CAIF Opens New Chapter in China-Africa Cooperation

On 19 December 2023, the China-Africa Industrial Forum (#CAIF2023) held a Conference at the Kempinski Hotel in Beijing to explore “African Economic Prospects and Policies for 2024.” The event also coincided with the 15th year anniversary of the establishment of #CAIF.

The African diplomatic corps in China as well as the Chief of the AU Mission in Beijing were present. Other attendees included both Chinese and African business leaders and media reporters who made up the 200 participants at the Forum.

In his welcome address, CAIF Secretary-General CHENG Zhigang motivated his three predictions for 2024.

  1. China-Africa Trade Will Increase Substantially
  2. China-Africa Supply Chain Will Develop Extensively
  3. China-Africa Special Economic Zones (#SEZ) Will Expand Resolutely

On the other hand, the Chief Representative of the AU in China, Rahamtalla Osman, made reference to two important policy documents issued by #AU. The first document relates to Sustainable Development Goals (#SDG) while the second pertains to Export Diversification for African countries.

Based on statistics collected up to 2022, Chinese #ODI into Africa exceeded USD 53 billion and there are currently more than 3,500 Chinese companies in Africa. Ambassador Osman also underscored the incredible opportunities afforded by the single huge market enabled by the #AfCFTA.

From a commercial exchange standpoint, the trade volume between China and Africa is expected to surpass USD 300 billion for 2023. In particular, current data shows a trend for vigorous growth in trade of #CriticalMinerals and agricultural products while manufactured commodities maintain a healthy growth.

AU Head of Delegation in Beijing Rahamtalla Osman Delivers Keynot Address at CAIF2023

In response to local needs and in line with the industrialization drive in Africa, China is partnering with Africa to promote Technical and Vocational Education and Training (#TVET) across Africa. Another trend is the proliferation of #eCommerce platforms as well as the required logistical deployment in support of online marketplaces.

During the rest of the day, the African ambassadors presented the opportunities for cooperation in their countries or sub-regions. Other than the traditional infrastructure development and industrial parks, some countries put forward green tourism and renewable energy projects.

It is to be recalled that the next Forum for China-Africa Cooperation (#FOCAC) Summit is scheduled to take place in Bejing in 2024. Thus, similar seminars are planned in preparation for the Summit.