CCS Policy Briefings are published as four page documents with policy relevant information and recommendations on very specific topics

Special Economic Zones in South Africa: Lessons for further development

Policy Brief no. 5 – October 2018

In 2018 South Africa reaffirmed its support for Special Economic Zones (SEZs) by approving the preferential tax treatment status of SEZs. South Africa has run a number of industrial development programmes such as Industrial Development Zones (IDZ) since 2000, however, the ongoing efforts have not yet been fully actualised. With new supportive fiscal incentives for businesses in SEZs, the South African government aims to revive industrialisation and to promote inclusive development. Dube in KwaZulu-Natal and Coega in the Eastern Cape have a relatively long history of operation and investors are already active in these zones. Despite excitement around new government support, challenges experienced in the zones have been identified through interviews with stakeholders. By examining the most common challenges, further policy and systematic development will become possible. In this way lessons can be learned and used in the newly launched zones such as the Atlantis SEZ in the Western Cape and other zones in South Africa and beyond. [Continue reading]

Tanzanian infrastructure development and the role of China: the case of Bagamoyo Port

Policy Brief no. 4 – October 2018

Since the mid-2000s, the strong presence of Chinese actors in the construction sector in Africa shifted the continent’s development agenda to increasingly focus on infrastructure. The reluctance of traditional aid donors to extend further funding to African countries, has left a void in the construction sector, which has contributed to Chinese actor’s increasing commitment to unlock potential and create new opportunities. Chin+a’s engagement has invigorated interest in the infrastructure sector and positioned it on a new competitive trajectory on the continent. China’s engagement in Africa’s infrastructure development has gained momentum along with its Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). This game changing initiative has the potential to drive Africa’s socio-economic development and structural transformation. However, this policy brief argues, through an examination of China’s role in Tanzania’s Bagamoyo port development, that the success of the developments depend on the proper management of risks, uncertainties, and the complexity of the policy making process by the host governments, rather than Chinese contractors or finance institutions. [Continue reading]

CCS FOCAC Policy Briefing |Africa’s environmental implications of China’s Belt and Road Initiative

Policy Briefing No. 11 – August 2018

In recent years, China has taken big steps in terms of African wildlife conservation, including raising the issue within international fora such as FOCAC (Forum on China-Africa Cooperation) and imposing a domestic ivory ban in 2017. Despite these laudable measures, there is still much room for improvement. One pressing issue which tends to be overlooked is the large-scale impact of African infrastructure corridors, many of which involve Chinese financing and implementation. A growing body of scientific literature highlights how the development of linear infrastructure projects, such as road and rail construction, contribute toward long-term ecological fragmentation. This phenomenon, in which in-tact ecosystems are increasingly broken into smaller parts, poses a far greater environmental threat than the immediate impact of road and rail construction. Additionally, unlike the immediate impacts of construction, deferred impacts are far harder to measure in advance. [Continue reading]

CCS FOCAC Policy Briefing |FOCAC and the roles of environmental NGOs

Policy Briefing No. 10 – August 2018

Since the establishment of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC), environmental concerns as an agenda topic has gradually increased. From brief mentions in the first and second FOCAC conference to practical action plans by the fourth FOCAC in 2009, the environmental agenda has broadened to include tackling climate change, using new energy sources and pollution prevention among other concerns. The 2015 Johannesburg FOCAC Action Plan was especially significant as it included ten environmental aims and for the first time cooperation mechanisms in tackling illegal wildlife trade. Bringing these important issues to the FOCAC agenda can be owed partly to the work of non-state actors such as journalists, environmental non-governmental organisations (NGOs), conservationists and academia. These actors importantly shed light on China’s investment in environmentally-sensitive natural resources’ sectors and major infrastructure projects with high environmental and social impact in Africa. In particular, environmental NGOs carry out extensive research projects, write reports, engage with governments and other stakeholders as well as provide practical solutions to address concerns. Still, while NGOs make significant contributions to addressing environmental concerns through their expertise, they remain outsiders to the FOCAC process. Globally NGOs play significant roles in addressing environmental concerns, however, there are a limited few who carry out essential projects in order to ensure that China-Africa engagement follows a sustainable pathway. Their expertise and capacity should not be taken for granted; rather their experiences and knowledge should be put to better use. This policy brief discusses the important roles fulfilled by environmental NGOs, provides an overview of NGO work in the China-Africa field and deliberates various platforms where they could play a bigger and more influential role in FOCAC. The brief recommends that environmental NGOs from China and Africa should be formally included during FOCAC proceedings and action plans as well as encouraged to participate in the China-Africa partnership, particularly through people-to-people exchanges. [Continue reading]

CCS FOCAC Policy Briefing |Understanding the environmental protection policy-making process in FOCAC

Policy Briefing No. 9 – August 2018

This policy brief aims to illustrate how ideas and learning provide a roadmap for policy-makers to address the cause and effect relationship of problem areas in environmental protection. To draft and implement a sustainable policy for the future, information shared from the Forum for China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) Action Plan 2012 and Johannesburg Summit 2015 can inform the action plans of environmental protection and climate change negotiated at the Beijing Summit in 2018. Shared ideas among stakeholders and policy-makers structure action plans, advance cooperation and provide solutions to the challenges faced in environmental protection. [Continue reading]