Strengthening Local Agency in Africa-China Negotiations

Webinar on October 27, 2022 : “Strengthening Local Agency in Africa-China Negotiations”. Panelists and discussants analyzed the extent of agency exercised by local actors in Chinese funded infrastructure and mining projects in Africa. Besides state and substate actors, civic actors also exert agency and have the ‘capacity to do’ whether individually, in large groups, or specific groups, in order to achieve their objectives, which makes them equally important in defining and shaping Africa-China relations. Non-state actors’ agency whether they constitute individuals, groups, structure, or organizations that lie within or outside state structures, also yield political, economic, and to some extent social power, at the local level. Panelists reflected on the extent of agency exercised by these actors and the constraints they face in infrastructure and mining projects in Cameroon and Kenya and in the implementation of these projects. The panelists, most of whom are policy-facing academics and researchers, also provided policy recommendations on how best to associate and strengthen local agency in Africa-China negotiations and overall engagement. Moderator : Hervé Lado (Economist and author). Speakers : Merlin Brice Mbessa Nya (Doctoral student in history, option International Relations, University of Yaoundé I, Cameroon), Dr Oscar Otele (Senior Lecturer in Political Science, University of Nairobi, Kenya), Dr Folashade Soule (Senior Research Associate, Blavatnik School of Government, University of Oxford, United Kingdom).

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