FOCAC reporting guides

2018 CHINA-AFRICA REPORTING GUIDE. A Practical Handbook For Journalists Covering the FOCAC Summit and 7th Ministerial Conference.

Prepared by the China Africa Project and the Africa-China Reporting Project.

2018中非霸道指南. 中非合作论坛第七部长级会议报道实战手册。由中非项目和中非报道项目编撰

The media has done an admirable job in covering many key aspects of the developing Africa-China relationship, providing a range of views and perspectives. But journalists are busy and under-resourced, and sometimes because of tight deadlines and understaffed newsrooms coverage can slip into hearsay, rumor mongering, or simply repeating government talking points.

To help you find your way around the key issues, this guide will allow you to go deeper, report better and inform your audience more effectively while saving you time. This guide provides short, to-the-point introductions on key controversies and issues in Africa-China relations, unpacking them in a simple way via ten factsheets. Each factsheet gives a basic introduction to the issue, provides a few key facts that provide you with context, and a map showing the African countries most impacted by this issue. Also provided is easy access to sources that can tell you more: people to interview, links to articles that will give you more context, and a link to a podcast discussion of the issue at hand.

This guide contains the following ten factsheets:

  1. Is China losing interest in Africa?
  2. China’s military presence in Africa
  3. China’s new aid agenda in Africa
  4. The politics of Chinese loans in Africa
  5. China’s struggle with anti-black racism
  6. Africa and the Belt & Road Initiative
  7. Chinese private sector business in Africa
  8. China-Africa relations in the Xi era
  9. Chinese technology in Africa
  10. The rise of the yuan in Africa

2020 CHINA-AFRICA CRITICAL ISSUES GUIDE. A Practical Guide to 10 Important Trends

That Will Shape China-Africa Relations in 2020

Prepared by the China Africa Project.


2020 marks twenty years since the initial FOCAC ministerial meeting. In this time FOCAC has seen about US$155 billion in Chinese financing pledged to African projects. It has also been upgraded to a full summit, widened its parameters to include fields like peacekeeping, wildlife conservation and training, and given us thousands of pictures of Chinese and African leaders shaking hands against a sea of flags. But as massive as FOCAC is, it is only a fraction of the real Africa-China relationship, and 2019 revealed the relationship expanding into completely new sectors.

In this guide we condense these developments into ten key trends that will help you navigate the sprawling Africa-China landscape. For each of these, we give you a brief introduction, show you where the action is, who to follow for insights, and provide a link to an in-depth discussion that will enrich your understanding of these developments. We also provide a list of the key figures in the rapidly growing Africa-China Twitterverse.

This guide contains the following ten factsheets:

  1. China’s new “Twitplomacy” in Africa
  2. Chinese tech reaches critical mass in Africa
  3. A new approach to Chinese debt financing in Africa
  4. The emergence of Chinese-financed railways in Africa
  5. Africa’s precarious position between the US and China
  6. Why Africa matters to China (hint: it has very little to do with resources)
  7. China finally makes West Africa a priority
  8. The rise of Chinese private sector investment in Africa
  9. China finances both clean and dirty energy in Africa
  10. Protecting Chinese people and property in Africa