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Dambisa Explains China’s Romance with Emerging Economies

Dambisa Moyo at 2013 in Edinburgh, Scotland. June 12-15, 2013. Photo: James Duncan Davidson

As the debate around China rages on, world renowned economist Dambisa Moyo offers insight as to why China may have become the go-to brother for most emerging economies.

In an insightful presentation dubbed “Is China the New Model for Emerging Economies?” Moyo gives a solid background challenging the West for their having given rise to a new power.

Moyo reckons that rather that whine about growing Chinese influence on the continent, the West could either compete or cooperate.

Moyo delves into thought provoking notions on the growing Chinese influence.

“First of all it is China’s economic performance over the past 30 years, she has been able to record economic growth and move people meaningfully out of poverty specifically putting a meaningful dent on poverty by moving over 300, 000, 000 people out of indigence,” she said.

“It is not just in economics but also in terms of living standards. We see that in China 28% of the population had access to secondary school but today it is 82%. So in its totality economic improvement has been quite significant.”

She adds: “China has been able to improve its economy meaningfully without changing the political construct. Today the United States and China are the two leading economies in the world. They have vastly different political systems and different economic systems, one with private capital and another broadly state capitalism. However, they have the identical gene coefficient which is the measure of economic equality. Perhaps what is more disturbing is that China’s income equality has been improving in the recent times while that of the United States has been declining.”

Moyo says part of China’s growing leadership has been the self-evident infrastructural drive.

“People in the emerging markets look at China’s emerging markets and look at its legendary infrastructure roll out. This is not just about China building roads, ports and railways in her country. She has been able to build 85, 000 of road network in China and surpassed that of the United States,” she said.

“Even if you look to places like Africa, China has been able to help tar the distance of Cape Town to Cairo which is 9000 miles or three times the distance of New York to California. This is something that people can see and point to.”

 

She says “Perhaps it is not surprising that in a 2002 survey seven out 10 Africans in 10 countries said that they thought that the Chinese were doing amazing things to improve their livelihood by a wide margin by as much as 98%.”

Moyo says has been sensitive to the daily needs of the Africans that it services.

“China also provides innovative solutions to social problems that these countries are facing. If you travel to Mogadishu, Mexico City or Mumbai you will find that dilapidated infrastructure and logistics continue being a stumbling block to the delivery of medicine and general health care in the rural areas. However, a network of state owned enterprises Chinese have been able to go in these rural areas using their companies to help deliver on these health care solutions,” she said.

“It is no surprise around the world that people are pointing at what China is doing and like what China is doing. That is the system that seems to work.”

Moyo is a Zambian-born international economist and author who analyses the macro economy and global affairs. She currently serves on the boards of Barclays Bank, the financial services group, Seagate Technology, Chevron Corporation, the global miner Barrick Gold, and 3M Company.

China has been thrust into the limelight following the recent held China-Africa summit whose landmark agreements have divided opinion with the West seeing it as an opportunity for China to expand its global influence.

 

 

34 Comments

  1. edgar chibuta

    Zambia Reports thanks a lot for being objective unlike that online media that is always heaping praise on one individual at the expense of the other. In the first place China is giving Zambia what USA and UK have failed to do and that explains why we need to do all we can to get closer to China as compared to the latter. Only a fool can dispute that fact and our friendship with China stretches from 1976 hitherto

  2. Ross

    The speech Mr. President given was very clear no lies….. Mr. Pf government proceed with the plans otherwise is not anyone who can love you it’s a good plan and we are ready to be with Chinese….. We can see development than recent years….. Chambia

  3. Zambian

    I get the point, and its now confusing me. Whether to support China being part of us or not. But i think Dumbisa makes me understand something about y we need China, now as for me if China really means well to our economy then let’s go by it, but if not then we better think twice about it.

    • Chef

      Its not a debating matter sir evidentlƴ the colonisation and looting scourge of our natural resources by tge west and EU especially will come to an end. I have a slogan : build a china with us and please live Zambia for us so we do need chinese investment aɓd input.

