Chinese President Xi Jinping is set to meet with African heads of state during the BRICS summit in Johannesburg, as reported by Mazmessenger. The meeting aims to advance China-Africa cooperation in the new era. This meeting is scheduled to take place on the final day of the three-day summit, which is dedicated to events involving the more than 70 countries invited as “friends” of the BRICS bloc.
In addition to the BRICS summit, President Xi will also pay a state visit to President Cyril Ramaphosa in Pretoria. Afterward, he will travel to Johannesburg for the summit. This follows China’s interactions with African leaders during last month’s Russia-Africa summit in St Petersburg.
During the meeting, President Xi and African leaders will create a blueprint for cooperation that will focus on creating jobs and improving livelihoods in Africa. Some key attendees will include Senegalese President Macky Sall, who is currently the chair of the Forum for China Africa Cooperation, the African Union chair, and Comoros President Azali Assoumani.
The exact number of heads of state that will attend the BRICS summit is not yet clear. China has actively pushed for the expansion of the BRICS group, but its members have differing criteria for new member states.
China’s commitment to Africa is evident through its generous lending. Chinese lenders have agreed to lend a whopping $160 billion to African countries between 2000 and 2020. Furthermore, Chinese companies have heavily invested in mining on the continent.
However, loan commitments have experienced a significant drop, going from a peak of $28.4 billion in 2016 to just $1.9 billion in 2020. It remains to be seen how this decrease will affect China-Africa cooperation moving forward.
Overall, President Xi’s meeting with African heads of state during the BRICS summit is an important step in advancing China-Africa cooperation. As China continues to expand its presence and influence in Africa, it is crucial for both sides to work together to create opportunities for economic growth and development.