Assessing China and India’s New Role in Africa

(e-ir.info  26 july 2011)

Written by Tom McCarthy

This dissertation seeks to explore the rise of China and India in Africa. I argue that China and India represent a second generation of donors that are able to free-ride on the previous reforms imposed by Western donors, and are then re-interpreting this to announce a new way of providing assistance, centred around ‘non-interference’ and respect for state sovereignty. In order to understand this new way of doing things I explore the motivations behind Chinese and Indian foreign policy in the continent, considering internal developments within these two countries; external changes to the international arena in the post-cold war era; the guiding ideologies and principles behind their assistance; and most importantly, internal reforms in African states enforced by Western donors during the structural adjustment period. The latter had two indirect impacts upon Chinese and Indian foreign policy regarding Africa: firstly, they created resentment and hostility amongst recipients towards traditional donors due to the detrimental impacts of shock treatment and the forceful nature of reforms; African countries are therefore attracted to China and India due to the policy autonomy that they allow recipients. Secondly, the neo-liberal reforms in Africa provided a hospitable environment for foreign direct investment, and coincided with the rise of China and India who entered the 1990s and early millennium looking for new markets, new allies, and new resource suppliers.


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source : mmm