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Rising Powers such as Brazil, India, China, and South Africa, once predominantly regarded as aid recipient countries, are now becoming more active as donors in their own right, raising important issues for debates on the future of international development cooperation.

Some of the Rising Powers have developed innovative strategies which have achieved considerable social development gains in their home countries, leading researchers, practitioners, and policy-makers to analyse ways of learning from their experiences and applying these lessons elsewhere, particularly in Africa. In addition to exchanges supported by traditional bilateral and multilateral donors, these countries are increasingly active in sharing their experiences directly through ‘South-South Cooperation’.

This guide looks at research outputs in key thematic areas covering the role of the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa) and other ‘emerging’ or ‘Rising Powers’ in international development, and their impact on poverty reduction and social development in low-income countries.

Chinese engagement in African agriculture

A new Open Access Special Issue of World Development based on work on the changing role of China and Brazil in Africa’s agriculture is now available. The work was developed under the ‘China and Brazil in African Agriculture’ project of the Future Agricultures Consortium (FAC).

Ian Scoones, joint convenor of the FAC, has written two blog posts around the findings of the articles in the Special issue, arguing that Chinese engagement in Africa is actually not yet at the scale sometimes assumed.

Read his blogs: Chinese engagement in African agriculture is not what it seems and Are China and Brazil transforming African agriculture?

Rising Powers in International Development: an annotated bibliography
For a detailed overview of issues around rising powers, take a look at this bibliography which builds on the work of the ‘BRICS Initiative’, a horizon-scanning project supported by the UK's Institute of Development Studies' Tomorrow Today fund, and the DFID-funded Rising Powers in International Development (RPID) programme.

Latest Documents

China’s African infrastructure projects: a tool in reshaping global norms
R. du Plessis / South African Institute of International Affairs 2016
The resilience of China’s investments in African infrastructure has been called into question in the light of its own economic slowdown. The substantial reduction in Chinese demand for African commodities has resulted in ...
Costs of non-cooperation in South Asia: an illustration and way forward
R.U. Das / Research and Information System for Developing Countries 2016
The South Asian economic integration has remained afflicted with a narrative that is more often than not a negative one. As a part of this, the arguments put forth include the assertion that the region lacks in trade complemen...
On becoming a responsible great power: contextualising China’s foray into human rights and peace & security in Africa
South African Institute of International Affairs 2016
The deepening of China’s engagement with Africa has also prompted the broadening of its interests on the continent. This has resulted in China’s expansion into increasingly riskier territories, which means there is a greater...
Deepening trade and investment relations post-AGOA: three options for South Africa
C. Prinsloo; C. Ncube / South African Institute of International Affairs 2016
As the US and Africa look to engage at the 2016 annual African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) Forum under the theme of ‘Maximizing AGOA Now While Preparing for the Future beyond AGOA’, two pertinent issues come to...
South Africa in Africa: the dilemmas of foreign policy and human rights
Centre for Conflict Resolution, University of Cape Town (UCT) 2016
The Centre for Confl ict Resolution (CCR), Cape Town, South Africa, and the Johannesburg-based Foundation for Human Rights (FHR) hosted two public dialogues in Cape Town, one on 11 April 2016 on “South Africa in Africa: National ...