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The C in briCs for Africa and beyond.

I thought of the overall topic of this article while looking back at my experience of  having gone through a few acquisitions for electronic manufacturing equipment for over a decade. This made me rather curious, was this isolated, was it a trend?, If So Why?.  

What are the implications of Chinese laws for African states? 

As Africa sets herself up to be a main player in global economies, trade and politics in decades to come. Should Africa be learning from China? 

China, as one of the world's most influential nations, possesses a legal system deeply rooted in its history, culture, and governance. Understanding Chinese law is important more so from a international trading and national security stance for African countries. Especially as it impacts global relations, including Africa's development strategies and policies. This article aims to shed light on how Chinese laws influence reforms and policies in Africa, highlighting recent developments and new initiatives.

Chinese Law and Its Influence on Africa:

Legal Principles and Governance:

China's legal system combines traditional elements with modern legislative structures. The legal framework is based on the Constitution of the People's Republic of China, with laws passed by the National People's Congress and its Standing Committee. Additionally, regulations and administrative guidelines from government bodies shape various sectors of law, including trade, investment, and human rights.

Impact on African Reforms:

Chinese law can significantly impact Africa's reforms and policies in several ways:

Economic Cooperation: Chinese laws on trade and investment affect African nations due to extensive Chinese economic engagement in the continent. For instance, legal frameworks regarding infrastructure projects and loans shape Africa's development landscape.

Technology Transfer: China's laws on technology transfer and intellectual property influence partnerships between China and African countries. This affects the adoption and development of technologies in various African industries.

Legal Cooperation: Legal cooperation agreements between China and African nations can influence legal reforms, such as enhancing judicial systems, legislative drafting, and law enforcement practices.

Bilateral Agreements: Various bilateral agreements between China and African countries encompass diverse sectors, including trade, investment, and infrastructure development. Chinese laws play a role in the formulation and execution of these agreements.

Recent Developments:

Belt and Road Initiative (BRI): China's BRI continues to impact Africa's development through infrastructure projects and economic partnerships. Legal frameworks under the BRI shape how projects are executed and funded.

Digital Economy and AI Development: Chinese advancements in technology, including AI and digital economy regulations, pave the way for collaboration and technology transfer to African countries.

Environmental Regulations: China's commitment to environmental protection and sustainable development influences policies in African nations, especially regarding green technologies and environmental regulations.

Other Initiatives :

China-Africa Forum on Cooperation (FOCAC): Scheduled meetings under the FOCAC framework will likely result in discussions on legal cooperation and economic partnership between China and African nations.

Ongoing and upcoming infrastructure projects under the BRI in Africa will be governed by Chinese laws, impacting policies in participating African countries.


As China-Africa relations deepen, legal frameworks and agreements will continue shaping various aspects of development. Staying abreast of Chinese legal developments and their implications will be essential for African countries seeking sustainable growth, effective governance, and mutually beneficial partnerships with China, that could require African countries to launch counter maneuvers.


I do want to note between the first draft and its publication the Chinese government has updated its export list to include even more items. 

This in the changing geo political world, says alot.

  1. It means China is aware that it has been the factory hub of the world and is looking to still hold on to the IP and physical assets.

  2. This will also protect some of the IP owned by many Chinese firms, from being duplicated.

  3. China is aware that the only tool that can duplicate faster than its Human capital is currently AI. 

  4. Its ability to hold onto vital technology that it deems to be of national security.

  5. China has previously been accused of not employing locals or contracting local firms when building the BRI. 

One can't falter this stance however it does pose a question of “ when does free trade get superseded by national security? . Is it the same thing? Should China's Allies, "The Global South" also do this to secure and protect by deploying such tactics in the name of national security?

Daniel Thebe

Uhuru Consumer Electronics ( Founder - CEO )

T: +27(0)87 688 1984

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