MSU receives Ford Foundation grant to strengthen research on China-Africa engagement

Chinese in Africa/Africans in China Research Network project will build global competencies

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Published: Friday, 06 May 2022 Author: Veronica Gracia-Wing

Michigan State University has received a $241,000 grant from the Ford Foundation to fund a multi-year Chinese in Africa/Africans in China Research Network (CA/AC Research Network) project. Orange and red logo Chinese in Africa/Africans in China Research Network

The “Strengthening China-Africa Institutions, Networks, Competencies, & Research Output” project will enhance global impact and sustainability by expanding and strengthening networks, building global competencies and disseminating Africa-China research outcomes beyond academia to policy makers and the general public.

“Given the highly contested nature of China-Africa engagements and increased China-U.S. tensions, it is now more important than ever that policy-makers and the public are better informed on these matters,” said Yoon Jung Park, CA/AC Research Network executive director and co-founder. “This project empowers the CA/AC Research Network to build new connections across disciplines and regions, and broadens the work of our unique international community of scholars and practitioners.”

The CA/AC Research Network links scholars and practitioners to facilitate intellectual exchange, promote academic research and share information about Africa-China relations. It is the world's largest independent, interdisciplinary, research network dedicated to China-Africa engagements. With more than 1,000 members around the world, the network’s transnational community of experts amplify dialogue, equity and inclusiveness. MSU’s African Studies Center—CA/AC Research Network website host and communications partner—will administer the grant under the leadership of its director and expert on China-Africa historical engagement, Jamie Monson.

“This is an exciting opportunity to leverage the network's mission to help move the global conversation about China-Africa forward in a critical and constructive way,” said Titus Awokuse, associate dean for research and strategic partnerships for MSU International Studies and Programs. “As we strengthen the scope and impact of MSU’s global research and capacity building efforts, projects such as these answer the challenges of global sustainable development.”

With a focus on the Global South, the “Strengthening China-Africa Institutions, Networks, Competencies, & Research Output” project’s intersecting goals will support its members through the creation of network chapters and institutional partnerships, writing workshops, research collaboration, formal mentorship projects, and the circulation of original research via a variety of webinars, events, platforms and outlets.

Michigan State University African Studies Center
The African Studies Center encourages, coordinates and disseminates academic knowledge relevant to understanding the African continent by linking classroom learning and faculty experiences with global engagement.

The Ford Foundation
The Ford Foundation is an independent organization working to address inequality and build a future grounded in justice. For more than 85 years, it has supported visionaries on the frontlines of social change worldwide, guided by its mission to strengthen democratic values, reduce poverty and injustice, promote international cooperation, and advance human achievement. Today, with an endowment of $16 billion, the foundation has headquarters in New York and 10 regional offices across Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Middle East.