Policy essays on the new direction in China-Africa relations

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President Jacob Zuma at the Johannesburg Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC), 4 December 2015

A set of China-Africa policy essays – by practitioners, scholars and researchers – on issues around governance, peace and security, conservation and industrialisation has just been translated into Mandarin.

On 3 December 2015, SAIIA co-hosted an event with the Department for International Development (DFID) and the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) Growth Research Programme (DEGRP) titled ‘China-Africa: a maturing relationship? : Growth, change and resilience’. This event took place on the side-lines of the sixth Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) held in Johannesburg on 4-5 December, where the heads of state met to discuss co-operation between the two sides. Most notable was the reported $60 billion development package pledged by China’s President Xi Jinping to the continent.

Following the side-event, a set of DEGRP policy essays were published in English (in May) and subsequently, Mandarin (in August). These inputs were based on the presentations and discussions at the co-hosted conference. The main areas discussed include:

  1.  Jumpstarting African industrialisation and economic transformation
  2. The China-Africa relationship in the context of China’s changing role in the global economy
  3. How African peace, security and governance are shaping China’s engagement on the continent
  4. The role of natural resources and biodiversity in the China-Africa relationship

Indeed these topics are of particular importance, as China-Africa relations continue to expand amid dynamic domestic, regional and global changes; and include new areas of engagement – apart from established trade and diplomatic ties.

It is the exploration of such key contemporary issues and beyond that a post-FOCAC future, where African interests are at the forefront, could be imagined.

The contributors to the report include: Carlos Oya (School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London); Dan Large (SAIIA/ Central European University); Deborah Brautigam (Johns Hopkins University); Giles Mohan (Open University); Hannah Ryder (United Nations Development Programme ); Helen Hai (UNIDO Goodwill Ambassador, Made in Africa initiative); Justin Yifu Lin (Peking University); Lina Song (Nottingham University); Roger Calow (ODI); Ross Harvey (SAIIA); Stephen Gelb (Overseas Development Institute ); Terry McKinley (School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London); Xiaoxue Weng (International Institute for Environment and Development) and Yu-Shan Wu (SAIIA)– and edited by Linda Calabrese (Overseas Development Institute ).

For more on the event:

China-Africa: a maturing relationship? Growth, change and resilience

More on FOCAC:

FOCAC: Background and 2015 Focus Priorities

Ahead of FOCAC and toward Agenda 2063: A timely window for African think tanks to take the lead

Media briefing: FOCAC VI, more of the same or signs of change?

Adept negotiations needed by Africa at FOCAC

Related articles:

Factsheet: China-Africa Relations

From first-mover advantage to coming from behind: A new phase of the Japan-Africa partnership

South Africa and China: The Making of a Partnership