China-Africa Initiative

Hosted by the Firoz Lalji Institute for Africa

The Initiative will strive to enlighten, debate, influence and inspire Chinese engagements in Africa.

Dr Shirley Yu, Director of the LSE China-Africa Initiative

Objectives and activities

China has become Africa’s largest investor, biggest trading partner, preeminent digital services provider and increasingly a soft power influencer. It is clear that China’s role in Africa’s future will be both complex and enduring.

The China-Africa Initiative will actively contribute to student-led programmes and FLIA’s ongoing Programme for African Leadership, while aiming to encompass multi-stakeholder perspectives and engage multi-disciplinary discourses in the social sciences and arts and humanities. In addition to regular publications on FLIA public platforms, the Initiative will demonstrate a commitment to broaden China-Africa research projects, working with departments at LSE and globally.

The Initiative will strive to enlighten, debate and, where possible and appropriate, influence and inspire Chinese engagements in Africa through research, policy engagements and events, including China-in-Africa conferences, workshops and exhibitions.

Shirley Yu

Dr Shirley Yu | Director of the China-Africa Initiative

Shirley Ze Yu is a leading voice on China’s political economy, an Asia Fellow with the Ash Center of Harvard Kennedy School, an adjunct professor with the IE Business School and a member of the Davos Expert Network on 5G, geopolitics and geoeconomics.


China in Africa blog series


China-Africa Conference 2023 - Growth, Governance, and Globalisation

Highlight speakers:
- Dr Mo Ibrahim, Mo Ibrahim Foundation
- H.E. Ambassador Geraldo Nunda, Angolan Ambassador to the UK
- Dr. Nkosana Moyo, former minister of Industry and International Trade, Zimbabwe; former COO, African Development Bank
- Ali Kooli, former minister of the Economy, Finance, and Trade, Tunisia 
- Dr. Robert Ochola, CEO, AfricaNanda

Date: 18 November 2023

China-Africa Conference 2021 – Lead the 22nd Century: Africa’s Future and the role of China

The China-Africa Conference 2021 addressed the deepening relationship between China and the African continent and marked the launch of the China-Africa Initiative at the FLIA.

Highlight speakers: 
- Jingdong Hua, Vice President and Treasurer, World Bank
- Leslie Maasdorp, CFO, the New Development Bank
- Dr Nkosana Moyo, Former Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of the African Development Bank (AfDB)
- Professor Kevin Urama, Senior Director, African Development Institute, African Development Bank Group
- Ambassador Alan Wm. Wolff, Former Co-Director General, the WTO; Distinguished Senior Fellow, PIIE

Date: 28 September 2021
Watch conference sessions on YouTube.
View the conference agenda.

Initiative assets




The China-Africa Initiative invites sponsorships to support the LSE China-Africa Conference. Opportunities include:

  • Individual patron (£500): support provided for China-Africa Initiative conference organisation.
  • Conference panel sponsor (£2,500): name recognition at the conference; logo presence on promotions; panel branding; access to network opportunities within the conference.
  • Conference patron (£4,500): all the above; company brand/video slides in between sessions. 
  • China-Africa Initiative patron (£10,000): all the above; official partnership logo on the China-Africa Initiative webpage and conference page; invitations to non-public events hosted by the Initiative; opportunity to propose relevant events focussed on cross-regional activities.

For more information, please contact