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FOCAC at 20: Deborah Brautigam Looks Back at Two Decades of China-Africa Summits


This year marks the 20th anniversary since the first triennial Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) summit convened in Beijing. Now, preparations are underway for the next FOCAC gathering, scheduled to take place in Dakar, Senegal — although whether it will be an in-person or online gathering will likely depend on the pandemic.

Johns Hopkins University Professor Deborah Brautigam, also the director of the China-Africa Research Initiative, is one of the few scholars who’s been in the field since that first FOCAC took place in Beijing. She spoke with The Diplomat’s Editor in Chief Shannon Tiezzi to reflect back on two decades of China-Africa summits and where she sees relations between these two regions heading.

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