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Photo credit: Lin Qi

Photo credit: Lin Qi

SAIS-CARI 5th Annual Conference - April 15-16, 2019

The 5th Annual China-Africa Research Initiative (CARI) Conference was held on Monday, April 15 and Tuesday, April 16, 2019 at the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) in Washington DC.

This year’s theme was "Catalysts, Competition and Learning: Knowledge, Skills, and Technology Transfer in China-Africa Engagements." The program can be found on our event page.

The conference was recorded - links below.


Photo credit: Keyi Tang

Photo credit: Keyi Tang

Photo credit: ZSM

Photo credit: ZSM

Working Paper and Policy Brief 05/2019 — Lessons from East Asia: Comparing Ethiopia and Vietnam’s Early-Stage Special Economic Zone Development

These papers by Keyi Tang compare how Ethiopia and Vietnam, two rising stars actively employing industrial policies as catalysts of structural change, have learned from East Asian countries’ experiences in developing their own special economic zones (SEZs). A Chinese and a Taiwanese overseas SEZ were the first SEZs developed respectively in Ethiopia and in Vietnam, which provided eye-opening lessons for domestic policymakers on how to better improve the legal and institutional framework, infrastructure, and administrative services needed for SEZ development. Overall, however, one of the biggest obstacles facing Ethiopia and Vietnam in learning from China’s experiences is the lack of local autonomy given to SEZs in their own administration.

Download Working Paper & Policy Brief (PDF) »

Working Paper and Policy Brief 04/2019 — Do China-Financed Dams in Sub-Saharan Africa Improve the Region’s Social Welfare? A Case Study of the Impacts of Ghana’s Bui Dam

This empirical case study by Keyi Tang and Yingjiao Shen conducts an impact evaluation of Ghana's Bui Dam, a China-financed hydropower project completed in 2013. Through two difference-in-differences econometric models and an extensive literature review on relevant field research, these papers analyze the environmental and socio-economic impacts of the Bui Dam on local households and communities. The authors’ empirical models show that the Bui Dam has significantly improved local urban households’ access to electricity and increased their ownership of some electric appliances.

Download Working Paper & Policy Brief (PDF) »


Photo credit: Tang Xiaoyang

Photo credit: Tang Xiaoyang

Photo credit: Tang Xiaoyang

Photo credit: Tang Xiaoyang

Working Paper and Policy Brief 03/2019 — Chinese Manufacturing Investments and Knowledge Transfer: A Report from Ethiopia

In these papers by Tang Xiaoyang, the uniqueness and diversity of socio-economic conditions in Africa call for a careful case-by-case examination to understand the real impacts of FDI on knowledge development. As such, this study aims to shed light on the knowledge transfer effects of Chinese investment in Africa’s manufacturing sector with a concrete case study of Ethiopia. These papers examine knowledge transfer mechanisms between Chinese investments and Ethiopian firms, institutions, and individuals at four different levels in the manufacturing sector. The lessons learned from this case may provide insights into China-African cooperation and Africa’s development process in general.

Download Working Paper & Policy Brief (PDF) »

Working Paper and Policy Brief 02/2019 — The Impact of Chinese Investment on Skill Development and Technology Transfer in Zambia and Malawi’s Cotton Sector

These papers by Tang Xiaoyang look into China-Africa Cotton (CAC), one of the first Chinese cotton firms to enter the African market. This study analyzes China-Africa Cotton’s operations in Zambia to investigate the impact on the technological development of the local cotton sector. As a new player in the arena, CAC has business models and a management style that differ from those of previous foreign investors in the region. Within six years, CAC has grown from a sole ginnery into a firm with tens of thousands of contracted outgrowers, and is now a comprehensive multinational business with an integrated value chain.

Download Working Paper & Policy Brief (PDF) »

This blog post by SAIS-CARI's Research Manager Jordan Link is the first in a series that will explore security and military matters as they relate to China/Africa issues, a theme also being explored by our 2019 CARI Fellows.

China’s engagement with the African continent has until recently been interpreted primarily through an economic lens. However, China-Africa military ties are also deepening and becoming more complex. China’s first international military base opened in 2017 in Djibouti. The first China-Africa Defense and Security Forum was held in June of 2018 as representatives of 50 different African countries and the African Union met in Beijing to discuss defense and security cooperation efforts. Against this background, what role does Chinese lending play as the China-Africa security relationship evolves?

Read the complete Blog post »


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