Field of Interests: Governance in Times of Crisis, East Asia–Africa relations, China’s African Policy, Foreign Policy of Developing Nations, Russia’s New African Strategy

Externally Peer-Reviewed Articles

Hagan Sibiri, “Two Decades of China-Africa Multilateral Partnership: Comprehending FOCAC as a ’Bargained Institutional Framework’ for Shared Impacts.” China Quarterly of International Strategic Studies, Forthcoming, 2021. 

Abstract: The Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) (Zhōng fēi hézuò lùntán) eighth edition in 2021 will mark two decades since the first major contemporary Sino–African meeting in Beijing in 2000. Despite the framework’s status as the primary inter-governmental and functional platform for China-Africa diplomacy, as well as an avenue through which China’s and Africa’s policies toward each other are charted, some reviewers remain skeptical about the framework’s true nature. The contentious issue has been whether FOCAC is a self-serving grand machination imposed by China as the dominant actor to aid its global resurgence or an African-oriented organization serving the interests of Africa’s great power diplomacy in the twenty-first century. Both points of view, I contend, are a misrepresentation of what the FOCAC truly represents. Contrary to the opposing viewpoints, it is argued that FOCAC is a “bargained institutional framework” for shared impacts. As a result, FOCAC serves as a policy platform for collective engagement as well as a knowledge production platform for developing and exchanging ideas and experiences in order to advance shared development goals.

Hagan Sibiri, “Demystifying China’s Involvement in African Peace and Security Architecture.” Chinese Journal of International Review2(3): 1–19, (June 2021).

Abstract: Until the last decade, Peace and Security issues were among the least discussed topic in the budding China-Africa relations. However, China’s recent involvement in African Peace and Security Architecture (APSA) has attracted critical review. Critics aver that China’s expanding security engagement in Africa is a clear manifestation of China’s willingness to use its growing military to challenge the global status quo. This article reviews the mechanisms of China’s involvement in APSA to ascertain whether the realities support the ‘China Threat’ narrative (zhōngguó wēixié lùn). I establish that, albeit the considerable flexibility in China’s foreign security policy, many of its aspects are still guided by the policy constraints of sovereignty, non-interference, and non-aggression. By upholding these policy constraints, China’s involvement in APSA has occurred on a constructive interactive basis and principally within the multilateral frameworks and mandate of regional and international bodies. However, the novelty is that China has taken an endogenous viewpoint in its security engagement with Africa that is hinged on the idea that Africa’s problems must be confronted with African solutions and capabilities. This is manifested in the increasing level of functional security exchanges and capacity-building activities to enhance African countries’ security capabilities to confront common security challenges independently.

Hagan Sibiri, “The Emerging Phenomenon of Anti-Chinese Populism in Africa: Evidence from Zambia, Zimbabwe, and Ghana.” Insight on Africa, 13(1): 7–27, (Jan. 2021).

Abstract: This article explores the salient of anti-Chinese sentiments in Africa and how it has been utilised or materialised as a populist strategy in election campaigns. The contention herein is that anti-Chinese populism has emerged from the rising anti-Chinese sentiments and is utilised primarily as a rhetorical strategy to gain electoral support. In particular, political actors mostly seeking power are inclined to identify and declamatorily rehashed the salient issues driving the anti-Chinese sentiments in political platforms to attract attention and to gain the support of the electorate’s concern about same issues. This dimension of populism hinges not on ideational leanings, but nothing more than an opportunist strategy of exploiting wedge issues for electoral gains. The implications of such an emerging phenomenon cannot be underestimated. Not only is it a hindrance to the budding Africa–China relations but also decadent for China’s global status and its ambitious foreign policy.

Hagan Sibiri and David Prah, “The Resilience of African Migrant Entrepreneurs in China under COVID-19.” Journal of Entrepreneurship in Emerging Economies, 13(5): 1119–1133, (Nov. 2021).

Abstract: As the impact of COVID-19 on businesses was impossible to predict, so is the future of migrant entrepreneurs – some of whom, before the outbreak, had to deal with immigrant status associated challenges. Against this backdrop, this paper aims to focus on African migrant entrepreneurs in China, much less studied ethnic migrants who have always lived on the margins of Chinese society, to examine their entrepreneurial resilience under COVID-19 in China. The study used a qualitative design using a survey and semi-structured follow-up interviews as the primary data collection instrument. The questions in the questionnaire guide were adapted from the Center for Global Development survey instrument designed to gauge the resilience of SMEs under COVID-19. Although most business operations in China are impacted, African migrant businesses were very hit due to existing social challenges coupled with their informality (i.e. operating at a low level of organization), lack of contingency plans and lack of stimulus support. COVID-19 is thus not only a force majeure that threatens the growth expectation of African owned-business but also presents a threat to their very existence in an already challenging society for Africans. This paper draws attention to the entrepreneurship-related challenges faced by ethnic migrants in China during a crisis. The social challenges of Africans living in China became a global topical issue during the COVID-19 outbreak in China. However, little is known about their entrepreneurship endeavors and the associated difficulties. This paper helps our understanding of African businesses’ resilience in China during uncertain times, such as the one created by COVID-19.

