What Can Africa Expect From FOCAC 2021?



David Thomas | African Business

The eighth edition of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) is due to be held in Dakar, Senegal, from 29-30 November 2021, Senegal’s foreign minister, Aïssata Tall Sall, and the Chinese ambassador to Dakar, Xiao Han, have announced.

The theme of the conference will be “Deepen China-Africa Partnership and Promote Sustainable Development to Build a China-Africa Community with a Shared Future in the New Era”, according to Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin.

Speaking in a press conference in Beijing on 5 November, he said that the meeting would “review and assess the follow-up implementation of the outcomes of the 2018 FOCAC Beijing Summit as well as the joint China-Africa response to Covid-19, and chart the course for China-Africa relations for the next three years and more to come.”

He also predicted that the forum would “inject new impetus into the China-Africa comprehensive strategic and cooperative partnership”.

Four key themes for the FOCAC agenda

On 8 November, Senegal’s foreign minister and the Chinese ambassador to Dakar, Xiao Han, announced that the forum would adopt four resolutions: The Dakar Action Plan (2022-2024); the 2035 Vision for China-Africa Cooperation; the Sino-African Declaration on Climate Change; and the Declaration of the Eighth Ministerial Conference of FOCAC.

These, predicted Eric Olander, writing on the China-Africa Project website, are likely to “serve as the main pillars” of the forum.

The Senegalese foreign minister said that the forum would appraise the results of China-African cooperation during the Covid-19 pandemic and define how it would continue for the next three years and beyond.

She also announced that the seventh China-Africa Business Conference would take place in parallel with FOCAC at the Diamniadio Exhibition Centre in Dakar and by video conference. The 2018 edition in Beijing hosted more than 1,000 African representatives from over 600 enterprises, business groups, and research institutions.

“FOCAC is our common good. Its success will bring prosperity to current and future generations of Africans and Chinese,” said Aïssata Tall Sall.

I’m a journalist and editor with a focus on business and world affairs stories. I’m currently the editor of African Business Magazine, the leading pan-African monthly publication based in London. I write informative and entertaining features on business and political developments in Africa and commission, manage and edit our in-house reporters and freelancers as they deliver breaking news and features. 

To read the full commentary by David Thomas in the African Business, please click here.