President, China-Africa Business Council
Date of Birth: November 1942
Place of Birth: Hunan
Facing a growing demand for agricultural products while its wealthy
business people seek new opportunities, Chinese companies are
searching for investments in Africa that go beyond energy and
mineral resourses. A key figure in linking Chinese and African
enterprises is Hu Deping and his China-Africa Business Council
Hu's initiative is partly funded by the United Nations Development
Programme. The CABC bills itself as a non-governmental platform
to develop partnerships between African and Chinese private enterprises.
Most recently, Hu led a 64-member delegation to Ghana,
Tanzania and Uganda for two weeks in mid-April.
The delegation looked at agriculture and tourism.
Hu was born in 1942 in Hunan and studied history at Beijing University.
After graduation in 1967, he spent some years in agricultural
and factory labour before joining the National Museum of China,
where he became Deputy Director. While at the Central Party School,
the training center for the political elite, in the early 1980s,
he befriended classmate and future President Hu Jintao.
The relationship has served both men well. Hu Deping is the eldest
son of a high-ranking politician - Hu Yaobang, a reform-minded
General Secretary of the Communist Party. Hu Jintao's access to
Hu Yaobang is said to have been instrumental in the former's rise
to the Chinese presidency. Public grief surrounding Hu Yaobang's death in 1989 led to the
democracy protests in Tiananmen Square, Beijing, that were violently
put down by the army. His son was involved in politics at the
provincial level and, as hard-liners tightened their grip on the
Party, he seemed destined to remain there. Since then, however,
events have turned slowly in his favour.
Hu holds several influential positions in China's
private sector. He is Vice-Chairman of the All-China Federation
of Industry and Commerce that informally links party leadership
and the private sector, and also welcomes foreign investors to
China. He is Vice-Chairman of a non-governmental organisation
of Chinese entrepreneurs that focuses on poverty reduction and
Deputy Director of the Central Committee's United Front Work Department.
On 13 March, the President secured a place for Hu on the standing
committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference,
a body that advises the Chinese parliament.