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Tukumbi Lumumba-Kasongo

Abstract

My article is a critical reflection on China-Kenya Relations with the focus on the Chinese MSRI link with Kenya. Since Kenya gained its nominal political independence in 1963 from Great Britain, it has been involved in complex foreign relations with China. Currently, they enjoy solid bilateral relations, despite some domestic priority shifts and ideological differences among their leaders. From Jomo Kenyatta to Daniel Arap Moi, Mwai Kibaki and Uhuru Kenyatta, Kenya-China relations have been growing.

The Forum on China Africa Cooperation. Within FOCAC, a collective, pragmatic consultancy and dialogue scheme was established. There have been more than 80 Chinese development projects in Kenya, ranging from the provision of grants to the building of infrastructures and concessional loans.

This essay reflects, using the geopolitics critique of neo-realism supported by historical structuralism and multipolarity paradigms, potential gains of the MSRI within Kenya vision of 2030 (Ruwaza ya Kenya). What and how would Kenya gain from this initiative, beyond the existing relations? What kind of partnership will develop out of MSRI, which can support African regional needs, exigencies of practices of democracy and those of sustainable development, and environmental parameters? I propose a multipolar perspective as a new theoretical ground to address the above questions.

Muhammad Azam

Abstract

The broad objective of this study is to evaluate the effects of inequality and other explanatory variables, including inflation, foreign direct investment, human capital, and migrant workers’ remittances, on economic growth using a panel of 13 Asia and the Pacific countries between 1996 and 2008. According to the results of the Hausman test, the random-effects model was preferred over the fixed-effects model in most of the equations. Empirical results reveal the significantly negative effect of inequality on economic growth. The empirical findings also suggest that the mitigation of inequality is indispensable for achieving inclusive development in the true sense. For this purpose, however, the implementation of fiscal policy option is a necessity, whereas persistent food security through agribusiness also should not be overlooked to achieve lower levels of inequality and enhance inclusive growth and development in the region.

Bridging the Digital Divide through Korea Cooperation

The Case of Ghana-Korea Information Access Centre ( IAC )

Augustine Blay Arko, Barfi-Adomako Owusu and Gladys Kwadzo

Abstract

The purpose of this paper is review the objectives and functions for which the Ghana-Korea Information Access Center (IAC) was set-up at the University of Ghana, Legon in 2012. This type of facility is one of the very few established in Ghana to bridge the digital divide through Ghana-Korea co-operation. Sharing information on its status and development will throw important light on a key Ghana-Korea Project in the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) sector, provide critical guidance for the development of future centres and lay the the basis for exploring possibilities for co-operation in ICT between the the two countries. The paper draws its data from interviews (involving users of the IAC) and documented information on the project. The paper traces the developmental processes (physical, institutional and administrative) for the setting up of the IAC and points up the lessons learnt.

Jasper Abembia Ayelazunoa and Lord Mawuko-Yevugahb

Abstract

In the 1960s, the economic development of African countries such as Ghana was on par with Asian countries like South Korea, Singapore, and Malaysia. Fast forward to the 2000s and a totally different picture emerges: Ghana lagged far behind its Asian counterparts in most development indicators, something that exemplifies the broader case of postcolonial African states unpropitious of development. Paradoxically, a new intellectual fad has emerged in the 2000s claiming ‘Africa is rising’, potentially, to replicate the development model of the Asian tigers. This discourse is based mostly on spurts of economic growth of African countries rich in natural resources like oil and gold, a growth driven by a spike in world market prices of these commodities in the second decade of the 21st century. When the world prices of these commodities plummeted precipitously a few years later, countries like Ghana, cited as signal examples of the ‘Africa rising’ mantra, went into deep economic crises. The IMF had to bail them out. Meanwhile, despite the global economic downturn, Ghana’s Asian counterparts managed to muddle through, still far ahead of it in most indicators of development. In contrast to the Africa Rising discourses, this paper draws on the insights of critical international political economy to leverage our understanding of the contrasting development paths African states and their Asian counterparts have taken in the immediate postcolonial period; and more recently, the period following immediately after the global economic downtown. Despite its weaknesses, indeed, despite the refutation of its cruder claims, we argue that dependency theory is still rich with useful analytical insights that can unravel the African development paradox in the 21st century vis-à-vis the development miracle of the Asian tigers.