China and Africa - Geo Trade/Development

Article on China and Africa's development

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  • Created on: 31-03-13 13:31
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There is a lot of coverage at A-levelof theeconomies of fhe/ess frica received a greatdealof popu-
Iar andpoliticalattentionin 2005.
developed countries in Africa.Thisarticle su/eeps awaythe common The white rt'rlstbandsof the Make
assumption thatthemainsolution to theirpovertyliesin increasing trade Poverty Histo4' campaign couldbe
withrichcountries in theglobal'North'. lt pointsto thegrowing seeneverywhere at BobGeldofsLive8con-
cert.Forpoliticiansand policl.makersthere
relationship between Africaand China,which represenfs a verydifferent wasthe report of the Commission for Africa
setof linkages, between countries in the'South', and the speeches and promises of the G8
Summit at Gleneagles. Critics argre that
neither the hot air wafting around the
corridors ofpower,nor the celebrltyhand-
wringing and enthusiastic crowds, have1ed
lo greatertradeaccess for African producers
and manfacturers, or to debt relief, aid or
investment. Optimists claim that all these
eventsand commitments,howeverflawed,
do leadto slowbut important change.
This articlemakesa differentobservation
- that these debates tend to look almost
entirely at relationsbetweenAfiica and the
West.But there is another player,which is
having a growing and increasinglysignifi-
cant set of impactson the economies, poi-
icies,peoplesand environmentsof African
countries,andthat is China.
China's in Africa
Since ihe 1990s therehasbeena surgein
economic and diplomatic interactions
between China and many African coun-
tries. There are two main causes for the
revival of closerelations after a decline in
the 1980s fseeInset2).
ffie zoosci"
u GeographyReview

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Cheap Chinese proilucts on sale ii a market, ahnzanid
r s: l\ f{\( }-
"\{ i" ;"+t'.--
The first was the West's reaction to which is havingall sortsofknock-on effects sortsofthings, from shoes, to blcycles,to
China's repression of democracy activists
in aroundthe rvorld.In Africa, there are three radiosand televislons havebecomemore
1989, particularlyits crackdown on protes- key areas. affordable. The downside of this is that
rors in Tiananmen Square.…read more

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Robin Hood economy', stimulating a
Oil pipes in Nigeria. African oil is an
surgeof economicgrowthacross Africa. But
important resource in which China is
there ls no glTaranlee that Chinese-led eco-
nomic growthwill translate into benefitsfor
ordinary people.Corruptindividuals,firms
and governments may caplarethe profiis.
Similarly,the flood of cheapimports is a
mlred blesslng.…read more


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