The Western and African media have long fueled the myth that Chinese investors are buying up vast tracts of land across Africa as part of some neo-colonial plan to export food back to China. Professor Ian Scoones from the Institute of Development Studies at the University of Sussex joins us to discuss why Chinese engagement in African agriculture is not what it seems.
Chinese companies around the world, particularly in Africa, have a well-earned reputation for being bad corporate citizens. Increasingly, however, that's not entirely the case. International Institute for Environment and Development researcher Weng Xiaoxue joins us in the podcast above to discuss why the old memes about Chinese corporate behavior in Africa are rapidly changing.
While China and other emerging markets have pared back their investments in Africa, this has opened an opportunity for new players to step into the market. Former U.S. Ambassador David Shinn joins Eric & Cobus -- in the podcast above -- to discuss the changing landscape of foreign investment in Africa.
When China sneezes, does Africa catch a cold? Nicholas Norbrook, managing editor of The Africa Report magazine, examined how much of Africa's current economic headwinds are due to China's ongoing transition from a manufacturing to a service-led economy. He joins Eric & Cobus -- in the podcast above -- to discuss this topic.
In their new book "Continental Shift: A Journey Into Africa's Changing Fortunes," South African authors Kevin Bloom and Richard Poplak embarked on 14-country odyssey across two continents over a span of five years to report on Africa's changing economic, political and social landscapes. What they discovered along the way was that China's role had become pivotal in so many of the African countries they visited. The Chinese presence in Africa, they observed, "is the defining phenomenon of our time." In this podcast, they discuss their new book and their perceptions of China's role in Africa's "continental shift."
Most Western environmentalists contend that curbing demand in China for ivory is the key factor to help save the African elephant from extinction. Damien Mander disagrees. Mander, the founder of the International Anti-Poaching Foundation and a leader in a new movement that is militarizing the fight against illegal wildlife poaching in southern Africa, joins Eric & Cobus -- in the podcast above -- to discuss what he thinks needs to be done to save Africa's rapidly shrinking elephant population.
While the strategic logic of China's desire to broaden its reach in the Middle East and North Africa is obvious, the key question is whether or not Beijing is capable of successfully navigating the region's volatile, often violent politics. Lina Benabdallah, a China-Africa scholar at the University of Florida's Center for African Studies, joins Eric & Cobus this week -- in the podcast above -- to discuss Xi's recent Mideast trip and what it says about the current direction of Chinese foreign policy.
With each of these attacks, the perception at home is that China may now be a great power but one that can't seem to protect its people abroad. The Chinese clearly recognize the problem. The question is can they do anything about it? This week, Eric & Cobus discuss -- in the podcast above -- the new security realities confronting China's engagement in Africa and MENA and explore what options, if any, policymakers have to confront the mounting threat against their people and interests.
As a former China-based journalist who now lives and reports on Africa, Lily is among the first reporters on the continent with a distinctive background in Sino-African relations. She joins Eric & Cobus -- in the podcast above -- to talk about the opportunity and challenges of covering the China/Africa story.
China is steadily expanding its military footprint in Africa, highlighted by the recent deployment of 700 combat-ready troops to join a multinational peacekeeping operation in South Sudan. In all, the People's Liberation Army and Navy now have an estimated 2,700 soldiers, sailors, engineers and medical staff stationed across the continent.
With the world's largest number of outbound tourists who spend more than visitors from any other country, the Chinese tourist is a prized asset. In the case of South Africa, the effects of the Chinese absence are being felt across the economy as flights are cancelled, hotel rooms go unfilled and restaurants operate below capacity.