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Part of the Disease Or Part of the Cure? Chinese Investments in the Zambian Mining and Construction Sectors


  • Peter Kragelund

    (Department of Society and Globalisation, Roskilde University, Denmark)


China's role in African development is much debated among academics as well as among private sector organisations, trade unions and politicians. Notwithstanding the recent upsurge of interest, the lion's share of the current studies on ‘China in Africa’ is still based on a combination of aggregate figures and sporadic information from news agencies. Although much of the hysteria surrounding the ‘China in Africa’ debate has now evaporated – at least from the scholarly debate – the local debate is highly politicised and of a very dichotomous nature: China is either seen as benign or malign to African development efforts. This paper seeks to go beyond this dichotomous view by examining the multifaceted nature of Chinese investments in two sectors of the Zambian economy. It argues that these investments to a large extent resemble other foreign investments but the sheer size and growth of the investments trigger local reactions.Le rôle de la Chine dans le développement en Afrique fait objet d’un débat ardent, non seulement aux Etats Unis et en Europe mais également prend de l’ampleur en Afrique. Ce débat ne se limite pas aux écrits universitaires mais concerne aussi des organisations du secteur privé, des syndicats et des hommes politiques. En dépit de cet intérêt croissant, la plupart des études actuelles sur ‘la Chine en Afrique’ sont encore basées sur de statistiques agrégées et d’informations sporadiques en provenance des agences de presse. De plus, le débat est dichotomique: les activités de la Chine sont perçues comme ayant des effets soit positives, soit négatifs sur les pays africains. Cet article cherche à dépasser cette vision en examinant les multiples aspects des investissements chinois dans deux secteurs de l’économie zambienne. Il cherche ainsi à contribuer à notre compréhension des conséquences domestiques de la présence de plus en plus importante de la Chine en Afrique.European Journal of Development Research (2009) 21, 644–661. doi:10.1057/ejdr.2009.23

Suggested Citation

  • Peter Kragelund, 2009. "Part of the Disease Or Part of the Cure? Chinese Investments in the Zambian Mining and Construction Sectors," The European Journal of Development Research, Palgrave Macmillan;European Association of Development Research and Training Institutes (EADI), vol. 21(4), pages 644-661, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:pal:eurjdr:v:21:y:2009:i:4:p:644-661

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    Cited by:

    1. Nicole Alice Sindzingre, 2011. "The Rise of China in Sub-Saharan Africa: its Ambiguous Economic Impacts," Post-Print halshs-00636022, HAL.
    2. Montfort Mlachila & Misa Takebe, 2011. "FDI from BRICs to LICs; Emerging Growth Driver?," IMF Working Papers 11/178, International Monetary Fund.
    3. Simplice Asongu, 2016. "Reinventing Foreign Aid For Inclusive And Sustainable Development: Kuznets, Piketty And The Great Policy Reversal," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 30(4), pages 736-755, September.
    4. Asongu, Simplice A, 2014. "A Development Consensus reconciling the Beijing Model and Washington Consensus: Views and Agenda," MPRA Paper 58757, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    5. Simplice Asongu & John Ssozi, 2016. "Sino-African Relations: Some Solutions and Strategies to the Policy Syndromes," Journal of African Business, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 17(1), pages 33-51, January.
    6. Simplice Asongu, 2014. "Sino-African relations: a review and reconciliation of dominant schools of thought," Working Papers 14/037, African Governance and Development Institute..
    7. Asongu, Simplice, 2014. "Reinventing foreign aid for inclusive and sustainable development: a survey," MPRA Paper 65300, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    8. Narula, Rajneesh, 2010. "Much ado about nothing, or sirens of a brave new world?: MNE activity from developing countries and its significance for development," MERIT Working Papers 021, United Nations University - Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).
    9. Ahlerup, Pelle & Tengstam, Sven, 2015. "Do the land-poor gain from agricultural investments? Empirical evidence from Zambia using panel data," Working Papers in Economics 624, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics.
    10. Lee Robinson & Alice Nicole Sindzingre, 2012. "China’s Ambiguous Impacts on Commodity-Dependent Countries: the Example of Sub-Saharan Africa (with a Focus on Zambia)," EconomiX Working Papers 2012-39, University of Paris Nanterre, EconomiX.

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