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Putting Geopolitical Competition on Display: Sierra Leonian President Visits China

By Lucas Engel On Saturday, March 2, 2024, Julius Maada Bio, the President of Sierra Leone, returned from China, marking the end of the year’s first visit to China by an African head of state.

Chinese Diplomacy in Sierra Leone and Nigeria With Tobi Oshodi

Sierra Leone President Julius Maada Bio is in the midst of a five-day visit to China that included talks with President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Qiang, among other high-level officials. While Bio is getting a lot of face-time with China’s ...

Lots of Smiles, Lots of Handshakes but Few Tangible Commitments During Sierra Leone President’s China Tour

Sierra Leone's President, Julius Maada Bio, kicked off a five-day state visit to China with a flurry of meetings with Chinese leaders, including President Xi Jinping. After laying a customary wreath at the Monument to the People's Heroes in Tiananmen Square, 

Sierra Leone President Arrives in China for State Visit

Sierra Leone President Julius Maada Bio arrived in China on Tuesday to kick off a five-day visit that will culminate in Beijing with a meeting with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping. Bio is also scheduled to meet with Premier Li Qiang ...

The Chinese on the Lion Mountain: Peering Into China’s Evolving Diaspora and Soft Power in Sierra Leone

A casino sits on the northwestern tip of Freetown, Sierra Leone, West Africa. Shining neon lights unquelled by the hourly power outages adorn its exterior, flashing hues of pink, green, and yellow onto the red lanterns hanging outside the main entrance. Women dressed in qipaos deal cards ...

Analysis from Cobus van Staden

Letter From DC: Is Africa Holding Itself Back?

Whoo boy…We picked a doozy of a week to be in town. The overlapping reverberations from leadership fights within the Democratic Party, the assassination attempt on former President Donald Trump, and the announcement of JD Vance as his vice-presidential candidate are understandably focusing attention inwards.
That said, we’ve had fascinating conversations with very smart folks who focus on Africa, the wider Global South, and China’s role there. One theme ...

Stadium Diplomacy in Africa is Fashionable Again

Early on in China's engagement in Africa, the Chinese were big on gifting sports stadiums to African governments as part of their soft power diplomatic outreach on the continent. Later, Chinese infrastructure development shifted focus to larger, more conventional projects like bridges, railroads and highways but now ...

Chinese Corporate Communications in Africa

Over the years, Chinese companies in Africa have earned a reputation for not very being good in how they communicate with local stakeholders, particularly with local media and civil society groups. While that remains true for the large state-owned construction and ...

“Fishermen Are Suffering, Families Are Starving” Due to Illegal Overfishing by Chinese Trawlers in Sierra Leone, Says Report

Illegal overfishing by Chinese trawlers in Ghana's coastal waters has been well documented, but now stakeholders in other West African countries including Sierra Leone are sounding the alarm. “The Chinese fleet has been taking the profits of the fisheries for 30 ...

WEEK IN REVIEW: Museveni Swats Aside Allegation Entebbe Airport Will be Forfeited to China

Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni issued his first public comments about the media reports that incorrectly alleged the Entebbe International Airport is at risk of being forfeited to China.  "I don't remember mortgaging the airport for anything," President Museveni told Reuters over the weekend. "There is no problem, they ...

FOCAC 8 Recap & Review

The eighth Forum on China-Africa Cooperation conference wrapped up this week in Senegal. The event itself generated a lot of news but it was far from the only thing going on this week. The Europeans sought to try and upstage FOCAC ...
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