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28 November 2019

SA to host dialogue on governance and socioeconomic development in China and Africa

Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC)
Press Release

Pretoria, Thursday 28 November 2019 – The Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC) and the China-Africa Institute (CAI) invite members of the media to a conference on Governance and Socioeconomic Development in China and Africa to be held at the Sheraton Hotel, Pretoria on 3 December at 09h30.

The conference is aimed at discussing key issues including building governance capacity, urbanisation, industrial development, innovation and social policies necessary to address challenges related to poverty, inequality and unemployment. The discussion will shed light on the cooperation in governance and socioeconomic development between China and Africa.

The one-day conference follows a resolution taken merely a year ago at the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation’s (FOCAC) Beijing Summit in 2018, where Chinese President Xi Jinping announced that China would establish the China-Africa Institute (CAI) to enhance and facilitate exchanges and cooperation with institutions in Africa.

Ever since its inception, the CAI’s main aims have been to deepen exchanges between the respective countries’ civilizations and promote communication on experiences of governance and development between China and African countries. It also seeks to provide intellectual support for the construction of the Belt and Road Initiative and the China-Africa community with a shared future. The CAI is sponsored by the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS). Its inaugural conference was held in Beijing on 9 April 2019.

During this year’s conference, the “Exchange Mechanism on the Experience of Governance between China and Africa” will be launched, under which the two sides will organise thematic seminars, joint research projects, conduct training programmes and co-publish research outcomes. The CAI will provide support for activities under the mechanism.

Delegates attending the Pretoria conference will comprise scholars and experts at important research institutes and think tanks, as well as guests from government departments and business circles from both China and Africa. Among them will be the President of CASS, HSRC CEO as well as the Directors General and experts from the Institute for Urban and Environmental Studies, National Academy of Social Development Strategy, National Academy of Economic Strategy, Institute of Population and Labor Economics, as well as the Institute of Journalism and Communication Studies.

The three main topics to be discussed are:

•    Building governance capacity
•    Urbanisation, industrial development and innovation
•    Social policy to address the challenges of poverty, inequality and unemployment

The media is invited to attend as follows:

Date:             3 December 2019
Time:             09h30
Venue:            Sheraton Pretoria, South Africa

For more information or to set up interviews, please contact Adziliwi Nematandani, 0827659191, email:

Join the conversation: #ChinaAfrica

Notes to the Editor                                                                                                                                                  

About the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC)

The HSRC was established in 1968 as South Africa’s statutory research agency and has grown to become the largest dedicated research institute in the social sciences and humanities on the African continent, doing cutting-edge public research in areas that are crucial to development.

Our mandate is to inform the effective formulation and monitoring of government policy; to evaluate policy implementation; to stimulate public debate through the effective dissemination of research-based data and fact-based research results; to foster research collaboration; and to help build research capacity and infrastructure for the human sciences.

The Council conducts large-scale, policy-relevant, social-scientific research for public sector users, non-governmental organisations and international development agencies. Research activities and structures are closely aligned with South Africa’s national development priorities.

About the China-Africa Institute (CAI)

On September 3, 2018, Chinese President Xi Jinping launched “eight major initiatives” in collaboration with Africa in his opening speech at the Beijing Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC), and announced that China has decided to establish the China-Africa Institute (CAI) to enhance mutual learning between Chinese and African civilizations. On April 4, 2019. the China-Africa Institute was inaugurated in Beijing. It is under the auspices of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS).

CAI focuses on the following four aspects and function as an exchange platform to engage actively academic exchanges between China and Africa, to deepen mutual understanding, and to promote people-to-people communications; a research base to organize collaborative research programs to facilitate China-Africa cooperation in “Belt and Road” construction; a hub to gather talents and train high-end professionals for China-Africa cooperation; and a window to communicate stories of China-Africa friendship and cooperation.

Supported by strong research strength of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences(CASS) and its good cooperation with Africa, CAI organizes its work in various ways and through different channels, by integrating research, exchanges, training and public outreach. The Institute will continuously engage in high-level, comprehensive and professional activities. CAI supports Chinese and African scholars to conduct exchanges and cooperation in forms of collaborative research projects, exchange of visits, seminars, training programs, etc. The Journal of China-Africa Studies is the newly launched academic journal for China and Africa scholars to publish high-level research papers on China studies, Africa studies and China-Africa relations studies.

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