CACS Policy Brief No 9

Youth volunteers taking part in an anti-COVID sanitation and awareness campaign in a bustling food market in Addis Ababa. UNICEF Ethiopia / NahomTesfaye

The Impact of COVID-19 on Food Security in Ethiopia

Dr Messay Muguleta

This Policy Brief examines the impact of COVID-19 pandemic on food security in Ethiopia, with special emphasis on its implications for informal business actors in urban areas as well as smallholder farmers. It starts by providing a socioeconomic profile of Ethiopia, and goes on to provide a global, African and Ethiopian overview of the pandemic; examine the WHO’s strategic response plan for Africa; and analyse the impact of the pandemic on food security in Ethiopia. It recommends that all the safety measures put in place by the WHO Regional Office for Africa should be maintained, except for the complete closure of businesses.

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CACS Policy Brief No 8

Transnet’s internationalisation and SA foreign policy

Lebohang Makekeng

Transnet has the operational and technical know-how to contribute to the continent’s infrastructure and economic growth, as envisioned in the African Union’s Presidential Infrastructure Championing Initiative (PICI). Leveraging this potential contribution by means of Transport Diplomacy could rekindle and solidify Pretoria’s leadership role in Africa. In this Policy Brief, Lebohang Makekeng argues that Transnet, and not Beijing’s China Railway Rolling Stock Corporation (CRRC) or the Russian Railways, should play a leading role in developing African transport infrastructure.


CACS Policy Brief No 7

The ECOWAS Bank for Investment and Development headquarters in Lome, Togo, built by Chinese contractors with a grant from the Chinese government.

Africa-China Industrial and Infrastructural Cooperation: Recommendations

November 2019

Text by Dr Fritz Nganje, Dr Philani Mthembu, Moab Merid, Akabondo Kabechani, Messay Mulugeta, Kofi Kouakou, Shaida Nampoba, Salim Kaunda, Gedion Jalata, Professor Liu Minquan and Nakubyana Mungomba. Edited by Bhaso Ndzendze and Dr David Monyae

On 18 and 19 September 2019, CACS hosted a two-day conference entitled ‘Africa-China Industrial and Infrastructural Cooperation: Drivers and Prospects’. The conference brought together scholars, researchers, policy-makers, students and civil society actors from across Africa and China to reflect on the current trajectory of Sino-African infrastructural and industrial cooperation, and craft concrete policy recommendations on how this cooperation could be strengthened and leveraged in the interests of the continent’s industrialisation and socio-economic transformation. This Policy Brief presents the major highlights and key policy recommendations that have emanated from the conference. Download >>

CACS Policy Brief No 6

President Cyril Ramaphosa, President Xi Jinping, and African heads of state at the opening of the 2018 Beijing FOCAC Summit, 2 September 2018.

The 2018 FOCAC Summit: Prospects for an African Multilateral Policy towards China in a Changing Global Economy

Bongane Gasela, researcher, Centre for China-Africa Studies

This Policy Brief analyses the 2018 FOCAC Ministerial Conference and Summit held in Beijing, China, from 2 to 4 September 2018. The author starts with a brief overview of its setting, notably the burgeoning trade war between the People’s Republic of China (PRC) and the United States (US) and its implications for Africa. Next, he examines China’s flagship initiative known as the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), and how this could be used for the betterment of Africa. Following this, he analyses the two major outcomes of the FOCAC Summit, the Beijing Declaration and the Beijing Action Plan, plus China’s US$60 billion pledge towards implementing  the Action Plan. He concludes by arguing that while the Summit might have addressed certain issues vital to a productive Africa-China partnership, some opportunities were missed.

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CACS Policy Brief No 5

Sino-Kenyan Co-operation: Whither the West?

