Thursday, 28 April 2016

CHINA-AFRICA COOPERATION: WHO REALLY BENEFITS?

It was an intellectual feast at the two-day summit (26th-27th April, 2016 at Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Abuja) on China-Africa relations hosted by the Africa Today Magazine team. Celebrated speakers from in and outside Nigeria were there:

*The Right Hon. Sir Vince Cable, British Politician & Economist
*Prof. Howard French, Former New York Times Bureau Chief, Beijing, China & Associate Prof, Graduate School of Journalism, Columbia University
*Ms Yun Sun, Fellow, Africa Growth Initiative, The Brookings Institution,Washington DC
*Chinese Ambassador to Nigeria
*Waheed Olagunju, MD, Bank of Industry, Abuja
*Barr. Ken Ukaoh, President, National Association of Nigerian Traders
*Chief Edem, President, Nigeria Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines & Agriculture (NACCIMA)
*Dr. Frank Jacobs, President, Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN)

The verdict at the Summit was that Nigeria, the country with the highest population in Africa, could gain a lot more from relations with China if the 'rules of engagement' are pragmatically put in place by the Nigerian government. I was a participant at the summit where the following issues were addressed:

*The role of government in providing 'mutually' beneficial relations between Nigeria and China.
*The effect of backward integration in commodity-based industrialisation strategy.
*The role of development partners in concessional funding.
*The impact of Nigeria's Bank of Industry & The Infrastructure Bank.

However, because there were so many stakeholders/speakers/issues, etc, there was not enough time for me to articulate the issue of a CONFLICT RESOLUTION/TRANSFORMATION FRAMEWORK to address the grey areas of China-Nigeria relations. This is my area of specialisation. I therefore recommend Mediation on the conflict resolution spectrum to effectively address issues in contention between the two countries while not losing sight of Arbitration as another mechanism for resolving issues without resorting to the courts. The following are some of the areas where China-Nigeria relations could benefit from Mediation and Arbitration:

*Nigeria should put in place a viable updated Trade Policy after due consultation with relevant stakeholders.
*Nigerians, and indeed the Chinese should patronise more Nigeria-made goods so that the relationship becomes more symbiotic than lopsided.
*Regulatory agencies in Nigeria should be on their toes to prevent sub-standard Chinese goods from entering through our borders.
*There should be a well-defined direction for Nigeria's investment in China. Such investors, whether public or private, should be known to Nigerians.

The conflict resolution framework is a continuum. We can start with Mediation while making Arbitration available to both Nigerian and Chinese negotiators if and when necessary. I (Dr. Dayo Oluyemi-Kusa) am ready to make my expertise in the area of Peace & Conflict Transformation/Resolution available. Once again, kudos to the Africa Today Magazine team for a wonderful Summit!

Related Links

*China & Japan: Walking in each other's footsteps    https://www.issafrica.org/iss-today/china-and-japan...
*As China & Japan scramble for Africa, Africa's challenge is to maximise investment    mgafrica.com/article/2016-0902-as-china-and-japan-scramble-for-africa...
*What's China really doing for Africa?    http://t.co/XtcC2TWYse
*Locating African agency in Africa-China relations   https://africasacountry.com/2020/04/locating-african-agency-in-africa-china-relations
*'Going out': China in African trade   https://africasacountry.com/2018/04/going-out-china-in-african-media/
*Does China have the power to change regimes in Africa?   https://africasacountry.com/2018/03/does-china-have-power-change-regimes-africa/
*Buddha in Africa: Documentary about China's colonisation of Malawi   africasacountry.com/2020/07/buddha-in-africa-documentary.../
*Is Chinese education the best shot at success in Africa?   https://africasacountry.com/2017/10/is chinese education-the-best?...
*China's Nigerian Pop Star   africasacountry.com/2011/03/chinas-nigerian-pop-star 
*What is China doing in Africa?   https://www.forbes.com/sites/panosmourdoukotas/2018/08/04/china-is-treating-africa-the-same-way-european-colonialists-did/
*Documentary: How China is emptying Africa's oceans   https://greenworld.com/2019/03/27/documentary-how-china-is-emptying-africas-oceans/
*China's using technology abandoned by the US to build the nuclear plant of the future    trib.al/MOQuECe
*Is Africa winning from Trade Integration?    https://www.ged-project.de/topics/international-trade/changes...
*China plans $40b investment in Nigeria    https://t.co/WyQ1FtNWCf
*Africa: Nigeria reaffirms commitment to One-China policy    https://t.co/4h8Qh8uvOn
*IPP review: China's $40b investment in Nigeria    ippreview.com/index.php/home/blog/single/id/331.html
*Africa: The high cost of having China as partner of choice   https://issafrica.org/iss-today/high-cost-of-having-china-as-africas-partner-of-choice
*The high cost of having China as partner of choice   http://ow.ly/BwbA50xD6pS
*China could face isolation in the new global economic order   scmp.com/economy/china-economy/article/3083874/cov-china-risks-being-left-out-new-global-economic-order/
*How Covid-19 will change China & Africa's economic relationship: China promised pragmatic and not charitable cooperation with Africa   weforum.org/agenda/2020/05/china-pragmatic-cooperation-africa/

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