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June 11, 2023

WATCH: Webinar on China’s Global Development Initiative (GDI) and Africa’s Developmental Future, 17 May 2023

The Africa-China Reporting Project, in collaboration with the China-Global South Project held an online event featuring academic professionals and researchers on Africa-China development cooperation to explore the broader implications of the GDI for Africa and the Global South. The Webinar discussion covers some of the following issues:

  • How does the BRI relate to the GDI?
  • How would China like to shape international development finance?
  • What are the implications of Chinese norm-setting on development?
  • How will China’s rising power reshape the development landscape?
  • How should Africa prepare for these changes?

Background

Over the last twenty years, China emerged as a key development partner to Africa. Via the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) China’s massive infrastructure-focused connectivity program, Chinese finance and contracting transformed skylines in many African cities. Now China is expanding its platforms for global cooperation via the Global Security Initiative (aimed at building security alliances outside of Western-led coalitions) and the Global Development Initiative (GDI).

The GDI foregrounds cooperation with the United Nations, as well as with the Global South. By October 2022, more than 100 countries and international organizations have expressed their support for the GDI, and 68 countries have formally joined the Friends of the Global Development Initiative group. The GDI positions China as a new norm-setter in the development space. Together with Beijing’s current challenges to some of the customs of multilateral development finance, the GDI signals significant China-driven changes to development finance.

But how will these changes affect the developing world?

Speakers:

  • Phiwokuhle Mnyandu, Ph.D, Department of African Studies & Department of World Languages and Culture, Howard University.
  • Ovigwe Eguegu, Policy Analyst, Development Reimagined.
  • Jean-Claude Maswana, Ph.D, Professor of Economics, Ritsumeikan University.

The discussion is hosted and facilitated by Bongiwe Tutu, Project Coordinator of the Africa-China Reporting Project, and Dr. Cobus van Staden, Co-founder of the China Global South Project.

Speaker bios:

Phiwokuhle Mnyandu was born in Umlazi, Durban. He teaches in the departments of African Studies as well as World Languages and Culture at Howard University. He also consults governments departments on issues of language, culture, technology and geo-strategy. He is a regular commentator on global affairs. He is an expert on (South) Africa-China relations, trans-regionalism, academic diplomacy, and the Zulu language and its global growth. His books include South Africa-China Relations: Between Aspiration and Reality in a New Global Order, the first book about China-South Africa relations by a single scholar. He is currently working on a book on China-Africa academic diplomacy. He holds an M.A. in International Political Economy from Warwick University and a PhD in African Studies from Howard University. 

Ovigwe Eguegu is a Policy Analyst at Development Reimagined. He focuses on geopolitics with particular reference to Africa in a changing global order. Specifically, his work focuses on how great power politics affect developments in the region; with a special focus on regional/international security, institutions, alliances, and projects. Ovigwe is frequently invited to policy dialogues, seminars and workshops hosted by leading think tanks including the Atlantic Council, Institute for Security Studies, Council on Foreign Relations and the South African Institute of International Affairs.  He regularly appears on Al Jazeera, TRT World, CGTN, DW News, and BBC. He writes pieces for publications such as The Diplomat, China Global South and The Africa Report.

Professor Maswana Jean-Claude is an esteemed economics professor at Ritsumeikan University's Graduate School of Economics in Japan, with a Ph.D. from Nagoya University. His research focuses on economic growth and international trade, particularly China-Africa's economic relations. He is the President of the African Finance and Economic Association (AFEA), an Allied Board member of the Allied of Social Sciences (ASSA) of the American Economic Association (AEA), a Board Member of the Japan Association for African Studies (JSAS), and the Chair of the Congo Economic Circle (CEC). He has lectured at prestigious universities such as the University of Tokyo, Kyoto University, and Tsukuba University and has also served as a Macroeconomist Research Fellow with JICA.

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