China's experience valued for inspiring Africa's fight against COVID-19



Chinese experts communicate with a local medical worker at a hospital in Khartoum, Sudan, June 2, 2020. (Xinhua/Ma Yichong)

"I believe that this virtual summit between China and African leaders will map out a coordinated approach not only to respond to COVID-19, but more importantly, post-COVID-19 challenge of recovery," an expert said.

BEIJING, June 19 (Xinhua) -- African experts and officials deemed China's experience from its coronavirus prevention and control valuable to inspire Africa's fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.

Quince Mwabu, director-general of the non-governmental organization Medical for Quality Healthcare in Zambia, said China, with its experience, is the best country to help others in combating COVID-19.

"China is definitely the best country to help other countries in how it has managed to suppress COVID-19 because they have the experience. What's important is for countries to work hand-in-hand with China," he said.

He made the remarks as cooperation and solidarity between Africa and China are called for at an extraordinary China-Africa summit on combating COVID-19 through video link held on Wednesday.

Chinese President Xi Jinping chairs the Extraordinary China-Africa Summit on Solidarity against COVID-19 and delivers a keynote speech at the summit in Beijing, capital of China, June 17, 2020. (Xinhua/Ding Haitao)

"African countries should utilize the opportunity to ensure that they get the best experience from China," noted Yusuf Dodia, chairperson of the Private Sector Development Association in Zambia, saying China's experience needs to be shared with African countries.

There was a lot of misinformation on the pandemic, Dodia said, adding that African nations should grasp the chance to get real facts as well as establish solid cooperation with China.

According to Charles Onunaiju, director of the Center for China Studies in Abuja, Nigeria, the most important aspect of the meeting is about international responses to this pandemic.

"China has accumulated significant experience in response to this pandemic. Leaders have shared the experience of their respective response mechanisms," he noted, and expressed confidence about the prospect for a joint fight.

"I believe that this virtual summit between China and African leaders will map out a coordinated approach not only to respond to COVID-19, but more importantly, post-COVID-19 challenge of recovery," he said, adding the coordinated approach "will go a long way in achieving a quick recovery."

Senior officials from Zimbabwe's Ministry of Health and Harare City Council participate in the China-Africa Video Conference on COVID-19 in Harare, Zimbabwe, March 18, 2020. (Xinhua/Zhang Yuliang)

Zimbabwe, which is faced with a huge COVID-19 challenge due to its weak public health system and inadequate resources, is keen to learn from China's anti-coronavirus experience, Foreign Affairs and International Trade Minister Sibusiso Moyo said.

"We would want information shared between China and Zimbabwe and China and the rest of Africa, particularly on how we can control infections emanating from returnees or transiting passengers," Moyo explained.

The minister also said China's material and technical support so far has helped alleviate the difficulties his country has suffered.

Staff unload the medical supplies from China at the airport in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, March 22, 2020.(Xinhua/Wang Shoubao)

While urging efforts to defeat COVID-19 together, Chinese President Xi Jinping, who chaired the China-Africa summit, also pledged continued support to Africa "by providing supplies, sending expert teams, and facilitating Africa's procurement of medical supplies in China."

The summit has drawn a close attention from countries around the world. Ali Sarwar Naqvi, executive director at the Islamabad-based Center for International Strategic Studies in Pakistan, said China's support will be very important to Africa's fight against the pandemic.

"President Xi's promise to continue (to) help African countries to combat COVID-19 is a big relief to the poor nations in the region, who have very weak health facilities and infrastructure," he said.