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Asian Drivers


Giles Mohan gets ESRC grant to study Chinese migrants in Africa
Giles Mohan recently received notification that he was successful in securing ESRC funding for a project examining Chinese migrants in Africa and the popular responses of Africans to them. There are allegedly growing tensions among Africans towards the growth in Chinese migration and business activity in Africa. However, this has not been empirically verified so the project, starting in mid-2009, will investigate the organisation of Chinese migrant networks in Ghana and Nigeria, the policy response to them, and the popular attitudes of a cross-section of Ghanaians and Nigerians.

Giles Mohan writes Society Blog - Dams, development and the nation

Giles Mohan Organises China-Ghana worksop in Accra
In April 2009 Dr Mohan organised, with the Institute for Democratic Governance and Africa Next, a one day workshop on China-Ghana relations held at the World Bank offices in Accra. Attended by 36 participants, including Ghanaian MPs and Civil Servants, Ambassador Afare Donkor, Mike Hammond of DFID, and Professors Kwame Ninsin and Paul Yankson, the workshop sought to engender debate on Ghana’s response to the growth of Chinese investment. Situated within the context of the BRICS the workshop heard papers on the trends in China-Ghana relations, how the Chinese view Ghana, and the respective difficulties of Ghanaians doing business in China and Chinese doing business in Ghana. The consensus was that the Ghanaian Government must be more proactive and strategic in its engagement with the Chinese and the organiser hope to mount similar meetings in the future.

Lois Muraguri, Ann Kingiri, Julius Mugwagwa and Watu Wamae will be attending The 13th ICABR (International Consortium on Agricultural Biotechnology Research) Conference on The Emerging Bio-Economy in Ravello, Italy, June 18 – 20, 2009

Theo Papaioannou lectures in Malaysia and Singapore
Theo Papaioannou has just come back from Putrajaya (Malaysia) and Singapore where he spent the first week of April teaching development policy-makers and scheme managers an advanced programme on Comparative Policy and Practice (Benchmarking: Framework, Methodology and Case Studies), after he received an invitation from Uni-Link (U-Link) of the University of Technology Malaysia (UTM).

Meeting of Three Worlds, Written by Pamela Whitby for BBC Focus on Africa magazine. There are articles of a similar nature on the Asiandrivers website, which you can find here

Raphie Kaplinsky, Anne Terheggen, Stephen Murray, Vuyo Mjimba and Zeferino Teka participated in the inaugural workshop of the Making the Most of Commodities Programme (MMCP) in Cape Town during the first week of March. The MMCP is a collaborative research programme between the Open University and the University of Cape Town and involves research by African academics in ten African countries. This programme will run for a two year period until the end of 2010 (For more information, see )

Raphie Kaplinsky and Masuma Farooki attended a workshop in Addis Ababa on the 8-9th February with a high-level multistakeholder group convened by the UN Office of the Special Adviser on Africa to discuss their report “Africa’s Cooperation with New and Emerging Development Partners: Options for Africa’s Development” (insert url to the paper attached to this email). Participants attending this meeting came from the African Union, the Economic Commision for Africa, the African Development Bank, NEPAD, the EU Commission, th OECD Development Centre and from Ethiopian and UK Universities.

Raphie Kaplinsky was a facilitator in a workshop held by the African Economic Research Consortium in Mombasa during the last week of January as part of their ongoing Asian Driver programme.

On March 5th Joanna Chataway gave a presentation to the ESRC STEPS research centre based at the Institute of Development Studies (IDS). The talk explained thinking behind our recent 'Below the Radar' working paper which can be found on the Innogen website (Working Paper No.69) at please see the presentation here

Technologies for Health System Strengthening (THeSyS)’ which DPP/Innogen will be hosting on 6 & 7 April
The Open University and University of Edinburgh’s ESRC Innogen Centre is hosting an electronic discussion and workshop under the banner ‘Technologies for Health System Strengthening (THeSyS)’ for academics, practitioners, policy makers and related others. The electronic discussion is already running, while the workshop takes place at the Open University on 6 & 7 April 2009. These events come in the backdrop of a global financial crisis whose impacts on existing and emerging multi-pronged quests for health delivery and health security world wide are yet to be fully quantified.  They build on earlier strands of Innogen’s work, and inter alia, aims to stimulate and further debate on the link between product development partnerships and health systems. We aim to bring further understanding of health innovation approaches and identify the tools required for effective and sustainable delivery of these innovations on the ground. Some of the questions to be tackled in the workshop include: whether and to what extent and with what trade offs there is a shift from isolated product development chains to linked health innovation systems; and how  product development partnerships contribute to strengthening of health systems? Please visit to participate in the discussion and for more information on the workshop

Innogen contributes two chapters to Nepad’s book on Public Health in Africa
Based on work done between 2007 and 2008 for the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD), a team from the ESRC Innogen Centre and Development Policy and Practice led by Prof Joanna Chataway contributed to two chapters to this exciting book being published by the NEPAD Office of Science and Technology. The book, whose production was funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, sees the Innogen/OU group teaming up with partners in Africa and other parts of the world to bring together insightful thoughts and perspectives on how the health challenge can be tackled in Africa.
Science, Technology and Innovation for Public Health in Africa

DPP staff present papers at China-Africa workshop in Leeds:
Masuma Farooki and Giles Mohan presented papers at the White Rose East Asia Centre's workshop on China-Africa Development Relations. Attended by academics and policy-makers the workshop addressed, at the theoretical and empirical levels, what difference China is making to Africa's development prospects. It is hoped that an edited collection will ensue.

