Development Economics

Why China’s Model of Development in Africa is Working

The answer to the title of this post is that China is using the same model of development to develop other countries that it used to develop itself.  And China is a shining example of why its own model works.  China has lifted hundreds of millions of its own people out of poverty and grown to be the second-largest economy in the world.  Its growth in GDP is only matched by its increasing global influence around the world - an alternative superpower to deal with. Every day, on my drive on the highway from Accra to the Eastern region, I see the bridges and roads being built.  Caterpillar trucks and big crews of Ghanaian construction workers being supervised by a Chinese foreman in a floppy hat.  I have heard and read about China in Africa, and its strategic interest in the continent from a natural resource perspective.  I knew they were involved in infrastructure projects, but I didn't think it would be every single project. Today I read an article in NextBillion titled "Why Africa is Open for Business." The article closes with this paragraph:

Probably the greatest challenge resides in the U.S. and the Western world. That challenge is to change the perception of Africa and encourage young entrepreneurs and investors to look at Africa as a place to do business. Business is probably a better way out of poverty than philanthropy. And I can't wait for Business Schools to lead the way by developing curriculums on business in Africa.
I agree, but there are two things I want to unpack about this statement.   (more…)