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Major initiatives announced at the FOCAC Summit

The 3rd edition of the Forum for Africa–China Cooperation (FOCAC) came to an end on 4 September 2018. We now reflect on what has been deliberated and more so what Africa has benefited. The FOCAC summit is a meeting between China and Africa and is largely premised on ways to increase diplomatic, economic and bilateral ties. This year’s edition theme was “China and Africa: Towards an Even Stronger Community with a Shared Future through Win-Win Cooperation.”

Major Initiatives announced from the FOCAC summit

During the FOCAC summit, 8 new initiatives were announced backed by a new USD$60 billion support to Africa for the next 3 years. These are:

1. Industrial Promotion Initiative: This will result in the opening of a China-Africa economic and trade expo in China. It will also lead to establishment economic and trade cooperation zones in Africa.
2. Infrastructure Connectivity Initiative: This will result in the formulation of a China-Africa infrastructure cooperation plan with the African Union. This stands to complement the AU’s agenda of the Continental Free Trade Area and the continued quest to promote integration.
3. China will launch a Trade Facilitation Initiative, which will see a deliberate move to increase imports, particularly non-resource products, from Africa. This will also culminate into the China International Import Expo with the least developed African countries participating to be exempted from paying exhibition stand fees.
4. China will launch a Green Development Initiative; to undertake 50 projects for green development and ecological and environmental protection in Africa to expand exchanges and cooperation with Africa on climate change, ocean, desertification prevention and control, and wildlife protection. A China-Africa environmental cooperation center will be set up, and more policy dialogue and joint research on environmental issues will be conducted.
5. Capacity Building Initiative: China will share more of its development practices with Africa and support cooperation with Africa on economic and social development planning. Ten Luban Workshops will be set up in Africa to provide vocational training for young Africans.
6. Health Care Initiative: China has decided to upgrade 50 medical and health aid programs for Africa, particularly flagship projects such as the headquarters of the African Center for Disease Control and Prevention and China-Africa Friendship Hospitals.
7. People-to-People Exchange Initiative: China decided to establish an institute of African studies to enhance exchanges with Africa on civilization. The China-Africa Joint Research and Exchange Plan will be upgraded.
8. Peace and Security Initiative: China decided to set up a China-Africa peace and security fund to boost cooperation on peace, security, peacekeeping, and law and order. 

To ensure that these eight initiatives are implemented on the ground, China will extend USD$60 billion of financing to Africa in the form of Government assistance as well as investment and financing by financial
institutions and companies. This will include:
  • USD$15 billion of grants, interest-free loans and concessional loans,
  • USD$20 billion of credit lines,
  • The setting up of a USD$10 billion special fund for development financing and
  • USD$5 billion special fund for financing imports from Africa.
  • Chinese companies have been encouraged make at least US$10 billion of investment in Africa in the next three years.

In addition, Africa’s least developed countries, heavily indebted and poor countries, landlocked developing countries and small island developing countries that have diplomatic relations with China, the debt they have incurred in the form of interest-free Chinese government loans due to mature by the end of 2018 will be exempted.

Analysis by Policy Monitoring and Research Centre (PMRC)

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President Xi Jinping giving his keynote speech