The Migration-Development Nexus for Chinese Health Professionals in Africa

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Please find below details of the seminar 'The Migration-Development Nexus for Chinese Health Professionals in Africa' taking place on the 6th of February. 4-5pm. This seminar series is part of the Option course on transnationalism and diasporas of the MSc in Migration Studies 2020–21 convened by both Emmanouil Pratsinakis and Marie Godin.

Author: Olivia Gieskes (University of Edinburgh)  


Title: The Migration-Development Nexus for Chinese Health Professionals in Africa 



Abstract: Debates on South-South migration of health professionals in Africa largely focuses on intraregional migration. Migration of health professionals from other continents in the global South to Africa is underexplored. This lecture discusses the migration of Chinese health professionals to Africa. Migration flows from China to Africa includes temporary migration of state-sponsored health workers but also increasingly longer settlements of health professionals and medicine practitioners who migrate independently to establish private clinics or trade Traditional Chinese Medicines. This latter development coincides with China’s burgeoning economic presence on the continent. However, the types of entry in African countries and opportunities to create transnational development networks depend on varied migration regimes across the continent. This lecture first outlines key developments that characterise migration of Chinese health professionals to Africa. Secondly, empirical data from a case study of Chinese health workers in Rwanda is discussed. Drawing from in-depth interviews with Chinese doctors and nurses, the lecture describes drivers that inform migration, multifarious imageries of Africa and identities that mediate local experiences, expectations and home-making practices. It also addresses opportunities and challenges regarding the migration-development nexus in the Rwandan context. Migration of Chinese health professionals to Africa is a small but dynamic phenomenon in China-Africa ties. The lecture encourage further research to capture a more complete picture of the migration of Chines health professionals to Africa and improve understanding of the implications for development. 




Olivia Gieskes is a s a PhD candidate at the Centre of African Studies of the University of Edinburgh. Her research centres on Chinese health assistance in Rwanda, with a particular emphasis on examining local practices of Chinese Medical Teams. She previously studied at Peking University and obtained a BSc and MSc in Political Sciences from the University of Amsterdam and a MSc in Cultural Anthropology and Development Studies from KU Leuven. In addition, Olivia is active in the Afroeuropeans Network, an organization of scholars, artists and activists who work on improving political, economic and socio-cultural status of black communities in Europe. 


Please follow the link to join the lecture.