China has launched a number of initiatives regarding infrastructural development globally, with a specific focus on scaling up infrastructure throughout the African continent. The BRICS New Development Bank and Chinese infrastructure initiatives such as the China-led Africa Growing Together Fund (AGTF) are expected to play a significant role ranging from financing to technology transfer. In January 2015, China and the Africa Union (AU) signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on infrastructural development. China and the AU have agreed to put collective effort into improving Africa’s infrastructure including high speed railways, aviation, and road highways. Against this background, the Second Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) Summit will be a platform accelerating the co-operation between China and African states at multiple levels in the infrastructure sector. Prior to the Summit, we should scrutinise Sino-African co-operation in infrastructure both in the past and present in order to map out the future relationship and determine what opportunities and challenges lie in the future. This policy brief offers an overview of Chinese engagement in Africa, with a specific focus on East Africa. In recent years, the East African region in particular has been one of the most prominent beneficiaries of this development, with mega projects including Kenya’s Port Lamu, the Southern Sudan-Ethiopia Transport (LAPSSET) corridor and the construction of a Standard Gauge Railway in Kenya. The brief examines the transport sector and its potential to connect African countries by reducing the costs of moving people and goods, and integrating markets. [Continue reading]
CCS FOCAC Policy Briefing (Africa) |Paving the road ahead – China-Africa co-operation in the infrastructure sector
CCS FOCAC Policy Briefing (Africa) |Raising the bar on sustainable development: Renewable energy and environmental standards in FOCAC VI
The 6th Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) is taking place at a time when Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are high on most international development agendas. Two important aspects of this agenda include environmental protection and the promotion of renewable energy. This policy briefing examines the promotion of renewable energy and the importance of environmental standards in Africa, within the China-Africa relationship. [Continue reading]
CCS FOCAC Policy Briefing (Africa) |China and the African Regional Economic Communities: Transforming Multilateral Cooperation
Recently, China has increased its economic, political and military co-operation with the African Union (AU). The diversity of members within the AU makes the continental approach more complicated for both Chinese and African actors. This is largely due to the AU’s lack of instrumental capacity, resulting from its financial and structural weakness, as an inter-governmental actor. This policy brief highlights an alternative platform through which co-operation could be fostered. African Regional Economic Communities (RECs) increase the bargaining power of African states, without losing the instrumental capacity of implementing and monitoring policies effectively. China’s engagement with the RECs would not only nurture regional integration, but also enhance China’s co-operation with Africa as a whole. In the following briefing, we argue that increased co-operation with regional organisations is necessary as China’s bilateral and continental engagements face institutional, political and economic challenges. The RECs need to move to the forefront of the Sino-African dialogue in order to satisfy Africa’s aspiration for global markets and China’s interest in increased political, economic and cultural co-operation. [Continue reading]
CCS FOCAC Policy Briefing (RSA) | South Africa-China multi-lateral co-operation: BRICS and FOCAC
The 21st Century has witnessed the emergence of a number of non-western powers, many of which have entered into formal partnerships, driven predominantly by a common development agenda. A prominent engagement within this new context is the China-South Africa relationship which, in recent years, has been strengthened through both bi-lateral exchanges as well as various multi-lateral frameworks. Two major partnerships include BRICS, an association of five major emerging economies – Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa, and FOCAC, the Forum on China–Africa Cooperation – a triennial ministerial meeting whose aim is to enhance co-operation between China and African states at multiple levels. South Africa’s inclusion in the BRICS grouping bestows on it a prestigious position in the continent as well as in the global arena. At the upcoming FOCAC VI in 2015, it is expected that South Africa as co-chair will yet again show its commitment in taking initiatives to resolve Africa’s challenges. This Policy Brief discusses the importance of South Africa’s growing role in these groupings with a focus on how its membership can contribute to South Africa’s sustainable development and help it to garner opportunities.
CCS FOCAC Policy Briefing (RSA) | Preparing for FOCAC VI: China-South Africa co-operation in conservation and renewable energy
As China’s development puts increasing pressure on the environment, various measures have been implemented both domestically and, increasingly, abroad in an attempt to limit the impact. China’s environmental engagement at an international level, including the agreement between the United States (US) President Barack Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping to cut carbon emissions (12 November 2014), signals the growing urgency of the issue. Within the context of the China-South Africa engagement, there are also signs of this shift. Two key areas where this is evident are in China’s growing role in conservation and the renewable energy sector. China’s domestic demand for wildlife goods has motivated the Chinese government to sign a number of Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) with African governments. In the renewable energy sector again, Africa’s energy needs and untapped capacity for electricity generation from renewable energy (RE) has created a vast potential market for global Chinese renewable energy firms. Both areas have become increasingly important topics within China-Africa relations, and feature on the Forum of China Africa Co-operation (FOCAC) agenda. This policy brief examines the role of these two themes as a way of demonstrating some of the concrete ways in which China-Africa interaction is evolving in a world where sustainable development has become key.