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China in Africa: The Real Story

Senate Testimony on China and Africa

Deborah Brautigam

This isn't me. But this is surprisingly close to how it looked.
Yesterday together with Amb. David Shinn and Stephen Hayes of the Corporate Council on Africa, I walked through the hallowed halls of the Dirksen Office building to testify in front of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee (text and video here) on China's engagement in Africa. I was impressed by Senator Coons (who organized the meeting). Kudos to his staff; they did a great job briefing him. The other senators (naturally) varied in their level of understanding of this issue. Few got beyond the headlines.

The invitation to speak to the Committee arrived late last week while I was in Bergen, Norway, for a packed week in residence at the University of Bergen -- preparing and delivering three lectures on China (including one on China's impact on governance in Africa at Chr. Michelsen Institute). I probably should have skipped Seun Kuti's concert in Bergen on Saturday night and stayed in my hotel to write my testimony. It was tempting to enter The Dragon's Gift into the record ... in its entirety. But I refrained.