The Globalisation of Foreign Investment in Africa: In Comes the Dragon
Africa in the twenty-first century has become a destination for foreign investment from all corners of the globe to the extent that we may talk of the globalisation of foreign investment on the continent. In the study of the effects of globalisation on contemporary society, foreign investment features as a salient issue for intellectual discussion of issues such as agency, soft power, and symmetry. Rather than being an obscure technical-economic notion, it has become a popular and popularised topic for analysing political, economic, and cultural aspects of national and continental development. In this paper, we outline the important role that China has played in the globalisation of investment in Africa, and argue that China has, indeed, created a paradigm shift with respect to its investment engagement with the African continent. This paradigm shift can be calibrated in terms of the volume of engagement; in terms of the speed and efficiency with which investment projects are completed; and, in terms of the very discourse of trade and investment. The argument is further advanced by discussing some of the main features of Chinese investment that distinguish it from that of other global players on the African continent, such as Europe and India. The paper ends with an outline of the strategies China can pursue, and the pitfalls China must avoid, if it is to consolidate its leading role on the African continent in the second decade of the twenty-first century.
KeywordsChina Globalisation Foreign investment Infrastructure Oil Trade
The authors thank the reviewers and especially the editors of this book, Ross Anthony and Uta Rupert, for closely reading through the paper and making critical comments and suggestions that improved the content. All errors remain the authors’ responsibility.
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