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October 20, 2023

Africa’s Railway Renaissance: The Role and Impact of China

Event Series: China and the Global South

Africa’s Railway Renaissance: The Role and Impact of China

Africa’s Railway Renaissance: The Role and Impact of China (2024) investigates the history, political economy, and spatiality of Chinese railway projects in Africa. It examines the financial governance of Sino-African railway projects; their sociocultural, political, and economic effects; and the regional dimension of Africa’s new railway architecture and its function within China’s Belt and Road Initiative. In the book leading and emerging scholars from Africa, China, Europe, and the Americas offer interpretations through politico-economic, historical, geographical, and post-colonial conceptual lenses using case studies and regional analyses. In this online discussion, three of the book’s co-editors and contributors discussed the background on Chinese railway projects in Africa and the contemporary impact of Chinese investment in African railways. 

This event was co-sponsored by Georgetown University’s Africa-China Initiative and Initiative for U.S.-China Dialogue on Global Issues, as well as Howard University's Center for African Studies.


Padraig Carmody is a professor in geography, head of department, fellow and director of the Masters in Development Practice at Trinity College Dublin and senior research associate at the University of Johannesburg.

Tim Zajontz  is a lecturer in international relations and global political economy at the University of Freiburg, research fellow in the Centre for International and Comparative Politics at Stellenbosch University, and research associate in the Second Cold War Observatory.

Mandira Bagwandeen is a senior research fellow at the Nelson Mandela School of Public Governance at the University of Cape Town (UCT), non-resident senior fellow at the Foreign Policy Research Institute, and a research fellow at the Afro-Sino Centre of International Relations in Ghana.