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Tabadlab Policy Roundtable 45: China in East Africa: Lessons for The Developing World


The East Africa region has emerged as an increasingly important economic and strategic hub. Home to several frontier markets, it has become a theatre of competition between the great and regional powers. The region features some of China’s most prominent infrastructure development projects as well as its first foreign military base. China’s “Going Out” Policy has resulted in substantial overseas investment in Africa over the past few decades. Between 2007 and 2020, China invested USD 23 billion in infrastructure investment in Africa.

While Beijing has played an important role in addressing the region’s critical infrastructure needs, it has been accused of monopolising the “whole industry chain export”. This criticism and local realities have led to a reexamination of China’s development policies in the region.

Tabadlab is convening a panel of experts and academics to discuss China’s role in overseas development financing. The central focus of the conversation will be on East Africa and the implications for other regions engaged in a similar relationship with China.


Oyintarelado (Tarela) Moses

OyinTarelado (Tarela) Moses

Tarela Moses is a Data Analyst and Database Manager for the Global China Initiative at the Boston University Global Development Policy Center. She previously worked on the international relations team of the Export-Import Bank as a policy analyst. She focuses on researching development finance and the global export credit market.


Keren Zhu

Dr. Keren is a Global China Post-doctoral Research Fellow and an Assistant Policy Researcher at RAND Corporation. She was previously a Global Governance Futures 2035 Fellow and her expertise lies in operations, research, and policy advisory related to China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).


Ammar A. Malik

Dr. Ammar is a Senior Research Scientist at AidData where he leads the Chinese Development Finance Program. He was previously the Director of Research at Evidence for Policy Design at the Harvard Kennedy School and his academics focus on the local economic impacts of China’s BRI.


Ovigwe Eguegu

Ovigwe Eguegu  Policy Analyst at Development Reimagined and a Researcher at Samuel Hall. He has previously been a Research Consultant at Ergo and specializes in geopolitics, with particular reference to Africa in changing global order. 


Zeeshan Salahuddin

Zeeshan Salahuddin is the Director for the Centre for Regional and Global Connectivity (CRGC) at Tabadlab. Zeeshan’s research focuses on security studies, particularly religious and political extremism in Pakistan, and its priorities in an increasingly multipolar world. He frequently writes for The News, The Friday Times, Dawn, The Diplomat, Foreign Policy, and others, and occasionally provides analysis on BBC and CNN.