On 29 June 2020, the African Coalition for Corporate Accountability (ACCA) in collaboration with China Accountability Project (CAP), organised a webinar on COVID-19 and its impact on Chinese investments in Africa.
The discussion was centred around the impact of the COVID-19 on Chinese investments in Africa. The current pandemic has highlighted the human rights accountability gap in business activities. In Africa, it has put into display the extremely precarious working conditions as well as critical flaws in the implementation of the due diligence principle by corporations. Participants discussed the issue of Chinese investments in Africa from different perspectives bringing together experts from Africa and China.
Theme: COVID-19 and Chinese investment in Africa
Ms Maria Matui
Executive director of WATED-Tanzania
- Prof Jingjing Zhang
Founder and ED of China Accountability Project, and Lecturer in Law at University Maryland School of Law.
‘Fighting COVID19, China in Action’: preliminary remarks on China’s response to COVID-19 and its potential impacts on Chinese investments in Africa
- Mr Umo Isua-Ikoh
Coordinator, Peace Point Development Foundation (PPDF), Nigeria
'The damaging image of China in Africa and its impact on Chinese investments in Africa'
- Mr Bamba Ibrahima Kalil
Sociologist, Associate researcher at the Laboratory of Socio-anthropological Analysis of Guinea (LASAG), General Lansana Conté University, Conakry
'COVID-19 and the mining investments in Guinea'
- Dr Shawn Shieh
Founder of Social Innovation Advisory, Research Fellow at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, and Rights CoLab Contributor
'Mutual aid and workers in China during COVID-19 and implications for Chinese investment Africa and Asia'
Over the last two decades, Chinese investments have exponentially increased in Africa. Beyond the massive infrastructure projects, thousands of entrepreneurs from China are also setting up on the continent in various sectors ranging from retail and factories to farming and extractive industries. From the years 2000 to 2014, the stock of Chinese investments in Africa went from 2 per cent of US levels to 55 per cent. It is estimated that, at the current breakneck pace, China will surpass the levels reached by any other western country within a decade.
Like any other business activity, Chinese investment in Africa comes with its own challenges and various human rights issues. Activists and human rights defenders that assist local communities lack adequate knowledge and expertise to assist victims to take legal action against Chinese companies. For this reason, during its 2019 GA, the African Coalition for Corporates Accountability placed the topic ‘Chinese investments in Africa’ as one of its workstreams.
The webinar was the first in a series and centred around the impact of the COVID-19 on Chinese investments in Africa. It provided a platform to CSOs and ACCA members to discuss the issue of Chinese investments in Africa from different perspectives bringing together experts from Africa and China.
For more information on ACCA, kindly contact the secretariat: