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  • President Tsai's remarks at 2016 Africa Day Celebration
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President Tsai delivers remarks at the 2016 Africa Day Celebration. President Tsai attends the 2016 Africa Day Celebration. Arts troupes perform at the 2016 Africa Day Celebration.
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On the evening of November 18, President Tsai Ing-wen delivered a speech at the 2016 Africa Day Celebration.

A transcript of the president's remarks follows:

Your Excellency António Quintas do Espírito Santo, Dean of the African Diplomatic Corps and Ambassador of the Democratic Republic of São Tomé and Príncipe;
Excellences Ambassadors and Honorable Representatives;
Deputy Ministers of Foreign Affairs Javier Ching-shan Hou (侯清山) and François Chih-chung Wu (吳志中);
Distinguished Guests;
Ladies and Gentlemen:

Good evening to you all. It is so good to be here this evening, to celebrate Africa Day with all of you.

I understand that this reception is also a farewell party for delegates to the Taiwan-Africa Business Forum. I want to thank all of you for coming, and hope your productive stay has led to many new and exciting business opportunities.

When the Organization of African Unity (OAU) was created on May 25, 1963, it declared that very date to be "African Liberation Day". In the 53 years that followed, the people of Africa never stopped pursuing liberation, independence and freedom. So on May 25 every year, people come together to commemorate this arduous journey and formidable struggle for democracy and freedom.

The hard work of the African people is clearly paying off. Today in Africa, economies flourish and people enjoy better lives. Looking ahead, African solidarity and cooperation promise steady progress toward a future of prosperity.

Taiwan is proud to have been a part of your journey, and as an ally and partner who shares the universal values of democracy, tolerance and diversity, we will go forward with you hand in hand.

After all, Taiwan has enjoyed very close ties with the nations and people of Africa. At my inauguration in May, many of our African allies sent delegations led by the head of state or leader of government. Other friendly nations also sent parliamentary delegations. We were all truly touched and thankful.

Our cooperation with African allies has also expanded steadily, from agricultural technology and animal husbandry to vocational training, medicine, volunteer programs and sustainable development projects like renewable energy.

These programs have been highly successful. The Taiwan Scholarship recipients here tonight, would you raise your hands? (crowd applauds) The Taiwan Scholarship recipients – outstanding students and young leaders – are the perfect embodiment of this success.

Going forward, we look to continue this success with a new "steadfast diplomacy" that focuses on expanding mutual assistance for mutual benefits. We will sit down with friendly nations, discuss what each side needs and offers, and together devise cooperation projects that create win-win value. The point is to be mutual in everything we do, and to create win-win values for everyone.

We are so thankful to our African allies and friendly nations: your longstanding support has enabled Taiwan to contribute meaningfully to the international community, and to Africa as well.

At last, I invite you – it's time to drink – to join me in a toast: to the steady development, solidarity and prosperity of the African Union; and to the health, happiness and success of everyone here.

Thank you.
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