As Buhari arrives Beijing, Nigeria and China signs $328m ICT deal

The Nigerian President is scheduled to join President Jinping and other African leaders for the opening and roundtable sessions of the 2018 FOCAC Beijing Summit under the theme: "Towards an even Stronger China-Africa Community with a Shared Future".

President Mnangagwa is expected to hold bilateral talks with his host, President Xi Jinping this week.

This is the 3rd Heads of State and Government summit bringing together leaders from the African continent and those from China, to take place after the first in 2006 that was held in Beijing, the second in South Africa in 2015 and now the 3rd in Beijing-China.

Xi will introduce new concepts and proposals for ties between China and Africa, and announce new actions and measures on practical cooperation with Africa during the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) Beijing summit September 3-4, official media has reported.

To build the China-Africa Comprehensive Strategic and Cooperative Partnership, China committed itself to implementing 10 cooperation plans - in the areas of industrialisation, agricultural modernisation, infrastructure, financial services, green development, trade and investment facilitation, poverty reduction and public welfare, public health, people-to-people exchanges, and peace and security.

All 53 African countries that have established diplomatic relations with China will send representatives to the conference, said Jiang.

The goal of the 2018 FOCAC meeting is the promotion of economic and trade cooperation between China and African economies as it seeks to synergize China's Belt and Road Initiative, the United Nations' 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the African Union's Agenda 2063, and the development strategies of individual African countries.

Ramaphosa said the relationship between South Africa and China has been set up on the basis of equality, mutual respect and benefit, adding that it is unfading and strategic.

At the Johannesburg summit, Xi announced Dollars 60 billion in funding support for infrastructure development in Africa.

Scholars from the China-Africa Research Initiative at Johns Hopkins University found that while Chinese loans were not a major contributor to debt distress in Africa, a number of countries were heavy borrowers from Beijing. It has also helped in the financing and construction of the Standard Gauge Railway with the first phase from Mombasa to Nairobi already operational. The focus will be on political and economic cooperation, social development cooperation, cultural and people exchanges, peace and security, and global cooperation.

On a bilateral level, China is South Africa's largest trading partner, and has been so for nine consecutive years.

  • Rogelio Becker