August 11th 2020

“Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, the Sino-Africa cooperation is at a defining moment in which it has the potential to help propel African countries towards sustainable development.” This was one of the most echoed sentiments from the ‘Sino-Africa Dialogue on challenges and cooperation in pandemic times’ webinar co- hosted by Development Reimagined, The Centre for China & Globalization and the Embassy of Ghana, to mark the 60th anniversary of Sino-Ghana relations.

The webinar, initiated by H.E Ambassador Boateng- The Ambassador of the Republic of Ghana to the People’s Republic of China – was attended by dignitaries including H. E Ambassador Lin Songtian the President of the Chinese People’s Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries and Professor Carlos Lopes the former Undersecretary General of the United Nations. The webinar consisted of selected high-level interlocutors from China and Africa and African Ambassadors to China, from Cabo Verde, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, São Tomé and Principe, Tanzania, the UN Resident Coordinator in China and the African Union Representative. 

Broadcasted live to 600,000 people on CCTV, Ghanaian television networks and an online global audience, the speakers considered the ways in which African countries can adapt in these new times while leveraging their relationship with China to accelerate their development.

Development Reimagined CEO- Hannah Ryder moderating a discussion on the importance of Sino-Africa trade and people- people flows

H.E Ambassador Lin Songtian during his special address outlined four points.

 “Africa is marginalized in the global fight against COVID-19… but China continues to provide support to African countries.”

  1. Sino-Africa united: China and Africa should remain united in order to safeguard the development of countries.
  2. The role of the United States: The United States should work hard to contain the COVID-19 so as to avoid damaging the efforts of other nations in this fight.
  3. Global efforts to support Africa: other developed countries, multilateral organisations, the World Health Organisation and especially China should step up efforts to support Africa.
  4. Not just COVID-19: International media should pay attention to the pandemic prevention and control whilst also focusing on people’s livelihoods and development. Partners should consider other contagious diseases such as malaria and HIV & AIDS, alongside supporting the COVID-19 response and effort.

Professor Carlos Lopes gave five points during his address.

“This is the right time to propel changes that have always been postponed in Africa”

  1. Green energy accelerating Africa’s Development: African countries can start shifting to cleaner, low-carbon production. Green energy can accelerate Africa’s industrialization and China is the perfect partner to help as they are the number one producer for renewable energy.
  2. Building value chains & pushing Africa commodities: With the African Free Trade Agreement Africa can create value chains that enable smart protectionism that protect value added trade and increase cooperation with China in a smart way.
  3. Health structural solutions: Africa has 25% of the world’s disease burden but accounts for less than 1% of the global health expenditure and only manufactures 2% of pharmaceuticals. China could be a strategic partner in integrating pharmaceuticals and protective equipment production as part of African industrialization.
  4. Youth driving innovation: Africa needs to get ready for the impact of new technology. By emulating what was done with mobile banking, Africa can leap frog past the infrastructural shortcomings and bureaucratic challenges. The same needs to be done with innovation especially among young people, who should be participants not passive actors.
  5. China as the right partner: Macro-stability rules have been challenged yet it is important that the African plight is at the center of these conversations.

Professor Carlos Lopes the former Undersecretary General of the United Nations, special address to the participants

After welcoming remarks from H.E Ambassador Lin Songtian and Professor Carlos Lopes, the special guest panel and Ambassadors dialogue provided several important and actionable points that fall into two categories 1) What are Africa’s ambitions and priorities post COVID-19? 2) How can China support Africa in reaching continental wide development goals?  The key points that emerged were:

Africa’s post COVID-19 priorities

  • Africa needs to set its own narrative and agenda for Sino-Africa cooperation
  • Debt forgiveness is only a minor and short-term solution. What is needed is a more sustainable long-term approach to lending structures
  • Must be continued efforts to build partnerships of equality and respect
  • Need to strengthen the rise of e-commerce in African countries and seek partners to support this
  • Increase mobility and people to people flows, particularly for students and Chinese tourists, whilst also adapting to new demands in post-COVID world
  • Countries should seek to be more equitable and use COVID as an opportunity to further sustainable development
  • Include students in Sino-Africa dialogues to bring their unique insights and ideas
  • African countries need to come together to decide on a list of ‘asks’ from China and each other to build more strategic cooperation.

How can China support Africa’s development plans?

  • China has already demonstrated its support in helping African countries facilitate free trade and this cooperation should continue
  • Put more efforts into the supply and productivity aspect of the Sino-African trade relations and overcoming the challenges that exist
  • There needs to be furthering ease of access into the Chinese market for African companies and individuals; strengthening the supply side and the value-added production
  • Migration is essential for trade and people to people exchange yet further efforts are needed in social cohesion both in China and Africa
  • China has vast experience in education and can support with equipping the youth in Africa with much needed technical skills to close the existing skills gap in industries
  • Enrich African student’s experiences in China by connecting them to practicum opportunities
  • Need for more data and information sharing on which African markets to tap into and how to tap into the Chinese market

Finally, H. E Ambassador Osman, The African Union Representative to China, provided closing remarks noting the importance of the African Free Trade Agreement for opening up the African market to Chinese investors to partner with African counterparts and also provide a mechanism for greater industrialization across Africa.

