For a long time, the global narrative about China-Africa relations has been crafted and dictated by pundits in the West, mostly America, many of whom are not Africans.
But, this year and going forward, young Africans will lead the charge in the space.
Why? Young Africans will be most affected by China’s engagement on the continent, especially given the long-term debt financing model the Chinese have deployed in Africa. They will be the ones to pay for the loans their parents are taking on now.
So in an effort to give the mic to its rightful owner in this space, Africans on China, held a Twitter chat on the topic of the concerns of young Africans about China’s presence on the continent. on January 30th, 2019.
The inaugural victual conversation #AfricansonChinaChat reached over 50,000 accounts.
The topic was moderated by Bénédicte Kinkolo, a 23-year-old scholar on African and Chinese studies. Bénédicte has experiences working and consulting for Chinese companies in African countries, particularly in the field of renewable energy and sustainable development. She has also worked with government agencies on how to best attract Chinese investments to African countries. Bénédicte holds a master’s in international development & African studies from Sciences Po Paris. She also has a LLM in international relations and China-Africa issues from Peking University, China where she wrote her thesis on the political economy of Chinese tourism to Africa.
Bénédicte is also a Comparative East Asian Studies scholar, having studied in Hong Kong University, Yonsei University in South Korea and Keio University in Japan. She often shares her thoughts on her blog benedicteking.wordpress.com and blacklivitychina.com, a platform dedicated to the Black Experience in China.
Talk about young people leading the charge.
The Twitter chat engaged 49 young Africans, who had an average of 1,000 followers. They asked questions, made suggestions, and raised their concerns, in total of 276 tweets. Their tweets reached 50,985 unique users and were probably seen 313,765 times.
Some topics that surfaced during the conversation were opportunities for young Africans in China, China’s exploitation in Africa, African politics and corruption, race in China, among others. Some contributions are below.
Finally, all of the conversation has been documented here. If you are interested in this work and want to stay in touch, do follow on Twitter and IG. There is so much work that is yet to be done in China-Africa/ Africa-China relations and more importantly, so much that WE as young Africans look forward to doing.