The geostrategy of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AFCFTA) and third parties: a focus on China

AfCFTA and Third Parties: A focus on China

Keywords: AfCFTA, Intra-Africa Trade, RECs, Sino-Africa Relations, Liberatlisation


The primary objective of this article is to interrogate Sino-Africa Relations and questions if Africa a passive receiver of both Chinese and Western influence? This paper is divided into four sections. The first section of the paper outlines the African Continental Free Trade Agreement. It is followed by a discussion of the political factors, driving Africa's desire for greater integration. The second section explains the potential trade impacts of the AfCFTA on African states and illustrates the rationale and appetite for the AfCFTA. Section three examines bilateral relations with third-parties, with a focus on China, speculating about the future of Sino-African trade relations and the AfCFTA. Finally, section four concludes the study. The discussion and findings suggest the following. Firstly, that African officials perceive the role of China in a positive light, and China is seen as a fellow developing country. Secondly, African leaders laud China for its contribution to the growth of African nations. Thirdly, however, China is criticized for poor working conditions, China is seen to negotiate unfair deals and for some scholars China perpetuates the neo-colonial relationship and, in some countries, there have been violent protests against China. This study encompassed a qualitative, exploratory approach, which relied heavily on both primary and secondary sources of data.


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Author Biography

Juliet Eileen Joseph, University of Johannesburg

Centre for African Diplomacy and Leadership (CADL)


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How to Cite
Joseph, J. E. (2022). The geostrategy of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AFCFTA) and third parties: a focus on China: AfCFTA and Third Parties: A focus on China. EUREKA: Social and Humanities, (4), 43-57.
Social Sciences