Chinese Engagement with Africa

By: Giles Mohan
Funding Body - ESRC
Funding period - Saturday 01 August 2009

The Politics of Chinese Engagement with African Development: Case Studies of Angola and Ghana

China's enhanced role within the global economy has profound political implications across the world, but takes a particular form in Africa. Meeting China's increased demand for resources from Africa and expanding her markets also means securing political influence. Over the past few years China has pumped in much aid and technical support to Africa and for the first time since the end of the Cold War African leaders have genuine choices about which aid donors and investors to work with. Given the problems of governance across much of the continent these new economic and political choices will have major impacts on African leaders, political parties, civil society groups and other aid donors.

This research assesses what impacts Chinese aid, trade and investment are having on the politics of specific African countries and the extent to which it excites geopolitical competition. This will be examined through case studies of Angola and Ghana, which represent different examples of China's development 'partnerships' in Africa. Angola possesses oil resources that China desperately needs, whereas Ghana lacks strategic resources, but is an important market and political ally.

Presentations & Events

Giles Mohan Organises China-Ghana worksop in Accra

In 2009 Dr Mohan organised, with the Institute for Democratic Governance and Africa Next, a one day workshop on China-Ghana relations held at the World Bank offices in Accra. Attended by 36 participants, including Ghanaian MPs and Civil Servants, Ambassador Afare Donkor, Mike Hammond of DFID, and Professors Kwame Ninsin and Paul Yankson, the workshop sought to engender debate on Ghana’s response to the growth of Chinese investment. Situated within the context of the BRICS the workshop heard papers on the trends in China-Ghana relations, how the Chinese view Ghana, and the respective difficulties of Ghanaians doing business in China and Chinese doing business in Ghana. The consensus was that the Ghanaian Government must be more proactive and strategic in its engagement with the Chinese and the organiser hope to mount similar meetings in the future.


Dr Giles Mohan,

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