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Event Details

2018 Conference - “Matters of State”
to Apr 20

2018 Conference - “Matters of State”

  • Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS




DAY 1 - Thursday, April 19, 2018

8:30 – 9:00  Sign-in and coffee

9:00 – 9:05  Welcome: Vali NASR, SAIS Dean

9:05 – 9:15  Introduction: Deborah BRÄUTIGAM, SAIS-CARI Director

9:15 – 11:00  PANEL 1:  Africa, China and the West

Chair: Amb. David H. SHINN, George Washington University


Christine HACKENESCH, Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik, “The EU and China in African Authoritarian Regimes: Domestic Politics and Governance Reforms”

Haley SWEDLUND, Radboud University Nijmegen, “The Development Dance: How China and Other Donors and Recipients Negotiate the Delivery of Foreign Aid”

Tara MOCK, Michigan State University, “How China Does Nation-Branding in Africa”

Yuan WANG, University of Oxford, “The politics of Sino-Africa infrastructure development: Ethiopia and Kenya”

11:15 – 1:00  PANEL 2:  African Agency and Strategic Bargaining

Chair: Julia STRAUSS, University of London School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS)


Folashadé SOULÉ, University of Oxford, “Negotiating with China: Power Asymmetry and African Agency”

Youyi ZHANG, Cornell University, “Political Significance, African Agency, and Risks: Chinese Infrastructure Projects in Kenya and DR Congo.”

Hang ZHOU, University of London School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), “Bring African bureaucracies back in: Negotiations and Implementation of Chinese engagement in Uganda’s Roads Construction Sector”

Maddalena PROCOPIO, London School of Economics / Italian Institute for International Political Studies - “Kenyan Agency Toward the Chinese: the Case of the Health Sector”

1:00 – 2:00  Lunch & Keynote speech

Keynote speech: Daniel LARGE, Central European University, “China's New African Era: The Politics of Peace, Security and Development”

2:00 – 3:45  PANEL 3:  Leadership, Power and Agency, and Regulation

Chair: Deborah BRÄUTIGAM, Johns Hopkins SAIS


Ying XIA, Harvard University, “Policies, Laws and Agencies for Outward Investment Regulation in China”

Barney WALSH, King’s College London, “Museveni's Power and Agency: A Leadership Perspective on China-Africa Relations”

June SUN, Africa's Asian Options (AFRASO), “Emerging markets' Challenges for Participation in Global Internet Governance: The Case of China and South Africa”

Jackson MILLER, Harvard Kennedy School, “Fists of Fury? Kung Fu Master Gao and the Sinification of Malagasy Politics”

4:00 – 5:45  PANEL 4: Civil Society, Populism, and Micropolitics

Chair: Yoon Jung PARK, Georgetown University


Isaac ODOOM, University of Alberta, “Agency in Tight Corners: Chinese Miners and Community Contestation/Collaboration in Ghana”

Lila BUCKLEY, International Institute for Environment and Development, “China's role in Africa's sustainable development from the perspective of natural resources, rural poverty and local governance”

Richard AIDOO, Coastal Carolina University, “Charting the Roots of Anti-Chinese Populism in Africa”

Robert WYROD, University of Colorado Boulder, “In the General’s Valley: China, Africa, and the Limits of Developmental Pragmatism”

5:45 – 6:45  Public Reception

DAY 2 - Friday, April 20, 2018

9:00 - 10:45  PANEL 5: African State Capacity, Bureaucracies, and Norm Diffusion

Chair: Brian LEVY, Johns Hopkins SAIS/University of Cape Town


Hezron MAKUNDI, IDS University of Dar es Salaam, “Negotiating the technological capacity in Chinese engagements: Is the Tanzanian government in the driving seat?”

Tom DE BRUYN, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, “The Promise of Equal Partnerships: Decision-making power and African agency in Chinese, Brazilian and Indian CapacityBuilding Projects”

Lina BENABDALLAH, Wake Forest University, “Do knowledge and technical skills transfers from Chinese experts to African trainees diffuse Chinese norms, values, and models?”

Paul KADETZ, Drew University, “Diplomacy & Dependency: Unpacking the Outcomes of ‘Sustainable’ Self-development in Sino-Malagasy Health Diplomacy”

11:00-12:45  PANEL 6: Understanding China/Africa through Data

Chair: Stephen B. KAPLAN, George Washington University


Jinxu TANG, Brown University, “More than Minerals: A Spatial Analysis of Chinese Aid in Africa”

Matthew DILORENZO, College of William & Mary, “Political Turnover and Chinese Development Cooperation”

Scott WINGO, University of Pennsylvania, “New Types of Financing for a New Financier: The Determinants of Different Forms of Chinese Development Finance in Africa”

David LANDRY, Johns Hopkins SAIS, “Comparing the Determinants of Western and Chinese Development Finance Flows to Africa”

12:45- 1:45  Lunch and Summing Up

View Event →
Chinese Investment & Knowledge Transfer in Africa's Manufacturing Sector
4:30 PM16:30

Chinese Investment & Knowledge Transfer in Africa's Manufacturing Sector

Chinese Investment and Knowledge Transfer in Africa's Manufacturing Sector: Fact and Fiction

Please join us for a panel discussion on CARI's research.

