Econ01
Non-state investments in natural resources extraction from Asian entrepreneurs in Sub-Saharan Africa: assessing their transformative and their disruptive effects at the local level

Convenors:
Gabriel Tati (University of the Western Cape)
Stream:
Economy and Development
Location:
Room 16
Session slots:
1
Friday 14 June, 8:45 - 10:30

Short abstract:

The panel discusses the extractive patterns and transactional relations associated with non-state investors from Asia. It adopts a local level lens to assess both the transformative and disruptive effects of such investments in the exploitation of natural resources.

Long abstract:

The involvement of non-state investors from Asia has been in the rise in sub-Saharan Africa over the past years of economic growth. The term non-state investors refers to private set-up and owned enterprises by Asian s The origins of investors are diverse but the dominant nationalities seem to be from China, India, Philippines, Malaysia and Pakistan. Operating as small medium enterprises at the interface of formal and informal spheres, the investments made have particularly targeted mining, fishing, timbering, groundwater bottling and tourism. The globalisation context has made it possible for Asian investors to connect directly with the actors at the local level through various and complex linkages. These investments generate new patterns in the extraction of natural resources to meet the demands at different spatial scales of consumption. They are often sources of tension at the local level as the modes of production can be disruptive and exploitative. Albeit the benefits they may also generate for the locals, the impacts of such Asian investments often create the conditions for the exclusion or the limited access of local communities to their usual means of livelihoods. Cases of this nature have proliferated across Sub-Saharan Africa. The panel provides a platform to interrogate the drivers of such investments; the localised transactional relations that emerge between the community members and the Asian investors; the extractive patterns of production (whether destructive, predatory or transformative) and their connections with the global commercialisation routes. The panel calls for abstracts from scholars or social activist working on or related issues from an African perspective.