Guest Lecture: Dr. Hangwei Li: China’s Development Cooperation with Africa and the Role of African Agency

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Time: 13.05.2024, 14:00-17:00

Venue: SDAC Seminar Room

Course: Understanding China-Africa through Literature and Films


China’s Development Cooperation with Africa and the Role of African Agency

This lecture examines the motivations and operations of various Chinese-financed projects in Africa, highlighting recent trends in Chinese development cooperation with the continent. It also explores the role of African agency and African bargaining power, demonstrating how diverse African stakeholders—including political leaders, bureaucrats, media organizations, and civil society groups—actively shape their relationships with the Chinese counterparts. Drawing on case studies from Kenya, Zambia, and Ethiopia, including both mega infrastructure projects and smaller agricultural cooperation projects, the lecture challenges the monolithic perception of China’s presence in Africa and reveals the diverse range of actors influencing China’s cooperation with Africa, emphasizing the nuanced interplay between both sides in this evolving relationship. This lecture seeks to dialogue with recent literature on Global China, African politics, development cooperation, and China’s relationships with the Global South.

About Dr. Hangwei Li

Dr. Hangwei Li is a senior researcher at the German Institute of Development and Sustainability (IDOS). She was previously an associate professor of international development at China Agricultural University. She completed her D.Phil in politics at SOAS, University of London, and was a predoctoral fellow at Harvard Kennedy School and a researcher at the Global Development Policy Center, Boston University. Hangwei’s research lies in the fields of politics, international development, and political communication with a focus on China’s engagement with the Global South, especially with Africa. Her work has appeared in various referred journals, book chapters and policy briefs. Before her academic career, she worked as a journalist and has received a silver medal from the United Nations Correspondents Association (2017).