Over the past two decades, China has emerged as a key investor in Africa, a shift that has prompted widespread debate over whether Chinese investment has positively impacted African countries, or weakened local regulations and economies. Yet scholars and commentators tend to consider African actors and agents as passive objects shaped by Chinese investments, and neglect the subtle ways in which local actors and institutions interact with, resist, and shape the various outcomes created by Chinese investment. In this seminar I address this neglect by examining the regulation of Chinese investment in Zambia’s copper mining sector. Drawing on findings gleaned from fieldwork in Zambia, interviews with local actors and official documents, my research demonstrates how local actors have altered domestic institutions to counter the negative impact of Chinese investment. I argue that Zambian NGOs, unions and bureaucrats have demanded, and attained, tougher public regulations and better safety and environmental standards within Chinese companies, and that Zambian actors and factors have influenced regulatory processes and outcomes in diverse and subtle ways.
Beyongo Mukete Dynamic is a research officer at the Australian Centre on China in the World, The Australian National University (ANU). Beyongo gained his PhD in Political Science from ANU in 2018 and his PhD thesis explored how domestic factors and actors shape the regulation of Chinese investment in Zambia. Beyongo’s research interests include China-Africa Relations, international political economy, BRICS, Africa’s political economy, geo-economics, Australia’s foreign policy, and political philosophy. He speaks English, French, Russian and some Mandarin.
All attendees are invited to join us in the CIW Tea House from 3.30pm for an informal discussion with the guest speaker before the seminar.
The ANU China Seminar Series is supported by the China Institute and the Australian Centre on China in the World at The Australian National University’s College of Asia & the Pacific.