October 15, 2011

China in Africa

This is a big discussion in Sub-Saharan Africa, particularly in Zambia: what's more preferable, Western nations which extend aid in the form of social programs and conditional loans, or China, which invests in business without the typical humanitarian strings attached. One is criticized as being economic parenting which is leading Africa to be depending on foreign aid; this is a view held by the Zambian economist Dambisa Moyo, author of Dead Aid. The criticism of the other is that China is exploiting Africa, a neo-colonist. This exchange between Asia and Africa is intended to benefit both, one with mined and farmed resources, the other with employment and infrastructure development. The railroad line, the Tanzana, near my house is Chinese built; Atlantic Monthly has an article on it. But Chinese business in Zambia is not without its disadvantages.

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