Friday, 1 June 2012

KNOTS blogger

KNOTS blogger

Brazil, China and Africa: options for adaptive cooperation in agriculture

Posted: 31 May 2012 01:49 PM PDT

By Prof Qi Gubo, College of Humanities and Development Studies, China Agricultural University

Novel partnership structures in agriculture were discussed in the May 2012 workshop in on South-South cooperation for agricultural development in Africa, though much further exploration and analysis is needed. A good starting point for guiding multiple actors to work together is to compare the experiences from China-Africa and Brazil-Africa cooperation in agriculture.  Meanwhile, existing cooperation between countries should be assessed from the various perspectives of institutions, beneficiaries and participants.


A variety of learning approaches and cooperation methods should be up for discussion, including mutually beneficial partnerships which go beyond traditional top-down development aid.

What would it take to make Brazil-Africa cooperation work?

Posted: 31 May 2012 12:21 PM PDT

Brazil is on the rise as a new global player in international development assistance – but most Brazilians would prefer not to think of their homeland as a "donor country".  For non-Brazilians, though, it is attractive to project it as a donor, especially now that it is officially the sixth largest world economy ahead of the UK. One reason that Brazilians are uncomfortable with labeling Brazil as a donor is because it threatens to undermine the uniqueness of Brazilian cooperation, which is motivated and driven by an intertwined set of principles of horizontality.

A recent high-level conference held in Brasília on 17 and 18 May 2012 reflected on the prospects and challenges of Brazil-Africa cooperation in the field of agriculture. The discussions were wide-ranging, but they revolved around the relevance of Brazil-Africa cooperation, the uniqueness of the principles of Brazilian cooperation and the apparent challenges associated with cooperation between Brazil and Africa.

The rich exchanges over the two day period prompted some critical reflections on my part. While there is huge potential in the novelty of Brazil-Africa cooperation in the field of agriculture, it would be at least advisable to treat the dynamics that currently underpin it as a work in progress.