Africa-Asia Youth Think Tank Summit

Tackling Inequality, Unemployment, and Poverty: Building A Social Compact

Africa-Asia Youth Think Tank Summit 
Tackling Inequality, Unemployment, and Poverty: Building A Social Compact
Jan 2024, Kimberley (on-site and virtual conferencing)

Host 主办方: Northern Cape Office of the Premier 南非北开普省政府

Co-Hosts 承办方:Wubuntu 吾步徒

                                     Frontier Strategic Solutions 南非前沿战略方案咨询公司

The emergence of the BRICS as major global players has raised hope that win-win partnerships will foster the development of the collaborating emerging economies. The BRICS are now Africa’s largest trading partners with over 60 per cent from China. The BRICS are also becoming significant investors in South Africa and Africa, especially in the manufacturing and service sectors. These collaborations provide exciting opportunities for youth across the BRICS.

Since the founding of the new South Africa in 1994, the Rainbow Nation and the Northern Cape Province have been making tremendous strides to identify innovative ways of addressing the triple challenge of poverty, unemployment and inequality. At the same time, the on-the-ground realities of South Africa and the Northern Cape Province continue to call for strategic interventions to “fast-track radical economic transformation, social transformation, environmental sustainability and good governance”, as identified by the Provincial Growth and Development Plan of the Northern Cape Town.

On the other side of the planet, for the past 40 years, China has contributed close to three-quarters of the global reduction in the number of people living in extreme poverty, which has made a significant impact on the people, the society, the region and the globe. It is beyond beneficial to bring young minds from Asia and Africa together to understand challenges faced by the Northern Cape and work together to look for solutions and engage each other in meaningful collaborations to tackle these challenges.

Youth are adept at learning and innovating, and they both shape and are shaped by the environment around them. They excel at identifying flaws in the way things have traditionally been done because of their open-minded view of the world. More importantly, people-to-people relationships encourage intercultural learning, which allows collaborations to transcend beyond surface levels to become practical realities for people on the ground. Africa-Asia Youth Think Tank Summit invites youth across cultures to research common and unique challenges faced by African and Asian societies, and provides a platform for youth to work together and tackle these challenges, and showcase their intercultural solutions.

Summit Objectives
  • Drawn from Northern Cape’s on-the-ground problems to create awareness of common and unique challenges faced by African and Asian societies;
  • Provide a platform for young African and Asian future leaders to conduct research on responding to realistic problems and collaborating to carry out practical solutions;
  • Create a platform for networking, mutual learning, and future collaborations for African and Asian future leaders;
  • Create a platform for African and Asian youth to gain more knowledge on the opportunities available to them through Africa-Asia cooperation.


本次会议有以下四大分会主题:① 农业经济转型与发展,② 教育公平和社会福利,③ 环境可持续发展,和 ④ 政府管理

自1994年“彩虹之国”新南非成立以来,南非北开普省在解决贫困、失业和不平等三重挑战的创新方法方面取得了巨大的进展,但现实依然困难重重,发展任重道远,需要强有力的战略干预措施。正如北开普省政府的发展计划所强调,北开普省致力 “快速实现彻底的经济转型、社会转型、环境可持续性和良好的治理”。



  • 利用北开普省的实地问题,帮助亚非青年认识亚非社会所面临的共同和独特的挑战。
  • 为亚非未来领导人提供交流平台,就应对现实问题进行研究,并合作开展实际解决方案。
  • 为亚非未来领导人建立人际网络、相互学习和未来合作的平台。
  • 为亚非青年创造一个机遇平台,让他们共享共创更多亚非合作的机会。
Summit Thematics
(According to Northern Cape government’s Provincial Growth and Development Plan )
Thematic 1: Economic Transformation, Growth and Development
· Agriculture and Agro-Processing
· Mining and Mineral Processing
· Tourism Market Development
· Development of the Energy Sector
· Manufacturing and Trade
· Competitive Infrastructure Development
· Innovation and Knowledge economy
· Marine Economy
· Employment and Skills Development
Thematic 2: Social Equity and Human Welfare
· Social Cohesion and Community Participation
· Social Protection and Safety
· Education
· Health
· Rural Development, Land Reform and Food Security
Thematic 3: Environmental Sustainability and Resilience
· Improve Environmental Sustainability
· Sustainable Human Settlement Development
Thematic 4: Accountable and effective Governance
· Developmental State
· International Relations
· Local Government
Abstract Submission Procedure

Interested students/researchers may submit their abstracts (300 - 500 words in English, PDF file)  and CV (PDF file) to  

For students/researchers who require a visa for on-site participation: submission by 8 October 2023.

For students/researchers who do not require a visa: submission by 31 October 2023.

A selection of high-quality abstracts submitted to the summit will be considered for presentation at the summit and publication at a later stage.  

Pre-summit workshops and training

Interested students/researchers are invited to a series of free workshops and training to polish their academic reading, writing and presentation skills as well as developing an understanding of South Africa’s various industries and Northern Cape’s on-the-ground realities.

