Mobility between Africa, Asia and Latin America: Economic Networks and Cultural Interactions 9781350221406, 9781786990785

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Mobility between Africa, Asia and Latin America: Economic Networks and Cultural Interactions
 9781350221406, 9781786990785

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Figures and Tables

Figures 3.1 Company structure of the Karimjee Jivanjee family 63 in 1950 5.1 Souk Libya, Khartoum, June 2015 92 5.2 Traders in the Souk Libya, Khartoum, June 2015 92 5.3 Map of Khartoum’s main markets 94 8.1 Advertisement for the private university Limkokwing, 159 Kuala Lumpur, 2014 8.2 Informal advertisement for a hair and beauty salon, 161 Kuala Lumpur, 2014 8.3 Condominium frequented by Africans, Ampong, 2014 165 8.4 Shop in Chow Kit, owned by a Nigerian woman in 2014 167 8.5 Welcoming signboard in the hall of the GP 6-11 church, 169 Kuala Lumpur, 2014 13.1 The author with Dominique Saatenang at a 267 conference in Paris, 2014 13.2 Adam Musa teaching schoolchildren in China 268 15.1 A fair featuring typical local produce 304 15.2 A book launch in January 2009 of a volume describing 305 the memories of Amilcar Cabral in present-day Cape Verde 15.3 Capoeira centre in Mindelo 311

Tables 3.1 Sisal production in Tanganyika by proprietors in 1954 60 7.1 Number of African immigrants per country 140 10.1 South–South mobility? Business destinations of 147 203 Ghanaian and Senegalese China traders

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About the Contributors

Adams Bodomo, a native of Ghana, is professor of African languages and literatures at the University of Vienna, where he is also director of the university’s research platform for Global African Diaspora Studies (GADS). He founded and directed the African Studies programme at the University of Hong Kong, where he served as associate professor of linguistics and African studies between 1997 and 2013. Raphaëlle Chevrillon-Guibert is a research fellow at the Research Institute for Development (IRD). She works at the PRODIG Joint Research Unit (UMR) in Paris. She researches patterns of Islamist hegemony in Sudan, the Sudanese Islamist alliances, the implementation of new Sudanese economic policies towards agriculture and extractive activities, and contemporary trade dynamics in Sahelian and northern Africa countries. Hauke Dorsch is director of the African Music Archives in Mainz, and teaches at the Department of Anthropology and African Studies at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz. His research focuses on diasporas, African and world music, transnationalism and migration, post-colonialism, the anthropology of globalization, and fieldwork methods. Sarah Hanisch is a research assistant at the Department of East Asian Studies/Chinese Studies at the University of Vienna and a research fellow at the University of Free State. Her research interests include South–South migration and Sino-African relations, with a special focus on Chinese migration to Lesotho and South Africa. Li Anshan is professor at the School for International Studies of Peking University, vice-president of the International Scientific Committee of UNESCO GHA Vol. IX, chair of the Chinese Society of African Historical Studies, and vice-chair of the Chinese Association of Asia-African Studies. He has published on the history of overseas Chinese in Africa and Africa–China relations.

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About the Contributors

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Laurence Marfaing is a senior research fellow at the GIGA Institute of African Affairs in Hamburg. She works on mobility, trans-local spaces, sociability, migration in West Africa, and informal trade. Her research focuses on Mouride networks and strategies of male and female merchants in West and North Africa, and she has a rich fieldwork background in West African cities. Renu Modi is senior lecturer and former director of the Centre for African Studies at the University of Mumbai. Her areas of research interest include economic relations between India and Africa, diasporas, development and displacement, and South–South development cooperations. She has published on agricultural development and food security in Africa, and the impact of Chinese, Indian and Brazilian investments. Azeez Olaniyan is a senior lecturer in the Department of Political Science at Ekiti State University, Ado Ekiti, Nigeria. He received his PhD in political science from the University of Ibadan. His research interests centre on issues related to peace and conflict, social movements, ethnic politics, democracy and governance. He has published on the Fulani–Konkomba conflict in Ghana. Philip Ademola Olayoku holds a doctorate in peace and conflict studies from the University of Ibadan, where he currently teaches language and communication in conflict at the Institute for Peace and Strategic Studies. His research interests include China–Africa relations, transitional justice and ethno-religious conflicts. Gijsbert Oonk is an associate professor of global history at the Erasmus School of History, Culture And Communication. His research and teaching activities are in the field of global history, especially African and Indian history, migration, citizenship, capitalism and inequality, and sport. He is an honorary research affiliate at the Centre for Indian Studies in Africa (CISA), University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg. Mohamadou Sall is a professor of demography at the Université Cheikh Anta Diop, Dakar. He was awarded a PhD on population, development and environment from UCL at Louvain-la-Neuve. His research fields include migration, demography, health and nutrition. His publications focus on African women refugees, child mortality and demographical issues in West Africa.

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Livio Sansone is a professor of anthropology at the Federal University of Bahia (UFBA) and the head of the Factory of Ideas Program, an advanced international course in ethnic and African studies. He coordinates the Digital Museum of African and Afro-Brazilian Heritage. He has published on youth culture, ethnicity, inequalities, anti-racism, anthropology, colonialism and globalization, some available on Vibrant.org.br. Alena Thiel is a research fellow at the GIGA Institute of African Affairs in Hamburg, where she has been working on the DFG-funded projects ‘Entrepreneurial Chinese migrants and petty African entrepreneurs: local impacts of interaction in urban West Africa’ (2011–12) and ‘West African traders as translators between Chinese and African urban modernities’ (2013–17). She holds a PhD from the University of Aberdeen. Bernarda Zubrzycki is junior professor of social anthropology at La Plata University, and a research fellow at the National Council of Scientific and Technological Research (CONICET). Her research interests include South–South migrations, especially African migrations to South America.

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Preface

Africa’s transregional economic networks, the mobility of its inhabitants and their cultural interactions across the continents of the Global South are much more complex and far-reaching than generally assumed. To date, however, too little has been known about the perspectives of individual actors and their mobility and activities in these interactions. This evidence convinced us to make this under-represented perspective the topic of this volume. It reveals this perspective from the African point of view, and presents the experiences and trajectories of individuals who engage in trans­ regional ventures. The contributions in this volume were first presented at an AEGIS thematic conference, ‘Africa in the Global South: biographies of mobility and aspirations of success’, held in Frankfurt am Main from 15 to 17 May 2014. All contributors actively participated in this conference, with the exception of Hauke Dorsch (Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz, Germany), Mohamadou Sall (Université Cheikh Anta Diop, Senegal) and Bernarda Zubrzicky (University of La Plata, Argentina), who joined this project at a later stage. We also wish to acknowledge the constructive input of those participants who in the end did not contribute to this volume: Malwina Bakalarska (University of Warsaw, Poland), Léa Barreau (Sciences-Po, Bordeaux, France), Alain Fouda (University of Yaounde I, Cameroon), Matthias Gruber (Goethe University Frankfurt, Germany), John Karugia (Goethe University Frankfurt, Germany), Guive Khan Mohammad (University of Lausanne, Switzerland), Wiebe Nauta (University of Maastrich, the Netherlands), Basile Ndjio (University of Douala, Cameroon) and Giovanna Puppin (University of Leicester, United Kingdom). We, the editors, organized the conference at the Goethe University Frankfurt on behalf of the Centre of Interdisciplinary African Studies (ZIAF), Goethe University, in cooperation with the Centre for the Study of Contemporary Africa, University of Naples ‘L’Orientale’. We are grateful to the project ‘Africa’s Asian Options’ (AFRASO) for hosting the conference at the Goethe University and to the German Ministry of Foreign Affairs for its financial support for the conference and this volume’s copy-editing. We are

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also grateful to Tatjana Leichsering for her help in translating one chapter from Spanish to English and to Janine Murphy for her invaluable help copy-editing the chapters of this book. In the name of all chapter authors, we also wish to thank two anonymous reviewers for their constructive comments. Alessandro Jedlowski and Ute Röschenthaler

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1 Introduction: landscapes of opportunity, mobility and entrepreneurial perspectives Ute Röschenthaler and Alessandro Jedlowski

South–South connections between Africa and other regions of what has come to be known as the Global South have existed for centuries. Since the end of the Cold War, however, new patterns of South– South interaction have emerged. These patterns become visible on two levels. First, on the inter- or multinational level on which countries such as China, India and Brazil currently define emerging political, economic and cultural scenarios throughout the African continent (Carmody 2013; Taylor 2014). Second, on the individual level, the movement of people with their own private undertakings has increased significantly over the same period, particularly between Africa, Asia and Latin America. While these two levels are mutually intertwined, this volume focuses explicitly on the second level of individual undertakings, which has received insufficient scholarly attention to date. Studies on globalization and South–South connections tend to focus on dominant forms of transnational interactions from a macro perspective (Brunet 2014; Cheru and Modi 2013; Huynh 2013; King 2013; Li Xing et al. 2013; Modi 2011a; Shinn and Eisenman 2012). Beyond the macro-narratives, a much less investigated universe of interactions, transactions and movements of people, objects, stories and ideas successfully proliferates. We argue that individuals rarely leave home with the objective of integrating into a foreign host society. Many move along with trade goods, powerful ideas and accumulated knowledge that they carry with them from Africa towards Asia and Latin America, and vice versa, to establish network-like connections. Similarly, individuals from Latin America and Asia have moved to Africa in the hope of finding suitable opportunities to establish a venture. Such movements in both directions have increased considerably since the 1990s. The scope and significance of these movements become clearer when the actors’ sociocultural contexts are examined and put into context with the existing framework of historical relationships and

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economic networks that have emerged between these geographical areas in recent centuries (Bredeloup 2013; Cissé 2015; Marfaing and Thiel 2015). Of similar importance are the biographies of individual actors who move between these places, transferring knowledge and cultural practices. Particularly relevant are the motivations behind the choices that lead Africans (as well as Asians and Latin Americans) to leave their homes and set out to other places, including their visions, aspirations for success abroad, and the conditions in the host countries into which they move and in which they often manage to survive more or less successfully. We focus on the past three decades because the structural adjustment policies introduced in most African countries throughout the 1980s have accelerated socio-economic transformations and people’s movements. Particularly, young people were pushed to invent new strategies of survival (Banégas and Warnier 2001; Röschenthaler and Schulz 2016), which often encouraged them to leave their home communities (Collier and Gunning 2008; Zeleza 1989). This edited volume explores this arena through the stories of individual actors, the goods they trade, the pathways they take, and the enterprises that some of them establish. It studies the movements of individuals between Africa, Asia and Latin America, focusing particularly on the concerns of these actors and the impact their activities have on their home and host societies. The volume explores what happens at the contact zones of these intercultural encounters and at the intersections of foreign and local norms that are potentially contested and conflicting. It also investigates the influence that the presence of individual mobile actors has on cultural, economic or political sectors in the different destination countries. Looking at mobility between Africa, Asia and Latin America together opens up a number of benefits that enhance our understanding of globalization and present-day mobility. Five benefits will be briefly outlined here and are further elaborated over the course of this introduction. First, our endeavour is to overcome established analytical dichotomies that form part of a ‘North–South’ conceptual framework. While the binary oppositions ‘North vs South’, ‘above vs below’, ‘formal vs informal’, ‘high end vs low end’, ‘hegemonic vs subaltern’ spell out power asymmetries and emphasize the underdevelopment of countries in the South, they hide the existence and greater complexity of the social, economic and political dynamics that ground South–South patterns of mobility. For instance, African contributions to globalization and mobility fall not merely into the

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3

categories of ‘informal’, ‘from below’ or ‘illegal’; many African traders and entrepreneurs also make use of formal institutions and networks of economic and political enterprise. That is, both formal and informal go together in the context of South–South mobility. Container trade, for example, would not be possible without the use of formal institutions. Secondly, the dominating analytical models for the understanding of migration and development are normally elaborated from the vantage point of the West, and favour it as the main destination of migration fluxes without considering the perspective of those who are moving to other places. The mobility of people and the cultural exchanges between Africa, Asia and Latin America cannot be fully understood if they are measured against the backdrop of Western assumptions about migration and development. Individual actors’ motivations and experiences are far more varied and complex than macroeconomic theories depict. Many of these travellers do not leave with the intention of remaining in the host society, but aspire instead to become transnational business people or carry out work that allows them to remain mobile (Pelican and Saul 2014). Migration laws and politicians’ assumptions about ‘migrants’, however, render such projects complicated, particularly for those who do not have huge sums of money at their disposal. They cannot talk about their true project officially but have to comply with the local legal models of integration and corroborate the host society’s assumptions about them in order to stay (and apply, for example, for asylum) (Beneduce 2015). Thirdly, this book’s micro-perspective relates the individual life histories to the normative frameworks that confront these actors and influence their decisions and actions in order to highlight the original strategies by which they become agents – agency being the capacity to affect things (Ortner 2006: 137) – and shape their life trajectories. If pull and push factors play a role in determining individuals’ movements, international and national frameworks influence the direction of such movements, pushing people to opt for a particular destination over another. Individual decisions are not fully predictable and, as the chapters of this book highlight, talking about mobility in a general sense obscures the local political and legal specificities that drive people’s movement. Fourthly, this volume proposes to study globalization from the vantage point of an African or ‘Southern’ perspective, and particularly from the perspectives of the individuals themselves moving within places that belong to the so-called Global South. When individuals feel the urge to move, many directions of movement

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are possible. These options create what we can conceptualize as a ‘landscape of opportunities’ and do not – and never did – only include movement to Europe and North America. For Africans, these options include – apart from a range of countries in Africa – China, India, Brazil, Argentina, Thailand or Korea, just to name the most significant among them. Choosing one option over another depends on personal networks, legal frameworks and international conditions, such as diplomatic and trade agreements. This means that the actors involved in the mobile trajectories that are analysed in this volume are considered subjects who actively shape specific itineraries of mobility to respond to the multiple – and at times conflicting – factors that influence their lives: from political and economic constraints to personal ambitions, from economic calculation to desires for adventure, from media-generated imaginaries to transnational love relationships. Fifthly, the movements from Africa to Asia and Latin America and vice versa need to be examined in connection with the repercussions that these movements have at home as well as in the host countries (in terms of investments, creation of employment, cultural influence, etc.). Large amounts of money are sent to develop the home country using means acquired abroad, and a large body of work analyses the economic and socio-political consequences of these remittances (Elie et al. 2011; Mercer et al. 2008; Peil 1995); far less work exists on the contribution that migrants offer to their host countries. Investment in the host countries is not the predominant way to look at the topic, except for the entrepreneurial involvement of ethnic minorities that has been described in Africa (Olaniyan, Li and Oonk, this volume), but not in what concerns Africans abroad. In this sense, this volume is particularly concerned with the relational, shifting nature of the processes through which specific patterns of mobility are shaped as well as with the social and cultural transformations from which they emerge and which they provoke. In short, this volume connects the larger analytical frameworks related to the analysis of transnational mobility, economic networks and cultural transfer to a particular concern for people’s perspectives and, in methodological terms, for the application of a biographical approach to people and goods involved in South–South mobilities. To bring out this complexity and dynamism, this book focuses on the perspectives of individual entrepreneurial actors, their movements, activities and aspirations. It studies their biographies in the cultural and historical contexts in which they have emerged and were realized, and investigates the motivations that push individuals to opt for

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5

a specific destination within the landscape of opportunities that are open to them.

