Public Dialogue on China’s role in regional development

On Tuesday 18 April, the UJCI and the Chair of Industrial Development at UJ, in partnership with the UJ Library, hosted a Public Dialogue on ‘The Role of China in SADC’s Regional Integration through Industrialisation’.

The Dialogue was chaired by Prof Erika Kraemer-Mbula, senior researcher at the Chair of Industrial Development. The speakers were:

  • Prof Siphamandla Zondi of the Department of Political Sciences at the University of Pretoria;
  • Prof Minquan Liu, Professor of Economics and Honorary Director of the Centre for Human and Economic Development Studies at at Peking University in Beijing, China; and
  • Prof Simon Roberts, Executive Director of the Centre for Competition, Regulation and Economic Development (CCRED) at UJ.

Background

Outlining the background to the Dialogue, the organisers stated:

‘Industrialisation is regarded as the vehicle for accelerated economic growth in Africa. After the economic recovery, industrialisation is now a priority focus for political leaders and policy-makers in Africa.

‘At the SADC Summit in August 2014, the Heads of State and Government of SADC mandated the SADC Secretariat to develop a strategy and roadmap on Industrialization for the region. The SADC Strategy and Roadmap on industrialisation was produced and subsequently adopted at the August 2015 SADC Summit.

‘Currently, the SADC Secretariat is developing an Action Plan to facilitate the implementation of the strategy. In the same vein, development partners such as China have acknowledged industrialization as a fundamental component of its Africa strategy. And the Johannesburg Action Plan (2016-2018) identified industrialization as “imperative to ensure Africa’s independent and sustainable development”.

This Public Dialogue will debate the opportunities and challenges for industrialization in Southern Africa through the SADC Industrialization Strategy and Roadmap as a mechanism for scaling up regional integration in the region and the possible role of China in this regard.’