The impact of China on African cities: Potentials for development

Document Type

Book Chapter


The ‘rise of China’ in Africa has manifold consequences. These include those on the politics of the continent and on its societies, through migration, for example. However, less is known and written about the impacts of China on urban Africa. How is the deepened inter-regionalism between China and Africa expressed and constructed in, and through cities? This chapter explores this question through (1) a description of the key channels through which China is influencing urban development in Africa, (2) a conceptualization of, and exploration into, the nature of urban assemblages in Sino–African relations and (3) an assessment of developmental pathways for the future evolution of these relations. It considers whether the increased presence of Chinese actors in, and impacts on, African cities is developmentally positive, exploitative, or a combination of the two. Particular attention is paid to the nature, functions, linkages, and governance of Chinese-originating social forces, such as companies and the Chinese state, in African cities.

Publication Title

Handbook of Emerging 21st-Century Cities

Publication Date


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