Profile of Ms. Zahra R. Baitie - Director
Zahra R. Baitie is a Sino-Africa scholar and consultant. Educated in Ghana, the United States, and China she considers herself a globally minded-citizen with a pan-African spirit.
Passionate about African development and agency in world affairs, Zahra has previously worked as a consultant for Dalberg Global Development Advisors and Econet Wireless where she worked in several African countries - Nigeria, Rwanda, Tanzania, South Africa, Ghana and Zimbabwe. Her work has focused on institutional building, strategic planning for governments and private actors, designing youth employment and agricultural development programs, and supporting investment facilitation.
Fluent in Mandarin, Zahra has spent extensive time living and traveling across China and is driven to improve Sino-Africa affairs. She believes increased African agency in the Africa-China relationship is pivotal to reap the potential benefits of China's engagement in Africa, and is thus driven to contribute to that cause. In 2018, Zahra founded Kente and Silk a company that aims to change the status quo of Africa-Asia relations. She successfully designed and executed Beijing’s first ever: ‘Africa Week’. A week-long of cultural and discursive Africa-centred activities across Beijing that aimed to increase positive engagement of Africa in China. The initiative engaged over a 1000 people and successfully raised ~ $5,000, which was awarded to a promising African start-up in Beijing: Nani’s Creations.
As a beneficiary of world-class education from prestigious institutions, Zahra is passionate about leveraging education to create opportunities. In Ghana, her dedication to public and community service has been recognized by awards and she is the recipient of the Zonta International Young Women in Public Affairs Award. She now serves on the board of Merton International School to help contribute towards the goal of ‘raising a standard of excellence’ in Ghana’s educational landscape.
Zahra is a graduate from Yale University, where she graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Global Affairs and distinguished herself with several Dean’s Awards for Leadership and Academic Excellence. At Yale, Zahra’s interest in development and conflict resolution led her to co-found the Yale Association for African Peace and Development (YAAPD) that seeks to promote scholarship and awareness on issues related to development in Africa and to support youth-led ventures with a social impact focus. YAAPD hosts the largest undergraduate conference on African Development in the U.S. and is now 6 years old.
Zahra is also a graduate from the competitive Schwarzman Scholars Master’s Program at Tsinghua University – China’s premier university. While at Schwarzman College, she obtained an MSc in Global Affairs and concentrated on Public Policy and Sino-Africa relations.
Zahra is Ghanaian, Lebanese and British but considers Ghana her home.