Hagan Sibiri, David Prah, and Sanusi M. Zankawah, “Containing the Impact of COVID-19: Review of Ghana’s Response Approach.” Health Policy and Technology10(1): 13–15, (March 2021).

Abstract: In Africa, although the impact (i.e., infection rate) is still considerably low compared to other regions of the world, governments have taken maximum control measures. With the low testing capacity and general weak healthcare systems, African governments have resorted to partial or total lockdowns to limit community spread and have closed international borders to stop imported cases. Ghana, however, is an exception. Despite being amongst the most impacted countries in Africa so far, the government has refrained from instituting a national lockdown. It has instead resorted to pronouncing directives as well as touting a so-called approach of ‘3T’s’ (i.e., Tracing, Testing, and Treatment) as its primary COVID-19 response approach. Although the cases keep rising, Ghana’s response approach has attracted global commendation as among the best response in the world with the WHO even studying some of Ghana’s techniques, particularly, its pool testing method. This article maps Ghana’s response strategy in both containing the pandemic and minimizing the social and economic impact.

Hagan Sibiri, Sanusi M. Zankawah, and David Prah, “Coronavirus Diseases 2019 (COVID-19) Response: Highlights of Ghana’s Scientific and Technological Innovativeness and Breakthroughs.” Ethics, Medicine and Public Health14, 100537, (May 2020).

Abstract: While more attention has been placed on scientific innovativeness and breakthroughs in the advanced countries’ attempt to contain the spread and develop vaccines for the Coronavirus Diseases 2019 (COVID-19), little attention has been paid to the few but significant innovations being achieved in some African countries. This is understandable because the scientific capacity and research infrastructure of most African countries are deficient and weak compared to other regions of the world. Nevertheless, the African country of Ghana, despite its acute healthcare and scientific infrastructure deficit, is achieving some innovational and scientific breakthroughs in the COVID-19 fight. Ghanaian scientist was among the first in Africa to successfully sequenced the genome of the novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2). The country’s laboratory leading the fight has also introduced some innovative testing methods allowing the country to test a far greater scale per million than the rest of Africa. Besides, drones are being used to deliver samples to laboratory centers for testing. Local scientists and developers have also developed rapid diagnostic test kits, ventilators, and solar-powered handwashing machines. This paper highlights Ghana’s innovativeness, scientific, and technological breakthroughs achieved so far in the fight against the pandemic.

Liying Yu, Hongda Liu, Ardjouman Diabate, Yuyao Qian, Hagan Sibiri, and Bing Yan, “Assessing Influence Mechanism of Green Utilization of Agricultural Wastes in Five Provinces of China through Farmers’ Motivation-Cognition-Behavior.” International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 17, 3381, (May 2020).

Abstract: Using the theory of motivation, and the theory of planned behavior, this study establishes the “motivation-cognition-behavior” model of green utilization of agricultural waste from the perspective of farmers. In the motivational dimension, eight motivational factors were determined in three sub-dimensions of extrinsic motivation. In the cognitive dimension, three sub-dimensions of subjective norms, behavioral attitude, and perceived behavioral control are also determined. In the behavioral dimension, two sub-dimensions of utilization intention and utilization behavior are specified. Methodologically, a questionnaire on the green utilization of agricultural waste of 704 peasant households in five provinces of Jiangsu, Anhui, Shaanxi, Gansu, and Sichuan was administered. With the help of the structural equation model, the influence path and the internal mechanism was then analyzed. It is shown that: (1) in relation to the “motivational dimension → cognitive dimension,” extrinsic motivation significantly promotes the cultivation of farmers’ subjective norms, in which positive broken windows theory has a positive effect. In contrast, negative broken windows theory has a negative one. In intrinsic motivation, the behavior attitude of farmers is negative. In the response analysis, farmers can realize that their ability, self-efficacy, response efficacy, and response cost all have a positive impact on farmers’ perceived behavioral control. (2) In relation of the “cognitive dimension → behavioral dimension,” behavioral attitude slightly hinders utilization intention, while subjective norms and perceived behavioral control all contribute to a stronger utilization intention; the utilization intention maintains a positive correlation with the utilization behavior.

