Forum for China Africa Cooperation slated for October 21

BY: Kweku Zurek
Forum for China Africa Cooperation slated for June 4

The BRICS Research Centre, Human Sciences Research Council’s and the Afro-Sino Centre of International Relations, Ghana will on Thursday, October 21, 2021, hold a forum on 21 years of China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC).

The forum which will be held virtually is themed: "Assessing Preparedness for a win-win Sino-Africa Multilateral and Bilateral Collaborations".

His Excellency Minister Counsellor Yu Yong, Embassy of the People's Republic of China in Pretoria, South Africa and Dr Jakkie Cilliers, Chair of the Board, Head African Futures & Innovation, Institute for Security Studies are scheduled to deliver the opening addresses at the forum.

The Forum for China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) triennial summit has since become a major event in global politics since its inaugural meeting in 2000 as it sets the tone for Sino-African relations.

The focus of this years’ summit is supposed to be on three priority areas of vaccine cooperation, economic recovery, and transformative development.

"As FOCAC looks into the future post-COVID-19, it is necessary to unpack challenges and prospects based on the past 21 years," a statement issued by the organisers said.

"From a futuristic perspective, the continent needs to clearly define what it wants to get out of the FOCAC. The fact is, Africa maintains a structural annual trade deficit with China amounting to over $20 billion. China has indeed been the main contributor of infrastructure development on the continent. However, its essential to measure how FOCAC $60 billion commitments since the 2015 FOCAC Summit have impacted the continent.

"This webinar platform is therefore critical for African thinkers and think tanks to do an in-depth analysis or an evaluation of FOCAC, and objectively examine African agency in relations to China. Suffice to say, African rhetoric with international partners such as China should be embedded in the Africa Union's constitutive Act to continuously secure beneficial deals for Africa. The webinar will also provide recommendation on how African agency related to Sino-Africa relations".

The panel will include the following topics and speakers:

The African Agency in the Convergence of Emergence between Africa and China 

Prof. Siphamandla Zondi, Chair, South African BRICS Think Tank Council & University of Johannesburg

The necessity of an assessment of FOCAC; Africa’s agency in securing a win-win collaboration

Ms Pamela Carslake, Executive Director, Afro-Sino Centre of International Relations, Ghana

China-Africa collaboration and its impact on the African Continental Free Trade Area Agreement (AfCFTA)

Dr Robert Lisinge, Chief, Energy, Infrastructure, and Services. United Nations Economic Commission for Africa

Putting Africa First: Necessity of individual country’s readiness in bilateral relations with China towards Agenda 2063 achievements

Prof. Mammo Muchie, Tshwane Institute of Technology, Chair, Rated Research Professor in Innovation Studies

Africa at the Centre of China Shaping the World in the 21st Century

Prof. Paul Tembe, Senior Research Fellow and Senior Lecturer, Department of Linguistics and Modern Languages. University of South Africa (UNISA)

Infrastructure Construction and Knowledge Exchange:
How can China and Africa Improve the Quality and Sustainability of their Cooperation?

Professor Tang Xiaoyang

Deputy Director, Carnegie-Tsinghua Center for Global Policy, Mingzhai 320, Tshinghua University

The details of the event are as follows:

Date:                   21 October 2021

Time:                   11h00-14:00 Harare/Pretoria Time or 17:00 – 20:00 Beijing Time

Zoom Link: https://zoom.us/meeting/register/tJMvd--rqj0tE9VWQYvL2P8e7LuYTrODD9R-