Topics & Events

Febrary 17-18, 2011

SOAS International Workshop on Aid and Development in Asia and Africa
"The Role of Infrastructure and Capacity Development in East Asian Growth and its Implications for African Development"

1. Background

The economic development performance of East Asian countries has attracted the interest of researchers and practitioners of international economic cooperation. Since "The East Asian Miracle" was published nearly two decades ago, many studies have been conducted on the factors behind the economic performances in East Asia and the differences between Asia and Africa. Some of these studies have concluded that the differences originated from initial conditions such as human capital and governance. Others, on the other hand, focused more on the role of the government and its relationship with the private sector and donors.

According to recent studies comparing the infrastructure development projects in Asia and Africa, there were some critical differences in the way aid has been provided, and how it has contributed to economic growth and socio-economic development between the two regions. Economic infrastructure development is one of the key policies which accelerated Asian economic growth. And recent arguments show that the infrastructure gap is crucial challenges for African development as well. Through reviewing infrastructure development projects in both Asia and Africa, several interesting features arose.

Economic cooperation provided by Japan to the Asian region has been growth oriented and carried few conditions so that the recipient countries were able to develop their own policies. Importantly, Japanese aid in infrastructure development was used as a trigger for attracting further private investment, including foreign direct investment and domestic private investment. Furthermore, technical cooperation from Japan was instrumental for nurturing local institutions for development. In contrast, economic policies and agenda affecting development of many African countries since the 1980s have been dominated by a series of conditions set by donors such as the World Bank/IMF and Western governments. These schemes included Structural Adjustment Programs, HIPCs conditionality and ex-post performance indicators of general budgetary support or aid allocation. Consequently, African governments have been deprived of the space necessary for designing their own policies and institutions in the light of prevailing local conditions.

In the Asian development process, in a less conditional environment, recipient countries made crucial decisions regarding economic development strategies, including project implementation based on their political will and local social context. These decisions seem important to internalize the outcome of projects into the society. Moreover, capacity development of the recipient countries supported by donors has paved the way of development. It is widely agreed that there is no one-size-fit-for-all model of development. The creation of development policies, strategies and action on the ground according to each national and local context seems one of most critical challenges. The key concepts of capacity development are endogenous development, intellectual assets incorporated into the societies, and knowledge co-creation instead of traditional transfer of knowledge.

Because of recent economic growth in the region, the governments of African countries are seeking more growth oriented policies, which would lead also poverty reduction. Infrastructure development is clearly a key element of promoting private investment and capacity of societies. Nowadays, China particularly plays a growing role in infrastructure development in Africa. Therefore, it is important to crystallize lessons learned from Asian experiences in the sector and share with stakeholders including policy makers in Africa, Western donors, and Asian donors including China and Japan.

2. Structure of the Workshop

The Workshop consists of the following four sessions.

  1. Reviewing current debate and taking a stock in the role of foreign aid in economic development identifying critical differences between Asia and Africa in this regard,
  2. Discussing the impacts and spillover effects of infrastructure development in Asia based on comparison studies on infrastructure development in Asia and Africa,
  3. Discussing institutional capacity development including "learning by doing" and knowledge co-creation under the ownership of the recipient countries,
  4. Exchanging views on how lessons learnt by Asian countries can be relevant to the current African context, with a focus on cooperation in infrastructure development.

3. Speakers, Discussants and Moderators (an alphabetical order)

  • Tony ADDISON, World Institute for Development Economics Research, United Nations University (UNU/WIDER), Finland
  • Olu AJAKAIYE, African Economic Research Consortium (AERC), Kenya
  • Ernest ARYEETEY, University of Ghana, Ghana
  • Lucy CORKIN, School of Oriental and Africa Studies (SOAS), UK
  • Karim DAHOU, Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), France
  • Masuma FAROOKI, Open University, UK
  • Koji FUJIMOTO, Takushoku University, Japan
  • Jane HARRIGAN, School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London, UK
  • Akio HOSONO, Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), Japan
  • James HRADSKY, Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), France
  • Kimiaki JIN, Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), UK
  • Raphael KAPLINSKY, Open University, UK
  • Xiao Guang LIN, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS), China
  • Gilbert MBESHERUBUSA, African Development Bank (AFDB), Tunisia
  • Mike MORRIS, Policy Research on International Services and Manufacturing (PRISM), University of Cape Town, South Africa,
  • Victor MURINDE, University of Birmingham, UK
  • Machiko NISSANKE, School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London, UK
  • Kenichi OHNO, National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies (GRIPS), Japan
  • Cleo ROSE-INNES, National Treasury, South Africa
  • Elisabeth SANDOR. Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), France
  • Yasutami SHIMOMURA, Hosei University, Japan
  • Alice SINDZINGRE, CNRS (France) and School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), UK
  • Finn TARP, World Institute for Development Economics Research, United Nations University (UNU/WIDER), Finland
  • Dirk Willem te VELDE, Overseas Development Institute (ODI), UK
  • Helen TILLEY, School of Oriental and Africa Studies (SOAS), UK
  • Kazuto TSUJI, Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), Japan
  • Elisa Van WAEYENBERGE, School of Oriental and Africa Studies (SOAS), UK

