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Will Africa be the world's next hub of manufacturing? China is answering in the affirmative and investing accordingly. Considering Africa's difficult history of colonialism, one might suspect that the current story of China in Africa is merely a story about exploitation of resources. This book dispels the notion that this crucial story is merely about China's exploitation of Africa's resources, illuminating deep questions about our own, Western approach to development, and the implications for the future of manufacturing.China is now the biggest foreign player in Africa: largest trade partner, largest infrastructure financier, and fastest-growing source of foreign direct investment. Chinese entrepreneurs are flooding into Africa, investing in long-term assets, such as factories and heavy equipment. For fifty years the West has engaged in countless poverty-alleviation and development-aid programs in Africa, yet Africa still has the largest number of people living in extreme poverty of any region in the world.The fact that China sees Africa not for its poverty but for its potential wealth is a striking departure from the attitude of the West.
Irene Yuan Sun co-leads McKinsey & Company's work on Chinese economic engagement in Africa and is the lead author of McKinsey's research report on this topic. Previously, she taught secondary school in rural Namibia. She is a graduate of Harvard Business School, Harvard Kennedy School, and Harvard College.