Bulelani Jili

Bulelani Jili

African Studies with a primary field in Anthropology
Bulelani Jili

Bulelani Jili is a Ph.D. student with Harvard’s African and African American studies department. His research interests include Africa-China relations, Cybersecurity, ICT development, African Political Economy, Internet Policy, and Privacy Law. He is also conducting research with the China, Law, Development project at Oxford University, funded by the European Research Council, is a 5-year, interdisciplinary and multi-sited research project that aims to understand the nature of order that underlies China’s new globalism. Beside this post, he also holds a non-residential fellowship with the Center for Democracy and Technology. He supports the center’s policy work on government surveillance and data security.  He has also advised and supported the Center for Strategic and International Studies’
Human Rights Initiative at a large, which investigates the spread of facial recognition technology in Africa. His recent paper, Chinese surveillance tools in Africa, particularly discerns the exportation of Chinese surveillance technology in Africa. He has also written about the Chinese guiding cases system (Peking University Law Journal, 2019) with Guo Li, Professor of Law and Vice Dean at Peking University Law School.

As a researcher of Africa-China relations, his writing has appeared in leading African publications like the Mail & Guardian, Africa is a Country, and The Elephant.  

At Harvard, Mr Jili is a Teaching Fellow for Samantha Power, Former United States Ambassador to the United Nations, serves as a board of director and policy team  member on the Harvard COVID-19 Taskforce Students vs Pandemics initiative, Department Representative and Funding Committee Member on the Graduate Student Council, Graduate Student Council Executive Board member (as at-Large representative for Interdisciplinary Programs), Board Member of the Radcliffe Institute Student Advisory Board, Resident Tutor at Eliot House (Harvard College), Mentor in the Greener Scott Scholars Program, and Publishing Editor on the HKS Africa Policy Journal.

Prior to attending Harvard, Mr. Jili worked at the Wits institute for Social and Economic Research, in South Africa, as a Visiting Researcher. He earned an M.Phil. from Cambridge University, where he studied as a Standard Bank Africa Chairman’s Scholar. In 2016, he was awarded a Yenching Scholarship to study at the Yenching Academy of Peking University, where he received a M.A. in Economics. Studying with Prof. He Yafei, former Vice-Minister of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and Prof. Jiang Guo Hua, he studied Chinese global governance strategies and economic approaches. He holds a A.B. honors, in Philosophy, Politics and Economics (College of Social Studies), from Wesleyan University (CT), where he was a Pfeiffer Scholar.