The Impact of China and India on Sub-Saharan Africa

Opportunities, Challenges and Policies

image of The Impact of China and India on Sub-Saharan Africa
China and India’s demand for oil and other raw materials to fuel their recent economic development has led to significant trading partnerships with Africa, especially sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). China in particular is becoming a major player on the continent, not only in exports but also in terms of investment and aid flows to SSA countries.

Through detailed country-level analysis, this study offers unique contributions to the understanding of the relationship between China, India and SSA. The authors review and assess the economic impacts, identify the challenges involved and provide recommendations to assist policy-makers enhance the ability of SSA countries, individually and regionally, to derive benefits and to take advantage of new opportunities.

For academics, policy-makers and anyone interested in understanding the detailed dynamics that underpin the promises and challenges associated with South–South development.




The last decade has seen the rise of a number of developing countries, leading to a ‘shift in global wealth’ (OECD, 2010) and a rebalancing of economic powers. China and India have been the most prominent and have attracted the most attention, but others such as Brazil and Russia are close behind. This shift has been most evident in global patterns of trade. ‘Between 1990 and 2008 world trade expanded almost four-fold, but South–South trade multiplied more than ten times and developing countries now account for around 37% of global trade’ (OECD, 2010: 18). Economic (and political) relationships between developing countries (South–South) are more important now than they have ever been; developing countries trade more with each other, and more capital (investment and aid) flows between them absolutely and relative to their relationship with developed countries. This changing economic landscape will be an important influence on their future performance.


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