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Africa Week 2020: How to Avoid Unsustainable Projects

Panelists

Hassan Ssewajje is an Ugandan Economics and Management Scholar at the prestigious Yenching Academy of Peking University, where he currently focusses on sustainable infrastructure funding and debt sustainability for developing economies. He also serves the President of the African Students at Peking University and as an Editor of PKU Africa Think Tank which publishes periodical insights on Africa’s Development and International Relations. Hassan has a civil engineering background with experience in the engineering consultancy sector. He has also served with the 2018 FIFA World Cup organising committee in Russia under the sustainability function. A Young African Leaders Initiative fellow, he believes young people have to play an increasingly important role in the transformation of the African continent.

Kofi Kisiedu Acquaye is the Regional Coordinator for the Young Professionals in Agricultural Development (YPARD), Africa, which is hosted by the Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA). He manages the activities of YPARD’s country chapters in Africa geared towards developing the youth as agricultural development experts. In his work, he helps communicate on agricultural activities in Africa meant to enabling and empowering young agricultural leaders in the region to shape sustainable food systems. Kofi’s experience beyond youth engagement in agriculture includes training and management of farmer-based organisations. He studied Post Harvest Technology at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) in Kumasi, Ghana. He also holds a master’s degree in Development Communication.

Daniel Waters, Fellow of the University of Lagos, is focused on China-Africa relations during his master’s study, his thesis in the area of Development Economics titled "China’s Growing Influence in Sub-Saharan Academia". Following his field work in Nigeria he was appointed a Research Fellow at the Institute for Nigeria-China Development Studies and continues to prepare his research for publication. Daniel also works at AustCham China, managing their industry engagement and reports. Daniel holds a BS (Mathematics and Statistics) and Diploma of Languages (Chinese) from the University of Melbourne and a MS (Economics and Strategy in Emerging Markets) from Maastricht University/United Nations University-MERIT.

Ibeawuchi Benedicta O, Founder of Beny's Pout. Beny is from Nigeria and works as a graduate assistant at Michael Okpara University of Agriculture Umudike Umuahia Abia State Nigeria. She is also an entrepreneur who is passionate about Agriculture. Benedicta is currently focusing on livestock production, utilising broilers, snails and tree crop production (Alley cropping) with crops like avocado, mango, plantain, oil palm and pepper. She is currently studying a masters in Agriculture at China Agricultural University, majoring in Resources & Environmental Utilization and Plant Protection, and specializes in plant nutrition and plant pathology.

Highlights

  1. The word sustainable development gets thrown around often. In your speciality, how do you define and measure whether the Africa-China relationship is sustainable?

  2. Hassan: The China-Africa debt conversation has really picked up because of COVID and debt forgiveness. While China has made some minimal concessions about debt forgiveness, they really haven’t done much. Would you say this move is towards sustainability? Why or why not?

  3. Kofi: A lot of young people in the Africa-China space feel like the most important decisions are being made by governments or older people. How young people tangibly work to make these partnerships more sustainable?

  4. Daniel: Can you briefly tell us more about the nature of the relationship between academic institutions in between China and Africa? To what extend are African universities being influenced and controlled by Chinese interests?

  5. Beny, how are you going to use what you’ve learned in order to benefit the continent?

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