Greater role expected for China in Africa

China is expected to contribute more to peace and development in Africa and the world, especially with the enhancement of mutually beneficial cooperation under such frameworks as the Belt and Road Initiative, said African analysts anticipating the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China.

The global community is looking forward to the Congress, and Africans are expecting China will play a more prominent role in global stability and prosperity, said Dennis Munene, executive director of the Africa Policy Institute's China-Africa Center in Nairobi, Kenya.

"For more than 100 years, the CPC, as a party, has stayed true to its original aspiration and founding mission; has continued to pursue happiness for her people; and has re-imagined herself as a true driver of positive change at home and abroad", especially since the pandemic, he said.

"China has taken seriously its development role by providing global public goods to boost economic growth, reduce poverty and inequality, and promote global stability."

"As (China is) a top actor in global affairs, the Congress will be closely watched around the world," said Adhere Cavince, a Rwanda-based scholar of international relations who focuses on China-Africa cooperation.

"Here in Africa, where China has risen to become the biggest trade partner and top development-project financier, there is clear anticipation that the outcomes of the Congress will consolidate the gains already made and set the pace for more mutually beneficial cooperation arrangements between China and Africa."

Over the past decade, China has respectively contributed more than 30 percent and 20 percent to global and Africa's economic growth, he said.

"Through the Belt and Road Initiative, rolled out in 2013, China has spearheaded or supported the modernization of Africa's production sectors, spanning energy, transportation, manufacturing, healthcare, education and communication," Cavince said.

"Alongside sharing its development experience with African countries, China has become an important reference point for many African countries keen on economic transformation."

He also pointed out nearly all African Union member states are BRI participants.

Munene, from the Africa Policy Institute, said the BRI and the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation are aligned with the African Union's Agenda 2063 and such national development initiatives as Kenya Vision 2030.

"These initiatives by China have transformed the continent of Africa to become a global powerhouse," he said.

Also, the Global Development Initiative, which China proposed in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, is a key initiative Africans are looking forward to seeing featured prominently during the upcoming Congress, Munene said.

"The economies of most of the African countries were highly affected during the pandemic," he said.

"Under the GDI, African countries are expecting more cooperation between China and Africa in various areas."

Cavince said China may also play a greater role in fostering lasting peace and security in Africa through the Global Security Initiative that China proposed earlier this year.

"The 20th Party Congress will take place at a time when China and Africa are seeking new ways of silencing guns and fostering human development," he said.

"Through the China-proposed Global Development Initiative and Global Security Initiative, countries in the Horn of Africa see a development-driven opportunity to eliminate security threats while bolstering the role of the state in creating a conducive environment for sustainable, inclusive and high-quality development," he said.