Sunday, March 4, 2012

China and Resource-Based Development in Africa

Photo credit:  Duncan Green @
Resource exports are widely expected to be a curse rather than a boon for African countries. Is this always the case? How and when do government interventions make a difference? What do we really know about the impact Asian countries (China and India) have had on the commodity value chains and industrial potential of African raw materials?

PRISM -- Policy Research in International Services and Manufacturing (PRISM) is "a research and policy ‘unit' located in the University of Cape Town's School of Economics and is affiliated to the Centre for Social Science Research (CSSR). PRISM provides a lens to focus research and policy work on issues of globalization and industrialization in Sub Saharan Africa." They are looking precisely at the questions outlined above.

One Thing Leads to Another” – Commodities, Linkages and Industrial Development," by Mike Morris, Raphael Kaplinsky, and David Kaplan sets out the potential and problems for commodity-based industrialization strategies in Africa.

Their team is doing very interesting fieldwork across Africa, including the oil and gas industry in Angola, gold in Tanzania, timber in Gabon. In an email last November, Mike Morris mentioned to me an AERC study on Sudan "which showed that the 13 Chinese oil producers had dragged 97 supplier firms (services and manufacturing) employing around 4500 people, into Sudan." [Source: Suliman, K. M. and A. A. A. Badawi (2010). An Assessment of The Impact of China's Investments in Sudan. CCS Paper No. 13 Nairobi, African Economic Research Consortium.]

 To read more and see a list of the PRISM Discussion Papers:

MMCP country/commodity Discussion Papers (available on the PRISM website).

1. Linkages in Ghana's Gold Mining Industry: Challenging the Enclave Thesis, Gold Robin Bloch and George Owusu,
2. Chinese Construction Companies in Angola: A Local Linkages Perspective, Lucy Corkin
3. Development and Knowledge Intensification in Industries Upstream of Zambia‟s Copper Mining Sector, Judith Fessehaie
4. The drive to increase local procurement in the Mining Sector in Africa: Myth or reality?, Chris Hanlin
5. South African Mining Equipment and Related Services: Growth Constraints and Policy, David Kaplan
6. Linkages in Botswana‟s Diamond Cutting and Polishing Industry, Letsema Mbayi
7. The Nature and Determinants of Linkages in Emerging Minerals Commodity Sectors: A Case Study of Gold Mining in Tanzania, Vuyo Mjimba
8. Enhancing Linkages of Oil and Gas Industry in the Nigerian Economy, Ademola Oyejide and Adeolu Adewuyi
9. The contribution to local enterprise development of infrastructure for commodity extraction projects: Tanzania's central corridor and Mozambique's Zambezi Valley, Dave Perkins and Glen Robbins
10. The Tropical Timber Industry in Gabon: A Forward Linkages Approach, Anne Terheggen
11. Backward Linkages in the Manufacturing Sector in the Oil and Gas Value Chain in Angola, Zeferino Teka
12. One Thing Leads to Another” – Commodities, Linkages and Industrial Development: A Conceptual Overview, (Revised) Mike Morris, Raphael Kaplinsky, and David Kaplan
13. Commodities and Linkages: Industrialization in Sub Saharan Africa, Mike Morris, Raphael Kaplinsky, and David Kaplan
14. Commodities and Linkages: Meeting the Policy Challenge, Mike Morris, Raphael Kaplinsky, and David Kaplan

1 comment:

coal seam gas australia said...

The key here is for countries to strike a balance between exporting and keeping resources for themselves. After all, even considering all the revenue large-scale importing can bring in, it isn't worth it if a country ends up with little to no raw materials to work with itself.