Saturday, January 19, 2013

Sweet and Sour: China and Africa Behind the Headlines

Here's a link to an interview highlighting some of my general work on China and Africa, broadcast by the Australian program Up Close. There still seems to be strong demand for this kind of overview topic. Old news for the small group of people now doing research on China's African engagement. Frankly, much more interesting to drill down into specific topics: agricultural engagement and special economic zones are two I'm working on now.

1 comment:

  1. Ms. Deborah,

    The past few weeks I've been gathering information from my colleagues from various branches in Africa and I've come out with the realization that a new wave of colonization of Africa has started - and this time, through the control of food production, food processing, and food distribution, in Africa.

    The new colonial masters are the world top food companies, and in this case, I have identified 4 companies that are heavily involved in Africa:

    Nestlé

    Kraft

    Cargill

    Unilevel

    Some of them have had distribution points in Africa for decades, but only recently they have doubled, tripled, and sometimes, increase their involvement in Africa more than 10 fold.

    Their operation is very wide ranging, from obtaining vast amount of farm land from various government, to contract farming, to large scale farming practices, to processing and distribution of food.

    While in one hand, what they are doing is good for Africa --- turning Africa from a continent of constant famine into a continent that can produce surplus food to others --- there is a lot of dark clouds hanging above ...

    By the time they get to complete all the things they are doing, the continental Africa will be under their control ---

    If you want to buy food, you have to buy it from them.

    If you want to sell food, you still have to buy it from them, in order to sell to others.

    And the people in Africa will have no say in how much the price for food, for they will have the final word.

    The information I have right now far from complete, but from what I have gathered, I can see that trend ahead.

    In maybe 5 to 10 years time, they will start to have a stranglehold over the food sectors in Africa, from milk to honey to wheat to bread to vegetables to fruits, to everything that you can think of.

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