Sub-Saharans in China versus Chinese in Africa: vectors of cultural and economic relations of a new kind? A case-study of two metropolises: Guangzhou (China) and Dakar (Senegal) - Archive ouverte HAL Access content directly
Journal Articles Les Annales de la Faculté des Lettres, Arts et Sciences Humaines Year : 2022

Sub-Saharans in China versus Chinese in Africa: vectors of cultural and economic relations of a new kind? A case-study of two metropolises: Guangzhou (China) and Dakar (Senegal)

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Abstract

The migration of Africans towards Asia started in the late 1990s and China is one of their main destinations. It is estimated that there are 500,000 immigrants of sub-Saharan origin in China (this represents half of the Chinese in Africa), and Guangzhou (Canton) is the Chinese city which hosts the largest number of them. A very dynamic commercial city, with nearly 15 million inhabitants. It is the administrative capital of Guangdong province, China’s leading economic region. This region alone produces 10% of China’s GDP. Since the early 2000s, it has been attracting businessmen and women from various countries: 200,000 Africans pass through Canton every year (Le monde, 2016) and 1,500 companies from this province are present in Africa. China’s entry into the World Trade Organization (WTO) facilitated its integration into the world economy and its opening. It is in this context that the number of Chinese (retail traders, entrepreneurs in the sector of public works) started increasing in Africa, where they currently account for 1 million persons. This is likely the effect of the expansion of China-Africa economic and cultural cooperation. Already in 2006, during the 3rd forum on China-Africa cooperation in Beijing, 48 African heads of state or of government were invited to Beijing. Today, Africa is China’s second investment destination, notably in the sectors of transport, energy and sanitation facilities. The goal of this contribution is to examine the situation of sub-Saharan Africans in Guangzhou and that of the Chinese diaspora in Dakar (Senegal), since these two movements are concurrent and started in the early 2000s. On the one hand, we have examined what is happening in Guangzhou: the evolution of the commercial activities carried out by African businesswomen and men and their profiles, focusing on a recent development. On the other hand, this contribution aims to question the economic, social and even cultural consequences of the Chinese presence in Africa and, on the opposite end, the impacts of Sub-Saharan presence in China. The analyses we propose here are based on surveys and field observations carried out jointly in China and Senegal between the years 2016 and 2020.
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Dates and versions

hal-03933991 , version 1 (11-01-2023)

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  • HAL Id : hal-03933991 , version 1

Cite

Abdoul Hameth Ba, Djiby Diakhate, Marème Dia Thiam, Lamine Ndiaye. Sub-Saharans in China versus Chinese in Africa: vectors of cultural and economic relations of a new kind? A case-study of two metropolises: Guangzhou (China) and Dakar (Senegal). Les Annales de la Faculté des Lettres, Arts et Sciences Humaines , 2022, 9 (1). ⟨hal-03933991⟩
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