Case 5: How to Make Friends in Rwanda: A Chinese Tea Ceremony

  • Christian Martin Boness
Part of the Palgrave Studies in African Leadership book series (PSAL)


The Chinese owner of a flower retail company invites the Rwandan executive manager of a tin smelting company to a tea ceremony. The situation takes place in Kigali, capital of Rwanda. Mr Sung wants to strengthen the relationship with his Rwandan friend, Mr Nyara, whose company is located 80 kilometres away. During their discussions, the two men exchange numerous ideas on general economic development of their respective companies. Thereafter, Mr Sung provides deeper insight into Chinese cultural aspects and rituals and explains the deeper meaning of hosting tea parties in Chinese contexts. Mr Nyara remembers that he once read about Chinese negotiation strategies and stratagems, particularly when negotiating with foreign business partners, and also about Chinese investments into natural resources, as well as opaque policies of Chinese investors. Mr Nyara is unsure of the reliability of his friendship with Mr Sung.


Tea ceremony Guanxi Business strategies Environment Long-term orientation Graft 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Christian Martin Boness
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of ManagementRhodes UniversityGrahamstownSouth Africa

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