Breakfast Forum

China’s role in Africa's industrial growth – the case of Ethiopia

11 mar 2021 08:30 11 mar 2021 10:00 ENG

Yu Zheng (Fudan University), Gedion Jalata (Forum for Social Studies in Addis Ababa), Nicolas Lippolis (Oxford University), Lovise Aalen (CMI).

Ethiopia, the second most populous country in Africa, has seen substantial industrial growth during the last decade. International investors have relocated their industries to numerous industrial parks around Ethiopia, and thousands of jobs have been created. China provides significant development finance and direct investment in these industrial parks.

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In this seminar, we will discuss the China’s role in industrial development in Ethiopia. Is the aim to take advantage of lower labour and production costs and to get access to domestic markets in Africa? Does it reflect a broader desire to promote the Chinese model of industrialisation? 

And likewise: What are the Ethiopian objectives behind collaboration with China in this area? Is it a way of attracting foreign investment? Are there wider political and developmental considerations behind? And what are impacts of the Chinese-Ethiopian collaboration – on industrial growth, job creation and technology transfer? And how is the collaboration affected by the current conflicts and upheavals in Ethiopia? 

In the beginning of this seminar, Elling Tjønneland will introduce the new seminar serie "China´s role in Africa: What now?". Further, Lovise Aalen will lead the panel discussion between Yu Zheng, Gedion Jalata and Nicolas Lippolis. 


Yu Zheng is a Professor at the School of International Relations and Public Affairs at Fudan University and Distinguished Professor of Shanghai Oriental Scholar. His research areas include international development, international political economy, and global governance.

Gedion Jalata is a reesearcher at the Forum for Social Studies in Addis Ababa, PhD student at the University of Pretoria and works on development issues and China's role in Ethiopia and in Africa.

Nicolas Lippolis is a doctoral candidate in Politics and a researcher at the Centre for the Study of African Economies at the University of Oxford. His current research deals with the politics of industrial policy in Ethiopia and Angola. His broader research interests are in development strategies and the political economy of development, with a regional focus on China-Africa relations. He is also the Chair at Oxford University China Africa Network.

Lovise Aalen is a senior researcher at Chr. Michelsen Institute in Bergen. She has researched African politics for the last two decades (including several long term fieldworks), and has developed an extensive knowledge of the social, economic and political conditions of the wider Horn of Africa region in particular.

The seminars are free and open to all. 



Photo: World Bank on Flickr