Is Africa China’s neo-dependency in the making?

Seifudein Adem, Adamu Waziri Babagana

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The rise of China as a new great power and the evolving patterns of Sino–African relations have generated different interpretations of the ambitions of China in Africa and the consequences for the continent. In this article, we outline the dominant trends in China’s activities in Africa in the last 25 years and compare them with those of Europe in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. We do so, first, in order to identify and highlight the areas of convergence and divergence between the two. We then infer from the analysis the outcome of Sino–African interactions. But we begin with an exploration of aspects of the scholarship of Africa’s great conceptualiser, Ali Mazrui, that focus on Africa and the West, in order to adapt some of his conceptual categories to gain comparative insights into the changes and continuities in, on the one hand, China’s emerging system of empire, or neo-dependency, in Africa, and, on the other hand, Europe’s colonial empires.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1363-1379
Number of pages17
JournalThird World Quarterly
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2023
Externally publishedYes


  • Africa
  • Ali A. Mazrui
  • China
  • Sino–African relations
  • neo-dependency

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Development


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