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China’s poverty alleviation: a lesson for Africa by Mariatou Ngum, October 17, 2016 Adjust font size:

The people of Africa should look to follow the footsteps of China in alleviating poverty and should look to emulate China in opening up the economy and embarking on legal and economic reforms to embrace strong, new trading partners – like China itself.


With the majority of its population still making a living from agriculture, Africa has been highly dependent on exports of raw materials and commodities.

However, many Africans have unfortunately shifted to working in services, in which much of the growth is restricted to low-productivity activities, such as the informal sector, trade, and production.


Industrialization is a key outlet for advancing poverty alleviation on the African continent. Among its many advantages, industrialization helps impoverished African farmers adjust their production structure and increase their income by establishing agricultural product bases.


When it comes to education, Africa should learn from the experience of China, where more than 40 percent of all tertiary degrees are awarded in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.

Africa needs more graduates from these areas in order to improve productivity and infrastructure.

African leaders can also glean key takeaways from China’s achievements in poverty alleviation by implementing some of China’s strategies. Perhaps the most significant of which is establishing a well-functioning market economy capable of generating large financial returns.

However, there will always be a relatively large number of people whom the market inevitably bypasses; and here, genuine political will to alleviate poverty is arguably the most important ingredient of all.

China has been extending support to Africa to help boost its economy; and these efforts in assistance have strengthened the relationship between Africa and China – if not led to a cordial Sino–African friendship.

The collaboration offered by the government of the People’s Republic of China is sustainable based on win-win cooperation and common development.

Therefore, African leaders should make good use of the opportunity to transform the lives and living conditions of its people: The resources are available.

Since opening up, China along with its achievements in poverty alleviation have accelerated global poverty alleviation efforts and have helped reverse the rising trend of the global impoverished population in the past 50 years.

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