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When France Builds a Train in Africa, the International Media Coverage is Very Different Than When China Does

Senegalese President Macky Sall launched a new 40-kilometer commuter railway last week that will link the industrial city Diamniadio with the capital Dakar. The debut of the new Regional Express marked an important milestone for Senegal. It is the first rail line to be built in ...

The Different Readings of FOCAC

One of the intriguing results of last week’s FOCAC meeting has been a narrative pushed by key English-language publications that it represents a reduction in Chinese engagement with the continent. Bloomberg set the tone in its initial report which counted the sums mentioned in President Xi Jinping’s speech and ...

A Week After FOCAC, Experts Weigh in with More Nuance

While much of the news coverage in the immediate aftermath of this year's FOCAC focused on the premature calculation that China had reduced its financial pledge by a third, now, a week later, more nuanced analysis from some of the world's leading specialists in the field is ...

FOCAC 8 Recap & Review

The eighth Forum on China-Africa Cooperation conference wrapped up this week in Senegal. The event itself generated a lot of news but it was far from the only thing going on this week. The Europeans sought to try and upstage FOCAC ...

A New Era of China-Africa Relations

By Chris Alden, Hugo Jones, and Lukas Fiala, China Foresight LSE IDEAS As the haze lifts from Dakar, international observers are trying to understand what the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) means for the future of Africa-China relations as well as China’s ...

Analysis from Cobus van Staden

China’s African Debt Experiment

The Financial Times today published a deep dive into the issue of Chinese lending to African countries and what struck me was how it crystallizes some of the underlying issues that aren’t necessarily made clear in the debt debate.

In the first place, it shows that Africa’s need for financing far outstrips both the available financing options and the continent’s current ability to repay them. The Calvinist logic that underlies much of ...

FOCAC 8 Concludes With China-Africa Relations Now Heading in a New Direction

Senegalese Foreign Minister Aïssata Tall Sall brought this week's Forum on China-Africa Cooperation ministerial conference to a close on Tuesday at a press briefing with her Chinese counterpart Wang Yi.  Sall conveyed what appears to be the consensus among attendees, both African ...

Why China will Probably Sidestep Calls for Sahel Involvement

The Forum on China Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) kicked off in Dakar, Senegal with huge expectations. As usual, there was a lot of talk about trade, investment, and other perennial Africa-China discussion points. More surprising was the call from Senegalese Foreign Minister ...

Xi Lays Out an Ambitious Agenda For Engagement in Africa With a Focus on Vaccines and Trade

Chinese President Xi Jinping unveiled a sweeping package of trade, health, and investment programs that all appear intended to address the continent's immediate demand for combatting the COVID-19 pandemic and sparking economic growth. The president laid out his proposals on Monday ...

Presidents Sall and Ramaphosa Address FOCAC

Senegalese President Macky Sall, host of this year's FOCAC, and President Cyril Rampahosa from South Africa both delivered speeches at the forum on Monday, among the few African leaders this year to speak at the event. Both spoke of the importance ...

France Watches FOCAC 8 With Skepticism

Coverage of this week's FOCAC 8 in the French media is considerably higher than in previous years, most likely because it's taking place in Senegal -- a francophone country that Paris has long viewed as in its traditional sphere of influence. ...
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