Sunday, November 29, 2015

Everything you need to know about FOCAC: Rising Powers

We are continuing to discuss the Sixth Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) for the rest of the month. FOCAC will be held in three weeks, December 4-5 in Johannesburg, South Africa. For historical context, FOCAC was initiated in 2000 in Beijing in order to sketch out a three-year cooperation plan between China and the countries of Africa. Since then, the triennial meetings have alternated between China and an African country. This week, hosts Winslow Robertson and Ms. Lina Benabdallah connect FOCAC to the idea of rising powers: what FOCAC means to South Africa and what these summits do for China as a member of the Global South, the developing world, or whichever nomenclature one may prefer. Joining them is Dr. Sven Grimm, a political scientist who has worked on external partners’ co-operation with Africa since 1999. He is a Senior Researcher and the Coordinator of the Rising Powers program at The German Development Institute (DIE) in Bonn. Since 2006 his research has focused on emerging economies’ role in Africa, and specifically China-Africa relations. He obtained his Ph.D. from Hamburg University in 2002 with a thesis on E.U.-Africa relations. He has previously worked with the London-based Overseas Development Institute (ODI) and was the former head of the Centre for Chinese Studies at Stellenbosch University in Cape Town, South Africa.

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