In recent years, Chinese telecommunications companies, with the assistance of Chinese financial institutions and
diplomatic backing, have successfully secured contracts to build infrastructure and wire Africa for the 21st century.
The practical implications for economic development are important. But also important are the theoretical implications: what, for instance, is the relevance of such South-South linkages for how we think about globalization and the state? Our paper begins by considering China’s broader foreign economic policy agenda in Africa. What role does this play in the headway that Chinese telecommunications companies have made across African markets? What does this mean for market players from other countries (both African and non-African)? Importantly, what impact does China’s growing presence have on the relationship between state-building and market-building in traditionally weak states across the continent? To answer these questions, we take our study to the sector-level to investigate the growing presence of Chinese telecommunications equipment makers and service providers in Africa’s telecommunication markets.
This talk is part of a series of presentations by IEAS Residential Research Fellows.