Innocent Batsani Ncube will present a paper at a Virtual workshop on ‘Non-Western Actors in Africa: Interests, Conflicts and Agency’ organised by the Collaborative Research Group (CRG) African Politics and International Relations of the Africa-Europe Group for Interdisciplinary Studies (AEGIS). The workshop will run from 21-22 January 2021.
His paper is entitled, ‘Gelding an enclave through a double-edged parliament building gift’: unpacking China’s quest for omnipresence in Lesotho.
The paper discusses the phenomenon of Chinese funded and constructed Parliament buildings in Africa using Lesotho as a case study. Innocent leverages evidence from his fieldwork conducted in Maseru from September to November 2019, to argue that China’s involvement in Lesotho’s parliament building is a palpable example of her pragmatic strategy of consolidating influence amongst political actors in Africa. In the presentation, he advances three propositions, namely; a ‘design loop’, ‘materials fix’ and ‘state incapacity opportunity,’ to demonstrate that China, with explicit and tacit connivance of ruling elites in Maseru, has effectively used the parliament building gift as a double-edged tool to achieve omnipresence in Lesotho’s political and diplomatic orbit.