Podcast by Winslow Robertson
Episode 79 - Will there be a ban on China's commercial ivory trade?
The Illegal ivory trade, is a quite contentious issues in Africa-China relations. There are merely and estimated 470,000 elephants remaining on the African continent today, a sharp decline from 1.2 million in 1981. Poaching of elephants for their ivory is a key driver of this crisis, with about 20-30 thousand elephants each year killed. Data from the Convention on International Trade of Endangered Species or CITES shows that China is a major market for this ivory.
There are reasons to be optimistic however. In September 2015, Chinese President Xi Jinping and U.S. President Barrack Obama jointly committed to enact nearly complete bans on ivory import and export. During the eighth session of the U.S.-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue back in June of this year, China announced that it will set a timetable to phase out commercial trading in ivory by the end of 2016. We actually discussed on episode 62 that one of outcomes of the Forum on China Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) were strong pledges by China to help curb poaching activities in Africa. Today we bring back to the pod Mr. Zhou Fei, head of TRAFFIC, the wildlife trade research network, to discuss a brand new report titled “An Act to Save African Elephants: A Ban on Commercial Ivory Trade in China: A Feasibility Study Briefing.”
Episode 78 - How Africa fits into China's G20 agenda
The G20 Summit, an international forum for governments and central bank leaders of the world's 20 largest economies, is being held for the first time in China on September 4 and 5. Since China is the host and assumes the mantle of the G20 presidency, its government has an active role in crafting the Summit agenda. The theme of the Summit focuses on three core concepts "innovation, integration, and inclusion" and the areas of priority include: the implementation of the Paris Agreement on climate change (which was just formally adopted by China and the U.S. on September 3), creating and implementing entrepreneurship action plans, as well as supporting industrialization of Africa - which is of great interest to this pod.
There are 4 African countries participating at the Summit and Africa's industrialization is a topic that China insisted on putting in the Summit agenda. To talk more about the place/role of Africa in the Summit and the role of China-Africa relations in shaping China's leadership for the G20, we are bringing back to the Pod, Dr. Sven Grim. Dr. Grimm is a political scientist who has worked on external partners’ cooperation with Africa since 1999. He is a Senior Researcher and the Coordinator of the Rising Powers program at The German Development Institute (DIE) in Bonn. Since 2006 his research has focused on emerging economies’ role in Africa, and specifically China-Africa relations. He earned his PhD from Hamburg University in 2002 with a thesis on E.U.-Africa relations. He has previously worked with the London-based Overseas Development Institute (ODI) and was the former head of the Centre for Chinese Studies at Stellenbosch University in Cape Town, South Africa.
Episode 77 - Chinese youth are changing the wildlife conversation on the ground
China’s complicated relationship with wildlife trade does the country no favors in regard to its international standing, despite a slow and steady attempt by the country to improve its regulatory environment in regards to ivory, rhino horn, and more. While much of the world frets over what the Chinese government is doing, there is a startling lack of attention on the role of Chinese individuals in helping combat illegal wildlife. China House, a client of mine and the first Chinese social enterprise in Africa, is organizing a Color Run in Kenya to take place on August 28 to not only raise awareness among Chinese youth regarding this issue, but also to show Chinese and Kenyan support for stronger ivory regulations in the upcoming Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (or CITES) 17th meeting of the Conference of the Parties, which will take place in Johannesburg, South Africa from September 24th to October 5th, 2016. To talk about the event, we have on the pod Winnie Wong, the Communications Manager for China House (Full Disclosure: China House is a client of Cowries and Rice) as well as one of the organizers behind the event. If you want to understand how Chinese youth are trying to change hearts and minds, this episode is for you.
Special Episode - Behind the scenes of Chinese diplomacy with Amb. Shu Zhan
At the 4th Chinese in Africa/Africans in China Conference, held in Nairobi, Cowries and Rice and the Sino Africa Centre for Excellence Foundation found time to interview one of the greatest Chinese diplomats who helped shape the China-Africa relationship - Amb. Shu Zhan, China's former ambassador to Eritrea and Rwanda and unsung architect behind the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC). If you ever wanted to know about the arc of China-Africa relations from the side of China's diplomats, or even how FOCAC started in the first place, this episode is for you.
Special Episode - Live from the 4th Chinese in Africa/Africans in China Conference in Nairobi
At the 4th Chinese in Africa/Africans in China Conference, held in Nairobi, Kenya, Cowries and Rice teamed up with the China Africa Project and the Sino Africa Centre of Excellence Foundation to produce a rare triple-podcast looking at the role of media in knowledge production in the Sino-Africa relationship.
Episode 76 - Technology transfer in South Africa
Technology transfer is one of the most potentially beneficial aspects of the China-Africa relationship, but how many training centers, visits to China, etc. actually deliver on that promise? June Sun, who is a MPhil candidate at University of Oxford's Oxford Department of International Development (ODID) where she studies international development joins us to discuss that topic. She recently authored a Policy Brief on that subject for the Johns Hopkins' School of Advanced International Studies' China-Africa Research Initiative entitled "Technology Transfer in Telecommunications: Barriers and Opportunities in the case of Huawei and ZTE in South Africa."
Above all relevant, these podcasts are also intriguing and insightful. Africa-China links keep growing, but the Western media mostly misses this developing story, preferring to focus on famine, war, and disease. Cowries and Rice helps to fill this information void. Highly recommended!
The second-best China-Africa podcast there is!
They were not kidding!