Lily Kuo


Lily Kuo covers East Africa and China's presence in Africa from Nairobi. She previously reported for Quartz from Hong Kong. Before that she covered general news for Reuters in New York and Washington and reported from China for the Los Angeles Times among other publications. She holds a dual master’s degree in international affairs from the London School of Economics and Peking University, as well as degrees in English and Spanish from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She won the 2014 Society of American Business Editors and Writers award for best international feature for a series on China's water crisis.



| Lily Kuo

South Sudan’s youth cope with war by partying in the day time

  Juba, South Sudan On Sunday afternoons after church, Wokil Makuei, 21, usually heads to the club. Fueled by soda and dancehall beats, he and his friends will party for the next several hours, grinding…

| Lily Kuo

There’s at least one place in Africa where China’s “win win” diplomacy is failing

Juba, South Sudan The rice giving ceremony is more than an hour late. Zhang Yi, China’s economic attaché in South Sudan, sits in the mid-morning heat in a full suit, occasionally checking his phone, a…

| Lily Kuo

One of Africa’s Great Lakes is at risk of a massive gas explosion

In 1986, fishermen and villagers in northwest Cameroon experienced one of the world’s strangest natural disasters. Lake Nyos, a crater lake near a chain of volcanoes, exploded. A massive cloud of carbon dioxide released into…

| Lily Kuo

To stop relying on Western hand-me downs, African countries are importing Chinese textile companies

  Kigali, Rwanda Every day the workers at C&H Garment Factory are required to learn a few words of Chinese. Today’s lesson, written on a whiteboard at the back of a humming factory floor, is…

| Lily Kuo

Rwanda is a landlocked country with few natural resources. So why is China investing so heavily in it?

Kigali, Rwanda It’s hard not to see China’s footprint wherever one goes in Rwanda. Chinese engineers have designed and built the country’s tallest building, Kigali City Tower, a gleaming 20-story glass skyscraper; the building that…

| Lily Kuo

China is on a mission to modernize African farming—and find new markets for its own companies

Huye District, Rwanda Inside a gated white complex set back on a hill in southern Rwanda, a team of Chinese agronomists tends to 22 hectares (54 acres) of rice paddies, trenches of mushrooms, and rows…