The Global Race to Build Africa’s infrastructure

12.07.2019, 10h00 - 12h30, conference, REGISTRATION IS CLOSED

A train launched to operate on the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) line constructed by the China Road and Bridge Corporation (CRBC), REUTERS/Thomas Mukoya


Basic infrastructure is a pillar to ensure prosperity and equip societies to tackle major challenges including climate change, social inequality, population growth, and rampant urbanization. And yet, despite decades of western development assistance, Africa´s infrastructure gap continues to widen to such an extent that it poses a real threat to the stability of the global order. But, as China ramps up its assistance through the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), many Western actors have raised warn-ings of a debt trap and neo-colonialism. Yet, strident rhetoric asides, African policy makers continue to turn to China because better alternatives to finance infrastructure lack.
However, Africa’s rapid population growth and its proximity to Europe makes it urgent for the EU to search for innovative forms of organising and financing infrastructure in Africa. The “West” in gen-eral might lose if they pretend that their traditional rules of engagement work. Could it be possible to combine the agility of China´s approach with Western-style efforts of institution-building and good governance?

The aim of this public panel is to foster discussion of global efforts to help build Africa´s infrastruc-ture and put the continent on a sustainable development path.
•    Nuno GIL, Professor of New Infrastructure Development, University of Manchester; lead editor of book Duality by Design: The Global Race to Build Africa´s Infrastructure, Cambridge U Press
•    Fu JUN, Professor of Political Economy and Public Policy, Academic Dean of the Institute of South-South Cooperation and Development (ISSCAD), Peking University
•    Crecentia MOFOKENG, Regional Representative, Building & Wood Worker's International Africa & MENA
•    Representative of the EU (tbc)

Contact: Daniela.Iller(at)



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+32 22 34 62 81


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