  4. Namunji Isimwaa

    African countries have more to learn from Asian countries than from their former colonizers.the western approach has been tried since the 1970s and never worked . They brought structural adjustment programs and pushed them down our thoughts as the magic bullet but caused more problems than solutions . The development and growth trajectory undertaken by Asian countries is more pragmatic and applicable to the African context than models of countries that benefited from colonialism . Language can be a struggle. The lenses used to see someone can also be affected by bias , the Colonial master we calls it investment of the ‘highest quality’ while we call Chinese investment ” new colonialism’ and ‘debt trap’ depends with how and what you want to believe .

    • edgar chibuta

      great point

    • Chef

      Well analyzed moreover its incumbert on us to equally be engaged in being alert to any policy signeɗ that might bear devastating consequences much as it might come from China as the saying goes becareful of any man or woman promising life with a veil. The low interest rates have a catch to them and well all have to admit to that quetison is at what point will they strike or amite us for their investment? Cleary its a know fact there is nothing for free

  5. Malama Golden

    Most people can not see that Chinese are coming to Africa in a crooked way. Learn from this story. Can our government sell Zesco to China??? Yes what we call national projects with Chinese loans are controlled by Chinese people like Topstar digital migration…. Soon what we call national asserts like Zesco will be controlled by Chinese too in the name of blind partnership and developmental loans. Soon Chinese directors will be the heard of an I organization or company which will bring Zesco and a Chinese company together. China knows African leaders are selfish and greed, all what they do is to offer you big loan which can give them bigger shares and control like startimes\znbc Topstar deal. Therefore selling the birth right of Zesco like znbc
    If you go at Topstar offices, it is Chinese directors with some few Zambian slave traders because colonialism and slavery does not work without the involvement of the few blind local people. Znbc are not in partnership of service but money sharing only because we Zambians like free things. No znbc directors there. How can you give Chinese guys more shares and control in a national project. Can that happen in China? Or UK ? Or America? This is outside developmental principles. It is fake….these Chinese does not have even the heart to carry Zambian channel on that platform but there businesses…ask for how long have we been on Topstar doors for them to carry acts TV, nearly 2 years, zicta is quite, iba quite…it is like we don’t have a zambia president, a Zambian Parliament now we have run to court…successful court issues goes with lawyers, that’s money….this is slaver. Is that what you are praising China for? There are giving you loans so that they start controlling you in your own land, treat you like dogs. No government office you can take a Chinese complaints and hear you. Why?? Uwankongole teti akupokolole from his master the creditor. Those poor people who are working with Chinese companies who can’t afford to go to court are just treated like slaves. Is that what you are praising China for? Is it a curse to be born in Africa? Is it a curse to be a Zambian?

    • Jojo Goma

      Who cares who the director is in the company, how many us have food from the directors house, all we care is the services being provided to our homes. Are chines going to lift ZESCO to china, the answer is NO but will need to provide the service here for them to make money. in olden days our forefathers used to send young brothers into theor elder brothers home if there was no child, for the cared for the marriages to produce children for the family

  6. KLVN

    China is doing good in zambia but, stop making fake roads and whatever stuff you sale in zambia. I can only apreciate you for quality not durability.

  7. Truth man

    Why this fuss about Chinese in Zambia? Don’t we need development? If we want development,do we have the money to carry out development programmes in all areas of the country?China did not come to Zambia to ask us to develop our country it is us who went to them to request for assistance. The Chinese are humble and hardworking unlike us. We have tried to give Zambians some contracts such as building schools et.al , but what has happened? Uncompleted shoddy works after chewing huge sums of taxpayers money! Today if you go around Zambia and visit any project done by the Chinese,it is up to standard. Now, what else do we want?If some of you have failed to steal because you can’t find loop holes to carry out your evil habits go to hell and burn.Me I support good policies which are easy to see even at night. We know the thieves in this country and nobody can cheat anyone here!Various Governments have come and gone and we know it when things are bad.However the Government is trying its best after bad eggs who almost spoiled things have left. Aluta continua!

    • Tongarichie

      I agree with you bro… Here a local contractor 5months doing nothing after been given a contract to do a 24km of a road. So why do you like complaning that government is not giving local contractors. Go to hell for sure

  8. Mambo Tembo

    Great article, whilst it’s vital to receive the fish, vitally important it is to learn the fishing tricks. Come on, we need to learn how China got to where the currently are. They invested heavily in R & D & I, which we seemingly aren’t so particular about. This is not healthy for Zambia.
    I want to also urge the general citizenry to push for value for money audits. Doing infrastructure is one thing but overquoting the costs is dangerous for a younger economy as ours. I don’t think this is what China entertained. Stand up Zambia and see things the Chinese way.