The Global South and globalization from below At first glance, the term ‘Global South’ sounds refreshing and appears to represent an attempt to redefine global constellations. A closer look, however, reveals that, by creating an ideological opposition between the ‘South’ and the ‘North’, this term merely replaces older concepts that imply a radical, oversimplified distinction between the two regions. This is evident when the concept is considered from a geographical perspective. The majority of countries to which the term refers are in the geographical South, but some are also clearly in the northern hemisphere. Still others, such as Australia, count as ‘North’. When the terms ‘South’ and ‘North’ are used to refer to ideological spaces, the definition of who belongs to which side of the dividing line does not become less complicated (see also Marfaing and Thiel, this volume), and it inevitably obscures the multitude of interactions and activities that take place beyond the dichotomy that the use of these terms suggests. The history of such conceptualizations reaches back at least to the era of European colonization and to the emergence of Eurocentric ideas used to legitimize Europeans’ movement towards the ‘South’. In this sense, precursors of this dichotomous definition are racial concepts that divide the global population hierarchically into active and passive races. This evolutionary theory was reformulated in the modernization, dependency and world systems theories, which ordered peoples and states into a system characterized by an economic and political centre (the First World) with various peripheries (Wallerstein 1974; Escobar 2004). The prospect of an economic integration of the peripheries was supported by new forms of global politics of mercantilism, which Sven Beckert (2014) calls ‘war capitalism’. The political and economic practices that this form of capitalism entails embody the fundamentals of economic exploitation of which the expansion of the cotton industry, together with the sugar and the tea industries, are illustrative examples (Hobhouse 2005 [1985]; Mintz 1985). Following the end of the Cold War there was impetus for a general reorientation of the ideological cardinal points grounding the existing definitions, and terms like the ‘Global North’ and the ‘Global South’ emerged to redefine the new constellation. Notwithstanding, ongoing forms of exploitation and

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underdevelopment continue to remain hidden behind much of the macro-analytical understanding of ‘non-Western’ societies. Most studies on globalization and South–South connections focus on dominant forms of transnational interactions from a macro perspective devoid of interest for individual agencies. Only recently have a number of studies contrasted the existing analytical focus on ‘globalization from above’ and on the powerful institutions that represent it, by analysing the dynamics of what has been defined, alternatively, as ‘globalization from below’ (Brecher et al. 1993; Mathews et al. 2012; Mohan and Zack-Williams 2002; Portes 1996; Ribeiro 2006, 2009; Tarrius 2002), ‘transnationalism from below’ (Smith and Guarnizo 1998), ‘grassroots globalization’ (Appadurai 2000), ‘low-end globalization’ (Mathews 2007, 2011), or ‘minor transnationalism’ (Lionnet and Shih 2005). This body of work acknowledges the specific condition of politically/economically disadvantaged populations within globalization processes, and often associates their activities with informality, shadow economy and undercover networks. Ribeiro’s concept (2009, 2012) of a non-hegemonic world system (in reference to Wallerstein 1974) highlights that people from the ‘South’ are not against capitalism but on the contrary want to participate in it to increase the flow of goods to poorer strata of the population. Other studies highlight that powerful companies, which form part of the hegemonic system, use legal loopholes to conduct economic transactions that are criticized and referred to as the ‘shadow economy’ when operated by non-hegemonic actors (Nordström 2007). Despite the problems suggested above, the Global South concept can be seen as an important tool for criticizing imperialistic ideas of market-oriented interests generally associated with the West/North. The concept forms part of an ideological battleground that points to the asymmetric power relations between different regions of the world (Ribeiro 2012) by creating a binary opposition that is easy to understand and agree with. However, while it is important to cultivate the awareness of these power asymmetries and of the injustices they perpetuate, the binary opposition implicit in the use of this term homogenizes people’s trajectories, ambitions and interests on both sides. Furthermore, it obscures the specificity of what takes place in the large zone that proliferates between the ‘North’ and the ‘South’, hiding the complex and contradictory nature of the different activities people are involved in on the ground as well as individual understandings of interests and positions in the global geopolitical and economic scenario.

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Many studies on ‘globalization from below’ focus on activities that are situated in the shadow economy and in situations of informality and illegality. With their focus on informal and illegal activities, these studies often highlight the specific regimes of mobility of goods that are moved across borders and between continents (Mathews and Vega 2012; Van Schendel and Abraham 2005). Such studies emphasize the creativity and the entrepreneurial spirit that are needed to accomplish these transactions and criticize global conditions of political and economic dominance that oblige people to work in conditions of illegality, informality or marginality. They portray the struggles of traders and business people and criticize the way international agreements shape their everyday lives (Lee 2014). Indeed, these activities form part of globalization and are involved in the processes that globalization itself fosters (Sundaram 2010). Informal activities are normally not included in official statistics (Hart 1973; MacGaffey 1991) and this in turn contributes to opinions that the economies of the South are inefficient and malfunctioning. While this is an important observation, it is part of a vicious circle that participates in creating the impression that economic activities in the Global South are predominantly informal, and, if they are not outright illegal, are to be found only in the shadows. Accordingly, in this volume we intend to complement these views with more information on the entanglements of entrepreneurial activities in the different spheres that many people in Africa, Latin America and Asia experience when they move between these continents. With life stories of entrepreneurs and traders, we intend to illustrate how they move between the different spheres; how they trade in the frame of legality, and how they only shift to informality momentarily and when this is inexorable; and, finally, how, far from being at the margin, some of them rule portions of the market, own factories, and dominate commodity chains. The informality discourse tends to exoticize (through the ideas of the underground, the ‘untamable’, the lack of control of fiscal institutions, etc.) a reality which is instead composed of multiple dimensions. Some of these dimensions are effectively ‘grey’, ‘underground’ and ‘shadowy’; many others are, however, formal, inserted in both local and international mechanisms of fiscal and financial control, and work according to logics of capitalistic and exploitative accumulation.

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Global movements, migration and mobility Transformations in transport and communication technologies have importantly increased the scale, distance and speed of global mobility over the course of the past three decades. However, for many people, mobility was or still is a very normal part of their lives (De Bruijn et al. 2001). Despite the normality of mobility, most people affiliate themselves with a place they imagine to be their home, where their forefathers have lived or to which they feel emotionally attached. Emotional attachment is also often very strong for individuals who have not even spent much time in the place they consider home, as their parents/families have moved to a city or abroad early in their life. In this sense, the ‘homeland’ is clearly more a socially constructed and memorized place than a geographical location. Emotional attachment not only varies in its intensity, but also has flexible scales and degrees of specificity (for example, it can be oriented towards a compound, a village, a region, a country) and might in some cases dissolve after some generations of residence in a different country. Globalization theories often use metaphors borrowed from natural sciences, such as waves and flows, to describe the mobility of people, commodities, and their flooding of local societies and markets. These metaphors obscure individual agency and the decision-making processes that take place as part of these movements. Social scientists’ growing academic interest in the dynamics of globalization has created a large number of new terminologies and disciplinary trends, including a focus on mobility, transnational citizenship, mobile and networked populations, and links and synergies between spatial and social mobility (Appadurai 1990; Bash et al. 1994; Glick Schiller 1999; Glick Schiller and Salazar 2013; Greenblatt et al. 2009; Kaufmann et al. 2004; Sheller and Urry 2006; Urry 2000). Even though many of these studies discuss the social, economic or political position of marginalized groups within the globalization framework, and analyse the specific business strategies that they develop (Harvey 2005), they often do not unveil individuals’ specific concerns, or their motivations, movements and pathways. Very few studies explicitly focus on the perspective of individual actors (Favell et al. 2007), and, more importantly, on their achievements, and include case studies of traders, trade routes and markets. Mobility and migration are closely connected, but studies on migration have a different focus to studies on mobility. Earlier studies about migration (and the government policies based on them) usually adopted a sedentary model, which regarded the mobility of people

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as a limited, temporary stage in a trajectory aimed at immobility and a sedentary life. Thus, these studies often conceptualize migration as a movement from a starting point to a place of destination and regard it as a close-ended process, which is completed once actors are either integrated in the host society or return to the home place after a specific time of training or employment. Studies on ‘circular migration’ (Skeldon 2012) and ‘return migration’ (Åkesson and Baaz 2015; Arowolo 2000; Black and King 2004; Cassarino 2004) discuss the issue of reintegration at home and the contribution of returnees to the development of the home country, and emphasize that both home and host countries tend to welcome above all skilled migrants. Other studies point to the multiplicity of migratory movements, life trajectories and projects, focusing on the political and social role of individuals (Baby-Collin et al. 2009; Triulzi and McKenzie 2013) and see mobility as personal capital (Kaufmann et al. 2004). The individuals they study move with their personal histories, values and cultural practices but also take on an active role in shaping the scenarios of their movements. If these studies offer valuable materials to help advance our analysis, they differ from the main concern of the essays included in this book in that they dwell mainly on debates and issues connected to the migration concept. The chapters in this book, conversely, make an effort to go beyond the understanding of mobility as migration, to look at the set of open-ended mobility patterns that characterize the lives of many individuals in Africa as in other regions of the world today. For our purpose, the concept of mobility has the advantage of being more open ended and flexible than that of migration, and allows studying the movement of people as well as the objects and immaterial goods that move with them. Globalization and the increase in global mobility have been discussed in relation to cosmopolitanism (Darieva et al. 2012; Kothari 2008; Werbner 2008). The chapters in this volume show that there are some true ‘citizens of the world’ among the mobile global individuals they analyse. This, however, does not necessarily mean that, in being mobile and open to the world, these individuals no longer value their local roots. They are open to the world partly for curiosity, but in most cases primarily for the sake of doing business to help their family and advance their own social and economic position. Most prefer to socialize with fellow expatriates in their free time and hardly mix arbitrarily with the people who surround them in the host country. Although some individuals intermarry with local people, they tend to do this less for romantic reasons and more as a strategic choice within a limited set of possibilities that are open

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to them. Accordingly, people often maintain a very strong sense of belonging and cultural attachment precisely because they are highly mobile; their mobility pushes them to develop stronger rootedness. In relation to these complex issues, then, it appears to us that the use of the concept of cosmopolitanism runs the risk of masking struggles, conflicting activities and social differences. Socializing with compatriots from the same country or region in home town associations, religious or professional networks, or saving and credit associations reflects the rootedness mentioned above.1 Such social networks are essential for surviving in a foreign environment, but they require trust, need time to be created, and involve the collection and redistribution of resources, while ethnic and regional political struggles and conflicts can condition the relationships among individuals even in the host countries. Hence, depending on the type of activity they carry out, many individuals prefer to avoid their compatriots and stay on their own as they do not wish to share information and resources with them. Therefore, biographies and itineraries of individuals are essential for understanding the decisions and motivations at stake in contexts of social fragmentation.

Biographical approaches and the motivations of actors Many of the materials discussed in this volume are presented using, to different extents, a biographical approach. Biographical approaches have the capacity to bring out people’s motivations, achievements, plans and the constraints they face, while making individual agency more visible. Many of the actors portrayed in these chapters have been successful in their ventures and have been prosperous abroad despite often complicated circumstances; others, however, have had high hopes but had to face unexpected challenges. Disciplines which favour a deductive approach tend to regard life stories as mere anecdotal evidence that reflects individual idiosyncrasies deprived of scientific value. In this context, Brettell (2002) argues, individuals and their life histories are not representative of their social group but tell their own story in reference to their social context and in comparison with other such stories. At first glance, their uniqueness might make life stories difficult to compare so that it is hard to draw generalizations and generate predictable results (for a criticism, see ibid.). However, the relevance of generalizations that refer to a level of abstraction not closely connected to the experiences of real actors on the ground is equally questionable. Therefore,

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we advocate that when sufficient numbers of people are asked for their histories and viewpoints, meaningful comparison can be drawn that allows for the development of valid explanations for the circumscribed range of issues tackled by a specific field of research. Life stories are not necessarily about historical facts but rather are about the individuals’ interpretation of these facts. They reflect individuals’ points of view and their experiences in a certain time frame (see Bertaux and Kohli 1984 for an overview of the method). Depending on the context of the narration, life stories are official and unofficial narrations (Spülbeck 1997). Narratives are often the only way to access information in the absence of other documentation on a topic and provide the background to make statistical figures meaningful. Certainly, anthropologists need to move beyond the mere analysis of what is told, in order to understand the reason why people tell the stories the way they tell them. They are told in specific circumstances, and are more or less elaborate according to the oratory skills (Keesing 1985; for a criticism, see Bourdieu 1986). A life story entails general explanations that all human beings might share, cultural aspects that are common to the group the individual telling the story belongs to, and unique elements specific to one individual. They also vary in terms of the aspects that are stressed (Parish 2008 [1997]; Watson and Watson-Franke 1985; see also Cole and Knowles 2001; Goodley et al. 2004). Life story narratives need to be compared and corroborated by other supporting materials (other narratives, scholarly accounts, statistical data and complementary sources) and situated in their cultural context (Brettell and Alstatt 2007). Many of the contributors to this volume have combined the life story approach with a multi-sited or mobile research methodology in which the researcher follows people and things on their trajectories across different spaces. This approach was first outlined by Appadurai (1990) and has been further developed by George Marcus (1995). Following such an approach, many of the chapters’ authors have travelled to several sites to follow their interviewees to different places or observe the various locations where they have worked and spent time. Such an approach also allows for a combined study of the biographies of people, things and institutions (Appadurai 1986; Kopytoff 1986). While people might adapt their perspective of the world to the new environment, things assume new meanings for their new owners according to the different contexts in which they are used. Conversely, Alpes notes that it ‘is striking that the flow of people is often analyzed through entirely different theoretical frameworks from the flow of goods’ (2011: 33), which illustrates

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how important it is to study these processes together and in their economic and historical context.

