South-South migration and trade: Sino-African small traders in Senegal and China
During recent years, Sino-African relations have noticed unprecedented growth in multilateral trade and foreign direct investment. At the macro-economic level, exchanges between China and Africa have attracted the world’s attention regarding China-Africa’s relations in various fields of engagement: diplomacy, politics, trade, investment and so on. Alongside such interest among policymakers and academics to scrutinise China’s presence in Africa mainly linked to political and economic aspects, migration becomes a central topic which needs to be studied as it is essentially part of the broader picture of China and Africa relationship.
Beside the macro-economic level of engagement, China’s investment in Africa is portrayed by Chinese private entrepreneurs, traders and businessmen seeking for markets. At the same time, China’s economic boom, trade liberalisation and modernisation have attracted many African migrants. The growing presence of African traders in China’s ‘city markets’ and Chinese traders in African cities is somehow shaping global business patterns. This paper is centred on comparative analysis of Sino-African traders in Senegal and China. It is based on empirical work in Yiwu and Dakar and looks at the traders’ business networks and their contribution to the socio-economic development of Senegal and China.