In the end, the allocations will very much depend on bilateral relations between China and individual African countries. China will ultimately decide.
That means African state leaders and other stakeholders will be competing for these sums of money. The African countries that are most experienced with risk assessment, project management, and how to best engage with Chinese finance will be most likely to reach FOCAC’s announced development goals.
To be sure, China-Africa trade reached 220 billion in 2014 and is estimated to be about $300 billion in 2015. The majority of African nations run large trade deficits with China despite the latter routinely forgiving debts for the least developed nations.
Winslow Robertson is the founder and managing member of Cowries and Rice, a China-Africa strategic consultancy.
Lina Benabdallah is a Ph.D. candidate in political science at the University of Florida. Her dissertation examines Beijing’s investments in vocational training programs in Africa.