Historical relationships and economic networks Trade relations between Africa and Asia have existed since ancient times. Trade networks connected the East African coast via the Arab peninsula, the Persian Gulf and the Indian Ocean to China and the Strait of Malacca (Love 2006). Through this trade network, Chinese porcelain reached East Africa at least two thousand years ago (Li, this volume). These extensive trade routes and networks transported goods much farther than the individual traders were moving. Traces of early Asian trade goods have been found not only along the Swahili coast, but also deep inside the African continent. Indian and Roman beads from around the ninth century ad were excavated in Mali’s Sahel zone and Igbu Ukwu in Nigeria (Insoll and Shaw 1997). Additionally, cowry shells from the Maldives Islands have been found in these places and were widely in use in sub-Saharan Africa (Hogendorn and Johnson 1986). These items from Asia reached the East African coast via maritime and/or overland trade routes. Arab and African traders then disseminated them farther via the trans-Saharan trade routes to sub-Saharan Africa. Arab mallams used to move with African traders along the trans-Sahara trade routes, disseminating Islam. The adoption of this religion contributed to further mobility when converted Muslims began to undertake the haj to Mecca following the same trade routes that the beads and the cowrie shells had taken (Curtin 1984). It is across these same routes that African trade goods reached Asia. For instance, in the sixteenth century, an East African giraffe reached China (Li Anshan 2012: ix). Quite early on, Arab and Omani traders began to settle along the eastern coast of Africa and established the Swahili trade settlements (Horton and Middleton 2000). The interactions between Asia and Africa in the maritime Indian Ocean trade network included not only the exchange of trade goods but also migratory movements and cultural interactions (Shaffer 1994). Although most ship or dhow owners were Asians and Arabs, there was a lot of movement in both directions. Malays have absorbed various traders and migrants from Arabia and perhaps also other regions for centuries (Dubey 2010; Mandal 2014). Africans have also occasionally moved to the Orient and Asia for exploration and commerce, and as slaves (Bellagamba et al. 2013).

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Among the Asians who formed the largest diaspora groups – globally but also in Africa – are the Chinese, Indians and the Lebanese (Ribeiro 2012), although larger numbers of Asians, especially Indians and Chinese, did not begin to settle in eastern and southern Africa before the eighteenth century. Chinese people began to settle in eastern Africa from the eighteenth century onwards, with a second wave arriving in the 1960s and a third in the 1990s (Li Anshan 2012; Park 2008). Li Anshan (in this volume) traces the Chinese movements to Africa and seeks to understand the motivations behind their migratory explorations. Li in particular considers the entrepreneurial intentions behind these different movements in the framework of political cooperation between China and African countries and provides biographical case studies of Chinese who have migrated to Africa, including their motivations and business stories. Li argues that the movements of Chinese to different African regions form part of a process of cultural offering, social interaction and cultural integration (for recent movements of Chinese traders, see Giese and Marfaing 2016; Haugen and Carling 2005; Kernen and Vulliet 2008; for trade goods, Dobler 2008). Indians did not settle in large numbers in Africa before the nineteenth century (Oonk 2009, 2013; Dubey 2010; Gregory 1993; Hawley 2008). Gijsbert Oonk, in this volume, traces the history of a South Asian trading family, the Karimjee Jivanjee family, in East Africa and their global trading and business network from the nineteenth century to the present. Over time, the centre of this family firm shifted from north-west India (Gujarat) to the coastal area of East Africa. From East Africa, their network eventually expanded to the Indian Ocean region (from Zanzibar to Japan), sub-Saharan Africa and western Europe. While achieving this, they created an efficient family network within the changing complex of emerging nation-states in the twentieth century. Oonk explains their successes and setbacks, the importance of trust and trade in long-distance relations and their marriage patterns. In contrast to Chinese and Indians, the Levantine traders arrived in Africa only at the end of the nineteenth century (to Nigeria around 1890). As dispersed as Chinese and Indians, the Levantines or Lebanese also formed well-functioning global networks. Many came from the poorer regions of northern Lebanon and Syria to search for opportunities beyond their homes. Initially, Europe and the Americas were attractive destinations (Hourani and Shehadi 1992; Nancy and Picard 1998). Others arrived in African countries (Khuri 1965), often unintentionally, but remained there as it was easier to build up

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an enterprise there than in Europe or North America. Many went to Nigeria, from around 1890s onward. In this volume, Azeez Olaniyan traces the stories of Lebanese entrepreneurs in the Nigerian city of Ibadan. He analyses how they created a brand and a space for themselves over the years and had an impact on the sociocultural and economic life of the city. Olaniyan explores some of their influential enterprises and strategies with which they created employment and contributed to the development of the country. The early movements of Africans to other Southern continents are far more difficult to trace. Most obvious is the movement in the context of the slave trade, during which Africans were traded to Arabia, Asia and above all to the Americas (Collins 2006; Law 1991; Lovejoy 2000 [1983]; Miller 1989). Some of the freed slaves returned from Brazil to ‘their homeland’ in the nineteenth century, settled in coastal towns, and continued to make a living from the slave trade as the Portuguese continued to trade people to Latin America. Many of them founded wealthy families and brought forward influential personalities (Amos 2001; Law 2001). Bernarda Zubrzycki, in this volume, acknowledges this early movement of Africans to South America, and other migratory movements from Europe to the continent. She, however, specifically focuses on a later period, the 1990s, during which a more recent wave of mobile traders began to travel via different Latin American countries to work in Argentina. Until the 1990s, their numbers were hardly noticed in this country, which considers itself to be ‘white and European’, and has, until recently, invisibilized its Afro-descendant population of earlier times. In her chapter, Zubrzycki traces the activities of members of the Senegalese Mouride brotherhood who have moved to Argentina and built up an intricate trade network in this South American country. Trade networks and the movements of traders to and from Africa have also changed the organization of regional markets, which, since the 1990s and more than ever before, accommodate global trade goods that arrive through various channels and long-distance trade routes (Plietz 2012). Raphaëlle Chevrillon-Guibert studies one of these markets, the Souk Libya in the suburbs of Khartoum, which is a popular market that was initially created by internally displaced people during the Sahelian droughts of the 1970s and 1980s. In recent years, it has become a huge international marketplace that not only supplies the Sudanese capital with manufactured goods but has also become a key hub for international trade. Meanwhile, thousands of containers of manufactured goods arrive in Port Sudan from Guangzhou in China as well as from Dubai, India and Indonesia. The rise

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of the Souk Libya changed Khartoum’s trade activities and modified business practices, linking Khartoum with the Arabian peninsula, Chad, Libya and the Mediterranean markets.

Biographies of mobility and aspirations of success While the chapters that comprise the first part of this volume use historical perspectives that reach into the present, the second part focuses more closely on the biographies of individuals and their networks in the recent past. It further develops the analysis of what makes people move and leave their homes, and the discussion of people’s aspirations of success in countries away from home. The vision of an elsewhere that might be a more appropriate place to live, accumulate new experiences and capital should be understood, following Arjun Appadurai, as a normal social practice, which indeed ‘can become the fuel of action’ (1996: 7). Many young people who leave their homes and begin their ventures under often complicated circumstances aptly reflect the motivating potential of such aspirations; those who succeed become the models to follow. Certainly not all are successful in their endeavours; their will to succeed despite challenges and difficulties is, however, often extremely powerful and prevents them from giving up easily. Once away from home, there is no return without success. The traces of unfortunate individuals are therefore much more difficult to retrieve than those of the successful ones, as they tend to hide from the public space, leave no tracks, or disappear in prisons. Young people move because they have experienced increased challenges in their home country since the 1990s. Most prominent among the reasons is the lack of opportunities that the structural adjustment programmes left them with. To this we can add other relevant and profoundly diverse causes, such as the decline of the agricultural industry caused by falling market prices and diminishing soil fertility due to monocultural cash crops, but also the desire for adventure (Bredeloup 2013; Sarró 2009). In many societies, the existence of a normative ideal of manliness and responsibility for the family pushes youth to leave home in order to respond to the social pressure put upon them (see Zubrzycki, this volume). Other reasons might be family conflicts, conflict with authorities, or civil war. Many of these youths are already well educated, have studied or worked as employees, come from middle-class backgrounds, and have numerous capacities and skills (see also Nieswand 2011). For

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many, the possibility of becoming somebody in the home country has become remote, and the most attractive option is to travel abroad to accomplish the desired goal. Since the 1990s, improvements in communication and transport technology, multilateral agreements and the liberalization of trade have made it easier and faster to move and trade across countries of Africa, Asia and Latin America. Accordingly, the number of mobile individuals who leave their home places has increased. They can choose within a wide landscape of opportunities, which includes travelling to a city in the same country, another country or continent; will it be Johannesburg, Dubai, Kuala Lumpur, Hong Kong, Guangzhou, Rio de Janeiro? The decision depends on the capital individuals have at their disposal, the languages they know, and the social networks to which they have access. However, by far the largest number of individual trajectories of mobility take place internally, within the African continent (Pelican and Saul 2014: 5). Some of the chapters included in this part of the volume suggest that most traders were already active in different African countries before they ventured to Asia or Latin America. A growing number of scholarly studies reflect these developments, particularly the movement of Africans to Dubai (Pelican 2014), China (among others Bertoncello and Bredeloup 2007; Bodomo 2012; Cissé 2015; Marfaing and Thiel 2015), India (Hawley 2008; Modi 2011b, this volume), Malaysia (Röschenthaler, this volume) and South America (Zubrzycki, this volume). The reasons for moving differ in each context, and there are several categories of mobile people (students, traders, medical tourists, entrepreneurs, workers, employees, etc.). Renu Modi explores Africans’ contemporary migratory trends towards India, which she analyses within the broader historical context of movement between India and East Africa. She documents the experiences of specific categories of Africans in India, primarily students, medical tourists and traders, and analyses their experiences of India, which these Africans see as a country full of opportunities with its affordable educational institutions, medical facilities and enormous opportunities for small businesses. However, Modi also highlights the flip side of the Indian experience. Many Africans have encountered misunderstandings, tenuous relations and racism that continue to exist between the two communities on a daily basis. In addition to individual motivations and the local economic and political circumstances, national legal frameworks and international treaties are also key factors that shape patterns of mobility. As the chapters in this section make evident, mobility is movement

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within specific constraints. Immigration and labour laws to a large extent decide the ways in which foreign people are able to act in a country. As Ute Röschenthaler (this volume) shows, the majority of Cameroonians and Nigerians who move to Malaysia are youth who come as students. This is so because student visas are easy to obtain for that country as it openly advertises private higher education. But the attainment of higher education diplomas is not all these people desire to achieve. They also wish to put money aside for their return, as their families at home expect them to arrive with enough means to marry, construct a house or invest in a business. Malaysian policies, however, make it difficult for foreign students to work, which again encourages Africans to become inventive and find alternative ways to make money. Whereas the documented experiences of earlier voluntary movements between the Southern continents were characterized predominantly by the presence of men, from the 1990s onward a growing number of women became mobile and started to participate in trade. Mohamadou Sall (this volume) observed that since the late 1970s, Senegalese women have increasingly launched themselves into international trade, using neighbouring countries and the Canary Islands (Las Palmas) to collect experiences as traders abroad. When Asian markets began to open up, these women targeted Dubai before turning their attention to the new markets in China and India, from 2010 onwards. They no longer confine themselves to the clothing and jewellery business but diversify their products, which include furnishings, computer hardware and spare car parts, necessitating the rethinking of gendered roles in trading activities (see also Ba 2003 for Wolof women traders). Trust and the creation of large social networks are essential ingredients for being able to carry out trade. Such networks might include the forementioned home-town unions in the foreign country, family networks that extend globally, and business relationships with the foreign traders. Laurence Marfaing and Alena Thiel explore the biographies and networks of transnational Ghanaian and Senegalese businessmen and women residing in China as well as their familial, social and religious networks and strategies of business expansion. Their long-term study of traders’ biographies corroborates that these are very flexible networks that extend globally, and are not limited to the South. With a critical view on the Global South label, they show how the patterns of mobility and investment of the Ghanaian and Senegalese traders are integrated in wider processes of globalization.

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Knowledge transfer and cultural interactions Often foreigners’ engagement and high motivation to achieve their goals are not particularly encouraged in the host society or are restricted by labour regulations and discrimination against foreign people. The chapters in the third part (more than those in the first two parts) elaborate on how individuals pursue opportunities and invest considerable energy, means and creativity in order to achieve their goals. The analysis of these trajectories offers insight into some of the repercussions that these activities have, not only for their home society but also in the host country. Most of the chapters in this part focus on mobilities and processes of cultural transfer among young people who travel, and enrich themselves, where possible, with knowledge and the expertise of distant places, business options, and by acting as cultural ambassadors. Intercultural engagements took and still take place on several levels according to different dynamics. When representatives of the Chinese government constructed a cotton factory in Tanzania in the 1960s, this not only provided opportunities for thousands of Tanzanians to gain employment but also encouraged them to engage with Chinese culture. Some began to learn the language and Chinese soft skills; others used their contacts to enable their children to study in China. Sarah Hanisch analyses the biographies of two Tanzanian factory managers and shows that their biographies are more than simply two individual stories, but also reflect broader political, social and economic developments in China and Tanzania. After British colonization, Tanzania had become a major cotton producer for the United Kingdom. Tanzania’s post-independent socialist affiliation and the Chinese engagement diverted the cotton products to China instead. The Chinese investment created a positive image of China and encouraged further interest in learning the language and studying its cultural history, and presented the opportunity for manifold mutual cooperation and mobility between the two countries. Hanisch’s study provides an example of an early South– South cooperation that counterbalanced the colonial North–South exploitation. The analysis of the biographies also enables readers to get beyond the official picture and understand the motivations and decisions of specific individuals who have played important roles in these ventures. Another example in which language and culture play an important part is the creation of Confucius Institutes in African countries. Philip Ademola Olayoku studies the impact of a Confucius Institute

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in Nigeria and its relevance for local individuals. He emphasizes the importance of language and cultural competences to facilitate communication with Chinese individuals and projects in the country, but also for Nigerians travelling to China for trade. Olayoku understands the mastering of Mandarin as a form of economic empowerment for Nigerians that enables them to carry out their projects more profitably in China. The Nigerian embracement of the Confucius Institutes and the language empowerment of traders travelling to China appear to entail impacts that were not necessarily intended by the Chinese government. The growing number of Africans travelling to China led to diverse reactions in the Chinese population and from government officials. Such large numbers of individuals, who are all busy trying to accomplish something, certainly have an impact on Chinese society. Whereas the Chinese media hesitate to emphasize the positive impact of the African traders’ presence in China, facts often testify to it. The number of containers (Lee 2014) that are shipped daily from China to Africa by African entrepreneurs stands as one of the best examples of how Africans contribute to the growth of the Chinese economy. Adams Bodomo focuses on some examples of African success in China, particularly in terms of their professions, in their studies, in public service, and in their general interaction with the Chinese people and the Chinese state. He provides examples of Africans who are indeed celebrated by the Chinese public for their achievements, but whose success is often buried under dominant discourses about informality and illegality. He then proposes to look at these outstanding contributions to Chinese culture and economy as the building blocks of an African soft power in China. The examples in which cultural transfer and interaction are most visible in the Southern countries are found in the domain of arts and media. Relationships across the Atlantic have received more attention, primarily in the context of the North American African diaspora and its search for its roots. Hauke Dorsch focuses on the less well-known connections and interactions between Africa and Latin America, specifically Benin, Congo and Cuba. He locates musical exchanges in their wider political, economic and religious contexts, beginning with the transportation of millions of Africans across the Atlantic, a movement from which Latin American music emerged as a modern form of African music that reached back again to the African continent, to a large extent effected by students who had spent time in Cuba during their home countries’ socialist era. Two biographies serve as points of departure for Dorsch’s reflections

