February 20, 2012 — China has surpassed the United States as Africa's largest trading partner. David Shinn, a former U.S. emissary to a number of African nations, will lecture on China's relationships with African countries at the University of Virginia on Feb. 22 at 3:30 p.m. in Rouss Hall, room 227.
Hosted by U.Va.'s Carter G. Woodson Institute of African-American and African Studies and co-sponsored by the Asia Institute, (both part of the College of Arts & Sciences), the talk is free and open to the public.
Shinn served for 37 years in the U.S. Foreign Service with assignments in Lebanon, Kenya, Tanzania, Mauritania, Cameroon, Sudan and as ambassador to Burkina Faso and Ethiopia.
Since then, he has continued his study of Africa, and he will base Wednesday's talk on five years of research involving visits to nine African countries and four visits to China. He also has been an adjunct professor in the Elliott School of International Affairs at George Washington University for the past 10 years.
Shinn's research considers the political, trade, aid, investment, security and soft power links between China and Africa. In addition to China's trade with Africa, he says China is positioning itself to become Africa's most important partner in other areas as well.
Shinn serves on the board of several non-governmental organizations dealing with the Horn of Africa and as a trustee of the Phi Theta Kappa Foundation, which provides scholarships for community college graduates to four-year schools. He lectures around the world on issues related to Africa and China-Africa relations.
He has co-authored, with Joshua Eisenman, a book on China-Africa relations, "China and Africa: A Century of Engagement," to be published in June by the University of Pennsylvania Press.
Shinn, who has a Ph.D. in political science from George Washington University, blogs at davidshinn.blogspot.com.
— By Anne Bromley