Giles Mohan delivers keynote at the Finnish Society for Development Research
On February 13th Giles Mohan gave a keynote address to the Finnish Society for Development Research entitled Aiding imperialism? China's geopolitics and the prospects for development studies. For more information see …..

Read Giles Mohan’s latest blog on China and Africa….

Norman Clark and Lois Muraguri attended the ACTS/Innogen Executive Course on Health Innovation in Africa in Nairobi on 24th - 28th November 2008. About 25 participants attended; these were drawn from East Africa and mainly consisted researchers, mid-level managers and other health officials. The main theme was the development of capacity in 'social technology' using innovation systems thinking and scenario based planning to bridge the gap between health research and innovative health delivery.pdf

Lois Muraguri attended an “International colloquium on intellectual property in the knowledge economy: a challenge for Africa and its diaspora” held in Yaoundé on 7-9 October 2008 on invitation by the World Intellectual Property Organisation which organised the event together with the Government of Cameroon.
The event was mostly attended by policy makers in Cameroon and other Francophone countries. The speakers included high profile African scientists and researchers working in Africa and also abroad. It was proposed that the diaspora present form a network that would work with their governments in Africa on matters relating to policy and implementation of intellectual property in the context of development. I was nominated to join the committee that would coordinate the network’s activities. We drew up recommendations which were handed over to representatives from WIPO and the Cameroonian government during the closing ceremony. The committee will be following this up as well as coordinating the network.

How do young people see Africa’s challenges?

Young People in Africa: From Marginalisation to Citizenship” is the theme of a two-day conference hosted by the Open University’s International Development Centre (IDC) and the Institute of Social Studies (ISS), to take place on November 20th -21st 2008, at the ISS in The Hague.

African and other scholars will discuss youth in various contexts, including gang culture; HIV and AIDS; post-apartheid experiences; conflict and war; disability; and globalisation.

Drawing attention to the situation of young people in Africa today, the conference will critically examine the challenges facing Africa through the eyes of its younger generation. It will also consider potential mechanisms for increasing young people’s participation in socio-economic and political processes, and exercise their full citizenship. See conference concept paper

The conference is organised by IDC Director Professor Alcinda Honwana in her current capacity as holder of the Prince Claus Chair for Development and Equity for 2007/8.

Conference participants include OU and ISS scholars, policymakers and practitioners involved in this field. Although the conference will have a strong Africa focus, it will present work that goes beyond Africa and speaks to the interconnections between Africa and the rest of the world.

For free conference registration and further enquiries contact:
Femke van der Vliet (

Joanna Chataway will give the following talk to the Least Developed Report Group at UNCTAD in Geneva on Wednesday 19th November 2008.  'Doing development by not doing development':  Can public-private partnerships build research capacity in Sub Saharan Africa?

By Joanna Chataway, ESRC INNOGEN Centre, Open University, UK

Funding scientific and technological change in developing countries represents a daunting challenge for developing countries, especially in SSA. The presentation will offer an up to date assessment of one mechanisms of funding of scientific and technologic development in developing countries by evaluating the current experience with Public-Private Partnerships, such as International AIDS Vaccine Initiative, IAVI, in Sub Saharan Africa. It will discuss whether substantive new capacities have resulted from the application of "not for profit" PPPs, that have undeniably delivered some very impressive capacity building in SSA. However the sustainability of this approach is being questioned.
Using a case study of the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI), this presentation will discuss the implication of application of practice based and goal oriented learning methodology to build research capacity in the Sub Saharan Africa. What lessons can be learned from IAVI and other public-private partnerships, especially as regards investment and financing of science and technology in low income economies, with a view to strengthening domestic R&D capacities?

She will also give a  seminar at UNU Merit in the Netherlands on Thursday 27th November 2008.  That talk has the following title:
Trying to meet the challenge of health innovaton for neglected diseases: New players in an old game or a new game and some different players?

Several DPP members are presenting papers at this year's ESRC Genomics Network conference on Oct 27th and 28th. The conference is being organised this year by the ESRC Innogen Centre based at the University of Edinburgh and at the Open University in DPP.
More information can be found at the Innogen website:

Engaging With African Policy Makers

Raphie Kaplinsky presented the opening Plenary and Closing Address to the AfrIPANet IV conference held at the 4th Conference of African Ministers of Industry meeting in Durban, South Africa on the 24th and 25th October 2008. AfrIPANet is a group representing African Investment Promotion Agencies. The subject of his talk was on the impact of China on African development strategy

On the 27th October Raphie Kaplinsky addressed the African Chief Executives Forum on the role which benchmarking can play in supply chain development.

On the 28th October Raphie Kaplinsky participated in the workshop of the African Clothing and Leather Research Network.

On the 29th October Raphie Kaplinsky and Esko Aho (former Prime Minister of Finland, now CEO of Nokia) were the keynote speakers at the opening of the 11th Annual Conference of the Global Competitiveness Institute in Cape Town, South Africa and was on the Closing Panel of Speakers on the 31st October. His presentation addressed the impact of China on Africa’s development strategies.

On the 31st October Raphie Kaplinsky participated in the Annual Conference of the South African Trade and Industry Policy Secretariat, addressing new directions in innovation strategy.


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