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About The China Global South Project

The China-Global South Project (CGSP), formerly known as The China Africa Project, is a non-profit independent multimedia organization dedicated to exploring every aspect of China’s engagement with Africa. CGSP is registered as a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation in the United States with no partisan agenda whatsoever and does not advocate on behalf of any country, company, or culture.

CGSP was co-founded in 2010 by journalist Eric Olander and media scholar Dr. Cobus van Staden. Until August 2019, CGSP was a passion project that Eric and Cobus worked on during nights and weekends. Now, there’s a full-time team of editors and analysts in five countries in Africa and Asia working every day to produce daily news and analysis.

CGSP produces a mix of editorial content that combines original material with carefully curated third-party information.  The current CGSP production output includes:

  1. The China in Africa weekly audio podcast
  2. The China Global South Project Facebook page
  3. The China Global South Project on YouTube
  4. The China Global South Project on X
  5. Le Projet Chine Afrique
  6. AfrikChine Podcast (French)
  7. Akhbar AlSin-Africia on X (Arabic)

Editor-in-Chief: Eric Olander is a journalist with more than 30 years of experience reporting, producing and managing newsrooms for some of the world’s leading editorial organizations including CNN, FRANCE 24 and the BBC World Service among others. He has an extensive background working in newsrooms and doing content production in the U.S., Europe, Africa, and Asia. China, though, has been the central focus of Eric’s professional career. He first went to China in 1989 and spent more than a decade of combined time living, studying and working there. Eric is fluent in both French and Mandarin Chinese. He received his undergraduate degree in East African history from the University of California at Berkeley and a Master’s of International Public Affairs with a focus on Chinese foreign policy from the University of Hong Kong.

For more information about Eric and his professional background, please visit his LinkedIn profile.

Managing Editor: Dr. Cobus van Staden is an accomplished scholar, journalist, and think tank analyst with more than 20 years of experience in Africa and Asia. Previously, he was the senior China-Africa researcher at the South African Institute of International Affairs (SAIIA) in Johannesburg. Cobus completed his Ph.D. in Japanese studies and media studies at the University of Nagoya in Japan in 2008. He focused on comparisons of Chinese and Japanese public diplomacy in Africa during postdoctoral positions at the University of Stellenbosch, and the SARCHI Chair on African Diplomacy and Foreign Policy at the University of Johannesburg, before joining the Department of Media Studies at the University of the Witwatersrand in 2013. His academic research focused on media coverage of the China-Africa and Japan-Africa relationships, as well as the use of media as public diplomacy in the global south.

For more information about Cobus and his professional background, please visit his LinkedIn profile.

Africa Editor: C. Géraud Neema Byamungu is an analyst and observer of China-Africa relations who graduated from Renmin University of China and has a master’s degree in International Development from the International University of Japan. He researched natural resources revenue management. Previously, he worked as a project manager for a small Congolese mining company in DRC and later as a consultant on good governance and policy advocacy for the “Centre d’Etudes pour l’Action Social”.

China Editor: Han Zhen (寒槙) has an extensive background in working and conducting research in both China and Africa. Unfortunately, for personal security reasons, we can’t use their real name or provide any other identifying information about them. Han explained that they’re not concerned about the Chinese government’s reaction to their work with CGSP, since most of this content will draw on material already in the public domain. Rather, they’re concerned about attracting the attention of nationalist trolls online. Getting doxxed and harassed by the online mob is a real concern today. There are a lot of people, regrettably, who regard the contextualizing of Chinese-language content for an international audience as unpatriotic.

Southeast Asia Editor: Antonia Timmerman is a Jakarta-based journalist with over 10 years of experience reporting in Southeast Asia. Starting out as a business reporter, Antonia developed a specialization in technology and labor issues. Her articles have been published in Rest of World, South China Morning Post, VICE, Nikkei Asia, and more. Antonia was recognized in SABEW’s 2022 Best in Business Awards and is a finalist for the 2023 SOPA Awards for her coverage of nickel and electric vehicle development in Indonesia.

Arabic Editor: Jony Essa is a Neubauer Research Associate at INSS and a doctoral candidate in the International Relations department and the Leonard Davis Institute for International Relations Graduate School at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. His dissertation is titled “What Explains Different Military Behavior? Jordan, Syria, and Egypt in a Comparative Perspective.” He holds a B.A. in international relations and English Literature and an M.A. in international relations, both from the Hebrew University, and lectures on Middle East politics and culture at the Rothberg International School at the Hebrew University.  His primary areas of research include contemporary Middle Eastern military history, conflict processes (ethnopolitical conflict and civil wars), and the state, society, and security in the Middle East.

Assistant Africa Editor: Christopher Edyegu is an analyst and keen observer of African-China relations. He is finalizing his Ph.D. at the University of Cape Town (UCT) and is a holder of a Master’s Degree in international relations from UCT. Additionally, from Stellenbosch University, Christopher holds a bachelor’s in international studies, an honors degree in history, and a postgraduate diploma in marketing. He has a combined 9 years of working experience in African risk consulting, Africa-China foreign policy, academia, and non-governmental organization (NGO) sectors.

Climate Editor: Njenga Hakeenah is a multimedia journalist and trainer with over 10 years of experience reporting, producing, and managing newsrooms for media organizations in Kenya and Tanzania. Having specialized in science reporting and productions, Njenga is an award-winning journalist for his climate change stories coverage. He is passionate about nature. Through the years, he has managed editorial processes and writer improvement which have enabled him to achieve his organization’s and company’s goals. In his roles, Njenga has had to write, research, commission, and edit content from the Sub-Saharan Africa region. He has a good grasp of climate matter issues in Africa and he is now focused on telling these stories to the world from Africa. He has worked as a radio show host and news presenter as well as a commissioning editor for the publishers he has worked with.

For more information about Njenga and his professional background, please visit his LinkedIn profile.

Funding

The China-Global South Project passionately believes in being upfront and transparent about its funding. Since CGSP’s inception in March 2010 through January 2018, CGSP was entirely self-funded by Eric and Cobus with no outside financial support.

Currently, CGSP has three sources of funding to support its operations: (90% of the CGSP’s funding is from subscribers and members)

  1. Subscriptions: CGSP charges $15 per month or $149 per year to subscribe to a daily email newsletter and access to the CGSP website.
  2. Patreon: The CGSP receives support from listeners and readers who have joined its Patreon community at: www.patreon.com/ChinaAfricaProject
  3. Foundations: From time to time, CGSP receives small-scale grants from select, non-partisan foundations.

Want More Information?

CGSP does not, and will not, accept any funding from any government, corporation, or organization that would compromise CGSP’s editorial autonomy. If you have any questions or would like more information on anything mentioned above, please do not hesitate to contact Eric at eric@chinaglobalsouth.com.