Lessons for Africa from the Economic Development of China and India

Originally published in the African Union Commission’s “The Bulletin of Fridays of the Commission”

Current discussions on Africa–China relations unsatisfactorily focus mainly on China’s interests in Africa and its unconditional assistance extended to undemocratic governments in Africa. Therefore, it is important to discuss bilateral trade and China’s interests in Africa particularly in terms of the former’s energy insecurity and its role as the spoiler in African conflicts. It is also important to criticise the relatively poor quality of Chinese manufactured products and work on infrastructure in Africa. The issue of Chinese migrants to Africa and their impact on local labour markets is also useful. Furthermore, there is a need to study how to improve the transfer of technology and skills from China to Africa. Also, many Africans are interested in the lessons Africa can take from the unconventional development growth that China has registered in the last three decades.

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