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India & China Compete in Africa

Africa is now the latest front in an increasingly global competition between India and China for new markets, agricultural land and access to natural resources.  While Western media and politicians have reacted with varying degrees of alarm over the surge of Chinese trade and investment in Africa, Indian companies have ...

The Chinese Winning Hearts, Minds and Wallets in Africa

In this edition of the “China in Africa” podcast, host Eric Olander speaks with Africa scholar Dr. David Robinson, Phd. of Western Australia’s Edith Cowan University about his recent article “Hearts, Minds and Wallets:  Lessons from ...

In the Battle for Influence in Africa, China Turns to Agriculture

Xie Yajing is among the legions of faceless Chinese officials who are little known outside of their own bureaucracies.  Despite his prominence as a senior Chinese commercial counselor for Africa and West Asia, not a single image of Xie appears in ...

China in Africa: Understanding the “Negative Narrative”

In this edition of the China in Africa podcast, host Eric Olander talks with Washington, D.C.-based writer and journalist Te-Ping Chen. Chen is an editor for change.org where she writes extensively on sustainability and social entrepreneurship in the developing world.    In a recent post on 

The Coming Sino-African Revolution

In this edition of the “China in Africa” podcast, Johannesburg-based blogger and academic Charlie Pistorius says the debate over whether  Chinese investment in Africa is either good or bad is entirely irrelevant.  Instead, one should evaluate the substantive outcome of China’s policies which will invariably produce a far more nuanced perspective.   In a pair of ...

U.S. vs. Chinese Approaches to Aid in Africa

The idea for this new podcast series was born from the constant frustration of talking with Western “development experts,” diplomats and aid workers in Africa. In every instance, Westerners were either strikingly ignorant of Chinese engagement there or summarily dismissed the Chinese presence in Africa as “counter productive” because China ...

China in Africa: the BBC’s Annoying Interview of Liu Guijin

It’s not often that senior Chinese officials make themselves available for interviews with the international media, especially in English.  So when I first heard that the BBC World Service’s “Business Today” radio program was to interview Beijing’s top diplomat on African Affairs Ambassador Liu ...

Rant: China Might Want to Consider Soft Power Too

By any measure China’s awe inspiring embrace of Africa is impressive.  Let’s put aside the staggering financial statistics on how many billions of dollars Beijing is spreading across the continent or even the scale of its natural resource haul.  Honestly, there is no comparison ...

The West’s Tragic Blindspot in Africa

I have been living in Kinshasa for almost three weeks now and since I landed here I’ve been asked countless times what I find the most interesting/bizarre/unusual about life in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. For me, the answer is clear. It’s not the vibrancy of Congolese culture, how ...
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