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Sam Pa, China's Mysterious Middleman in Africa

Publicly China’s engagement in Africa is based on “mutual benefit” or, as Chinese officials like to phrase it “win win.” Behind the scenes, though, it’s a little more complicated. Many of those multibillion dollar natural resource-for-infrastructure deals have been arranged by mysterious middlemen like Sam Pa and his Hong Kong-based Queensway Group. These go-betweens, according to reporting from the FT’s Tom Burgis, often do not live up to Beijing’s lofty ideals as common Africans see little from the fruits of these deals while politicians, brokers and other elites pocket millions in profits.

Some of the articles referenced in this show include:

About Tom Burgis:

427574_344146269000597_1664271519_nTom Burgis has covered Africa for the Financial Times for six years, in particular the natural resource industries and the corruption and conflict that often accompany them. He was a correspondent in Johannesburg from 2008-2009 and west Africa correspondent, based in Lagos, from 2009-2011. He is currently based in London for the FT, working on breaking news and investigations, and writing a book about the companies, politicians and middlemen who conspire to loot African resources. Before joining the FT he worked in South America and as a London-based freelancer covering, among other things, the anti-globalisation movement.

What is The China-Africa Project?


The CAP is passionately independent, non-partisan and does not advocate for any country, company or culture.


A carefully curated selection of the day’s most important China-Africa stories. Updated 24 hours a day by human editors. No bots, no algorithms.


Diverse, often unconventional insights from scholars, analysts, journalist and a variety of stakeholders in the China-Africa discourse.


A unique professional network of China-Africa scholars, analysts, journalists and other practioners from around the world.