2017 Shanghai Conference on Africa and Asia

October 27, 2017


Shanghai Conference

The Center for African Studies, in partnership with the Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies, Harvard University Asia Center, the East Asian Legal Studies Program, and our partners across campus, is proud to present the 2017 Shanghai Conference on Africa and Asia: "Africa-Asia Connections: Bridging Past, Present, and Future" on November 16-17, 2017 at the Harvard Shanghai Center in Shanghai, China. If you are interested in more information, please contact Rosaline Salifu, our Events and Fellows Officer, at rosaline_salifu@fas.harvard.edu.

The legacy of the vibrant movement of ideas, capital, and people between these two continents has set the stage for today’s political, economic, and social exchanges. Billions of dollars flow annually from China to resource-rich African partners. Indian migrants established communities across East Africa long ago, while Nigerian traders have recently begun to expand their trade footprint across South Asia. Meanwhile, South Korean and Japanese foreign assistance plays a vital role in public health and infrastructure on the continent. In an increasingly multipolar world, South-South collaboration along these axes will assume even greater importance.

Despite these rich linkages, the relationship between Africa and Asia remains poorly understood by scholars, policymakers, and businesspeople alike. As such, the Africa-Asia Initiative aims to explore issues related to three central themes: “Migration, Aid, and Trade”; “Environment, Science, Infrastructure, and Industry”; and “Partnerships in Public Health.” These connections bespeak the breadth of the relationship and the ways it evolves in the 21 st century.

Our goal is to widely disseminate knowledge around these topics. As such, this initiative aims to:

  • Host international conferences that explore these themes, the first in Shanghai (2017) and the second, focused on partnerships in public health, in Johannesburg (2018)
  • Identify rare and unpublished materials across the Harvard library and museum system related to the Africa-Asia relationship
  • Facilitate the exchange of ideas within the Harvard community through faculty roundtables each semester

This cross-disciplinary collaboration involves a broad array of institutions at Harvard, along with external partnerships with the African Development Bank, the African Academy of Sciences, and the African Export-Import Bank.