Cases and Evidence
The Case Studies Case Stories Map

China-Africa – Experience Sharing on Development

Organization(s):

International Poverty Reduction Center in China (IPRCC)

Country (ies):

Angola, Benin, Burundi, Cameroon, Central Africa, Chad, China, Cote d'ivoire, Democratic Republic of Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Ethiopia, Gabon, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Mauritius, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe. A total of 36 countries involved.

Overview:

The Program is expected to be multi-year sponsored by the Chinese Government with strong support from the World Bank. Two events have been successfully organized in 2008 and 2009 respectively, 9 days each, including a three-day workshop and field visits to two provinces in China. 65 senior African government officials, 50 Chinese government officials and leading experts as well as 40 representatives from international development agencies and embassies in China participated in the event. Presentations, discussions and field visits were conducted on Agricultural Reform and Rural Development, Infrastructure Development and Financing, Special Economic Zones, FDI and Trade Development, as well as China's Cooperation and Engagement with Africa. Strong commitment and support of the Chinese government have been provided to this program. Besides financial support and policy guidance, ministers/vice ministers of the three hosting ministries of China participated in the events. Through the program, better mutual understanding on development strategy, policies and practice has been established between the African countries and China with some follow-up actions taking place.

Background:

  • China has made great achievement in its development and poverty reduction following a unique path compared to those of other developing and developed countries, which has been widely acknowledged in the world in particular by African countries. During the Global Conference on Poverty Reduction in Shanghai in 2004, a Memorandum of Understanding was signed by the Chinese Government and UNDP to set up International Poverty Reduction Center in China as a platform to share China's poverty reduction experience. For experience sharing, China has the following comparative advantages:

    1. China is a developing country itself and has been able to make an enormous contribution in uplifting a massive population out of extreme poverty;

    2. The has been a very practical, down-to-earth experience of mobilizing people, developing policies and systems, allocating resources and implementing programs for the poverty areas and populations;

    3. Whatever has happened in China is mostly because of the government initiatives and conscientious policies and implementation

    This program is aiming to make full use of China's comparative advantages to promote the experience sharing and cooperation in development between African countries and China, which may help Africa's efforts to accelerate its economic and social progress.
  • Agriculture Reform, Rural Development and Poverty Reduction; Infrastructure Development Strategy and Financing; FDI and Trade Development; China's Cooperation and Engagement with Africa.
  • African countries learn from China's experiences and efforts to accelerate its economic and social progress, while China understands African countries' development challenges better and engages more effectively and constructively in Africa's development.
    +MOFCOM, MOF and LGOP are the key leading government agencies with mandates to promote the development and poverty reduction in China as well as international exchange and cooperation in those fields. WB is the key international organization with a mission to promote development and poverty reduction, while IPRCC is an international organization jointly established by the Chinese government and international organizations serving as a platform for facilitating the exchange and cooperation in poverty reduction and development between China and the world. To share experiences and lessons of China and African countries and to promote the cooperation in development and poverty reduction between China and African countries are the common goals of all the partners in the program.
    +Chinese government has increasingly strong commitment in strengthening China's engagement with African countries through increasing development aid and promoting trade & investment following the Beijing Summit Meeting of Forum on China-African Cooperation Forum in 2006. Chinese achievements in economic development and poverty reduction are very interesting and meaningful for African countries. MOFCOM, MOF and LGOP have all attached great importance to this program. Besides the financial support and policy guidance, vice ministers of the three ministries all were present at the events, which represents the strong commitment of the Chinese government to SSC.

    Implementation:

    Each event under the Program consisted of a 3-day workshop and two field visits in China based on the needs of African countries. African participants were identified and selected on the basis of consultations among partners including MOFCOM, MOF, Chinese Embassies in the countries, WB and IPRCC. The Embassy in its turn consults the relevant Ministries in that country. Following criteria were adopted in the process of participants identification:

    1. Participants are from the line ministries of poverty reduction and development;

    2. Participants are at the level of DDG or above;

    3. Participants shall be in charge of formulation or implementation of poverty reduction and development policies, strategies, programs or projects.

    The topics include Tackling Challenges, Agricultural Reform and Rural Development, Infrastructure Development and Financing, Special Economic Zones, FDI and Trade Development, as well as China's Cooperation and Engagement with Africa. The workshop sessions are designed to be interactive and include presentations and discussions by both Chinese and African officials and policy advisors, as well as a limited number of international development practitioners. Each session has two presentations - one by a senior Chinese official or policy researcher and one by an African official or expert, and a panel with two discussants (one Chinese and one African), followed by discussion/Q&A. The African participants are invited to take an active part in the events serving as panelists/discussants to share their own challenges and experiences. The workshop program is followed by field visits (Provinces of Jiangxi, Guangxi, Guangdong and Zhejiang in 2008, and Shandong and Fujian in 2009) and concluded with a half-day wrap up session in Beijing. Cultural and sightseeing programs are organized to enable the foreign participants to know China better.

