China-Africa Relations: Looking Beyond Traditional Benefits

AshEse Journal of Economics                                                                                                     

Vol. 3(3), pp. 170-198, November, 2017                                                                                   

ISSN 2396-8966                                                

© 2017 AshEse Visionary Limited     

Review

China-Africa Relations: Looking Beyond Traditional Benefits

Enoch Amoah

University of Electronic Science and Technology of China (UESTC), No. 2006, Xiyuan Ave, West Hi-Tech Zone 611731, Chengdu, Sichuan Province, China

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Received August, 2017; Accepted November, 2017.

 

Abstract

There has been a tremendous growth in China-Africa relations both bilaterally and multilaterally in the last three decades. Currently, Beijing is Africa’s largest trading partner and the biggest developing country investing on the continent. It is taking an active and steady role in solving Africa’s governance and development issues. In all these, the public rhetoric from Chinese state authorities has been that Beijing wants to see a prosperous Africa. However, China’s expanding engagements on the continent indicate that it is not playing a zero-sum game. On the contrary, it is motivated by its domestic needs and global aspirations. Employing qualitative research approach, this paper thoroughly assesses the motivations for China’s growing interests in Africa, impacts of the relations, and the critical lessons that African countries can learn from Chinese growth. The paper asserts that while China relentlessly pursues its interests, Africans must look beyond the existing mercantile relationship based on extraction and export of basic commodities and other traditional benefits from Beijing, and focus more on learning lessons from the ways in which China has achieved its steady trajectory of growth. It reveals that though international support is critical for developing Africa, achieving sustainable development depends largely on the toughness to design and implement sound policies at the national level. Africans need to liberate themselves from the mindset of aid and dependency. Instead, must assume responsibility for the transformation of their economies, finds pragmatic solutions to newly evolving problems, and eliminate corruption and poverty through efficient utilisation of the continent’s vast resources.

Key words:Benefits, Interests, Lessons, China-Africa relations, Sustainable development  

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