Are new forms of dependency and exploitation being generated by Asia's intensified engagements in Africa?
The ever-increasing role of Asian actors in Africa has been of immense importance to the continent politically and economically. Though these actors have brought various and diverse aspects to their relationships with the continent, however, the problem remains the terms of Africa's integration into the global economy and how this then relates to the political economy of its external relations. The Asian countries in general, follow quite similar political and (particularly) economic policies to existing interlocuters. This reality questions the notion that Asian actors bring something radical to a newly developing multipolar scenario, which then has implications for economic development and diplomacy between Africa and Asia. Are new forms of dependency and exploitation being generated by Asia's intensified engagement in the continent? The aim of this panel conference is to provide a systematic overview of key Asian actors and their involvement in Africa. What is novel about these interactions and what are the continuities? Do Afro-Asian relations follow any specific patterns or exhibit particularities? How might these relations be analysed and characterised in terms of political economy? Can "win-win" situations and mutually beneficial modes of cooperation develop? Or are new asymmetries being generated and/or reproduced? Any analysis of Africa's relations with Asia (or any other external actors) needs to be grounded in the understanding of Africa's political economy and its uneven insertion into the global economy and this panel seeks to do just that by examining the nature of Afro-Asian ties.