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Accepted Paper:

Digital Economy Cooperation between Africa and China  

Author:

Grace Nyakanini

Paper short abstract:

There is tremendous potential in Africa and China's digital economies. There is a need to enhance digital cooperation through promoting efficient digital connectivity, data and services flows, and access to online services and platforms across the two digital economies.

Paper long abstract:

China's digital economy maintains a high growth with its value accounting for 36.2% of the GDP. The Africa Free Trade Area, AFCTA, formally came into force in January 2021. It is estimated to be a combined GDP of 2.5 Trillion USD. Estimates place 10% -20% of the GDP to digital economy indicating the potential of Africa's digital economy.

In 2015, China signed the Digital Silk Road Initiative that seeks digital cooperation globally. The World Bank in its report "A single digital market for East Africa" outlined a single digital market framework as follows:

1. A single connectivity market that ensures connectivity beyond physical borders.

2. A single data market to enable data exchange and support cross-border digital services.

3. A single online market to enable access to online services seamlessly across borders.

This paper will discuss:

1. Digital infrastructure development in light of China's president pledges in 2018 for more infrastructure investments to Africa and best approaches to remove connectivity barriers.

2. Legal and regulatory issues around data protection and privacy in Africa and China in light of China ongoing development of its Personal Information Protection law.

3. The single online market between the two to facilitate digital trade, online platforms, digital public services, etc.

This paper will result in strategic recommendations for enhancing digital cooperation between Africa and China digital development policymakers at national, regional, and continental levels.

Panel P22a
China's digital expansion in the Global South I