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The Other Side of Agency

The Celukan Bawang 2 power plant in Singaraja on Indonesia's resort island of Bali. China’s plan to fund dozens of foreign coal plants from Zimbabwe to Indonesia is set to produce more emissions than those of major developed nations, threatening global efforts to fight climate change, environmentalists have warned. Sonny Tumbelaka / AFP

Last week I ran into a friend who’s a media studies scholar. We caught up about our work – she’s busy with a paper about the media representation of face masks. What am I working on? A paper on China’s provision of coal-powered electricity in Africa. Oh, she said with real sympathy – poor you.

You know what? She’s not wrong. Reading exactly how much money China has pumped into highly polluting coal capacity in the Global South is depressing AF – even more so than I had expected.

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What is The China-Africa Project?


The CAP is passionately independent, non-partisan and does not advocate for any country, company or culture.


A carefully curated selection of the day’s most important China-Africa stories. Updated 24 hours a day by human editors. No bots, no algorithms.


Diverse, often unconventional insights from scholars, analysts, journalist and a variety of stakeholders in the China-Africa discourse.


A unique professional network of China-Africa scholars, analysts, journalists and other practioners from around the world.