Enhancing governance frameworks in Africa-China relations


In 2015, China and the African Union issued a Joint Declaration which covered a broad range of issues that includes strengthening cooperation on infrastructure projects including but not limited to information and communications. It also gave priority to promoting mutually beneficial cooperation in technology transfer (and other areas); and enhancing collaboration in the development of industrial production capabilities by establishing industrial parks and clusters, technology parks, and providing training for personnel and managers. China’s Digital Silk Road (DSR) includes cross-border e-commerce, smart cities, and fintech apps but also big data, internet of things, smartphones, and undersea cables. The influence of Chinese firms developing large parts of the digital ecosystem in a large number of African countries has become a growing point of scrutiny and spurred concerns on security and increased surveillance.

This webinar will explore how best to enhance governance frameworks in Africa-China relations in the technology and security sectors. Through case studies on Egypt and Ghana, panellists will provide insights on the following questions: (1) how are data-related projects along the DSR  shaping emerging data governance frameworks and development outcomes in host African countries and (2) to what extent does China’s involvement and influence in Africa’s security sector revolve largely around state-centric dimensions of security and less on people-centred dimensions of security which questions how these engagements are felt and appraised at the societal level ?

Main speakers: Tin Hinane El Kadi – Dr. Sulley Ibrahim – Dr. Folashade Soule (chair)

Moderator: Dr Lina Benabdallah  (Wakeforest University, USA)


Lina Benabdallah is Assistant Professor at Wake Forest University and Senior Associate at the Center for Strategic and International Studies’ (CSIS) Africa Program. She is the author of Shaping the Future of Power: Knowledge Production and Network-Building in China-Africa Relations. Her research has appeared in International Studies Quarterly, The Journal of International Relations and Development, Third World Quarterly, Project on Middle East Political Science, as well as in public facing outlets such as the Washington Post’s Monkey Cage and Foreign Policy. Lina is a member of the CORA network.

Tin Hinane El Kadi


Tin Hinane El Kadi is a political economy researcher. She is currently writing a PhD thesis at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), looking at China’s Digital Silk Road in North Africa. Her research interests include information, communications technology (ICT) and development, the knowledge economy, China’s presence in Africa and the Middle East, and contemporary Algerian politics. She is the co-founder and co-director of the Institute for Social Science Research on Algeria (ISSRA) and an associate fellow in the MENA Programme at Chatham House.


Before starting her PhD, Tin Hinane was part of a research team working on questions relating to North-South knowledge production, and data-driven innovations at the LSE. She consulted for several agencies, including the World Bank, Friedrich Ebert Stiftung, and Carnegie Endowment. Tin Hinane completed an MSc in Development Studies at the LSE. She also holds a BA in Politics from SOAS, University of London. She has published several papers,  book chapters and comments for a variety of media and academic outlets.

Dr Sulley Ibrahim


Dr Sulley Ibrahim, coordinates the Ghana Office of the Abuja-based Conflict Research Network West Africa and also works with the Ghana’s Customary Law Research Group of the University of Strathclyde’s One Ocean Hub as a Post-Doctoral Fellow. He is an immediate past Fellow of the Abuja-based Centre for Democracy & Development, CDD-West Africa but previously worked with the Accra-based Africa Centre for Security & Counter Terrorism as Head of Programs, and later, Acting Executive Director between 2019 and 2020. Sulley holds a Ph.D. in Social Sciences from KU Leuven, Belgium; an MA in Conflict Resolution from the University of Bradford, UK; and a BA in Sociology with Information Studies from the University of Ghana. His current research works span terrorism, military disruptions of democracy and foreign disinformation influence in West Africa as well as Chinese engagements at the societal level in Ghana.
Dr Folashade Soule

Dr Folashade Soule


Dr Folashade Soule is a Senior Research Associate at the Global Economic Governance programme (Blavatnik School of Government), University of Oxford. Her research areas focuses on Africa-China relations, the study of agency in Africa’s international relations and the politics of South-South cooperation. She was a postdoctoral fellow at the London School of Economics, and a former Oxford-Princeton Global Leaders Fellow. Her research has been published in several peer-review journals among which African Affairs, Global Governance and Foro Internacional.

Folashadé also teaches as a guest lecturer in politics and international relations at the University of Oxford (Department of Politics and International Relations, Oxford School of Global and Area Studies), the London School of Economics and has been an adjunct lecturer at the University of Lille and at Sciences Po Paris where she taught courses on Africa and Global Politics, the Politics of Globalization and International Political Economy.

As a policy-facing academic, connecting policy and research, she is the initiator of the Africa-China negotiation workshop series bringing together African negotiators and senior policymakers to exchange and build better negotiation practices when dealing with China. She has also acted as a policy analyst and consultant for several institutions and is currently acting as the Africa advisor to the Commission on Global Economic Transformation (CGET) led by Nobel Laureates Joseph Stiglitz and Michael Spence and hosted by the Institute for New Economic Thinking (INET).