2017 Mega-Themes in Africa-China Relations
This year was dominated by China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and its attempt to connect about 60 percent of the global population through infrastructure. Many African nations, hungry for infrastructure development, are ready to join. As Trump’s America continues to retreat within its borders, China has filled in the gap on global issues such as climate change, which disproportionately affects Africans. China has also made huge gains in Africa in terms of investment and job creation, trade, aid and military presence. Though China is fairly popular in the continent, racism, Africa’s rising debt and exploitation of African animals have resulted in controversies. In technology, healthcare and education, however, China is making huge strides in not only seducing African customers but also creating goodwill.
2016 Mega-Themes in Africa-China Relations
The year 2016 saw many changes in Africa-China relations. While the Asian nation championed African causes at international summits, it is also requiring African nations to do more to attract Chinese investment. In addition, China is not the only Asian giant courting Africa. This year, Japan and India also made their case for stronger relations with the continent. As relations between China and Africa mature, the honeymoon phase seems to be fading out. Unsavory aspects of this intimate relationship including the impact on Africa’s environment and overt racism have been reported. Nevertheless, China and Africa will likely forge a future together as the Asian nation has committed huge financial resources and and is setting up educational opportunities for the benefit of Africans.
2015 Mega-Themes in Africa-China Relations
This year, not only has China played an important role in Africa’s economies and societies, but it has also attempted to coordinate with the U.S. to address Africa’s most pressing problems. China has also been asserting its status as a superpower as seen in its anti-Ebola response and its creation of massive international institutions. This year’s “Mega-Themes in Africa-China Relations” discusses this and more.
2014 Mega-Themes in Africa-China Relations
Each African country has its own unique experiences with China. Yet, there are several overarching trends that are observed across the board. These mega-themes have been classified into two broad categories: China’s strengths and China’s weaknesses in Africa. The final section includes a general view of what Africans think about the Chinese in their continent.
The Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) is the most important summit between China and African countries. In the year 2000, FOCAC’s first conference was held in Beijing. The president of the People’s Republic of China at the time, President Jiang Zemin, then...read more
Analysts suggest that the increasing focus on investment means that China is actually confident about Africa’s economic future. In addition, the fact that China is tripling its commitments to a total of 60 billion could mean that it wants to strengthen its position in...read more
The lack of infrastructure in the African continent and Least Developed Countries (LDCs) is one of the major reasons why prosperity has evaded these nations. Energy supply and storage facilities are scarce, transportation routes remain scant, and communication...read more
“Global infrastructure connectivity” refers to the linkages of communities, economies and nations through transport, communications, energy and water networks across countries. This linkage, of course, facilitates the flow of goods, people and information. The flow,...read more
In September 2015, the world’s heads of state, governments and representatives met at the United Nations Headquarters in New York and committed themselves to eradicating poverty, combating inequality, protecting human rights and addressing other pressing issues by...read more
In October 2015, India hosted the third India-Africa Summit, which is held every three years. In the past, only a select number of African nations were invited to attend. This time, however, was different. All 54 African nations participated and, interestingly, it was...read more
It is not surprising that India has a burning desire to intently court the African continent, particularly the nation of South Africa. And it all has to do with nuclear power. India needs South Africa, among many other countries, to vote for its bid to join the...read more
Japan is another Asian country that is keenly courting African interest. Much like India, it also held a conference that gathered African leaders in August 2016. Japan’s summit that gathers African heads of state is called the Tokyo International Conference on African...read more
During this year’s TICAD summit, Japan appeared to woo its African counterparts by emphasizing what China has long been criticized for: shoddy quality of projects. Speaking with African heads of state in Nairobi, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe did not name China...read more
The geopolitical rivalry between Japan and China is, of course, deep-rooted and includes bloody events during World War II such as the Nanjing Massacre of 1937. During the massacre, the Japanese army murdered an estimated 200,000 to 300,000 people and raped between...read more
China, followed by the United States, is the world’s biggest market for ivory. In China, ivory sculptures are prized possessions bought for both investment and as a sign of wealth. Ivory is also employed as an ingredient in some Chinese traditional medicines. To curb...read more
Totally banning the sale of ivory, both legal and illegal, seems to be the only way to control this illicit trade. In 2015, the two largest markets of ivory, China and the United States, agreed to cooperate in the total ban of the sale of ivory. Under the President...read more
As the world awaits China’s total and permanent ban on the sale of ivory, it should be noted that not all African countries want this measure to take effect. Zimbabwe and Namibia, for instance, had filed for petitions in 2016 to lift the international ivory trade ban...read more
Recently, reports have come out accusing China of exploiting West African coasts in illegal fishing schemes. This much less documented environmental impact is worth a quick mention as it needs attention from both African nations and Chinese government officials. The...read more
This railway line has been deemed the most ambitious project in Kenya since the country became independent in 1963. The massive 13.8 billion USD rail project will link Kenya’s port in Mombasa (on the Indian Ocean) with the capital city, Nairobi, and then continue on...read more
Ethiopia, boasting the second largest population in Africa, is garnering attention as a new manufacturing hub. Ethiopia is also one of the only two African countries which have experienced a consistently growing economy for the last 10 years without relying on natural...read more
The Middle Kingdom currently has almost 700 million internet users, more than double the entire population of the United States. Interestingly, more than two-thirds of these internet users prefer to use their mobile phones to get online. The country’s internet boom...read more
As the home of the youngest population in the world, Africa struggles to educate and train its bourgeoning youth. The World Bank has reported that 2 in 5 African adults are still illiterate,showing that even basic education is elusive for many African populations....read more
The relationship between China and Africa is big and complicated. It is therefore unsurprising that extremely unsavory aspects of this relationship could bubble up from time to time. Perhaps the most infamous incident that went viral in 2016 is a racist advertisement...read more
“Chocolate City” is the name given to an area in Guangzhou, China, where many African nationals reside. Because many Africans in “Chocolate City” are short term residents who venture into China for trade and business, it is very difficult to establish their actual...read more
Though China considers itself to be a developing country, it is making strides in modern technology, even in the ethically cumbersome eld of biotech. China’s ability in biotechnology was thrust into the limelight during the Ebola epidemic. Sichuan Pharmaceutical, one...read more
China’s anti-Ebola efforts not only showcased its capabilities in biotechnology but also provided an opportunity for the Asian giant to stage a major humanitarian intervention outside of its borders. For the first time in its history, China sent a military convoy to...read more
While China’s anti-Ebola efforts highlighted China’s increasing connectivity with the rest of the world, many also regarded it as an attempt to look after its own interests. In 2009, China surpassed the U.S. as the continent’s biggest trading partner and by 2013,...read more
In mid 2015, many of the anti-Ebola efforts moved from curbing the spread of the disease to mitigating the devastating economic and healthcare outcomes it left in its wake. Besides the economic impact of the disease which, for example, reduced Sierra Leone’s GDP...read more
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