China-Africa Joint Research Exchange Project 2015: preliminary report
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The Africa Institute of South Africa (AISA) at the Human Sciences Research Council is mandated to promote knowledge production on African Affairs. Fieldwork undertaking is one of the key methods of AISA's research undertaking. The author undertook research in Beijing and Guangzhou to determine whether South Africa and Africa can learn from China's opening up and reform; and determine whether a model could be developed which could outline key substantive and procedural factors that may assist the development and implementation of effective industrial programs on the continent. The research undertaking very constructive particularly due to the China Association of Development Zones. I was able to go to not only have theoretical discussions with scholars, but also met practioners, visit several zones which helped me determine first hand, the levels and capacity of industrial development in China. Based on China's experiences, the interviews discussed both challenges and positive routes that the industrialization process could undertake on the continent. Most of the respondents were quite open. My key findings established that while Africans need to craft their own model, there are strategic lessons to be learnt from the China reform process, China is very open to assist on continental reform measures, and there were a lot of local governments and companies which had a strong interest in doing business in South Africa and Africa.