Dr Westen K Shilaho, Postdoctoral Fellow, SARChI Chair of African Diplomacy and Foreign Policy, University of Johannesburg

March 2018

This Policy Brief analyses co-operation between China and Kenya against the backdrop of Kenya’s international relations from independence to the present. It places this co-operation in the ambit of Kenya’s security and infrastructure development, in line with Kenya’s Vision 2030, the African Union’s Agenda 2063, and Kenya’s democratisation. It finds that, despite Kenya’s perceived shift to the East, the West still exerts significant influence over its domestic and international affairs. However, in forging its international relations policies, Kenya should be guided by the interests of its citizens instead of being preoccupied with whether it aligns itself with the West or with China.

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CACS Policy Brief No 4

Sino-African Relations in 2017: Where to from here?

Dr David Monyae, Co-Director, University of Johannesburg Confucius Institute
Bhaso Ndzendze, Research Director, University of Johannesburg Confucius Institute

China is playing a growing role in Africa. Despite political transitions in at least five African countries, relations with China in 2017 showed both resilience as well as great prospects. In this Policy Brief, the authors review of some of the milestones in Sino-African relations during the past year, and a summary of what to expect in 2018 and beyond.

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CACS Policy Brief No 3

The US, Russia, China and Africa in the Evolving Global Order

Dr David Monyae, Co-director, University of Johannesburg Confucius Institute

This Policy Brief examines the current global order in which Africa is widely seen to have been given a peripheral role, but which is also in a state of change, due to the resurgence of China and Russia and the intentional decline of the United States and the West at large.

It is divided into five sections. The first assesses the rise and decline of the US-dominated post-1945 world order. The second analyses Russia’s post-1989 orientation, and its dealings with the West. The third examines China’s opening up while retaining a Chinese self-understanding and its subsequent promulgation of a globalisation with Chinese characteristics. The fourth assesses Africa’s position in the crumbling post-1989 world order through three lenses: (1) its peripheral stature in the international financial architecture, (2) its international political positioning after the 2008 global financial crisis which, ironically but typically, it did not help to create, but suffered the most from; and (3) its asymmetrical standing in the international legal and moral framework. The final section outlines the implications of the changing global order, and offers policy prescriptions for Africa.

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CACS Policy Brief No 2

The BRICS Model of South-South Cooperation

Swaran Singh, August 2017

In this Policy Brief, Prof Swaran Singh of the School of International Studies of Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi, India, traces the history of South-South Cooperation, and examines the potential of the BRICS Alliance for advancing its ideals.

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CACS Policy Brief No 1

BRICS Studies: Some Suggested Themes

Chris Landsberg, Francis A. Kornegay, Jr and Mzukisi Qobo

July 2017

ABSTRACT: Developing interdisciplinary policy studies focusing on Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (BRICS) can be considered a natural spin-off of the annual BRICS summitry, inclusive of the think-tanks, academic forums, and symposia forming part of the build-up to the heads-of-state event.  This Policy Brief extrapolates themes as a basis for considering why BRICS warrants its own identity as a field of study, and what this might constitute. The suggested themes are presented as four illustrative modules, indicative of how an academic and/or policy agenda might be constructed. The proposed modules fall into two subcategories: strategic studies and functional studies. The focus of this exercise is on strategic studies as the overarching conceptual framework for BRICS Studies. It concludes with a selected listing of illustrative resources as an analytical base for BRICS studies development.

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CACS Policy Brief

Regional Industrialisation in Southern Africa: The Role of African–Sino Partnerships

May 2017

This Policy Brief was developed by the UJCI and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), in collaboration with Oxfam International’s Africa-China Dialogue Platform, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. It reflects and elaborates on the deliberations at a seminar entitled ‘Prospects for SADC Regional Integration through Industrialisation and the Role of China’, held in Sandton, Johannesburg, on 20-21 April 2017.

Its development was guided by Dr David Monyae, Co-Director of UJCI; Prof Said Adejumobi, Director of the UNECA Subregional Office, Southern Africa; and Mr Gedion Jalata of Oxfam International, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The Rapporteurs were Dr Fritz Nganje, Ms Hellen Adogo, Dr Mzwanele Mfunwa, Dr Oliver Maponga, and Mr Joab Okanda.

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