Appreciate Africa is a network that was launched in Beijing China on the 29 th of June 2013, the
intention was to foster the promotion of African values socio-cultural and economic contribution
across the globe with the major focus being China. Appreciate Africa seeks to create awareness
about Africa and Africans. The major focus being the promotion and protection of their rights by
fostering an inclusive, diverse, and rich history in China and the rest of the world. Appreciate
Africa has, therefore, been on the forefront to make sure that the culture and rights of Africans
are promoted in China.
Since its inception, Appreciate African Network (AAN)was doing its job effectively to create
awareness about Africans and Africa. However, the network has been forced to engage in other
activities that include drawing the plight of Africans living in China. This is because it is the only
African NGO in China. Therefore, most Africans living in China have been bringing issues to
the network to see how they are going to render help to them and also show their plight to the
world. The issues that are usually brought to the attention of the organization include;
stigmatization, trafficking, financial needs of stranded Africans, unfair labor practices. The
effectiveness of the AAN has significantly been affected by the foreign NGO law in mainland
The Foreign NGO law that was passed in mainland China has provided several challenges to the
operation of AAN in mainland China. The following are some of the difficulties that AAN has
been facing in China:
1. Obtaining the NPO status has become a daunting task;
2. They cannot raise funds publicly, thereby limiting their operations;
3. Without the NPO status, t has been hard for if to attract donors or sponsors; and
4. Collaboration with other organizations has become a challenge.
With the aforementioned challenges that are a result of the Foreign NGO laws in China, it has
affected how AAN is operating in China. This has made it difficult for the AAN to effectively
discharge its mandate and also to protect the vulnerable Africans in China.
The restrictions imposed by the Chinese government have made it difficult for an organization
such as the AAN to play its role. With their inability to effectively operate in China, many
Africans have been abused either physically or mentally, with nowhere to report their plight
cannot be presented to the world.
2. Issue Presented
Civil society has played a fundamental role in ensuring that the state does not stretch its powers
and thereby violating the rights of human beings. As observed by Chongyi Feng on “The NGO
Law in China and its Impact on Oversea Funded NGOs,” the stringent measures undertaken
by the government seem to be a plot to violate the rights of human beings more so foreigners
without accountability being demanded from the civil society. The government has enhanced its
ability to control civil society by having a strict surveillance system on foreign NGOs; therefore,
they cannot be active as they would have been.
In an analysis released in 2018, 259 overseas NGOs were successfully registered, and 305 were
registered with representative offices. A large number of these NGOs have affiliation with the
countries that are considered to be first world countries. 70% of the registered NGOs have an
association with the United States, Japan, and South Korea. Most of the Organizations are
commerce centered; therefore, they do not focus on human rights. Consequently, civil society is
somehow crippled by the government of China.
The law has had an adverse effect on civil society like AAN, this is because they cannot freely
undertake their duties effectively. The law seems to gage the civil society from displaying the rot
that is in China, the violation of African’s rights, denial of basic amenities and being imprisoned
without fair trial. The law which was meant to provide the Chinese government with an oversight
authority over Foreign NGOs, has turned out to be a monster which has caused Africans living in
China havoc. Human rights organizations such as AAN cannot operate in China as it has been
made difficult for them to obtain the relevant licenses.
3. Effect of the Foreign NGO Law to Africans in China
The situation of Africans in China for lack of a better term can be said to be deplorable. The
limitation by the Chinese government to issue the license for Foreign NGOs such as AAN has
further led to continuous abuse of African human rights. The AAN would have highlighted the
plight of suffering to the world; this would have attracted international attention and also the
Chinese government to act quickly and remedy the continuous violation of human rights.
Without the government having stringent measures, it merely means that Africans will continue
to suffer unless there is immediate intervention. The following are some of the challenges effects
of the foreign NGO laws to Africans in China:
1. Exploitation- many African have been forced to undertake Chinese education despite it
not having a good impact on them. This has further been felt in African countries, this is
because the Chinese education system is not commensurate with the demands that is in
the African countries. Therefore, the education that Africans are being given in China
seems to be exploitive rather than educative.
2. Misrepresentation- China has been misrepresented facts about Africans especially those
living in China, they are subjected to discriminative and abusive treatment by Chinese
nationals. Africans are often compared to monkeys because of their skin color, they are
therefore subjected to inhumane treatment which should not be the case.
3. Denial of fair trial- most Africans or people of African descent have found it hard to
access to justice. Fair trial have is a fallacy to Africans, this has made them not to access
justice; thereby, they become victims of denied justice. A famous case would be that of
Wendell Brown who spent three years in prison after he was involved in a bar fight.