4. Documents and Presentations

  • Olu AJAKAIYE, "China-Africa Aid Relations: Features, Opportunities and Challenges" (PDF/1,254KB)
  • Koji FUJIMOTO, "Indonesia Case Study of Infrastructure Development —The Brantas River Basin Development Project—" 1 (PDF/604KB)/2 (PDF/507KB)
  • Akio HOSONO, "Inside the Black Box of Capacity Development for Development Effectiveness" (PDF/1,195KB)
  • Kimiaki JIN, "Synergy of Financial Assistance and Technical Cooperation" 1 (PDF/198KB)/2 (PDF/286KB)
  • Raphael KAPLINSKY, "China as a Source of Pro-poor Innovation" (PDF/239KB)
  • Xiao Guang LIN, "Chinese foreign aid policy inspection: Take to Africa the aid as the center" (PDF/1,764KB)
  • Machiko NISSANKE, "THE CHANGING LANDSCAPE IN AID RELATIONSHIPS IN AFRICA: CAN CHINA'S ENGAGEMENT MAKE A DIFFERENCE TO AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT?" 1 (PDF/1,352KB)/2 (PDF/231KB)/3 (PDF/158KB)
  • Kenichi OHNO, "Industrial Policy in Africa: What Africa Can Learn from East Asia" 1 (PDF/262KB)/2 (PDF/264KB)
  • Cleo ROSE-INNES, "Southern Africa Case Study of Corridor Development" (PDF/336KB)
  • Yasutami SHIMOMURA, "Infrastructure Construction Experiences in East Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa: A Comparative Study for Mutual Learning" 1 (PDF/108KB)/2 (PDF/221KB)/3 (PDF/238KB)
  • Alice Sindzingre, "Infrastructure, Aid and Growth: Institutions Matter" (PDF/333KB)
  • Finn TARP, "Aid, Growth, and Development: Have We Come Full Circle?" (PDF/136KB)
  • Dirk Willem te VELDE, "EU Blending Facilities: Implications for Future Governance Options" (PDF/553KB)
  • Helen TILLEY, "Government-Donor Interactions and Implications for Capacity Development: some African cases" (PDF/172KB)
  • Kazuto TSUJI (PDF/10KB)
  • Elisa Van WAEYENBERGE, "Capacity Development within Broader (Northern) Donor Practices: Some Observations" (PDF/86KB)

Related Information

5. Final Report

6. Time

17th-18th February 2011 (2 days)

7. Venue

Khalili Lecture Theater (B1),
School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London
Thornhaugh Street, Russell Square, London WC1H 0XG, UK

8. Organizers

School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London UK Office of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA)

9. Information and Registration

For further information and registration, please contact the following e-mail address,
jicauk@jica.co.uk

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Agenda

17th February 2011 (Thursday)

8:45Registration
9:15-9:30

Welcoming Opening Remarks

  • Paul Webley, Director of SOAS
  • Kazunori Oshiyama, Director General, Africa Dept., JICA

Session 1: Aid and Development Compared in Asia and Africa

Moderator: Tony Addison

9:30-11:00

Presentations

  • Machiko Nissanke, "Reconstructing Aid Effectiveness Debate"
  • Finn Tarp, "Aid, Growth, and Development: Have We Come Full Circle?"
  • Kenichi Ohno, "Industrial Policy in Africa: What Africa Can Learn from East Asia"
 - Break -
11:15-12:45

Discussants and Open Discussion

  • Ernest Aryeetey
  • Jane Harrigan
  • Mike Morris
 - Lunch -

Session 2: Infrastructure Development

Moderator: Gilbert Mbesherubusa

14:00-15:30

Presentation

  • Yasutami Shimomura, "Infrastructure Construction Experiences in East Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa: A Comparative Study for Mutual Learning"
  • Koji Fujimoto, "Indonesia Case Study of Infrastructure Development - The Brantas River Basin Development Project -"
  • Cleo Rose-Innes, "Southern Africa Case Study of Corridor Development"
 - Break -
15:45-17:15

Discussants and Open Discussion

  • Kazuto Tsuji
  • Elisabeth Sandor
  • Ernest Aryeetey
  • Alice Sindzingre
 - Lunch -

18th February 2011 (Friday)

Session 3: Capacity Development

Moderator: Karim Dahou

9:15-10:45

Presentations

  • Akio Hosono, "Inside the Black Box of Capacity Development for Development Effectiveness"
  • Kimiaki Jin, "The Value of Technical Cooperation and its Potential Synergy with Financial Assistance"
  • Elisa Van Waeyenberge, "Situating Capacity Development among Broader Donor Practices"
  • Helen Tilley, "Government-Donor Interactions and Implications for Capacity Development"
 - Break -
11:00-12:30

Discussants and Open Discussion

  • Kenichi Ohno
  • Kazuto Tsuji
  • Dirk Willem te Velde
  • James Hradsky
 - Lunch -

Session 4: Application to the current African Context

Moderator: Masuma Farooki

13:45-15:15

Presentation

  • Xiao Guang Lin, "China's Foreign Aid Policy Inspection: Take to Africa the Aid as the Center"
  • Raphael Kaplinsky, "China as a Source of Pro-poor Innovation"
  • Olu Ajakaiye, "China-Africa Aid Relations: Futures, Opportunities and Challenges"
 - Break -
15:30-17:00

Discussants and Open Discussion

  • Machiko Nissanke
  • Yasutami Shimomura
  • Victor Murinde
  • Lucy Corkin
17:00-18:00Panel and Open Discussions

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