Ardjouman Diabate, Hagan Sibiri, Linyu Wang, and Liying Yu, “Assessing SMEs’ Sustainable Growth through Entrepreneurs’ Ability and Entrepreneurial Orientation: An Insight into SMEs in Côte d’Ivoire.” Sustainability, 11(24): 7149, (Dec. 2019).

Abstract: In most countries, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) play a key role in driving sustainable economic growth and job creation; hence, the need to investigate factors (e.g., entrepreneurial factors) that influence SMEs’ sustainable growth (SMESG). This study provides an insight into entrepreneurs’ abilities (EAs) that affect SMESG in Côte d’Ivoire (a middle-income economy located in the West African region) and an assessment of the extent to which entrepreneurial orientation (EO) influences the EA–SMESG relationship. By using data from 320 Ivorian SMEs, the results of hypothesis testing confirm an association between SMESG and each EA dimension (creativity, risk control, relationship, and opportunity detection ability), learning ability excepted. As for the moderating effect of EO, the innovativeness in entrepreneurship positively and significantly regulates the EA–SMESG relationship; proactiveness positively regulates the relationship between almost all EA dimensions and SMESG; and risk tendency regulates the relationship EA–SMESG for creativity and risk-control ability. Based on major findings, management implications are formulated in relation to promoting SMEs’ sustainable growth. For example, in light of the impact of EA on SMESG, development actors can increase the efficiency of Ivorian SMEs through actions aiming at strengthening the abilities of entrepreneurs and managers.

Hagan Sibiri, “East Asia in Africa: The ‘Rival’ Policy Frameworks and the Prospect for Cooperation.” East Asian Community Review, 2(2): 125–147, (July 2019).

Abstract: This article engages in a comparative analysis of the foreign policy frameworks employed by East Asian countries of China, Japan, and Korea in pursuing their respective African policy. Having identified some convergence in the policy approach and policy interest, it proceeded to explore the prospect of synergistic interaction in shared areas of interest, viz. how the three countries can leverage their existing trilateral cooperation mechanism, and their shared self-interest in the development priorities of Africa to pursue a cooperative agenda. It is argued that the contemporary strategic focus of Africa by East Asia can be grasped in the context of unprecedented East Asia–Africa relations achieved through the institutionalization of dialogue-oriented foreign policy frameworks as the ultimate enablers. As key diplomatic and development stakeholders in Africa, China, Japan and Korea should strive for complementary engagement and cooperation in shared areas of interest to support Africa’s development priorities.

Hagan Sibiri, “The Capital of Public Agenda-Setting: Case Study of Xi Jinping’s Anti-Graft Campaign.” Afro Asian Journal of Social Sciences, 9(4): 1–17, (2018).

Abstract: The article examines (within the context of agenda-setting functions of the media) the influence of the Chinese mass media in public perception of corruption. It not only charts the overall trend of Corruption Perception since Xi Jinping launched his far-reaching anti-graft drive but also demonstrates how the media is being required and used as a propaganda tool in the anti-graft campaign. The article largely draws upon existing survey data on corruption perception and news reports from 2012 to 2017. The analysis shows a plummet in public perception of corruption from the onset of Xi’s anti-graft crackdown. However, a series of CPC and state-backed anti-graft mass media propaganda have had some positive influence on public perception of corruption. Therefore, by inference, the best attributable explanatory factor of China’s recent improved Corruption Perception performance is the mass media anti-graft propaganda.

Hagan Sibiri, “Regional Integration through Common Policies: A Case Study of the Free Movement Policy in the EU and the ECOWAS.” Covenant University Journal of Politics and International Affairs, 4(2): 51–73, (Dec. 2016).

Abstract: This paper juxtaposes the conceptualization of the EU and ECOWAS and applies it to analyze the progress of both EU and ECOWAS integration process. The free movement policy within both the EU and ECOWAS was used as a case study. The paper basically relied and built on existing literature on the EU and ECOWAS regional integration efforts. The paper reveals that, unlike the EU that has chalked many successes in its regional integration efforts, ECOWAS has been on the reverse due to largely the political instability and bad governance that have plagued many ECOWAS countries; as well as the weakness of the national economies. The EU has delivered half a century of prosperity, peace and stability, raised the living standards within EU, and launched a free movement policy as well as a single European currency (the Euro), by contrast, the dream of ECOWAS single currency ̳the Eco‘ has been a mirage, the only field ECOWAS seems to rival the EU is it protocol on free movement within the ECOWAS region and the issuance of a single ECOWAS themed passport among Member countries.

Book Chapter(s)

Hagan Sibiri, “Present and Emerging Threats to Ghana-China Relations.” In Sixty Years of Ghana-China Relations: Friendship, Friction, and the Future, ed., Lloyd G. Amoah, Accra: University of Ghana Press, (2021), 145–164.

