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Continental Shift: How China is Changing Africa


In their new book “Continental Shift: A Journey into Africa’s 21st Century,” South African authors Kevin Bloom and Richard Poplak embarked on 14-country odyssey across two continents over a span of five years to report on Africa’s changing economic, political and social landscapes.
What they discovered along the way was that China’s role had become pivotal in so many of the African countries they visited.  The Chinese presence in Africa, they observed, “is the defining phenomenon of our time.”
Bloom and Poplak don’t advocate that China’s ever-expanding engagement across the continent is either good or bad for Africa. It’s neither, it’s both, it’s complicated. What isn’t in dispute, though, is that China is changing Africa either through new infrastructure, more trade, imported labor, corruption and in countless other ways.
The two journalist/authors join Eric & Cobus to discuss their new book and their perceptions of China’s role in Africa’s ‘continental shift.’
Show notes:

About the authors:
0602f8fRichard Poplak was born and lives in Johannesburg, South Africa. He trained as a filmmaker and fine artist at Montreal’s Concordia University and has produced and directed numerous short films, music videos and commercials. Now a full-time writer, Richard is a senior contributor at South Africa’s leading news site, Daily Maverick, and a frequent contributor to publications all over the world. He is a member of Deca Stories, the international long-form non-fiction collective. Since 2010, Poplak has been travelling across Africa, seeking out the catalysts and characters behind the continent’s 21st century metamorphosis.
193x285q70ce06d47046beb6dfe009d153e4f521c9Kevin Bloom has written for a wide array of South African and international publications, including Granta, the UK Times and the Guardian, and is an Honorary Writing Fellow at the University of Iowa, having completed the fall residency of the International Writing Program in 2011. Kevin’s first book, Ways of Staying, won the 2010 South African Literary Award for literary journalism, and was shortlisted for the Alan Paton Award.

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