The Forum for Africa-China Cooperation (FOCAC) summit kicked off on 3 September 2018 under the theme, “China and Africa: Toward an Even Stronger Community with a Shared Future through Win-Win Cooperation”. The summit endeavours to establish ways in which to increase diplomatic, economic and bilateral ties.
At the opening ceremony, Chinese President Xi Jinping said, “China will implement eight major initiatives with African countries in the next three years and beyond, covering fields such as industrial promotion, infrastructure connectivity, trade facilitation and green development.”
— Presidency Nigeria (@NGRPresident) August 31, 2018
PM Abiy Ahmed will attend the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation #FOCAC in #Beijing b/n Sep 3-4 & is expected to discuss with President Xi Jinping & Premier Li Keqiang. The Forum will elevate the relations. #China is #Ethiopia’s largest trading partner & source of the largest FDI.
— Fitsum Arega (@fitsumaregaa) August 27, 2018
— Uhuru Kenyatta (@UKenyatta) August 31, 2018
The summit is a key diplomatic meeting attended by the largest number of foreign leaders to date. The delegations are largely led by presidents or prime ministers. Although an impressive majority of African leaders attended the summit, including the chairman of the African Union, the few leaders who did not stood out in their absence. These included King Mswati of eSwatini (formerly Swaziland), who opted out of the summit because of a diplomatic spat with Beijing over the status of Taiwan.
This summit is of special interest in the wake of the deluge of China-Africa deals and initiatives of the last few years.
H.E President @M_Farmaajo held bilateral talks with H.E President Xi Jinping in the Great Hall of the People in Beijing today. The meeting re-affirmed the strong relationship and future cooperation between Somalia and China. pic.twitter.com/Ue2wQ3Jzv8
— Villa Somalia (@TheVillaSomalia) August 31, 2018
🇨🇲🇨🇳 My wife and I are in Beijing, venue for the third Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (#FOCAC2018). We arrived at the Beijing International Airport on Friday 31 August 2018, at midday local time.#ChinaAfrica#PaulBiya#BiyaJinping#ChantalBiya#Cameroon pic.twitter.com/mhjFyT99U4
— President Paul BIYA (@PR_Paul_BIYA) August 31, 2018
Other highlights of the summit so far include China’s pledge to extend US$60 billion of financing to Africa. It will be provided in the form of government assistance, as well as investments and loans by financial institutions and companies. It also comes with the undertaking that China will remain committed to peace and development.