Rising Powers and Interdependent Futures


The School of Advanced International Studies’ China Africa Research Initiative at Johns Hopkins University (SAIS-CARI) has published two new policy briefs on Chinese agricultural engagement in Africa.

The papers are written by Sérgio Chichava and Henry Tugendhat, members of the Rising Powers in African Agriculture project.

They report initial research results from the SAIS-CARI conference “Agricultural Investment in Africa: ‘Land Grabs’ or Friendship Farms’?” held on 16 and 17 May 2014.

Chinese Agricultural Investment in Mozambique: the Case of Wanbao Rice Farm
Sérgio Chichava, SAIS-CARI Policy Brief No. 2, November 2014

China’s largest agricultural investment in Africa is reported to be the Hubei Gaza Friendship Farm, established in 2007 in Mozambique and now managed by a private Chinese firm, Wanbao Africa Agriculture Development Limited (WAADL). While officials have welcomed external investment as a source of employment and development, local communities have decried the project as a “land grab”. Tensions among local activists, the government and the Chinese investors continue to run high, posing a challenge to the future of agricultural investment in the country.

Chinese Training Courses for African Officials: a “Win-Win” Engagement?
Henry Tugendhat, SAIS-CARI Policy Brief No. 3, December 2014

Some 30,000 African public officials have participated in Chinese training courses, yet little is known about their goals, structure, or content. Henry Tugendhat observed classroom trainings, interviewed trainees and reviewed publicly available course content. He argues that while China’s training courses do promote technology and knowledge transfers, they are also clearly organized to increase trade opportunities for Chinese firms, develop better political ties, and offer a positive image of China. This report, based on interviews and classroom observation, is the first study of its kind.

Read more about the conference: China’s Agricultural Investment in Africa: ‘Land Grabs’ or ‘Friendship Farms’?

This blog post was originally published at the Future Agricultures website