Over the past few years, hundreds of Chinese firms have invested in manufacturing in Africa. Our researchers explored the realities of this investment on the ground: what sectors are Chinese firms investing in? Is technology being transferred? Are Africans gaining manufacturing skills?

Moderator: Prof. Deborah Bräutigam, Director, SAIS-China Africa Research Initiative


  • Yunnan Chen, PhD Student, International Development, SAIS

  • Ying Xia, SJD Student, Harvard Law School

  • Prof. Tang Xiaoyang, Associate Professor, Department of International Relations, Tsinghua University

Please register at to attend.

View Event →
Wolf Warrior II Film Screening and Discussion
5:00 PM17:00

Wolf Warrior II Film Screening and Discussion

Captain China in Africa: China’s self-image as a superpower

Wolf Warrior 2 (战狼2) is a 2017 Chinese action film directed by Wu Jing, who also stars in the lead role. The film tells a story of a loose cannon Chinese soldier named Leng Feng who takes on special missions around the world. In this sequel, he finds himself in an African country protecting medical aid workers from local rebels and vicious arms dealers. Wolf Warrior 2 was a massive commercial success both in China and abroad and has become the highest-grossing Chinese film ever released, as well as the sixth highest-grossing film of 2017.

After the screening, we will hold a discussion co-moderated by Prof. Deborah Bräutigam, Director of the China-Africa Research Initiative, and Prof. David Lampton, Director of SAIS-China and China Studies.

Popcorn will be provided. Please register at to attend - seating is limited.

This event is co-sponsored by the China Africa Research Initiative, SAIS China Studies, SAIS African Studies and SAIS Strategic Studies.

Disclaimer: The showing of Wolf Warrior 2 at SAIS does not imply endorsement or support of any of the views or opinions expressed in the film.


View Event →
Policy Roundtable: Prospects for U.S.-China-Africa Relations in the Trump Era
11:00 AM11:00

Policy Roundtable: Prospects for U.S.-China-Africa Relations in the Trump Era

  • Johns Hopkins SAIS: Kenney-Herter Auditorium (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

Policy Roundtable:

Prospects for U.S.-China-Africa Relations in the Trump Era

At the start of Barack Obama’s presidency in 2009, China surpassed the United States as Africa’s top trade partner. As Chinese engagement in Africa continued to diversify, President Obama ushered in an Africa foreign policy that included high-profile diplomatic events such as the U.S.-Africa Leaders’ Summit as well as new economic commitments under Power Africa and Trade Africa. Now, early signs in Donald Trump’s presidency indicate the United States will likely retreat from Africa under an “America First” foreign policy. How will the respective roles of the United States and China in Africa change under these circumstances? Will existing opportunities for constructive trilateral collaboration remain, or will they need to be modified? How will African countries respond to these shifts? This roundtable will draw on the public and private sectors to explore the future of U.S.-China-Africa relations in an evolving geopolitical landscape.

A light lunch will be served from 11:00 am to 12:00 pm. The roundtable discussion will take place from 12:00 pm to 2:00 pm.

This event is free and open to the public.

An live overview of the event can be found here.

Keynote Address

Peter Lewis
Vice Dean for Academic and Faculty Affairs, Johns Hopkins SAIS


Yun Sun
Senior Associate, East Asia Program, Stimson Center

Yun Sun is a Senior Associate with the East Asia Program at the Stimson Center. Her expertise is in Chinese foreign policy, U.S.-China relations and China's relations with neighboring countries and authoritarian regimes. From 2011 to early 2014, she was a Visiting Fellow at the Brookings Institution, jointly appointed by the Foreign Policy Program and the Global Development Program, where she focused on Chinese national security decision-making processes and China-Africa relations. From 2008 to 2011, Yun was the China Analyst for the International Crisis Group based in Beijing, specializing on China's foreign policy towards conflict countries and the developing world. Prior to ICG, she worked on U.S.-Asia relations in Washington, DC for five years. Yun earned her master's degree in international policy and practice from George Washington University, as well as an MA in Asia Pacific studies and a BA in international relations from Foreign Affairs College in Beijing.


Mima Nedelcovych
President and CEO, Initiative for Global Development

Dr. Mima Nedelcovych is the President and CEO of the Initiative for Global Development (IGD), a nonprofit organization that engages corporate leaders to reduce poverty through business growth and investment in Africa. Prior to joining IGD, Dr. Nedelcovych was the Chairman of Schaffer International, the successor company to the Schaffer Global Group. Dr. Nedelcovych has provided consulting services to USAID, Carana Corporation, and Abt Associates to identify and advise investment opportunities in Africa, as well as with corporate clients such as International Green Structures, Illovo Sugar and JML Investments, and more to develop specific investments in emerging markets.

Dr. Nedelcovych served in the Administration of President George Bush from 1989 to 1993 as the U.S. Executive Director to the African Development Bank (AfDB) in Abidjan, Cote d'Ivoire. Prior to being named Executive Director to the AfDB, Dr. Nedelcovych held the position of Principal at Arthur Young's International Consulting Group, specializing in privatizations and private investments in Africa. At the beginning of his career he served as Peace Corps Country Director in Gabon, as Special Assistant to the Assistant Administrator for Africa at USAID, and as Special Projects Officer at the US Trade and Development Agency.

He received a BA in Political Science from Yale University, an MA in International Relations from George Washington University, and a PhD in Comparative Political and Economic Development from Florida State University.

