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China-Africa Institute


On September 3, 2018, while giving remarks at the Beijing Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC), President Xi Jinping proposed that “China will proactively implement the Eight Major Initiatives”, and announced that “China decided to establish an institute of African studies to enhance exchanges with Africa on civilization”. To establish the China-Africa Institute topped the agenda of “People-to-People Exchanges” of the “Eight Major Initiatives” on China-Africa relations.

The China-Africa Institute (CAI) was inaugurated in Beijing on April 9, 2019, when President Xi Jinping sent a congratulation letter to commemorate CAI’s establishment. The CAI is affiliated to Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS). It shares the same academic and administrative entities with the Institute of West-Asian and African Studies (IWAAS) of CASS, which was founded on July 4, 1961. It is China's largest research institution and high-level think tank on African studies.


The CAI has been following the guidance of President Xi Jinping's congratulatory letter, with focus on its four major functions: an academic exchanges platform, an academic research base, a professionals development ground and a people-to-people exchanges window. It has made innovative efforts to deepen mutual learning between Chinese and African civilizations, to strengthen exchange of governance and development experiences. The CAI provides intellectual support for China’s cooperation with African countries within the framework of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), aiming to build a comprehensive strategic China-Africa partnership for the future and a stronger China-Africa community with a shared future.

Supported by the abundant academic and intellectual resources of the CASS and its time-honored friendship with African countries, the CAI works relentlessly to integrate research, exchanges, studies and communication in various ways. The CAI offers support to Chinese and African scholars and think tanks to carry out joint research, academic visits, seminars, workshops and other forms of academic exchanges.

In addition, the CAI launched joint research projects on China-Africa cooperation, and the key research areas include national governance, economic and trade cooperation, poverty alleviation, Eco-environment protection, peace and security, and mutual learning among civilizations (such as history, philosophy and religious studies).




The CAI has set up a number of national exchanges platforms such as the Three Lectures, the Conference on Dialogue Between Chinese and African Civilizations, the Forum on International Students From Africa, the International Symposium on Comparative Study of Chinese and African History, and African Ambassadors and Scholars’ Filed Visit to China. Those exchanges platforms have become the CAI’s flagship projects, and are praised by African friends from all walks of life.

As one of the CAI’s flagship projects, the Three Lectures aims at facilitating the international community to strengthen their understanding of China, Africa and China-Africa cooperation. Of which the China Lecture is designed to present compelling China stories to Africa; the Africa Lecture is designed to present stories of Africa to China; the Ambassador Lecture is designed to present the stories of China-Africa friendship by Chinese and African ambassadors. Moreover, the Conference on Dialogue Between Chinese and African Civilizations helps to bring closer communication between Chinese and African academics. The Forum on International Students from Africa is a youth-centered program to enhance China-Africa people-to-people exchange. The International Symposium on Comparative Study of Chinese and African History focuses on comparative study of Chinese and Africa civilizations and the history of their friendly exchanges by non-western historiographic tradition. African Ambassadors and Scholars’ Filed Visit to China aims at helping African friends to explore the great achievements and experiences of Chinese modernization.

The Library of the China-Africa Institute publishes a serious of academic collections. There are five series of books issued by the library: the academic series, the classic translation works, the think tank reports series, the research paper series and the Almanac series. In addition, the CAI launched the Journal of China-Africa Studies to publish high-level academic papers on China-Africa joint development and people-to-people exchanges, offering a platform for Chinese and African scholars to share stories of China-Africa friendly cooperation. The CAI releases Annual Report on development in Africa and in the Middle East which includes analysis of regional and national development and hot issues in Africa and the Middle East. The CAI also updates its academic news, activities and achievements on its official WeChat posts and official website in both Chinese and English.

More than 70 staffs are now working in 6 research divisions, 2 editorial offices and 4 administrative divisions of the CAI. They are the Division of Political Studies, Division of Economics Studies, Division of International Relations Studies, Division of Social and Cultural Studies, Division of Ethnicity and Religion Studies, Division of Security Studies, Editorial Office of the Journal of West Asia and Africa, Editorial Office of the Journal of China-Africa Studies, Library and Information Center, Division of Scientific Research Management, Division of International Exchanges and the Administrative Office.



Leadership of the CAI:  

    Zhou Yunfan, Secretary of the Party Committee of the CAI, Vice President of the CAI

    Li Xinfeng, Executive President of the CAI

    Wang Lincong, Secretary of the Discipline Inspection Commission of the CAI, Vice President of the CAI

    Wang Xiaoming, Vice President of the CAI