JOHANNESBURG, South Africa- The Centre for Africa-China Studies (CACS), which officials and scholars believed will play a pivotal role in gathering data and assessing the development of Africa-China relations, was launched at the University of Johannesburg on Thursday.

“We need to concentrate on having reliable statistics. We as scholars, don’t have analytical stats on projects done, due to the Africa and China relations,” said David Monyae, CACS director and co-director at the Confucius Institute, at the University of Johannesburg.

Misinformation about relation between Africa and China was due to lack of verifiable public data, said Monyae.

He said that, the centre will focus on relations between Africa and China, and measure the impact of major infrastructural projects in Africa, including the Belt and Road Initiative, industrial revolution, people-to-people exchanges and bilateral relations.

Chinese Ambassador to South Africa, Lin Songtian, said, the centre would be crucial in deepening relations between China and South Africa, as well as, the rest of the continent.

Lin said, the centre will be in a better position to verify “misunderstanding” about relations between Africa and China.

“Examining the impact of these projects on the ground is very important. We need to measure the tangible benefits of the deals being invested in Africa on the lives of ordinary people,” Emmanuel Matambo, a local scholar, who will join the centre, said.