China’s Belt and Road Initiative in Africa: Lessons for Central Asia

Wednesday, October 23, 2019 - 3:00pm to 4:00pm
Cobus van Staden head shot

CGIS South Building, 1730 Cambridge Street, Room S354

Before the Belt and Road Initiative became the heart of Chinese foreign engagement, China was already active in Africa. The lessons it learned in building railways, ports, and diplomatic networks on the continent helped to shape Beijing’s global rollout of infrastructure and influence. But how has China-Africa engagement, and the subsequent BRI, shaped African governance? Where and how does the continent exercise agency in dealing with China? And what lessons can Central Asia learn as it navigates the new landscape shaped by the BRI and China’s rise as a global superpower.

Cobus van Staden is a senior researcher on China-Africa relations at the South African Institute of International Affairs. He is also the co-host of the China in Africa Podcast, and co-founder of the China-Africa Project, aimed at tracking the evolution of the China-Africa relationship.


Cobus van Staden, Senior Researcher, South African Institute of International Affairs
Discussant: Nargis Kassenova, Senior Fellow, Program on Central Asia; Associate Professor, KIMEP University

Co-sponsored by the Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies and the Harvard University Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies.

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