Professor David Norris, Advisory Panel Member of the Africa-China Centre for Policy and Advisory (ACCPA) and the Vice Chancellor of the University of Botswana has made a clarion call on African governments and policymakers to draw inspiration from China’s philosophy of development, which is people-centered.

He made these calls during a keynote speech he delivered at the Thirteenth Meeting of the China-Africa Think Tanks Forum held in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, on March 8, 2024.

The China-Africa Think Tank Forum is one of the important sub-forums of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation. Over the past 15 years, there have been 15 important international academic exchange events in China and African countries, including this 13th China-Africa Think Tank Forum and the first China-Africa Think Tank and Media Symposium.

CATTF was held in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania’s economic and vibrant city, where over 150 scholars, researchers, and academics from China and Africa attended and delivered various speeches and interventions aimed at strengthening research and knowledge exchange between Africa and China.

IMAGE: Professor David Norris, ACCPA’s Advisory Panel Member & Vice-Chancellor, University of Botswana, delivering his keynote speech at CATTF 2024 in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.

According to Professor Norris, “African governments must put people first in every policy consideration. Without the people at the center of our policies and programs, our vision of a transformed Africa will be far-fetched.”

“China’s philosophy of people-centered development is a shining example of how a country, and in our case, a continent, can transform itself and lift millions out of poverty.”

He further stressed how imperative it is for Africa to develop its home-grown economic model for development.

“For decades, Africans have not engineered their path of development. One that resonates with the economic, social, and political realities of the continent.”. “It’s time for that to change, especially in committing more to research and development to help curate policies for Africa.” He added.

Written by: Mercy Tedeku, Research Associate, ACCPA

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