10th anniversary of the Belt and Road: China’s strategy for South-South cooperation and development


This year marks the 10th anniversary of the “Belt and Road” initiative. Africa is an important part of the joint construction of the “Belt and Road”. In your opinion, there are many significant impacts has the “Belt and Road” initiative had on China-Africa cooperation, as China’s Belt and Road Initiative represented a turning point in the history of Chinese-African relations. This is because this initiative put these relations on the right path, with the concepts, frameworks, horizons, philosophies, and frameworks it provided for large, deep, and new partnerships that resulted in achieving great development for African countries. These are relationships in which there are mutual benefits, consideration of common interests, and direct support for the partner. This was reflected on the ground in the development provided by the Chinese Belt and Road Initiative, and its top priority is developing the infrastructure of the economies of countries on the Silk Road, with China offering, through this initiative, to Africans a partnership to achieve “win-win for everyone”. Africa suffers from a major infrastructure deficit, especially streets, bridges, ports, hospitals, schools, etc. Therefore, it appears as if the initiative responds to the needs of African countries.

  The Chinese-African partnership, especially in light of the Belt and Road project, has achieved great development, especially after the establishment of the China-Africa Cooperation Forum, by enhancing economic cooperation and trade exchange and increasing the volume of bilateral investments, and thus China is Africa’s largest investment and financing partner.  There are promising prospects for the Chinese-African partnership in light of the Chinese strategy as long as there is a common will between the two parties. African countries are considered an asset to the Chinese economy as they are part of the largest global stock of natural and mineral resources and a large market for major investments.

  China’s Belt and Road Initiative has contributed significantly to transforming developing economies in Africa through developing infrastructure, reducing unemployment, and improving trade, among other things.

  China does not aim to exploit Africa as the Western world imagines, because along with developing African infrastructure, the Belt and Road Initiative is helping Africa transform itself.  China comes with the aim of providing the assistance that Africans need. China contributes significantly to the development of infrastructure in Africa, which is one of the main constraints to achieving economic transformation in the continent. The Chinese Belt and Road Initiative came at the right time, as Africa is in dire need of infrastructure development and improved global trade opportunities.

   Whereas, Africa’s traditional development partners who have a long history of exploiting Africa will find it difficult to compete with the Belt and Road Initiative proposed by China because the initiative is based on mutual cooperation and friendship, not exploitation. The Belt and Road Initiative has presented a wide range of projects that are currently benefiting African economies. Through its various projects on the African continent, the Chinese Belt and Road Initiative has made many contributions, such as building roads, railway lines, bridges, hospitals, schools, airports, and others in Africa, which has contributed to enhancing trade, increasing job creation, and improving transportation, education, and health services among African countries.

 The Belt and Road Initiative has also positively impacted local residents in Africa by providing job opportunities for them, especially those working in construction projects, adding that the Belt and Road Initiative is a global development initiative based on multilateral cooperation and development, and not a debt trap as the Western world calls it.

  The Belt and Road Initiative also enabled China to share its development experience with African developing countries. For example, the Kenyan government worked with China to achieve great results on the ground, such as (Mombasa-Nairobi standard gauge railway), which played an important role in enhancing economic growth in Kenya.

 This brings us to an understanding of (China’s strategy for South-South cooperation and development), through the Belt and Road Initiative’s focus on facilitating international trade and enabling a smooth global supply chain. China’s Belt Initiative has provided a platform for low- and middle-income economies in Africa to record significant growth in terms of infrastructure development, job creation, and improved trade opportunities.

Dr.Nadia Helmy
Dr.Nadia Helmy
Associate Professor of Political Science, Faculty of Politics and Economics / Beni Suef University- Egypt. An Expert in Chinese Politics, Sino-Israeli relationships, and Asian affairs- Visiting Senior Researcher at the Centre for Middle Eastern Studies (CMES)/ Lund University, Sweden- Director of the South and East Asia Studies Unit


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