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The China Africa Project is a multimedia resource dedicated to exploring every aspect of China’s growing engagement with Africa.  Through a combination of original content and curation of third-party material from across the Internet, the CAP’s objective is purely informational.  None of the blog’s authors or producers have any vested interest in any Chinese or African position.

About the authors

Eric Olander is a veteran new media and broadcast journalist with over 25 years experience in Asia, Africa, the United States and Europe. Eric has worked with many of the world’s leading news companies including CNN, the BBC World Service, the Associated Press and at FRANCE 24 in Paris where he served as the network’s Editor in Chief of New Media. Currently, Eric is the General Director of Vietnam’s largest all-business news channel FBNC. Eric has a degree in East African history from the University of California at Berkeley and a masters degree in international public affairs from the University of Hong Kong. He is fluent in both Mandarin Chinese and French while becoming increasingly conversant in Vietnamese.

For more information about Eric please visit his online portfolio at or his LinkedIn profile.

Cobus van Staden is a South African journalist and academic. He started in 1998 as a TV reporter for the South African Broadcasting Corporation. In 2001 he went to graduate school in Japan, getting a Master’s degree and a PhD in Media Studies from the University of Nagoya. After his return to South Africa he worked as an investigative journalist for the award-winning news show Special Assignment. He is currently on the faculty of the Media Studies department at The University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, tracking the expansion of Chinese and Japanese media interests in Africa.


  1. We are an African cultural tourism agency that links up tourists who want to LIVE(home stay), STUDY (cultural and educational)and WORK (internship and volunteer)in Africa with local hosts in rural villages and towns.
    We encourage Chinese tourists to visit Africa as their contribution to POVERTY REDUCTION especially at the local level by Africans getting benefits from tourism.Tourism is one of the leading “ready” exports and foreign exchange earners for most African countries.But almost 85% on money tourism earnings goes back to foreign investors or countries of origin of the tourists because most hotels,travel agencies,airlines lodges,ranches,villas etc are foreign owned.
    Tourism revenue to Africa is far bigger than foreign aid to Africa! Africa’s share of global tourism revenues according to the UN is 3.6% and tourism accounts for more than 11% of Africa’s GDP.
    Cultural tourism(homestay being part of it) accounts for 5% of global tourism and is growing at the rate of 20-30% per year according to World Tourism Organisation.
    Homestay tourism benefits the locals where the tourists LIVE,STUDY and do voluntary WORK.
    It is a pity that most governments and tourism institutions do not grasp this concept of locals benefitting from tourism.They are only interested in job creation , investment and tax payment as the communities along the tourist circuits live in abject poverty!
    Tourism must benefit the tourist and the locals.That is why we pioneer and champion homestay tourism ,cultural immersion and voluntary work concepts to help the communities along tourist circuits with homestay fees(paid to hosts),cross-cultural learning(how much of one’s culture or heritage can a tourist learn in a hotel compared with staying with a local family?) and other community projects where guests volunteer.

  2. Professor Ali Abdalla Ali,Cairo,Delhi and Oxford universities,Director,The Arab African Economic Research Centre,Khartoum/Sudan

    I was lucky to come across your project when I was trying to write an article on whether Japan can overtake China in Africa.I have been interested in the Sudan Chinese relation specially after 1990 when they were engaged in producing oil for Sudan.Since then the relation was intensified and Sudan became an important partner with Sudan.I will be interested to send you the article if interested.At the beginning I was greatly impressed by China specially during the era of the Chairman.But after the mid seventies and the adoption of integrating in the world market,things took a different shape.Coming out of 50 years of isolation msut have confused the Chinese mind.Anyway I have a fair idea about the chinese involvement in Sudan and would like to communicate with your project.Thanks and best regards.

    • Hi,

      It is a long time since I have sent you my June 2013 message.I must say that I am still interested in the relation between Sudan and China even after the departure of the South Sudan that became an independent State,which to my mind was a grave mistake on the part of Sudan governments since independence in January 1956.The problem was was originally made by the British legacy at that time i.e. since they over the Sudan in 1899 together with the Egyptians.That is history now but definately had its impact in later years.At the moment the relation between Sudan and China had become more firm since it is about the only country that still stands on the side of Sudan in spite of certain reservation on the part of the Chinese which can be discussed later on.However, the involvement of the West specially the USA in bringing the warring parties to a final agreement in 2005, started to complicate the relationship since each of the two large economies seem to have a different agenda in the way they look at the problems of both Sudan and South Sudan.Therefore one needs to dwell and understand the motivations of both powers.However, China to the extent that it weighs its interests in USA and the extent to which China will become involved with the US might affect Sudan’s relation with China.The more China is involved with the US and behave in a business like attitude, the Sudanese side will have to think twice before going on taking for granted the historical relation between the countries.Sudan will have to bevahe in a business like manner before thinking in a nostalgic manner about history that matters no more in a real world that the new Chinese generations are taking to.Thanks.

      Professor Ali Abdalla Ali,
      Omdurmman Ahlia University,
      The Arab African Economic Research Centre,


  3. To,
    All members of
    China Africa Project,
    Dear Sir/Madam,
    We have a very innovative proposal about the establishment of “China Africa Bank”. This idea will benefit both the Peoples Republic of China and the African countries. This idea will boost economic integration of both China and African nations.

    We seek support of your esteem project regarding suggesting Chinese Government to help establish such a bank.

    We will send you a detail about this proposal after your reply.

    Thanks & Best Regards,
    Founder of “China Africa Bank” Idea

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