Mobility between Africa, Asia and Latin America

Economic Networks and Cultural Interactions

Edited by Ute Röschenthaler and Alessandro Jedlowski


An exploration of the diverse forms of cultural and economic exchange which connect Africa to the rest of the global South.

Trade connections and cultural exchange between Africa and the rest of the global South have existed for centuries. Since the end of the Cold War, these connections have expanded and diversified dramatically, with emerging economies such as China, India, and Brazil becoming increasingly important both as sources of trade and as a destination for African migrants. But while these trends have attracted growing scholarly attention, there has so far been little appreciation of the sheer breadth and variety of this exchange, or of its deeper social impact.

This collection brings together a wide array of scholarly perspectives to explore the movement of people, commodities, and ideas between Africa and the wider global South, with rich empirical case studies ranging from Senegalese migrants in Argentina to Lebanese traders in Nigeria. The contributors argue that this exchange represents a form of ‘globalization from below’ which defies many of the prevailing Western assumptions about migration and development, and which can only be understood if we consider the full range and complexity of migrant experiences.

Multidisciplinary in scope, Mobility between Africa, Asia and Latin America is essential reading for students and scholars across the social sciences interested in the interconnected economic and social make-up of the global South.

Author Bio

Ute Röschenthaler is professor of anthropology at Johannes Gutenberg University, and a research fellow at Goethe University of Frankfurt. Her other books include Purchasing Culture: the Dissemination of Associations in the Cross River Region of Cameroon and Nigeria (2011) and Copyright Africa: How Intellectual Property, Media and Markets Transform Immaterial Cultural Goods (co-edited with Mamadou Diawara, 2016).

Alessandro Jedlowski is a FNRS post-doctoral research fellow in anthropology at the University of Liège, Belgium, and a former Marie Curie/Cofund fellow at the same university. 

Table of Contents

  • 1. Introduction: Landscapes of Opportunity, Mobility, and Entrepreneurial Perspectives - Ute Röschenthaler and Alessandro Jedlowski
  • Part I: Historical Relationships and Economic Networks 
    • 2. Chinese Migration to Africa: Historical Perspectives and New Developments - Li Anshan
    • 3. Karimjee Jivanjee & Co. in Tanzania, 1860–2000: A Case for ‘Diasporic Family Firms’ - Gijsbert Oonk
    • 4. The Lebanese Community of Ibadan: A Portrait of Successful Entrepreneurship - Azeez Olaniyan
    • 5. Importing Goods to Khartoum: Traders between Sudan, China, and Dubai - Raphaelle Chevrillon-Guibert
    • 6. The Senegalese in Argentina: Migratory Networks and Small-Scale Trade - Bernarda Zubrzycki
  • Part II: Biographies of Mobility and Aspirations of Success
    • 7. Migration, Successes and Liminal Spaces: A Contemporary Perspective on Africans in India - Renu Modi
    • 8. African Businesses in Malaysia: ‘You Just Have to Be Smart’ to Survive - Ute Röschenthaler
    • 9. Senegalese Women in International Trade: From Dakar to Asia - Mohamadou Sall
    • 10. African Entrepreneurs in China: True Actors of Globalization - Laurence Marfaing and Alena Thiel
  • Part III: Knowledge Transfer and Cultural Interactions
    • 11. Chinese Textile Production in East Africa: Cooperation through the Experience of Tanzanian Managers - Sarah Hanisch
    • 12. Mandarin Education for Economic Empowerment: The Confucius Institute in Lagos, Nigeria - Philip Ademola Olayoku
    • 13. Africans in China: Agents of Soft Power? - Adams Bodomo
    • 14. Rumberos and Guerrilleros: Angélique Kidjo, Freddy Ilanga, and African-Cuban Relations - Hauke Dorsch
    • 15. Culture on the Move: Cape Verde between Africa and Latin America - Livio Sansone


'Empirically rich and conceptually astute, this volume gives the reader unparalleled insight into the lives of mobile traders crisscrossing the Global South. Essential reading for anyone interested in contemporary globalization and its historical roots.'
Neil Carrier, University of Oxford

'This important collection offers compelling accounts of geopolitical histories, personal trajectories, and unexpected cultural outcomes. The volume is recommended to anyone interested in Africa's diverse transnational connections.'
Heidi Østbø Haugen, University of Oslo

'Illuminating in shedding light on what are relatively little-known aspects of contemporary globalization … would be read with reward by those interested in the developing economic and social components of the global South.'
Pacific Affairs


Publication Date: 15 January 2019
339 pages

Product ISBNs: Paperback: 9781786990778
Hardback: 9781786990785
eBook ePub: 9781786990839
eBook PDF: 9781786990792
eBook Kindle: 9781786990846

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