China and Africa: The Way Forward and Prospects for the Future
There is an African proverb that says that, “when the blind carry the crippled, they will all go far” (Abdulai, 2000). This proverb depicts the epitome of collaboration, partnership and working together to capitalise on each other’s strengths for mutual benefit. The current China-Africa relationship falls into this category. China needs Africa in numerous ways if it is to continuously grow and to further its international ambitions, and Africa can help it in this regard. Africa also needs China for its growth and development efforts, and China is willing and able to help Africa in this regard. China knows that African countries have the natural resources it needs to fuel its growth as these countries are the majority at the United Nations (U.N.) and in other international organisations whose support it will need from time to support its international agenda and positions. This new strategic partnership was defined elegantly by former President Hu Jintao in his address to the Nigerian National Assembly in 2006, when he said, “Africa has rich resources and market potentials, and whereas China has available effective practices and practical know-how it has gained in the course of modernisation.”1 Thus Chinese-African collaboration from Hu’s perspective will be a formidable partnership that will provide a win-win situation for both partners.