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FEB26- Africa’s Development Futures.doc

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GEOG 1000
Peter Vandergeest

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th Geography 1000 February 26 , 2014 Africa’s Development Futures ­Foreign Investment and African Initiatives­ • One last stereotype­ Africans as victims needing to be saved • Two alternatives to charity/aid: Chinese investment in Africa & African­led  initiatives and African Innovation Final Stereotype • Africa as victim passively waiting to be saved by us • Implies a “savior” mentality  • Relies on a process of ‘othering’ • Most campaigns show children with bloated bellies, with flies on their faces  stating that for a certain amount a day, we can help • Saving Africa­ Keep A Child Alive campaign; Iman is a celebrity activist helping  to raise money for Africa.  • “Just think for a moment that the drugs keeping your child alive are out of reach,  just for a dollar a day, you can help these children.” This is where it is  problematic • Some celebrities are using this for self promotion; more about the identity of the  savior rather than those that are being helped • Ex. Gwyneth Paltrow wearing tribal marks on her face with the slogan “I am  African” • Nigerian­American author Uzodinma Iweala says, “Stop trying to ‘save’ Africa!” China’s Investment in Africa • China’s contact with Africa is not new • Migrant workers­ especially mining workers to South Africa • Post independence support for socialist leaning states (Cold War battle ground) • China’s rapid industrialization tied to export oriented growth  • Majority of our products come from China  • China has a lot of resources but they need more, so that is where Africa comes in  • China needs natural resources specifically  • About a third of the World’s natural resources are in the African continent  • China is interested in raw timber (Mozambique) • China’s industrialization has them seeking new markets • Chinese businesses’ are starting to move some manufacturing to Africa, there are  three industries right now, one of which manufactures TVs, this helps generate  jobs Chinese Investment vs. Western Development ‘Aid’ • Lack of conditionality’s; Ex. We’ll give you the money, if you give us this, and  th Geography 1000 February 26 , 2014 change your currency, etc. • Policy of Non­Interference • Investment in African­led infrastructure; 16 lane wide highway built in Kenya to  connect them with other countries, “Kenyan Super­Highway” • China’s form of engagement is significally better with Africa than those of North  America and Europe because they would treat Africa as a charity case.  Critiques:  • Treatment of African workforce, • Gutting domestic industry; African industries would collapse because they cannot  compete with the Chinese industries.  • Most benefits go to China • Poor human rig
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