My own focus on China-Africa relations is filtered through my background in media studies. One effect of this training is that I’m fascinated by the narratives that shape the relationship, how they spread and what they reveal.
One of the hardiest narratives in the relationship over the past few years has been the idea that China is a predatory lender, who uses loans to lure countries into debt distress in ...
This week’s ‘Extraordinary China-Africa Summit on Solidarity against COVID-19’ was largely uneventful. The initiatives announced in President Xi Jinping’s address were either projects that had already been announced before (China building the Africa CDC, which will now be accelerated) or long-term Chinese standard operating procedure (cancelling some zero-interest loans maturing in 2020. Zero-interest loans are cancelled relatively often, and they only make up a fraction of China’s total lending to Africa.)
Wow. The ironies are popping up so fast they’re going fractal.
As protests mount in the United States against the systemic and structural racism that has turned institutions like the police into something akin to occupying forces in certain neighborhoods, guess who’s chiming in with words of support for the protesters?
To see Chinese officials playing social justice warrior mere weeks after the mass eviction and exclusion of Africans in ...
The COVID-19 crisis is proving an interesting case study in the impact of different ways of conducting public diplomacy. Any public diplomacy is dependent on two factors: staying on message, and making sure that message doesn’t play into negative perceptions about you in the wider world.
The impact of the Guangzhou crisis proves the latter point. The diplomatic impact of the well-documented discrimination against Africans in southern China just isn’t ...
One of the unexpected outcomes of the COVID-19 crisis is its rapidly escalating impact on the relationship between Nigeria and China. Several African governments have protested the treatment of African migrants in Guangzhou, but Nigeria is emerging as the epicentre of a diplomatic crisis in China-Africa relations.
The motion tabled in the the country’s House of Representatives, aimed at investigating the immigration compliance of each Chinese company and individual in ...
As the COVID-19 crisis drags on, we’re seeing the emergence of two contradictory trends.
On the one hand, the crisis has revealed the relative fragility of public diplomacy ties between China and Africa. While high-level government-to-government diplomacy continues, the Guangzhou crisis seems to have fed into long-term narratives about China among ordinary Africans. It appears to be revealing the limits of the sunny narrative of egalitarianism pushed by official Chinese ...
The COVID-19 crisis is nothing if not instructive. It has functioned like an X-ray, revealing hidden weaknesses in systems across the world. This isn’t only true in the narrow sense, relating to health care, insurance, and protective gear manufacturing systems. It’s also true in the wider, political sense.
In some ways, the pandemic reinforces depressing stereotypes about the continent. The discussions around possible debt relief, and regular donations of PPE, ...
The squall caused by the eviction and mistreatment of Africans in Guangzhou is dying down, and the China-Africa relationship seems to be heading back to its usual state: glassy calm on the surface with massive currents deep below.
The fact that everyone, including the African press, seems in a hurry to move on from the fight shouldn’t surprise us. After all, we’re in the midst of a global pandemic during ...
The sudden recall from South Africa of Chinese ambassador Lin Songtian was initially interpreted as being a demotion. But the contrary appears to be true – it now looks as though his deft use of Twitter has propelled him into another role: A combatant in the growing U.S.-China media confrontation.
And then he was gone: Lin Songtian, China’s outspoken ambassador to South Africa, who has reshaped how Beijing communicates with ...
COVID-19’s rapid move from warning sign to global pandemic has yanked the spotlight onto a number of questions humanity has been uneasily avoiding for years. Beyond the human-focused ones like how to keep a global economy running when flights are shut down, it has also drawn attention to the human exploitation of ecosystems as national assets, which compels the human-animal interactions that probably made the virus infectious to humans in ...
African Region Director
Department of Defense
Nairobi-based China-Africa Event Organizer & Lifestyle Influencer
Global Perspectives on Society Postdoctoral Fellow
Nairobi-based freelance journalist
Master of Economics Candidate
Capital University of Economics and Business
Barry Van Wyk
Africa-China Reporting Project
The COVID-19 pandemic has aroused worldwide attention to wildlife consumption in China. So what is the current consumption like? Why do the Chinese have that obsession? And how can we reduce consumption in the future?
“Pangolins, turtles, snakes, and some kinds of birds… My family used to eat at home ...
The article was written collectively by Wei Wu, 21, The Chinese University of Hong Kong; Linyuan Geng, 21, Univesity of International Relations; Shuo Ai, 29, Secretary General in Zhixing Knowledge & Practice Foundation and Yiduo Yao, 16, International Department of Beijing Bayi School.
What Are Students in China and Kenya ...
During a conversation I recently had with the founder of a Nigerian rural healthcare nonprofit, I got a real taste of what COVID-19 looks on the ground for healthcare practitioners in the developing world. Nigeria has not yet faced the full force of COVID-19, with approx. 300 cases and less ...
Few names are as closely associated with philanthropy as Bill Gates. As the second richest person alive, he has used his immense wealth to improve global health through his charitable organization, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. The Foundation gave over $4 billion in grants in 2017, making it one ...
“At this point, we’re probably better off spending spring
break in Wuhan.”
As a college freshman who returned home for spring break on
March 6th, I fully expected to return by the 16th. Within days, however,
updates cascaded upon me and my peers at other institutions. Dozens ...
The coronavirus pandemic in Wuhan sparked an intense global conversation on health implications. Governments of developed nations responded quickly by putting measures in place to avert an outbreak, though they have not been so successful at that. In so doing, the world wondered how Africa would cope, given its frail ...
Though some skeptics, in conspiracy theory fashion, link the source of the novel coronavirus to U.S. biological warfare, what has been identified to be a more probable cause of the virus by international health organizations, like the World Health Organization (WHO), is a ‘wet market’ in Wuhan that sells dead ...
Kenya is an African country
with 47 semiautonomous counties governed by elected governors, analogous to
states in the US. Therefore, it is famous for its ethnic diversity—
especially tribal diversity.
The Maasai are one of the
many diverse groups within Kenya; a minority tribe, they are ...
When I visited my family in Cape Town in 2018, it was during the height of the water crisis.
Cape Town was heading towards what became known as “Day Zero”, the predicted date of the city’s water supplies running dry. The city of 4 million had just three months left ...
A local Ghananian publication, Star FM, published a news story on Saturday 28 December 2019, about 100 cars that were gifted to Ghana’s Police Service by the Chinese government. Explaining the gift, China’s ambassador to Ghana, Shi Ting Wang, said: “These vehicles will play an important role in fighting crime ...
While Ghana’s President, Nana Akuffo-Addo, is eyeing the next election; the Chinese are gazing at the opportunity to secure supply of strategic resources probably at the expense of the Ghanaian nation.
Atiwa forest is a 26,000 hectares area in the southeastern part of Ghana. It is ...
Three weeks ago, I attended the maiden edition of the Africa
Netpreneur Summit followed by the African Heroes Awards, an initiative of Jack
Ma Foundation in collaboration with Alibaba Group in Accra, Ghana. Upon
attending and reading numerous writeups about the event, I thought to add my