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School of Politics and International Relations

Dr Innocent (Ib) Batsani-Ncube, BA (UNISA), Dip Ed (UZ), PGDip (NUST), MSc (Royal Holloway) PhD (SOAS)

Innocent (Ib)

Lecturer in African Politics

Room Number: ArtsOne, 2.24
Twitter: @ibkimba
Office Hours: Tuesday 11.30am-12.30pm (online - email to book) and Thursday 3.30-4.30pm (in person - drop in)


Ib is an interdisciplinary Politics and International Relations scholar – trained in Africa and the UK – with substantial pre-doctoral experience in development practice and political analysis gained in 16 years of policy engagement in Southern Africa. His research explores how African countries’ donor-recipient relationship with China and other emerging powers from the Global South impact African domestic political institutions. He has published well received articles in area and disciplinary journals and has a forthcoming book on this subject.

Ib received his PhD in May 2022 from SOAS, University of London, where he wrote a dissertation on the politics and implications of Chinese government funded and constructed Parliament buildings in Lesotho, Malawi and Zimbabwe. Before joining the School of Politics and International Relations at Queen Mary, Ib was an Usawa Postdoctoral Research Fellow and a postgraduate module convener at SOAS. 

Ib is a recipient of the Chevening Scholarship Award which funded his MSc in Elections, Campaigns and Democracy at Royal Holloway, University of London. Prior to coming to academia, he was a leading figure in Zimbabwean civil society, where he founded a youth leadership development organisation – the Contemporary Affairs Foundation – managed United Nations Democracy Fund (UNDEF) supported civic projects and participated in the Zimbabwe national constitution making process.


Research Interests:

  • Political relations between China and African States
  • Political relations between the Communist Party of China and the Former Liberation Movements in Southern Africa 
  • Westminster-adapted parliamentary politics in Africa
  • Politics of African Cities
  • Politics of Sport

Examples of research funding:

Ib’s recent work has been supported by the following grants:

SOAS, University of London Research grant (£5000)

European Research Council funded African State Architecture | SOAS University of London (PhD Studentship)


Peer-reviewed articles:

Batsani-Ncube. I (2022) Purpose-built parliament buildings and the institutionalisation of parliament in Lesotho and Malawi. Parliamentary Affairs. (DOI: gsac017)

Batsani-Ncube. I (2022) Whose building: tracing the politics of the China funded parliament building in Lesotho. Journal of Southern African Studies 48(5) DOI 

Manful, K., Batsani-Ncube, I., & Gallagher, J. (2022). Invented modernisms: getting to grips with modernity in three African state buildings. Curator: The Museum Journal.

Batsani-Ncube. I (2021) Governing from the opposition? Tracing the impact of EFF’s ‘niche populist politics’ on ANC policy shifts. Africa Review, (13) 2, pp 199-216.

Book chapter:

Batsani-Ncube. I (2022) China’s ‘parliament building gift’ to Malawi: Exploring its rationale, tensions and asymmetrical gains. In Tomkinson, J; Mulugeta, D and Gallagher, J (eds): Architecture and Politics in Africa: making, living and imagining identities through buildings: London: James Currey. 

Book review:

Batsani-Ncube. I (2021) EXCELGATE: how Zimbabwe’s 2018 Presidential election was 
stolen, Journal of Contemporary African Studies, (40) 1, pp 149-151.

Documentary Film

Batsani-Ncube, I (2023)  Zimbabwe Chinese government and constructed funded parliament building, the African State Architecture Project, SOAS, University of London

Public engagement (selected):

Interview - South African Broadcasting Corporation. ‘Zanu PF re-elects Mnangagwa as president for another five years’. 30/10/2022

Op-ed - The Zimbabwe Independent Newspaper. 'Do Zimbabweans prefer democracy?'. 15/12/2017

Op-ed - The Zimbabwe Independent Newspaper. 'Advice to the new President'. 01/12/2017


Ib is keen to hear from prospective PhD students working on the following areas: China – Global South relations, China – Africa relations & African politics – especially but not limited to Southern African politics.

Public Engagement

Ib has consulted for the Friedrich Naumann Foundation, served Research team member of the LSE Research project on China-Global South Voting Alignment in the UN, served as Executive Director of the Contemporary Affairs Foundation and managed United Nations Democracy Fund supported civic interventions in Zimbabwe.

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