Emeritus Professor Raphael Kaplinsky

Emeritus Professor of International Development

Engaging with African Policy Makers

Amongst other engagements, Raphie Kaplinsky:

Participated in the World Economic Forum’s Metal and Metals industry Partners Strategy Meeting in November 2011

Presented to various meetings on industry and policy stakeholders organised by the Common Fund for Commodities and UNCTAD 2010 and 2011

Presented to various meetings with Ministers of Industry at UNIDO.

addressed the African Chief Executives Forum on the role which benchmarking can play in supply chain development.

Together with Esko Aho (former Prime Minister of Finland, and subsequently CEO of Nokia) was the keynote speakers at the opening of the 11th Annual Conference of the Global Competitiveness Institute and was on the Closing Panel of Speakers. His presentation addressed the impact of China on Africa’s development strategies.

Presentations to various meetings organised by the World Bank and ILO on Global Value Chains and the Impact of China on SSA.


You might find the following sites of interest -   www.ipg.open.ac.uk/ (which focuses on pro-poor innovation),  asiandrivers.open.ac.uk/ (examining the impact of China and India on the developing world),  commodities.open.ac.uk (which explores the nature and implications of the commodities boom)

Raphael is the author of numerous books on technology, industrialisation, and globalisation. These  include studies on globalisation, industrial policy, industrial organisation, global value chains, the international automobile sector, computer-integrated automation, computer aided design, the impact of microelectronics on employment, appropriate technology and on the resource sector. During the 1990s he pioneered research on changing patterns of organisation in manufacturing in developing countries and on global value chains. In 2005 he published a widely-cited book on globalisation, utilising micro-, meso- and macro-data to examine the generalised consequence of upgrading in the global economy (Globalization, Poverty and Inequality). More recently he has researched the impact of China and India (“The Asian Driver” economies) on Africa, and the implications of their growth for the global commodities sector (The Impact of China on Global Commodities, 2012). His current research is focused on the contribution of Emerging Economy innovation on pro-poor innovation and growth strategies in low income economies. During the course of this research he has over the years worked with enterprises, government-departments and other organisations in Japan, the USA, Western and Eastern Europe, Central America, Brazil, sub-Saharan Africa, and South and Central Asia.

Operational experience:

Raphael Kaplinsky has participated in numerous UN and EU Missions, providing advice to a large range of countries, particularly on industrial and technology policies. He has led teams of advisers in Central America, Cyprus, South Africa and Kazakhstan and has participated as an adviser in a number of other countries. Between 1991 and 2003 he worked intensively with the South African government on Industrial Policy, and has been deeply involved in the development of industrial strategy in the post-Apartheid era. He has also provided advice on strategic focus and on manufacturing organisation to transnational firms, and to firms in the UK, Africa, Brazil, Central Asia, Central America and India. In the mid-1990s he worked with the European Commission on a programme of assistance to encourage organisational restructuring in European manufacturing and services. More recently, he has worked with the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) and the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) on policies towards the resource sector.

Research management:

Between 1998 and 2003 Raphael was the research manager of an integrated and globally networked programme of research on Globalisation and Value Chains undertaken by the Institute of Development Studies at the University of Sussex in cooperation with a range of global partners drawn from academia, the corporate sector, the multilateral agencies and civil-society. In 2005 he initiated a similar globally-networked research programme on the impact of dynamic Asian economies on the developing world (The Asian Drivers Programme), and has particular responsibility for the programme’s work on Sub-Saharan Africa. As part of this he worked closely with the African Economic Research Consortium’s 20 country Asian Driver Research Programme. More recently he has co-directed a research programme with the University of Cape Town on linkages form the commodities sectors in Africa.

Are Asian Driver capital goods pro-poor?

This project currently supports three PhD students who are researching the question of whether Chinese (and Indian) capital goods provide an opportunity to improve pro-poor innovation in East Africa. Specifically the students are researching: tractors in Tanzania; wood and metal working tools in Kenya and; textile machinery in Uganda.

Innovations for Pro-Poor Growth

A burgeoning area of interest for DPP members is the issue of how innovative activity can promote and support entrepreneurship in order to raise the income, welfare and agency of the poorest in society.  Initial ideas for the project and its conceptual base are available at www.ipg.open.ac.uk. This project currently supports three PhD students who are l...

Making Most of the Commodities

Making Most of the Commodities

The disruptive entry of China into the global economy, with its thirst for minerals and energy and its prowess in manufacturing, has had a major impact on the terms of trade. India’s impending entry is likely to exacerbate this shift in relative prices. This
shift in relative prices poses both challenges and opportunities for SSA, including constr...

