Ep84. A Lunar New Year conversation with Jamie Monson on China-Africa relations, seeing technology from the user perspective, and more

To commemorate Lunar New Year, this week’s episode focuses on China-Africa relations. In the news wrap, we talk about China-Africa trade, some recommended reads and a podcast on China-Africa, as well as Russia-Africa relations, reports of an extended US travel ban for some African countries, Isabel Dos Santos’s Angolan assets seizure, and more.

Our featured conversation is with Jamie Monson (@jmonson1), Professor of History and Director of the African Studies Center at Michigan State University (@MSUAfrica). Her research focuses on Chinese development assistance to Africa. She is a specialist on the TAZARA railway, a development project built in Tanzania and Zambia with Chinese development cooperation in the 1970s. We talk about her book, Africa’s Freedom Railway: How a Chinese Development Project Changed Lives and Livelihoods in Tanzania, and her related documentary, TAZARA stories. The new documentary film relies on oral history interviews to share people’s experiences with the introduction of the TAZARA railway. We also talk about seeing technology from the user’s perspective and inequalities in academic partnerships across regions. The segment with Jamie Monson begins at 13:42. 


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