Laurence Marfaing / Alena Thiel

Chinese Commodity Imports in Ghana and Senegal: Demystifying Chinese Business Strength in Urban West Africa

GIGA Working Paper, No. 180, November 2011

Since the beginning of the twenty‐first century, independent entrepreneurial migrants from China have been increasingly flocking to Africa in search of "greener pastures." This paper scrutinizes the empirical foundations of the increasingly hostile discourses of African traders regarding the alleged encroachment of the West African urban market space by Chinese petty entrepreneurs. Based on in‐depth ethnographic fieldwork and interviews, we aim to demystify this common allegation by exploring the diversity of influx channels through which Chinese commodities, said to create unfair and existential competition, come to the African continent. Our analysis of trade trajectories shows that Chinese products were coming to Africa long before the arrival of independent Chinese migrants at the beginning of the twenty‐first century. Statistical evidence further supports our stance that Chinese entrepreneurs still represent a minority group in the import of "cheap China goods" into Ghana and Senegal.

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Händlernetzwerke zwischen Westafrika, Dubai und China: Sind die afrikanischen Unternehmer transregional?

in: Steffen Wippel / Andrea Fischer-Tahir (eds.), Jenseits etablierter Meta-Geographien: Der Nahe Osten und Nordafrika in transregionaler Perspektive, Baden-Baden: Nomos, 2018, 251-268

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Leiden: Brill, 2018

Karsten Giese / Laurence Marfaing / Alena Thiel

Introduction: From Rejection to Social Change

in: Karsten Giese / Laurence Marfaing (eds.), Chinese and African Entrepreneurs: Social Impacts of Interpersonal Encounters, Leiden: Brill, 2018, 1-16