African Agency in the Africa/China Equation

U. Ejiro O. Onomake // Anthropology // 20th February 2013 // 1-2pm // Arts C 133 


We hear of China’s growing relationship with Africa largely in the aggregate but who are the actors behind this phenomenon? This lecture seeks to provide insight into the world of one set of actors in this relationship-Nigerian management within a Chinese firm. With its oil wealth and position as a regional economic and political hegemon, Nigeria is one of the top five targets for Chinese investment in Africa. Nigeria provides an ideal focus for an empirical study of migration and social relations that define and are defined by the rise of Chinese business in Africa.

The people this lecture focuses on are those with greater access to resources-elites. It is imperative to examine this group because their decisions ulimiately impact society at large. Researching elites helps us understand not only how decisions are mad but also the motivations of the people behind the decisions. In the context of Chinese/Nigerian business relations, my research participants, create or manage economic opportunities which have an extensive reach into Nigerian society. I include data from ethnographic research and discuss the motivations for engagement; power relations; work norms; as well as cultural and political views on China from Nigerian perspectives.

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3 Responses to African Agency in the Africa/China Equation

  1. Al Gunn says:

    Hello, I’m a Masters student at SOAS. Is there a recording of this lecture? It’s the topic of my next essay! Am at

  2. Al Gunn says:

    Excellent, thanks!

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