Sino-African Cooperation Reaches New Level


Political and economic situations in Africa have been largely stable since the beginning of 2014. Constant advances in regional integration have contributed to positive growth on the continent, boosting its appeal to foreign investment; an increasing number of international corporations are coming to Africa.

The visit by Chinese Premier Li Keqiang in 2014 to the continent had positive implications worldwide and furthered Sino-African cooperation in such fields as politics, economy, social undertakings, culture and people-to-people exchanges.


 Chinese President Xi Jinping meets with visiting president of Zimbabwe Robert Mugabe on August 25, 2014.

Africa’s Political Developments in 2014

Several African countries held presidential and parliamentary elections in 2014. In general all ran smoothly. Despite an attack by anti-government militants several days before polling day, the presidential election in Algeria was peaceful on the whole, and recognized by the international community. The general election in South Africa was also a big event of the year. As many as 29 political parties competed, and the African National Congress (ANC), supported by its tripartite alliance with the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) and the South African Communist Party (SACP), won the majority of seats in the National Assembly for the fifth time. The process was orderly and peaceful. Polls were also successfully conducted in Egypt, Botswana, Malawi and Tunisia.

In the past, it was a given that major elections in African countries would spark controversy, causing tempers to run high and chaos to ensue. But 2014 was different. Though the competition was as fierce as before, consensus had formed among African people to execute their political rights conferred by the constitution in a just and orderly manner.

African economy has maintained brisk growth since the mid-1990s, with annual growth above five percent. Morocco has the best economic performance in North Africa, with robust development in multiple industries in addition to oil production. In Egypt, still in the transition period after the presidential election, growth exceeded one percent. Tunisia, with its advantage of geographical proximity to Europe, keeps its competitive edge.

In its 2014 report entitled Regional Economic Outlook: Sub-Saharan Africa, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) anticipated a five percent pickup in economic growth throughout the region. Many countries in the area are ramping up infrastructure construction and the capacities of their energy and electricity industries. These factors, in addition to advances in their service industries and bumper harvests in the agricultural sector, fuel economic development in Sub-Saharan Africa.

The IMF projected the 2014 GDP increase would hit 9 percent in Chad, 8.3 percent in Mozambique and Niger, 8.2 percent in Ethiopia and 6.7 percent on average in low-income African countries.

Regional integration in the continent also made headway in 2014. The three leading regional economic blocks – the East African Community (EAC), the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) and the Southern African Development Community (SADC) – reached an agreement to launch a free trade zone at the end of 2014. Covering 26 countries with a total population of 625 million and collective GDP of US $12 billion, 58 percent of the GDP of the whole African Union (AU), the FTZ is expected to be the largest on the continent and will become the centerpiece of the pan-African FTZ anticipated in 2017.

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