John Goodman
Associate Director, Conflict Resolution Program, The Carter Center

Dr. John Goodman is associate director for Africa in the Conflict Resolution Program, with responsibility for the design, implementation, and evaluation of the program's mission and strategy in East Africa. Dr. Goodman comes to The Carter Center from the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), where, since 2010, he served as delegate and head of sub-delegation (ad interim) in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and South Sudan. Mr. Goodman's responsibilities included representing the ICRC with government officials, armed actors, international agencies, and civil society; managing relief operations; visiting prisoners of war; and promoting international humanitarian law. In particular, in the DRC, Mr. Goodman directed the ICRC's programs in eight prisons and multiple transitory places of detention. In South Sudan, his portfolio included ICRC programs in health, civilian protection, and relief along the border with Sudan.

Prior to joining the ICRC, Dr. Goodman was an attorney in private practice in the United States, primarily in civil litigation on behalf of the immigrant community. He holds a bachelor's degree from Centre College, a master's and juris doctorate from the University of Kentucky, and a doctorate from the Graduate Institute, University of Geneva (Switzerland).

Bobby Pittman
Managing Partner, Kupanda Capital

Bobby J. Pittman is the Managing Partner at Kupanda Capital, an investment platform established to create, capitalize and scale pan-African  companies. He has helped found numerous companies, including, where he currently serves as Chairman. Prior to Kupanda Capital, Bobby was Vice President of Infrastructure, Private Sector and Regional Integration at the African Development Bank (AfDB). There he managed one of the largest portfolios in Africa, including more than $25 billion in active projects across 52 African countries. Pittman previously held senior positions at several U.S. government agencies, including the Central Intelligence Agency, National Security Council, Treasury Department, State Department and White House. 

From 2006 to 2009, he served as the Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for African Affairs in the White House. He was the President's lead advisor on Africa issues as well as the President’s Africa Personal Representative (APR) to the G8. Africa Fund Manager magazine named Bobby to its inaugural 'Power 50' list of industry leaders who are shaping investment trends in Africa. He also serves on the boards of Africare and the Center for Global Development. Bobby studied economics at Florida State University and the University of Chicago.

Leocadia Zak
Former Director, U.S. Trade and Development Agency

Prof. Leocadia I. Zak is currently an Adjunct Professor at Georgetown University Law Center teaching “International Project Finance.”  Until January 20, 2017, Ms. Zak served as Director of the U.S. Trade and Development Agency, an independent federal agency that advances economic development interests in developing and middle-income countries while creating jobs in the United States.  She was appointed to the position by President Obama and confirmed by the U.S. Senate in March 2010.  During her tenure at USTDA, the agency also developed several innovative programs and partnerships including Making Global Local and the Global Procurement Initiative, a partnership with George Washington University Law School. Prior to serving as Director, Prof. Zak served in several Senior Executive Service positions at USTDA, including Deputy Director and General Counsel.

Prior to joining USTDA, Prof. Zak was a partner in the Washington and Boston offices of Mintz Levin, practicing in the areas of corporate, municipal and international finance.  Prof. Zak was also an Adjunct Professor of Law at Boston University School of Law, Moring Center for Banking and Financial Law Studies. Prof. Zak received her B.A. from Mt. Holyoke College and in 2013 was named by MHC as a “Woman of Influence.”  She received her J.D. from Northeastern University School of Law.

View Event →
Film Screening: Guangzhou Dream Factory
5:30 PM17:30

Film Screening: Guangzhou Dream Factory

  • Johns Hopkins SAIS – Bernstein Offit Building (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS
Guangzhou Dream Factory
Eventbrite - Film Screening: Guangzhou Dream Factory

The SAIS China-Africa Research Initiative will host a special preview screening of the soon-to-be-released film, GUANGZHOU DREAM FACTORY.

Doors open at 5:30 pm. Please arrive promptly. People on the waitlist will be seated, if possible, at 5:50pm. Screening at 6:00 pm. Film screens at 6:00 pm.


Immigration, globalization, Chinese factories and African dreams…GUANGZHOU DREAM FACTORY weaves stories of Africans chasing alluring, yet elusive, 'Made in China' dreams into a compelling critique of our 21st century global economy.

Following a filmmaker’s journey from Ghana to China and back to Africa, GUANGZHOU DREAM FACTORY provides a rare glimpse of African aspirations in an age of endless outsourcing.

What people are saying

While the news is full of stories of boatloads of African migrants desperate to cross into Europe, Guangzhou Dream Factory gives us the stories of Africans who believe China is “the new land of opportunity.” Visually rich, sympathetically told, this compelling film sensitively captures the hopes, disappointments, and creativity of Africans whose dreams are unfolding, for better or worse, in the Middle Kingdom.

-- Deborah Bräutigam, 
Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS)

Guangzhou Dream Factory offers an accessible, yet nuanced and complex, view into the dynamic lives of entrepreneurial Africans living in China. The insightful narrative and the great selection of subjects make this film a uniquely engaging portrayal of ongoing global transformations. A must-see documentary dispelling outdated stereotypes of hopeless and helpless Africans.

-- Roberto Castillo,
African Studies, The University of Hong Kong

To learn more about GUANGZHOU DREAM FACTORY, please visit:

This film was made possible with funding from

The National Endowment for the Humanities and The National Endowment for the Arts.

