A strong correlation now exists between GDP growth in China and Africa. This trend is expected to continue gathering momentum. Africa is endowed with rich and varied natural resources upon which its social and economic systems are based. These resources have global importance, for the world’s climate and for the development of industries such as timber, fisheries, agriculture, pharmaceuticals, oil and gas, minerals, tourism and construction. However not all people in Africa, where the vast majority remain trapped in poverty, have experienced benefits from this wealth. It is crucial that growth will be sustainable for the long-term benefit of people and for the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals.
China’s increasing engagement in Africa has the potential to be a force for positive change. Africa stands to maximize the benefits from Chinese trade and investment with robust natural resource governance and high environmental standards applied to project planning and implementation.
The integration of sustainability principles into the policies and practices governing Africa-China trade and investment will contribute to the effective management of Africa’s natural resource endowments and to the protection of sensitive areas and species.
Our approach consists in:
- Engaging Chinese and African delegates to promote inclusion of environmental protection in the deliberations of the Forum for China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC), thus influencing the overall investment portfolio of China in Africa.
- Achieving greater responsibility in supply chains through development of investment guidelines in priority sectors such as forestry, infrastructure and extractive industries.
- Engaging Chinese financial institutions that lend to, and thereby strongly influence, projects in these sectors.
- Undertaking pilot projects, e.g. supporting Chinese timber companies in Gabon to ensure that their forest products come from responsibly harvested and verified sources.