China’s Second Continent: How a million migrants are building a new empire in Africa by Howard W. French

My colleague Gay A. recommended this book, and I am glad she did. This well-written book is a field guide to the major countries of sub-Saharan Africa, where China is investing billions of dollars in developing infrastructure and securing rights and relationships to access all types of natural resources. The author has extensive experience reporting from both China and Africa, making him the ideal person to explore the positive and negative sides of China’s vast expansion into Africa. He weaves economic and political history with his travelogue through over a dozen countries, making it easy to read.

I would recommend this book to anyone interested in the geopolitics of Africa, China, or the world in general. This book was written before the recent US/China trade wars, and I can only imagine how much more Chinese businesses and interests have pressed into Africa to find new sources of materials and new markets. Is China’s investment the beginning of a true partnership between African counties and China or a recolonization of the contentment from the east? That question is left to the reader and the future to answer, but the author provides examples that lead one to conclude that this question is still undecided, or maybe answered on a country by country basis.
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