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The Africa Report

Sameera Casmod | sameerac@radioislam.co.za
12 March 2024 | 13:55 SAST
1 minute read

On the morning of March 7th, 2024, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi addressed the conclusion of the annual two sessions of the NPC and CPPCC in China. Notably, Minister Wang singled out Africa, emphasising the importance of China’s relationship with the continent, particularly in anticipation of the upcoming FOCAC 2024 summit in Beijing.

Dr Emmanuel Matambo, the PhD Research Director at the Centre for Africa-China Studies (CACS), discussed the significance of Minister Wang’s remarks on Radio Islam International. Dr Matambo contextualised China’s longstanding commitment to Africa, dating back to the early 1990s, when Africa became the first destination for China’s Foreign Minister’s international trips each year.

“Every year at the beginning of the calendar year, the Foreign Minister of China, Wang Yi, usually takes an international trip. For more than 30 years, China has chosen Africa as the first part of the world for the Foreign Minister of China to visit,” Dr Matambo explained.

Minister Wang’s recent visit to Africa further underscores China’s dedication to strengthening ties with the continent. By mentioning Africa specifically at the conclusion of the two sessions, Minister Wang aimed to report on the commitments made during his visit and set the stage for the upcoming FOCAC 2024 summit.

“He was creating a platform for the 9th Forum on China-Africa Cooperation Summit that will be happening in Beijing,” Dr Matambo noted.

Dr Matambo discussed the ideological underpinnings of China-Africa relations, highlighting shared historical experiences and a mutual commitment to non-interference in domestic affairs.

“Africa-China relations remain intact and stable…Africa and China, through all that, they always highlight the fact that they fall on the same side of history,” Dr Matambo stated.

Furthermore, Dr Matambo challenged perceptions of China’s engagement in Africa, emphasising Africa’s agency in shaping its own development path.

“I think the responsibility to develop Africa resides squarely on Africa, and then our international relations can supplement that,” Dr Matambo asserted.

Listen to the full interview on Sabaahul Muslim with Moulana Junaid Kharsany here.

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