See More on Facebook

Diplomacy, Economics

Sino-Africa partnership holds much potential

China has increasingly looked to the continent as an integral part of its plans.


Written by

Updated: July 17, 2019

Africa’s Agenda 2063, adopted by the African Union in 2013, clearly outlines Africa’s priority areas for economic growth and development, as well as the implementation plan to be achieved during the 50-year period.

The framework provides a blueprint of opportunities for continued cooperation with global development partners such as China. Out of 54 African states, 53 have bilateral relations with China under the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation.

China views its Africa ties as indispensable for the attainment of its Belt and Road Initiative, which was launched in 2013 as a strategic policy for global engagement.

Under the auspices of the BRI, China has conscientiously made a detailed case for cooperation to facilitate a mutual development agenda between China and Africa. As of April, 37 African nations and the African Union Commission – the executive branch of the AU had inked BRI cooperation agreements with China.

Both the BRI and Agenda 2063 are playing out in a rapidly evolving global context. There are ongoing trade talks on tariffs between the United States and China that are of significance to each of these leading economies, with ramifications for the global economy that are likely to affect African economies as well.

Indeed, the African Development Bank recently cautioned that US-China tensions could trigger a 2.5 percent reduction in GDP for resource-intensive exporters and a 1.9 percent reduction for oil exporters by 2021. A significant portion of African countries are resource-intensive exporters. In Europe, meanwhile, Britain continues to explore Brexit, which has significant implications for Africa’s developing economies.

Against these global dynamics, China is doubling down on its African investments and positioning itself as an alternative, if not preferred, investment partner for Africa’s development agenda. As of 2015, 46.5 percent of Chinese investments in Africa were reported to be in manufacturing, with 44.5 percent in mining.

Through the China-Africa Development Fund, China has extended debt financing, in the form of development aid and commercial, export and supplier credit to the African continent, growing from $1 billion in 2002 to $142 billion in 2019.

In 2018, President Xi Jinping launched eight major initiatives for engagement with African countries, focused on industrial promotion, trade facilitation and infrastructure connectivity. China’s focus on Africa and prevailing global circumstances signal an opportunity for African countries, including Ghana, to review respective resource endowment and comparative economic advantage to facilitate a strategic and mutually beneficial engagement with China.

Indeed, African countries are already positioning for balanced and sustainable trade with China, and the recent China Trade Week in Ghana exemplified a platform on which to showcase and explore more opportunities for mutual engagement between China and Ghana.

While diplomatic relations between Ghana and China date back to the 1960s, it is the 1983 cooperation agreement that kicked off a more formal strategic partnership and trading links between the two countries. Over the past two decades, trade between the countries has grown upward of $6.7 billion from $100 million. China is now Ghana’s largest trade-partner. In 2018, trade between Ghana and China amounted to $5.98 billion. China’s imports from Ghana were approximately $1.3 billion, and exports to Ghana $4.7 billion. China’s nonfinancial direct investment inflows into Ghana amounted to $2.5 billion in 2018.

China Trade Week provided a learning platform for government and business actors from both countries. The event provided an opportunity for Ghana entrepreneurs to develop strategic partnerships and trading links with Chinese manufacturers. This is particularly important for Sino-Ghana bilateral relations, even as President Nana Akufo-Addo taps into China’s industrial promotion initiative to position Ghana as a manufacturing hub of West Africa.

The event provided retailers, wholesalers and distributors of exports and imports with an avenue through which to understand how to begin trade relations by providing information about China and effective trade with China.

To further facilitate trade, China has, in line with its infrastructure connectivity initiative, invested in Ghana’s infrastructure, including the Shenzhen Energy Group-operated 200-megawatt Sunon Asogli thermal plant and the Sinohydro Corp-operated Bui Hydropower Station. The Bui station is expected to generate up to 400 MW of electricity for Ghana’s national grid, allowing potential exports to neighboring countries. The oil reserves in Ghana signify a further energy and trade collaboration between the two countries.

Culturally, China has demonstrated itself to be a long-term partner. This augurs well for Ghana’s long-term development agenda. To this end, the continued teaching of business Chinese at the University of Ghana’s Confucius Institute facilitates trade ties between the two countries.

China has demonstrated its readiness to work with Africa, including adoption of the eight measures. Much has been done to this end, but there also remains much potential for continued mutual cooperation for win-win development.

George Nyongesas is a senior associate at the Africa Policy Institute in Nairobi, Kenya. The views do not necessarily reflect those of China Daily.



Enjoyed this story? Share it.


About the Author: ANN’s Board member Ms Esther Ng, Malaysia’s The Star’s Chief Content Officer, has been bestowed the 2019 Asian Women Entrepreneurs Leadership Award in the Media and Communications category.

