Africa's World Trade

Informal Economies and Globalization from Below

Margaret C. Lee


A remarkable and original exploration of the impact of how international markets and trade regimes impact the lives of ordinary Africans.
Are Africa's world markets really contributing to development across the continent for individuals, nations and regions? This is the key question posed by Margaret Lee in this provocative book, in which she argues that all too often the voices of African traders are obscured amid a blizzard of statistical analysis. However, it is these very voices - from those operating on the ground as formal or informal traders - that must be listened to in order to form a true understanding of the impact trade regimes have on these individuals and their communities.

Featuring a wealth of oral histories from across sub-Saharan Africa and beyond, including Africans in China, Africa's World Trade offers a unique insight into how the complexity of international trade agreements can shape the everyday lives of ordinary Africans.

Author Bio

Margaret C. Lee is associate professor in the Department of African, African American, and Diaspora studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She is the author of The Political Economy of Regionalism in Southern Africa (2003) and co-editor of Unfinished Business: The Land Crisis in Southern Africa (2003).

Table of Contents

  • Introduction
  • 1. Globalization from above and globalization from below
  • 2. Chocolate City (Guangzhou) in China
  • 3. The non-hegemonic world of Africa-China trade
  • 4. Humanizing the US African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA): inside apparel and textile factories
  • Conclusion
  • Appendix


'A necessary and sobering analysis of Afro-neoliberal capitalism and particularly of the Chinese impact.'
Henning Melber, director emeritus of The Dag Hammarskjöld Foundation

'This important contribution to the literature hugely extends our understanding of a major dimension of South-South relations. It deserves to command the attention all those interested in world trade and development across a range of disciplines.'
Roger Southall, professor emeritus, Department of Sociology, University of the Witwatersrand

'Margaret Lee enlightens readers on the human mesh that sustains economic relations between China and Africa. This work is set to inform and influence the varied studies and policy reviews that are being undertaken in this fast developing area.'
Francis Botchway, Qatar University


Publication Date: 9 October 2014
176 pages

Product ISBNs: Paperback: 9781780323503
Hardback: 9781780323510
eBook ePub: 9781780323534
eBook PDF: 9781780323527
eBook Kindle: 9781780323541

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