Follow CGSP on Social Media

Listen to the CGSP Podcast

With An Eye on China, EU Chief Says Europe is Africa’s “Most Reliable Partner”

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen speaks during a media conference at EU headquarters in Brussels on February 8, 2022. Virginia Mayo / POOL / AFP

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen (photo) will arrive in Dakar on Wednesday for a quick trip before next week’s Europe-Africa summit. One of the key highlights of her visit will be to unveil some of the first projects selected as part of the new Global Gateway initiative — the EU’s answer to China’s Belt and Road.

Even though von der Leyen has been an outspoken critic of China’s development finance practices in Africa and other regions, she refrained in an interview with Agence France Presse from explicitly framing the Global Gateway or the upcoming summit as efforts to counteract Chinese influence on the continent.

  • 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-Global South Project?


The China-Global South Project 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-Global South stories. Updated 24 hours a day by human editors. No bots, no algorithms.


Diverse, often unconventional insights from scholars, analysts, journalists and a variety of stakeholders in the China-Global South discourse.


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