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21 October 2021

Dialogue to unpack challenges and prospects of Forum for China-Africa Cooperation 21 years later

Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC)
Press Release

Dialogue to unpack challenges and prospects of Forum for China-Africa Cooperation 21 years later

Pretoria, Wednesday 20 October 2021 – The Forum for China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) triennial summit has become a major event in global politics since its inaugural meeting in 2000 as it sets the tone for Sino-African relations. The focus of this year’s summit will be on the three priority areas of vaccine cooperation, economic recovery, and transformative development.

As FOCAC delves into the post COVID-19 future, the Human Sciences Research Council’s BRICS Research Centre and the Afro-Sino Centre of International Relations (Ghana) will debate challenges and prospects based on the past 21 years of FOCAC.

Titled FOCAC at 21 Years: Assessing preparedness for a win-win Sino-Africa multilateral and bilateral collaborations, the virtual dialogue will be held on Thursday 21 October 2021 from 11h00 – 14h00.

The objective of this webinar is to share the findings of existing independent assessments of the ongoing FOCAC implementation. Scholars will also touch on countries’ preparedness to negotiate a win-win deal with Chinese counterparts, and share lessons learned from failed bilateral engagements.

Drawing from evidence and policy recommendations, speakers will explore opportunities for further cooperation at the continental, regional and national levels. 

His Excellency Minister Counsellor Yu Yong, Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in South Africa and Dr Jakkie Cilliers, Chair of the Board, Head African Futures and Innovation, Institute for Security Studies, will deliver the Opening Addresses.

This webinar platform provides an important opportunity for African thinkers and think tanks to evaluate the FOCAC and objectively examine African agency in relations to China. African rhetoric with international partners such as China should be embedded in the Africa Union’s Constitutive Act to continuously secure beneficial deals for Africa. 

The event is in line with the African Union’s vision of “an integrated, prosperous and peaceful Africa, driven by its own citizens and representing a dynamic force in global arena”.

The webinar is expected to serve as a platform for strategic partnerships and collaboration among thinkers and scholars.

The panel will include the following topics and speakers:

  • The African Agency in the Convergence of Emergence between Africa and China -Prof Siphamandla Zondi, Chair, South African BRICS Think Tank Council & University of Johannesburg 
  • The necessity of an assessment of FOCAC; Africa’s agency in securing a win-win collaboration – Ms Pamela Carslake, Executive Director, Afro-Sino Centre of International Relations, Ghana
  • China-Africa collaboration and its impact on the African Continental Free Trade Area Agreement (AfCFTA)- Dr Robert Lisinge, Chief, Energy, Infrastructure, and Services. United Nations Economic Commission for Africa
  • Putting Africa First: Necessity of individual country’s readiness in bilateral relations with China towards Agenda 2063 achievements – Prof Mammo Muchie, Tshwane Institute of Technology, Chair, Rated Research Professor in Innovation Studies
  • Africa at the Centre of China Shaping the World in the 21st Century – Prof Paul Tembe, Senior Research Fellow and Senior Lecturer, Department of Linguistics and Modern Languages. University of South Africa (UNISA)
  • Infrastructure Construction and Knowledge Exchange: 
  • How can China and Africa Improve the Quality and Sustainability of their Cooperation? – Prof Tang Xiaoyang, Deputy Director, Carnegie-Tsinghua Center for Global Policy, Mingzhai 320, Tshinghua University

The details of the event are as follows:

Date:21 October 2021

Time:11h00-14:00 Harare/Pretoria Time or 17:00 – 20:00 Beijing Time

Zoom link:–rqj0tE9VWQYvL2P8e7LuYTrODD9R-

For media enquiries contact: Adziliwi Nematandani – 082 765 9191 or

Join the conversation: #FOCAC21

About the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC)

The HSRC was established in 1968 as South Africa’s statutory research agency and has grown to become the largest dedicated research institute in the social sciences and humanities on the African continent, doing cutting-edge public research in areas that are crucial to development.

Our mandate is to inform the effective formulation and monitoring of government policy; to evaluate policy implementation; to stimulate public debate through the effective dissemination of research-based data and fact-based research results; to foster research collaboration; and to help build research capacity and infrastructure for the human sciences. 

The Council conducts large-scale, policy-relevant, social-scientific research for public sector users, non-governmental organisations and international development agencies. Research activities and structures are closely aligned with South Africa’s national development priorities.

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This seminar is partially funded by the Department of Science and Innovation. The views and opinions expressed therein as well as findings and statements of the seminar series do not necessarily represent the views of the DSI. Please note that this seminar will be recorded and published on the HSRC podcast channel. The

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