View Event →
2016 Conference
to Oct 14

2016 Conference

  • Johns Hopkins SAIS - Nitze Building (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS
CARI 2016



This year’s theme was “Orient Express: Chinese Infrastructure Engagement in Africa,” and we were pleased to have Dr. Jamie Monson, Professor of History and Director of African Studies at Michigan State University, as our keynote speaker. 

Abstracts and participant bios can be found here

Panelist PowerPoint presentations can be found, when available, when clicking on their presentations below.

Conference Summary

China’s infrastructure engagement in Africa is one of the most important aspects of China-Africa relations, but there are still considerable questions about the size, effectiveness, financing, and impact of such projects. SAIS-CARI held its third public conference on April 13-14, 2016 in Washington, D.C. at Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) in Kenney Auditorium (1740 Massachusetts Ave.). The theme of the conference was Orient Express: Chinese Infrastructure Engagement in Africa.

The goal was to achieve a better understanding of both the multiple sectors of Chinese infrastructure projects in Africa and their corresponding impacts on host African states. Papers examined the motives and modalities, trends, sectors, and impacts using a variety of methods from quantitative analysis to case studies. Vali Nasr, SAIS Dean, and Deborah Brautigam, SAIS-CARI Director, provided introductory remarks and Jamie Monson, Professor of History and Director of African Studies at Michigan State University delivered the keynote. 

The first panel, Roads, Railroads, and Ports I, was chaired by chaired by Jamie Monson, Professor of History and Director of African Studies, Michigan State University. Jamie Farrell, of Johns Hopkins SAIS, compares how do Chinese contractors perform in Africa using evidence from World Bank projects. Based on the data analyzed, there is no statistically significant difference between the quality of work of Chinese firms and OECD country firms on World Bank contracts in the African transportation sector, won from 2000-2007 and completed by 2013. Josh Maiyo, of Webster University Leiden, used the Standard Gauge railway project in Kenya as a case study to track local narratives of Chinese infrastructure engagement. Finally, Ignace Pollet, of University of Leuven, Belgium, compared Chinese infrastructure with that of traditional donors in the Democratic Republic of Congo. 

The second panel, Roads, Railroads, and Ports II, was chaired by David Kiwuwa, of The University of Nottingham Ningbo, China. Prof. Nuno Gil, from the University of Manchester's Alliance Manchester Business School, examined infrastructure projects in developing economies, comparing and contrasting China's approach with the World Bank in projects in Uganda and Nigeria. Wang Lin, of the China Business Network Research Institute, explored Chinese ports in Africa from Gwadar to Kribi. Finally, the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences's Keren Zhu used  the Kribi deep sea port in Cameroon to asses skills transfer.

The second panel was followed by the keynote speech, in which Ambassador Shu Zhan, Research Fellow at the The Institute of African Studies at Zhejiang Normal University, introduced Jamie Monson, Professor of History and Director of African Studies, Michigan State University. Prof. Monson discussed the history of Chinese infrastructure engagement in Africa, from TAZARA onwards.

Panel 3 looked at Power, and was chaired by the International Energy Agency's David Benazeraf. Yanning Chen, Johns Hopkins SAIS, compared the Chinese Adama wind farm with the French Ashegoda wind farm in Ethiopia. Yunnan Chen and David Landry, two students from Johns Hopkins' SAIS, presented a study of Chinese and World Bank-financed hydropower projects in Cameroon. Jyhjong Hwang, Senior Research Assistant at SAIS-CARI, looked at Chinese engagement in African hydropower projects broadly. The last presentation had Prof. Isaac Odoom from the University of Alberta examined the labor politics and activism of Ghanaian workers at the Bui Dam in Ghana, specifically looking for African agency in China-Africa affairs.

The concluding panel for day one, covering Financing, was chaired by David Ehrhardt, Castalia Strategic Advisors. Wendy Leutert, a PhD candidate at Cornell University, presented on the shift for Chinese Companies and Public-Private Partnerships in Overseas Infrastructure Development, moving from contractors to stakeholders. Shakira Mustapha, of the Overseas Development Institute, analyzed the role of choice in the infrastructure projects for Kenya and Ethiopia. Ye Yuan of Sciences Po, analyzed decision mechanisms and the structure behind Chinese concessional loans to infrastructure in Africa. Youyi Zhang, a PhD student at Cornell University, closed the panel by looking at financing of Chinese Infrastructure in Africa: Concessional Loans, Public-Private Partnerships, and International Donors.

Day two's first panel explored Environment and Corporate Social Responsibility and was chaired by Prof. Jian Ni of The Johns Hopkins Carey Business School. Gbemiga Adeyemi, of the Federal University Oye-Ekiti, presented on occupational safety and hidden health costs among construction workers for Chinese construction companies in Lagos State. Lila Buckley, from the International Institute for Environment and Development, explored how Chinese businesses in African infrastructure make decisions on social and environmental compliance. Zhengli Huang, from the Chinese University of Hong Kong, uses a case study in Mathare Valley Nairobi to understand Chinese contractors and their social responsibilities. Finally, Dr. Bradley Parks, Executive Director at AidData and Research Faculty at the College of William and Mary, An Evaluation of the Impacts of Chinese Development Projects in Ecologically Sensitive Areas.