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about world music and his criticism of dominant discourses about ‘globalization from above’: Freddy Ilanga, who in the 1970s fought alongside Che Guevara in the Congo and who spent the rest of his life in Cuba, where he loved to discuss with African students the politics in their home countries; and the Beninoise world music star Angélique Kidjo, who travelled to Brazil and Cuba, which intensely inspired her musical productions. Many more cultural transfers have taken place between Southern countries (Modi 2013; Sansone et al. 2008). Not only has music travelled between countries in the South but also film formats such as the Latin American telenovelas that are immensely popular in most African countries. These formats have led to various adaptations and transformations, resulting in the emergence of specific cultural genres, as in the case of the influence of Indian Bollywood films in Nigeria (Larkin 1997). In his description of the intense cultural relationship between Cape Verde and Brazil, Livio Sansone presents concrete cases of how icons and attributes of ‘Afro-Brazilian cultural heritage’ were exploited within the context of cultural activism and the endeavour to affirm some kind of singularity for Cape Verdean cultural production. Based on the recognition of the country’s central role in the black transatlantic diaspora, this activism involves the attempt to turn remembrance of the slave past into a World Heritage Site, as well as its potential public benefit in the case of Cidade Velha on Santiago Island. The use of capoeira begins to serve as ‘anti-marginality therapy’ for young people in the city of Mindelo on São Vicente Island, and ‘Afro dance’ becomes a means to revive street carnival in Santiago Island’s main city, Praia. Sansone demonstrates how such cultural ‘novelties’ have emerged as a battleground for controlling sites of powerful popular culture from cultural exchanges and fusions that have resulted from multiple crossings of the Atlantic. Latin American telenovelas, music and sports enjoy increasing numbers of fans and larger audiences, alongside other cultural practices such as carnival. Since the 2000s, carnival performances that explicitly have Latin American models have become widespread in African countries. These cultural practices and products are not only very popular in Africa and travel between the countries of the South, but also enjoy a huge number of supporters in Europe and North America (Kearney 1995). Seen from a South–South perspective, these practices of imitation and adoption complicate the widespread arguments concerning the hegemonic influences of centre-periphery models and suggest that the image of a multipolar world (Appadurai 1990) might better grasp present mobilities.

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Conclusion Many of the activities, cultural interactions and transfers that take place between Africa, Asia and Latin America have largely taken place beyond the notice of countries in the North. Behind these movements are individuals who have decided to leave their home place and devote themselves to a new venture. During their journeys, these individuals often encounter conflicting and contested ideas about mobile people as well as diverging interests in the host country that endanger their projects and their visions. However complicated their trajectories, many succeed even in unfavourable conditions and serve as role models for others back home. In addition to the individual trajectories, daily contingencies, as well as the social, cultural and political framework in which they take place, create larger impacts on both sides and for the processes of cultural transfer. These are, however, processes that are not easy to conceptualize. Often, at first glance, the contributions of migrants and diaspora groups are not perceived by the majority in the host society, or they are regarded with suspicion. Cultural transplants and the opportunities for change coming with them are often contested, if not prevented. Conversely, the individuals who travelled bring back the means that they have gained and the skills acquired to their home region, where they are held in high esteem. The impacts of transnational mobility are at times also integrated into larger contexts of complex interaction, the traces of which this volume intends to uncover. Many of the actors in the chapters of this book not only focus on constant movement in a multi-perspective and open-ended manner, but also cultivate social and interactive networks in several countries and continents. The findings of these studies counterbalance – to a certain extent – the assumption that Africa’s only participation in globalization is the cheap labour and natural resources it supplies for export to the North (and now increasingly to China, India and Latin America), and through the acquisition of the finished industrial and cultural products that it imports from these countries. The place of Africa in globalization networks is far more complex and layered than that, and its complexity is visible in the pathways and directions that people, things and immaterial goods adopt to travel in multiple directions (see also Geschiere et al. 2008). We also need to keep in mind the immense personal efforts that individuals often make with the help of their families to enable their movement, to work under complicated conditions abroad, or create enterprises, resulting in

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comparably high risks and meagre gains owing to these conditions. This is a set of mobilities that demand that we conceptualize globalization and the place of Africa within it in new, less ideological and more ethnographically based ways.

Note

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développement: les politiques de la Chine et de l’Inde à l’égard de leurs communautés d’outre-mer’, Revue internationale de politique de développement, 2: 215–30. Escobar, A. (2004) ‘Beyond the Third World: imperial globality, global coloniality and antiglobalisation social movements’, Third World Quarterly, 25(1): 207–30. Favell, A., M. Feldblum and M. P. Smith (2007) ‘The human face of global mobility: a research agenda’, Society, 44(2): 15–25. Geschiere, P., B. Meyer and P. Pels (eds) (2008) Readings in Modernity in Africa, Oxford and Bloomington, IN: James Currey and Indiana University Press. Giese, K. and L. Marfaing (eds) (2016) Entrepreneurs africains et chinois, Paris: Karthala. Glick Schiller, N. (1999) ‘Transmigrants and nation states: something old and something new in US immigration experience’, in C. Hirschman, J. de Wind and P. Kasinitz (eds), Handbook of International Migration: The American Experience, New York: Sage, pp. 94–119. Glick Schiller, N. and N. Salazar (2013) ‘Regimes of mobility across the globe’, Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, 39(2): 183–200. Goodley, D., P. Clough, R. Lawthom and M. Moore (2004) Researching Life Stories: Method, Theory and Analyses in a Biographical Age, London: Routledge Falmer. Greenblatt, S. et al. (2009) Cultural Mobility: A Manifesto, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Gregory, R. (1993) South Asians in East Africa: An Economic and Social History, 1890–1980, Boulder, CO: Westview Press. Hart, K. (1973) ‘Informal income opportunities and urban employment in Ghana’, Journal of Modern African Studies, 11(1): 61–89.

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Harvey, D. (2005) A Brief History of Neoliberalism, Oxford: Oxford University Press. Haugen, H. Ø. and J. Carling (2005) ‘On the edge of the Chinese diaspora: the surge of baihuo business in an African city’, Ethnic and Racial Studies, 28(4): 639–62. Hawley, J. (ed.) (2008) India in Africa, Africa in India: Indian Ocean Cosmopolitanisms, Bloomington: Indiana University Press. Hobhouse, H. (2005 [1985]) Seeds of Change: Six Plants that Transformed Mankind, Washington, DC: Shoemaker and Hoard. Hogendorn, J. and M. Johnson (1986) The Shell Money of the Slave Trade, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Horton, M. and J. Middleton (2000) The Swahili: The Social Landscape of a Mercantile Society, Oxford: Blackwell. Hourani, A. and N. Shehadi (1992) The Lebanese in the World: A Century of Emigration, London: I. B. Tauris. Huynh, T. (2013) ‘What people, what cultural exchange? A reflection on China-Africa’, African East-Asian Affairs, 2: 3–16. Insoll, T. and T. Shaw (1997) ‘Gao and Igbo-Ukwu beads: international trade, and beyond’, African Archaeological Review, 14(1): 9–23. Kaufmann, V., M. Bergman and D. Joyé (2004) ‘Motility: mobility as capital’, International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, 28(4): 745–56. Kearney, M. (1995) ‘The local and the global: the anthropology of globalization and transnationalism’, Annual Review of Anthropology, 24: 547–65. Keesing, R. (1985) ‘Kaiwo women speak: the micropolitics of autobiography in a Solomon Island society’, American Anthropologist, 87(1): 27–39. Kernen, A. and B. Vulliet (2008) ‘Les petits commerçants et entrepreneurs chinois au Mali

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et au Sénégal’, Sociétés politiques comparées, 228: 69–94. Khuri, F. (1965) ‘Kinship, emigration, and trade partnership among the Lebanese of West Africa’, Africa, 35(4): 385–95. King, K. (2013) China’s Aid and Soft Power: The Case of Education and Training, Suffolk: Boydell & Brewer. Kopytoff, I. (1986) ‘The cultural biography of things: commoditization as process’, in A. Appadurai (ed.), The Social Life of Things, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 64–91. Kothari, U. (2008) ‘Global peddlers and local networks: migrant cosmopolitanisms’, Environment and Planning D: Society and Space, 26: 500–16. Larkin, B. (1997) ‘Indian films and Nigerian lovers: media and the creation of parallel modernities’, Africa, 67(3): 406–40. Law, R. (1991) The Slave Coast of West Africa, 1550–1750: The Impact of the Slave Trade on an African Society, Oxford: Clarendon. ––––– (2001) ‘The evolution of the Brazilian community in Ouidah’, in K. Mann and E. Bay (eds), Rethinking the African Diaspora: The Making of a Black Atlantic World in the Bight of Benin and Brazil, London: Frank Cass, pp. 22–41. Lee, M. (2014) Africa’s World Trade: Informal Economies and Globalization from Below, London: Zed Books. Li Anshan (2012) A History of Overseas Chinese in Africa until 1911, New York: Diasporic Africa Press. Li Xing, A. Osman and F. Emner (2013) China–Africa Relations in an Era of Great Transformations, Farnham: Ashgate. Lionnet, F. and S.-M. Shih (eds) (2005) Minor Transnationalism, Durham, NC: Duke University Press. Love, R. (2006) Maritime Exploration in the Age of Discovery, 1415–1800,

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Westport, CT, and London: Greenwood Publications. Lovejoy, P. (2000 [1983]) Transformations in Slavery: A History of Slavery in Africa, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. MacGaffey, J. (1991) The Real Economy of Zaire: The Contribution of Smuggling and other Unofficial Activities to National Wealth, London: James Currey. Mandal, S. (2014) ‘Arabs in the urban social landscape of Malaysia: historical connections and belonging’, Citizenship Studies, 18(8): 807–22. Marcus, G. (1995) ‘Ethnography in/ of the world system: the emergence of a multi-sited ethnography’, Annual Review of Anthropology, 24: 95–117. Marfaing, L. and A. Thiel (2015) ‘Networks, spheres of influence and the mediation of opportunity: the case of West African trade agents in China’, Journal of Pan African Studies, 7(10): 65–84. Mathews, G. (2007) ‘Chungking Mansions: a center of “low-end globalization”’, Ethnology, 46(2): 169–83. ––––– (2011) Ghetto at the Center of the World: Chungking Mansions, Hong Kong, Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press. Mathews, G. and C. Alba Vega (2012) ‘Introduction’, in G. Mathews, G. Lins Ribeiro and C. Alba Vega (eds), Globalization from Below: The World’s Other Economy, London: Routledge, pp. 1–15. Mathews, G., G. Lins Ribeiro and C. Alba Vega (eds) (2012) Globalization from Below: The World’s Other Economy, London: Routledge. Mercer, C., B. Page and M. Evans (2008) Development and the African Diaspora: Place and the Politics of Home, London and New York: Zed Books. Miller, J. (1989) Way of Death: Merchant Capitalism and the

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Angolan Slave Trade, 1730–1830, London: James Currey. Mintz, S. (1985) Sweetness and Power: The Place of Sugar in Modern History, Harmondsworth: Penguin. Modi, R. (ed.) (2011a) South– South Cooperation: Africa at the Centre Stage, London: Palgrave Macmillan. ––––– (2011b) ‘Medical tourism of Africans to India’, in E. Mawdsley and G. McCain (eds), India in Africa: Changing Geographies of Power, Oxford: Fahamu Books. ––––– (2013) ‘Indian and Chinese soft power in Africa’, in Li Xing and A. Osman (eds), China– Africa Relations in an Era of Great Transformations, London: Ashgate. Mohan, G. and A. B. Zack-Williams (2002) ‘Globalization from below: conceptualizing the role of the African diasporas in Africa’s development’, Review of African Political Economy, 92: 211–36. Nancy, M. and E. Picard (eds) (1998) Les Arabes du Levant en Argentine, Collection des cahiers de l’institut de recherches et d’études sur le monde arabe et musulman, 11. Nieswand, B. (2011) Theorizing Transnational Migration: The Status Paradox of Migration, London: Routledge. Nordström, C. (2007) Global Outlaws: Crime, Money, and Power in the Contemporary World, Berkeley: University of Cailiformia Press. Oonk, G. (2009) The Karimjee Jivanjee Family: Merchant Princes of East Africa, 1800–2000, Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press and Pallas Publications. ––––– (2013) Settled Strangers: Asian Business Elites in East Africa (1800– 2000), New Delhi: Sage. Ortner, S. (2006) Anthropology and Social Theory: Culture, Power, and the Acting Subject, Durham, NC: Duke University Press. Parish, S. (2008 [1997]) ‘Life history’, in T. Barfield (ed.), Dictionary of Anthropology, Malden, MA: Blackwell, pp. 287–88.

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Park, Y. J. (2008) A Matter of Honour: Being Chinese in South Africa, Johannesburg and Lanham, MD: Jacana Media and Lexington Books. Peil, M. (1995) ‘Ghanaians abroad’, African Affairs, 94: 345–67. Pelican, M. (2014) ‘Urban lifeworlds of Cameroonian migrants in Dubai’, Urban Anthropology, 23(1– 3): 255–309. Pelican, M. and M. Saul (2014) ‘Global African entrepreneurs: a new research perspective on contemporary African migration’, Urban Anthropology, 43(1–3): 1–16. Plietz, O. (2012) ‘Following the new Silk Road between Yiwu and Cairo’, in G. Mathews, G. Lins Ribeiro and C. Alba Vega (eds), Globalization from Below: The World’s Other Economy, London: Routledge, pp. 19–35. Portes, A. (1996) ‘Globalization from below: the rise of transnational communities’, in W. Smith and R. Korczenwicz (eds), Latin America in the World Economy, Westport, CN: Greenwood Press, pp. 151–68. Ribeiro, G. (2006) ‘Economic globalization from below’, Ethnográfica, X(2): 233–49. ––––– (2009) ‘Non-hegemonic globalizations: alter-native transnational processes and agents’, Anthropological Theory, 9: 1–33. ––––– (2012) ‘Conclusion: Globalization from below and the non-hegemonic world system’, in G. Mathews, G. Lins Ribeiro and C. Alba Vega (eds), Globalization from Below: The World’s Other Economy, London: Routledge, pp. 221–35. Röschenthaler, U. and D. Schulz (eds) (2016) Cultural Entrepreneurship in Africa, London: Routledge. Sansone, L., E. Soumonni and B. Barry (eds) (2008) Africa, Brazil, and the Construction of TransAtlantic Black Identities, Trenton, NJ: Africa World Press.

