Brazil and China in Africa Conference, Maputo, December 2015

The Mozambican Institute for Economic and Social Studies (IESE) hosted a conference titled ‘Brazil and China in Africa’ on December 7 in Maputo. The conference comprised a session on the ‘Voice of China in Africa‘ and a session on the ProSAVANA programme in Mozambique, organised by the China and Brazil in African Agriculture (CBAA) project.

The session on ProSAVANA was structured into two panels. The first panel focused on CBAA research and provided an overview of the project (Sérgio Chichava) and shared findings on the conflicting interests and discursive politics in Brazilian cooperation (Lídia Cabral) and the spacial imaginaries in ProSAVANA and the transnational social contestation (Alex Shankland and Euclides Gonçalves).

The second panel offered contrasting viewpoints on the programme by Mozambican practitioners and researchers – a former member of the ProSAVANA implementation team (Calisto Bias) highlighted the opportunities the programme offered to Mozambican family farmers, whereas researchers from the Observatório do Meio Rural (João Mosca and Natacha Bruna) discussed the penetration of capital in rural Mozambique and the emergence of medium-size capitalist farmers induced by governing elites.

The conference was advertised by the local media and attended by about 80 people from government, donor agencies, diplomatic representations, local businesses, civil society organisations, social movements, research institutes, universities and the media.