For centuries, Africa has been plundered by imperial powers but now there is a new player: China. Is China the new imperial power in Africa and will it be any different? 

China’s offer of accountability-free loans has led many African governments to take advantage of this new investment, however schemes like the Belt and Road Initiative have provoked numerous criticisms of human rights violations and environmental impact as well as accusations of neocolonialism.

Discussing the significance of Africa to China will be Hannah Ryder, CEO of Development Reimagined – a leading consultancy for China-Africa business, Justus Nam, a PHD candidate in China and Africa relations, and Shirley Ze Yu, who leads the China–Africa Programme at the London School of Economics Firoz Lalji Institute for Africa.


About The Academics

Shirley Ze Yu

Headshot Justus Nam

Justus Nam

PhD Researcher on China-Africa Relations and the Belt & Road Initiative. Research Fellow at the Lancaster University China Centre. Member of the Centre for War & Diplomacy, Lancaster University. MA International Relations, HultInternational BusinessSchool. LLB (Hons) degree, University of Wolverhampton. Former Foreign Service Officer, Ministry of Foreign Affairs & International Trade.

About The Speaker

headshot of Hannah Ryder

Hannah Wanjie Ryder

Hannah Wanjie Ryder is the CEO of Development Reimagined, an award-winning international development consultancy with headquarters in China, and offices in Kenya and the UK. A former diplomat and economist with 20 years of experience including in China, Ethiopia, Rwanda, Nigeria, Indonesia and Korea, and named one of 100 most influential Africans in 2021, she is also Senior Associate for the Africa Program of the Center for Strategic International Studies (CSIS), sits on the Board of the Environmental Defence Fund, and is a member of UAE’s International Advisory Council on the New Economy. Prior to her role at DR, Ms Ryder led the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)’s work with China to help it scale up and improve its cooperation with other developing countries, including in Africa. She has also played various advisory roles for the UN and OECD and co-authored the seminal Stern Review of the Economics of Climate Change in 2006. A sought-after thought-leader, commentator and speaker, Ms Ryder drives the overall company strategy for the China, Kenya and UK offices, working with clients, partners and experts around the world to provide strategic advice and practical research and support.