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Sarró, R. (2009) ‘La aventura como categoría cultural: apuntes simmelianos sobre la emigración subsahariana’, Revista de Ciências Humanas (Florianópolis) EDUFSC, 43(2): 501–21. Shaffer, L. (1994) ‘Southernization’, Journal of World History, 5(1): 1–21. Sheller, M. and J. Urry (2006) ‘The new mobilities paradigm’, Environment and Planning A, 38: 207–26. Shinn, D. and J. Eisenman (2012) China and Africa: A Century of Engagement, Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press. Skeldon, R. (2012) ‘Going round in circles: circular migration, poverty alleviation and marginality’, International Migration, 50(3): 43–60. Smith, M. and L. Guarnizo (eds) (1998) Transnationalism from Below, Piscataway, NJ: Transaction Publishers. Spülbeck, S. (1997) BiographieForschung in der Ethnologie, Hamburg: Lit. Sundaram, R. (2010) Pirate Modernity: Delhi’s Media Urbanism, London: Routledge. Tarrius, A. (2002) La mondialisation par le bas. Les nouveaux nomades de l’économie souterraine, Paris: Baland. Taylor, I. (2014) Africa Rising? BRICS – Diversifying Dependency,

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Woodbridge and Rochester, NY: James Currey. Triulzi, A. and R. McKenzie (eds) (2013) Long Journeys: African Migrants on the Road, Leiden: Brill. Urry, J. (2000) Sociology beyond Societies: Mobilities for the Twentyfirst Century, London: Routledge. Van Schendel, W. and I. Abraham (eds) (2005) Illicit Flows and Criminal Things: States, Borders and the other Side of Globalization, Bloomington: Indiana University Press. Wallerstein, I. (1974) The Modern World System: Capitalist Agriculture and the Origins of the European World Economy in the Sixteenth Century, New York and London: Academic Press. Watson, L. and M. B. Watson-Franke (1985) Interpreting Life Histories: An Anthropological Inquiry, New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press. Werbner, P. (ed.) (2008) Anthropology and the New Cosmopolitanism, Oxford: Berg. Zeleza, P. T. (1989) ‘Global dimensions of Africa’s crisis: debts, structural adjustment, and workers’, Transafrican Journal of History, 18: 1–53. ––––– (2005) ‘Rewriting the African diaspora: beyond the Black Atlantic’, African Affairs, 104(414): 35–68.

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2 Chinese migration to Africa: historical perspectives and new developments Li Anshan

China and Africa have a long history of exchange and trade. The growing importance of Africa–China cooperation and the Chinese presence in Africa, and vice versa, have become of global relevance. It is essential to examine their historical trajectory in order to better understand the current relationships and mobilities between both regions. The earliest history of China–Africa relationships manifested itself in trade that connected Asia with Africa via the Silk Road, and likely preceded the presence of Chinese people on the continent. However, records suggest that quite early on there were occasional bilateral visits. It was not until the eighteenth century, however, that Chinese started coming to Africa in large numbers when living conditions became difficult in some of the coastal areas of China and European colonial powers used indentured Chinese labourers for colonial projects, particularly in southern Africa. A second wave arrived in the 1960s and 1970s after the independence of African countries, while a third and still ongoing wave began in the 1990s after the opening up. This chapter traces the history of Chinese migration to Africa, in order to understand the individual motivations behind the movements and the frameworks of China–African political cooperation. The chapter first elaborates the general history of migration from China to Africa. It then analyses important issues regarding the bilateral political relationships between Africa and China. Thirdly, it provides biographical case studies of several Chinese who have migrated to Africa, including their motivations and business stories. The chapter’s central argument contends that individuals are central actors who shape the interaction between Chinese and African people. It forms part of a people-to-people (PTP) contact that is part neither of so-called ‘soft power’ nor of public diplomacy, but is instead a process of cultural offering, cultural interaction and cultural integration.

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The history of Chinese migration to Africa The history of China–Africa contact is long (cf. Ai Zhouchang 1989; Li Anshan 2000: 43–81; Shen Fuwei 1990). There is much evidence to suggest that there were different trade goods that might have arrived in China from Africa, and that Africans themselves travelled to China through the Middle East or India a very long time ago (Li Anshan 2015a, 2015b). For example, in the Sudan National Museum located in Khartoum, a Chinese-type Ding (鼎), a threelegged cooking vessel made of bronze or ceramics, is exhibited. A royal symbol of political power in ancient China, the Ding was discovered in the ruins of Meroe, the ancient capital of the Kush Kingdom (1070 bc–ad 350). Whether it was made in China or was modelled by a local smith, it indicates some form of cultural contact (Zhang Junyan 1986: 10). Chinese began to migrate to Africa in larger numbers only about three centuries ago (Levathes 1996: 200–201; Li Anshan 2000: 82–125; Li Anshan 2013: 59–60). The reasons behind this were diverse: most came to work as indentured labourers in construction and infrastructure projects, while others came to realize their entrepreneurial projects as merchants and business people or they went to Africa hoping to continue their journey to Europe or North America (Li Anshan 2013; Ma Mung 2008). The emigration of Chinese to Africa began in the 1770s and underwent different phases. The first phase took place in the late Qing Dynasty (1644–1911), and resulted from three key factors. First, during the late Qing period, it became increasingly difficult for peasants to survive and they were compelled to leave home and go abroad to make a living. At the turn of the twentieth century, China was undergoing an internal crisis and the government witnessed its most vulnerable period. China had to face several invasions from European powers, which resulted in two Anglo-Chinese Opium Wars (1840–42, 1856–60), the Sino-Japanese War (1885–86) and the EightPower Allied Forces War of Aggression against China (1900). Many cities were damaged, villages were destroyed and huge indemnity was imposed by the powers, placing a heavy burden on the people. At the same time, massive infrastructure works initiated by European colonial powers in Africa provoked a significant demand for cheap labour for the construction of railways and highways. The discovery of gold mines after the Second Anglo-Boer War (1899–1902) also led to a great demand for labour in South Africa (Bright 2013). Similarly, the Belgian Congo Free State, British and French West Africa,

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the German colony Tanganyika, the Portuguese colony Mozambique and the French colony Madagascar all employed Chinese indentured labourers in building roads/railways and mining industry. There were approximately 142,000 Chinese indentured labourers in Africa between 1700 and 1910 (Li Anshan 2000: 88–124, Table 2.6; Li Anshan 2012: 55–93). Most of them arrived in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The second factor is related to the political persecution of some anti-Qing advocates, who had to leave their homes in order to avoid incarceration. Some of them, such as Yang Quyun, a close friend of Sun Yatsen (1866–1925, a well-known Chinese revolutionary pioneer and political leader), came to South Africa to organize the Xing Zhong Hui (Society for the Revival of China) in 1897 (Li Anshan 2000: 217–27). The third factor is related to a treaty between China and Great Britain signed on 14 May 1904, which agreed to provide Chinese indentured labour for the gold mines in South Africa. This resulted in approximately 64,000 labourers coming to South Africa between 1904 and 1910. They were controlled by mine owners and suffered particularly bad working conditions (An English Eye-Witness 1905; Li Anshan 2011; Li Anshan 2012: 132–47). After the end of their contract, while most returned to China, a few stayed on, together with other Chinese migrants who had arrived at the same time planning to begin a new life in Africa (Bright 2013; Richardson 1982; Song Xi 1974; Yap and Man 1996).1 Some Chinese left China to take advantage of the economic opportunities afforded by post-war reconstruction, as the Second World War devastated much of the world. Roads had to be rebuilt, cities reconstructed, agriculture redeveloped, and industrialization restarted. Labourers were badly needed after the war, a need that Chinese migrants fed. Most of these migrants went to Europe and the United States of America, and only a small percentage of them went to Africa, mostly to Mauritius and Madagascar, as most parts of Africa were still colonized by Western powers. Chinese migrants who had migrated to Africa earlier and already settled down readily helped their newly arriving relatives and often established business ventures together. When the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) came to power in 1949, some Chinese left China for fear of political persecution. The second phase of Chinese migration to Africa occurred during the 1960s and 1970s. The immigrants to Africa during this period were primarily from Taiwan and Hong Kong, and importantly differed from previous immigrants. Coming from rapidly developing

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Taiwan, they had experience of living or studying in developed countries and had acquired considerable expertise in different professional fields. For this reason, they were able to invest in economic sectors that differed from those occupied by their predecessors, including department stores, general retail, wholesale, import and export, the garment industry, agriculture and fruit planting. Although the Taiwan government had not yet lifted the ban on travelling abroad, there were already numerous interactions with Africa. At that time, a few Chinese students from Taiwan with expertise in modern technology, especially agriculture and engineering, came to Africa to start their businesses after they finished their studies overseas, mainly in the United States of America. Taiwan also sent different Development Aid Teams to African countries. Members of the Taiwan Agriculture Aid Team settled down in Africa after they had completed their service (Program of African Studies 1974).2 On their initiative, various Chinese-led enterprises were created in different African countries, such as those dealing with flour, textile, garments, leather, plastics, chemical products, etc. Some of these factories were started by the immigrants with their own technology, money and even machinery. A Chinese-language article describes the thriving and lively atmosphere in a Chinese community from Taiwan in Madagascar in the 1960s: Once you arrive in Madagascar, it seems as if you arrived in your own country, no feeling that you are in Africa, since you can see various shop brands with Chinese characters here and there on the streets. When we shop in these stores, we feel cordial and warm. The overseas Chinese here are mostly in commercial business, such as import and export, daily goods, photo shops, or wine and tobacco factories. All these show that the overseas Chinese have a solid economic foundation. The main reason for them to have such an important status in economy is that they are both industrial and thrifty, and they are running the business with painstaking efforts. (Zheng Xiangheng 1966: 25, my translation)3

From the late 1970s onwards, China’s reform provided a good opportunity for the Chinese to migrate overseas since Deng Xiaoping realized that the overseas Chinese could provide a bridge between China and the world, thereby making a great contribution to China’s development. As the Chinese overseas policy from then on permitted the relatives of overseas Chinese to go abroad to inherit the family’s property, some of them went to Africa (especially to

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South Africa, Madagascar and Mauritius) to continue their family businesses. This coincidentally happened with the United Nations Security Council Resolution 418 (1977), including sanctions on South Africa, which mainly focused on the oil and arms sectors, and the new sanctions from the end of the 1970s onwards (and especially during the mid-1980s) in reaction to the South African government’s suppression of local anti-apartheid movements (Xia Jisheng 1996: 200–205). To meet this challenge, the South African government welcomed immigrants. This happened in parallel with the opening up of China’s and Taiwan’s tourism sectors, and, accordingly, some new migrants from Taiwan, mainland China, Hong Kong and SouthEast Asia went to South Africa to start new businesses. There have been Chinese medical teams in various African countries since 1964. After completing their term, some doctors chose to stay and ran their own Chinese medicine clinics in African countries. Similarly, some Chinese construction workers decided to stay in Africa after finishing their construction projects because they felt that there were lots of commercial opportunities (Hsu 2007, 2008). From the mid-1990s onwards, more Chinese arrived in Africa. The implementation of the ‘two resources and two markets’ strategy, whereby the Chinese economy required resources from both China and other countries while Chinese products needed both internal and external markets, stimulated Chinese enterprises to invest in Africa. At that time, most African countries had a favourable immigration policy that encouraged Chinese migrants. Chinese from Taiwan also actively migrated to Africa at the time. In 1994, of the 869 new Chinese immigrants in South Africa, 596 were from Taiwan, 252 from mainland China and twenty-one from Hong Kong. Between January and October 1995, there were 350 new Chinese immigrants, 232 from Taiwan, 102 from mainland China, and sixteen from Hong Kong (Yap and Man 1996: 419). Some of the Chinese immigrants who had gone to Europe found it far too complicated to settle there and re-migrated to Africa. For example, migrants from Qingtian, a county of Zhejiang Province in eastern China with a long history of international migration, usually chose Europe as their migration target. However, from the 1990s, they began to find it increasingly difficult to settle there and started to go to Africa. In 1995, there were 231 Qingtian Chinese in Africa, while at the end of 1996 the figure had reached 1,231, an increase of 400 per cent. In addition, the target countries in Africa also increased from six to nine (to Libya, Algeria, Cape Verde, Congo-Brazzaville, Uganda and Gabon were added Togo, Equatorial Guinea and Cameroon; Zhang Xiuming 1998). It

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is important to note that these Chinese overseas nursed strong relationships with their home villages and towns. They regularly travelled back home to visit their relatives, make donations, engage in philanthropic activities, or invest their savings in the Chinese economy.

Distinguishing features and trajectories of the new Chinese migrants in Africa Those Chinese who went abroad after the opening up and reform of the mid-1990s are called ‘new emigrants’ in China. They make up the majority of overseas Chinese in Africa and their numbers have significantly increased in the twenty-first century (Li Anshan 2013, 2016). However, estimates of the number of Chinese overseas in Africa vary to a great extent.4 Howard French, in his book with the subtitle ‘How a million Chinese migrants are building a new empire in Africa’, proposes considering the state visit to six African countries by the then head of state, Jiang Zemin, in 1996, as a major turning point in the history of China–Africa relations.5 From the perspective of a historian, however, French needs more accurate evidence to support his argument, as it seems to be grounded on inaccurate data.6 In point of fact there are no accurate statistics on the Chinese in Africa, yet there has indeed been a great increase in the number of Chinese immigrants on the continent. The number of Chinese in Nigeria was about 5,100 in 1996 and 60,000 in 2006.7 In Zambia, the number of overseas Chinese increased from 3,000 to 30,000 in ten years (Lyman 2006: 132). The Chinese community in South Africa has grown rapidly in recent years, and its population in 2008 was estimated at 250,000 (Anon. 2008a). Li Xinfeng estimated the number of Chinese in Africa as 1.1 million in 2012 (Li Xinfeng 2013). The fast growth in the number of Chinese immigrants in Africa can be explained by four factors (Li Anshan 2000). The Chinese economy needs new markets for its development, which has accelerated both Chinese enterprises’ investment in Africa and Chinese immigration. Secondly, while Africa has a long history of contact with the West, these relations have had little success in developing the continent. The Chinese development experience offered a new alternative for African countries. Moreover, the continent has rich natural resources that might benefit both sides. Thirdly, the East Asian development experience offered an example to Africa, which also witnessed the achievements of Chinese overseas in the process.

