Keynote speakers

Mike Morris, University of Cape Town

Professor Mike Morris is Visiting Professor and Principal Researcher (Policy Research inMikeMorris 1 International Services and Manufacturing) in the School of Economics, University of Cape Town. He is also Research Professor in the School of Development Studies, University of KwaZulu-Natal where he was Head until 2002. 

Mike Morris did his undergraduate training at the University of Cape Town, and post graduate degrees in the Institute of Development Studies at the University of Sussex. Prof Morris’ major academic activities have centred on research, policy work for governments, assistance to firms, developing training materials, and undertaking various training programs, primarily for government and management but also for unionists.

Mike Morris has also been involved in policy work. In the early 1990s, as part of the Economic Trends Group, he assisted the ANC and COSATU develop economic policies. Since 1994 he has worked on economic growth, manufacturing sector development, environmental issues, industrial competitiveness, and telecommunication policy. He is currently Oversight Member of the Micro-Economic Development Strategy for the Western Cape Provincial Government.

In terms of international policy activities, Prof Morris has worked with the International Trade Centre in Geneva assisting with their programmes in Kenya, Uganda, and Kyrgizstan on export promotion and global value chains. Since 2003 he has been international policy expert for the African Clothing and Leather Research Network. Between 2003-5 Prof Morris was a member of the international panel review committee overseeing UNIDO’s Combating Marginalization and Poverty through Industrial Development (COMPID) programme.

He has undertaken substantial private sector work through various consultancy operations on a wide range of issues. In addition he is a director of Benchmarking and Manufacturing Analysts which focuses on benchmarking, inter-firm learning, clustering, industrial restructuring,
international competitiveness and operational performance in the automotive and clothing/textile sectors.

In his academic activities Prof Morris has researched and published widely on clothing and textile industry value chain issues. These have centred around the manner in which globalisation has changed the value chain dynamics, the growth of the Sub Saharan clothing sector as a result of AGOA, the impact of China on the clothing industry in Africa, as well as country specific studies on Madagascar, Lesotho and South Africa.

Mike Morris will be speaking on the theme 'Development Paradoxes in African Industrialisation: GDP growth but limited poverty reduction'. View his abstract here.


Stephanie Barrientos

Professor Stephanie Barrientos teaches in the Institute of Development Policy and Management and is Associate Director ofStephanie Barries theBrooks World Poverty Institute at The University of Manchester. She was previously a Research Fellow at the Institute of Development Studies, University of Sussex (2000-7). She gained her BA and PhD in Political Economy at the University of Kent.  She has researched and published widely on gender, global production, employment, decent work, trade and labour standards, corporate social responsibility, fair trade, and ethical trade. She has undertaken research in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the UK. She coordinated the Capturing the Gains Research Programme (with Prof Gary Gereffi) examining economic and social upgrading in global production networks ( She leads the Working Out of Poverty research theme in BWPI (

Stephanie has advised and provided training for a number of companies, NGOs and international organisations on issues concerning gender, agribusiness, ethical trade, decent work, and  impact assessment, including: ActionAid, Body Shop, Cadbury Plc, CAFOD, Christian Aid, DEFRA, DFID, Gates Foundation, Green & Blacks, CAFOD, ILO, Oxfam, UNCTAD, UNIDO, World Bank,  WIEGO, Women Working Worldwide and Unite. She is on the Advisory Groups of the ILO/IFC Better Work Programme, Traidcraft Board and NIKE EM initiative. Stephanie  has a Leverhulme Major Research Fellowship (2013-15) examining gender and global value chains.


Stephanie Barrientos will be speaking on the theme 'Gender transformation in global value chains: Challenges and opportunities in African agriculture'. View her abstract here.