Watch the full webinar at:

Download the Agenda here

Development Reimagined works with a variety of clients (who include governments and businesses across continents) to develop robust, holistic, and long- term innovative solutions to challenging development issues, including in partnership with China. To find more about Development Reimagined’s ongoing work on China-Africa cooperation, contact the team at

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Research Analyst

Edmond is a research analyst who is passionate about sustainable development, innovation, and the environment. Passionate about climate financing, he firmly believe there is a more reliable system to promote equality, growth, and welfare in societies without affecting the ecosystem. Through his skills, knowledge and experienced gained over 7 years, he wants to make an impact in the world of development. Edmond holds a Master’s Degree in Public Policy from Korea Development Institute and a BA Degree (Honors) in Business from University of Derby.


    Founder and CEO

Hannah Ryder is the Founder & CEO of Development Reimagined. A former diplomat and economist with 20 years of experience, named one of 100 most influential Africans in 2021, she is also Senior Associate for the Africa Program of the Center for Strategic International Studies (CSIS), sits on the Board of the Environmental Defence Fund, and is a member of UAE's International Advisory Council on the New Economy. Prior to her role at DR, Ms Ryder led the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)’s work with China to help it scale up and improve its cooperation with other developing countries, including in Africa. She has also played various advisory roles for the UN and OECD and co-authored the seminal Stern Review of the Economics of Climate Change in 2006.


Deputy Director

Leah Lynch is Deputy Director of Development Reimagined (DR), and head of the China office. Leah has over 10 years of experience in development and has lived in China for over 8 years. Leah has also travelled extensively around Asia and Africa for research. Leah supports the strategic direction of the team across China, with a mission to deliver high quality research on sustainable development and poverty reduction. Leah is also Chair of the Sustainability Forum at the British Chamber of Commerce in China, providing direction on sustainability initiatives for British and Chinese business. Leah has also consulted on various evaluations on UK aid (ICAI) and is a specialist on development cooperation from the UK and China. Leah has also consulted on various UN projects, including providing support to the UN China team during the COVID-19 Pandemic. Prior to DR, Leah was at the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) China, supporting the UN’s portfolio on communication strategies, China’s South- South Cooperation and the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). Before UNDP, Leah lived and worked in Kenya developing sustainable water policies for the Kenyan government.


China-Africa Policy Analyst

Yike Fu is a Policy Analyst and has been responsible for leading numerous areas of work, including on debt analysis in Africa and beyond, and China-Africa trade and investment logistics and analysis. She is the co-author of “African Debt Guide”, in which she challenged the narrative that Africa is in the midst of a new debt crisis by analysing data back to the 1970s and adopting new metrics to present the real story behind the data. She also developed a benchmark to compare the financial distribution of development partners such as the UK, US, Japan, France and China in Africa. Prior to her role at DR she worked at the International Finance Corporation and African Union Representational Mission to the US. She holds a Masters in International Affairs from George Washington University.


Research Analyst

Judith is a Research and Policy Analyst, where she specialises in Africa-China relations, international development, and diplomacy. During her time at Development Reimagined, Judith has co-authored several articles published in The Diplomat on debt and China-Barbados relations and was quoted by China Daily in a piece on Women Rights in China. Previously, Judith worked as a research analyst for an Advocate and Commissioner and Oats office in Kenya.


Policy Analyst

Ovigwe specialises in geopolitics with particular reference to Africa in a changing Global Order. He is adept at critically analysing the politics of contemporary development processes and providing insight into the geopolitical interests that influence them. His work includes research, publications, tailored briefings and advising on global and regional trends, and issues at the nexus of geopolitics and development. Ovigwe appears frequently in media around the world such as Al Jazeera, TRT World, SABC, CGTN, BBC Radio, and other platforms.


Policy Analyst

Jing leads China-African health and agriculture cooperation research at Development Reimagined, having managed our FOCAC Policy Analysis and Advocacy project. She is also the co-author of “China-Africa Health Cooperation under FOCAC Umbrella”, in which she analysed China’s commitments around health cooperation since the first FOCAC summit and deepdived into four African countries’ health overview, challenges and cooperation with China as cases studies. Before DR, Jing worked at GIZ Cambodia on M&E of a disability advocacy project. She also worked as a translator with Chinese medical team in Benin.


Trade Policy Analyst

Patrick is an International Trade Policy and Trade Law Expert with over 5 years of experience. His expertise includes trade law, trade policy analysis and regional integration. He is currently engaged with Development Reimagined as a Senior Trade Analyst and was the lead author of Development Reimagined's recent Report on Africa-China Relations titled "From China-Africa to Africa- China: A Blue Print for a Green and Inclusive Continent-Wide Strategy Towards China." and “Reimaging FOCAC Going Forward.” Patrick has previously consulted for the East African Community, UNECA and for the Kenya Ministry of Trade.