Sign up here for the latest workshop. 

English Language Centre at the University of Cape Town offers online one-on-one writing, editing, and presentation training services in support of students’ academic engagement at the summit.

Click here for details. 

Important dates

8 October 2023

 Abstract submission deadline

Late october 2023

Registration opens

Early november 2023

Early bird registration deadline

january 2024

Co-chairs and Keynote Speakers

conference co-chairs

Tian profile
Tian chen
Wubuntu Co-founder
Full bio
shao yan
sichuan University
Full bio
tianyi zhang
University of Oxford
Full bio
ming huang
University of Malaya
Full bio
Liling yan
University of Cape Town
Full bio

Featured speakers

Chair Prof. Dennis Cheng

Chair Professor of Culture History, The Education University of Hong Kong

Chair Prof. Cheng, Kat Hung Dennis has been active in giving talks at top universities in the east and west. Specifically he had worked in two world leading international institutions in Asian Studies. He was appointed “Senior Visiting Research Fellow” at the Asia Research Institute (ARI) of National University of Singapore in 2007 and later appointed “European Chair of Chinese Studies” (ECCS) at the International Institute for Asian Studies (IIAS) of Leiden University (2010-2011). He has come to know the latest trends of scholarship in Chinese Studies in particular, and Asian Studies in general. He specializes on a variety of areas in Chinese studies, mainly on Confucianism, Chinese intellectual history and East Asian hermeneutic traditions focusing on the interpretation theories of the Classic of Changes (Yijing and their commentaries), involving the disciplines of history, philology, philosophy, and their inner connections. He had published 5 books, 12 editing volumes and more than 50 reviewed articles.
Dr. Tommy Law

Head of Career and Leadership Centre, City University of Hong Kong

Dr. Tommy Law started his career in the field of student development about 20 years ago after graduated from the University. Student development has been an industry he has wanted to jet into since he began his career. He initiated many non-formal learning programmes and student development activities that are rooted in student development and experiential learning framework, theories, and work experiences to support student whole person development and facilitate student success.In recent years, he also participated in different conferences/ symposiums to learn and share good practices with other student development practitioners in Hong Kong and from around the world. 
Zhang Peng
Dr. Zhang Peng

Professor of Economics, Beedie School of Business at Simon Fraser University

Dr. 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 International Business Strategies, Institutions in Emerging Economies, Political Economy and Geopolitics.
Dr. Gcobani Qambela

President of Anthropology Southern Africa

Dr. Gcobani Qambela joined the University of Johannesburg Anthropology and Development Studies department in July 2018. His research, broadly, intersects the Anthropology of Masculinities, Sexual and Reproductive Health, and the Anthropology of Childhoods and Youth. His doctoral work focused on the lives of young Xhosa men living in a rural and peri-urbanising context. Through his doctoral work, he developed what he call the Anthropology of Boyhoods. Prior to joining UJ, he taught at Rhodes University, North West University, as well for international universities including Organization for Tropical Studies and Duke University, Florida International University and Quest University. He have worked in the non-governmental sector, specifically for the Centre for AIDS Development Research and Evaluation, where he got to work on various consultative projects for Johns Hopkins Health and Education South Africa, the South African Department of Social Development and the Academy for Educational Development among others.
Dr Salva Saman
Dr. Selva Saman

Co-Founder of IESHER

In the early 1980’s Dr. Salva Salman was involved in the founding of an anti-apartheid health worker movement, which pioneered in South Africa the training of community workers in informal settlements. He also served on the central committee of the Pan Africanist Congress as health secretary for over 8 years up until 1994. In this role he represented South Africa at WHO (World Health Organisation) meetings and so became interested in health systems development. He has been associated with 3 prestigious universities: the University of Cape Town where he completed 4 years of doctoral studies; the University of Edinburgh where he spent 18 months on post-doctoral research; and Kings College London where he spent 10 years training and mentoring young doctors.
Dr. Jaisheila Rajput

Founder & CEO of Tomorrow Matters Now

Dr. Jaisheila Rajput is a Green Economy leader bringing a global perspective to the development of solutions for companies doing business in Africa. As Founder & CEO of Tomorrow Matters Now (TOMA-Now), she is passionate about empowering others to develop economic models for sustainability and inspiring change in the way we do business. TOMA-Now are value chain specialists leading the green economy from Cape Town, South Africa. Their client base is spread across Africa, Asia and Europe, focusing on global collaboration and input towards a sustainable future for all.
Africa-Asia Youth Think Tank Summit: Tackling Inequality, Unemployment, and Poverty: Building A Social Compact invites collaborations in the following directions:
  • Academic support: institutional participation, publication collaboration etc.
  • Resource support: technical resources, media exposure ect.
  • Financial support: sponsorship for summit operations and underprivileged summit participants etc.

For collaboration engagements, please contact summit secretary Ms.Nancy Xiang at


January 2024



Open in October 2023