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The China Economy: What Lessons for Africa?

When African policymakers scan the globe in search of inspiration on how to structure their economies, that search often leads to Beijing. Not surprisingly, African leaders look at what China has done over the past 30 years where it went from being a poor, isolated agrarian country to a modern urban economy that is now the world’s second-largest.

Separately, many despotic African leaders also appreciate China’s authoritarian example that gives the state a high-level of control over the economy while subjugating civil and political rights in the name of development. Widely known as the “Beijing Consensus,” this authoritarian capitalist model has broad appeal across Africa, particularly in places like Ethiopia and Rwanda among others.

Now, as the Chinese stock market falters, the economy slows and China’s economic footing doesn’t seem quite as secure as it did even just a few months ago, doubts are beginning to surface in Africa over whether it might be time to look beyond the China model.

Dr. Daouda Cissé is a research fellow at the China Institute at the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Canada who just published a new study on what lessons African economic policymakers can learn from the Chinese. He joins Eric & Cobus to discuss his findings.

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