The second-ever China-Africa Economic and Trade Expo in Changsha has wrapped up, strengthening the bond between the two trade allies.
The four-day event themed ‘New Start, New Opportunities, and New Accomplishments’ was held in person and online, and featured nearly 1 000 enterprises and government officials, including representatives from more than 40 African countries, according to the expo organisers. Amongst the 40 African nations present were guests of honour Senegal, Algeria, South Africa, Ethiopia, Kenya and Rwanda.
Held in Changsha, Hunan Province, the sprawling, 94 000-square-metre expo showcased a vast selection of African products and wares, including coffee, avocado oil, tea and tourism services.
Project showcases, like a scale model of the 102-megawatt wind farm in Kipeto, Kenya, were also on display. The Kipeto project went online in February this year and, according to ESI-Africa, generates enough clean energy to power 250 000 homes. The farm is one of many environmentally responsible energy projects China and African nations have developed on the continent.
Rwandan president, Paul Kagame, invited Chinese tourists to his country. Speaking virtually at the conference, Kagame urged visitors to come and experience the unique wildlife and hospitality Rwanda has to offer.
Kagame was one of several leaders who spoke at the event, as did Senegalese president, Macky Sall, and Abdelmadjid Tebboune, president of Algeria.
Macky Sall urged Africa and China to strengthen ties in complementary fields such as agriculture and industrial sectors. Sall also recognised that, through continued cooperation, a great number of small and medium African enterprises have found success in Chinese markets.
Also included during the four-day event were forums focused on healthcare, finance, food and agriculture, and infrastructure.
Several senior Chinese officials were in attendance, including Yang Jiechi, a member of the Political Bureau of the Central Committee to the ruling party, who said the expo was a new platform for promoting trade and economic collaboration between Africa and China.
Yang, who was present during day one of the event, lauded the growing trust between the trade partners, particularly in areas like trade, infrastructure and investment.
Wang Bingnan, China’s vice minister of commerce, said China-Africa cooperation was at an important period of transformation. He said significant improvements to efficiency and quality were being made.
China has been Africa’s biggest trade partner for 13 consecutive years, according to China’s Ministry of Commerce. The Covid-19 pandemic has done little to slow growth either. In the last year, trade volume has risen more than 40% year-on-year, reaching $139 billion.