Mo-bike – the development dream?

I remember the day I noticed mo-bikes, the new shared bikes that have literally taken over several cities in China. They had this attractive bright orange design, and I would spot them parked in random places, rather than dedicated bike holds. I was so curious I took a photo to later ask my Chinese friends…

Speech: China-Africa reporting needs more oil!

尊敬的各位来宾,女士们, 先生们, 大家下午好!Wanawake  na mabwana, Habari zenu! Ladies and gentlemen, good afternoon. It is a real pleasure to be here today to open this first ever award ceremony aiming to both recognise and incentivise the best Chinese reporting on my home continent, Africa. Thank you for the invitation from both Tsinghua University and the Gates…

Op-Ed: The End of Poverty in China?

One of the most cited statistics about China may well be the number of Chinese who have been lifted out of poverty over the last 35 years. At over 800 million, it is a huge number – and an extraordinary feat. Indeed, no other country has achieved such a level of poverty reduction over such…

Opinion: Is China really helping Africa?

There is no doubt that relations between China and African countries are becoming ever more intertwined and important. In what has now become an annual tradition to visit Africa as a priority continent at the beginning of the year, Foreign Minister Wang Yi’s visit to five African countries illustrates the close relationship. China’s top foreign…

Will China’s social media fly global in 2017?

The beginning of the year – Western or Chinese – always means its resolution time. For the year of the rooster, I’ve been toying with the idea of trying to cut my social media addiction, which has really grown over time.  A few years ago, when living and working in the UK, there were three…

Who’s got the bargaining power?

As part of my preparation to return to work early next year, I have recently started the search for someone to look after my son full-time during the day. Being in Beijing, I don’t have the same network of family I would otherwise depend on, and nurseries tend to only admit children from 18 months…

To heat or not to heat?

I’ve recently discovered that my 5 month-old son is quite sensitive to cold. As temperatures have dipped in Beijing, he, my husband and I have therefore had two weeks of sleepless nights. But why haven’t we switched on the heating to avoid these sleepless nights? Well, in Beijing, November 15th and March 15th are dates…

Belt and Road… Reminds me of…

There’s a song by one of my favourite RnB artists Usher, called “You remind me“. In it, Usher tells a new girlfriend that she’s like a previous girlfriend that he fell in love with, who treated him badly. His question is therefore a simple one – to date or not to date his new girlfriend? I…

Summits as game-changers? Really?

Late last year and early this year African heads of state and Government leaders gathered together at two key events. The first was the 6th summit of the Forum on China Africa Cooperation (FOCAC). The second was the 26th African Union Summit, hosted at the African Union headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, which was built…

Hairstyles and the G20 – what to pick in China?

Most women, if and when they can, love visiting the hairdresser, especially if the results are good. It’s usually a time to get pampered, and also get an update on the latest styles and gossip. During my last visit, I asked about hair coloring. My hairdresser gave me three options. I could either stick with…

One mountain, two tigers

I’ve recently celebrated my first anniversary of working in China, and I can wholeheartedly say it has been fantastic so far. In particular I have been lucky enough to be surrounded by supportive and enthusiastic colleagues. To be very honest, I had worried about a challenge summed up well by a Chinese saying that “two…