on Sunday, a Chinese scholar on global development who has participated in the China-Africa Think Tanks Forum meetings, acknowledged the imperative need for global and domestic stability to pave the way for prosperous collaborations.

Prof. Ling, who once served as the Senior Vice President and the Chief Economist of World Bank, underscored the importance of knowledge sharing, particularly from the Global South, in fostering a collective understanding of successes, failures, and pathways to realizing shared dreams.

Moreover, Prof. Ling, Professor Lin underscored the necessity of financial support, access to domestic and international markets, and infrastructural improvements to bolster Africa’s economic landscape.

Hosted by the Secretariat of the Chinese Follow-up Committee of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC), the 13th Meeting of the China-Africa Think Tanks Forum attracted more than 300 people.

These include representatives of international organizations in Tanzania, diplomatic envoys, government officials, think tank scholars, media reporters, and entrepreneurs from China and 49 African countries.

The China-Africa Think Tank Forum is among one of the most significant sub-forums within the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC).

Over the past 15 years, a total of 15 international academic exchange activities, including thirteen China-Africa Think Tank Forums and the inaugural China-Africa Think Tank and Media Seminar, have been successively held in both China and African countries.

African countries have experienced significant transformation due to Chinese investments, particularly in infrastructure facilities.