AFRICA IN FOCUS Foresight Africa viewpoint – China’s engagement in Africa: What can we learn in 2018 from the $60 billion commitment?

  • 12 March 2018 / News / 480 / Africa-Bi1


AFRICA IN FOCUS Foresight Africa viewpoint – China’s engagement in Africa: What can we learn in 2018 from the $60 billion commitment?

Since 2000, six FOCAC (Forum on China-Africa Cooperation) summits have been held at three-year intervals, with the next one scheduled for 2018 in Beijing if the tradition is to continue. FOCAC has been the primary institutional platform and mechanism for the economic cooperation between China and African states. Perhaps as a part of President Xi Jinping’s prestige diplomacy, the level of commitment China made at the 2015 summit in Johannesburg was surprisingly high: The $60 billion funding promised tripled the previous $20 billion commitment made during the 2012 FOCAC Summit.[1]

These funds are expected to help address the bottleneck in Africa’s economic and social development. In 2015, Xi announced 10 comprehensive and ambitious plans covering industrialization, agricultural modernization, trade and investment, and public health, among others. The implementation of the Chinese commitments in the past two years is indicative of the priority and pace of China’s engagement in Africa in 2018 if China is to complete them before the next FOCAC Summit.

3 PRIORITY AREAS OF CHINA’S 2015 FOCAC COMMITMENT: INDUSTRIALIZATION, AGRICULTURAL MODERNIZATION, AND INFRASTRUCTURE

China has been ambitious in engaging Africa. In 2018, China will keep promoting the development of industrial parks and attracting investors for them as its feature programs for African industrialization. China has also emphasized industrial partnering and industrial capacity cooperation in Africa—committing to facilitate Chinese private investment, provide technical assistance, and train at least 200,000 local workers. Already, in Ethiopia, China completed the $250 million Hawassa Industrial Park in nine months between 2015 and 2016. According to Chinese officials, the park has attracted 15 leading textile and garment companies and six are already exporting to the international market. The China Civil Engineering Construction Company (CCECC) is building three other industrial parks in the country, also financed by Chinese loans and investment. In Kenya, China’s Guangdong New South Group started the country’s first private industrial park in Uasin Gishu in July 2017 at the cost of $2 billion. This park will be an important component for Kenya’s Zhujiang Special Economic Zone (SEZ), which is partially inspired by China’s SEZ development model. In 2018, China will keep promoting the development of industrial parks to support Africa’s industrialization.



source: Brookings

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