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China in Africa: The Real Story

African Attitudes Toward Chinese Migrants

Deborah Brautigam

Chinese migration expert Yoon Jung Park was interviewed by Radio Australia on her fieldwork surveying attitudes toward Chinese immigrants in southern Africa (South Africa, Namibia, Lesotho, and Zimbabwe). She also draws on colleagues' research in Zambia and Botswana. Park finds that while media coverage highlights problems and tensions, the actual attitudes of Africans varies across countries. In South Africa, consumers appreciate the greater range of goods available from Chinese traders. Her research in Zimbabwe also reflected this, and consumers emphasized that during the time of hyperinflation, Chinese shops were able to source affordable goods when others couldn't.

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