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"We could see a two-digit growth rate in the next five to 10 years", said Wei Jianguo, former vice commerce minister, at a recent China-Africa seminar in Renmin University of China.

The ruling Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf, whose chief Imran Khan was installed prime minister in August after an election victory, has vowed more transparency amid fears about Islamabad's ability to repay Chinese loans related to the multi-billion-dollar China-Pakistan Economic Corridor.

This year's summit seeks to build a stronger community with a shared future between China and Africa which will yield important outcomes including the connection of the Belt and Road Initiative with Agenda 2063 of the African Union and the United Nations 2030 Agenda on sustainable development.

It turns out, however, that a handful of African leaders preferred to remain at home to tackle other affairs at a time that the continent is nearly bereft of presidents.

Ahead of the presidential address, Chinese officials had cited a 2017 study by McKinsey, a USA consulting firm, which had spotlighted that China has become Africa's most important and unrivalled economic partner.

FOCAC is a proven, effective platform for pragmatic China-Africa cooperation, and the Belt and Road Initiative is an important public good China is offering to the world.

China has become a major investment partner for South Africa in stimulating economic and social transformation and development.

In May, African central banks, under the Macroeconomic and Financial Management Institute of Eastern and Southern Africa, (MEFMI) a regional establishment with members including EAC countries supported the introduction of the yuan as a reserve currency.

Xi said the plan, for which Beijing has pledged $126 billion, would help provide more resources and facilities for Africa and would expand shared markets.

Apart from military aid to the African Union, Beijing will support countries in the Sahel region and others bordering the piracy-ridden Gulf of Aden and Gulf of Guinea.

China, he said, would set up a peace and security fund in partnership with Africa.

The money would be focused on infrastructure to help speed African countries' development, not on "vanity projects", Xi said.

He is expected to propose new ideas to strengthen relations with Africa and announce new measures for pragmatic cooperation.

The documents are expected to build on the outcomes of the Johannesburg summit, during which Xi announced 10 major cooperation plans to promote industrialisation and agricultural modernisation in Africa.

It is the only African state to maintain diplomatic ties with Taiwan.

"In terms of cooperation with China, African countries know best", widely read tabloid the Global Times wrote in an editorial on Monday. "We do not want a situation where there is a new version of colonialism happening because poor countries are unable to compete with rich countries", he said during a visit to Beijing.

Take Sri Lanka, which last year had no choice but to grant China a 99-year lease for a Belt and Road Initiative port, after it failed to attract enough business to make its loan payments.


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