China in Africa: On the Competing Perspectives of the Value of Sino-Africa Business Relationships

George Ofosu, David Sarpong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In this article we examine how the strategic investment partnership between China and African countries has come to be identified and labeled in the discourse on Sino-African relationships. The emerging narrative is that Chinese investment in Africa is fraught with issues such as labor abuses, risky loans, and imported labor, therefore contributing little to employment generation and local skills development. Nevertheless, we identify good Chinese-financed business outcomes, suggesting that Chinese investments in Africa have positively impacted technology transfer and significantly bridged Africa’s infrastructure gap; our estimation points to a high workforce localization rate within Chinese firms, of above 80%. In making explicit how these competing perspectives play out in the form Sinophilia and Sinophobia, we induce an integrative framework which assimilates the two perspectives to delineate the affection/disaffection phenomena characterizing the evolving China-Africa business relationship. We also set out an agenda for future research.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)137-157
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of Economic Issues
Issue number1
Early online date25 Mar 2022
Publication statusPublished - 31 Mar 2022


  • Africa
  • China
  • China-Africa relationship
  • Sinophilia
  • Sinophobia


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