Abstract: Ghana-China relations have experienced gradual progress over the past six decades – shifting from politically oriented in the 1960s to an all-inclusive front today. The relations are, however, not without trials and setbacks. Despite the positivity, conflicts and challenges have surfaced and continue to emerge; hence the relations have not always been rosy. Recent interactions have occasionally been characterized by tensions ranging from diplomatic expressions of disapproval or warnings and implicit retaliatory actions. This chapter focuses on two contending threat sources: external and domestic, to shed light on the present and emerging issues detrimental to the relations. We argue that although the six-decade relations have been relatively successful, it has sometimes been impeded by momentous events, which inter alia ranges from political, economic to social issues. Notably, whereas the daunting challenge in the Cold War-era was ideologically induced, the present and emerging ones are non-ideological – mainly arising from sentimental issues and rhetoric. These new realities have tested and continue to present a test to the ongoing and future relations.

Internally Peer-Reviewed Articles

Hagan Sibiri and Ignatius G.D. Suglo, “Handling Contested Truths in Times of Crises: Ghana’s COVID-19 Experience.” Somatosphere, (July 2021).

Abstract: In this piece, we ask how discourses about the COVID-19 were and are being used as an essential tool for contesting these truths, fostering inclusiveness, and shaping perceptions of the country’s handling of COVID-19 and vaccination program. Through the case of Ghana, we challenge the bleak picture painted by Western agencies, demonstrating instead how African states’ interventions mobilized various stakeholders to respond to the pandemic.

Hagan Sibiri, “Politicians Are Taking Advantage of Anti-Chinese Sentiments for Electoral Purposes.” Harvard Kennedy School Review, (March 2020).

Abstract: China’s entanglement in the domestic politics of other countries has resulted in rising anti-Chinese sentiments, especially during times when countries hold elections. Given its timeliness, politicians have used people’s frustration with China’s exploitation of their nation as a talking point to gain electoral support. This article examines how politicians around the world are increasingly taking advantage of Anti-Chinese sentiments for electoral purposes

Hagan Sibiri, “Africa-East Asia Relations: Any Opportunities for Japan-China Cooperation?” Harvard Africa Policy Journal, (Dec. 2019).

East Asia’s footprints in Africa over the past few decades have significantly evolved from mere diplomatic presence to encompass steadfast multilateral engagements. The growing engagements have been enabled by the two major East Asian countries—Japan and China. However, scholars and the news media have widely interpreted the policy of China and Japan towards Africa as a strategic attempt by the two East Asian powers to counter each other’s growing influence in Africa. Moving beyond such narrowly focused interpretation and analyses, this commentary examines the possibility of a Japan-China cooperation on the African continent.

Hagan Sibiri, “Chinese Miners’ Illegal Hunt for Gold in Ghana.” East Asia ForumAustralian National University (Nov. 2019).

Abstract: Ghana is Africa’s second-largest gold producer after South Africa and small-scale mining accounts for about 30 per cent of total gold output. The small-scale mining sector was legalized in 1989 for citizens while explicitly forbidding the involvement of foreigners. But since 2010, Ghana has become an attractive destination for foreign gold mercantilists, particularly those from China. This commentary examines the politics of Chinese involvement and illegalities thereof.

Hagan Sibiri, “Why China? The Perspective from Inside Africa.” Harvard Africa Policy Journal(Oct. 2018).

Decoding the outcome of the Forum, this article goes beyond the usual media and scholastic analysis of the schism of Chinaʼs scramble for Africaʼs resources and the economic dimensions to examine why Chinaʼs approach has become so attractive to Africa.

Book Reviews

Hagan Sibiri, “Africa and the World: Bilateral and Multilateral International Diplomacy.” African Studies Quarterly(2019), 18(3): 87–89.

A review of the book “Africa and the World: Bilateral and Multilateral International Diplomacy” by Dawn Nagar and Charles Mutasa (eds.) (2018).

Hagan Sibiri, “The Globalization of Foreign Investment in Africa: The Role of Europe, China, and India.” Public Administration & Development, (2018), 38(3): 130–131.

A review of the book “The Globalization of Foreign Investment In Africa: The Role of Europe, China, and India” by Adams Bodomo, (2017).

Hagan Sibiri, “Neo-Colonialism and the Poverty of ‘Development’ in Africa.” Africa Spectrum, (2018), 53(3), 140–142.

A review of the book “Neo-Colonialism and the Poverty of ‘Development’ in Africa” by Mark Langan (2018).

Other Web-Based Publication

Hagan Sibiri, “The Dilemma of Chinese Gold Miners in Ghana.” Black Livity China, (Jan. 2020).

A general overview of the issue of Chinese Gold miners in Ghana

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