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Examining the Belt and Road Initiative in the Context of Africa’s Economic Future

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050). This special issue belongs to the section "Economic and Business Aspects of Sustainability".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (19 October 2023) | Viewed by 6903

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Department of Supply Chain and Logistics Management, RMIT University, Melbourne, Australia
Interests: logistics technology; logistics skills
Department of Transport and Supply Chain Management, University of Johannesburg, Johannesburg, South Africa
Interests: transport; logistics; social equity

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Guest Editor
Department of Transport and Supply Chain Management, University of Johannesburg, Johannesburg, South Africa
Interests: smart mobility; road freight transport technologies; public transport; big data analytics

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Guest Editor
Department of Management Science & Project Planning, University of Nairobi, Nairobi, Kenya
Interests: sustainability; e-commerce; logistics and big data analytics

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Guest Editor
Management Science and Project Planning, University of Nairobi, Nairobi, Kenya
Interests: water harvesting and management; public private partnerships for public projects and programmes; business analytics; championing integrity

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

This Special Issue explores the role of China’s Belt and Road initiative for sustainable transport and logistics connectivity in Africa for socio-economic progress. It will collate a collection of papers which, in addition to examining the architecture of the project, will critically interrogate the anticipated benefits against potential social, economic, and political challenges.  Since its inception in 2013, the BRI has attracted a lot of international scrutiny and debate, particularly surrounding its design and architecture (e.g., Huang, 2016 [1]; Huges et al., 2016 [2]), speculations about its role in China’s global political ambitions (e.g., Hurley et al, 2019 [3]; Johnston, 2019 [4]), and the potential socio-economic and environmental implications (both globally and specifically for participating countries) (Teo et al., 2019 [5]; Herrero and Xu, 2017 [6]; De Soyres et al., 2019 [7]; Githaiga et al., 2019 [8]). As its implementation progresses, the literature has turned to the initial impacts for the connectivity of global logistics, particularly to the emerging patterns of regional connectivity and the associated international infrastructure projects (Liu et al, 2020 [9]; Han and Webber, 2020 [10]).  This Special Issue will extend these debates, with a focus on one of the key regional links in the BRI—the African continent.

[1] Huang, Y. Understanding China's Belt & Road initiative: motivation, framework and assessment. China Econ. Rev. 2016, 40, 314–321.

[2] Hughes, A.C., Lechner, A.M., Chitov, A., Horstmann, A., Hinsley, A., Tritto, A., Chariton, A., Li, B.V., Ganapin, D., Simonov, E. and Morton, K., Horizon scan of the belt and road initiative. Trends Ecol. Evol. 2020, 35, 583–593.

[3] Hurley, J., Morris, S. and Portelance, G., Examining the debt implications of the Belt and Road Initiative from a policy perspective. J. Infrastruct. Policy Dev. 2019, 3, 139–175.

[4] Johnston, L.A. The Belt and Road Initiative: what is in it for China? Asia Pac. Policy Stud. 2019, 6, 40–58.

[5] Teo, H.C., Lechner, A.M., Walton, G.W., Chan, F.K.S., Cheshmehzangi, A., Tan-Mullins, M., Chan, H.K., Sternberg, T. and Campos-Arceiz, A. Environmental impacts of infrastructure development under the belt and road initiative. Environments 2019, 6, 72.

[6] Herrero, A.G. and Xu, J. China's belt and road initiative: Can Europe expect trade gains? China World Econ. 2017, 25, 84–99.

[7] De Soyres, F., Mulabdic, A., Murray, S., Rocha, N. and Ruta, M. How much will the Belt and Road Initiative reduce trade costs? Int. Econ. 2019, 159, 151–164.

[8] Githaiga, N.M., Burimaso, A., Wang, B. and Ahmed, S.M. The belt and road initiative: Opportunities and risks for Africa’s connectivity. China Q. Int. Strateg. Stud. 2019, 5, 117–141.

[9] Liu, W., Zhang, Y. and Xiong, W. Financing the belt and road initiative. Eurasian Geogr. Econ. 2020, 61, 137–145.

[10] Han, X. and Webber, M. From Chinese dam building in Africa to the Belt and Road Initiative: Assembling infrastructure projects and their linkages. Political Geogr. 2020, 77, 102102.

