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Belt and Road Initiative in Africa Conference


Event Details

In 2013, President Xi Jinping launched the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), which has integrated China’s global strategies of promoting infrastructure-led development, trade, finance, policy, and people-to-people connectivity. Under the banner of the BRI, China- Africa engagements have reached new heights. From 2003 to 2018, the annual flow of Chinese foreign direct investment (FDI) to Africa has surged from $75 million to $5.4 billion, while the stock value of Chinese FDI in Africa has increased from $491 million to $46 billion, making China the fastest-growing investor in the continent. According to the statistics of the China-Africa Research Initiative of Johns Hopkins University, as of 2018, Chinese bilateral official lending to 38 African countries has reached $57 billion, which is almost the same size as the World Bank lending and accounts for over 65 percent of all the bilateral official debt of those countries.

What does the BRI mean for sustainable development, given the incredible gap in infrastructure finance and implementation of law in African countries? What are the impacts of the BRI on the debt profile of resource-producing countries in Africa, considering the COVID-19 induced nosedive in the international prices of crude oil and other commodities that oxygenate the economies of many African states? What are the broad geopolitical implications of the BRI, in terms of the shifting conditions of China- Africa cooperation since the post-independence era? Could China and African states use the BRI to create an effective and impartial dispute resolution mechanism that can accommodate Chinese and African values and how? To what extent can China and Africa promote and strengthen ethical standards and values of good governance in transnational trade and investment?

This three-day Webinar assembles prominent scholars, policymakers, and practitioners from law, political economy, and sociology to unpack the above-mentioned governance issues arising from China’s BRI in Africa through the prisms of debt sustainability, dispute resolution, and transparency and good governance.

Day 1 (Feb 23, 5:00–7:00 PM (VAN Time)/(Feb 24, 9:00–11:00 AM (HK Time)

Joint Welcome Remarks:
Prof. Victor V. Ramraj (Professor of Law and Director, CAPI, University of Victoria) &
Prof. Po Jen Yap (Director, CCPL, HKU)

Keynote Speech:
Prof. Deborah Brautigam (Director, China-Africa Research Initiative, John Hopkins University

Panel 1 Debt Sustainability
Prof. Ching Kwan Lee (The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology)
Prof. Deborah Brautigam (Johns Hopkins University)
Prof. Stephen Harder (New York University Shanghai)
Prof. Gu Bin (Beijing Foreign Studies University)

Day 2 - Panel 2 Transparency and Good Governance (Feb 24,5:30–7:00 PM(VAN Time)/Feb 25 9:30–11:00 AM(HK Time)
Prof. Muna Ndulo (Cornell University Law School)
Prof. Larry C. Backer (The Pennsylvania State University Law School)
Bady Baldé (Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative, Norway)
Prof. Yves Tiberghien (University of British Columbia)
Ngozi S. Nwoko (University of Victoria, Canada)

Day 3 - Panel 3 Dispute Resolution (Feb 25, 5:30–7:15 PM (VAN Time)/Feb 26 9:30–11:15 AM (HK Time)
Prof. William P. Alford (Harvard University)
Dr. Mariel Dimsey(CMS Hasche Sigle, Hong Kong LLP)
Prof. Heng Wang (University of New South Wales)
Prof. Won Kidane (Seattle University)
Prof. Weixia Gu (The University of Hong Kong)

Closing Remarks: Dr. Ying Xia (Co-convener of BRI Conference, HKU)


24/02/2021 to 26/02/2021 09:00-11:00


via Zoom Webinar



Event Details

Start date
24 Feb 2021
Start time
9 a.m.
Event type
Zoom Webinar
Faculty of Law and Centre for Comparative and Public Law, The University of Hong Kong

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Link to Event