SALO’s Research, Development and Coordination Manager Dr Showers Mawowa attended an international symposium on Afro-Asia Relations entitled “Africa and Asia Entanglements in the Past and Present: Bridging History and Development Studies” held at Kansai University, Osaka Japan, from 31 July to 4 August 2015.
The objective of the symposium was to enlarge and deepen the scope of the study of Africa-Asia relations by addressing facets of those interactions that are most neglected in contemporary scholarship. The symposium provided historically contextualised insights about the various ways in which the African and Asian regions and studies engage with each other. Among the various themes covered where, labour history, Afro-Asia migration, African diaspora in Asia, current Afro-Asia relations in global governance and development, in particular the post-2015 development agenda and the Tokyo International Development Conference on Africa (TICAD). Dr Mawowa presented on labour history in the mining sector and participated in the discussion on the post-2015 development agenda. The symposiums also provided an opportunity to meet with officials from the South African embassy in Tokyo responsible for TICAD and post-2015 development agenda. A key observation from the discussion was how the Japanese engagement (in particular trade and development cooperation) with Africa is changing in response to the rise of China. Monitoring these kind of trends is important for SALO’s work on post-2015 development and global development discourse broadly.