    The events were so far organized by International Poverty Reduction Center in China (IPRCC) with the World Bank as co-organizer. The sponsors are Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM), Ministry of Finance (MOF) and State Council Leading Group Office of Poverty Alleviation and Development (LGOP) of China. The foreign participants are high-level officials from African countries and regional integration bodies. IPRCC is responsible for schedule design & implementation and all logistical arrangements. The World Bank is responsible for program design, participating country identification, background documents preparation, and field visits and discussion facilitation. Ministry of Commerce and Ministry of Finance are responsible for financial support, approaching governments of participating countries, identification of participants and coordination with the provincial governments, while State Council Leading Group Office of Poverty Alleviation and Development (LGOP) provide technical inputs and coordination with related government agencies.

    Some challenges faced IPRCC in implementation include:

  • Understanding African culture, values and adaptations;
  • Resources and experts mobilization;
  • Joint ownership by both China and concerned African country;
  • Language.
  • The more exchanges and interactions will take place, better understandings will evolve.

    Outcomes:

  • A solid foundation and an effective framework were built for future exchange and cooperation between China and Africa, especially in the areas of poverty reduction and social development. Follow-up activities like field visits to African countries by IPRCC have been carried out.
  • The planned achievements include: (i)development strategies, approaches, experiences and challenges of both China and Africa were discussed and shared, which are conducive for China and African countries to formulate and improve their own development strategies and policies; (ii)mutual understanding between African Countries and China has been improved; (iii)Contacts and partnership between the participating organizations have been developed.

    It was unplanned that many African participants said what they saw in China were far beyond what they imagined, while some showed the interest to know more about Chinese culture, history, and its people. People to people connections were established.

    One thing should be emphasized that this process is mutually benefiting, on the one hand, African countries know better about how China have made these achievements in poverty reduction and development, on the other hand, China can know better about African countries' needs and problems in development and poverty reduction, which is helpful to China for its better engagement with African countries in their efforts of development and poverty reduction.

  • The outcomes are sustainable and could be replicated in similar contexts.

  • The longer-term projects will further facilitate the experience sharing and cooperation between Africa and China in the field of development and poverty reduction, and enhance the mutual understanding among the peoples, which will contribute to meeting the challenges in social and economic development and promoting the sustainable development of both African countries and China.

    Aid Effectiveness:

  • The program is a user-driven and result oriented initiative with strong ownership reflected in the whole process of the event, including activity design, participant identification, topic selection, role of African participants, and interactive modality of workshop and field visit. In addition, this program is aligned to the national strategies of African countries such as economic reform, agriculture development, infrastructure improvement, increasing FDI and trade. As a joint initiative, this program has strong harmonization and collaboration among the host agencies (MOF, MOFCOM and LGOP) and organizers (WB and IPRCC) with clear division of labor among the partners in terms of financing, activities design, facilitation, technical support as well as logistical support. To achieve these, effective and efficient communications are conducted among the partners.

  • The Chinese Government attaches high importance to China-Africa cooperation, and Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA), Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) and Ministry of Finance (MOF) as well as LGOP have provided great support to this program. In addition, the ownership of African countries was very clear.

  • Strengthening the exchange and cooperation between China and Africa is one of national priorities of Chinese Government and African countries, which are well reflected in the Declaration of the Beijing Summit Of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation, Declaration of the Sharm El Sheikh Summit Of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation, China-Africa Cooperation Beijing Action Plan (2007-2009)), China-Africa Cooperation Sharm El Sheikh Action Plan (2010-2012). In addition, China's African Policy Paper was issued in January, 2006, pointing out that the Chinese Government is willing to cooperate with international organizations to jointly support the development of African countries and contribute to the realizations of MDGs in Africa. So this program is aligned to the national priorities of China and African Countries.

  • IPRCC and the World Bank took great efforts to coordinate the program managed by Ministry of Commerce and the fund managed by Ministry of Finance, and also got active support from Ministry of Foreign Affairs as well as the provincial governments and line agencies at provincial level. In the future, this program can be carried out in coordination with those of other development partners like DFID, GTZ, DAC-OECE, AFDB etc…

  • There are plans to implement this principle, but the organization and its activities are still going through the experience for not so long a time, only 4 years. This principle is definitely in our plans when we develop and implement concrete cooperation projects with developing countries, especially with Africa in the future.

    Capacity Development:

    At the organizational level, this program is helpful to set up partnership relationship among the participating organizations. For IPRCC, this program also enhances its capacity to mobilize resources, get more stakeholders involved, formulate action steps based on needs assessment and improve design, monitoring and evaluation plans.

  • Overall, the concept, strategy and policies of China's reform, development and poverty reduction have been shared with the African participants, most of whom are policy makers. Therefore, this program may help African countries' reform and development and creation of the enabling environment. There will also be some institutional benefits for African countries:

  • African governments can learn about "How Governments Work"
  • Developing Systems by the governments in Africa
  • Generating new developmental values
  • Focusing on the Poorest

    Duration:

    The Program is expected to be multi-year and has developed and implemented two successful events in 2008 and 2009, 9 days each.

    Budget (Optional): Financed by the Chinese Government with strong support from the World Bank. The budget of each event is around US$300,000 (the participants' expenditure of international travel is included), 81.85% of which is shared by Ministry of Commerce and Ministry of Finance of China, and 18.15% shared by the World Bank.

    Name of Primary Contact Person:

    Ms. LI Xin

    Title of Primary Contact Person:

    Deputy Division Chief, Division of Exchanges, International Poverty Reduction Center in China (IPRCC)

    City:

    Beijing, China