China has poured tens of billions of dollars into Africa's development, but the continent's countries need a better strategy in order to properly reap the benefits, according to an expert.
"China knows what it wants from Africa," Ibrahima Diong, Senegal-born former regional co-ordinator for Africa at the World Bank, told CNBC on Friday.
"But, most African countries don't have a strategy vis-a-vis China."
For Diong, who has served as a China adviser to the Senegalese president and is currently chief executive of consulting firm Africa Consulting & Trading Afrique Group, African countries need to adopt a two-pronged approach to managing China funded-development.
African nations must make sure that such projects "will actually boost economic growth on the continent," he said.
"If you have energy problems, infrastructure, railways, and yet you go to China to get money to build a stadium — I'm not saying it's not important — or to build a palace, the question is: who do you blame, the Chinese or actually the country that does not make sure that the support of the investment goes to areas that are actually being productive to the economy?"
The second stumbling block for African countries to address is negotiation, Diong said. "They have to make sure that they're actually protecting their interests." Strength comes from African unity, and the collective understanding that, "We are a sizeable market, how do we make sure that we negotiate with China?" he added.