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Furthermore, the old generation of overseas Chinese in Africa built up a solid economic base, and Chinese migrants in the 1970s and 1980s further confirm this trend, setting up a good example for new immigrants. Finally, the emigration policies of most African countries have generally been flexible and even favourable, in contrast to those applied in countries of the West, thus favouring Chinese immigration (ibid.: 513–14). The current situation of Chinese migration to Africa confirms my early analysis. Several features distinguish the new Chinese immigrants to Africa from the previous waves. While earlier generations of Chinese migrants mostly originated from the coastal provinces of China, such as Guangdong and Fujian, the new Chinese immigrants to Africa are from almost all parts of the country, with others from Taiwan and Hong Kong. The reasons for the latest wave of Chinese migrants to Africa vary significantly. They choose either to settle there permanently and to obtain local citizenship, or just remain immigrants there. Their profession or occupations vary a great deal as well: students, entrepreneurs, merchants, peasants, workers, tourists, etc. In some countries, they have rapidly become impressive in sectors such as wholesale, retail and restaurants, etc. Some have invested directly in Africa, as a result of their sense of commercial opportunity afforded by the continent, while others have just come to Africa for a visit and, attracted by the continent, decided to settle down. Some students chose to stay after obtaining their degree in African universities (especially in South Africa) and some others considered Africa a mere springboard for emigration to other countries. The new Chinese immigrants who came to Africa in the 1980s and 1990s were able to establish or manage their businesses successfully. Among them were celebrated entrepreneurs and leaders of the Chinese community in southern Africa such as Sherry Chen (Chen Qianhui), Eugenia Chang, Chris Wang, Shiaan-Bin Huang, Wang Jianxu and Li Xinzhu, and, in Nigeria, Hu Jieguo. Take Sherry Chen, for example. In 1981, she came to South Africa from Taiwan with the dream of creating a new world. She began her career as an English secretary in a business company and, after a few difficult years, she went on to own seven companies, including in the real estate, farm products and import-export trades. In 1994, she joined the New National Party. She realized that many Chinese people were coming to do business or settle down in South Africa.Yet, while they made a great contribution to the local economy, they did not have a political representative to uphold their interests. Accordingly, Sherry Chen decided to become a spokesperson for the Chinese

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community. Starting as an ordinary party member, she gradually gained a more powerful position thanks to her perseverance and hard work. She once said, ‘I try my best to do everything. If I didn’t do it well, people would not just say Sherry Chen is not good, they would say the Chinese are not capable’ (Li Anshan 2013). As a businesswoman, Chen enthusiastically introduced Chinese investors to South Africa’s policies and laws. As a prominent member of the Chinese community, she tried to promote relations between South Africa and China. In 1995, she led a Chinese dance troop to attend the Qingdao Beer Festival and greatly promoted cultural exchange on both sides. As a representative, she considers it her duty to speak for the local Chinese community. When she became city councillor in Johannesburg, she advocated that the Chinese community should be allowed to light fireworks as part of their traditional customs to celebrate Chinese New Year. Through a by-election, Chen was elected as a member of the National Council of Provinces in 2004, and became the first Chinese overseas in South Africa’s National Assembly.8 Few overseas Chinese are as lucky as Sherry Chen. Most of them continue struggling hard in their business, although there are exceptions. Take Botswana, for example. I met a young man from Jiangxi Province in a marketplace in Gabarone in 2008. He had run his own business there for four years and had rented a room in the marketplace as his booth. His wife had joined him later and they continued to have a successful business. Additionally, there were more than ten Chinese restaurants in Botswana in 2008; the most successful is Xinyue Restaurant, specializing in Shaanxi cuisine. Its Chinese meals are delicious, and include such dishes as tofu, steamed cold noodles, and handmade noodles. Liu Long and Yang Hongqing, both young and from Shaanxi Province, serve as the restaurant’s chefs. Their salary is about 6,000–7,000 pula per month (1 US dollar equals about 8 Botswana pula). Qiao Liang, the restaurant’s boss, is a local Chinese celebrity, running his business and helping to organize the overseas Chinese in Botswana at the same time. The Chinese immigrants in Africa come from all sectors of society, i.e. businessmen, students, labourers, small dealers and peasants. Most of the Chinese are law-abiding, yet some are not familiar with local laws or even disregard local laws and morality. Some of them sell poor-quality goods, violate regulations and evade tax, provoking local people in one way or another. Cheap Chinese commodities and the behaviour of some Chinese businessmen have brought about pressure on or even threat to local markets, which

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in some cases causes tensions and even conflict. While African consumers are generally satisfied with the cheap Chinese goods, the local textile industry owners and workers, as well as some other categories of local businessmen, are not happy about the competition with Chinese business people. For example, in Dakar, Senegal, two completely opposing demonstrations were held in 2005, one being supportive of Chinese goods and businessmen, the other opposing them (Scheld 2010).9 Scholars have also overlooked Chinese intellectuals in Africa. In addition to professionals and technicians, some Chinese intellectuals have made great contributions to Africa. Dr Sun Bohua is a good example. He completed his studies in China, culminating with a doctorate at Lanzhou University and a postdoctoral qualification at Tsinghua University. From 1991 to 1992, Sun worked as research fellow at Delft University of Technology (TU Delft), focusing on the buckling theory of structures and sandwich conical shells; subsequently he was an Alexander von Humboldt fellow at Ruhr-Universität Bochum from 1992 to 1993, researching infinite deformation of shells and continuum mechanics. He has been based in South Africa since 1993, and was selected as a member of both the Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSA) and the Royal Society of South Africa (RSSA) in 2010.10 Other Chinese academic celebrities in South Africa include Xia Xiaohua, a professor at the University of Pretoria and both a member of ASSA and a fellow of the South African Academy of Engineering (SAAE);11 Xu Hongkun, a professor at KwaZulu-Natal University, elected a member of ASSA in 2005 and a member of the Third World Academy of Sciences (TWAS) in 2012;12 and Zhao Jinbao, a professor of geology at the University of Fort Hart, South Africa.13

Cultural exchange and economic support in China’s Africa policy The migration and the motivations of individuals discussed so far are more understandable against the backdrop of the political and economic framework in which they took place and the way in which China supported its citizens’ movement and cultural exchanges. Since its reform and opening up, China has developed rapidly and strengthened its cooperation with Africa. China’s African Policy (2000) symbolizes the gradual formulation of China’s policy towards Africa in the twenty-first century. The contemporary immi-

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gration of Chinese to Africa is closely related to this policy and development strategy. There have been three major periods in China–Africa relations since the founding of the People’s Republic of China in 1949. From 1950 to 1978, China’s African strategy focused primarily on winning allies in Africa by breaking the blockade imposed by the West and later the Soviet Union. China’s aid to Africa during this period primarily consisted of supporting anti-colonial movements, the struggle against imperialism and economic exploitation in Africa. It was at that time that China began to establish diplomatic relationships with African countries, the first being Egypt in 1956, and many more in the early 1960s. After the Cultural Revolution (1966–76), China changed its view on international politics as well as on the relationship between economy and diplomacy. The Chinese government began to vigorously encourage overseas Chinese’s descendants to go abroad to inherit their families’ property. Between 1949 and 1977, China also sent volunteer teachers to nine African countries: Algeria, Egypt, Togo, Congo-Brazzaville, Guinea-Bissau, Mali, Somalia, Tanzania and Tunisia, the first group of which was sent to Egypt in 1954. Between 1978 and 1995, more teachers were sent to twenty-one countries and in 2003 there were 238 teachers in more than thirty African countries, teaching at levels ranging from undergraduate to PhD. Through various means, China has tried since the 1980s to assist African countries in building their own educational systems. In June 2004, the first Confucius Institute in Africa was planned in cooperation with the University of Nairobi. Since then Confucius Institutes have been founded in many countries, including Kenya and Nigeria (see Olayoku, this volume). Accordingly, the number of African students who have been to China to study has increased since the 1950s, and there has been a sharp increase since the FOCAC (King 2013; Li Anshan 2008: 28–9; Li Anshan et al. 2012). Between 1978 and 1995, the Chinese policy towards Africa was based on two key features: coordinating China’s Africa policy with China’s reform and opening up, and competing with Taiwan to win the diplomatic and economic interests of African countries. Since 1995, China’s policies have changed, introducing new strategic decisions: from an emphasis on ideology to neutralization in diplomacy, from economic support to exchanges in various fields, and from mere financial aid to mutual benefits. China’s policy towards Africa has focused on establishing a new type of strategic partnership that insists on mutual benefits of political trust, economic

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interest and cultural learning. The policy has been more vigorously pursued through summit diplomacy and standardized mechanisms (Li Anshan 2007). The rich natural resources in Africa cater to China’s growing demand for raw materials and energy. Chinese investment is often accompanied by aid for infrastructure. In Sudan, for example, Chinese companies have been involved in the oil production industry since the mid-1990s, and now import a large percentage of Sudan’s total oil exports. They have helped Sudan establish a complete and viable oil export industry from exploration and production to refining (ibid.: 78). Looking at the development of overseas Chinese in Africa, China’s policy towards overseas Chinese is closely connected with its development strategy. During China’s early reform and opening-up period, it encouraged overseas Chinese offspring to go abroad to inherit their parents’ patrimonies. Since the mid-1990s, a number of large-scale Chinese enterprises have also invested in Africa as a result of China’s ‘two resources and two markets’ policy. The Chinese government also plays a guiding role in China’s investment in Africa. As the China–Africa relationship deepens, protecting the overseas Chinese has become one of the primary tasks for the Chinese government. The Chinese overseas sometimes help the Chinese government or companies in this endeavour. For example, Hu Jieguo, the son of a Chinese immigrant in Nigeria, educated in Shanghai, was encouraged to migrate to Nigeria in 1976. He first went to Nigeria and then to Canada to learn hotel management, and later obtained his first job in a hotel in Canada before investing in many industries, such as a restaurant business, engineering, forestry and machinery, in Nigeria. In the mid-1990s, he invested US$8 million to build the Jingmen Grand Hotel in Lagos, the former Nigerian capital. The hotel became a local symbol because of its fine decoration and exquisite craftwork, along with its famous restaurant. The hotel has hosted many high officials from all over the world, while many high-ranking Nigerian officials have also held their banquets and parties there. Hu Jieguo enjoys an excellent reputation in the country, and in 2001 he was awarded the title of Chief by Nigerian traditional leaders. He assisted Chinese institutions and companies, and helped the China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation win the bid for a railway construction project in Nigeria. When the China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) began to enter the Nigerian market, Hu Jieguo helped it to establish contact with the Nigerian minister of petroleum resources. When a staff member

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from the Chinese embassy in Nigeria was hijacked by kidnappers, Hu helped the police successfully rescue the victims on the spot. Additionally, he oversaw the renovation of the embassy. As a leading Chinese entrepreneur in Africa, he holds many posts, such as deputy director of the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade, and vice-president of the Nigeria–China Friendship Association (Li Anshan 2006: 470–74). Since the beginning of the 1990s, Chinese companies have been increasingly involved in Africa, which has caused the number of Chinese in Africa to augment rapidly. Chinese construction workers are numerous in several African countries. Although most Chinese companies normally hire local labourers, Chinese construction workers are employed for three particular reasons:14 first, the short timelines needed for construction projects require Chinese workers, as they can be expected to work longer than the hours stipulated by local labour law; secondly, Chinese labourers are more manageable for the Chinese enterprises, because they share a similar language, culture and customs; and thirdly, Chinese labourers have previous experience in construction work in many cases. Often, after a few years’ experience as construction workers in Africa, some of the Chinese workers begin to feel that local conditions are good and that migration policies are less strict than in other areas of the world. They end up coming back to Africa after their return to China. By offering commodity information, some of the ministries of the Chinese government also play an important role in guiding Chinese firms to invest in the continent. Since the 1990s, the Chinese government has set up more than ten China–African trade centres to promote the sale of Chinese products in Africa. These centres have not, however, been successful. With the acceleration of the Chinese reform process, increasing numbers of Chinese firms have started to invest in Africa. Comoros has a very favourable policy towards foreign investment, as its legal system places no limitations on foreigners’ economic activities, except for the regulation of pork and alcohol products. On 31 August 2007, the Comoros parliament passed a new law to regulate investment in such sectors as agriculture, fishery, husbandry, fish breeding, poultry raising, tourism and information technology, all of which would be exempted from taxation, with the tax-free term extended from five to ten years. The Comoros government also provides some other preferential policies. Taking note of this, the Chinese embassy’s business service to Comoros suggested that Chinese companies take advantage of the

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country’s preferential policy and engage in the development of its various economic sectors.15 The Chinese government also helps Chinese citizens interested in investing in Africa to access the destination countries’ laws and regulations, which are listed on the website of the Ministry of Commerce and in its annual book (China CommerceYearbook). In most cases, after collecting details of laws on commerce, taxation and environmental protection, the Chinese embassies and consulates in Africa send them back to the Ministry of Commerce. The information exchange between Chinese institutions in Africa and the Chinese government is evident in the recent Chinese milk scandal. After the poor quality of Chinese milk products was exposed, Chinese embassies and consulates urged Chinese authorities to strengthen the supervision of milk exports and to ensure the timely release of information about the related countries’ reaction and feedback. For example, the business service of the Chinese embassy in Côte d’Ivoire released information about the response of Ivorian media to the commercial activities of foreign companies, signalling the existence of a few negative reports, mainly about trade disputes. In 2008, there were two negative reports on Chinese products, shoes and milk products respectively. In March, the Shoes Merchant Association of Côte d’Ivoire held a strike against cheap Chinese shoe products, which was reported by the local media and had negative impacts. After communication and negotiation between the Chinese embassy and the Federation of Industry & Commerce of Côte d’Ivoire, this issue was resolved smoothly, and the Côte d’Ivoire press publicly corrected its former misleading reports. In September and October 2008, owing to the Sanlu milk powder scandal in China, the Ministry of Livestock Husbandry and Water Resources in Côte d’Ivoire sealed up a consignment of the milk powder imported from China and sent samples to the European Union for testing, the results of which were satisfactory, and the press in Côte d’Ivoire reported this issue objectively.16 In recent years the Chinese government has taken firmer control of the corporate social responsibility (CSR) of Chinese companies in Africa. In August 2008, China’s Ministry of Commerce and other related ministries held a conference about these issues. The conference clearly pointed out that, in the long run, if Chinese companies wanted to invest in Africa, they must pay more attention to their CSR. As a result, sixty-seven participants openly published a declaration on strengthening their CSR in Africa.17 With the growing number of Chinese immigrants in Africa, some violence against the Chinese community has occurred in recent years

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in South Africa, Madagascar, Nigeria and Sudan. This has made the protection of the overseas Chinese in Africa one of the main missions of Chinese diplomacy. For example, in September 2004, in response to the serious safety concerns faced by Chinese immigrants in South Africa, Luo Tianguang, the former director-general of the Department of Consular Affairs at China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, was dispatched to Johannesburg to negotiate with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the South African police on the issue of the security of Chinese citizens in South Africa. Both sides later signed a series of agreements on police cooperation. In 2005, the Chinese government dispatched a liaison official for police affairs to its embassy in South Africa.18 Whereas China’s African policy has transformed over time, its continuity is obvious and can be characterized by four points. First, in its international strategy, China regards African countries as important allies. Secondly, China sees the African continent as one entity, which is different from the traditional diplomatic strategy based on a country-to-country model. Thirdly, China considers African countries equal strategic partners, irrespective of whether they are small or big, strong or weak. Fourthly, China seeks a mutual benefit and win-win strategy in its cooperation with Africa. Hence, the essence of China’s policy towards Africa is to establish a strategic partnership with the continent to promote development and cultural exchange. China’s policy towards Africa has had a great impact on the international order, which had been dominated by Western powers for a long time, but is today gradually becoming multipolar thanks to the emergence of other rising powers. In particular, the China–Africa summit in 2006 manifested China’s political and economic strength. China has become Africa’s second-largest trade partner, with a trade volume of more than US$200 billion in 2014. With China’s support, African countries such as Sudan and Zimbabwe have turned a deaf ear to Western powers’ warnings, and despite Great Britain’s admonition, Nigeria is still very keen to cooperate with China. With China’s entry into the market, French companies are no longer able to monopolize the African franc zone. The newly established US–African Command cannot even locate its headquarters on the continent. In his article published in the Financial Times in January 2008, former Senegalese president Abdoulaye Wade (Wade 2008) calls on the West to learn from China as far as African affairs are concerned. Recent polls indicate that Africans generally have a positive view of China. A recent report issued by Afrobarometer, a think tank in Africa, also indicates that China enjoys a favourable opinion among

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Africans. Among people of thirty-six African countries, 63 per cent think China’s economic and political influence is positive, with Mali showing the highest appreciation (92 per cent).19 This report is echoed by the 2015 Pew survey ‘Opinion of China’, in which nine African countries interviewed indicate favourable views towards China.20 The Africans’ impression of China mostly comes from their contact with Chinese in their countries, and thus is highly related to the behaviour of overseas Chinese and their contribution to African society.

