Mapping the future of Africa-China relations: insights from West Africa – SAIIA


  • The 2021 Forum on China-Africa Cooperation Summit will be the first to be held in a Francophone country (Senegal) and the start of the summit in West Africa.
  • It happens at a moment of major change in Africa-China relations – one that raises many questions about how Africa would like to develop the relationship.
  • West Africa-China relations have changed rapidly over the past two decades. Beyond trade, China is now a major lender to the region and is deeply involved in training, infrastructure provision, and peace and security.
  • This paper argues that key areas on the agenda of the FOCAC summit will include health, economic recovery after the COVID-19 pandemic, regional integration and credit.
  • It also offers concrete suggestions on how West African policymakers can maximize the outcomes of their relationship with China – insights that apply to the entire continent and many other regions of the global south.

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