This event will discuss the comparative strategies in execution between B3W and BRI and the opportunities and challenges Africa faces as a recipient of these initiatives.
The Build Back Better World (B3W) initiative, launched by the G7 in 2021, aspires to promote infrastructure development in the global South, from Africa to Asia. It is strategically conceived to counter China’s Belt and Road Initiative, a large international infrastructure expansion strategy initiated in 2013.
But there are significant differences between B3W and BRI. The G7’s B3W is conceived to be led by private sector investments, while China’s BRI has been underwritten by China’s state capacity. B3W is a concerted move among the G7 members, and BRI is a Chinese unilateral initiative. B3W will focus on gender equality, green investments and public health. BRI has been primarily aimed at transportation, telecoms and digital – the hard components of modern infrastructure.
Since the announcement of Build Back Better World, concrete financial commitments, investment stakeholders, inter-governmental structures, governments’ roles and responsibilities, project pipelines and beneficiary countries have not yet been clarified. To understand its potential for Africa, this event will discuss the B3W’s motivation and vision, the comparative strategies in execution between B3W and BRI, and the opportunities and challenges Africa faces as a recipient of these initiatives.
Daniel Russel is Vice President, International Security and Diplomacy, at the Asia Society Policy Institute. A career member of the Senior Foreign Service at the U.S. Department of State, he most recently served as the Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs. During his 33-year diplomatic career, he received numerous awards, most recently the 2017 Presidential Rank Award. He served in East Asia, Western Europe, at the U.S. Mission to the United Nations, and in Washington, D.C. as Chief of Staff to the Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs. From 2009-2013 he served at the White House as Special Assistant to the President and National Security Council Senior Director for Asian Affairs. During his tenure there, he helped formulate President Obama’s strategic rebalance to the Asia Pacific region, including efforts to strengthen alliances, deepen U.S. engagement with multilateral organizations, and expand cooperation with emerging powers in the region.
Anzetse Were is a development economist with over ten years of experience in economic research, analysis, advising and strategy development focused on inclusive economic development and transformation in Africa. Her areas of expertise include the financial sector and finance systems in Africa; country and regional economic diagnostics in Africa; private sector development; the digital economy; climate finance; and the political economy of finance and development in Africa. She has a Master’s in Economics from the University of Sydney (Australia) and a Bachelor’s degree from Brown University (USA).
Professor Gibril Faal is a multi-disciplinary business and development executive, and visiting professor in practice at the Firoz Lalji Institute for Africa (FLIA), London School of Economics (LSE). He is the co-founder and director of GK Partners, specialising in socially responsible business models, sustainable development and programme implementation. He is a member of the advisory council of the Carnegie African Diaspora Fellowship Program; the founder of RemitAid™, a programme to transform remittances into sustainable development finance; and international consultant to several governments and international institutions across the world.
Ovigwe Eguegu is a Policy Analyst at Development Reimagined. His work focuses on geopolitics and geoeconomics with particular reference to Africa in the context of a changing global order. Ovigwe has provided expertise to both the public and private sector, including Ergo, and Samuel Hall. He is often invited to participate in policy dialogues, seminars and workshops including one co-hosted by the Council on Foreign Relations and the South African Institute of International Affairs. Ovigwe is frequently quoted in international media and has appeared on Al Jazeera, TRT World, CGTN, DW News, BBC Radio.
Shirley Yu (chair) is Senior Practitioner Fellow with the Ash Center of Harvard Kennedy School, a Professor at the IE Business School and a distinguished foreign faculty Professor at the National Defence University, Pakistan. At the LSE Firoz Lalji Institute for Africa, Dr Yu is Visiting Senior Fellow, where she is Director of the China-Africa initiative. Additionally, Yu is the creator of a daily intelligence and insights newsletter on China for Fortune Global 500 stakeholders - China BIG Idea - and a NY-based business talk show Hey China!, as well as a frequent commentator and contributor on the BBC News, Bloomberg, CNN, Al Jazeera, PBS Frontline, S&P Global and Channel News Asia on China. She is a column contributor to the Financial Times and the National News, among others, and a South China Morning Post Expert.
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