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Whitworth professor and senior to present lecture on “China in Africa” April 25

April 18, 2013

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Whitworth Assistant Professor of Economics and Business Eugene Bempong Nyantaki and Whitworth senior Ryan Knight will present “China in Africa” in Whitworth’s 56th annual Great Decisions Lecture Series. The lecture will take place Thursday, April 25, at 7:30 p.m. in the Robinson Teaching Theatre in Whitworth’s Weyerhaeuser Hall. For more information, please call (509) 777-4937.

Nyantaki, who hails from Ghana, is an expert in development and international trade and finance. Knight, an international and peace studies double-major, has studied in both China and Tanzania. He was a delegate to a West Point conference dealing with Sino-American relations.

“Not a day passes without some news on the role of China in Africa,” says Nyantaki. “Many in Africa are worried about Chinese business strategies on the continent, and the West seems concerned about how China’s influence is going to affect its economic and security interests in the region.”

The lecture will focus on China’s economic interest of sourcing raw materials to feed its growing manufacturing industry, Africa’s ability to adapt to Chinese technology to feed that growth, and ways in which the West, China, and Africa can engage in what Nyantaki calls a “win-win-win” approach to economic integration on the African continent.

After studying in China and Tanzania, Knight’s view of people in both countries was deeply affected. “I originally chose to travel to China because I considered it to be the most terrifying place that Whitworth would send me,” he says. “Once I arrived in China, made friends and learned to speak some Mandarin, I learned that China was an absolutely wonderful place full of people who weren’t that different from the people back home.” By relating his experiences from abroad, Knight hopes that people who attend the lecture will walk away with a deeper respect for the human experience in China and Africa.

Great Decisions 2013 is sponsored by the Whitworth Political Science Department. The April 25 lecture will be the last in the Great Decisions 2013 series.

Located in Spokane, Wash., Whitworth is a private liberal arts university affiliated with the Presbyterian Church (USA). The university, which has an enrollment of 3,000 students, offers 60 undergraduate and graduate degree programs.


Kathy Fechter, academic program assistant, political science department, Whitworth University, (509) 777-4739 or

Lucas Beechinor, media relations manager, Whitworth University, (509) 777-4703 or