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Why Using a Zero-Sum Analysis to Compare Japan and China in Africa “doesn’t work”

TONY KARUMBA / AFP

With the Tokyo International Conference on African Development or TICAD, summit coming up this week in Yokohama, there is often a temptation to compare Tokyo’s engagement strategy in Africa with that of Beijing’s. Furthermore, there are often references to how the Sino-Japanese rivalry in Asia also tends to find its way to Africa when evaluating the different approaches to African development from each of these Asian powers.

That would be a mistake, according to Wake Forest University professor and leading China-Africa Scholar Lina Benabdallah.

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