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Cobus van Staden
By Cobus van Staden
Senior China-Africa researcher, South African Institute of International Affairs

Cobus is the head of research and analysis at the China Africa Project (, an independent non-partisan media platform dedicated to exploring every facet of China's engagement in Africa where he also co-hosts the weekly China in Africa Podcast and edits the China Africa Project's daily email newsletter.

Posted on Friday, 1 October 2021 10:14, updated on Tuesday, 5 October 2021 05:08

Rwanda's President Paul Kagame and French President Emmanuel Macron give a press conference at the Presidential Palace in Kigali on May 27, 2021. Photo by Eliot Blondet

Changsha, China is emerging as a hub of Africa-China trade, and the China-Africa Economic and Trade Expo 2021 was held there, headline from the African side by Rwandan president Paul Kagame.

This week saw the second China-Africa Economic and Trade Expo, held in Changsha, the capital of China’s Hunan province. As we’ve covered over the last few years, the city is rapidly emerging as a hub of Africa-China trade. It houses a new cocoa trading facility and is a destination for other African agricultural commodities. As an estimated $16bn in deals were being signed, African commodities like pepper and butter sold out in minutes via live-streamed sales sessions, even as Chinese coffee chains are already planning to market African products to China’s growing coffee market.