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The Year of the Mobile Phone is Transforming China-Africa Relations

In the history of China-Africa relations, 2019 may come to be known as the year of the mobile phone. It was a year when phones took on an outsized commercial and political importance. Selling its Tecno phones in Africa carried Transsion, a relatively ...

The Optics of Gratitude in Africa

This week we interviewed Miriam Driessen for an upcoming episode of the China in Africa Podcast about her fascinating new book Tales of Hope, Tastes of Bitterness: Chinese Road Builders in Ethiopia. Driessen is an anthropologist and spent years interviewing the Chinese workers employed on massive ...

Ready, Aim, Fire! China’s Outspoken Ambassador in South Africa Shoots Back Against Critics in US & EU

China’s ambassador to South Africa, Lin Songtian, helmed a characteristically shoot-from-the-hip session at a recent conference on China’s impact on African industrialization at the University of Johannesburg. Lin accused Western countries of misrepresenting Chinese financing to the continent as a trap, continuing: “Sometimes

At TICAD7, China is Invisible, but Ever-Present

There’s a real disconnect at TICAD7 this year. This gap isn’t between Japan and Africa. Rather it’s between the experience of being inside TICAD and how it’s represented in the media. The dominant outside narrative is that TICAD is all about China – in

How the U.S.-China Conflict Over Huawei Could Play out in Africa

In the future, when we look back on the 2010s, we might well identify it as the decade when tech became irreversibly entangled with geopolitics. It was the decade of Wikileaks, Edward Snowden, and Facebook-driven election interference. It is also the ...

FOCAC 6: China At a Crossroads in Africa

The 6th Forum on China Africa Cooperation is coming at a crossroads in the China-Africa relationship. China’s shift from a manufacturing to a consumption economy means that it is importing fewer African commodities. On the African side, this shift has led to fears about repaying Chinese debt, and a ...

China's Zambian Sex Scandal

Few African countries have closer links with China than Zambia. The relationship goes back decades and Chinese investment in Zambian copper mines have led to both economic growth and an anti-Chinese backlash. The recent arrest of four Chinese mining technicians on charges of sex with underage prostitutes is pushing this ...
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