Engaging the environment in the China – Africa relationship

  • Harrie Esterhuyse Deputy Editor: African East-Asian Affairs & Research Analyst, Centre for Chinese Studies, Stellenbosch University
  • Meryl Burgess Research Analyst, Centre for Chinese Studies, Stellenbosch University


The path to development follows long held ideas on how to stimulate growth – variations in government control of the economy, variations in tax law, variations on which academic pursuits will stimulate most economic growth. As such there are many examples in history of different ways in which regions or states combined economics and politics to achieve economic growth. It is only in roughly the last 25 years however that the environment more strongly entered into the calculation of growth.This forum contribution discusses the importance of innovation and conservation as methods of adaption and mitigation in the reaction to climate change. The paper, as such, looks at the field of “environmental research” within political science and asks about the place for environmental research within the China-Africa discussion. In this pursuit we can find trends of interest beyond the halls of politics and policy, moving from the direct impacts to the nuanced and indirect.