Senior Policy Analyst 

Rosemary is our Senior Policy Analyst. She is a skilled policy analyst and has previously worked as a UK civil servant. She is studying Human Rights at Birkbeck, University of London with a research focus on international law in the context of health crises such as the COVID-19 pandemic.


Project Manager and Africa-China Communication Assistant

Jade is a Project Manager for Development Reimagined’s flagship project Africa Unconstrained, which focuses on financing needs and debt vulnerabilities of African countries. Her research focuses on China-Africa development finance alongside debt vulnerabilities, infrastructure needs and South-South cooperation. She has worked with a breadth of stakeholders from China, Africa and the wider international community, including governments, private sector, NGOs and civil society. Her writing has appeared in a number of publications, including The Africa Report, The China-Africa Project, The Diplomat and more. Jade holds a Master’s in China and Globalisation studies from King’s College London.


Programme Manager

Rosie is the Project Manager of Africa Reimagined (AR) at Development Reimagined (DR) where she supports high-end African brands with entering the Chinese market by operating services such as trademark protection, Chinese market research, Chinese partnership building, and Africa to China logistical support and import/export services. Rosie has worked with DR for over two years now with proven success in helping high-end African brands navigate the Chinese market. She is extremely passionate about her work because more African brands selling in the Chinese marketplace means African countries can export MORE value-added goods, create MORE jobs and foster MORE innovation in African countries.

Rosie is also alumni of the School of International Studies at Peking University in Beijing where she is also an editor at the Peking Africa Think Tank. PATT is led by a diverse group of scholars who specialise in African Studies within the context of Sino-Africa relations.



Lauren has lived in six countries from the Americas to Europe and Asia and speaks both French and Spanish proficiently. At Development Reimagined, Lauren’s research focuses on climate action both in the Asia-Pacific and in Africa, and how countries are using tools such as SDGs and Covid-19 action to build a more climate-resilient future. She holds a Masters in International Relations from Leiden University.



Etsehiwot holds a Masters’s degree in Development Studies from the London School of Economics. She has diverse experience in humanitarian and development issues by working in both multilateral organizations and international non-governmental organizations. Etsehiwot is currently a consultant focusing on the SDGs and development finance.


Economist Consultant

Dibekulu is an economist by training. He holds an MSc in International Development Studies from Palacky University Olomouc, an MSc in Development Economics from the University of Clermont Auvergne, and an MSc in Economics, Finance, and International Integration from the University of Pavia. At Development Reimagined, he works as an Economist consultant. He has strong data analysis skills, with research interests centring around development finance, impact assessment, food security, and agricultural insurance.


Project Manager

Osaru is a health professional with an MSc in Health Systems Policy and an interest in women’s health and population management. At Development Reimagined, she applies her health sector experience to global health research and collating locally applicable development insights from China.


Research Analyst

Ferdinando’s research at Development Reimagined is centred on South-South Cooperation dynamics, specifically on the analysis of Chinese investment and debt flows in Africa and their linkages to African industrialisation. He is currently a Yenching Scholar at Peking University, after having graduated from the University of Cambridge with an MPhil in Development Studies.


Research Analyst

David is a Research and data analyst at Development Reimagined. His scholarly focus is mostly on interdisciplinary research in demographic economics and development with interests in migration, economic development and policy, education, health and subjective well-being. He is currently a PhD scholar at Nelson Mandela University from which he also holds Economics and Statistics and respectively.


Research Analyst Kenya

Ivory is a Kenyan lawyer with experience in policy research and analysis. She also supports the communications team at DR. Ivory speaks English, Swahili and French.


Research And Data Analyst China 

Joy Ene is a Research and Data Analyst at DR. Joy is passionate about African/global development, poverty eradication and trade policies between underdeveloped and developing countries. She is also a fourth-year student of International Economics and Trade at the  Liaoning University, Shenyang, China. She serves as the President of the Student Union, Liaoning University, International Students chapter.


Research Analyst 

Chensi Li is a research analyst. She has previously worked for local NGOs in Nigeria and Cameroon and think-tanks in China.  Her research areas include Sino-African relations, African foreign affairs, public diplomacy, state-building and national governance.

Yixin Yu

Research Analyst 

Yixin is a Junior Research Analyst and her focus areas is on public-private partnership and entrepreneurship. She has over three years of working experience in both private and public sectors in Ethiopia. She was the China Liaison Officer for project ‘Partnership for Investment and Growth in Africa’ at International Trade Centre, where she accumulated rich experience in investment and trade promotion


Founder and CEO

Hannah Ryder is the Founder & CEO of Development Reimagined. A former diplomat and economist with 20 years of experience, named one of 100 most influential Africans in 2021, she is also Senior Associate for the Africa Program of the Center for Strategic International Studies (CSIS), sits on the Board of the Environmental Defence Fund, and is a member of UAE's International Advisory Council on the New Economy. Prior to her role at DR, Ms Ryder led the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)’s work with China to help it scale up and improve its cooperation with other developing countries, including in Africa. She has also played various advisory roles for the UN and OECD and co-authored the seminal Stern Review of the Economics of Climate Change in 2006.