Having hosted a highly interactive event on the Belt and Road Initiative last semester we focused on the issue yet again! This time, we discussed the BRI from the African perspective. We were delighted to welcome Mr. W. Gyude Moore and Mr. Eric Olander. They offered us exciting insights into China’s geopolitical and strategic influence in Africa through infrastructure investments and how these investments are received by African nations.
W. Gyude Moore is a senior policy fellow at the Center for Global Development. He tracks the channels of private sources of finance, the rise of China and its expanding role in Africa, and Africa’s response to these changes. He previously served as Liberia’s Minister of Public Works with oversight of public infrastructure. Prior to this, Moore served as Deputy Chief of Staff to President Johnson-Sirleaf and performed crucial roles in delivering the country’s Public Sector Investment Program as well as Liberia’s response to the West Africa Ebola outbreak.
Eric Olander, on the other hand, is the co-founder of the China Africa Project (CAP), an independent, non-partisan media initiative dedicated to exploring every facet of China’s engagement in Africa. He is also the co-host of the weekly China in Africa podcast that is now among the top-10% most downloaded shows worldwide. As a fluent Mandarin-speaker and a longtime China-watcher, Eric has more than 25 years of journalism experience at many of the world’s leading media companies including CNN, the BBC, and FRANCE24 among others.
They both provided us with a lot of food for thought on this topic. If you felt the same way as we did after the event and are eager to learn more about this and similar issues, Eric Olander’s China in Africa podcast is highly recommended!