The last conference panel looked at Labor and Skills Transfer and was chaired by Diane McMahon, Vice President of International Government Affairs at Bechtel Corporation. Motolani Agbebi, from the University of Tampere, looked at Huawei's skills and technology transfer in Nigeria based on field research from the spring of 2016. Hezron Makundi, from the University of Leuven, presented on cooperation between China and Tanzania in ICT. Prof. Lisa Qixun Siebers of Nottingham Trent University, used Kenya, Zambia, and South Africa as case studies on infrastructure. Finally Irene Sun, from McKinsey & Company and Lin Qi, a former AVIC Project Manager, shared their findings on a case study of AVIC International's skills transfer programs in Kenya, bringing the conference to a close.


Thursday, October 13, 2016

8:30 - 9:00
and coffee/breakfast

9:00 - 9:05
Welcome: Vali Nasr, Johns Hopkins SAIS Dean

9:05 - 9:15
Introduction: Deborah Brautigam, SAIS-CARI Director

9:15 - 10:45


Chair: Jamie Monson, Professor of History and Director of African Studies, Michigan State University

Jamie Farrell, Johns Hopkins SAIS
How do Chinese Contractors Perform in Africa? Evidence from World Bank Projects

Josh Maiyo, Webster University Leiden
Tracking Local Narratives of Chinese Infrastructure Engagement in Kenya: A Case Study of the Standard Gauge Railway Project
Ignace Pollet, University of Leuven, Belgium
The Road is Open: Comparing Chinese with Traditional Donors in the Democratic Republic of Congo

10:45 - 11:00
Coffee break

11:00 - 12:30

Chair: David Kiwuwa, The University of Nottingham Ningbo, China

Nuno Gil, University of Manchester
Structure-Performance Relationships in Complex System Developments: The Case of Infrastructure Projects in Developing Economies

Wang Lin, China Business Network Research Institute
From Gwadar to Kribi: Chinese Engagement in the Development of Africa's Ports
Keren Zhu, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences
Skills Transfer in Chinese Infrastructure in Africa: A Case Study of the Kribi Deep Sea Port in Cameroon

12:30 - 1:30
Lunch and Keynote Speech: 
Jamie Monson, Professor of History and Director of African Studies, Michigan State University (Introduced by Ambassador Shu Zhan, Research Fellow, The Institute of African Studies at Zhejiang Normal University)

1:30 - 3:00

Chair: David Benazeraf, International Energy Agency

Yanning Chen, Johns Hopkins SAIS
A Comparison of the Chinese Adama Wind Farm with the French Ashegoda Wind Farm in Ethiopia
Yunnan Chen and David Landry, Johns Hopkins SAIS
Capturing the Rains: A Study of Chinese and World Bank-Financed Hydropower Projects in Cameroon
Jyhjong Hwang, SAIS-CARI
Great Walls over African Rivers: Chinese Engagement in African Hydropower Projects
Isaac Odoom, University of Alberta
Unpacking African Agency: Examining the Labor Politics and Activism of Ghanaian Workers at the Bui Dam in Ghana

3:00 - 3:30
Coffee Break

3:30 - 5:00

Chair: David Ehrhardt, Castalia Strategic Advisors

Wendy Leutert, Cornell University
From Contractors to Stakeholders? Chinese Companies and Public-Private Partnerships in Overseas Infrastructure Development.
Shakira Mustapha, Overseas Development Institute
Age of Choice for Development Finance in the Infrastructure Sector in Sub-Saharan Africa: Evidence from Country Case Studies

Ye Yuan, Sciences Po
Efficiency or Effectiveness: Decision Mechanisms of Chinese Concessional Loans to Infrastructure in

Youyi Zhang, Cornell University
Financing of Chinese Infrastructure in Africa: Concessional Loans, Public-Private Partnerships, and International Donors

5:00 - 6:00
Public Reception

Friday, October 14, 2016

8:30 - 9:00

9:15 - 10:45

Chair: Jian Ni, The Johns Hopkins Carey Business School

Gbemiga Adeyemi, Federal University Oye-Ekiti, Nigeria
Occupational Safety and Hidden Health Costs Among Construction Workers: Analysis of Chinese Construction Companies in Lagos State
Lila Buckley, International Institute for Environment and Development
A Complex Governance Matrix: How Chinese businesses in African Infrastructure Make Decisions on Social and Environmental Compliance

Zhengli Huang, Chinese University of Hong Kong
Chinese Contractors and Their Social Responsibilities: A Case Study in Mathare Valley, Nairobi

Bradley Parks, AidData, College of William and Mary
An Evaluation of the Impacts of Chinese Development Projects in Ecologically Sensitive Areas

10:45 - 11:00
Coffee break

11:00 - 12:30

Chair: Diane McMahon, Bechtel Corporation

Motolani Agbebi, University of Tampere, Finland
Chinese Investment in Africa's Telecoms Sector: Contributions to Skills and Technology Transfer? A Case Study of Huawei in Nigeria

Hezron Makundi, University of Leuven, Belgium
Cooperation Between China and Tanzania in ICT
Lisa Qixun Siebers, Nottingham Trent University
Chinese Infrastructure Engagement in Eastern and Southern Africa: Lessons from Kenya, Zambia, and South Africa
Irene Sun, McKinsey & Company, and Lin Qi, former AVIC Project Manager
Creating a Market for Skills Transfer: A Case Study of AVIC International's Skills Transfer Programs in Kenya

