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Accepted Paper:

Global China for Africa's industrialization?  
Carlos Oya (SOAS University of London)

Paper short abstract:

"Global China" has generated several opportunities for economic transformation and especially revived the prospects for industrialization and associated job creation in some African countries. The vectors and outcomes are, however, variegated, and call for a comparative contrast exploration.

Paper long abstract:

The main thesis of the paper is that the expansion of ties between China and many African countries has generated several opportunities for economic transformation and especially revived the prospects for industrialization and associated job creation in some African countries. This dynamic is partly in response to economic transformations affecting China’s development trajectory in the last two decades, especially the saturation of its low-technology labour intensive manufacturing, and the growing appetite for a "Made in Africa" brand in global production networks (GPNs). Global China's contributions to economic infrastructure and industrial zones through finance and project contracting has also been a major force. However, outcomes vary considerably across Africa, and these are still early days also for countries like Ethiopia that have taken steps towards industrialization amidst political turmoil. Few countries have fully exploited these opportunities due to a combination of structural and policy reasons, but the relative strength and vision of national institutions (the state), particularly the ability of the state to discipline (foreign and domestic) capital, seem critical determinants of the success, failure or sustainability of current experiences of economic transformation helped by Chinese official finance and capital. Furthermore, the process of building an industrial workforce in countries lacking industrialization experience faces multiple obstacles and contradictions, and is likely to be more uneven and slower than expected, despite industrialization’s promise to generate large numbers of decent jobs. A contrast between Angola and Ethiopia is deployed to illustrate this variation in trajectories.

Panel Econ25
Diversifying dependence or structural transformation: China's engagement in Africa
  Session 1 Saturday 3 June, 2023, -