Between resource extraction and industrializing Africa
This chapter examines China’s role as a development partner in the continent through the prism of its involvement in Africa’s resource-industrialisation complex, and assesses how meaningful this involvement has been from an African perspective in influencing the knowledge-generating landscape of Africa’s growth and development. It considers the enduring paradox in Africa’s post-independence development: the continent’s inability to use its manifold resource endowments as an impetus for generating sustained industrialisation. Signalling both epistemological and ontological deficits afflicting China–Africa studies and, in particular, its path to development, is the extent to which Africa has been a reactive subject rather than an objective agent in setting the terms and conditions about the discourse and debates about its development. With the ending of the era where the West has the answers and African countries can only ask how high they should jump, and the reality that China is not the savior either, it concludes by asserting that African countries should be the drivers of their own development programs and policies and the role of other external actors should be supportive and complementary.