China is broadening its efforts to win over African audiences

EVER SINCE the Kenyan government signed a deal in 2014 for a state-owned Chinese company to build a railway between Nairobi and Kenya’s main port in Mombasa, the project has attracted controversy. Its price per km was three times the international benchmark and four times the original estimate. Many Kenyans suspect corruption inflated its cost.

Unsurprisingly, such issues have received little airtime on CGTN Africa, a branch of China’s state television company, which opened its headquarters on the continent in Nairobi in 2012. When CGTN aired a package on the railway in July, the network praised it as “a case study” of China-Africa relations. In the Africa of CGTN’s imagination, every deal is…

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