Afro-Asian Trade and the “Africa Rising” Story

  • Ian TaylorEmail author
Part of the International Political Economy Series book series (IPES)


The 2000s saw a steep rise in commodity prices, which propelled the (false) narrative of “Africa Rising”. Driven, in part, by demands for the continent’s commodities by some leading “emerging powers”, many African countries saw relatively high levels of growth. At the same time, some Asian countries began to be well-established on the continent and deepened their economic and political connections. These developments then fed into a growing narrative that Asia (specifically China, to a lesser degree India) offered new alternatives to the continent and in fact might be the new “saviours”, offering new models of development and new sources of financing. It is true that new opportunities have been opened up by such trends, but the constants of underdevelopment and dependency remain. In fact, they have been deepened and entrenched. Africa’s maldevelopment has deep and enduring roots and will not be changed by an intensification of interest in its commodities—from whatever source. The task of economic diversification and development, something intrinsic to the entire independence project, remains.


Africa Rising BRICS China Commodities Dependency Underdevelopment 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of International RelationsUniversity of St AndrewsSt AndrewsUK

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