Follow CGSP on Social Media

Listen to the CGSP Podcast

Professor Li Anshan Explains Why is Africa Important to China

File image of China's President Xi Jinping (C) speaks as South Africa's President Cyril Ramaphosa (L) and Equatorial Guinea's President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo (R) look on, during the Forum On China-Africa Cooperation - Round Table Conference at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on September 4, 2018. Lintao Zhang / POOL / AFP

With the triennial Forum on China-Africa Cooperation summit that will take place online and in Senegal less than three months away (it will likely occur in September), there’s growing speculation as to what will be on the agenda and what that will say about Beijing’s evolving priorities on the continent.

At this point, there’s no publicly available information that can provide any insight into what issues Chinese leaders plan to discuss with their African counterparts. So, we’re left to speculate a bit. Most observers believe that there will be less focus on the kinds of large-scale infrastructure projects and loan packages that were the hallmarks of previous FOCAC summits. Instead, there will be more discussion about public health issues (the Health Silk Road), technology (the Digital Silk Road), and sustainable development (the Green Belt and Road).

  • Get a daily email packed with the latest China-Africa news and analysis.
  • Read exclusive insights on the key trends shaping China-Africa relations.
  • Full access to the News Feed that provides daily updates on Chinese engagement in Africa and throughout the Global South.

China, Africa and the Global South... find out what’s happening.

Subscribe today for unlimited access.

What is The China-Africa Project?


The CAP is passionately independent, non-partisan and does not advocate for any country, company or culture.


A carefully curated selection of the day’s most important China-Africa stories. Updated 24 hours a day by human editors. No bots, no algorithms.


Diverse, often unconventional insights from scholars, analysts, journalist and a variety of stakeholders in the China-Africa discourse.


A unique professional network of China-Africa scholars, analysts, journalists and other practioners from around the world.