Eastern Briefings

All you need to know about Asia


Our Eastern Briefings Newsletter presents curated stories from 22 Asian newspapers from South, Southeast and Northeast Asia.

Sign up and stay updated with the latest news.



By providing us with your email address, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.

View Today's Newsletter Here

Diplomacy, Economics

North Korea beefs up self-defense capabilities in military reorganization

The North have been making many changes ahead of talks. North Korean leader Kim Jong-un presided over a meeting of the top military decision-making body to accelerate the development of self-defense capabilities ahead of key events that will decide its national strategy, its state media reported Sunday. Discussions on ways to bolster its military capabilities through organizational restructuring and personnel reshuffle were highlighted during the third expanded meeting of the seventh central military commission of the ruling Workers’ Party. Details on what measures were discussed were not disclosed. “At the meeting, Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un


By Zaffar Abbas
December 23, 2019

Diplomacy, Economics

China-US trade deal bullish news for both countries, rest of world

From Chinese state media. State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi said Saturday that the China-US deal on the text of a phase-one economic and trade agreement serves as bullish news for both countries and the rest of the world. Speaking at a joint press conference with Slovenian Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Miro Cerar, Wang said China has, as always, been opposed to settling economic and trade disputes by imposing tariffs as there is no winner in a trade war. China has also rejected the use of unilateral pressure as it violates the rules of the World Trade Organization (WTO), said Wang. He pointed out that following rounds of back-and-forth negotiations, China and the United States have agreed on the wording of a phase-one economic and trade agreement, and the US side has promised to phase out additional tariffs on Chinese products. The agreement demonstrates the spirit


By Esther Ng
December 16, 2019

Diplomacy, Economics

Biegun arrives in Seoul amid deadlock in NK-US nuclear talks

Pyongyang says it conducted “another crucial test” at Sohae site. US Special Representative for North Korea Stephen Biegun arrived in Seoul on Sunday for a “close coordination” with allies amid the deadlock in the denuclearization talks with Pyongyang just weeks before the communist regime’s year-end deadline. A day before, North Korea issued statements to announce that it had carried out “another crucial test” at a satellite launching site, warning the United States to “hold off” any action to “rattle” the regime. During his three-day trip here, the US special envoy is expected to meet with officials here to discuss on the


By Zaffar Abbas
December 16, 2019

Diplomacy, Economics

Myanmar to be sincere in implementing Rohingya repatriation deal

This according to the Bangladeshi Foreign Minister. Bangladesh expects that Myanmar would be more tolerant towards Rohingyas after facing trial at the International Court of Justice, Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen said today. “My expectation is that Myanmar would be sincere in implementing the bilateral deal that signed with Bangladesh on repatriating Rohingyas from Bangladesh,” he told journalists at his ministry office in Dhaka. “Myanmar has invited me before a case lodged with the International Court of Justice. In response, I told that I would go there when the Rohingyas will go back to Myanmar,” the foreign minister said. “I also invited Myanmar to visit Bangladesh to talk to their Rohingya people and to understand their expectations,” Momen said. Globally it has been established that there was a massive crime committed against the Rohingyas, that was des


By Daily Star
December 16, 2019

Diplomacy, Economics

10 US senators criticise Suu Kyi for representing military’s interest

Suu Kyi is in the Hague defending Myanmar from genocide accusations. Ten US Senators have severely criticized Myanmar State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi for representing the military’s interest before the International Court of Justice and defending the mass atrocities committed against the Rohingyas and other ethnic minorities. “Representing the Burmese military’s interest before The Hague and defending the mass atrocities committed against the Rohingya and other ethnic minorities would undermine what remaining credibility you have before the international community, including in the US Congress,” said a letter to Suu Kyi issued on December 9. The Senators said a defense of the Burmese military at this high-profile international forum is also an affront to the inclusive, multi-cultural and democratic Burma that she claims to champion. They said when Buddhist nationalism is on the rise in


By Daily Star
December 13, 2019

Diplomacy, Economics

India under Modi is moving systematically with a supremacist agenda, says PM Imran

Imran Khan made the comments after India passed a controversial citizenship requirement. Prime Minister Imran Khan said on Thursday that India, under Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has been moving systematically with a Hindu supremacist agenda. The prime minister was referencing the controversial Citizenship Amendment Bill passed by India’s upper house amid protests on Wednesday. The bill will let the Indian government grant citizenship to millions of illegal immigrants who entered India from three neighbouring countries before 2015 — but not if they are Muslim. Modi’s government — re-elected in May and under pressure over a slowing economy — says Muslims from Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan are excluded from the legislation because they do not face discrimination in those countries. Taking to Twitter, Prime Minister I


By Asia News Network
December 13, 2019