Building Capacity in Africa and China for Sustainable Development Corridors

The Development Corridors Partnership brings together three Chinese think tanks, five UK, Kenyan and Tanzanian universities and three Kenyan, Tanzanian and UK conservation organisations to develop capacity, lessons and tools to support good practices for planning and implementing corridors on the wider African continent, and worldwide.

The Partnership will build capacity among researchers, practitioners, government and private sector actors to deliver sustainable development corridors in East Africa. This will
include increasing availability of the best tools and analyses and the skill to use them.

Five things the Partnership will do

  1. Carry out interdisciplinary and international research programmes to assess current development corridor impact, processes and practices
  2. Build capacity in using and developing data, tools and techniques for corridor impact assessments, planning and management in Africa
  3. Provide guidance on how corridors can be better designed to deliver sustainable, inclusive and resilient economic growth
  4. Assess streams of Chinese investments in East Africa and their role in supporting sustainable development
  5. Conduct outreach and engagement activities in East Africa and China with corridor decision makers and stakeholders

Background: what is a development corridor?

A development corridor is a geographical area identified as a priority for investment to catalyse economic growth and development.

One of the most significant corridor developments in the world is China’s ‘Belt and Road Initiative’ (BRI). It aims to improve economic and cultural connectivity between Asia, Europe and Africa through infrastructure, escalating globalised trade and investment. As well as achieving economic goals, development corridors need to protect the integrity of ecosystems and respect the rights and livelihoods of communities from the earliest stages of planning and throughout their development. Negative impacts of poorly planned and implemented corridors may threaten natural capital, ecosystem integrity, livelihoods and social cohesion. Sometimes, they may leave communities with few benefits and greater vulnerability to, for example, the impacts of climate change.

Project website

Project partners

UNEP-WCMC is leading a consortium of five universities (Cambridge, London School of Economics and Political Science, NairobiSokoine University of Agriculture and York),East African partners (WWF TanzaniaAfrican Conservation Centre),and three Chinese think tanks (the National Centre for Climate Change Strategy and International Cooperation, the Chinese Academy of International Trade and Economic Cooperation and the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences).

This project is funded by Research Councils UK through the Global Challenges Research Fund.

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