Uncovering African Agency: Angola's Management of China's Credit Lines
China's engagement in Africa is generally portrayed simply as African countries being exploited for their mineral wealth by a wealthy political and economic superpower. Is this always the case? Certain African countries have been able to use China's involvement in the region to grow their economies and solicit renewed interest from previously disengaged foreign powers by using their relationship with China to bolster their political capital. In this thought provoking and original work Lucy Corkin demonstrates how Angola has been amongst the most successful of African nations in this role. The concept of 'African agency' covers a wide range of different countries with very different capabilities and experiences of engaging with China. In each individual county there are a myriad of actors all with increasingly discernible agencies. Uncovering African Agency; Angola's Management of China's Credit Lines casts a fascinating new light on China's involvement with her largest African trading partner and through this shows how different African states and the governmental actors within them are able to exploit the relationship to their best advantage.
Cooperation FNLA Frente Nacional de Libertação de Angola FPTP First Past The Post GAT Gabinete de Apoio Técnico GDP Gross Domestic Product GRAE Govêrno Revolucionário de Angola no Exílio GRN Gabinete de Reconstrução Nacional HRW Human Rights Watch ICBC Industrial and Commercial Bank of China ICC International Criminal Court ICG International Crisis Group IDA International Development Association IDIA Instituto de Desenvolvimento Industrial de Angola IFI International
project must be at least US$ 10 million in value (Ferreira 2008: 285), it is generally the larger state-owned companies that would have sufficient capacity, technology and management to undertake such bids.14 A Chinese academic conceded that, prior to the emphasis placed on it by President Hu Jintao, Chinese companies were not interested in corporate social 11 Jiabao Wen, Address at the Opening Ceremony of the 2009 FOCAC Summit in Sharm-el-Sheikh, Egypt, 9 November 2009:
by the rapid development of China’s commercial relations with Africa, resulting in the department falling behind ‘the actual situation’. He added that, at the Angolan Embassy, the personnel numbers were as they were in the 1990s, inferring that that dramatic increase in commercial relations with this country rushed them off their feet, particularly given the bureaucratic procedures involved. This suggests a reduction in agency in the Chinese Embassy – perhaps inferring that the important
parties collectively garnered more than one quarter of the national vote. This suggests that, with growing domestic position, the MPLA government and President dos Santos in particular will be forces to engage in ‘survival politics’ and tactics of extraversion in order to retain political power. 82 Personal correspondence, Angolan activist, 18 October 2011. This page has been left blank intentionally Chapter 8 Conclusions It is clear that rhetoric has shaped our views on China’s relations
Investigação Científica CEIEC China National Electronics Import & Export Corporation CEO Chief Executive Officer CIF China International Fund Ltd CITIC China International Trust and Investment Corporation CMEC China National Machinery & Equipment Import & Export CMIC China Machine-building International Corporation CNC Conselho Nacional de Carregadores CNOOC China National Overseas Oil Company COCAN African Cup of Nations Complant China National Machinery Industry Complete