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Africa's World Trade

Africa's World Trade

Margaret C. Lee


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Are Africa's world markets really contributing to development across the continent for individuals, nations and regions? This is the key question posed by Margaret Lee in this provocative book, in which she argues that all too often the voices of African traders are obscured amid a blizzard of statistical analysis. However, it is these very voices - from those operating on the ground as formal or informal traders - that must be listened to in order to form a true understanding of the impact trade regimes have on these individuals and their communities. Featuring a wealth of oral histories from across sub-Saharan Africa and beyond, including Africans in China, Africa's World Trade offers a unique insight into how the complexity of international trade agreements can shape the everyday lives of ordinary Africans.
Margaret C. Lee is associate professor in the Department of African, African American, and Diaspora studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She is the author of The Political Economy of Regionalism in Southern Africa; SADCC: The Political Economy of Development in Southern Africa; and co-editor of Unfinished Business: The Land Crisis in Southern Africa and The State and Democracy in Africa. Her current research focuses on Africa’s international trade regimes and globalization from above.
'This is a necessary and sobering analysis of Afro-neoliberal capitalism and particularly of the Chinese impact. The in-depth case studies add value to a discourse which is critical of welcoming new actors without a closer examination of the effects they have both on the majority of the people involved and those affected at the receiving end.' Henning Melber, director emeritus of The Dag Hammarskjöld Foundation 'The opening up of Africa to Chinese investment and trade has become a staple of Africanist discourse over the last decade. However, far too little attention has been paid to the role of Africans as agents in this process. Through an intimate and deeply sympathetic study of the triumphs and tribulations of African economic involvements with the Chinese, this important contribution to the literature hugely extends our understanding of a major dimension of South-South relations. It deserves to command the attention all those interested in world trade and development across a range of disciplines.' Roger Southall, professor emeritus, Department of Sociology, University of the Witwatersrand 'Through the stories of the traders, migrants and others who connect Africa with China, Margaret Lee enlightens readers on the human mesh that sustains economic relations between China and Africa. This work is set to inform and influence the varied studies and policy reviews that are being undertaken in this fast developing area.' Francis Botchway, Qatar University

Table of Contents

Section Title Page Action Price
Front Cover Front cover
Africa Now i
About the Author ii
Title Page iii
Copyright iv
Contents v
Acknowledgments vi
Abbreviations and Acronyms ix
Dedication x
Introduction 1
The complexity of Africa’s involvement in global trade 1
Structure of the book 3
Methodology 5
1 Globalization from above and globalization from below 7
Globalization 7
Neoliberalism 8
Globalization from above 11
Globalization from below 12
The creation of Afro-neoliberal capitalism and the elite consensus 16
Conclusion 18
2 Chocolate City (Guangzhou) in China 19
The origins of Chocolate City in Guangzhou 21
African trading posts, transnational spaces, and the immigrant community as a bridge to the host community 22
African traders and the long journey to Chocolate City 26
The complicated world of African traders in Chocolate City 27
African trading posts, transnational spaces, and the immigrant community as a bridge to the host community: a critical analysis 54
African traders: a concluding assessment 57
What is the future of globalization from below in Guangzhou? 58
3 The non-hegemonic world of Africa–China trade 60
Globalization from below and African market traders 62
Textiles and clothing: the special case of South Africa 76
Headline news: we must stop the Chinese onslaught – the special case of the Ghanaian steel industry 82
We destroy counterfeit Chinese goods 88
Globalization from below and Chinese market traders 91
The sex trade: prostitutes as commodities to trade in the world of globalization from below 102
The non-hegemonic world of Africa–China trade: implications for globalization from below and Africa’s trade regimes 105
4 Humanizing the US African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA): inside apparel and textile factories 107
A brief overview of US–Africa relations 107
AGOA in historical and contextual perspective 108
4.1 Total exports from AGOA beneficiaries 110
The AGOA Textile and Apparel Provision 111
4.2 African clothing exports to the USA, 2002–10 112
4.3 US textile and apparel imports from top AGOA exporters 113
AGOA factories: the workers are human beings 115
AGOA’s future 133
A symbiotic relationship between globalization from above and globalization from below and an unimaginable tragedy 133
Conclusion 137
Africa’s trade regimes 142
Africa’s markets and globalization from below 143
The future of Africa’s world trade 144
Appendix 146
A: Trade Act of 2002 146
B: AGOA Acceleration Act of 2004 146
C: Miscellaneous Trade and Technical Corrections Act of 2004 147
D: Africa Investment Incentive Act of 2006 147
Notes 148
Bibliography 153
Index 160
Back cover Back cover