chapter  10
Multinational Corporations in Southern Africa: a Spatial Perspective
Pages 42

Africa began to experience two competitive scrambles of equal intensity. The first was a scramble amongst MNCs, each struggling to increase their rate of capital accumulation, initially through the acquisition of low-cost raw materials and markets for manufactured goods (Seidman, 1977). But with the emergence of a 'new international division of labour', increasingly MNCs are competing in Africa also to secure supplies of cheap and disciplined labour for relocated production from the industrialised countries (Frobel, Heinrichs and Kreye, 1977; Hancock and Uoyd, 1980). Throughout Africa the traditional geographical domains of British and French MNCs were challenged aggressively by corporations based in the United States, West Germany, Japan and several other nations. The second competitive scramble in Africa took place between African nations, as governments vied with each other to foster the most hospitable investment climate to attract the MNC. As neo-colonialism superseded colonialism as the primacy form of imperialist domination in Africa, in the majority of the newly independent states the emergent bureaucratic bourgeois classes accepted conventional Western economic wisdom that foreign investment and production for export were the keys to overcoming poverty and underdevelopment.