Wendell had been sentenced for four years and served three years until the intense
lobbying from people of the United States and activist. His sentencing was termed to be
excessive by his lawyers. This case only came to light after activist and African
Americans in the United States calling for his release, there are many Africans that are
suffering in jail as their plights cannot be presented to the rest of the world.
4. Stigmatization- Africans have suffered discrimination in China and their lives have been
difficult. For, instance, those that have existing medical condition are shunned and denied
essential rights such education. This has made those that have similar conditions not to
5. Victims of human trafficking- With lack of oversight from civic groups, Africans in
China have increasingly been victims of human tracking where they have been taken to
serve as prostitutes and source of cheap labor. Before, it was easy to identify victim of
human traffic as they would run to the nearest NGO including AAN seeking assistance.
Although this is not the case currently.
With the highlighted effects, Africans living in China have been forced to live in deplorable
conditions, where they lack the basic needs for human beings. Further, many Africans living in
China do not have access to proper health care, therefore, they suffer from poor health as result
of various ailments. There also seems to be a challenged when it comes to refugee protection in
China, many Africans have run away from their mother countries going to China to seek
protection, in turn they are suffering as they have not been accorded with any form of protection
by Chinese authority.
4. Emerging challenges faced by Africans
With the emergence of Covid-19, Africans living in China have found it difficult to survive. This
is because they have lost their source of income and with no stimulus package being given to
them by Chinese authorities. This has seen them being evicted from their houses, not being
allowed to access shops, hospitals and other essential services as they are being regarded as the
cause for Covi-19 in mainland China.
Chinese nationals have discouraged interracial marriage between Chinese and Africans who are
in China. Their argument has always been that they are trying to prevent the emergence of a new
race in China. This is a form of modern discrimination that seems to limit affection that people
have as a result of the pigmentation of their skin.
5. Cause of Action that can be undertaken by AAN.
Since operations in mainland China have become a problem, the effective remedy that is
available to the AAN is to move to Hong Kong. Hong Kong is a semi-autonomous part of China;
thereby, it has different laws with China. Once AAN can register here, it will be able to continue
to undertake its primary duty and objectives. It will further ensure that it has continuously. The
number of NGOs being registered in Hong Kong has been steadily growing (illustrated by the
Hong Kong has proximity to China; that is, it is 75 miles northwest of China. Further, it has a
robust and vibrant civil society that will assist in advocating for human rights both in Hong Kong
and mainland China. Therefore, for AAN relocating to China will be beneficial to its operations
as it will continue implementing its objective in China while in Hong Kong.
The AAN activities in Chin cannot be effective as it would have been anticipated, this is because
of the Foreign NGOs law. AAN can try to work with stakeholders such as embassies and
consulate offices within China. They can suggest to the Consulates and Embassies to focus on
looking at the interest of their people. Those countries that do not have embassies or consulates
in China can inform their citizens on the most effective way to get help when they are stranded in
China. This will help to reduce cases of human right abuse in China.
There should also be intensified lobbying by civil society in China and also international bodies
for China to repeal the law. This will help in making sure that China is able to uphold the
international standards where the rights and freedoms of individual are respected regardless of
the race. African countries that are partnering with China, can use the African Union to negotiate
with China to see how they can come with amicable laws and policies that will not discriminate
AAN should look for a favorable ground that will host them and make sure that they are able to
operate effectively. Since Hong Kong is autonomous and it is not far from China, it can set up
base within the country and make be able to operate. This will make it possible for it to show the
plight of Africans in China. They will also be able to operate without being gaged by laws that
are passed by China.
Appreciate Africa Network should consider opening an office in Hong Kong, this will provide it
with an opportunity to have their operations to be active, and they can cooperate with other
stakeholders. They will further have access to donations, grants, and funding from other
organizations; therefore, they will be able to perform their duties effectively. Hong Kong already
has some foreign NGOs working with Africans especially refugees; therefore, AAN will find
partners that will assist them in undertaking their tasks. Human rights are fundamental to the
existence of the globe; therefore, various stakeholders in the global arena should come together
and rally China to reconsider their stand on Foreign NGOs and repeal their laws. This will show
the commitment that the world has on respect human rights regardless the race, ethnicity, or even
Chongyi Feng, The NGO Law in China and its Impact on Overseas funded NGOs. Cosmopolitan
Civil Societies Journal, Vol.9, No.3, (2017)
Sidel, M. (2018). Managing the Foreign: The Drive to Securitize Foreign Nonprofit and
Foundation Management in China. International Society for Third-Sector Research and The
Johns Hopkins University.
Spires1, A. J. (2019). Regulation as Political Control: China's First Charity Law and Its
Implications for Civil Society. Sage Publishers.