Internationally renowned academic Professor Stephen Chan addressed Chamber members on 6 November on the topic of China’s partnerships with African countries and the impact these relationships are having on African commerce.

Amongst Stephen’s key points was the observation that Western rhetoric surrounding Chinese involvement in Africa has largely been negative and focused on the potentional exploitation faced by African countries. He argued that it is in fact these Western countries that seek to secure the same resources that China is currently chasing. 

China has thus far been so successful in Africa due to its acknowledgement of African aspiration. The world’s largest economy treats the countries of Africa as equal players who aspire to develop and grow their economies, compared to the rhetoric presented by Western nations, which is largely focused on denigration and the stereotypical images of Africa as a continent of poverty, poor governance and famine. 

The event, kindly hosted by Board member Standard Bank, was a great success. Members thoroughly enjoyed Stephen’s fascinating presentation, and we do hope to welcome him back to the Chamber in future. 

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