Ethnic diversity in Africa and its implications for Chinese investments

November 06, 2019

Investments from China have played important roles in regional development in Africa. However, they have also caused a lot of controversy. After the extension of China’s Belt and Road Initiative to many African countries in 2018, China will continue to be a key investor in Africa in the future, but making good investment decisions and managing potential risks will require a further understanding of African society and culture. This talk will provide an overview of the complexity of ethnic relations in Africa based on the speaker’s research in South Africa in particular. There will be detailed discussions about how ethnic diversity affects the economic development in South Africa and other major African countries, and how it can influence Chinese investments in Africa in general.


Peng Zhang joined the Beedie School of Business at Simon Fraser University in August 2018 as an Assistant Professor of Managerial Economics. She received her Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Cambridge in July 2018.  Her research fields are Development Economics and Applied Microeconomics with a focus on how social and political factors affect firms’ decision making and workers’ occupational choices in emerging economies. She has projects on how ethnic interactions affect job opportunities, how informality changes welfare and how socio-economic status stays persistent over generations. Recently she is also investigating how government interference influences location choices of multinational firms. She is particularly interested in African economies and has been working with scholars in South Africa and Ethiopia. She was visiting the University of Cape Town as a Marie-Curie PODER fellow sponsored by the European Commission in 2016-2017.

About the Pacific Region Forum

The David Lam Centre draws on academic, business, and government resources, to provide opportunities at Pacific Region Forum events for reporting, analyzing, discussing and debating strategies for articulating relationships within and between businesses and their environments in North America and East and Southeast Asia.

Themes related to potential intercultural continuities and divergences are explored with a view to advancing the consonance and compatibility between corporate and social relationships and cultural values across the Pacific and within North America. This Forum is organized by Rosalie L. Tung, Ming and Stella Wong Professor, International Business at SFU Beedie School of Business.

Read more about the Pacific Region Forum →

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

4:00 - 5:30pm

SFU Vancouver
515 West Hastings
Harbour Centre 1400-1410
Joseph & Rosalie Segal Centre

This event is free but registration is required.

Please visit HERE to reserve your seat.