Conclusion This chapter has traced Chinese movement to different parts of Africa, beginning with southern Africa and then expanding to other African countries. It has summarized the different paths of Chinese migrants to Africa. It has also highlighted their close connection to state policies related to overseas Chinese, reflecting China’s interest in furthering the country’s foreign presence in order to support Chinese activities and projects while encouraging African development at the same time. The chapter has also illustrated these evolutions through the trajectories of individual Chinese entrepreneurs. For any bilateral relations in the global arena, indirect contact always comes before direct contact, informal contact before formal contact, non-official contact before official contact. Contact between China and Africa has a long history, and PTP contact took place long before the official relationship was established. Interaction between the two regions is exemplified by trade and migration, and bilateral migration has opened up various channels for cultural exchange and provided a very important form of PTP contact. Most scholars have argued that PTP contact between China and Africa should be regarded as part of a strategy of strengthening China’s ‘soft power’, i.e. the promotion of Chinese culture and the amelioration of China’s image. This approach is problematic as it is essential for scholars to establish a clear picture of the nature of PTP contact, which is neither propaganda nor what Nye (2004) termed ‘soft power’. Rather, contact is a form of cultural interaction, cultural offerings and cultural mixing. It is a means of mutual understanding and mutual learning, not of ‘power’. Through contact an equal exchange of ideas is reached without superiority and inferiority. Four conclusions can be drawn from this chapter. First, the history of the overseas Chinese in Africa shows that their emigration is highly correlated with China’s domestic affairs. Secondly, since the reform

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and opening up, the new trend of Chinese emigration to Africa and its development are closely related to China’s African policy. Thirdly, the issue of Chinese overseas will become more important in China’s African diplomacy, since they can, at the same time, become a tool in China’s economic growth, political influence and cultural expansion. Fourthly, the purpose of PTP contact is twofold: to understand the other’s culture as a means of establishing better relations and to make your own culture understood by your partner. Individuals who migrate have to establish such contact, introduce their culture and absorb that of their hosts.

Notes 1

For variations on the calculation of the figure for Chinese indentured labourers in South Africa, see Li Anshan (2000: 108–16). 2 The book lists cooperation projects between Taiwan and twenty-five countries (1968–72). 3 For the Taiwanese in Africa, see also Wang Shengwan (1969) and Tang Xiyiong (n.d.). 4 My estimate of Chinese overseas in 1996 is 136,000; see Li Anshan (2000: 568–9, Figure 6.5). 5 Howard French writes: ‘The most definitive commencement date was perhaps the state visit to six African countries by the then head of state, Jiang Zemin, in 1996. In a speech at the African Union headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Jiang proposed the creation of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC). This turned out to be an important first move in a momentous two-step. Upon his return to China, Jiang gave another speech in the city of Tangshan, in which he explicitly directed the country’s firms to “go out”, meaning go overseas in search of business. No Chinese leader had ever said anything like that before, and from the very start Africa was clearly a principal target. Six years later, I was working in China when Jiang’s Forum convened triumphantly for

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the first time, gathering fifty-three African leaders in Beijing. Among China’s many pledges, Jiang promised to double development assistance to the continent, create a $5 billion African development fund, cancel outstanding debt, build a new African Union headquarters in Ethiopia, create three to five “trade and cooperation” zones around the continent, build thirty hospitals and a hundred rural schools, and train fifteen thousand African professionals’ (French 2014: 16). 6 Indeed, I found that there are at least seven errors in the short paragraph I cited in endnote 5: (1) In 1996, there was no African Union yet. (2) Jiang did not mention the set-up of FOCAC in his speech. Instead, it is the former Minister of Madagascar, Lila Ratsifandrihama, who made this proposal (Li Anshan et al. 2012: 17). (3) The first FOCAC was held on 10–12 October 2000, not ‘six years after’ 1996, as he stated. (4) Eighty-eight ministers from forty-four African countries and representatives from seventeen international regional organizations attended the first FOCAC, not fifty-three, as he mentioned. (5) The China-Africa Development Fund was created at the China-Africa Summit (third FOCAC) in 2006, not the first

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FOCAC. (6) All the measures he mentioned were issued at the China-Africa Summit in 2006, not the first FOCAC. (7) At the China-Africa Summit in 2006, President Hu Jintao chaired the meeting and not Jiang Zemin. See www.focac.org/chn/ltda/ bjfhbzjhy/hywj32009/t584788.htm. Yet the book was recommended by both the New York Times and the Financial Times as one of the hundred best books of the year. 7 The statistics were given by the Nigerian consul in Hong Kong at the ‘China–Africa Links Workshop’ held in Hong Kong, 11–12 November 2006. 8 Li Anshan (2006: 355–6, 368–71); see also ‘Participating actively in politics, serving the Chinese community: a Chinese overseas parliamentarian in the political stage of South Africa’, Xinhuanet, 31 October 2006, www. whoswhosa.co.za/Pages/profilefull. aspx?IndID=4077. 9 Source: correspondence between the author and D. Z. Osborn, an American scholar. The author also had the chance to discuss the demonstrations with Adama Gaye, a Togolese journalist, at an international conference, ‘China in Africa: Geopolitical and Geoeconomic Considerations’, at the Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, 31 May–2 June 2007. 10 See Professor Bohua Sun’s website at cn.linkedin.com/pub/bohuasun/71/13b/487 (accessed 15 September 2015). 11 See Professor X. Xia’s (Xiaohua) website at www.up.ac.za/eece/ article/1952621/postgraduatestudents (accessed 15 September 2015). 12 See Xu Hongkun’s website at newspaper.hdu.edu.cn/ Article_Show.asp?ArticleID=8341 (accessed 15 September 2015). 13 See Zhao Baojin’s website at za.linkedin.com/pub/baojin-

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zhao/12/947/617 (accessed 12 September 2015). 14 ‘China’s interest and activity in Africa’s construction and infrastructure sectors’, a report prepared for DfID by CCS of Stellenbosch (CCS n.d.). 15 See Anon. (2008b). 16 On 22 October 2008, Le Journal International of Côte d’Ivoire published the whole text of the public response of the business service of the Chinese embassy to the reports of the media in Côte d’Ivoire on the issue of Sanlu milk powder. See fec. mofcom.gov.cn/aarticle/duzpb/ cf/ap/200812/20081205955239. html. ‘The incident of Sanlu milk powder’ is still available on the Chinese website: www.baike.com/ wiki/%E4%B8%89%E9%B9%BF %E5%A5%B6%E7%B2%89 %E4%BA%8B%E4%BB%B6 (accessed 10 September 2015). 17 See Proposal (2007). 18 See ‘Chinese police official dispatched to protect the Chinese overseas in South Africa’, in Li Anshan (2006: 478–81). 19 See ‘Here’s what Africans think about China’s influence in their countries’, www. afrobarometer.org/blogs/ heres-what-africans-think-aboutchinas-influence-their-countries. 20 See ‘Opinion of China’, www. pewglobal.org/database/ indicator/24/survey/17/.

References Ai Zhouchang (ed.) (1989) Selection of Materials on Sino-African Relations, 1500–1918, Shanghai: East Normal University Press. An English Eye Witness (1905) John Chinaman on the Rand, London: Everett & Son. Anon. (2008a) ‘Chinese are new immigrants in South Africa’, Asian Week, 4 February. ––––– (2008b) ‘Comoros government encourages foreign firms and

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individuals to engage in economic and commercial activities’, fec. mofcom.gov.cn/aarticle/duzpb/cf/ ap/200812/20081205955276.html. Bright, R. (2013) Chinese Labour in South Africa, 1902–10: Race, Violence, and Global Spectacle, London: Palgrave Macmillan. CCS (Centre for Chinese Studies) (n.d.) ‘China’s interest and activity in Africa’s construction and infrastructure sectors’, Report prepared for the Department for International Development, UK, by the Centre for Chinese Studies, Stellenbosch University, www.dfid. gov.uk/Documents/publications/ chinese-investment-africa-full.pdf. French, H. W. (2014) China’s Second Continent: How a Million Migrants Are Building a New Empire in Africa, New York: Knopf. Hsu, E. (2007) ‘Chinese medicine in East Africa and its effectiveness’, IIAS Newsletter, 45: 22. ––––– (2008) ‘Medicine as business: Chinese medicine in Tanzania’, in C. Alden, D. Large and R. Soares de Oliveira (eds), China Returns to Africa: A Rising Power and a Continent Embrace, London: Hurst & Co., pp. 221–35. King, K. (2013) China’s Aid and Soft Power in Africa: The Case of Education and Training, Oxford: James Currey. Levathes, L. (1996) When China Ruled the Seas: The Treasure Fleet of the Dragon Throne, 1405–1433, New York: Oxford University Press. Li Anshan (2000) A History of Chinese Overseas in Africa, Beijing: Chinese Overseas Publishing House. ––––– (ed.) (2006) Social History of Chinese Overseas in Africa: Selected Documents (1800–2005), Hong Kong: Hong Kong Press for Social Sciences Ltd. ––––– (2007) ‘China and Africa: policy and challenges’, China’s Security, 3(3): 69–73. ––––– (2008) ‘China’s new policy toward Africa’, in R. I. Rotberg

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(ed.), China into Africa: Trade, Aid, and Influence, Washington, DC: Brookings Institution Press, pp. 21–49. ––––– (2011) ‘Control and combat: Chinese indentured labor in South Africa, 1904–10’, Encounters, 3: 41–61. ––––– (2012) A History of Overseas Chinese in Africa to 1911, New York: Diasporic Africa Press. ––––– (2013) ‘China’s Africa policy and the Chinese immigrants in Africa, in Chee-Beng Tan (ed.), Routledge Handbook of the Chinese Diaspora, London: Routledge, pp. 59–70. ––––– (2015a) ‘African diaspora in China: reality, research and reflection’, Journal of Pan African Studies, 7: 10–43, www.jpanafrican. com/docs/vol7no10/Bodomo-3Anshan.pdf. ––––– (2015b) ‘Contact between China and Africa before Vasco da Gama: archeology, document and historiography’, World History Studies, 2(1): 34–59. ––––– (2016) ‘Chinese immigrants in international political discourse: a case study of Africa’, West Asia and Africa, 1: 76–97. Li Anshan et al. (2012) FOCAC Twelve Years Later: Achievements, challenges and the way forward, Uppsala: Nordic Africa Institute. Li Xinfeng (2013) ‘On the figure of overseas Chinese in Africa’, 5 February, iwaas.cass.cn/dtxw/ fzdt/2013-02-05/2513.shtml. Lyman, P. (2006) ‘China’s involvement in Africa: a view from the US’, South African Journal of International Affairs, 13(1): 129–38. Ma Mung, E. (2008) ‘Chinese migration and China’s foreign policy in Africa’, Journal of Chinese Overseas, 4(1): 91–109. Nye, J. (2004) Soft Power: The Means to Success in World Politics, New York: Public Affairs. Program of African Studies (1974) Agreements on Technical Cooperation between the Republic of China and

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African States, Taipei: National Chengchi University. Proposal (2007) ‘Proposal by 67 enterprises to build sense of responsibility and create harmonious win-win economic relations between China and Africa’, xyf.mofcom.gov.cn/aarticle/ ghlt/cksm/200709/20070905111119. html. Richardson, P. (1982) Chinese Mine Labor in the Transvaal, London: Macmillan. Scheld, S. (2010) ‘“The China challenge”: the global dimensions of activism and the global economy in Dakar’, in I. Lyndell (ed.), Africa’s Informal Workers: Collective Agency, Alliances and Transnational Organizing in Urban Africa, London: Zed Books, pp. 153–68. Shen Fuwei (1990) China and Africa: Relations of 2000 Years, Beijing: Zhonghua Press. Song Xi (1974) The Chinese Laborer’s Contributions to the Transvaal Gold Mines in South Africa at the End of Qing Dynasty, Taipei: Huagang Publishers. Tang Xiyiong (n.d.) ‘Taiwanese in Lesotho: a case study of Taiwanese in Africa, 1970–80’, Unpublished paper.

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Wade, A. (2008) ‘Time for the West to practice what it preaches’, Financial Times, 23 January, www. ftchinese.com/story/001017597/ en?page=2, accessed 9 September 2015. Wang Shengwan (1969) ‘Gathertogether of Chinese in Ghana’, Overseas Affairs Monthly (Taipei), 199: 30. Xia Jisheng (ed.) (1996) A Study of Racial Relations in South Africa, Shanghai: East China Normal University Press. Yap, M. and D. L. Man (1996) Colour, Confusion and Concessions: The History of the Chinese in South Africa, Hong Kong: Hong Kong University Press. Zhang Junyan (1986) Contact at Sea between China and West Asia and Africa during the Ancient Times, Beijing: China Ocean Press. Zheng Xiangheng (1966) ‘The overseas Chinese in Madagascar’, Overseas Affairs Monthly (Taipei), 166: 25. Zhang Xiuming (1998) ‘A study of Qingtianese abroad: past and present’, Overseas Chinese Historical Research (Beijing), 3: 49–59.

