Africa in Shifting Global Contexts: The Roles of China and the EU

Workshop Program


Tuesday, December 14, 2021

08:15-08:30 GMT: Welcome

Join Zoom Meeting:

Meeting ID: 852 3412 8312

Dr. Mengshu Zhan (Göttingen University, Germany)

Prof. Dr. Dominic Sachsenmaier (Göttingen University, Germany)

08:30-10:00 GMT: Chinese and European Soft Power in Africa: Confrontational Pathways?

Chair: Prof. Dominic Sachsenmaier (Göttingen University, Germany)

Prof. David Mills (Oxford University), Dr Natasha Robinson (Oxford University) & Dr Hodan Abdi (Zheijang Normal University and City University of Mogadishu)

“Feeling for the Stones:” Learning to Navigate Knowledge Diplomacy through the China-Africa Think Tanks Forum

Prof. He Wenping (Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, Beijing, China)

China’s Soft Power in Africa: Strengths and Weaknesses

Dr. Bhaso Ndzendze (University of Johannesburg, South Africa)

China and the EU in Africa: A Decade of Soft Power Shifts in Review


13:00-14:30 GMT: Africa in Shifting Global Contexts: Perspectives from Africa

Zoom Meeting:

Meeting ID: 836 3298 2167

Chair: Dr. Mengshu Zhan (Göttingen University, Germany)

Dr. Martyn Davies (South African Deloitte, South Africa)

The New Political Economy of Africa Emerging From the Pandemic

Prof. Malte Brosig (Wits University, South Africa)

What Role for Africa in a Changing Global Order? Actorness, Influence and Marginalization.

Dr. Philani Mthembu (Institute for Global Dialogue, Pretoria, South Africa)

Africa and the World: Navigating Shifting Geopolitics


Wednesday, December 15th, 2021


08:30-10:00 GMT: The Belt and Road Initiative in Africa: Problems and Opportunities

Zoom Meeting:

Meeting ID: 838 7502 2790

Chair: Dr. Janice Jeong (Göttingen University, Germany)

Prof. Christoph Trebesch (Kiel Institut für Weltwirtschaft, Kiel, Germany)

China’s Overseas Lending

Prof. Liu Haifang (Peking University, China)

One Belt One Road + One Continent: What’s New for China-African Cooperation?

Dr. David Monyae (University of Johannesburg, South Africa)

The African Dimension of the Belt and Road Initiative in the Advancement of the African Agenda 2063


12:00-13:30 GTM, African Relations with China and the EU and Their Shifting Global Contexts

Zoom Meeting:

Meeting ID: 899 9938 6888

Chair: Dr. John Njenga Karugia (Humboldt University Berlin, Germany)

Prof. Andreas Fuchs (Göttingen University, Germany)

Chinese Development Aid: Distribution, Consequences, and Comparison with the EU

Prof. Zeng Jinghan (Lancaster University, the UK)

Domestic Dynamics of China’s Rise and Foreign Policy?

Abdoulaye Ibrahim (UNESCO, Paris, France)

Prospective of Africa: Future of Africa and Tripartite Cooperation


Responsible for workshop conceptualization and organization: Dr. Mengshu Zhan (Fellow, Göttingen University). Contact: mengshu.zhan[at]


Short Biographies of Participants

Dr. Hodan Abdi

Dr Hodan Abdi is an associate research fellow at the Institute of African Studies at Zhejiang Normal University. She is also currently an adjunct professor at City University of Mogadishu. Dr Abdi’s research focuses on China-Africa media relations and the Belt and Road Initiative.

Prof. Malte Brosig

Malte Brosig is Professor of International Relations at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg. He joined the Department of International Relations in 2009 after he received his PhD from the Centre of European and International Relations Studies at the University of Portsmouth.

Dr. Martyn Davies

Dr Martyn Davies is the Managing Director of Emerging Markets & Africa at Deloitte as well as the Dean of Alchemy by Deloitte, the firm’s School of Leadership. He leads Deloitte Africa’s CEO Programme and is a member of the Deloitte global economists team.

Prof. Andreas Fuchs

Prof. Andreas Fuchs is Professor of Development Economics and Director of the Centre for Modern East Asian Studies at the University of Göttingen and Director of the Kiel Institute China Initiative. His research analyzes trade, investment and development policies with quantitative methods and a special focus on China and other emerging economies.

Prof. He Wenping

Prof. He Wenping is Professor at the Institute of West-Asian and African Studies (IWAAS), Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS). He is specializing on Africa’s relations with China and major western powers, African democratic transition, South-South cooperation and the Middle East international relations.

Prof. Liu Haifang

Prof. Liu Haifang is an Associate Professor in School of International Studies, Peking University. She serves as Deputy Director & Secretary General, the Centre for African Studies, Peking University and the Vice-Secretary General of the Chinese Society of African Historical Studies as well.

