Mandira is a PhD candidate at the University of Cape Town (UCT), South Africa, and an alumna of Fudan University in China. She holds a Research Associate position at the Fondation pour la Recherche Stratégique (Foundation for Strategic Research) in France. Mandira is also a member of UNESCO’s Inclusive Policy Lab and the China-Africa Project’s (CAP) Expert Network. She is also a mentor at the New Silk Roads Academy at the International Institute for Asian Studies at Leiden University, the Netherlands.
Mandira has experience working at think tanks, in the corporate sector, and lecturing at universities. She was a research assistant at the Centre for Conflict Resolution, a pan-African organisation. Mandira also held a position as an Asia-Pacific country risk analyst for S-RM, a British risk and intelligence consultancy, and provided consulting services for Africa-focused research intelligence companies. She also taught at a postgraduate level at UCT and was a guest lecturer for Stellenbosch University’s Centre for Chinese Studies in South Africa. Additionally, Mandira also provides insightful commentary on Africa and China-Africa relations for local news and international media outlets. Her research interests include Africa’s industrialisation and infrastructure development, Africa’s regional integration, African geopolitics, China-Africa relations, China’s Belt and Road Initiative, and the political economy of energy and natural resources.