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[PODCAST] Does it make sense for Africans to learn to speak Chinese?

Nairobi-based journalist Mark Kapchanga contends that it is time for Africans to learn to speak Chinese. In a provocative column published last month in the Chinese newspaper Global Times, Kapchanga warned that Africans are at risk of being on the losing end of an “information asymmetry” unless they begin to learn Mandarin in order to better negotiate with the continent’s largest trading partner ... Read More »

[PODCAST] China’s ‘Belt & Road’ Trading Strategy Presents New Challenge to U.S. Influence in Africa

The implementation of China’s ambitious “One Belt, One Road” (OBOR) trade agenda in Africa is now fully underway. The launch of the Standard Gauge Railway in Kenya, the opening of the new navy base in Djibouti and dozens of other major infrastructure development projects along Africa’s eastern shore are all part of this new ambitious strategy. OBOR’s roll-out in Africa comes at an important time ... Read More »

[PODCAST] Can the U.S. Under Donald Trump Compete with the Chinese in Africa?

With United States foreign policy in turmoil amid countless White House scandals and a demoralized State Department, Africa’s role in the current U.S. foreign policy agenda remains a mystery. Not once since he took office has President Donald Trump even mentioned Africa, much less provided a detailed overview of America’s security, aid and investment strategies on the continent. With the president’s attention focused ... Read More »

[PODCAST] Chinese debt in Africa: how much is too much?

African countries are once again binging on foreign debt. Across the continent, external debt has risen sharply, by almost 50% since 2010 according to data from the World Bank, to an estimated 416 billion dollars. Unlike 20–30 years ago when Africa turned to the west for cash, today China is the creditor of choice. The Chinese are shelling out massive ... Read More »

[PODCAST] The U.S. & China spend millions fighting malaria in Africa, so why don’t they work together?

Every year malaria kills 400,000 Africans, mostly toddlers under 5 years old, and costs the continent an estimated 12 billion dollars annually in lost productivity. Unlike HIV, malaria does not require sophisticated drugs or other costly treatments. In fact, the cost of treating the disease is relatively inexpensive, according to data from the WHO, and preventing through the use of medicated ... Read More »

[PODCAST] The UN’s role in China’s African development agenda

For decades, the aid and development sectors in Africa have been dominated by Western countries who have channeled billions of dollars through international organizations like the World Bank, IMF and the United Nations. Today, amid anemic economic growth in the U.S. and Europe combined with surging anti-globalism, those once generous development budgets are now in jeopardy. Largely immune from the populist ... Read More »

[AUDIO] The Hopes and Despair of African Migrants in China

Unlike the United States and countries in Europe, China has never been regarded as a popular destination for economic migrants. Today, that is no longer the case. China’s four-decade long economic boom is now a magnet for immigrants, particularly from Africa. The Guangzhou Dream Factory is a new documentary produced by a pair of American filmmakers that explores the promise ... Read More »

[AUDIO] Why U.S. & Chinese Foreign Policy Are More Alike Than You Might Think

When Xi Jinping visited Donald Trump this week at the U.S. president’s Florida estate for their first face-to-face meeting, many of the photos of the two leaders together conveyed a sense of awkwardness. After all, Trump represents a new generation of volatile, populist western leaders that Xi may still be learning how to engage. For his part, Trump is also learning that it’s a lot easier ... Read More »