n African Review of Economics and Finance - Chinese goods reshape Africa

Volume 8, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 2042-1478
  • E-ISSN: 2410-4906


In the context of rapid increases in Sino-African trade over the last fifteen years, this article examines the consequences of the proliferation of Chinese goods in the daily life of African societies and the rise of mass consumption on the continent. The impact of Chinese goods is frequently analyzed solely through the lens of their cheap prices, yet these products need to be further understood as contributing to the emergence of a new material culture. In this article, we focus on African consumers of "made in China", as well as the key category of actors actively creating this new material culture - African traders themselves. Through an analysis of these traders of Chinese products, this article argues that their activities partially reconfigure local power relations surrounding access to extraversion - or 'relations with the exterior on which those who dominate the society base their power' (Bayart, 2000).

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