Abdoulaye Ibrahim

Mr. IBRAHIM Abdoulaye is the Head of Contextual Analysis and Foresight Unit at UNESCO, he’s an Engineer Graduate in Science. IBRAHIM Abdoulaye, as part of the implementation of UNESCO’s Global Priority Africa, he is the focal point for Natural Sciences and Development and coordinates the organization of sub-regional forums in Africa on artificial intelligence since 2018.

Dr. Janice Jeong

Dr. Janice Hyeju Jeong joined the Joint Center of Advanced Studies “Worldmaking” and the Department of East Asian Studies at the University of Göttingen in 2021. She has with broad research interests in formations of Islamic networks between China and the Arabian Peninsula, inter-Asian connections, and history and anthropology. She pursued her doctorate degree in History at Duke University, where she completed a thesis entitled “Between Shanghai and Mecca: Diaspora and Diplomacy of Chinese Muslims in the Twentieth Century.”

Dr. John Njenga Karugia

Dr. John Njenga Karugia is a reseacher and lecturer based at the Institute for Asian and African Studies at Humboldt University Berlin within the research project – Local perspectives on transregional (dis-)entanglements. His current research focuses on memory politics and ethics and transregional politics of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). He further researches on Afrasian interactions, Indian Ocean, European Union’s Global Gateway and China-Africa relations.

Prof. David Mills

Prof. David Mills is an Associate Professor at the Department of Education at the University of Oxford, and Deputy Director of the Oxford Centre for Global Higher Education (CGHE). Trained in anthropology, his research interests include African research and publishing cultures.

Dr. David Monyae

Dr David Monyae is Centre Director – Centre for China Africa Studies University of Johannesburg and Co-Director of the UJCI. An international relations and foreign policy expert, he holds a PhD in International Relations from the University of Witwatersrand. He previously served as Section Manager: International Relations Policy Analysis at the South African Parliament, providing strategic management, parliamentary foreign policy formulation, and monitoring and analysis services.

Dr. Philani Mthembu

Philani Mthembu is the Executive Director at Institute for Global Dialogue. Prior to joining the Institute for Global Dialogue associated with Unisa, Philani Mthembu pursued a joint doctoral programme (Dr. rer. pol.) with the Graduate School of Global Politics, Freie Universität Berlin (Germany), and the School of International Studies at Renmin University, Beijing (China); he conducted his field research at the latter.

Dr. Bhaso Ndzendze

Dr Ndzendze is a Senior Lecturer and Head of Department in the Department of Politics and International Relations at the University of Johannesburg. His research is centered on Africa’s international relations, with a particular focus on the political economy of its trade.

Dr. Natasha Robinson

Dr Natasha Robinson is a Postdoctoral Researcher at the Department of Education at the University of Oxford. Natasha is interested in higher education in Africa, and its potential to ‘decolonize’ global knowledge production.

Prof. Dominic Sachsenmaier

Dominic Sachsenmaier is professor of “Modern China with a Special Emphasis on Global Historical Perspectives” and chair of the Department of East Asian Studies at Göttingen University/Germany. Before, he held faculty positions at Jacobs University, Duke University as well as the University of California, Santa Barbara. Dominic Sachsenmaier is an elected member of the European Academy of Sciences and Arts, and he is also one of the three editors of the book series „Columbia Studies in International and Global History.”

Prof. Christoph Trebesch

Prof. Dr. Christoph Trebesch is Professor of Macroeconomics (tenured) in Kiel University and Head of Research Area “International Finance and Global Governance” in Kiel Institute Since April 2017. His main research interests focus on Sovereign Debt and Default, International Capital Flows, Financial Stability and Financial Crises, Political Economy and International Financial Institutions.

Prof. Jinghan Zeng

Jinghan Zeng is Professor of China and International Studies at Lancaster University. He is also the Director of Lancaster University Confucius Institute. Previously he was a Senior Lecturer of International Relations and Director of Centre for Politics in Africa, Asia and the Middle East (AAME) at Royal Holloway, University of London. Professor Zeng’s research lies in the field of China’s domestic and international politics.

Dr. Mengshu Zhan

In 2021, Mengshu Zhan is currently a research fellow at the Joint Center for Advanced Studies “Worldmaking.” She received her doctoral degree from the Center for Global Study at Bonn University, and her dissertation focused on perceptions of China in the eyes of South African elites. In 2019, she worked at the Centre of Africa-China Studies in Johannesburg University, South Africa. Mengshu Zhan received a Master of Arts in International Business and Diplomacy from University of East Anglia in the UK in 2014.




Joint Center for Advanced Studies “Worldmaking from a Global Perspective: A Dialogue with China”