As a part of the 'China in the World' research programme at the ICS, Veda Vaidyanathan undertook a 2 week long fieldwork in Zambia to understand China's increasing engagement with the country. She along with her Chinese colleague visited Chinese owned and run farms in Chongwe and Chisamba in addition to the Agriculture Technology Demonstration Centre (ATDC) jointly run by Jilin Agricultural University and the University of Zambia in Lusaka.
She also travelled north to the Copperbelt province and interviewed Chinese investors and entrepreneurs working in the mining sector in Chongola, Kitwe and Ndola. During this time she also met several Zambian stakeholders to try and understand their perception of increasing Chinese overtures in the country.
In this talk, Veda will recollect her experiences from the field, discuss the multiple stakeholder perspectives that coexist and share the main takeaways from her interviews. She will also throw open the research questions that have emerged, collaborations that have been identified and discuss the format the resultant publication will take.
About the Speaker
Veda Vaidyanathan is a Research Associate at the Institute of Chinese Studies, New Delhi. She completed her Ph.D. from the Centre for African Studies at the University of Mumbai on the Resource Diplomacy Strategies of India and China in Africa. She was initially a doctoral fellow of the Indian Council of Social Science Research and in 2014 received the Institute of Chinese Studies-Harvard Yenching Institute (ICS-HYI) China-India studies fellowship. From 2015-16 she was a senior visiting fellow at the Centre for African Studies, School of International Studies, Peking University, China and was a visiting fellow at the Harvard-Yenching Institute in Harvard University the following year. She has conducted extensive fieldwork interviewing various stakeholders in India, China, Kenya, Tanzania, Zambia, Ethiopia, USA and the UK. Her paper titled Reimagining Engagement and Realigning Priorities: How India and China are Informing the African Growth Story, won the World Society Foundation Award in Switzerland in April 2019. She is currently leading multi cultural teams working on projects examining Chinese Infrastructure Development in Tanzania and Kenya and another analyzing Chinese investments in Zambia.
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