12:30 - 1:30
Lunch and Summing Up: Prof. Deborah Brautigam, SAIS-CARI Director

View Event →
CARI-Ethiopian Development Research Institute Workshop
to Jun 28

CARI-Ethiopian Development Research Institute Workshop

Addis Ababa

CARI-Ethiopian Development Research Institute Workshop in Addis Ababa, June 27-28, 2016

Funded by the UK Department for International Development (DFID) through the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), CARI has continued to investigate the potential of Chinese engagement in Africa to enhance structural transformation through direct training, technology dissemination, backward and forward linkages, subcontracting, and personnel transfers. After conducting desk studies at Johns Hopkins SAIS to map Chinese investment in a dozen African countries, CARI held a research workshop with the Ethiopian Development Research Institute (EDRI) in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on June 27, 2016 and organized a public event on technology transfer and Chinese manufacturing investment in Africa the following day, June 28.

The goal of the workshop was to select African countries in which to carry out field scoping studies, focusing on those that offer the best possibilities for examples of local diffusion of skills and technology from China through manufacturing or agribusiness subcontracting. The workshop was attended by CARI Director Deborah Brautigam, Research Manager Janet Eom, Pre-doctoral Fellow Ying Xia, and Affiliated Researchers Margaret McMillan, Ian Taylor, Girum Abebe, and Tang Xiaoyang and a small group of invited researchers. The following day, the public event brought together researchers, government officials, and local stakeholders for a day of presentations and discussion on productive approaches to Chinese manufacturing investment in African countries.

The public event featured Arkebe Oqubay, Minister and Special Advisor to the Ethiopian Prime Minister, who gave a keynote address, "Africa's Industrialization and Economic Transformation and Chinese Investment: A Policymaker's Perspective." In addition, public panels focused on the challenges of industrialization and Asian linkages in Africa; Chinese industrial zones and the role of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation in facilitating investment; and case studies of Chinese manufacturing investment and linkages in Ethiopia, Tanzania, Nigeria, and Ghana. Discussion centered on the importance of strong local government support, the buildup of infrastructure near industrial zones, and the potential of East Africa to become a major industrial hub.

Following the Addis workshop, CARI researchers conducted a field scoping study on Chinese manufacturing investment in Kenya, a case study of skills transfer in Chinese investment in southern Africa’s cotton value chain, and another case study of technology transfer in a Chinese textile factory in Rwanda. CARI also plans to carry out technology transfer surveys in two African countries by negotiating the addition of our module on technology transfer to ongoing industrial survey efforts. CARI will aim to provide African governments like Ethiopia with information that can help inform choices about the kinds of policies they choose to pursue vis-a-vis foreign investors, including those from China.

CARI appreciates the support for our workshop, public event, and fieldwork through generous funding from two programs:

View Event →
China-Africa Happy Hour
5:00 PM17:00

China-Africa Happy Hour

This event was part of China-Africa Week at SAIS.

The China Africa Research Initiative at Johns Hopkins SAIS, Cowries and Rice, and Washington DC’s China-Africa enthusiasts convened for an evening of good drinks and conversation. Complimentary hors d'oeuvres were served. In addition, we gave away a signed copy of Will Africa Feed China? by Deborah Brautigam.

This event was co-hosted with Cowries and Rice, a DC-based China-Africa consultancy.


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Policy Roundtable: How Chinese Money is Transforming Africa: It’s Not What You Think
10:30 AM10:30

Policy Roundtable: How Chinese Money is Transforming Africa: It’s Not What You Think

  • Johns Hopkins SAIS – Nitze Building (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

This event was part of China-Africa Week at SAIS.

Watch the panel here:

China – Africa Week at SAIS culminated in the launch of CARI’s database on Chinese loans in Africa, followed by a policy roundtable that discussed the wider implication of Chinese development finance in Africa. The panel consisted of Deborah Brautigam, Director of CARI, and Professor and Director of the International Development Program at Johns Hopkins SAIS; Oral Williams, Deputy Division Chief of the Africa Department at the International Monetary Fund; Scott Morris, Senior Fellow of Director of Rethinking US Development Policy at the Center for Global Development; Daniel Runde, Director of the Project on Prosperity and Development at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, and Jyhjong Hwang, Senior Research Assistant at Johns Hopkins SAIS China-Africa Research Institute. The panel was moderated by David Dollar, Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution. The roundtable was followed by Q&A with the audience.

The panel began with a keynote presentation by Deborah Brautigam on CARI's database on Chinese loans in Africa in the past 15 years. The database presentation covered aggregate statistics, sector and country specific ranking and breakdowns, as well as different types of loan suppliers and instruments. David Dollar then opened the discussion with questions on the prevailing negative reaction from the West on Chinese involvement in Africa, possible U.S.-China soft power competition, differences between Chinese and Western financier's engagement practices in Africa, the impact of Chinese economic slowdown on Africa, the problem of African debt sustainability, as well as how CARI's database differentiates between Chinese loans and investments in Africa.

The panel then opened for questions and discussion with the audience. Many of these questions involve Chinese financiers’ practices in Africa: What are the terms for Chinese preferential loans? How has Chinese assistance met African governments' stated needs? Have the Chinese been investing in the long term in Africa? How have the Chinese contributed in terms of technical assistance and knowledge transfer in Africa? Have environmental and social regulations been observed? Why do we seem to read so much about anti-Chinese sentiment in Africa when public opinion surveys find that opinions are generally positive?

