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School of Social and Political Science: Graduate school


Elisa Gambino

Elisa Gambino
Elisa Gambino
School of Social and Political Science University of Edinburgh
Edinburgh UK
Research Interests
Belt and Road Initiative, Transport Corridors, China, Kenya, Infrastructure, Emerging Economies, Financialisation, Port Studies

PhD Title

PhD on China-Africa Relations in Infrastructure Development

Elisa Gambino is a Doctoral Researcher on the AFRIGOS project.

Elisa is contributing research on Chinese engagement in East African infrastructure development and Africa's role in the Belt and Road Initiative. Her research focuses on the cases of Lamu port in Kenya and Bagamoyo port in Tanzania. 


Prof. Paul Nugent, Dr. Wolfgang Zeller, Dr. Daniel Hammond


Joint East Asian Studies Conference (JEASC),  4-6th September 2019, The University of Edinburgh, UK. Paper title: "Hidden power-geometries of transport infrastructure: the case of Lamu port"

Paving the Path for the Belt and Road Initiative, 16th August 2019, The University of Greenwich, UK. Panel Chair and presenter, paper title: "Chinese participation in infrastructure development in Kenya: between regulation and implementation" (co-author Davide Zoppolato) 

8th European Conference of African Studies (ECAS), 12-14 June 2019, The University of Edinburgh, UK. Paper title: "Catching pace with Sino-African Engagement"

Global Asias 5, 4-6 April 2019, Pennsylvania State College, USA. Paper title: "Hidden power-geometries of transport infrastructure: the case of Lamu port"

Oxford China-Africa Network Conference, 22 May 2018, The University of Oxford, UK. Paper title: "The paradox of greenfield: power-relations within (not-so) new spaces"

4th Global China Dialouge, 1st December 2017, London, UK. Paper title: "Impact of the Belt and Road Initiative on African Societies"


3rd International Conference on the Belt and Road Initiative, The University of Edinburgh, UK. Panel oragniser together with Dr. Ling Liu and presenter. 

China in Africa and Africa in China Conference: Impact on Local Societies, Economies and Cultures, 12-13 December, 2019, Ghent University, Belgium. Paper title: "Chinese participation in Kenyan transport infrastructure projects: reshaping local power-geometries?


"Sino-African Engagement in the 21st Century" (Organiser and Chair) 17th June 2019, The University of Edinburgh, UK

"Interdisciplinary Marine Social Science" (Participant) 17-18th September 2019, University of Lancaster, UK


Full scholarship (2017-2020) as part of the AFRIGOS research project funded by the European Research Council (ERC) advanced grant ADG-2014–670851

Previous Education:

Visiting Young Synologists Programme (2018) at Peking University, China

Master's in Chinese Studies, University of Edinburgh (2015-2017)

BA in Applied Languages Chinese and English, University of Turin (2011-2014)

Language student at Fudan University, China (2012 and 2016); Beijing Language and Culture University, China (2013); East China Normal University (2015). 


Gambino, E. (2018). L'Africa nelle nuove vie della seta cinesi. Istituto per gli studi di politica internazionale (ISPI). 

Gambino, E. (2017). Translation from Chinese of the “Joint Statement by the People’s Republic of China and Oriental Republic of Uruguay on Establishing a Strategic Partnership”. China Development Agenda

Gambino, E. (2017) “China-Mongolia-Russia Economic Corridor: the Next Step towards a Eurasian Highway”. China Development Agenda

Gambino, E. (2017) Translation from Chinese of the “Plan on Establishing the China-Mongolia-Russian Economic Corridor”. China Development Agenda

Gambino, E. (2016). The People’s Republic of China’s Pro Status Quo Approach in Cross-Strait Relations. Global Politics Review, pp. 39-49. (peer-reviewed)

Gambino, E. (2016)Publication of the article “Filipino attitude towards the Belt and Road Initiative”. China Development Agenda