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Learning from China?: Manufacturing, investment, and technology transfer in Nigeria:


  • Chen, Yunnan
  • Sun, Irene Yuan
  • Ukaejiofo, Rex Uzonna
  • Xiaoyang, Tang
  • Bräutigam, Deborah


The question of how to promote structural transformation is central in fostering sustainable growth and poverty reduction in low-income countries in Africa. Following China’s domestic economic transformation and its growing outward investments in the developing world, we seek to understand how Chinese investment in Africa, particularly in manufacturing, may help to foster industrialization and in turn the structural transformation of African economies. We focus on Chinese investments and partnerships in Nigeria, a salient destination for Chinese manufacturing foreign direct investment in Africa, and examine the potential mechanisms of technology transfer that might catalyze such transformation. We find some small but significant cases of potential technology transfer, particularly through technical partnerships between firms. However, the future potential of such mechanisms will depend on the initiative of Nigerian actors to leverage Chinese investment to their interest.

Suggested Citation

  • Chen, Yunnan & Sun, Irene Yuan & Ukaejiofo, Rex Uzonna & Xiaoyang, Tang & Bräutigam, Deborah, 2016. "Learning from China?: Manufacturing, investment, and technology transfer in Nigeria:," IFPRI discussion papers 1565, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  • Handle: RePEc:fpr:ifprid:1565

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Raphael Kaplinsky & Mike Morris, 2009. "Chinese FDI in Sub-Saharan Africa: Engaging with Large Dragons," The European Journal of Development Research, Palgrave Macmillan;European Association of Development Research and Training Institutes (EADI), vol. 21(4), pages 551-569, September.
    2. Liu, Zhiqiang, 2008. "Foreign direct investment and technology spillovers: Theory and evidence," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 85(1-2), pages 176-193, February.
    3. Jing Gu, 2009. "China's Private Enterprises in Africa and the Implications for African Development," The European Journal of Development Research, Palgrave Macmillan;European Association of Development Research and Training Institutes (EADI), vol. 21(4), pages 570-587, September.
    4. Shen, Xiaofang, 2013. "Private Chinese investment in Africa : myths and realities," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6311, The World Bank.
    5. Chete, L. N. & Adeoti, J. O. & Adeyinka, F. M. & Ogundele, O., 2014. "Industrial development and growth in Nigeria: Lessons and challenges," WIDER Working Paper Series 019, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    6. Cheung Kui-yin & Lin, Ping, 2004. "Spillover effects of FDI on innovation in China: Evidence from the provincial data," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 15(1), pages 25-44.
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    Cited by:

    1. Kappel, Robert & Pfeiffer, Birte & Reisen, Helmut, 2017. "Compact with Africa: fostering private long-term investment in Africa," Discussion Papers 13/2017, German Development Institute / Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik (DIE).
    2. Deborah Brautigam & Tang Xiaoyang & Ying Xia, 2018. "What Kinds of Chinese ‘Geese’ Are Flying to Africa? Evidence from Chinese Manufacturing Firms," Journal of African Economies, Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), vol. 27(suppl_1), pages 29-51.

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    technology transfer; industrialization; supply chains; manufacturing;

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