  9. Tuli Bantu

    Akuti ma Chinese bachita bwino, ma maide ka! they are even told to go and fetch ma rubbish from the Chinese toilet and put on their garden, is that right and if it is kuchita bwino, can you do such a job on the rate of k30 per day and k900 per month, you should look both side of the coin my brother, wake up.

    • Truth man

      Work up yourself! Is that not work? Do they force you? Is it an offence?.

  10. PROPHET SAMBO-Endtime prophet

    GOLDEN MALAMA-THE ONLY WISE ZAMBIAN I HAVE SEEN MAKE A COMMENT WHICH HAS EYES.

    YOU. FOOLISH GALATIANS(ZAMBIANS)-WHO HAS BEWITCHED YOU!!!

    DONT YOU KNOW THAT CHINA IS CALLED THE DRAGON IN THE BIBLE IN REVELATION 12 AND 13.

    THE DRAGON IS THE SYMBOL OF SATAN AND DEVOURING, COONSUMING.

    DO YOU KNOW WHAT CHINA WORSHIPS? IDOLS /THE DRAGON-SATAN!!!

    THEY DO NOT BELIEVE IN CHRISTIANITY-THEY PERSECUTE CHRISTIANS.

    NEED I REMIND YOU OF THE RECENT INCIDENT IN ZIMBABWE OF A CHINESE NATIONAL DEPORTED FROM ZIMBABWE BACK TO CHINA-WHO WAS CALLING ZIMBABWEANS MONKEYS, ONE ZAMBIAN RECENTLY BRUTALLY MURDERED BY CHINESE NATIONALS TO DEATH.

    DO YOU THINK THIS IS A JOKE.

    DO NOT BE DECEIVED- DAMBISA IS A DEVIL’S INCARNATE.

    DO NOT BELIEVE HER.

    I AM A PROPHET OF GOD AND I HAVE BEEN WARNING ZAMBIANS ABOUT NOT PARTNERING WITH CHINA,TURKEY,RUSSIA OR ANY COUNTRIES THAT WORSHIP IDOLS.

    BECAUSE WE ARE IN THE ENDTIMES.

    AND SATANS AGENDA IS MANIFESTATION JUST AS THE ENDTIME ARMY IS BEEN FORMED IN ZAMBIA.
    I AM. READY TO TRAIN PRAYER WARRIORS AS I HAVE BEEN GIVEN THE POWER AND AUTHORITY BY MY MASTER JESUS.

    I AM THE COMMANDER IN CHIEF OF THE LORD’S ARMY ON EARTH

    TEXT ME ON WHATSAPP AND I WILL SEND YOU THE AUDIOS I SENT ON 28/7/18 WARNING THE GOVERNMENT AND ZAMBIANNS TO WAKE UP BECAUSE THESE NATIONS ARE DICATATORS THAT GOD SHOWED ME IN 2017 THAT THEY ARE BEEN USED BY THE DEVIL.

    +260979602188

    I an Endtime prophet.

    • Mose

      I think this is foolishness. Dambisabis an economist. Do you know what economists do? Go to school. Stop calling yourself a prophet. We had prophetswhen Jesus walked this earth. Not anymore. You are the people midleading this country.

    • Kasonde

      Thanks my friend am with you on this one

      • Davidmn

        Too true. These prophets are the ones that mislead their congregations. Prophet my foot. Who gave you the authority to use such an honourable title? You sit down and reflect…

  11. Tellitall

    It gets me scared when I see such articles by the learned….really is China that much of help…I wonder…they are doing various construction works but all resources are going back to China….I look forward to a day when will be bold enough to do our own….have China help Zambia set up manufacturing firms to be run by us zambians and employ our own…..not having Chinese “malls” everywhere operating as dump sites of China as they stock useless products….you know what’s a shame in Zambia….we can’t even make our own under wear….it’s a shame…our south African friends are trying and have also found market in Zambia for their poor quality clothes but at least they are trying to create jobs for their people…I would be glad if we can be made aware of the trade deals we have with various nations but alas that is never heard of…apart from cadre defections, and by elections an d so on…useless stories taking us nowhere as a country….

