This publication in discussion, ‘A Handbook of Zimbabwe - China Economic Relations’ is the outcome of a research study the Zimbabwe Environmental Law Association (ZELA) undertook with financial support from the Ford Foundation Office for Southern Africa. To generate a deeper and holistic understanding of Chinese investments in Zimbabwe in particular and Africa in general, the study:
• Analysed the impact of Chinese investments in Zimbabwe’ minerals sector especially gold, diamond and chrome in addition to the nature and role of its development finance;
• Examined the relationship that exists between Chinese and Zimbabwean actors at the grassroots;
• Evaluated the implications of China’s increasing engagements in Zimbabwe on democracy, good governance and sustainable development;
• Sought to build capacity and facilitate knowledge transfer among young researchers.
The research findings were arrived at after conducting interviews and over five focus group discussions with an average of 33 participants from Mutare, Marange, Zvishavane, Mutoko and Mudzi, ensuring that COVID-19 protocols were in place. The interviewees consisted of workers in Chinese companies, the local leadership at the village and ward levels from various communities including Chiadzwa and Mukwada, Arda Transau, Mhondongori and Mapanzure. The findings will help inform policy makers, academics and civil society organizations on the nuances of Chinese engagement in Zimbabwe and beyond.
About the Speakers
Veda Vaidyanathan is a multi-disciplinary researcher who specializes in Asia - Africa interactions, currently based in New York City. As an Associate at the Harvard University Asia Center and also a Visiting Associate Fellow at the Institute of Chinese Studies in New Delhi, she brings a comparative perspective to her work, often examining Chinese and Indian engagements in the continent. Research projects she has designed and led have examined investments in financial services and mining in Zimbabwe, agriculture in Zambia, infrastructure development in Tanzania and Kenya and pharmaceutical manufacturing in Ethiopia. More information is available on her website https://vedavaidyanathan.com.
Prolific Simbarashe Mataruse is a scholar based at the Department of Governance and Public Management at the University of Zimbabwe, who has been extensively involved in rethinking Zimbabwean politics including the current constitution, civil society, political economy and foreign policy. He is involved with youth organisations and is part of several academic networks. Currently he is working on understanding Chinese investments in Zimbabwe, bottom-up solutions in Zimbabwe, and the global economic positionality of Zimbabwe. He holds a PhD in Politics and International Relations from Rhodes University in South Africa; and an Msc and BSc (hons) from the University of Zimbabwe.
Eve Nyemba is International Relations Specialist in the Areas of Foreign Policy, Diplomacy, International Organisations Administration, Gender and Politics, In-depth Country Analysis, Politics and Governance in Developing Societies. She has published on Foreign Affairs, Democratic Governance and International Economic Relations. She is currently studying towards a PhD in Political Studies at the University of Johannesburg. She was awarded a Doctoral Scholarship by the National Institute for the Humanities and Social Sciences (NIHSS) and the Council for the Development of Social Science Research in Africa (CODESRIA).
Farai Mutondoro is a political economist researcher with a background in Sociology, Public Policy and Governance. Farai is the Coordinator of the Africa Institute of Environmental Law, a research arm of ZELA. His research interest primarily lies in understanding Chinese investment in Africa’s mining and energy sector, state capture and power dynamics in the natural resources sector.
Josephine Chiname is a highly adept legal practitioner complemented with six years of post-graduate law experience in non-governmental organisation legal sector and the private legal practice. Over the years, Josephine’s work has centred around business and human rights, children and young people’s rights in natural resource governance, corporate accountability, access to remedy and general sustainable and equitable natural resource governance.
About the Chair
Rajiv Bhatia is Distinguished Fellow, Foreign Studies Programme at Gateway House. He is a member of CII’s International Advisory Council, Trade Policy Council and Africa Committee. During a 37-year innings in the Indian Foreign Service (IFS), he served as Ambassador to Myanmar and Mexico and as High Commissioner to Kenya, South Africa and Lesotho. His first book India in Global Affairs: Perspectives from Sapru House (KW Publishers, 2015) presented a sober and insightful view of India’s contemporary foreign policy. His second book, India-Myanmar Relations: Changing contours (Routledge 2016) received critical acclaim. His third book, India-Africa Relations: Changing Horizons (Routledge 2022) has also been receiving positive reviews.
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