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Live and let live: Africa’s response options to China’s BRI
Published on September 26, 2019 19 min
Other Talks in the Series: China’s Belt and Road Initiative
Belt and road: a game changer?
- Dr. Alessia A. Amighini
- Università del Piemonte Orientale, Italy
One belt, one road, one world: where is the US business connectivity?
- Prof. Stephen Roddy,
- Prof. Donald J. Lewis
- and 2 more
Hi my name is Emmanuel Kodzi and I'm really excited to talk to you about Africa's response options to China's Belt and Road Initiative. There are several arguments at the country level and in the geopolitical arena about whether Chinese involvement is good or bad to Africa. My research has pivoted from that discussion and rather focused on how discerning African businesses and institutions may be better served by adopting the appropriate response mechanisms to China's increasing engagement. This is because the increase in level of Chinese engagement is associated with both threats and opportunities. So my objective is to figure out how local African businesses can maximize the opportunities to participate in global value chains rather than being marginalized as a result of intense foreign investment from China or from other countries for that matter.
The four Nation African tour by the Chinese president in July 2018 and other area forums like the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation in 2017 and the Forum on China Africa Cooperation in 2015 are all signs that Africa is an important part of China's Belt and Road Initiative.The ongoing proliferation of Chinese businesses in many African countries is expected to continue and the impact that must be understood. Based on the existing asymmetries between China and Africa in terms of economic strength, scale of production and cost advantages, alien prize in 2010 notes that increased trade with China has the effect of lowering total factor productivity for sub-Saharan African manufacturing firms directly through import competition and indirectly through a negative technology transfer.We use productivity in African countries hampers cost reduction efforts and further compounds the relative cost disadvantage. So who wins in the new partnership? Does Africa have what it takes not to be a subservient partner with a balance of power in China's favor? In what ways might African countries increase the value of their contribution in economic changes under the Belt and Road Initiative?