The impact of China on sub-Saharan Africa
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This paper focuses on the rapidly-growing links between China and SSA. The spo tligh t is pl aced on three vectors of interaction – trade, foreign investment and aid. Chinese involvement in Africa is driven predominantly by the quest for material input s (oil and o ther primar y c ommodities) r equir ed f or its infrastructural invest ment s and booming manuf ac t uring sec t or. At least in the early years of this involve- ment, there appears to be close coordination between Chinese involvement in these three related vectors. Chinese involvement in SSA has important policy implications for growth, dis t ribution and policy Whils t it h as pr o vided a spur for some of SSA’s key commodity exporting economies, its impact on manufacturing (both that destined for domestic and export markets) has been adverse. Even some of the benefits of the commodity price boom are ambiguous, since these are often associated with rising exchange rates, corruption and violent conflict. Commodity-based production also h as adv erse dis t ributional impac ts when compared to manufacturing. The rapid growth and significance of enhanced Chinese participation in SSA has important implications for both future research (there are large unknowns and the picture is changing so rapidly) and for a poverty-focused policy agenda.