China and Africa strengthen partnerships for health and development
The clean energy company Hanergy Holding Group and UNAIDS have agreed to cooperate on philanthropic and corporate responsibility initiatives to achieve zero new HIV infections, zero discrimination and zero AIDS-related deaths in Africa.
The Chair of Hanergy, Li Hejun, and the Executive Director of UNAIDS, Michel Sidibé, signed a memorandum of understanding in Beijing, China. Under the deal, UNAIDS and Hanergy will work together on a number of social development programmes and will partner to bring clean power solutions to the continent. They will work directly with communities, focusing on the health and education sectors.
Li Hejun said, “We are committed to building on our work on AIDS and expanding our initiatives to African countries. It is not only a responsibility, it’s the right thing to do.”
Mr Sidibé said, “The provision of clean energy to households, schools and health facilities within Africa is central to ensuring that the total well-being of people is at the centre of a healthy society.”
The agreement was signed during a joint mission to China by Mr Sidibé and Mark Dybul, the Executive Director of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (Global Fund). One of the objectives of the visit was to encourage new strategic partnerships between China and Africa, including investments in infrastructure and the economy and innovation in health and human development.
Africa imports 80% of its antiretroviral medicines. Many of the active ingredients come from China. Mr Sidibé and Mr Dybul met with Chi Jianxin, Chief Executive Officer of the China–Africa Development Fund, to promote joint ventures between China and African countries on the local production of medicines and health commodities. They also offered technical support from both organizations on enabling strategic partnerships.
Mr Dybul said, “There is huge potential for cooperation between China and Africa on innovation and the transfer of technology in many sectors and we look forward to taking this further.”
The China–Africa Business Council will promote communication and understanding between young people in China and Africa with the Towards Zero AIDS youth social benefit campaign. Mr Sidibé attended the launch of the campaign at Beijing’s University of Science and Technology and encouraged young Chinese people to show leadership in the AIDS response. The campaign is organized and run by young people from 60 universities in China.
Wenxia Li, a student from Beijing Forestry University, said, “We call for action on safe sex, we call for using condoms properly so that we and others can enjoy a healthy life.”
Mr Sidibé also participated in a policy dialogue on better health in China and Africa. Also present were the Ambassador of Djibouti, Abdallah Abdillahi Miguil, Feng Yong, Director for Africa at the Department of International Cooperation, China National Health Family Planning Commission, and Christoph Benn, Director of External Relations at the Global Fund.
Ambassador Abdullah Abdillahi Miguil said, “For the African continent to go beyond where it is now for its people, we need to build the capacity of our people for innovation.”
The dialogue sought to identify areas of cooperation and innovation and the types of strategic partnership between China and African countries that can be galvanized to support better health.