chapter  17
11 Pages

A Chinese model for Africa

Problem-solving, learning and limits
WithChris Alden

This chapter offers a critical examination of the history, role and challenges of “models” in China–Africa relations. Models can be best understood as vehicles for policy learning but can serve purposes beyond the content of policy in terms of cooperation strategies and co-constitution of shared identities. In examining the limits of Chinese solutions to African problems, and what is involved in the identification, transfer and nature of learning itself, the chapter identifies key problems, including policy transfer and African institutions, and feigned learning rather than a process with meaningful, sustained impact on targeted actors and their policies. Furthermore recognizing the role of the model helps us to understand how China’s knowledge production problematises the idea of Africa and refracts its own preoccupations and perceptions of the development experience in approaching the continent.