African Agency and Chinese Power: The Fine Print

Image: Getty, Eric Lafforgue/Art in All of Us
Image: Getty, Eric Lafforgue/Art in All of Us

SAIIA would like to invite you to a webinar on African agency and Chinese power. The event will feature cutting-edge insights from some of the world’s leading experts on China-Africa relations.

China is now the African continent’s most important development partner. Engagement with the emerging superpower is shaping both government decision-making, and the development of entire economic sectors across the continent.

The implications of the relationship for Africa’s future are staggering. Yet, there is still far too little discussion on the continent about who actually decides how to cooperate with China, and where the limits of this decision-making lie. Governments are key decision-makers in this field, but how much power do they actually have, and how does this power intersect with African societies’ right to shape their own future?

The first half of the event will focus on unpacking the decision-making power of African governments, with case studies focusing on two of China’s most controversial relationships on the continent: with the Democratic Republic of Congo, and with Djibouti.

The second half will approach the issue of agency from a cross-cutting direction, focusing on China’s influence in Africa’s booming technology sector. Chinese ICT provision is bringing millions online for the first time, while handing African governments powerful new weapons of surveillance and control. How does this affect the agency of African societies, and African citizens’ right to shape those societies?

Please join us for this unique glimpse of Africa’s future.

Download the draft programme.

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Watch the webinar on YouTube:

13 Apr 2021