Author: Harrie Esterhuyse, Kane Moctar.
Since 2000, China-Africa co-operation has seen a rapid increase in scope and size. The West African nation of Mali is one of the 50 African states with diplomatic relations with China; its experience allows for possible parallels with other African states in their engagement with a much more potent partner. Within the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC), China and Africa outline economic, political and social engagements that are envisioned to help the establishment of a “win-win” partnership based on South-South solidarity. The China-Africa partnership has however come under increasing criticism from inside Africa; the perceived uni-directional flow of economic benefit in the relationship has been blamed for stagnation of industrialisation and destruction of entrepreneurialism amongst others. Within the changing context, this policy briefing explores the relations between China and Mali, looking at the history of China-Mali relations and the positive and negative effects this relationship has had on Mali. This briefing concludes with recommendations on how the current relationship between China and Mali can be adapted to allow for more benefits on both sides.