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Speech by Ambassador Lu Youqing at China-Africa Poverty Reduction and Development Conference
2012-07-29 03:01

(July 28th, 2012)

Your Excellency Dr. Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete,

President of the United Republic of Tanzania,

Honorable Mr. Fan Xiaojian,

Director General of the Chinese State Council Leading Group Office of Poverty Alleviation and Development,

Honorable Ministers,

Respected Permanent Secretaries,

Respected Mr. Mpango,

Executive Secretary of the Planning Commission in the President's Office,

Distinguished Guests,

Ladies and gentlemen,

Good morning!

First of all, on behalf of the Chinese Embassy in Tanzania, I'd like to extend my warmest congratulations on the opening of the Third China-Africa Poverty Reduction and Development Conference!

As we know, for historical and natural reasons, and the irrational international economic order, Tanzania was identified as one of the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries by IMF and World Bank in 2001. With a population of 46.2 million, Tanzania's GDP in 2011 is 25.5 billion US Dollars, and the GDP per capita is 553 US Dollars, which ranks 169th in the world according to the IMF. With half of the population living under the UN poverty line, Tanzania is facing big challenges in poverty reduction.

The Tanzanian Government attaches great importance to poverty reduction. After resuming office, H.E. President Kikwete has been focusing on economic development, leading the government and the people by implementing strategic plans and policies, such as MKUKUTA, "Kilimo Kiwanza" and National Development Five-year Plan (2011-2015), allocating relative development expenditure in every year's budget, creating more jobs, supporting the agricultural development. With these great efforts, Tanzania has achieved remarkable and periodical output in poverty reduction.

In the fight against poverty, the Tanzanian Government has also won enormous support from the people, as well as the focus and assistance from the international community. For years, the Tanzanian Government has been working closely with key international organizations like UNDP, IMF and World Bank.

Ladies and gentlemen,

China and Tanzania are good old friends. In 1965, when the late Tanzania President Nyerere visited China, China's GDP per capital was only 100 US Dollars, and the total foreign exchange reserve was 166 million US Dollars. Though being in that economic hardship, China dispatched over fifty thousand technical experts and workers to build TAZARA in Tanzania and Zambia, which the westerners estimated that it would cost more than 5 billion US Dollars. Sixty-nine Chinese people died for building TAZARA. The friendship between China and Africa was pure and selfless, built with blood and lives. Not for natural resources, never!

We cherish our traditional friendship, and face the common tasks of development and poverty reduction. In this field, the Chinese Government adheres to the principle of government's guidance, adheres to bringing people out of poverty and enjoy decent lives by developing the economy, adheres to implementing regional development strategy to change the poor, adheres to the development-oriented policy to improve the capacity building and productivity of the impoverished area, and adheres to international co-operations and exchanges. According to the World Bank's standard of 1 US Dollar per day, China has reduced the number of under-poverty line population from 500 million in 1990 to 100 million in 2008. In the poor areas, we have seen significant improvement of infrastructure, continuous advance of social undertaking, and strengthening of the people's abilities of self-reliance and development. By these efforts, China has made great contributions to the global task of poverty reduction, and accumulated vast experiences.

Ladies and gentlemen,

In China, people from all walks of life, governmental or non-governmental, participate in the poverty reduction work voluntarily. I used to be engaged in the field of poverty reduction for a long time in China. When served in the local Government and later State-owned enterprise, I was in charge of poverty reduction work directly, and devoted myself to it. In poverty reduction, I hope my country will not only make greater progress in the future, but also through co-operations and exchanges, assist Tanzania in achieving more progress.

To conclude my speech, I want to say

At the just concluded Fifth Ministerial Conference of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation, President Hu Jintao, on behalf of the Chinese Government, declared five key fields to support the peace and development of Africa, to promote the new type China-Africa Strategic Partnership Relationship. The opening of this Conference in Tanzania today is a practical action to implement the guiding principles of Fifth Ministerial Conference of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation and signifies a new stage, a stage of communication and cooperation between China-Tanzania and China-Africa in poverty reduction and development.

May the Conference a complete success!

Thank you!

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