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The Tesla-fication of Vaccines

175 former heads of state, Nobel Prize winners and other illustrious eminences added their support to the call for the U.S. government to mandate a relaxing of intellectual property laws to allow countries in the Global South to mass-produce vaccines without fear of being sued. One of ...

Analysis from Cobus van Staden

The Tesla-fication of Vaccines

175 former heads of state, Nobel Prize winners and other illustrious eminences added their support to the call for the U.S. government to mandate a relaxing of intellectual property laws to allow countries in the Global South to mass-produce vaccines without fear of being sued. One of the more revealing details in this discussion is that the mechanism for countries to use a health emergency to momentarily suspend intellectual property rights already exists ...

Unpacking African Agency

Today the South African Institute of International Affairs is holding a webinar featuring new work focusing on African agency in the face of Chinese power. How much power African actors have to shape their engagement with China is one of the field’s most ...

COVID Complaints and the Issue of Soft Power

As an outfit tracking the Africa-China aspect of COVID-19 since its outbreak, we were aware from early on that the pandemic has laid down a new track in a global geopolitical race. So it’s very interesting to see more commentators in the Global North slowly waking up ...

What Will it Take to Realize Biden’s Vision of an Alternative BRI?

U.S. President Joe Biden's commitment to rolling out infrastructure domestically and internationally is setting up a fascinating race with China.  After years of withdrawing from multilateral cooperation and refusing to engage with the realities of climate change, the current push raises ...

Disclose the Debt!

If you’re into curling up with a cup of coffee and an 85-page report on Chinese lending, you can’t go wrong with AidData’s How China Lends: A Rare Look into 100 Debt Contracts with Foreign Governments (PDF). One of the most striking findings in ...

The Shifting Landscape of Chinese Financing to Africa

Today we feature a fascinating discussion with Deborah Brautigam and Kevin Gallagher, two of the world’s foremost experts on Chinese lending to the Global South. The conversation provides a glimpse of an emerging landscape: how Chinese influence will shift, and how those shifts will impact the Global ...

Start Imagining a Post-Carbon China, and Africa

Chinese total carbon emissions could peak by 2028, with emissions coming from the electricity sector topping out as early as 2025. This is according to Liu Zhenya, who runs the Global Energy Interconnection Development and Cooperation Organization, a Beijing-based think tank. Liu’s previous job is maybe more ...

Anchorage and the New (Old) Cold War

So, the first day of the U.S.-China ministerial meeting underway in Anchorage didn’t go so well. Both sides shredded the rigid protocol that usually guides these occasions to launch extended attacks. The effect was a notably undiplomatic clash between diplomats - one that quickly veered into jabs ...

Why the Debt Trap Narrative Won’t Die Soon (or Ever)

Recent reports of the debt trap’s death might have been exaggerated. Like a vampire that just won’t die, we keep burying it, but it keeps rising from the coffin. This week we saw reports that Kenyan politicians had to clarify again that the Mombasa port itself ...

The Reality of Educational Soft Power

Last week was a bloody one in Johannesburg. Wits University, where I used to teach and where I’m currently an affiliate, has seen weeks of student protests. On Wednesday, a standoff turned violent. As the police opened fire with rubber bullets, a bystander stepped out of a ...

The View of China-Africa Relations from Washington

We’re thrilled to feature our conversation with Tibor Nagy, the former Assistant Secretary of State for Africa for the Trump administration on the latest episode of the China in Africa Podcast. It was a real honor to speak with someone who had been so instrumental ...
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