On June 14, the seminar titled "The 2020 China-Africa Development Forum: The Impact of COVID-19 on Africa and China-Africa Development Cooperation" hosted by Shanghai University of International Business and Economics (SUIBE) and undertaken by the International Development Cooperation Academy and Institute of International Business, SUIBE, was held in the form of a video conference. Attendees at the seminar include Officials and experts from the Institute of West-Asian and African Studies of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, the Institute of African Studies of Zhejiang Normal University, the Center for African Studies of Peking University, the Center for African Studies of Shanghai Normal University and the Institute for African Studies of Guangdong University of Foreign Studies, as well as experts and scholars in African economic research from Fudan University, Nankai University, Xiamen University, Shanghai University, Shanghai International Studies University, and the Chinese Academy of International Trade and Economic Cooperation, MOFCOM.
The convening of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) and the implementation of Belt and Road cooperation have brought a new vision and opportunities for China to study the African economy and China-Africa development.
China-Africa development cooperation includes economic assistance, but ultimately, it is about the mutually beneficial economic cooperation between China and African countries based on marketization. Focusing on infrastructure cooperation, trade and investment cooperation, and financial cooperation between China and African countries, it involves policy coordination, facilities connectivity, unimpeded trade, financial integration and people-to-people bonds, aiming to promote the economic and social development of both sides through cooperation in various fields.
Focusing on China-Africa development cooperation during COVID-19, the seminar was divided into one main forum and two sub-forums. The main forum was entitled "The Impact of COVID-19 on Africa and China-Africa Development Cooperation", and the sub-forums were entitled "Political and Economic Analysis on the Development of African Countries" and "Economic Growth in Africa and China-Africa Economic and Trade Cooperation", respectively.
"The Impact of COVID-19 on Africa and China-Africa Development Cooperation" Main Forum: Prof. Li Anshan, Director of the Center for African Studies of Peking University, Prof. Liu Hongwu, Director of the Institute of African Studies of Zhejiang Normal University, An Chunying, a researcher at the Institute of West-Asian and African Studies, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, Prof. Li Ronglin, Director of the South-south Cooperation Research Center of Nankai University, Prof. Zhang Zhongxiang, Director of the Center for African Studies of Shanghai Normal University, Researcher Liu Jisen, Executive President of the Institute for African Studies, Guangdong University of Foreign Studies, Prof. Huang Meibo, Director of the International Development Cooperation Academy, SUIBE, and other experts delivered keynote speeches on important topics such as the characteristics and trend of COVID-19's development in Africa and its impact on African countries' economic growth, how COVID-19 challenges China-Africa relations, the models and significance of China-Africa cooperation after COVID-19 and the further development and trend of China-Africa cooperation against COVID-19, and carried out in-depth discussions with the attendees. The experts also forecasted Africa's economic development and China-Africa economic and trade cooperation in the post-COVID-19 period.
"Political and Economic Analysis of the Development of African Countries" Sub-forum: Focusing on Africa's political and economic development and China's aid to Africa, experts discussed the specific economic development models of representative African countries (e.g. Nigeria, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Rwanda, etc.) and their interaction with the political environment. They also had in-depth discussions on key topics such as location selection and aid coordination in China's aid to Africa, as well as Chinese people's recognition and evaluation of China's foreign aid.
"Economic Growth in Africa and China-Africa Economic and Trade Cooperation" Sub-forum: Experts held extensive discussions mainly from the perspective of China-Africa economic and trade cooperation. The topics include the convergence analysis of countries in sub-Saharan Africa, the development and models of China-Africa Economic and Trade Cooperation Zone in the context of third-party market cooperation, the characteristics and trend of China-Africa investment cooperation, the impact of China's aid to Africa on outward foreign direct investment (OFDI), the current situation and influence of China-Africa financial cooperation and the analysis of Africa's debts.
In June 2018, in order to align with international development cooperation and Belt and Road cooperation, SUIBE established a research institute, namely, the International Development Cooperation Academy (IDCA), SUIBE. After establishment, the IDCA focuses on the research of the theories and policies on international development cooperation, such as international aid, international trade, development finance and OFDI. Regionally, it mainly focuses on the African economy and China-Africa trade and investment cooperation. At the Second Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation held in 2019, the IDCA was selected as a member of the Belt and Road Studies Network. In June 2020, the IDCA became a core think tank of China International Development Cooperation Agency.
Initiated by the IDCA, SUIBE, China-Africa Development Forum is an academic research and exchange brand that aims to promote research on the African economy and China-Africa economic and trade cooperation. It is held once a year and this session is the third. Through holding an institutionalized annual forum, the IDCA hopes to gather experts and scholars from the domestic and foreign economic communities who are engaged in the research of the African economy and China-Africa economic and trade cooperation in the field of African regional research and international development cooperation to discuss the strategies and prospects of China-Africa economic and trade cooperation, striving to give full play to its role as a think tank and put forward policy suggestions to government departments.
Source: China Social Sciences Network