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Nov 1, 2019

It wasn't that long ago when France was by far the dominant foreign actor in West Africa. "Francafrique's" once ubiquitous power allowed it to dominate virtually all aspects of political and economic life in its former colonies.

That's no longer the case. Today, France is just a marginal player in most West African...


Oct 25, 2019

The pace of Chinese manufacturing going offshore has picked up significantly in the past year, spurred on by U.S. sanctions and the worsening U.S.-China trade conflict. Regardless of what's going on with the U.S., manufacturers were already motivated by China's rising labor costs and heightened environmental regulations...


Oct 18, 2019

Nigerian Dickson Agbaji is not famous. He's not a singer, a movie star or a popular online celebrity. So, according to the conventional definition of soft power, a guy like Dickson would not be considered very important.

But in the long game that China is playing in Africa, investing in people like Dickson today with an...


Oct 15, 2019

When Shenzhen-based Transsion Holdings IPO'd last month no one predicted that it would surge a stunning 64% on its opening day of trading in Shanghai, pushing the company's valuation to around $7 billion.

But it really shouldn't have come as a surprise given that Transsion's suite of mobile phone brands is now dominant...


Oct 8, 2019

Christian missionaries in Kenya are finding a new source of converts among the immigrant Chinese population that came to the country to build infrastructure. Kenyan evangelists, some of whom speak fluent Mandarin, are discovering even though their religion and cultural backgrounds are completely different from those of...