The Centre for Chinese Studies

The Centre for Chinese Studies (CCS), at Stellenbosch University, serves as the most prominent and high quality point of reference for the study of China and East Asia on the African continent.

Latest Commentary

China’s investment in Zimbabwe’s agrarian reform

picture-124 October 2016

Since announcing Zimbabwe’s Look East policy in 2003, Chinese investors have established a strong presence in Zimbabwe’s tobacco sector. With the aim of creating partnerships to rehabilitate agriculture, Zimbabwe exported over 54 percent of its tobacco to China in 2015. Recently, President Robert Mugabe’s announcement to lease tobacco producing farms to Chinese nationals has reignited controversy over Zimbabwe’s land reform policies, even inciting a social media campaign -#Chinesefarmersmustfall. The acquisition of previously white-owned farms by Chinese immigrants marks a notable shift in government-to-government financing towards business partnerships with Zimbabwean farmers. This commentary explores how Chinese foreign investment has engaged in Zimbabwe’s agricultural sector and further examines some of the implications for the sector. [Continue reading]

By Tichafa ChidzongaTich
Research Assistant 
Centre for Chinese Studies
Stellenbosch University

Scholarship Opportunity

Scholarship opportunity for Korean Studies in 2017


The Academy of Korean Studies supports postgraduate students in the writing stages if a Master’s thesis on issues relating to Korea.  The fund is available to candidates for the 2017 academic year.

The submission deadline for applications is 31 October 2016 for funding in 2017.

Scholarship Amount

The scholarship provides up to ZAR 84’000.  Eligible candidates will receive additional support to field research in Korea.


• Candidates must be at least in the final year of their Honour’s degrees when they apply for the Scholarship.
• They must already have been admitted to their studies at Stellenbosch University (Humanities & Social Sciences).
• Their thesis topic must be aligned to Korea or the Korea-Africa relationship.

How to Apply

The following (in English) must be submitted with the application:

• Cover letter (max. 1 page)
• CV (max. 1 page / including name and contact information of one reference)
• Research Proposal (max. 2 pages)
• Academic transcripts (BA and Honours degrees)


Centre for Chinese Studies
Dr Yejoo Kim (

Recent Publications

Economic repercussions of the Look East Policy in Zimbabwe

ccs_pb_china_zimbabwe_look-east-policy_2016Policy Brief no. 3 – September 2016

In 2003, Zimbabwe formally announced the Look East Policy (LEP) in the face of economic sanctions by the West. This, coupled with the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) of 2000, has strengthened trade and bilateral investments between Zimbabwe and China. China is increasingly involved in Zimbabwe’s agriculture, mining, construction, and tourism industries. There is also an influx of Chinese entrepreneurs in Zimbabwe’s retail industry. The repercussions of the LEP have been mixed. In this policy brief, we critically engage with three sectors: agriculture, mining, and the informal sector; in order to provide an overview of the effects that LEP has had on Zimbabwe focusing on the period 2010-2016. We also propound some recommendations for more positive outcomes in the future. [Continue reading]


CCS in the Media

South Africa Expert: BRIC cooperation to promote sustained growth in Africa

1453516866227_21018 October 2016

Research Fellow, Dr. Emmanuel Igbinoba, was recently interviewed by (North Korea News World) on BRICS cooperation to promote sustainable growth in Africa.  [Watch interview on v.ifeng news here]