Al Jazeera Media Network

'China has conquered Kenya': Inside Beijing's new strategy to win African hearts and minds

'China has conquered Kenya': Inside Beijing's new strategy to win African hearts and minds

It took the StarTimes satellite TV salesman about 30 minutes to install a pipeline for Chinese propaganda into Francis Gitonga’s squat, cinder-block home here in southern Kenya, near Africa’s Great Rift Valley.

First, he climbed onto Gitonga’s roof, drilled a satellite dish onto the chimney, and dangled some wires through the door frame. He plugged it all into a StarTimes set-top box, and turned it on.

Gitonga, 43, flipped through the channels, and Chinese programs filled the screen: an old kung fu movie, a Chinese news broadcast, a Chinese documentary about Japan’s wartime atrocities, most dubbed into English.

70°