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Dr Frangton Chiyemura

Profile summary

Professional biography

I joined the Open University's Development Policy and Practice Group as a Lecturer in International Development in January 2020. I hold a PhD in International Development and Inclusive Innovation (Development Policy and Practice, The Open University, the U.K. awarded in 2019). 

Research interests

My research focuses on the role of China in Africa’s development trajectories. I am particularly interested in Chinese financing and development of ‘critical infrastructure’ (renewable energy, space infrastructure, telecommunications, transport, and recently, the Belt and Road Initiative) in African countries and how such projects contribute to inclusive growth and structural economic transformation.

Currently, I am working on a research project on ‘Chinese-backed renewable energy projects in Sub-Saharan Africa’ which seeks to understand the potentials and challenges of both large scale and grid-connected wind and solar farms in SSA where only 45% of the population has access to electricity compared to the global average of 88%. The project investigates the policy, financial, industrial and social factors that drive or deter investment in wind and solar projects from both ends (i.e. China and SSA).

My PhD project examined Ethiopia-China engagement in the financing and development of two wind energy infrastructures, Adama I and Adama II in Ethiopia. Using the case studies of the two wind farms, the project explored how Ethiopian actors (state and non-state) shaped and influenced the decision-making patterns and outcomes when engaging with the Chinese stakeholders, from project planning, brokering, implementation, management and, operations and maintenance.

Teaching interests

I teach postgraduate modules on our new MSc Global Development and was involved in the production of DD870 Understanding global development, DD871 Key challenges in global development and currently involved in the production of DD872 Researching global development (forthcoming). I am the Module Chair for TU872 Institutional development and T877 Development: context and practice (now in teach out), and an undergraduate Module Team Member for DD103 Investigating the social world.

Prior to this, I was also involved in the development of the new Microcredential, Global development in practice: designing an intervention offered through the award-winning platform, Futurelearn.  

I am open to supervising PhD research students interested in exploring Africa-China relations and the broader politics of development in the Global South.