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The Next Factory of the World: How Chinese Investment Is Reshaping Africa (Hardback)
  • The Next Factory of the World: How Chinese Investment Is Reshaping Africa (Hardback)

The Next Factory of the World: How Chinese Investment Is Reshaping Africa (Hardback)

Hardback 224 Pages / Published: 07/11/2017
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A Best Business Book of 2017 -- The Financial Times

China is now the biggest foreign player in Africa.

It's Africa's largest trade partner, the largest infrastructure financier, and the fastest-growing source of foreign direct investment. Chinese entrepreneurs are flooding into the continent, investing in long-term assets such as factories and heavy equipment.

Considering Africa's difficult history of colonialism, one might suspect that China's activity there is another instance of a foreign power exploiting resources. But as author Irene Yuan Sun vividly shows in this remarkable book, it is really a story about resilient Chinese entrepreneurs building in Africa what they so recently learned to build in China--a global manufacturing powerhouse.

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, particularly that of the United States. Despite fifty years of Western aid programs, Africa still has more people living in extreme poverty than any other region in the world. Those who are serious about raising living standards across the continent know that another strategy is needed.

Chinese investment gives rise to a tantalizing possibility: that Africa can industrialize in the coming generation. With a manufacturing-led transformation, Africa would be following in the footsteps of the United States in the nineteenth century, Japan in the early twentieth, and the Asian Tigers in the late twentieth. Many may consider this an old-fashioned way to develop, but as Sun argues, it's the only one that's proven to raise living standards across entire societies in a lasting way. And with every new Chinese factory boss setting up machinery and hiring African workers--and managers--that possibility becomes more real for Africa.

With fascinating and moving human stories along with incisive business and economic analysis, The Next Factory of the World will make you rethink both China's role in the world and Africa's future in the globalized economy.

Publisher: Harvard Business Review Press
ISBN: 9781633692817
Number of pages: 224
Dimensions: 235 x 156 mm


Advance Praise for The Next Factory of the World

Deborah Brautigam, Bernard L. Schwartz Professor of International Political Economy and founding Director, China Africa Research Initiative, Johns Hopkins University's School of Advanced International Studies--
"Irene Sun's stunning new book on the rise of Chinese manufacturing in Africa takes us far from the superficial picture of Chinese investors as 'new colonialists.' Combining a journalist's pen and a business analyst's training, Sun grounds her astonishingly detailed portrait in extensive fieldwork and data, but most vividly in stories of the Chinese and African pioneers who just may be kick-starting Africa's industrial revolution."

Aliko Dangote, Chairman and CEO, Dangote Group--
"I agree with Irene Yuan Sun that Africa is on a clear path to industrialization and becoming the next factory of the world. This well-researched book provides practical lessons and raises pertinent questions. I highly recommend it to policy makers, entrepreneurs, academics, or anyone interested in the future of the global economy."

Huan Hsu, author, The Porcelain Thief--
"A fascinating synthesis of reportage, personal history, and economic research. Sun is uniquely positioned to weave the narratives of Chinese and African factory owners and workers with the macroeconomic forces surrounding them in a smart, intimate exploration of the complexities and possibilities of Sino-African industrialization."

Calestous Juma, Professor of the Practice of International Development, Harvard Kennedy School; author, Innovation and Its Enemies--
"This book is a vivid account of how China is reshaping the future of Africa. It is written in an accessible way while preserving its analytical rigor. I recommend it as an antidote for pessimism."

Jonathan Woetzel, Senior Partner, McKinsey & Company--
"Irene Yuan Sun provides a memorable and challenging narrative of the industrialization of Africa and the China-Africa relationship, two of the most important trends in development today. Combining first-person research, a deep understanding of development theory, and an encyclopedic grasp of the African landscape, this is the one book to read if you want to understand both the opportunities and the hard choices Africa faces."

Yinuo Li, Director, China Program, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation--
"Impressively intertwining personal stories with the epic industrialization movements in China and Africa, this important book both increases our big-picture understanding and sheds needed light on factory floors dotted across the continent. We are fortunate to be able to peek into this fascinating world with Sun's sharp eyes and analysis."

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