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Why It Isn’t China’s Fault Its Trade With Africa Is So Distorted

China is forecast to break another trade record with Africa this year, potentially even crossing the $300 billion barrier. While that sounds great, the big number masks a distorted trading relationship that is mostly concentrated in extractives among a small handful of countries.

African countries to date have failed to move up the value chain by processing more of their raw materials prior to export. And that, according to prominent Africa-Asia scholar Jean-Claude Maswana, an economics professor at Ritsumeikan University, is not China’s fault.

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