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Africa, the Arabian Gulf and Asia: Changing Dynamics in Contemporary West Africa's Political Economy

  • Emmanuel Akyeampong

    ()

    (Departments of History and of African and African American Studies; Harvard University)

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    The last two to three decades have witnessed significant transformation in West Africa’s relations to the Arabian Gulf and Asia. While ties to countries such as Saudi Arabia are historic, economic liberalization since the 1980s has introduced new trading partners and some unexpected developments. The outcome of these recent developments can be startling: so in Ghana, for example, India and China have overtaken the United Kingdom, the former colonial power, in investments and the number of operating companies. The United Arab Emirates (UAE) ranks third in the cumulative value of foreign direct investments in Ghana since 1994. This paper is an historian’s attempt to provide context, some perspective and to probe the implications of these emerging patterns for the political economy of West Africa. It uses Ghana under the Kufuor regime (2000-2008) as a case study of how one West African government engaged the new economic opportunities and the growing importance of Arab and Asian trading partners and investors in the climate of South-South cooperation.

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    Article provided by African Finance and Economic Association in its journal Journal of African Development.

    Volume (Year): 13 (2011)
    Issue (Month): 1 ()
    Pages: 85-115

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    Handle: RePEc:afe:journl:v:13:y:2011:i:1:p:85-115
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