Dr Cynthia Kamwengo on Policy emulation and self-reliance in Africa-Asia cooperation: lessons from Zambia

Lunch, tea and coffee available from 12.30, Sidgwick Hall, Newnham College, (a short distance from the Porters Lodge)

Much western analysis of Africa-Asia relations tends to focus on how rising powers, such as China or India, are using development cooperation to influence policymaking in African countries, in line with their foreign policy or economic interests. However, limited studies have attempted to understand how this cooperation fits into the plans and aspirations of African countries. This seminar will contribute to filling this gap by examining the history of development planning in Zambia and its intersections with global politics. 

Drawing on key stakeholder interviews and archival research, it will examine how policymaking in Zambia has been shaped by the United Kingdom and the country’s long history of political,  conomic
and cultural cooperation with China, India, Malaysia, Japan, North and South Korea. It aims to highlight that Zambia’s strategy for engaging with these diverse partners has not been aimed at advancing capitalism nor communism, but decolonization. More specifically, the Zambian government has used these partnerships to secure finances, skills and technologies to address the political and economic structural inequalities inherited from the colonial era, so that it can achieve sustainable development and self-reliance.

Cynthia Kamwengo is the CDS Postdoctoral Research Fellow in International Development at the University of Bath. She holds a PhD in Human Geography from Durham University and MA in
International Development from Flinders University. She has published academic research and supported the OECD-DCD to produce a policy paper on South-South/triangular cooperation in African
countries. Her ongoing research seeks to make conceptual contributions to the broader study of African agency, the rising powers in global development and the transformation of multilateralism.

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