Past Event


What is China’s Belt and Road Initiative, and Why is East Africa in Focus?

28 September 2017 13:00–14:30

Convening Space,
Institute of Development Studies,
Library Road,

Three years since the launch of China’s flagship outbound investment strategy, One Belt One Road (OBOR), many are left uncertain – what is OBOR and what exactly is China trying to achieve?

Based on study of trade-related potential for win-win development between China and Africa countries, Dr. Lauren Johnston will explain economic push factors underlying China’s outbound investment agenda, and the attractiveness of selective ‘Road’ countries in Africa.

Arguing that the timeliness of OBOR investments for particular African economies could help underlie sustained economic development, she adds a call for Australia, the only OECD member of the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA), to grasp related new challenges and opportunity.

About the speaker

Dr Lauren Johnston is a Research Fellow in the Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research. Lauren’s research in development economics applies mainly to China and Africa, and China-Africa relations. Previously Lauren taught Chinese economy at the Beijing Foreign Studies University (IES), and held positions at the World Bank in DC and World Economic Forum in Geneva.

As a Fellow of the Overseas Development Institute she was an economist in the Ministries of Finance of Guyana and Sierra Leone each for a year. Lauren holds a PhD (Econ) from Peking University, a MSc (Dev Econ) from the University of London (SOAS) and a BA/BCom from the University of Melbourne.

About the organisers

This event has been organised under the auspices of the Centre for Rising Powers and Global Development (CRPD), and the Business and Development Centre.

CRPD is at the forefront of research and practical analysis that helps connect governments, donors, civil society, and academia to explore new way to address global development challenges, with a particular focus on the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) and other increasingly influential middle-income countries

The Business and Development Centre seeks to provide much needed research and practical analysis on the role business plays in addressing global challenges such as inequalitysustainability and security informed by thinking from across business, economics, political science and development studies.

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Key contacts

Jing Gu

Research Fellow, Centre Director


+44 (0)1273 915692


About this event


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