The Africa-China Reporting Project (ACRP or the Project), hosted at the Journalism Department of the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, aims to improve the quality of reporting on Africa-China issues, and works to provide facilitation and capacity building for journalists. Despite the expanding links between the Africa and China, reporting has often been inadequate or polarised, either portraying China as an exploiting predator or a benign development partner. The Project aims to encourage balanced and considered reporting as Africa-China relations are further entrenched in the editorial narrative of both regions.
The Project offers reporting grants, workshops and other opportunities to African and Chinese journalists and encourages collaborations to investigate complex dynamics and uncover untold stories, with an emphasis on on-the-ground impact and perspectives to illustrate how the lives of the people of Africa are changing amid the comprehensive phenomenon of Africa-China interactions.
Visit the How to apply for a grant page for guidelines on how to apply for reporting grants, or see Opportunities for journalists to keep up to date with all the Project’s new opportunities for journalists such a workshops and calls for applications. See Published features for the latest Africa-China journalism supported by the Project.
The Project’s online training and dissemination partner is The China Africa Project (CAP) by Eric Olander and Cobus van Staden. CAP is a multimedia resource dedicated to exploring every aspect of China’s growing engagement with Africa.
The Africa-China Reporting Project is funded by the Ford Foundation.
Please find the Africa-China Reporting Project on the following platforms:
For more information please get in touch with us at:
or, if this email address is defective:
The Project logo is a fusion of African and Chinese elements
The Project’s logo is based on the Chinese character 人 (rén), meaning people, person or humanity; while the patterning seen on the rén character is based on the Owo Foro Adobe, an Andinkra symbol from West Africa showing a snake climbing a raffia (palm) tree, which is native to West Africa and Madagascar. The Owo Foro Adobe signifies steadfastness, prudence, diligence and valour, as it is difficult for the snake to climb the tree and it has to be persistent to succeed.
The use of the rén character as central element in the new logo is representative of the core ethos of the Project, i.e. to enable and support journalists to tell stories of how the lives and experiences of the people and communities of Africa are being changed and impacted by the comprehensive phenomenon of Africa’s engagement and interaction with China. This signifies the people-focused, non-political nature of the Project and its activities.
The Owo Foro Adobe is one of the Adinkra visual symbols, originally created by the Ashanti people of West Africa in the early 19th century, that represent concepts or aphorisms. The symbols have a decorative function but also represent objects that encapsulate evocative messages that convey traditional wisdom, aspects of life or the environment. The Owo Foro Adobe is an authentically African element and points to the Project’s identity as an African institution that supports Africa-China journalism that puts the interests of Africa and its people first.
Africa-China Reporting Project Advisory Board
The Advisory Board was first constituted in January 2019, and is coordinated by Yu-Shan Wu, Project Research Associate.
Yu-Shan Wu, Project Post-doctoral Fellow/Research Associate
Yu-Shan joined the Project as Research Associate in mid–2018. She completed a Doctorate (International Relations) at the Department of Political Sciences, University of Pretoria, South Africa in 2018/2019 and a Masters (International Relations) at the University of the Witwatersrand in 2011. She was Senior Researcher (Foreign Policy Programme) at the South African Institute of International Affairs (SAIIA) from 2015 to 2017, and Researcher (China in Africa Project and Foreign Policy Programme) at the same institute from 2010 to 2015.
Dr. Bob Wekesa, Coordinator, Mid-career Journalism, and Research Projects, Wits Journalism; long-time Research Associate and advisor the Project
Bob Wekesa supervises masters and doctoral projects in journalism, media, and communications at Wits Journalism. He graduated with a Bachelor of Education degree from the University of Nairobi, Kenya. He served as journalist and editor in Kenyan media and later attained masters and doctoral degrees in international communications from the Communication University of China, Beijing. Bob is also a research associate with the African Centre for the Study of the United States and is highly published in media, geopolitics and public diplomacy in the academic and popular press.
Professor Anton Harber, Caxton Professor of Journalism, Wits Journalism; long-time overseer of the Project
Anton Harber has a 35-year career in journalism, media management and training. He was founder-editor of the anti-apartheid newspaper the Weekly Mail (now the Mail & Guardian), Editor-in-Chief of South Africa’s leading television news channel eNCA, and chief executive of Kagiso Broadcasting. He is a board member of the Global Investigative Journalism Network and a former chair of the SA Conference of Editors and the National Association of Broadcasters. Anton’s books include Southern African Muckraking: 300 Years of Investigative Reporting From the Region (Jacana, 2018); Diepsloot (Jonathan Ball, 2011), The Gorilla in the Room (Mampoer Shorts, 2013).
Professor Chris Alden, Professor of International Relations, Department of International Relations, London School of Economics; renowned author and Africa-China expert
Professor Chris Alden is the author/co-author/editor of numerous books, including China and Africa – Building Peace and Security Cooperation on the Continent (Palgrave 2017), China and Mozambique: From Comrades to Capitalist (Johannesburg: Jacana 2014), Land, Liberation and Compromise in Southern Africa (Palgrave/Macmillan 2009), China Returns to Africa (Hurst 2008), and China in Africa (Zed 2007); as well as numerous articles in internationally recognised journals. Professor Alden has held fellowships at Cambridge University; Institute of Social Science, University of Tokyo; Ritsumeikan University, Kyoto; Ecole Normale Superieure (Cachan), Paris; CERI, Paris; and the University of Pretoria.
Gérard Guedegbe, CEO/Chairman, Network for Education Journalists and Communicators based in Cotonou (RJCE-Benin); Project partner for Francophone Africa
Gérard is a media consultant and training expert. In 2006 he was appointed peer mentor for Francophone African newsrooms by the Forum for African Investigative Reporters (FAIR). Gérard is also the Chairman of the African Initiative for Communication and Freedom of Expression (ICLEAF), an NGO based in Benin that works to extend communication and open government in Africa. Gérard has assisted the Project to engage Francohpone African journalists and French-language reporting via a series of Francophone Africa Themed Grants in 2017 and a training workshop in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, in October 2018.
Huang Hongxiang, CEO of China House and long-time partner of the Project; Project partner for China and Chinese communities in Africa
Huang Hongxiang is a freelance journalist who has written for the Mail & Guardian, Southern Weekly (南方周末) and The Atlantic, among others. In 2013 Hongxiang graduated from the Journalism School of Fudan University and Development Practice at Columbia University. Since 2011, working with international media and NGOs, he has been reporting and researching Chinese overseas business and social, environmental conflicts in about 20 countries in Latin America and Africa. He started China House in Kenya in 2014 to connect Chinese overseas investment and global sustainable development through research, projects and youth engagement. He was featured in a Oscar-shortlisted film The Ivory Game as an ivory trade investigator and described by Dr. Jane Goodall as “my hero”, after which they were featured together in one of the most influential TV programs in China called The Reader. Hongxiang was also nominated by Forbes China as one of the “30 Under 30” in the category of social enterprise in 2018. Hongxiang has been a Project fellow since 2013 and has been working with the Project to engage Chinese communities in Africa in wildlife conservation and journalism exchanges.
Africa-China Reporting Project
Wits Journalism Department
12th Floor University Corner
Tel. +27 (0) 11 717 4692