China-Africa Forum: African governments call for a more balanced relationship

Senegalese President Macky Sall speaks at the Africa-China Cooperation Forum (Focac) in Dakar, November 29, 2021. AFP - SEYLLOU

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The China-Africa Cooperation Forum continues in Dakar.

Several Chinese ministers made the trip for this event.

An important part of the exchanges of this forum is devoted to the economic relations between China and the African continent.

Beijing remains the main trading partner of the continent.

But this relationship is unbalanced and today African heads of state want to change the situation.


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In 2019, trade between China and Africa reached almost $ 210 billion. In the same year, the trade deficit of African states vis-à-vis China tripled, reaching nearly $ 18 billion. Clearly, China exports far more products to Africa than it imports. In addition, it exports high added value manufactured products, while it mainly imports raw materials.

An unbalanced situation that should be changed, according to Macky Sall, the Senegalese president.


We must accelerate the development of African industrial capacities so that the continent facilitates the access of its products to the Chinese market.

In addition, better access of African products to Chinese electronic platforms would help increase the volume of our trade to the benefit of both parties.


See also: China-Africa Forum in Dakar: Beijing promises a “new era” in the face of African concerns

Requests that Chinese President Xi Jinping says he heard.

China will expand the categories of products benefiting from tariff exemption for least developed countries to bring the total volume of Chinese imports from Africa to US $ 300 billion in the next three years . 


Although 70% of African exports are destined for China, in 2019 they only represent 4% of the Chinese trade balance.

The problem with the relationship between China and Africa is that there was a major imbalance, as we have seen little by little over the years between China and African countries, and there the idea is to answer the rising questions about what is really the interest for Africans.

Jean-Joseph Boillot, IRIS advisor on emerging countries

Claire Fages

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  • China

  • Africa

  • Senegal

  • Trade and Trade

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