Live discussion: Mon 23 Feb @4pm SAST: China’s Impact on African Employment

19 Feb 2015 - 13:30

Please join the DPRU at the live World Bank's Jobs and Development Google+ Hangout on Monday 23 Feb @ 16h00 (South African Time).

China has had a profound influence in Africa; Chinese firms employ many Africans, invest in infrastructure, roads and power, and open up policy space for African governments. The huge shifts taking place in the Chinese economy suggest that there may be even more new opportunities for Africa in trade and investment relations with China. Chinese investment is diverse and rising fast – from $300 million in 2004 to $16 billion in 2012, mostly in manufacturing, services, and labour-intensive industries. The era of cheap labour in China is over: China is losing competitiveness in world markets because relative wage costs are rising faster than productivity and the currency is appreciating. However, relative unit labour costs in most African countries are still very high, and the business environment is poor, with frequent power cuts and other problems. Little is known about the forms and effects of the Chinese model (low profits, high turnover, high reinvestment). And studies on the broader Chinese economic engagement in African countries are disparate and unconnected.
So what is the distribution effect of Chinese competition on employment? How do cheaper consumer goods create jobs in informal sector where most Africans are? What are the employment effects of cheaper imports of capital from China? And what are the effects of the commodity price boom on regional growth and demand?

Prof Haroon Bhorat, Director of the Development Policy Research Unit (DPRU), at the University of Cape Town, is the moderator, and the panel discussants are:

Dr Deborah Brautigam (Professor of International Development and Comparative Politics, & Director, International Development Program, Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies)
Prof Barry Sautman (Professor, Division of Social Science, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology)
Prof Stephen Golub (Franklin and Betty Barr Professor of Economics, Swarthmore College)
Prof Mwangi Kimenyi (Senior Fellow,  Africa Growth Initiative, Brookings Institution)

To join the Hangout go to: Youtube
Monday 23 Feb 2015 @ EST 09:00 / SAST 16:00 / HKT 22:00