The Contours of Africa-China Relations in the 21st Century

Closing date for abstracts: 29 June 2018.
Full paper submission: 1 September 2018.
Word count: 3000-6000 words.
Download: To download a printable version of the Call for Papers, click here.


The University of Johannesburg Confucius Institute (UJCI) is one of five Confucius Institutes in South Africa, and one of several hundred Confucius Institutes at universities and other educational institutions around the world. Like its sister institutions, its mission is to promote the study of Chinese and an interest in Chinese culture and history. To this end, the UJCI has become a  leading research center and knowledge hub on matters relating to the complex and evolving relationship between African countries and the People’s Republic of China in both the bilateral and multilateral fronts including the UN, FOCAC, BRICS, the G-20, and the budding OBOR among others. At every level – from people-to-people, to the economic to political – this relationship is the subject of research. As a result, the institute has pioneered the UJCI Africa-China Occasional Papers series for works with a historical, theoretical and scholarly bent, as well as the UJCI Africa-China Policy Brief series for works with a policy-oriented aim. Below is a sample of the titles we have published, and that can be accessed on our webpage:

Policy Briefs

  • Regional Industrialization in Southern Africa: The Role of African–Sino Partnerships
  • BRICS Studies: Some Suggested Themes
  • The BRICS Model of South-South Cooperation
  • The US, Russia, China and Africa in the Evolving Global Order
  • Sino-African Relations in 2017: Where to from here?
  • Sino-Kenyan Co-operation: Whither the West?

Occasional papers

  • The US, Russia, China and Africa in the Evolving Global Order China’s Soft-Power Status (via UN Peacekeeping) and its Implications for the African Peace and Security Architecture (APSA)
  • Ubuntu as Public Policy: Challenges and Opportunities
  • The Relevance of Ubuntu for African Development and International Relations in the Global Future: Comments on Muxe Nkondo
  • Implications of the US-led War on Terror for Africa-China relations
  • Sino-South African Relations at Twenty: Key Lessons

Rationale and Purpose

The rise of globalization and multilateralism has witnessed shifting dynamics of power and relations (bilateral and multilateral) from West to East. It has become apparent that the People’s Republic of China has become a major global player and it is by far Africa’s closest ally and trading partner. The rise of China in Africa has invoked debate and criticism about China’s rise and subsequent role in Africa. While some scholars have argued that this is a scramble for Africa in which China gets to player the new colonizer and has come to expropriate resources from Africa, other scholars embrace the Chinese presence in the African continent especially in Djibouti, Kenya, the Central African Republic, Nigeria, South Arica and many other African countries in which China has invested heavily, especially in terms of infrastructure development.

Therefore this call for papers invite any and all upcoming scholars to articulate their concerns, observations and thorough research papers to this effect.

Call for Abstracts

From the above mentioned, UJCI would like to invite scholars across academic disciplines including science and technology, engineering, health science, law, the humanities, finance and management to contribute from their own disciplines and academic prowess, the view their have about the China-Africa relationship.

  • Please send an abstract of no more than 500 words towards a fuller (3000-6000-word) paper.
  • Please include a short bibliographical profile (maximum 200 words).
  • Applicants will be notified of the outcomes by end of August 2018.
  • Late submissions will not be considered.
  • Selected papers and presentations will be considered for possible publication as our Policy Briefs and Occasional Papers.
  • Reference work in Chicago Referencing Style.
  • Please submit your abstract and presentation queries to Charles Matseke at, tel 011 559 7504
  • Full paper submission: 1 September 2018.