Win win partnership? China, Southern Africa and extractive industries | Land Portal

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Date of publication: 
January 2012
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The People’s Republic of China (PRC) has prioritised Africa as a strategic partner at both the political and economic levels. According to some observers, the evidence of China’s growing African involvement suggests a strategy devised to secure access to the continent’s abundant resources.

Through a combination of soft power, tactical incentives, strategic investment and political collaboration. Observers declare Chinese interventions particularly troubling where they appear to (inadvertently or by design) support authoritarian regimes, hinder economic development, promote conflict and allow human rights abuses.

Africa’s dynamic relationship with China offers many new possibilities and potential advantages, but the form and content of this relationship should be shaped by Africans.

However, appropriate and effective policy responses (from both China and Africa) are required to ensure a mutually beneficial China-Africa relationship, particularly in relation to the most critical sector – natural resources. This study investigates the China-Africa relationship in relation to the extraction of natural resources across southern Africa and suggests policy options and dialogue processes that would help to create a more positive relationship and support mutual economic development.

In this context, policy options and dialogue processes become critical in advancing the interests of southern Africa’s economic development, human security and democratisation in the face of new challenges. The process of ensuring a win-win relationship with China should include the following:

building and maintaining an efficient and effective mining public administration;
developing the competencies to run the extractive industries;
strengthening tax regimes;
building linkages between the extractive industries and local economies;
using China’s massive finances to support regional infrastructure development; and
ensuring that Chinese companies are no longer let off the hook regarding corporate social responsibilities.

Ineffective governance and commercial regulation will inevitably allow for a poor result from any foreign involvement option. Southern African nations need to be more steadfast in pursuing their national interests and achieving their long-term goals.

Authors and Publishers

Author(s), editor(s), contributor(s): 

G. Shelton
C. Kabemba


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