Thursday, April 3, 2014

Chinese Investment in African Agriculture: Conference

DB in Liberia, Kpatawee Farm, 1983
The Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) SAIS China Africa Research Initiative (SAIS-CARI) will hold an inaugural public conference:  Researching China’s Agricultural Investment in Africa:  ‘Land Grabs’ or ‘Friendship Farms’? May 16, 2014 and private research workshop on May 17, 2014, in Washington, DC at Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies. The goal of the conference is a deeper, comparative understanding of the motives and experiences of Chinese investors; the network of relationships: investors, governments in China (national and provincial) and in Africa, intermediaries and brokers; and the impact of their investments.

We are pleased to welcome an international group of experts from China, Mali, Mozambique, the Netherlands, the UK, South Africa, Spain, Uganda, France, and the US, presenting on a number of cases: Philippe Asanzi, Centre for Chinese Studies, Stellenbosch University (DRC and Mozambique), Deborah Brautigam, Johns Hopkins-SAIS (various), Lila Buckley, International Institute for Environment and Development, London (Senegal tbc), Xiaochen Chen (Tanzania) Sérgio Chichava, Instituto de Estudos Sociais e Económicos, (Mozambique), Solange Guo Chatelard, Max Plank Institute (Zambia), Jiao Yang, University of Florida (Ghana, Nigeria tbc), Josh Maiyo, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (Uganda), Margaret Myers, Interamerican Dialogue (China in Latin America), Nama Ouattara, Université Paris-Sud (Mali), George Schoenveld, CIFOR (various), Xiaoyang Tang, Tsinghua University (Malawi), Henry Tugendhat, IDS-Sussex (various), Eckart Woertz, Barcelona Centre for International Affairs (Gulf States in Africa), Xiuli Xu, China Agriculture University (Tanzania), Jinyan Zhou, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (Angola), and others still to be confirmed.

Panels will include papers and presentations on:

  • Life histories and/or narratives of Chinese agricultural investors’ experience
  • Data and details: why did the land grab databases get it so wrong?
  • Business Borderlands: China's overseas state-owned agribusiness
  • The business model behind China’s agro-technology demonstration centers.
  • Environmental and social impact of Chinese agricultural investments
  • Subcontracting and the Chinese role in cotton value chains in Malawi
  • The challenges of Chinese Agricultural Investments in Africa: An Institutional Analysis
  • Comparisons with Chinese investment in Latin America and Gulf countries in Africa

The conference is free, and open to the public, although seats are limited. We will open Eventbrite for tickets one month before the conference date -- link will be at the website of the SAIS China Africa Research Initiative SAIS-CARI. To reserve a seat in advance, or to request an invitation to the private researchers workshop, please email:


Unknown said...

Will there be a webcast of the event? It would be interesting seeing quantifiable data.

Deborah Brautigam said...

We'll look into this. Thanks for the suggestion.

Unknown said...

I just sent an email to the address above, I just saw this quite late and would love to attend, can I get an Invite for the program?