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The “Youth Forum” Academic Report was Held in IWAAS


On March 19, 2019, the Youth Working Group and the Division of Social and Cultural Studies of the Institute of West-Asian and African Studies (IWAAS) jointly held the "Youth Forum" academic report, inviting Dr. Shen Xiaolei to give an academic report titled "Political Development in Zimbabwe in the Post-Mugabe Era". The report conference was held in the first conference room of IWAAS. Researcher Wang Lincong hosted the conference.  Guo Hong, Party Secretary of IWAAS presented the report conference.

Political change in Zimbabwe is a major topic of study for many experts. In November 2017, after Robert Mugabe, who has been in power for 37 years, resigned as President and Vice President Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa took over as President, Zimbabwe entered into a post-Mugabe era.  Dr. Shen Xiaolei has been following the situation in Zimbabwe for a long time.  He went Zimbabwe to conduct research during the 2018 Zimbabwe general election, and has deep and unique views on the Zimbabwe issues.  In this report, he vividly showed the real situation and thoughts of Zimbabwe's 2018 general election to the scholars attending the meeting, combining what he had seen and heard and with a large number of first-hand graphic and textual materials.

 
Dr. Shen Xiaolei analyzed the changes of governance philosophy after Mnangagwa came to power.  The new government of Zimbabwe made it clear that the focus of work would be shifted to the economic development.  And “the era of putting all the focuses on politics” in Zimbabwe was over. Relevant measures of Mnangagwa administration have got some achievements.  The Mnangagwa administration has also made great efforts to promote political reform.  First, ease ethnic relations (especially relation between the two main ethnic groups,Shona and Ndebele).  Second, strengthen the unity and capacity building of the ruling party,and properly handle the relationship with former President Mugabe. Third, deepen the anti-corruption work.  Currently, the Mnangagwa administration still faces a series of challenges as the Zimbabwe people want to change, it will take some time to get the economic recovery and development, and ethnic and regional trends are evident. Therefore, the development direction of Zimbabwe in the post-Mugabe era will not only test the political wisdom and governance ability of the Mnangagwa administration, but also require it to strictly implement the reform and development measures, in order to truly promote economic development and improve people's living standards.  Only in this way can Zimbabwe achieve a steady and long-term growth.
 
Then, the presented scholars exchanged and discussed with Dr. Shen on such issues as the overseas observation missions in the African countries’ democratic elections, the methods of conducting field research, the foreign relations of the new government of Zimbabwe and the development path of African countries.  The atmosphere of the report conference was very warm.

In the end, Party Secretary Guo Hong made a summary speech. She fully affirmed the “Youth Forum” academic report, expressed her high expectations on the development of young scholars at the Institute of West-Asian and African Studies, and hoped that the platform of “Youth Forum” would get better and better.


Copyright: Institute of West-Asian and African Studies, CASS

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