The evolution of global manufacturing prices from 1988-2006

This paper analyses the pattern of price changes between 1989 and 2006 of imports into the EU, Japan and the US and compares the price change of exports from China with the price changes of exports from other countries grouped by income level, distinguishing among goods of different technological intensity.

Main Objectives:

By analysing the evolution of the prices...

Be Outraged: There are alternatives

Report by leading economists on the impact of current austerity economic policies in Europe and  possible alternatives. It concludes by arguing that,  

"Leaders of the world need to regain the vision and determination to strengthen the international system and prevent future crises. State action is also needed to help sustain more dynamic national economies an...

Can Asian Driver technology help to make African growth more inclusive?

Prof. Kaplinsky presented findings of his research in planary session at Globelics conference 2012

China’s impact on commodity prices

Prof. Raphie Kaplinsky discusses China's impact on commodity prices and its implications for growth in Africa


Let’s not be impatient, there is hope for South Africa’s future

Let’s not be impatient, there is hope for South Africa’s future

South Africa is not the most comfortable country to live in. Unemployment levels dwarf those in the troubled economies of Europe. The unemployed survive because families redistribute income internally, through occasional and generally informal employment, and often by living off the proceeds of crime.

Misconceptions, realities and unanswered questions: Prof. Raphael Kaplinsky

Professor Raphael Kaplinsky, a Professor of International Development at the Development Policy and Practice speaks about Misconceptions, realities and unanswered questions: China's engagement with Africa.

The event was held at ODI offices in London on 20 January 2014. More information can be found here

This Jubilee Lecture for the 25th birthday of its European Journal of Development Research (EJDR) was part of the 14th EADI General Conference "Responsible Development in a Polycentric World: Inequality, Citizenship and the Middle Classes" (Monday, 23 June 2014, 5pm).

By provid...

Policy places too little focus on supply, capabilities: Prof. Raphael Kaplinsky

In seeking to be part of global value chains (GVCs), it is important to know and understand the core incompetencies and competencies of business or government, respectively, in order to "prioritise and specialise" the vertical value chain, Open University Professor Raphael Kaplinsky said at Thursday's Economies of Regions Learning Network meeting in Pretoria.

Prof. Kaplinksy attend High-Profile Summit on GVCs

At the end of October 2014, Professor Raphael Kaplinsky attended Duke University’s high-profile Duke Global Summit on Governance and Development in a Value Chain World to take part in the panel discussion, Academic Reflections on Global Value Chains. 

The summit was dedicated to the discussion of global value chains – the complex patterns in ...

Prof. Kaplinsky presentation at the Freeman Centre, SPRU


Prof. Kaplinsky presented findings of his research on 'Pro-Poor Innovation' at Freeman Centre, SPRU 

Significance of Global Value Chains

Raphael Kaplinsky, Professor of International Development at the Development Policy and Practice, discusses the significance of global value chains during Duke's Global Summit on Governance and Development in a Value Chain World.

The Rise of China and the Reshaping of the Global Resource Sector

Prof. Kaplinksy gives lecture at UNU-MERIT on the rise of China and its implications for global trade.

Towards Inclusive Innovation, Asian Drivers, Global Value Chains and the Role of Commodities

Towards Inclusive Innovation, Asian Drivers, Global Value Chains and the Role of Commodities: Celebrating Raphael Kaplinsky’s Research.

To watch: http://www.open.ac.uk/ikd/podcasts/towards-inclusive-innovation-asian-dr...

Towards Inclusive Innovation, Asian Drivers, Global Value Chains and the Role of Commodities: Celebrating Raphael Kaplinsky’s Research

The Innovation, Knowledge and Development Centre (IKD) and the Development, Policy and Practice Group (DPP) want to invite you to the workshop Towards Inclusive Innovation, Asian Drivers, Global Value Chains and the Role of Commodities: Celebrating Raphael Kaplinsky’s Research on Thursday, 18 June 2015, from 12:30 - 18:30 The Open University, 1-11 Hawley Crescent, Camden Town, London NW1 8NP ...

Will the Asian Drivers be a source of pro-poor innovation?

Prof. Kaplinsky presenting findings of his research on Pro Poor Innovation at a symposium 'Asia Rising: A New Oriental Globalisation? in the Open University

Emeritus Professor Raphie Kaplinsky

Development Policy and Practice
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
The Open University
Walton Hall
Milton Keynes
United Kingdom

Tel: +44 (0) 1908 653 863
Fax: +44 (0) 1908 654 825
E-mail: Raphie Kaplinsky