China's Aid and Soft Power in Africa

Tuesday, 23 July 2013 - 6:00pm to 8:00pm

Date & Time:  Tuesday, 23 July. 6-8PM
Place: Khalili Lecture Theatre, SOAS

Speakers: Professor Kenneth King, Emeritus Professor of African Studies, University of Edinburgh; Dr Dan Large, Central European University. Chair: Richard Dowden, Director, Royal African Society

Book launch with author Professor Kenneth King.

China’s involvement in Africa for over 60 years has been based on the mutually beneficial notion in South-South cooperation. While its dramatic economic and trade impact, particularly on Africa, has caught global attention, little focus has yet been given to its role as an education donor - and especially to the critical role of China's support for training and human resource development for Africans in China, and within Africa itself. It is vital that we understand what is going on, and why education is so important in China-Africa relations. The book presents hard evidence from Egypt, Cameroon, Ethiopia, South Africa and Kenya of the dramatic growth of China's soft power and increasing impact in capacity building, and of the implications of this for Africa, China and the world.

Key questions include:

·         Why does China run one of the world's largest short-term training programmes, with plans to bring 30,000 Africans to China between 2013 and 2015?

·         Why does it give generous support to 33 Confucius Institutes teaching Mandarin and Chinese culture at many of Africa's top universities from the Cape to Cairo?

·         Why is China one of the very few countries to increase the number of full scholarships for Africans to study in its universities, a total of 18,000 anticipated between 2013 and2015?