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China-Africa ties surge despite global hurdles

By ZHAO RUINAN | China Daily Global | Updated: 2023-08-30 10:18

An Ethiopian student holds a Chinese university admission letter during a farewell ceremony in Addis Ababa, capital of Ethiopia, on Aug 24, 2023. [Photo/Xinhua]

China-Africa relations have reached new heights across politics, economics, and culture, despite challenges posed by geopolitical conflicts and unilateralism worldwide, according to a report released on Tuesday.

Sino-African relations have entered a new era of building a high-level China-Africa community with a shared future, said the report, titled "Yellow Book of Africa: Annual Report on Development in Africa (2022-23)".

In addition to the close exchanges between senior officials, economic and trade cooperation between China and Africa has deepened continuously and reached unprecedented levels, the report said.

According to data from the Chinese Ministry of Commerce, the trade volume between China and Africa reached $282 billion in 2022, up 10.9 percent year-on-year.

China has been Africa's largest trading partner for 14 consecutive years. Chinese imports from Africa in the past 23 years have accumulated to $1.42 trillion, while the figure for exports to Africa was $1.58 trillion, official data showed.

The report said Africa's economy confronted challenges amid global economic deceleration, increasing inflation, and geopolitical crises. These factors caused a dip in Africa's growth rate from 4.8 percent in 2021 to 3.8 percent in 2022.

Another significant concern often overlooked is the toll from natural disasters caused by climate change in African nations, said the report.

Piao Yingji, a researcher in African economic development at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said at the event held in Beijing to release the report, that the continent is grappling with extreme weather events stemming from climate change.

These include escalating droughts, floods due to tropical cyclones and heavy rainfall, causing significant economic and societal losses for African nations, she said.

The report also envisioned Africa's economy rebounding this year due to the gradual relaxation of pandemic restrictions and heightened international market demand.

"Africa is actively advancing its Agenda 2063, accelerating economic transformation, and fostering a unified market potentially covering a population of 1.3 billion and a total worth of $3.4 trillion," said the report.

Rising potential

While traditional areas such as infrastructure and trade have showcased excellent Sino-African collaboration, the potential is also seen in healthcare, green economy, and artificial intelligence, it said.

Zhang Hongming, deputy director of the Institute of West Asian and African Studies of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, told China Daily that the past decade's collaboration between China and Africa has yielded fruitful outcomes under the Belt and Road Initiative and the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation.

As collaborative mechanisms continue to evolve, the future holds vast prospects for furthering China-Africa cooperation, he added.

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