China-Africa: a maturing relationship? Growth, change and resilience

In December 2015 the DFID-ESRC Growth Research Programme (DEGRP) and South African Institute of International Affairs (SAIIA) co-hosted a one-day conference to discuss key issues influencing China-Africa relations. Participants included researchers from DEGRP's China-Africa research stream and SAIIA, as well as other participants from academia and the private sector.  

Diffusion of innovation in Low-Income Countries

On 2 November 2015, international policy makers, business managers, academics and members of civil society gathered together at a one-day conference hosted by the Technology and Management Centre for Development (TMCD), University of Oxford and DEGRP to present research findings and share world-class knowledge in the field of innovation in low-income countries. Event footage includes the keynote speech from Li Yong, Director General of UNIDO, as well as panel sessions and audience Q&A.

DEGRP China-Africa research - interviews

DEGRP's China-Africa research examines the impact of Chinese engagement on the continent and aims to evaluate what lessons China’s own economic transformation can offer other developing countries.  

In this series of interviews, researchers from the programme provide a snapshot of their specific research areas, which range from the employment impact of Chinese business in Africa, to the role of local government for economic growth.

Zimbabwe’s land reform opportunities for economic growth

This film is part of a series emerging from a DEGRP project looking at the relationships between space, markets, employment and agricultural development in southern Africa (SMEAD). The films focus on the impacts of new farm production following land reform in Zimbabwe on the local economy.

Why is innovation so critical for development?

Entrepreneurs, policy-makers and researchers discuss innovation in developing countries. What is innovation in the first place? How can governments encourage innovators, and how can this help with development? Oxford's Technology and Management Centre for Development has been studying these questions as part of the DEGRP project on the Diffusion of Innovation in Lower Income Countries.

Africa is growing - but is it transforming? DEGRP interviews ACET

DEGRP hosted KY Amoako, President of the African Centre for Economic Transformation, and ACET's Chief Economist, Yaw Ansu, to launch the 2014 African Transformation Report.

The report delves deeply into the narrative of 'Africa rising' to discover whether growth in some parts of the continent is delivering proportional improvements in well-being for ordinary people and sustainable transformation for African economies. We interviewed Amoako and Ansu to find out more about the report.  

What's the difference between growth and transformation?

KY Amoako: We say that growth is important, but that's not sufficient to transform the economies to create more jobs and improve the lives of people...

The African Transformation Report argues that Africa needs 'growth with DEPTH' - what does this mean?

KY Amoako: Africa is growing, that is the good news. But we've seen this picture before...

What do Africa governments and donor agencies need to do to promote growth with DEPTH?

KY Amoako: Transformation is a long term process - you need to have a plan, coordinated policies and effective partnerships between the private sector and the state...

Yaw Ansu was the main author of the report. He explained three of the pathways to economic transformation that the report proposes: 

How can Africa leverage its abundant labour to transform manufacturing?

Yaw Ansu: Although labour is cheap, if you factor in productivity in it is not so cheap - so the question is how do you increase skills levels and productivity...

How can the extractive sector contribute to Africa's long term transformation?

Yaw Ansu: Despite the popularity of the 'resource curse' theory, Africa can benefit from it's extractive sector if it gets a fair deal...

What's the role of agriculture in economic transformation?

Yaw Ansu: if you're interested in improving people's lives, doing something that affects productivity and income level in agriculture is very important...

Read more about the launch of the African Transformation Report and watch videos from the event on the ODI website.

Documentary - Cultivating Unemployment

DEGRP grant holder's PLAAS have just released a short documentary online:

Cultivating Unemployment takes a hard look at the realities of rural economies in South Africa and begins to grapple with the policy implications of these realities. The video shows the challenges and difficulties involved in creating rural economies that can multiply benefits for rural dwellers.

Film trailer - Cultivating Unemployment

The Institute for Poverty, Land and Agrarian Studies (PLAAS) has just produced a trailer for a forthcoming video based on a case study from their DEGRP project. The trailer explores Weenen, KwaZulu Natal, a vegetable growing district surrounded by traditional settlements and a nearby township. In this area, South African industry and agriculture are shedding jobs and smallscale and largescale farmers face significant challenges. In a system where the agricultural value chains are highly concentrated the research asks: What kind of agriculture can create jobs?