Communication & Cooperation
Communication & Cooperation

CAI delegation visited Ghana, Togo and Benin for academic exchanges

Writer:An Ni Date : Dec.25, 2023

A China-Africa Institute (CAI) delegation led by professor Li Xinfeng, president of the CAI visited Ghana, Togo and Benin from Nov. 26 to Dec. 7, 2023 for academic exchanges. Members of the delegation include professor Li Xinfeng; professor Yao Guimei, senior research fellow of the CAI; Dr. Li Yujie, associate research fellow of the CAI and Dr. Gu Yaping.

From Nov. 27 to Dec. 1, 2023, the delegation attended the 2023 International Symposium on West African Studies (the 5th ISWAS) which was sponsored by the University of Electronic Science and Technology of China (UESTC) and the Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration (GIMPA). Professor Li Xinfeng made a speech at the opening ceremony. Professor Yao Guimei, Dr. Li Yujie and Dr. Gu Yaping delivered keynote speeches at the symposium.

CAI delegation at the 5th ISWAS

The delegation also visited the Chinese Embassy in Ghana, and held a meeting with Ambassador Lu Kun who briefed on the political and economic situation in Ghana and the current regional situation in west Africa. The two sides agreed on further cooperation in order to deepen exchanges between China and Ghana, and to contribute to the development of China-Africa relations.

CAI delegation and Ambassador Lu Kun (the third right)

Besides, the CAI delegation held a meeting with Paul Frimpong, the Executive Director and Senior Research Fellow of the Africa-China Centre for Policy and Advisory, Ghana. The scholars had a fruitful discussion on strengthening cooperation between China-Africa think tanks and making joint efforts to address international challenges as well as other topics. 

CAI delegation is having meeting with Paul Frimpong

Visiting the head office of Afrobarometer is another highlight of the academic exchange in Ghana. Afrobarometer is a pan-African, non-partisan survey research network that has been conducting public attitude surveys on democracy, governance, the economy and society since 1999. The delegation met with Professor E. Gyimah-Boadi, the co-founder and chairman of the board of directors at Afrobarometer; Felix Biga, the COO and Dr. Kojo Asante, head of Research and Programs at the Ghana Centre for Democratic Development (CDD-Ghana). The two sides pledged further cooperation in data research, capacity building, personal exchange and other areas.

Group photo: CAI delegation and Prof. E. Gyimah-Boadi (front row, middle), Felix Biga (back row, middle) and

Dr. Kojo Asante (first right) 

CAI delegation and Kwesi Pratt (middle), General Secretary of the Socialist Forum Ghana (SMG)

Moreover, the delegation paid a visit to China State Hualong (Ghana) Corporation and one of its project sites - the new head office of Bank of Ghana in the capital city Accra. The Ghanaian branch of the company has undertaken more than 200 construction projects since its establishment, making a major impact in the construction industry in Ghana. 

Construction site of the new head office of Bank of Ghana, Accra

On Dec. 1, 2023, the delegation arrived at Lomé, the capital of Togo, and was warmly welcomed by officials at the Embassy of the People's Republic of China in Togo. In the company of Ambassador Chao Weidong, the delegation visited Togolese National Assembly and the University of Lomé.

CAI delegation and Ambassador Chao Weidong (middle)

Professor Li Xinfeng is presenting a bamboo slip to Professor Adama Kpodar, president of the University of Lomé

Group photo at the University of Lomé 

CAI delegation is having meeting with the management of China Road and Bridge Corporation (Togo)

CAI delegation is having meeting with the management of the Togo Aniye Sugar Joint Venture, a company operated under COMPLANT (China National Complete Plant Import&Export Group Corporation Ltd.)

At the Gnassingbé Eyadéma International Airport (also known as Lomé–Tokoin Airport), the delegation saw the new terminal which equipped with sophisticated security surveillance systems plus modern luggage and body-scanning machines. It was funded by the Export-Import (EXIM) Bank of China. The China Airport Construction Group (CACG) and the Chinese company WIETC carried out the design and construction.

CAI delegation at the Gnassingbé Eyadéma International Airport

From Dec. 4 to Dec. 6, 2023, the delegation met with Chinese Ambassador to Benin Peng Jingtao who expected more international studies to be carried out on the Republic of Benin.

CAI delegation and Ambassador Peng Jingtao

In a meeting with élisée Héribert-Label Adjovi, Editor-in-Chief of the pan-African magazine Le Label Diplomatique, professor Li Xinfeng made an introduction about the CAI and discussed about further cooperation in research project and the building of experts database.

CAI delegation and Mr. Adjovi

Group photo: Prof. Yao Guimei, Prof. Li Xinfeng, and Prof. Léon Josse (the second right), dean of the Faculty of Law and Political Science (FADESP), Université d'Abomey-Calavi (UAC), Professor Mumuni (the first right)

CAI delegation and African scholars who have studied in China

CAI delegation at head office of the West African Oil Pipeline (Benin) Company

CAI delegation at No.5 Wharf Project in Cotonou Port, Benin

CAI delegation at the Glo-Djibe Industrial Zone (GDIZ), Benin

Fruitful outcomes have been achieved during the CAI delegation’s visits to Ghana, Togo and Benin. Firstly, it helped to enhance exchanges among think tanks of China and those African countries. Secondly, the delegation have learned more about the development of Chinese companies in Africa, including their business expansion, the influence and challenges. Thirdly, it helped to boost communication between the CAI and African governments and officials, after the latter talked about their understanding of China and China-Africa relations. Finally, closer connections were forged between the CAI and the Chinese embassies in those African countries, which further enhanced people-to-people exchanges and mutual learning between China and Africa.