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SAIIA’s China and Africa research investigates the emerging relationship between China and Africa, analyses the character and content of China’s trade and foreign policy towards the continent, and studies the implications of this strategic co-operation in the political, military, economic and diplomatic fields. It seeks to develop an understanding of the motives, rationale and institutional structures guiding China’s Africa policy, and to study China’s growing power and influence so that it will help rather than hinder development prospects in Africa. Research deals with different dimensions of Chinese continental engagement (energy, resources, trade, investment, aid, development, agriculture, peace, security and multilateralism). A ‘China-Africa Toolkit’ has been developed and is targeted at policy makers in Africa.
The “China and Africa” project was funded (2007-2011) by the UK Department for International Development (Dfid) and the Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA). Current China-Africa research is funded through the main Global Powers & Africa programme budget.
SAIIA Occasional Paper No 134, January 2013
SAIIA Occasional Paper No 131, January 2013
(Portuguese) China’s rising position in African affairs, from that of quiescence to open activism at the centre stage of events, is changing the dynamics of the international system. Since the onset of the domestic reform process starting in 1978, Maoist faith and revolutionary altruism have given way to the consciously self-interested commercial entrepreneurs and advocates of forms of market capitalism. The emergence of China as Africa’s top trading partner and leading source of foreign direct investment in 2009, surpassing the United States and key European Union states still struggling in the aftermath of the global financial crisis, has sharpened the focus on Chinese aspiration and conduct in Africa. Two-way trade is surging, from just over $1 billion in 2000 to US$155 billion in 2010. African leaders have recognized, perhaps belatedly in some cases, the necessity of closer ties with the rising economic giant, calling for a concerted effort to better understand and utilize the opportunities presented by China.
The outcome of the Busan High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness was significant because it sought to bridge the divide between North-South and South-South cooperation, notwithstanding the existing divergent views each side held on the issue. Busan responded to the changing development landscape, in which South-South cooperation was becoming increasingly important, by agreeing to establish a new Global Partnership for Effective Development Cooperation that would also see the phasing out of the Working Party on Aid Effectiveness.
A new book called "Development Cooperation and Emerging Powers: New Partners or Old Patterns" explores the development policies of Brazil, China, India, Mexico and South Africa. The volume positions the case studies in the context of the way in which South-South cooperation has evolved and the lessons learnt from traditional forms of aid. Against the background of the changes in the international system of development cooperation, the book also discusses the possibility for convergence or conflict in this transitional phase of the architecture of development cooperation.
There has been an explosion of attention given to China's interests and activities in Africa and on the wide spectrum of Chinese actors involved in countries across the continent, but the terms and implications of the China-Angola partnership remain unclear.