Belt and Road Initiative: Alternative Development Path for Africa

Africa Institute of South Africa
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China’s emphasis on infrastructure development has received support from African leaders. Its focus on infrastructure development in Africa was endorsed by the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between China and the African Union on 27 January 2015. The agreement outline plans for connecting African countries through transportation infrastructure projects, including modern highways, airports, and high speed railways. At the heart of Belt and Road Initiative lies the creation of an economic land belt that includes countries on the original Silk Road through Central Asia, the Middle East and Europe, as well as a maritime “road” that links China’s port facilities with the African coast, pushing up through the Suez Canal into the Mediterranean. China has from the outset emphasised that the Belt and Road Initiative will be developed within the framework of the five principles. These entails mutual respect for each other’s territorial integrity and sovereignty; non-aggression; non-interference in each other’s internal affairs; equality and mutual benefit; and peaceful coexistence.

This volume provides an analysis of this stance by both African and Chinese scholars. Africa through its Agenda 2063 has been driving, among others, the re-industrialisation of its economies, improved connectivity and infrastructure development, diversification of energy sources, technology transfer and skills development. The Belt and Road Initiative provides an alternative path for Africa to realise some of these milestones. 

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About the author

Thokozani Simelane serves as a leader for Science and Technology at the Africa Institute of South Africa (AISA) within the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC). He previously served as an interim Director of Research at AISA. He has worked as a Departmental Manager for Environmental Management at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) and South African Bureau of Standards (SABS). At SABS he was responsible for ISO 14001, OHSAS 18001 and ISO 90001 system certification. He has published in a number of international scientific journals and serves as a member of Research Ethics Committee of Human Sciences Research Council. He also serves as a member of the Department of Public Enterprise Africa Steering Committee as well as a reviewer of National Research Foundation of South Africa (NRF).

Lavhelesani R. Managa is working as a researcher in the Science and Technology Research Programme - Africa Institute of South Africa (AISA), within Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC). Prior to working for HSRC, he worked for University of Venda Plant Production Department, Penn State University Roots Biology Lab and the Agricultural Research Council (ARC). His research interests are in Medicinal Plant Science, Plant Metabolomics, Plant Breeding, Food Security and Safety, Climate-Smart Agriculture, Water Quality and Plant Productivity. He is currently studying towards a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD. Horticultural Science) from University of Pretoria.

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Additional Information

Publisher
Africa Institute of South Africa
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Published on
Nov 2, 2018
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Pages
40
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ISBN
9780798305266
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Language
English
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Genres
Business & Economics / Development / Economic Development
Business & Economics / Infrastructure
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Natural and human-induced environmental hazards are becoming increasingly prominent. The frequency of recorded natural disasters rose markedly during the last century, from about 100 per in the years up to 1940 to nearly 2800 during the 1990s. Africa is the only continent whose share of reported disasters has increased over the past decade. Several factors contribute to Africa’s high vulnerability to disasters. These include the high rate of population growth, food insecurity, high levels of poverty, inappropriate use of natural resources, and failures of policy and institutional frameworks. Despite the huge negative impact of natural and human-induced hazards on Africa’s development, little is done to prevent them. Disaster prevention contributes to lasting improvement in safety and sustainable livelihoods and is essential as part of integrated disaster management strategies. The provision of effective scientific input to policy formulation on various issues related to hazards and disasters is an ambitious undertaking. It requires the collaborative effort of the African scientific community to develop comprehensive long-term strategies and human capacity-building initiatives that will enable science to benefit society. This will further require:

a) Building strong research and training institutions in Africa at national and regional levels;

b) Facilitating the exchange of scientific information and sharing of ideas across borders;

c) Strengthening the link between scientific research and policy making;

d) Promoting outreach activities to build resilience to disaster risk; and

e) Tapping the knowledge base of rural and urban communities.

In this volume, the ICSU ROA has brought together selected African scientific researchers to share their views on policy direction for facing challenges linked to natural and human-induced hazards. The book is intended for policy advisers, environmental scientists, government officials and members of the general public with a special interest in environmental issues. 

From the visionary bestselling author of The Second World and How to Run the World comes a bracing and authoritative guide to a future shaped less by national borders than by global supply chains, a world in which the most connected powers—and people—will win.

Connectivity is the most revolutionary force of the twenty-first century. Mankind is reengineering the planet, investing up to ten trillion dollars per year in transportation, energy, and communications infrastructure linking the world’s burgeoning megacities together. This has profound consequences for geopolitics, economics, demographics, the environment, and social identity. Connectivity, not geography, is our destiny.

In Connectography, visionary strategist Parag Khanna travels from Ukraine to Iran, Mongolia to North Korea, Pakistan to Nigeria, and across the Arctic Circle and the South China Sea to explain the rapid and unprecedented changes affecting every part of the planet. He shows how militaries are deployed to protect supply chains as much as borders, and how nations are less at war over territory than engaged in tugs-of-war over pipelines, railways, shipping lanes, and Internet cables. The new arms race is to connect to the most markets—a race China is now winning, having launched a wave of infrastructure investments to unite Eurasia around its new Silk Roads. The United States can only regain ground by fusing with its neighbors into a super-continental North American Union of shared resources and prosperity.

Connectography offers a unique and hopeful vision for the future. Khanna argues that new energy discoveries and technologies have eliminated the need for resource wars; ambitious transport corridors and power grids are unscrambling Africa’s fraught colonial borders; even the Arab world is evolving a more peaceful map as it builds resource and trade routes across its war-torn landscape. At the same time, thriving hubs such as Singapore and Dubai are injecting dynamism into young and heavily populated regions, cyber-communities empower commerce across vast distances, and the world’s ballooning financial assets are being wisely invested into building an inclusive global society. Beneath the chaos of a world that appears to be falling apart is a new foundation of connectivity pulling it together.

Praise for Connectography

“Incredible . . . With the world rapidly changing and urbanizing, [Khanna’s] proposals might be the best way to confront a radically different future.”—The Washington Post

“Clear and coherent . . . a well-researched account of how companies are weaving ever more complicated supply chains that pull the world together even as they squeeze out inefficiencies. . . . [He] has succeeded in demonstrating that the forces of globalization are winning.”—Adrian Woolridge, The Wall Street Journal

“Bold . . . With an eye for vivid details, Khanna has . . . produced an engaging geopolitical travelogue.”—Foreign Affairs

“For those who fear that the world is becoming too inward-looking, Connectography is a refreshing, optimistic vision.”—The Economist

“Connectivity has become a basic human right, and gives everyone on the planet the opportunity to provide for their family and contribute to our shared future. Connectography charts the future of this connected world.”—Marc Andreessen, general partner, Andreessen Horowitz

“Khanna’s scholarship and foresight are world-class. A must-read for the next president.”—Chuck Hagel, former U.S. secretary of defense

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