  12. Tellitall

    The roads China is building wont last 5 years….then will go back for more for pothole mending….then again to re_do these same roads and the cycle will start again….quality is not there….starting from the way we package our tenders and contracts to the implementation or supervision of these construction works….I don’t know if we follow any standards at all…coz if we did I wonder why we get sugar coated products….e.g.the Tokyo way in Lusaka is a recent road….it is wambling already…..Where did we miss it…at feasibility/design stage or where….sooner and very soon will be needing reworks on that road….the planning aspect is not there…the thinking ahead into the future is not there…..projects are uncoordinated at national level….today is RDA doing roads tomorrow it’s LWSC boring or cutting same newly constructed roads for their pipe works, each one doing their thing without considering other services company…..it’s sickening…..those who have privilege of getting out of Zambia have seen how our friends develop their cities…..ati abenda abaleta amakasa ya nkalamo….pa Zed this hasn’t applied….

  13. Selestina Bipa

    Well analysed Dambisa,its now unbelievable that Zambia at some point was richer than China
    As of this mad man called prophet Sambo ,please go & have your head examined before it’s too late.

  14. mr okey

    Everyone is making sence bt the problem is who is knows the truth.China is a dragon.China is helping.China this that
    But listen we need development that’s why we need China.when we get developed we pay back the debt and then we become the free developed country which all you critics will be proud of.mark my words history will read about Mr ecl lungu and our generation as the age of fast development since the birth of our nation.good afternoon

  15. Fellows Tembo

    The truth is the are angry with China doing more than what the West did during the days they were running Africa full throttle

  16. HOMMIE 24

    those that suport china and ecl have one thing in comon devil s mind

  17. Shaka

    It’s high time we accept, who are we to deny that China is a supper power in terms of development in the world today; even some western countries run to China for help. The truth is, China and Chambia have come along way. In Kaunda era,Europe,the West and Asia used to compete in trying to develop Africa, but from the nineteens, its like Europe and the west started pulling out slowly leaving Africa in the cold like an orphan, with no one to help; maybe they thought they had finished our riches. China has been all weather friend. Now they are shaking, because, for sure China has taken over Africa; let the west and Europe be, with their money. Chambia will soon be importing 1000 Chinese women, while Chambia will export 2,000,000 women into China to cement further our relationship.

  18. Mzee

    At the time IAN Smith closed his border, Zambia an economic somersault and suffered immensely. It was China who came to our rescue by agreeing to build a railway line from Dares salaam to Zambia. This was after the West had vehemently refuse d to help us. The Chinese are doing great but its our week laws they have taken advantage of. For instance, certain businesses should be a preserve of Zambians. How surely can government allow Chinese to run small shops in our high density areas, allow Chinese to rear chickens, gambling machined, vending phoned in the streee,etc
    Is this what we can call investment? Our own people are being pushed out of these small businesses. The onus lies on the government. Poverty levels will continue to soar if this scenario is not halted.

  19. The Impi

    The Chinese mean well I can assure you of that fact ,on the otherhand it is the VISIONLESS leadership of the countries doing business with China particularly Africans.The breed of leaders on this continent is puerille ,cleptomaniac,myopic,lakadaisical and in all faculties completely dysfunctional. Greed ,Aloofness,mediocrity ,while hiding behind a facade of shamelessly vague veil of Christianity ,these pathological plunderers and sycophants of their own nations are the main enemies of the China/Africa partnerships.Their main preoccupation is lining their pockets with kickbacks and corruption from awarding contracts arising from these loans and partnerships.These horrible vices are what are making the Chinese look bad, whereas it is these demonic “christian” cartels that walk most African corridors of power that are the cancerous part of our society .Their corruption is reeking through all levels of social strata.Stem these corrupt element is purely our only panacea.

    • mpandamano

      After reading through the comments, both pro and against; I have this to say: let our leaders be considerate to majority of our citizenry than being selfish and greedy when it comes to the use of the common national resources. By the way chinese are the most partriotic folks I have ever come across. So beware I am talking from an informed position!

  20. richard

    Dambisa has a point, gradually who in here has not benefited indirectly on China’s projects in Zambia or never eaten owned used a product made by china. My major concern just stands on quality and rights. China is helping building Zambia and Africa unlike the Anglo American who are still stealing from us in broad daylight.

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