Book explaining basics of China-Africa relations set for release
CGTN

From launching the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) to cracking down on ivory trade to protecting African elephants, understanding the nuances of the intricate China-Africa relations is indeed a daunting task.

The upcoming book of researcher-turned-author Lina Getachew Ayenew, "The Complete Beginner's Guide to China-Africa Relations: Mega themes from five crucial years," aims at providing snapshots of vital issues dominating the relationship between the two economies.

"People interested in learning about China-Africa relations, but who are not experts in the field, are often clueless about where to begin. I hope this book can be beneficial to them," Ayenew told CGTN.

Covering a five-year span from 2014 to 2018, which Ayenew describes as "a crucial period" for both economies to advance "win-win cooperation," the book offers data extracted from white papers on a range of issues.

Some of the significant events during the researched period include the launch of BRI in mid-2013, African nations opening their doors for China's technology and education sectors, and China closing its domestic ivory market in early 2017.

The author also highlights one major turning point she touched on in her book: Donald Trump winning the U.S. presidential elections and "altering the geopolitical dynamics."

The book's narrative includes Chinese technology giants revolutionizing the African continent's telecom sector, investment in health care to control diseases like malaria, and infrastructure projects like developing railways. Collaboration between China and Africa spans a range of areas, and each one of them is crucial, she said.

Ayenew turned the body of research she's worked on into a book format to provide a starting point for people trying to make sense of China-Africa relations.

The idea for the book came from her early days when she was preparing to leave Ethiopia to work in Beijing. 

"I was clueless about where to start developing my knowledge about the two economies," she said.

"So, that is why the book is called a beginner's guide, so it's for someone who really has no idea where to start, which was my situation, a few years ago."

A cohort of researchers, academicians, and bureaucrats have produced in-depth work on China-Africa relations, but Ayenew has set herself apart.

"I have tried to balance diverse perspectives to provide a holistic view of China-Africa relations."

The book launch is scheduled for February 20.