The Chinese Leader has decided to visit Africa and Senegal, Rwanda and South Africa were selected for this diplomatic trip. Such a move at this very moment where China’s position as leading economy of the world could be confirmed or not is an interesting situation to be analyzed for international Affairs analysts all over the world. How could the visit of President Xi jinping be understood? Why the choice of these three African countries? What atitude could the African countries adopt in order to take fully advantage of the interest of China in dealing with Africa?
President Xi Jinping’s visit to Africa is far from being touristic, the Chinese leader seems to be on a very strategic trip that may well contribute efficiently to its leading economy’s position in the world. Africa has been identified as where everything is going to happen for the coming years, that’s why apart from some Africans that are leaving the continent, most of the first world countries and those aspiring to reach such level are increasingly having interests in being present in Africa. Thus, among them is China that understood the strategic relevance of Africa several years ago and acted according to it. This is the reason why partnership contracts and agreements have been established with most of the African countries, giving access to a wonderful market and opportunity to make the Chinese economy better. China has therefore found a way to build so far significant infrastructures in Africa through the involvement of chinese businessmen and constructors for the past 30 years while investing also huge amount of money. However, much more still need to be built in Africa and the market is still growing in terms of populations. Who ever has strong and mutually profitable tights with Africa might stand strongly as an economic Leader in the world. The ongoing trade war initiated by the USA will obviously affect the Global economy if most of the economically powerful nations embarked in it, and those that will stand tall will be only the one with considerable alternative commercial markets, and Africa is one of the most promising alternative market.
Sénégal, Rwanda and South Africa could have been strategically chosen each for very specific reasons:
Senegal is currently one of the leading francophone economies in Africa, and has taken advantage of the partnership with China especially when it comes building infrastructures.
Rwanda is a rising giant economy in Africa and President Kagame is the sitting leader of the African Union. It is appropriate to underline the fact that Rwanda and China have about 50 years of cooperation, even during the conflictual periods in the country China was present, and has significantly helped in building the country.
South Africa’s position in Africa is not polemical, it is quite obvious that the country is among the best developed economies. The three countries identified and visited are leading economies in their subregions namely West Africa, Central and Eastern Africa, and Southern Africa. So we are having involved in this single trip more than 3 countries, but 3 powerful economic regions involved. If President Ping has been able to enhance his partnership with these 3 countries that are more than relevant in their economic regions thus in Africa, he would have prepared a serious back up plan that will allow China to survive eventual trade war with the USA and other leading economies of the world.
China is therefore offering a big opportunity to African countries to stomp or to dive economically, it all hangs on the atitude of each African state taken individually and as a block. This requires very sustainable development oriented diplomatic skills from African diplomats. It all hangs on them in the sense that the various partnership agreements that would be signed, for this treaties and agreements will determine the way businesses will be conducted between the parties involved. It appears that Senegal, Rwanda, and South Africa might have been capable of make good use of their cooperation with China for the past 30 years, of could be profitable to the other African countries to learn from them, especially from Rwanda that seems to move faster than the others. The issue will be with the atitude as a block which is the one that will significantly contribute to the sustainable development of the continent. It will not be appropriate to have individual deals with China that could not be in favour of the people but rather only in the advantage of some leaders or a handful of people. The African leaders ought to find a way through which the various regional organizations such as SADEC, ECOWAS, AU, to harmonize the criteria that must lead them in their cooperation with China, what could they accept and what shouldn’t they accept for the sake of the African populations. This could be called the “African Cooperation Guide”. A well elaborated document that helps African States in their various diplomatic approaches with the rest of the world. The existence of such document entails another one that clearly states the way for Africa’s foreign policy that could be called the ” African Agenda”. The latter must be specific about the development goals of the continent within a certain timeframe. It very good that President Kagame has the leadership of the African Union currently, and I believe he is a man of vision and actions, qualities that will definitely lead him to take the right stand with the uprising enleightened african leaders.