Prof. Dr. Victor Gekara
Dr. Rose Luke
Dr. Joash Mageto
Dr. Thomas Ombati
Dr. Gituro Wainaina
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sustainability is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • belt and road initiative
  • Africa
  • transport connectivity
  • social, economic and political implications

Published Papers (2 papers)

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21 pages, 1337 KiB  
Article
Sustainable Strategies for the Indian Coal Sector: An Econometric Analysis Approach
by Animesh Mishra, Niladri Das and Prem Chhetri
Sustainability 2023, 15(14), 11129; https://doi.org/10.3390/su151411129 - 17 Jul 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 960
Abstract
Thermal power generation based on coal has been identified as the second largest polluting industry due to the greenhouse gas emissions caused by coal combustion. The pollution caused by this industry is not limited to power generation, but it also manifests itself throughout [...] Read more.
Thermal power generation based on coal has been identified as the second largest polluting industry due to the greenhouse gas emissions caused by coal combustion. The pollution caused by this industry is not limited to power generation, but it also manifests itself throughout the use of products. Although a huge emphasis has been placed on replacing coal-based power generation with renewable resources, we showed that Indian power generation will depend on coal for more than fifty percent of its demand in the near future. In our study, we utilized a combination of linear cointegration, non-linear cointegration, ARIMA, and the VECM to forecast the use of coal based on the Indian industrial index and the amount of electricity generated through coal combustion required to meet the demand. Given that pollution and carbon emissions are inherent in the coal usage cycle, we drafted policy implications and recommendations to mitigate the consequences, green the coal usage cycle, and improve the coal supply chain. Full article
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21 pages, 3604 KiB  
Review
Belt and Road Initiative in Developing Countries: Lessons from Five Selected Countries in Africa
by Robert Agwot Komakech and Thomas Ogoro Ombati
Sustainability 2023, 15(16), 12334; https://doi.org/10.3390/su151612334 - 14 Aug 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 5233
Abstract
The Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) has become a household name for developing countries, especially in Africa. The BRI proposal by Chinese President Xi Jinping was positively received by many countries, including policymakers in China. In response, the Chinese Government committed to investing [...] Read more.
The Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) has become a household name for developing countries, especially in Africa. The BRI proposal by Chinese President Xi Jinping was positively received by many countries, including policymakers in China. In response, the Chinese Government committed to investing USD 1 trillion over ten years from 2013 to 2023. As a result, 152 countries signed a cooperation agreement with China to work under the BRI framework. The BRI has played a vital role in addressing the global infrastructures gap through the construction of modern highways, airports, high-speed railways, bridges, power generation (hydropower), and industrial parks. As a result, this has enhanced connectivity and economic growth between Asia, Europe, and Africa. Despite the BRI’s significant role in strengthening trade, infrastructure and investment links between China and other countries, there is limited literature on specific countries’ experience with the initiative. This study, therefore, will advance our understanding of the BRI, especially on the conceptualization of the term; comparative analysis of Africa–China relationships before and after the BRI; the benefits in relation to the “Five Connectivities” and the challenges the BRI is facing in Africa. The article is based on a literature review and case study as research methodologies mainly used the Policies, Projects, Initiatives, and Strategies (PPIS) as a data source. The study focuses on five African countries; Uganda, Kenya, Egypt, Djibouti, and Mozambique. These countries were selected purposefully for analysis because of their experience, long-term relationships with China, and strategic locations. The findings revealed that the BRI lacked a clear description and that it was difficult to distinguish between BRI projects and other regular economic or diplomatic relations. The study also identified four differences between Africa–China relationships before and after the BRI. Furthermore, the findings revealed that the BRI has positively contributed to all five connectivity pillars. However, the major challenges reported concerning the initiative from the various countries were: procurement corruption, low/lack of involvement of stakeholders, high compensation prices, labor violations, increasing debts, and environmental hazards. In conclusion, while the BRI has brought about significant infrastructure development and economic benefits, the project has also experienced some challenges. This study, therefore, contributes to the body of knowledge on China’s Belt and Road Initiative and its impact on African countries, specifically in Uganda, Kenya, Djibouti, Mozambique, and Egypt. The paper then provides conclusions and policy implications as well as future research opportunities in the current body of the literature. Full article
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