Executive Intelligence Review


FOCAC Summit To Consolidate China-Africa Cooperation

Aug. 23, 2018 (EIRNS)—The Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) in Beijing on Sept. 3-4, is shaping up to strengthen existing China-Africa relations and to provide a boost to the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). The Summit will be chaired by China’s President Xi Jinping. There are currently 55 members of FOCAC, including China, 53 African countries that have diplomatic relations with China, and the African Union Commission. Included among other speakers are Rwandan President Paul Kagame and Namibian President Hage Geingob. According to New Era, an online newspaper owned by the Namibian government, Namibia and China are expected to sign a cooperation deal under the Belt and Road Initiative during President Geingob’s visit.

Zeng Aiping, deputy executive director of the China-Asian African Cooperation Center, in an interview posted Aug. 23, 2018 with Xinhua, said that the FOCAC Summit will give a boost to the BRI. He said the core content of the BRI is connectivity, and that all the elements of it are what African countries need.

“The BRI would be better understood and recognized by African countries. Especially in the areas of trade, infrastructure and investment, China can do a lot—or the Belt and Road Initiative can do a lot—and contribute a lot to African development,”

Zeng said.

In advance of September FOCAC heads of state meeting, the first since it met in South Africa in 2015, many African experts are forecasting what lies ahead. An Egyptian researcher, Hisham AbuBakr Metwally, with the Ministry of Foreign Trade and Industry, wrote, an Aug. 21 opinion article for China’s CGTN broadcasting network, “FOCAC—Unprecedented Successful Mechanism, Reshaped Africa,” reviewing accomplishments in rail, agriculture, energy, education and other areas in Africa, thanks to work with China to date.

But he forecast more and bigger projects and a bright future. “After the completion of all mega infrastructure projects and industrial zones, the continent will change completely.” He describes “the inauguration of the modern Africa era, hand in hand with China.”