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“Health priority in China-Africa relations”
May 6, 2013, 4:10 pm

China will be an all-weather friend of Africa said Chinese president Xi Jinping recently.(Xinhua Images)

China will be an all-weather friend of Africa, said Chinese president Xi Jinping recently [Xinhua]

China is pushing for more Chinese presence in the health sector in the African continent.

“We hope to see that more Chinese medical institutions, research institutions, universities, and civil society focus on and enter into Africa and make greater contribution to China- Africa health cooperation,” said Ma Xiaowei, Chinese Vice Minister of National Health on Monday.

Chinese and African leaders met on Monday at the 4th International Roundtable on China-Africa Health Cooperation to explore new partnerships to address some of the most pressing health challenges facing Africa.

“We are willing to make health the highlight and priority of the overall China-Africa cooperation,” said Ma.

The China-Africa Health Cooperation Taskforce includes members of the Chinese government, WHO, UNAIDS, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Ma said China is ready to work with all health stakeholders including both governments and private institutions in the African Union.

According to new research by Washington-based Center for Global Development and AidData, the largest number of Chinese aid projects in Africa is in the health sector, totaling 149 projects accounting for $676 million.

Botswana’s health minister John Seakgosing on Monday welcomed the private sector participation from both China and Africa in the roundtable.

“The roundtable on Africa-China health collaboration is yet another indication of China’s unwavering support towards Africa,” said Seakgosing.

African leaders will also share expertise with China on AIDS prevention and treatment during the meey.

During his recent trip to Africa, Chinese President Xi Jinping reconfirmed China’s commitment to provide another $20 billion in financing to Africa.

With inputs from Agencies