Nov 14, 2015
Leading scholars, journalists and activists convened in Johannesburg last week for the annual Wits China-Africa Reporting Project's annual roundtable discussion. This year's conference focused on reporting challenges related to the upcoming Forum on China Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) summit that will be held in Johannesburg in December. The FOCAC meetings occur every three years, typically alternating venues in both China and Africa. In past FOCAC conferences, the mood has been largely upbeat as China showered African leaders with investment and development cash. Now, amid a dramatic slowdown in the Chinese economy, a a plunge in PRC FDI in Africa and the ongoing slump in global commodity prices, a very different tone is expected at this year's summit of African and Chinese leaders. Barry van Wyk of the China-Africa Reporting Project organized this year's conference on the Wits University campus and he joined Eric & Cobus to discuss whether this year's FOCAC represents at turning point in China's engagement strategy in Africa.