Other questions focused on the Chinese financiers: Why haven’t Chinese government agencies been forthcoming with publicizing their data? There were also questions on CARI database' practices, such as future plans of publicizing the database and what African sources were used in the research. A representative from the Chinese Ministry of Commerce was present in the audience and responded to some relevant queries.


David Dollar, Senior Fellow, John L. Thornton China Center at the Brookings Institution.

Keynote Speaker
Deborah Brautigam, Bernard L. Schwartz Professor in International Political Economy, Professor of International Development and Comparative Politics, Director of International Development Program and China-Africa Research Initiative, Johns Hopkins SAIS.

Oral Williams, Deputy Division Chief, Africa Department, International Monetary Fund. Dr. Williams leads missions to Malawi and has previous experience as mission chief for Oman and Burundi.

Scott Morris, Senior Fellow, Director of Rethinking US Development Policy, Center for Global Development.

Daniel Runde, Director of the Project on Prosperity and Development, William A. Schreyer Chair in Global Analysis, Center for Strategic and International Studies.

Jyhjong Hwang, Senior Research Assistant, China-Africa Research Initiative, Johns Hopkins SAIS.

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Film Screenings: When China Met Africa and China Remix
6:30 PM18:30

Film Screenings: When China Met Africa and China Remix

  • Johns Hopkins SAIS – Rome Building (map)
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This event was part of China-Africa Week at SAIS.

The China-Africa Research Initiative (CARI) at the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) hosted a viewing of two films documenting the evolving relationship between African and Chinese communities. 

Refreshments were served.

When China Met Africa
A historic gathering of over 50 African heads of state in Beijing reverberates in Zambia where the lives of three characters unfold. Mr Liu is one of thousands of Chinese entrepreneurs who have settled across the continent in search of new opportunities. He has just bought his fourth farm and business is booming. In northern Zambia, Mr Li, a project manager for a multinational Chinese company is upgrading Zambia's longest road. Pressure to complete the road on time intensifies when funds from the Zambian government start running out. Meanwhile Zambia's Trade Minister is on route to China to secure millions of dollars of investment. Through the intimate portrayal of these characters, the expanding footprint of a rising global power is laid bare - pointing to a radically different future, not just for Africa, but also for the world.

China Remix
The city of Guangzhou is home to China's largest community of African immigrants. This short documentary explores the city’s burgeoning African entertainment industry through the lives of three African hip-hop artists who are trying to find success in the face of China’s challenging labor and immigration laws. The film follows the entertainers as they prepare for their shows, perform, and live their daily lives with their Chinese and African family members and friends.

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Policy Roundtable: What is China Really Doing in Rural Africa?
10:30 AM10:30

Policy Roundtable: What is China Really Doing in Rural Africa?

  • Johns Hopkins SAIS – Bernstein Offit Building (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

This event was part of China-Africa Week at SAIS.

Watch the panel here:

Monday kicked-off the first event of China-Africa Week at SAIS with the Policy Roundtable: What is China Really Doing in Rural Africa?  The panel was made up of five policy experts regarding China’s involvement in African countries, specifically Tanzania, Mozambique, and Uganda.  The forum was moderated by Professor Jessica Fanzo and Professor Deborah Brautigam.

The discussion focused on several topics:

  • US – China relations where discussion was led by International Economist at USAID, Adrian Ng’asi.
  • The Pea-Pea project in Tanzania, was discussed by Dr. Wu Jin, Dean of College of Humanities and Development Studies, China Agricultural University.  Dr. Jin explained her project is the first Chinese community development project in Africa. Their focus is on how to introduce technology to local farmers based on the University’s expertise.  The Pea-Pea project has now been chosen as a model for replication in 100 African villages.
  • Agricultural engagement in Mozambique where Dr. Zhang Chuanhong, Associate Professor at China Agricultural University, discussed the purpose and scope of the Chinese Agro-Technology Demonstration Center (ATDC). She noted that the ATDC unfolds in three stages:  construction, technology transfer, and sustainability.  Dr. Chuanhong explained the purpose of such projects is to gain more involvement from African stakeholders.
  • Chinese expertise in Uganda as researched by Mr. Josh Maiyo of Webster University.  Mr. Maiyo discussed the nature of relationships between the Chinese and Ugandans in terms of knowledge transfer at the Ugandan ATDC.  Mr. Maiyo explained the importance of involving local Ugandans to better develop their capacity in leading projects.
  • China’s Agro-Technology Demonstration Center in Tanzania was the topic discussed by Dr. Hezron Makundi of Katholieke Universiteit.  Mr. Makundi discussed the technical, political, and commercial aspects of these programs.  He explained their importance to agricultural investments through the adoption of Chinese technology, the attraction of projects to senior officials, and the incentives of running the project, respectively.

    The forum was followed by two rounds of Q and A.  In the first round, the floor was open to the audience where questions ranged from exploring the details regarding specific Chinese investments to the social dynamics between the Chinese in certain African countries.  The second round was where the moderators took the opportunity to round the discussion with follow-up questions to the panel’s presentations.  Professor Fanzo and Professor Brautigam asked the panel to further consider food security in regard to the nature of these Chinese projects, and the implications of water intensive crops like rice. 
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SAIS-CARI African Ambassador Roundtable
2:30 PM14:30

SAIS-CARI African Ambassador Roundtable

  • JHU School of Advanced International Studies (map)
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Click to enlarge.

