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Chinese Agricultural Engagement in Africa in the Post C19-Era

China’s importing a lot more African agricultural products these days. Zambian blueberries were recently approved to enter the China market, Namibian beef shipments started this year, Ghanaian cocoa is now traded through a new exchange in Hunan province and, after more than a year of delays, the first shipments of Kenyan avocados to China has arrived.

While enhanced trade ties between the two regions is obviously important, the volume is still way too low to have a meaningful impact on the lives of farmers and millions of others in Africa’s agricultural sector.

Furthermore, the worsening economic crisis across the continent only adds to food insecurity that now haunts at least 70 million people across the continent.

Two analysts, one from Kenya and the other from China, have been thinking about what can be done now to address these daunting challenges and how China’s agricultural engagement should evolve in the post-COVID-19 era. Duncan Chando, a Nairobi-based international development consultant, and Cathy Cao, a policy and partnerships analyst at the International Fund for Agricultural Development in Beijing, joins Eric & Cobus to discuss their new article that lays out five recommendations for what needs to be done.

Show Notes:

About Duncan Chando and Cathy Xi Cao:

Duncan Chando is a development worker with over seven years of work experience with NGOS and United Nations. He worked as Consultant for International Labour Organization in Geneva supporting the incorporation of South- South Triangular Cooperation in ILO program and Program Assistant (M&E) at UNDP under support for devolution project in Kenya. Chando is a seasoned development practitioner with in-depth experience in fundraising, governance and partnership development at all levels, both local and international setups. Duncan holds an Erasmus Mundus Master of Advanced Development in Social work from University of Lincoln (UK) and Aalborg University (Denmark), Master in In Development Policy ( International Development and Sustainable Development) from KDI school of public policy and Management ( South Korea), Bachelor of Arts in Social Work from the University of Nairobi Kenya, a Post Graduate Diploma in Project Management from Kenya Institute of Management.


Cathy Cao Xi is a Policy&Partnerships specialist with seven years of experience in policy analysis, strategic partnerships, and development project management. She currently works for International Fund for Agricultural Development, covering the fund’s agricultural investments in China, Pakistan, and Afghanistan. She started her career as a Licensed Social Worker in Hong Kong and Singapore (2010-2015) and then became an Erasmus Mundus Scholar specialized in rural development and refugee affairs (2015-2017), and an Associate Research& Policy Officer for United National Development Programme(2018). She received a Master in International Development from Paris University Nanterre (2015-2017) and a Master in Social Work degree from The Chinese University of Hong Kong (2010-2012). Cathy is also a regular contributor and commentator for many national and international media outlets. Outside her work, she enjoys nature and art galleries but can also be found in rock climbing sites and dive sites.

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