Friday, 26 March 2010 and Saturday, 27 March 2010
This conference has become the largest on Africa at Columbia. Relevant panels to APEC included “Aid vs. Investment,” which focused on the comparative effectiveness of aid and foreign investment in achieving economic development and advancing social and economic rights in African nations. Beginning with an examination of recent trends in foreign investment and the objectives and methods employed, participants spoke about the extent to which the incentive to seek profit is an appropriate model for sustaining capital inflow to Africa and laying the bedrock for economic self-sufficiency.
In “China-Africa Trade Summit,” speakers sought to address the major challenges and opportunities that lay ahead in trade and investment between Africa and China as they relate to issues of sustainability, economic growth and development and consumer protection. With most of the major economies trying to recover from the global economic crisis, they addressed new questions about the future of trade and investment in the continent, particularly by China, which is now one of Africa’s foremost trading partners. What are the implications of this fragile environment for the economies of African countries? How can a mutually beneficial environment for trade and investment both for local African businesses and foreign ones be ensured going forward? Lastly, who will look out for the interest of the African consumer?
This conference was organized by the SIPA Pan-African Network, the African Business Club, and the African Law Students Association, and co-sponsored by several other centers at Columbia.