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In: A History of Mali’s National Drink
In: A History of Mali’s National Drink
In: A History of Mali’s National Drink
In: A History of Mali’s National Drink
In: A History of Mali’s National Drink
In: A History of Mali’s National Drink
In: A History of Mali’s National Drink

Abstract

Growing quantities of industrially manufactured commodities have become available on African markets in the course of the past two decades. They arrive from different countries, above all from China, and enable consumers more than ever before to choose between different packaged brand-name products. Consumers welcome this new mercantile situation but also experience growing uncertainty about the products’ nature, as brand names are frequently copied and their content manipulated. Consumers criticise this fact in their search for good quality but, facing limited budgets, nevertheless often acquire the more affordable choice. In their endeavour to make the multitude of products comprehensible, importers and consumers talk about them in terms of locally established regimes of value in which these new goods are integrated. Based on ethnographic research on trade networks in Cameroon since 2008, and complemented by findings from research in several other African and Asian countries, this contribution examines these local perspectives and discusses how consumers cope with the new challenges and how they understand manufactured commodities from the vantage point of local value hierarchies. It also highlights the active role of African traders in importing and distributing industrially manufactured products.

In: Destination Africa
In: African Agency in China’s Tea Trade
In: African Agency in China’s Tea Trade