Search Results

You are looking at 1 - 7 of 7 items for

  • Author or Editor: Guive Khan-Mohammad x
  • Search level: All x
Clear All

Abstract

Over the last twenty years, trade between Africa and China has increased significantly. However, while African exports of raw materials to China have early attracted the interest of many researchers, so far less has been done on the equally significant increase in African imports from China. This increase nonetheless reveals a profound reorientation of African supply chains, which is not without consequences for African societies, whereas in only a few decades, China has become the main manufactured goods provider of the continent. While the arrival of these relatively cheap goods has contributed to open a new access to a great variety of products for a wide range of African consumers, it has also coincided with their unprecedented exposure to ‘counterfeit,’ which indeed constitutes a significant part of goods in circulation in the Afro-Chinese trading networks. In order to explore this massive arrival of ‘counterfeit’ in Africa, this paper focuses on the case of Chinese motorcycles in Burkina Faso. In this Western African country, where motorcycles are the most commonly used transport mode, Chinese-origin Yamaha-brand ‘counterfeit’ motorcycles have become the best-selling in just a few years. In adopting an ethnographic approach, this paper proposes to go beyond a superficial and normative understanding of ‘counterfeit’ to unveiling the diversity of products hidden beyond this category. As such, this aims to support the idea that there is no dichotomy between ‘original’ and ‘counterfeit’ in trade between Africa and Asia, but in fact a continuum on which a broad range of products lie. In doing so, this paper shows how the boundaries between ‘counterfeit’ and ‘original’ are socially constructed and constantly reshaped in the very dynamic Sino-African trade, but also how these categories nonetheless contribute, on a daily basis, to shape the competition framework and market hierarchies in this very lucrative import sector. This research is based on data collected by interviews and observations made during several field surveys conducted in Burkina Faso and neighboring countries between 2010 and 2013.

In: Afrasian Transformations

Abstract

Over the last twenty years, trade between Africa and China has increased significantly. However, while African exports of raw materials to China have early attracted the interest of many researchers, so far less has been done on the equally significant increase in African imports from China. This increase nonetheless reveals a profound reorientation of African supply chains, which is not without consequences for African societies, whereas in only a few decades, China has become the main manufactured goods provider of the continent. While the arrival of these relatively cheap goods has contributed to open a new access to a great variety of products for a wide range of African consumers, it has also coincided with their unprecedented exposure to ‘counterfeit,’ which indeed constitutes a significant part of goods in circulation in the Afro-Chinese trading networks. In order to explore this massive arrival of ‘counterfeit’ in Africa, this paper focuses on the case of Chinese motorcycles in Burkina Faso. In this Western African country, where motorcycles are the most commonly used transport mode, Chinese-origin Yamaha-brand ‘counterfeit’ motorcycles have become the best-selling in just a few years. In adopting an ethnographic approach, this paper proposes to go beyond a superficial and normative understanding of ‘counterfeit’ to unveiling the diversity of products hidden beyond this category. As such, this aims to support the idea that there is no dichotomy between ‘original’ and ‘counterfeit’ in trade between Africa and Asia, but in fact a continuum on which a broad range of products lie. In doing so, this paper shows how the boundaries between ‘counterfeit’ and ‘original’ are socially constructed and constantly reshaped in the very dynamic Sino-African trade, but also how these categories nonetheless contribute, on a daily basis, to shape the competition framework and market hierarchies in this very lucrative import sector. This research is based on data collected by interviews and observations made during several field surveys conducted in Burkina Faso and neighboring countries between 2010 and 2013.

In: Afrasian Transformations

Abstract

Since the turn of the century, the African continent has become a privileged destination for Chinese companies. In search of new commercial outlets to escape cut-throat competition in the domestic Chinese market, they are taking to the continent in droves, looking to thrive in the African economic landscape. While this situation has led to heightened competition in African markets, it is not always to the advantage of Chinese companies. Previous research in the field has taken the strength of Chinese companies for granted and has denounced the ‘unfair competition’ such companies bring to their African counterparts. This chapter, however, intends to emphasise the difficulties Chinese companies in Africa have faced when settling in the continent, as well as the fragility of their eventual success. To this end, it will focus on a case study of the motorcycle sector in Burkina Faso. This sector is predominantly dominated by African entrepreneurs, and Chinese companies struggle to make their mark. As a result, the companies must compromise and collaborate with local business communities and circles of power if they want to find success. By analysing the relationships between Chinese companies and their African intermediaries, this chapter aims to highlight the ability of African economic and political elites to take advantage of the Chinese presence. As such, this reveals the modalities of this contemporary redeployment of extraversion strategies in a context marked by Africa’s unprecedented exposure to globalisation.

In: Destination Africa
Contemporary Africa as a Centre of Global Encounter
This work challenges received ideas of Africa as a marginal continent and place of exodus by considering the continent as a centre of global connectivity and confluence. Flows of people, goods, and investments towards Africa have increased and diversified over recent decades. In light of these changes, the contributions analyse new actors in such diverse fields as education, trade, infrastructure, and tourism. They show the historicity of many current mobilities towards Africa and investigate questions of agency and power in shaping encounters between Africans and others in Africa today. In this way, the volume contributes significantly to debates on Africa’s position in global mobility dynamics and provides a firm basis for further research.

Contributors are: Gérard Amougou, Alice Aterianus-Owanga, Eric Burton, Jean-Frédéric de Hasque, Mayke Kaag, Guive Khan-Mohammad, Fabien Nkot, Miriam Adelina Ocadiz Arriaga, Ute Röschenthaler, Alexandra Samokhvalova, Stefan Schmid, Sophia Thubauville, Di Wu.
In: Destination Africa