Skip to main content

China in Africa: meet the speakers


Our China in Africa event on 26 September will be an excellent opportunity to learn about the China-Africa relationship from leaders in the field. In this post we introduce you to this panel of experts.

The seminar will consider China’s activities in Africa from a variety of perspectives including industrialisation, agricultural development, security and international relations. View a full description and agenda on the event listing page.

The event will feature presenters from South Africa and Kenya, along with renowned UK based authors and academics. Read on to learn more about each speaker and find videos and links to explore. Speakers are listed in the order they will appear on the day.

Dr Yixiao Zheng

Presentation title: China’s Belt and Road Initiative and the Africa dimension

Dr Yixiao ZhengDr Yixiao Zheng obtained his PhD in International Relations from the LSE. He is currently an LSE Associate of the LSE Global South Unit studying China’s engagement in the Global South and the Belt and Road Initiative.

Dr Zheng previously worked on the Fu Bingchang diary project as a research assistant at the University of Lincoln.

His publications include ‘China’s Changing Role in Peace and Security in Africa’ in China and Africa: Building Peace and Security Cooperation on the Continent (Palgrave 2018).

Dr Garth Le Pere

Presentation title: China’s changing industrial strategy: implications for Africa

Dr Garth LePereDr Garth Le Pere is Extraordinary Professor of International Relations at the University of Pretoria and a Senior Associate of the Mapungubwe Institute for Strategic Reflection based in Johannesburg. He is also the founding Executive Director  of the Institute for Global Dialogue, where he served for 12 years.

He received a BA (with highest honours) from Rutgers University (New Jersey, USA) and did postgraduate work in  political science at Yale University (Connecticut, USA) from where he holds MA, MPhil, and PhD degrees. His areas of interest and publications record includes international relations theory, political philosophy, multilateral trade and emerging markets, South African foreign policy, and the politics of Africa and the Middle East.

Over the last few years, he has focused on China’s increasing role in Africa, a subject on which he has co-authored a book, China, Africa and South Africa: South-South Cooperation in a Global Era. He is busy completing another book, China’s Global Rise: Reconstructing Power after the Cold War, which will be published in October 2018.

Professor Chris Alden

Presentation title: China and African security: the road to engagement and beyond

Professor Chris AldenProfessor Chris Alden teaches International Relations at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) and is a Research Associate with the Global Powers and Africa Programme, South African Institute of International Affairs (SAIIA).

He is author/co-author of numerous books, including Mozambique and the Construction of the New African State (Palgrave 2003), South Africa’s Post-Apartheid Foreign Policy (Adelphi Paper IISS 2003), China in Africa (Zed 2007), Land, Liberation and Compromise in Southern Africa (Palgrave/Macmillan 2009) The South and World Politics (Palgrave 2010), Foreign Policy Analysis – new approaches 2nd edition (Routledge 2017), and co-editor of China and Africa – Building Peace and Security Cooperation on the Continent (Palgrave, 2018), China and Mozambique: From Comrades to Capitalist (Johannesburg: Jacana 2014), China Returns to Africa (Hurst 2008), as well as having written numerous articles in internationally recognised journals.

Professor Alden has held fellowships at Cambridge University, Institute of Social Science, University of Tokyo; Ritsumeikan University, Kyoto; Ecole Normale Superieure (Cachan), Paris; and University of Pretoria.

Interview published by the South African Institute of International Affairs on 1/11/17

Dr Chris Paterson

Presentation title: China, Africa, and Media: features of a tense relationship

Dr Chris PatersonDr Chris Paterson is a Senior Lecturer in International Communication at the University of Leeds School of Media and Communication. He researches global journalism and media and development in Africa.

His AHRC (Global Challenges Research Fund) project Aid and Journalism is examining how development aid from foreign powers, like the US, France, and China, influences media systems in Africa, while his British Academy project Contested Discourses of Africa Rising: the struggle for control of the image of the foreign ‘partner' explores - in the face of commercial expansion by China and military expansion by the US - the dynamics of public discourse about African autonomy and the role of the global media in shaping that narrative.

Paterson is the author of two books and numerous journal articles, and has recently co-edited Africa's Media Image in the 21st Century: From the 'Heart of Darkness' to 'Africa Rising'.

Dr Joshua Otieno Ogweno

Presentation title: Case study of China’s role in Africa’s agricultural development: The Confucius Institute at Egerton University, Kenya

Dr Joshua Otieno OgwenoDr Joshua Otieno Ogweno is Associate Professor of Horticulture and Horticulture Programme Leader at Egerton University in Kenya, where he is also a senator and Director of the Confucius Institute (CI). The CI focusses on promoting Chinese language and culture as well as the transfer of appropriate agricultural technology from China to Kenya.

Dr Ogweno obtained his Bachelor's degree from Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (KJUAT), Kenya in 1993, and Masters of Science in International Horticulture from Anglia Polytechnic University, UK in 1996. He has worked in the Faculty of Agriculture at Egerton University since completing his MSc, and was also awarded a PhD from Zhejiang University, Peoples Republic of China, in 2006.

Dr Ogweno's research interests focus on plant stress physiology, particularly high temperature and water stress, indigenous vegetable gerplasm collection and characterization, and use of plant extracts in vegetable crop protection. Dr Ogweno has published 30 papers and 2 book chapters and is an active member of the Horticultural Association of Kenya (HAK) and International Society of Pesticidal Plants (ISPP).

Confucius Institute assists Kenyan agriculture, CGTV, 28/11/15

Dr Kweku Ampiah

Dr Ampiah will chair the discussion and Q&A

Dr Kweku Ampiah is a political economist with expertise in Japanese diplomacy and foreign policy. His research interests include Japanese diplomacy in the 1950s, and Japan’s relations with Africa. Dr Ampiah has become increasingly interested in the Japanese approach to International Development, and the extent to which Japan may be contributing to Africa’s development initiatives through the TICAD process.

Don't miss this opportunity to hear from so many experts on this fascinating topic - view all the event details and register now!