New publication from Africa Research Institute: Zhong Jinhua on trade, aid and jobs.
Zhong Jianhua on trade, aid and jobs
Zhong Jianhua on trade, aid and jobs

Zhong Jianhua
on trade, aid and jobs


Dear friends and colleagues,

Africa Research Institute (ARI) is pleased to announce publication of the inaugural edition in our Conversations series: Zhong Jianhua on trade, aid and jobs.

Zhong Jianhua, China’s Special Representative on African Affairs, offers a direct and considered response to the charge levelled by Lamido Sanusi, Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, that China has contributed to Africa’s “deindustrialisation and underdevelopment”. He rejects any analogy between China-Africa trade patterns and those of the colonial era but agrees that Africa must regard China as a competitor pursuing its own interests. Ambassador Zhong observes many similarities between the policy choices facing African governments in the 2000s and those confronted by China during the 1980s and 1990s. He emphasises that China itself is still a developing country – and one which has a great deal to learn about Africa.

In this interview with Edward Paice, Director of Africa Research Institute, Zhong also responds to common criticisms of China’s policy and conduct in Africa. He insists that it is China’s responsibility to help African nations compete in the global economy. While acknowledging the imperative shared by all developing economies to maximise agricultural potential, attract capital, create a more skilled workforce and industrialise, Zhong is convinced that “finally the chance has come” to Africa.


Between extremes, China Africa

Between extremes: China and Africa 

China has re-cast Africa’s position in the global economy. Africa’s natural resources and China’s “Go Out” strategy have underpinned a rapid surge in Chinese investment and two-way trade. The array of Chinese enterprises active in Africa, and their financing, defies simple categorisation. China’s adherence to principles of “non-interference” and “mutual benefit” is increasingly tested as ties multiply and expectations rise. These notes argue that African governments should collaborate more keenly in exploiting relationships with China – and other trading partners – to improve economic diversification and competitiveness.
Whatever happened to Africa's rapid urbanisation

Whatever happened to Africa's rapid urbanisation?

It is widely believed that urbanisation in Africa is occurring faster than anywhere else in the world, as migrants move from rural to urban settlements. This is a fallacy. While the populations of numerous urban areas are growing rapidly, the urbanisation levels of many countries are increasing slowly – if at all. Natural increase, rather than net in-migration, is the predominant growth factor in most urban populations. African governments, policymakers and international donors need to acknowledge fundamental changes in urbanisation trends, and respond to the irrefutable messages these impart about urban employment, incomes and economic development.
Waiting for a Green Revolution
Waiting for a Green Revolution

The 1994 pledge by the African National Congress (ANC) to transfer 30% of white-owned agricultural land to black farmers has been undermined by a lack of political will and financial commitment. Other policy priorities have taken precedence over land and agrarian reform. While millions of hectares have been transferred, acute poverty and unemployment are rife in rural areas. These notes assess the progress of the land reform programme and emphasise the importance of – and opportunity in – a bolder approach to this emotive issue.
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