You are here: Home Blog
  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size
Blogs

China: Quashing Criticism at Home and Abroad

Edited by: Sophie Richardson

Imprisoning popular bloggers. Maintaining the “Great Firewall” to censor the Internet. Expunging from history books references to the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre. Maintaining a Propaganda Department to disseminate the state’s—and only the state’s—version of reality.

Read full post

Lessons for DFID from Chinese and Brazilian cooperation programmes

Edited by: Henry Tugendhat

Recently, at the London Stock Exchange, Justine Greening announced her new policy of supporting UK businesses to invest in developing economies for the mutual benefit of both sides. As she says: “This is good for investors, who earn a financial return… [and] good for the poorest, who receive jobs and support”. New as it may sound in UK development policy discourse, it is interesting that this strategy should sound an awful lot like the “win-win” sound-bite we’ve been increasingly used to hearing from China among the other BRICS countries, who met in Durban South Africa at the end of last month. China and Brazil have both made efforts to leverage private sector investments as part of their aid/South-South Cooperation agendas, but problems have already arisen which the UK could usefully learn from.

Read full post

Partner, prototype or persuader? China’s renewed media engagement with Ghana

Edited by: Iginio Gagliardone, Nicole Stremlau, Daniel Nkrumah

Abstract

This article provides an empirically grounded assessment of China’s increasing role in the African mediasphere. It examines the strategic importance of Chinese media assistance to Ghana along three dimensions: the potential appeal of the Chinese approach to information regulation for countries struggling to balance development and risks to political stability; the direct intervention of Chinese companies in the media and telecommunication sectors through the provision of loans, equipment and technical expertise; and the stepping up of China’s public diplomacy strategy through the expansion of international broadcasters and the increase of exchange and training programs targeting African citizens.

Read full post

Big is beautiful: Megadams, African water security, and China’s role in the new global political economy

Edited by: Dr Harry Verhoeven

Big dams have long fascinated scientists and politicians alike, sitting at the intersection of water security, modernisation strategies and nationalism. They began their ascent in the West – remember Roosevelt's Tennessee Valley Authority – but became popular in developing countries seeking to meet the triple challenge of state-building, nation-building and economic development. General Franco used dams and a powerful water-bureaucracy to re-centralise control over a fragmented, 'backward' nation after the Spanish civil war. Nehru saw dams as the "modern temples of India" lifting hundreds of millions out of poverty through spectacular multiplier effects in industry and irrigated agriculture. And Gamal Abdel Nasser advanced his revolutionary "second Egyptian independence" through the Aswan Dam: Africa's biggest infrastructure project controlled the Nile flood for the first time in history and symbolically catapulted Egypt into the club of advanced nations.1

Read full post

Poisoned Chalice or Fuel for Development? (Part III)

Edited by: Editor: Dr Harry Verhoeven

Dear Martyn,

Let me make a couple of broader observations to strengthen my points and to refute your arguments. Firstly, the tendency to place the ongoing China-Africa discussion in geo-political context as you do is not helpful. It emanates from the notion that the West and China are two suitors vying for the affection of Africa and, therefore, what is good for China in Africa must be bad for the West. Of course, African leaders also fall into this trap and often operate from the fallacious notion that "the enemy (China) of my enemy (West) must be my friend". The problem is that such a perspective ignores the interests of the African people.

Read full post

Poisoned Chalice or Fuel for Development? (Part II)

Edited by: Editor: Dr Harry Verhoeven

In the first of a series of OUCAN debates, two renowned African public intellectuals give their views on the pros and cons of the wave of investment and trade between China and Africa's 54 countries that is remaking the international political economy as we know it. Both concerned with job creation, economic growth and poverty reduction, they propose a radically different engagement with the People's Republic and draw our attention to the complexity of the debate and to a wide range of historical and contemporary examples that buttress their argument. Regardless of whether one agrees with them or not, they force to rethink our assumptions about the China-Africa relationship past, present and future.

In the lead up to the fifth Ministerial Conference of the Forum for China Africa Cooperation to be held in Beijing later this year, OUCAN is launching a series of online debates on China-Africa relations by scholars, development specialists, business people, and civil society representatives from China, Africa and beyond.

The first debate pits two distinguished African intellectuals against each other in "Poisoned Chalice or Fuel for Development". The first debate went live on Monday, 28th May. Professor George Ayittey was the first intellectual to give his views on Sino-African relations. On the 5th June Dr Martyn Davies will continue the debate by introducing another viewpoint on Sino-African engagement. The public will have the opportunity to continue commenting on Professor's Ayittey and Dr Davies's views.


Read full post

Poisoned Chalice or Fuel for Development?

Edited by: Editor: Dr. Harry Verhoeven

African public intellectuals debate the future of Chinese investment on the continent.   

china africa_03_pw

In the first of a series of OUCAN debates, two renowned African public intellectuals give their views on the pros and cons of the wave of investment and trade between China and Africa's 54 countries that is remaking the international political economy as we know it. Both concerned with job creation, economic growth and poverty reduction, they propose a radically different engagement with the People's Republic and draw our attention to the complexity of the debate and to a wide range of historical and contemporary examples that buttress their argument. Regardless of whether one agrees with them or not, they force to rethink our assumptions about the China-Africa relationship past, present and future.

 In the lead up to the fifth Ministerial Conference of the Forum for China Africa Cooperation to be held in Beijing later this year, OUCAN is launching a series of online debates on China-Africa relations by scholars, development specialists, business people, and civil society representatives from China, Africa and beyond.

The first debate pits two distinguished African intellectuals against each other in "Poisoned Chalice or Fuel for Development". The first debate goes live on Monday, 28th May. Professor George Ayittey is the first intellectual to give his views on Sino-African relations. The public will have the opportunity to comment on Professor's Ayittey views until the 27th May. On the 3rd June Dr Martyn Davies will continue the debate by introducing another viewpoint on Sino-African engagement.

Join us in the debate and post your questions, comments and suggestions online.

Please note that the discussion will be moderated and that views should be aired with respect for and consideration of the viewpoints of others.

Professor George Ayittey is a Ghanaian economist at American University and president of the Free Africa Foundation.

Dr Martyn Davies is the Chief Executive Officer of Frontier Advisory (Pty) Ltd and is based in South Africa.





Read full post

Africa Looks East

Edited by: Harry Verhoeven

The great untold story of our age is the rapid deepening and broadening of ties between the African continent and China. It is the single most important geopolitical trend of the 21st century for Africa, and China's economic miracle cannot be understood without analyzing its multifarious partnerships with African countries, argues OUCAN Convenor and Co-Founder Harry Verhoeven.

Read full post