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Between the Dragon's gift and its claws: Chinese environmental footprints in Africa 
Tobi Oshodi (Lagos State University)
Politics and political economy
Thursday 7 July, 11:00-11:40 (UTC+1)

Short Abstract:

Although the study of China in Africa has generated optimism, pessimism and caution, unanswered questions about the nature and response(s) to Chinese environmental footprints persists. We invite contributions that can shed more light on the environmental dimensions of African-China relations.

Long Abstract

The debate about the development impact of China in Africa has generated optimism, pessimism and caution. While optimists view China as an alternative to the West and a partner in Africa’s development project, pessimists imagine a debt trap and some sort of Chinese colonisation of the continent (even if it is by invitation). The cautious group argues that although Africa can benefit from engaging China such expectation is conditional upon a deliberate African agency, availability of conducive local structures, and/or willingness to plan. Yet, just as China is becoming a major player in the provision of renewable energy in Africa, the activities of some Chinese businesses are raising serious environmental concerns. In spite of the growing global environmental concern and commitment to sustainable environmental development, academic interests in Chinese environmental footprints in Africa has, at best, waxed and waned in the last 15 years. This panel therefore invites contributions that offers newer or deeper insights into the nature, evolution and response(s) to Chinese environmental footprints in Africa. Contributors that choose to discuss Africa’s responses to this reality could either focus on (one or more) states, non-state or adopt a mixed approach.


Panellists will upload their pre-recorded presentations. The convenor will then ask each panellist watch the presentations of others in the panel and offer two questions or feedbacks they consider as import. The convenor will then share all the questions and comments from panellists with respective panellist in advance. All panellists will be invited to answer one question each in the synchronous discussion session. Although timing will be determined by the number of presenters in the panel, it is envisaged that each panellist will have four minutes in the discussion session: two minutes to give a pitch summarising their key argument and another two minutes to address the key question from the convenor. This will be followed by discussion that will be open to the audience with convenors’ moderation.

Accepted papers: