Think Tanks Provide Intellectual Support for China-Africa Cooperation

The 12th Meeting of the China-Africa Think Tank Forum (CATTF) was held in Jinhua, Zhejiang province on May 30-31, with the theme of “Centennial History of China-Africa Rejuvenation and Cooperation”. Nearly 400 political, academic and business representatives from 45 countries attended the forum online and offline.

Kgalema Petrus Motlanthe, former president of South Africa, said that “in the current world situation, it is necessary to hold the China-Africa think tank forum and carry out constructive dialogue.” He added that Africa and China share a common vision of benefiting all mankind and have maintained sound cooperative relations. The Belt and Road Initiative has provided diverse options and strong driving forces for global development, and has created opportunities for Africa’s sustainable development.

Liu Yuxi, special representative of the Chinese government on African affairs, said that China-Africa relations have entered a fast-track of all-around high-quality development. In 2022, two-way trade between China and Africa reached $282 billion. African agricultural exports to China recorded positive growth for six consecutive years and China has remained Africa’s largest trading partner for 14 years in a row.

Pierre Gomez, minister of the Ministry of Higher Education, Research and Technology of Gambia, said: “…it is better to teach one how to fish rather than give him a fish”. The China-style cooperative philosophy is welcomed by Africa and the path China has taken provides valuable experience for the reform, opening-up and development of Gambia. Onunaiju Charles, director of Center for China Studies of Nigeria, also said that Chinese path to modernization has set a good example for the world, especially for African countries.

Mwendanga Musengo Desire-Salomo, director of the National Institute of Arts and advisor to the Prime Minister of Congo-Kinshasa, said that, in the new era, Chinese and African people need to better understand each other and cooperate with each other. Wang Wen, executive dean of the Chongyang Institute for Financial Studies of Renmin University of China, said the common historical task of China and African countries has not yet been fully completed. The two sides should maintain long-term strategic mutual understanding, mutual exchanges and mutual benefits. 

Wang Heng, chair of the Institute Affairs Committee and vice-president of the Institute of African Studies of Zhejiang Normal University, said that, in view of the African Union Agenda 2063 and China-Africa Cooperation Vision 2035, China-Africa think tank cooperations should be further expanded to provide intellectual support for China-Africa cooperation.

CATTF, founded in 2011 by Zhejiang Normal University, was included in the framework of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation. It has successfully held 12 sessions in China and Africa by 2023 and has effectively promoted exchanges and mutual understanding between the two sides.