Rising power and Africa

The OU has a wide-ranging approach to international development, which focuses on science, technology, innovation and development; and institutional and human capabilities in development. One of the key areas we are researching is the Asian Drivers. Since 1979, China has grown at an average rate of more than nine per cent per year. India has grown at a similar pace since the early 1990s. At the OU we ask: what impact will China and India have on the developing world in general, and on the nature and incidence of poverty in particular? This question is particularly important in light of the key Millennium Development Goal to halve the incidence of global poverty by 2015.

We have a growing number of research students examining different facets of this question. They are based in the Development Policy and Practice Group and undertake primary research in Africa and Asia. OU students are also part of vibrant international networks examining the rise of Asia for international development and regularly attend conferences and workshops on this subject.

Potential research projects

  • The social and environmental impacts of large Chinese construction projects
  • The political implications of Chinese engagement with Africa
  • The developmental impact of highly-skilled migration among Chinese and Indians
  • Chinese SMEs in the developing world African responses to China

Current / recent research projects

We have had a number of ESRC funded research projects, including:

  • Chinese national oil companies and the economic development of African oil producers (with colleagues at Dundee, Peking, CASS, and the African Centre for Energy Policy)
  • China as the new ‘shaper’ of global development (a collaboration with IDS at Sussex under the Rising Powers Programme)
  • The social and political impacts of South-South migration: A comparative analysis of Chinese migrant integration in West Africa
  • Politics of Chinese engagement with African ‘development’: Case studies of Angola and Ghana (with colleagues at Durham)
  • China goes global: A comparative study of Chinese hydropower dams in Africa and Asia (a collaboration with SOAS under the Rising Powers Programme).

Potential supervisors

Professor Giles Mohan

Dr Dinar Kale

Dr Ben Lampert



DPP also provided wide and diverse learning platforms which helped me expand my academic base and research skills.

Zef Teka