China in Africa: Mercantilist Predator, Development Partner Or Both?

Citing Dr. Henning Melber, the Executive Director at the Dag Hammarskjöld Foundation, an article in New Era, a Namibian newspaper, argues that …

… the local beneficiaries – or African beneficiaries – of China’s intervention in Africa, will remain […] a small elite, and […] this intervention, if not managed properly, will not contribute significantly to poverty alleviation as is hoped.

This, in itself, is not negative to the interests of the African people. But it requires that the tiny elites benefiting from the currently existing unequal structures put their own interests in trans-nationally linked self-enrichment schemes behind the public interest to create investment and exchange patterns, which in the first place benefits for the majority of the people.

The Chinese track record emerging is not an indicator for a new trajectory, which would benefit the majority of the African people. More so, the Chinese foreign policy gospel of non-interference is an attractive tune for the autocratic leaders and oligarchies still in power.

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