Summary of Wang Yi’s Africa Tour 2024


From 13 to 18 January 2024, Chinese Chief Diplomat Wang Yi undertook the traditional tour of African countries. Prior to the trip, the Foreign Minister spokesperson announced that the itinerary would include Egypt, Tunisia, Togo and Cote d’Ivoire. Subsequently, Wang Yi will continue his tour to Brazil and Jamaica from 18 to 22 January 2024.

Around September 2024, China is planning to host the 9th Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (#FOCAC) in Beijing, after the one in Dakar held in November 2021. Thus, Wang Yi took the opportunity to personally invite African leaders during his visit and to relay a message from Chinese President Xi Jinping.

In the wake of the Taiwan Presidential elections, the African countries reiterated their adherence to the one-China principle and wished for a peaceful reunification of Taiwan with the mainland.

2024 marks the 34th consecutive year that China undertakes a tour of Africa at the beginning of the year, although there was a break during the #COVID pandemic. Africa has always held a special place in the Foreign Policy of China and China believes Africa represents a key pole in the emerging #multipolar world.


Chinese Ports Around the Suez Canal and Along Maritime Silk Route

In Egypt, the #RedSeaCrisis topped the agenda as could have been expected. As a matter of fact, both Wang Yi and his Egyptian counterpart Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry issued a joint statement calling for a ceasefire, release of hostages and holding negotiations leading to a two-state solution.

It is worth noting that China is heavily invested in Egypt and thus stands to lose if the crisis drags on. In fact, China has invested in the two ports of East Port Said and Ain Sokhna at the northern and southern entrances respectively of the Suez Canal. In addition, China has invested more than USD 8 billion to set up the Suez Special Economic Zone (#SEZ). Furthermore, China has stakes or considering investing in other seaports such as Damietta, Alexandria and another one near the Abu Qir Naval Base.


Wang Yi arrived in Tunis on the Sunday evening of 14 January 2024 and on Monday, Minister Wang participated in the official inauguration of the International Diplomatic Academy in the presence of Tunisian President Kais Saied and Tunisian Foreign Minister Nabil Ammar. The project was financed by China at a cost of EUR 21.3 millon.

It is worth noting that this is the first diplomatic academy that China has built in an African country. It will not only train diplomats in Tunisia but targets to nurture diplomats across Africa.

Official Inauguration of International Diplomatic Academy

“Experiencing hurdles vis-a-vis the EU, Tunisia now seeks new allies in order to achieve a certain balance between superpowers … Wang Yi’s visit confirms the new orientation of our Foreign Policy which aims to diversify our partners and open up new vistas of cooperation. “

Tunisian Foreign Minister Nabil Ammar

China has been very active in building infrastructue in Tunisia. Among some of the flagship projects, we may cite: the hospital at Sfax, the Cultural and Sport Centres at Ben Arous and El Menzah 6 and the National Archives. Recently, Sichuan Roads and Bridges won the tender to build the Bizerte bridge. Moreover, China has expressed interest in building a deep-water port at Enfidha but negotiations are still ongoing.


Togo President Faure Gnassingbe and China Foreign Minister Wang Yi

On 17 January 2024, Wang Yi arrived in Lome, the capital of Togo. He met with counterpart Togolese Foreign Minister Robert Dussey and had a session with Togolese President Faure Gnassingbe. For the first half of 2023, China-Togo bilateral trade reached USD 2.3 billion.

China expressed a willingness to support Togo’s Emergency Program for Savannah Region (PURS) to help the country address the security crisis in the northern part of the country. So far, Togo has secured FCFA 30 billion from the World Bank to improve infrastructure, agriculture and power supply in a bid to stabilize and develop the volatile region.

Finally, Wang Yi expressed China’s interest to support Togo, which is a key Francophone country in West Africa, to host a Pan-African conference.


Ivorian President Alassane Ouattara Greets Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi

In the afternoon of Wednesday 17 January 2024, Wang Yi arrived in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire where he was welcomed at the airport by his counterpart Ivorian Foreign Minister Leon Kacou. Then, Wang Yi has a tete-a-tete with Ivorian President Alessane Ouattara at his official residence at Cocody Riviera Golf Estate.

The visit coincided with Cote d’Ivoire hosting the 34th African Cup of Nations (#AFCON2024) and Wang Yi did not fail to congratulate Cote d’Ivoire for successfully organizing such a large-scale sports event. He also highlighted that the stadium where the opening ceremony took place was built by Chinese companies and China is thus pleased to be able to contribute the success of the #AFCON2024.

Cote d’Ivoire has been in the league of fastest growing economies in Africa and Wang Yi noted the remarkable socio-economic progress achieved by Cote d’Ivoire in recent years. Building upon past success, both parties expressed the wish to deepen the cooperation in the spirit of mutual benefit for the two countries.