The Communist Party of China (CPC) is expected to hold its 20th national congress on October 16 2022.
It will be held amidst a global cost of living crisis and a post-Covid hangover that has brought about a bleak economic outlook for most economies.
This is a key congress, a once-in-five-years event that will give direction to the next stage of China’s development.
The party is responsible for the rise of China, delivering economic and social development to millions of people much faster than any other nation in modern history.
It has successfully delivered political stability and economic development to over 56 ethnic groups spread across 34 administrative provinces.
CPC has transformed China from a poor, weak country that had suffered domestic turmoil, humiliation and foreign aggression into the world’s second-largest economy in terms of nominal gross domestic product and number one in terms of purchasing power parity.
From an era of cooperatives, the communal system and village reforms to the great leap forward and opening up in 1978, China embraced foreign trade, investment, as well as established institutional reforms.
Key to its success is a governance model that is unique to China: “Socialism with Chinese characteristics”.
Deng Xiaoping, the father of China’s economic transformation, famously referred to this model, stating: “It does not matter if the cat is black or white, a cat that catches mice is a good cat”.
He further said “development is the only hard truth”.
I would like to assert, therefore, that any model of good governance must be measured by its results and the Chinese system, which may not be perfect and cannot be copied has delivered for the people of China.
The CPC’s achievements span across multiple areas such as anti-corruption, poverty alleviation, delivering on a democracy with ‘Chinese characteristics’ that involves a strong consultative process, meritocracy as well as ensuring central leadership and participatory governance at local levels.
It expected that the conference will deliver changes to key personnel, reforms and policy direction for the next five years.
This will be outlined by President Xi Jinping whose ideology and thought was written into the Constitution of China.
This conference will also outline the processes of setting the CPC’s two centenary goals of realising national rejuvenation and promoting the basic human rights of the Chinese people.
It is difficult to ignore China’s growing global influence and China is keen to share its prosperity, experience and technology with other developing countries.
China created opportunities for its development by deeply engaging in the global division of labour and seizing the tide of global industrial transfer in time.
India’s population is soon expected to surpass that of China and a quarter of the world’s population will live in Africa by 2050. With increasing prosperity and an ageing population, the cost of production in China is set to increase.
As a consequence, the fourth wave of industrial transfer from China to other developing countries is underway.
China seeks to increase outward foreign investments and to diversify its economy through its Belt and Road Initiative, a global development strategy involving infrastructure development and investments.
African countries having the advantage of key factors of production of land and labour and the capacity to harness the transfer of capital and technological know-how through its youthful and educated population need to seize this moment of opportunity.
Africa needs to actualise concrete investments such as expressways and a high-speed rail network connecting countries to enhance their capacity to transform primary commodities into high value goods whilst creating wealth, jobs and alleviating poverty.
With these opportunities at hand, are we ready to kick-start Africa’s Industrial revolution?