Featured Researchers

The following is a rotating list of researchers working on the China-Africa relationship. We will periodically update the selection, aiming to highlight individuals who have recently finished their PhDs, published, or are currently working on new and interesting areas of research.


Full Professor, Department of Historical and Heritage Studies, and Director, University Archives, University of Pretoria, South Africa.

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Expertise/Research Interests: Chinese South Africans, History of Chinese in Africa

Bio: Professor Harris received her doctorate was on the history of the Chinese in South Africa and she has produced numerous articles, chapters and papers on this subject. Her current research interests relate to the legal position of the Chinese in South Africa.




Research Associate (non-resident) SAIS-CARI, Lecturer, International Political Economy, Webster University, Leiden

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Research Interests: Governance, democratization and decentralization; migration and development; China-Africa relations; Eastern Africa, Kenya, and Uganda

Bio: Josh Maiyo is a Ph.D. Fellow at the VU University Amsterdam where he is a recipient of the Netherlands Scientific Council science for development (NWO-WOTRO) scholarship. His research examines transnational dimensions and local dynamics of large-scale land deals, agrarian change and rural development in central Uganda with case studies of Chinese, Indian and Norwegian owned farms. He has also carried out investigations of Chinese government and private engagement in Uganda’s agriculture sector. He holds an MSc degree in Political Science (cum laude) from the University of Amsterdam and an MPhil in African Studies from the African Studies Centre, Leiden University. Previously, Josh was a lecturer of Political Science at the University of Amsterdam where he taught politics of development and worked as a journalist in Kenya and the Netherlands.




Stephanie RUPP

Assistant Professor, Department of Anthropology, Lehman College, CUNY

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Expertise/Research Interests: Africa-China relations, resource extraction, energy, ivory, Congo River basin

Bio: Stephanie Rupp (Ph.D. 2001, Yale University) is a cultural anthropologist. Her research focuses on forest communities in the Congo River basin, in particular in the Lobéké forest region of southeastern Cameroon.  Her current projects examine interfaces between people and primates, including the historical emergence of HIV/AIDS and a comparative study of microbiomes as well as cultural values of elephants and ivory in global commodity chains.  Her China-Africa research focused on She is an associate professor of anthropology at Lehman College at the City University of New York, and am a research associate at the American Museum of Natural History. She is the author of Forests of Belonging: Identities, Ethnicities, and Stereotypes in the Congo River Basin (University of Washington Press, 2011).


Recently Rewarded PhDs

Lina Benabdallah, Political Science, University of Florida

Thesis/Dissertation: Relational Power in International Relations: China's Human Resource development investments in Africa

Current details: Political Science, Wake Forest University

Email: Linabenabdallah2015@gmail.com

Ronald Chipake, Rhodes University

Thesis/dissertation: Chinese aid and African agency since 2000: Examining the cases of Angola,

Ghana and Zimbabwe

Current details: Peace and Governance Department, Bindura University, Zimbabwe

Email: chipaiker84@gmail.com

Sofia Fernandes, African Studies, ISCTE, Lisbon University Institute

Thesis/dissertation: The financial agreements between China and Angola: a post-conflict reconstruction without political reforms

Current details: Center for International Studies, ISCTE-Lisbon University Institute

Email: sofia.fernandes@iscte.pt

Johanna Malm, Department of Society and Business at Roskilde University.

Thesis/dissertation: When Chinese development finance met the IMF's public debt norm in DR Congo

Current details: Analyst, Swedish National Audit Office

Email: johanna@johannamalm.se

 Guive Khan Mohammad, Department of Social and Political Sciences, University of Lausanne

Thesis/dissertation: Les motos chinoises au Burkina Faso : Une affaire d'Etat. Nouveaux itinéraires d'accumulation marchands transnationaux et gestion de l'extraversion (The Chinese Motorcycles in Burkina Faso: A State Business. New Transnational Trading Accumulation Itineraries and Extraversion Management)

Current details: University of Geneva, Global Studies Institute

Email: guive.khan@gmail.com

U. Ejiro O. Onomake, University of Sussex

Thesis/dissertation: Elite Exchanges: The Cultural Politics of Chinese Business in Nigeria.

Current details: University of Sussex-Anthropology Department Email: ueoonomake@gmail.com

Beibei Yang, Department of Anthropology, Southern Methodist University (Dallas TX)

Dissertation: From China to Zambia: the New Chinese Migrants in Africa under Global Capitalism

Current details: writing up dissertation for publication

Email: gaskiya@gmail.com

Yanyin Zi, Graduate School of Asian and Africa Area Studies, Kyoto University

Thesis/dissertation: Co-shaping the Image of China: Social Interactions at China Shops in Botswana

Current details: Center for African Area Studies (CAAS), Kyoto University

Email: sweetchinaswim@hotmail.com


For our previous round of "Featured Researchers" we wanted to give thanks to those who have given their time to help create databases, conduct research, organize conference panels, and take on various tasks for the Network. We apologize in advance if we have left you off the list and we thank you for your contribution both large and small.




Chelsey CHAO, American University

Uloma CHIAKPO, Howard University (BA2012)

Raymond COHEN, US Department of Commerce

Di FU, Sciences Po-Paris (MA 2015), CDC Group

Minghui FU, World Bank

Katy LAM, Hong Kong Baptist University

Jessica LI, Georgetown University

Raymond Mpubani, University of the Witwatersrand (MA2015)

Hannah POSTEL, Princeton University (Fall 2017)

Winslow ROBERTSON, Cowries & Rice

Maya SAPIEKA, Tsinghua University

Wenxia TANG, Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Geneva

Yuou WU, Georgetown University

Ruolin ZHAO, Georgetown University