GMF Breakfast Briefing: What Does China Want in Africa? Implications for Development, Migration and Security Cooperation
- Maximilian Jarett, Senior Special Advisor to the Chair, Africa Progress Group
- Janka Oertel, Transatlantic Fellow, Asia Program, The German Marshall Fund of the United States
- Astrid Ziebarth, Senior Migration Fellow, Europe Program, The German Marshall Fund of the United States
The cover of the recent Economist magazine referred to a New Scramble for Africa which at the heart has one core component: Chinese activity there. Already the continent's largest investor in infrastructure projects and (as a single country) its largest trading partner, Chinese has expanded its engagement into the political, military and socio-cultural realms as well: the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) in 2018 included pledges of $60 billion in grants and loans, as well as 50,000 scholarships and traineeships. China has opened up over 50 cultural Confucius Institutes in Africa, and plans are underway to increase military cooperation. It now provides the largest number of troops for UN peacekeeping operations in Mali and South Sudan, and this is expected to increase. Meanwhile, Chinese engagement has meant a significant boon for development and access to cash for many African governments.
How can we interpret China's engagement in Africa within its larger global ambitions? How is Chinese outreach and investment viewed in different African countries? And how will this influence European and German partnership efforts on the continent, from migration, to development cooperation to strategic political engagement?
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