On November 19, 2015, in preparation for the 6th Forum on China Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) in Johannesburg, South Africa, December 4–5, SAIS-CARI hosted a private roundtable at Johns Hopkins SAIS for African Ambassadors and senior staff in Washington, D.C.

As a briefing and discussion, the event focused on a range of topics including Chinese approaches to development finance, agricultural investment, and manufacturing investment in Africa.

Deborah Brautigam, CARI Director, provided an overview of China’s economic engagement in Africa, and a look at the research that SAIS-CARI has been carrying out on Chinese loans, hydropower finance, agriculture, and manufacturing investment. In addition, Wenjie Chen, an economist at the IMF, presented on how the current slowdown in the momentum of China’s growth has implications for China-Africa engagement and growth. Finally, Janet Eom, SAIS-CARI Research Manager, introduced the commitments and results of past FOCACs as well as predictions for what can be expected from the Johannesburg FOCAC.

The discussion brought up several questions:

  • Why is the China-Africa relationship of interest to the United States (and the West more generally)?
  • How is China’s sense of non-interference in Africa changing, if at all, in recent years?
  • What is the role of loan conditionality from foreign partners in the outcomes of China-Africa relations?
  • How can all 54 African countries coordinate to develop their own vision for working with China that caters deeply to local needs?

Click to enlarge.

Participants discussed how different foreign actors fill different roles in Africa, whether in trade or finance, thereby providing diverse opportunities and a possibly reduced sense of competition between them. At the same time, others pointed out that the economic slowdown in China may be a blessing for Africa as it can cultivate healthy competition from other partners that can productively invest on the continent. The discussion stimulated thoughts on the need for continued comparative analysis of Chinese trade and investment in Africa to that of other Asian partners as well as American and European partners. Participants agreed that African countries, through regional coordination and other mechanisms, will benefit most from FOCAC commitments if they can create their own strategies for working with China based on their most pressing needs.

The event was supported by funding from Carnegie Corporation of New York.

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Will Africa Feed China? Book Launch Discussion
4:30 PM16:30

Will Africa Feed China? Book Launch Discussion

  • JHU School of Advanced International Studies (map)
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To celebrate the publication of CARI Director Deborah Brautigam’s new book Will Africa Feed China?, The SAIS China Africa Research Initiative hosted a roundtable discussion on Friday October 29th.

Dr. Amadou Sy, Director of the Africa Growth Initiative at the Brookings Institution and Professor Ling Chen, Assistant Professor of International Political Economy joined Dr. Brautigam in discussing the new book. Professor David Lampton, Director of SAIS’ China Studies Program, moderated the discussion.

After presenting her findings and taking questions from the audience, Professor Brautigam met with guests to sign copies of the book.

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Dr. Luke Patey’s book talk: “The New Kings of Crude: China, Oil, and Civil War in Sudan and South Sudan”
5:30 PM17:30

Dr. Luke Patey’s book talk: “The New Kings of Crude: China, Oil, and Civil War in Sudan and South Sudan”

  • JHU School of Advanced International Studies (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

• Watch the archive Webcast »

For over a decade, Sudan fueled the international rise of China’s national oil companies. But the political turmoil surrounding the historic division of Africa’s largest country, with the birth of South Sudan, challenged China to chart a new course. The outbreak of conflict in South Sudan last December only deepened the instability and insecurity and sent Chinese diplomats scrambling to protect their interests and bring an end to the conflict.

The lecture will discuss the overseas investments of Chinese national oil companies, their close ties with their respective governments in Beijing, and experiences with political and security risks in Sudan and South Sudan. It draws from Luke Patey’s recent book The New Kings of Crude: China, India, and the Global Struggle for Oil in Sudan and South Sudan. Beyond examining the economic and political impact of Chinese and Indian engagement in Sudan and South Sudan, the book argues that the two Sudans are examples of how Africa is shaping the rise of China and India as world powers.


Dr. Luke Patey

About the Speaker

Luke Patey is a senior researcher at the Dan­ish Insti­tute for Inter­na­tional Stud­ies. His research focuses on the polit­i­cal econ­omy of oil in Sudan and South Sudan, the role of China and India in Africa, and the global invest­ments of Chi­nese and Indian national oil companies. He has written for the Finan­cial Times, The Guardian, The Hindu, and VICE News. He has been a vis­it­ing scholar at Peking Uni­ver­sity (Bei­jing), the Social Sci­ence Research Coun­cil (New York), and the Cen­tre d’études et de recherches inter­na­tionales (Paris).
For more information you can follow Dr. Patey on twitter and like his book’s facebook page.

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China Africa Research Luncheon
1:30 PM13:30

China Africa Research Luncheon

  • JHU School of Advanced International Studies (map)
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On October 15, 2015, SAIS-CARI hosted DC based China-Africa experts to share their recent research and forthcoming projects. Participants focused on debates, hypotheses, and findings, focusing on overlaps between interests. They represented academic institutions as well as the World Bank, IMF, the Brookings Institution, and former diplomatic missions with policy-relevant experience. The discussion focused on various ways to find and interpret quality data on Chinese investment in Africa, spanning agriculture and manufacturing among other sectors. Participants drew from their own field research and policy experiences to illuminate a variety of different trends in China-Africa relations over time.

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