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3 Karimjee Jivanjee & Co. in Tanzania, 1860–2000: a case for ‘diasporic family firms’1 Gijsbert Oonk

This study is about the Karimjee Jivanjee family in Tanzania, whose history we are able to trace back more than 150 years. The Karimjees originally came from Mandvi, a small seaport in Kutch, north-west India. They are Shia Muslims, more specifically Bohras. They were petty traders with probably some background in agriculture. During the famines and economic hard times in north-west India in the early nineteenth century, they were forced to look for new ways to find a living. One option was to sail to Zanzibar. The founding father of the Karimjee Jivanjee family, Jivanjee Buddhaboy, arrived in Zanzibar in 1818. At that time the South Asian community in Zanzibar probably amounted to fewer than a thousand people – mainly young men. The Karimjee Jivanjee family started their modest trading business in East Africa just before the other important South Asian kings of trade and commerce in East Africa, such as Tharia Thopan (1823–1891), Sewji Haji (1851–1897), Allidina Visram (1851–1916) and Nasser Veerjee (1865–1942). These merchant princes were among the principal financers of the East African caravan trade in the nineteenth century. They have, however, now vanished from the economic playing fields of East Africa, while Karimjee Jivanjee & Co. remains active in Dar es Salaam. In addition, the Karimjees preceded current important South Asian business tycoons in East Africa, such as the Mehtas, the Madhvanis and the Chandarias. The Karimjee Jivanjee family pioneered many aspects of trading and business life in East Africa. Having started as traders and financiers, they diversified into agricultural produce and were among the largest landowners in East Africa, mainly producing sisal, coffee and tea. Nowadays, they are the authorized distributors of Toyota cars in Tanzania. More importantly, they have run trading businesses not only from Tanzania, but also from India, Mauritius, Dubai and the United Kingdom. During the last 150 years or so, the Karimjee Jivanjee family has navigated major shifts in world history. They arrived in Zanzibar while this was a part of the Sultanate of Oman.

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Following the Berlin Conference in 1884, East Africa was divided into British East Africa (currently Uganda and Kenya) and German East Africa (current mainland Tanzania, Rwanda and Burundi). After the Germans lost the First World War, Tanganyika became a British protectorate in 1919. In 1947, India and Pakistan gained independence and were followed by Tanzania in 1961. In the late 1960s, many businesses in East Africa were nationalized; Idi Amin of Uganda even expelled all the Asians from Uganda in 1972. The Karimjees shared the experience of these painful events, but they were nevertheless able to recover and re-establish their businesses (Oonk 2009).

Diasporic family businesses During my field research in East Africa between 2002 and 2003 and later in 2008, I often encountered typecast statements about the economic success of the South Asian business families in East Africa. They were seen as the ‘Jews of Africa’ who were ‘far-sighted businessmen’ with a ‘strong entrepreneurial spirit’. Some of these general statements explained the success of South Asians by comparing them to African entrepreneurs, particularly by focusing on the role of the family; for example: ‘When an African makes US$20, he lives like he owes US$40. When an Indian makes US$20, he reinvests US$15 in his business. When an African makes US$20, his brother asks for support, whereas when an Asian–African runs his business, his brother would support him.’ While it might be tempting to believe this statement, and there might be more than a ring of truth in it, there is very little research to support it. Usually, the literature explains the performance of Asians in East Africa with the insight that ‘outsiders’ are in a better position to act in their business context. According to the literature, Asians use their ethnic resources, such as kinship, business skills, networks and educational experiences, to raise capital and management capacity in a far more profitable way than their African counterparts. It therefore suggests that Africans should improve their networking capabilities, level of education and indigenous information flows (Stein and Ryen 2002). Development through education may be an important and useful recommendation to facilitate the growth of the local African business capacity. Nevertheless, I have argued elsewhere that explaining the economic success of Asians and Africans in East Africa ‘without history’ and without emphasizing ‘failures’

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is – unfortunately – a common fault among economists, sociologists and anthropologists. In other words, while the recommendation may be right, the analysis is flawed (Oonk 2006). The academic literature has shifted its interest and emphasis from focusing on the trading diaspora as political and economic ‘interest groups’ to ‘the relation of cross-cultural traders to their hosts’ and the networks’ functions themselves. Here, I argue that insights from the concept of ‘family business’ may add new insights to the explanation of the choices members of the trading diaspora make. Abner Cohen first coined the term ‘trading diaspora’ in 1971. He refers to ‘a type of social grouping’: Its members are culturally distinct from both their society of origin and from the societies among which they live. Its organisation combines stability of structure, but allows a high degree of mobility of personnel. It has an informal political organization of its own which takes care of stability of order within the one community, and the coordination of activities of its various member communities in their perpetual struggle against external pressure. […] It also has its own institutions of general welfare and social security. In short, a diaspora is a nation of socially interdependent, but spatially dispersed communities. (Cohen 1971)

While Cohen stresses the importance of political organization of the overseas community, the world historian Phillip Curtin emphasizes the relationships between cross-cultural traders and their hosts, and the way they organize cross-cultural trade (Curtin 1984). Cohen and Curtin focus merely on ethnic-minority businesses, particularly Chinese in South-East Asia, Indians in East and South Africa and the Caribbean, Armenians in the Euro-Asian era, and many others. Edna Bonacich and Christine Dobbin redefine these ideas through the development of a theory of middlemen minorities (Bonacich 1973; Dobbin 1996). Bonacich explains the success of these groups as being a result of the immigrants’ orientation towards their place of residence, sojourning at first, and later developing a ‘stranger’ orientation affecting the solidarity and economic activity of the ethnic group. The sojourner orientation refers to a temporary settlement of the strangers, in order to trade. The ‘stranger orientation’ differs in the sense that the sojourner has become a settler, most notably by inviting his family to stay with him. Nevertheless, he remains an outsider because he does not intermarry locally and keeps his family

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associations with his family and community members back home, which leads to a hostility in the host society that perpetuates a reluctance to assimilate completely, and therefore reinforces the ‘stranger’ status (Bonacich 1973). There has been renewed interest in the history of ‘cross-cultural trading networks’ over the course of the past ten years. Scholars such as Sebouh David Aslanian (2011), Raj Brown (1996), Avner Greif (2006), Ghislaine Lydon (2009), Claude Markovits (2000) and Francesca Trivellato (2009) have shown how Armenian, Chinese, Jewish and South Asian trading networks have emerged over time. These works focus on important issues such as the development of trust in long-distance (often early-modern) trade relations, circulation of capital, men and women, and the maintenance of community networks. What these studies have in common is that they portray diaspora companies as network firms. The network is usually concentrated around a commercial centre, such as New Julfa in the case of Aslanian’s Armenian networks, or Sindh in Markovits’ case for South Asians. Greif focuses on the role of trust and how it is reinforced through informal institutions. This is important as efficient trust relations decrease the cost of transactions. Trivellato rightly argues that diaspora business networks can function only if they also have contact with traders who do not belong to their community. In the case of the Karimjee family and the South Asians in East Africa, I will use these insights and argue for the concept of a ‘diasporic family firm’. Diasporic family firms are principally family firms in the context of the diaspora. The core is not so much a region, but the family eldest, who is usually the head of the family firm. The family firm may be informally organized, but in the case of the Karimjees it is a registered company. In this case we will see that the family firm’s headquarters shift from Mandvi (India) to Zanzibar and from there to Dar es Salaam. From the headquarters, sons and sons-in-law are encouraged to branch out into other regions and/ or sectors. The mother company is the major shareholder in these branches, but the sons are at times allowed to engage in some business on their own account. In some cases, an agent is hired to fulfil economic duties in faraway places. What makes Karimjee Jivanjee & Co. fascinating is that they were able to flourish in the empire of the Sultan of Oman during both German and British colonial rule as well as under independent Tanzania.2 This has to be contrasted with the European ‘international’ firms that mostly tended to flourish within the empire (Casson 1990). It is interesting to note that it was only rather recently that the

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historian Geoffrey Jones brought Western trading companies into the mainstream of international business research. Based on a study of British (registered) trading companies, he defines three types of business groups: first, the ‘unitary’ business groups in which the activities are wholly owned; secondly, the ‘network’ form, consisting of a core trading company with multiple, wholly owned branches abroad; and thirdly, the ‘loose network’ that has no corporate core beyond family shareholders (Bruland and O’Brien 1998; Jones 1996, 2000). As we will see, Karimjee Jivanjee & Co. mostly resembles the third category. More recently, the Greek historian Gelina Harlafis has followed the lead of Jones, arguing that the trading diaspora can be treated as multinational trading firms, and that as they scarcely entered the equity markets or distinguished ownership from management, they remained first and foremost family firms (Harlafis 2007). These characteristics are also applicable to the Karimjee Jivanjee family firm. In a recent literature review on the ‘business firm in Africa’, the Africanist Robert L. Tignor argues that there is a tremendous lack of scholarship in this area. The Business History Review, for example, counted only nineteen articles that had the word ‘Africa’ in the full text. Of these, only three dealt with the history of a specific firm and were based on primary sources. He agrees that the shortage of written sources as well as the lack of an African perspective may have caused this depressing and definitive result. In his conclusion, he rightly argues that a reading against the grain is the second-best way to compile information (Tignor 2007). Here, I would like to add two more considerations. First, I believe that oral histories – particularly for Africa – may add to our knowledge of business practices in Africa. Secondly, my emphasis on oral history (despite its difficulties and its secondary place to written primary sources) also implies that we focus on the perspective of the agents themselves. By taking the perspective of agents, we are encouraged to describe the constraints, limits, options and ideals as seen by these agents. This perspective may help us avoid Eurocentric perspectives. In the following, I present the inside workings of an ideal-type diasporic family household, i.e. the history of Karimjee Jivanjee & Co. I demonstrate how they emerged and survived in East Africa for more than 150 years. Additionally, I depict how they diversified from finance and trade to real estate and agriculture by establishing branches in the UK, Mauritius, India and various other places in the world. Nevertheless, the success of Karimjee Jivanjee & Co. is not the whole story of the diasporic family.

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The South Asian diaspora in the Indian Ocean region and the emergence of the house of Karimjee Jivanjee Early contact between the Indian subcontinent and East Africans goes back at least two thousand years. The Periplus of the Erythraean Sea, written by a Greek navigator in the first century ce, offers the first undisputed written evidence of these early contacts. When Vasco da Gama arrived in Mozambique, Mombasa and Malindi in 1498, he was surprised at the number of Arabs and Indians he found there (Alpers 2009; Bose 2006; Chaudhuri 1985, 1990; Pearson 1998). Direct trade between these regions was maintained by the rhythm of the monsoons. From November to March, dhows sailed from West India to East Africa, and the return journey was made from April to October. The trade in slaves, ivory and spices was profitable, but dangerous, and many traders did not return home safely. The rough sea, pirates and various diseases claimed the lives of many traders and early adventurers. Historical evidence shows that migration is just one of the options families may consider in order to prosper elsewhere, and while East Africa was a new opportunity for Indian farmers and traders in the late nineteenth century,3 they often did not intend to settle permanently. Around 1875, the British consul in Zanzibar, Sir Barte Frere, emphasized: They [the Indians] never take their families to Africa; the head of the house of business always remains in India, and their books are balanced periodically in India. The house in Africa is merely a branch house, though many of those people will assure you and they give very good evidence of the fact, that they have had branches in Africa for 300 years, and possibly for much more.4

In other words, it was often not the head of the family who made the first exploration in East Africa; it was also not the eldest son. Even after they had made several profitable journeys to and from India, they would not settle in East Africa. A process of circular migration and slow settlement indicates that only those who were successful remained in East Africa to eventually settle with their wives and families. Despite the economic attractions and the cautious process of settlement, many South Asians did not find what they were looking for or failed in East Africa and went back to India (Markovits 1999).5 From the business family’s perspective in Gujarat, East Africa was a new opportunity that arose in the late

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nineteenth century. For today’s ‘self-made’ Asian African business tycoons, the founding father of the business tycoons was the root of a new entrepreneurial area. The general migration history of Asian East Africans is well documented. Long before East Africa was ‘discovered’ by Europeans, Zanzibar and the East African coast were well-known trading destinations for Arabs and South Asians. The Indian Ocean served as a connection rather than a boundary between the continents. These existing trading relations were strengthened during the establishment of the British Empire in East Africa. In the period between 1880 and 1920, the number of South Asians in East Africa grew from about 6,000 to 54,000, among them Hindus (including wellknown business castes like the Bhatias, Patels, Lohanas and Shahs), Muslims (especially the Ithnasheries, Bohras and Ismailis), Sikhs, Goans and others (Gregory 1993). This process of permanent settlement, however, was the outcome of a process of semi-permanent settlement and circular migration. The founding father of the Karimjee Jivanjee family was Buddhaboy Noormuhammed. He was a Bohra (Muslim) trader in the seaport of Mandvi in western India in the early nineteenth century. At that time, Mandvi was connected with western Indian ports in Gujarat and Maharasthra, such as Porbander, Surat and Bombay. More importantly, it was also linked to Arab ports like Aden and Muscat and the trading centres of Mogadishu, Zanzibar and Malindi along the north-eastern coast of Africa. Buddhaboy Noormuhammed owned a hardware business in Mandvi in the early nineteenth century. In those days economic prospects were predominantly dependent on the agricultural produce in the region. At the same time, however, Gujarat was opening up to a wider world. One day, on a visit to Mandvi, the chief Custom Master of the Sultan of Oman in Zanzibar, the South Asian Jairam Sewji, approached Buddhaboy. Sewji was a very rich and influential figure in the Indian Ocean region. He used to travel from Zanzibar to Aden and West India every two or three years and probably talked to Buddhaboy about the economic potential of East Africa and the business opportunities in Zanzibar. As a result, Buddhaboy decided to send his son, Jivanjee, to Zanzibar to explore potential economic options for his family.6 Family records reveal that Jivanjee opened his own hardware shop in Zanzibar in 1818, and established his own trading company, Jivanjee Buddhaboy & Co., which exported cloves and copra to India and imported German and American cloth (Amerkani), in 1825. Most South Asian migrants arrived in East Africa with little or

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no money. However, they had access to capital through community networks. As only a few families arrived with significant amounts of capital, it may be plausible to assume that Jivanjee did not arrive with a substantial amount of capital. His father’s connection to Jairam Sewji, however, might suggest that he had at least some moral support and was looked after. The British representative in Zanzibar, Sir Bartle Frere, observed in 1873: Arriving at his future scene of business with little beyond the credentials of his fellow castemen, after perhaps a brief apprenticeship in some older firms, he starts a shop of his own with goods advanced on credit by some large house, and after a few years, when he has made a little money, generally returns home to marry, to make fresh business connections, and then comes back to Africa to repeat, on a large scale.7

This may have been the pattern followed by Jivanjee. He had started a flourishing trading firm and was succeeded by his four sons: Ebrahimjee, Esmailjee, Pirbhai and Karimjee Jivanjee. One family tree reveals a daughter, Fatamben, but there is no additional information about her. The eldest son, Ebrahimjee, may have died early, as his name disappeared from the records in the 1850s.8 In 1861, the three surviving brothers, Esmailjee, Pirbhai and the youngest, Karimjee, separated their business interests. Whether the separation was for practical reasons or the result of disagreements within the family remains unclear. The two eldest sons, Esmailjee and Pirbhai, continued their father’s business in Zanzibar, and following the death of Pirbhai, the company was renamed the ‘Esmailjee Jivanjee Company’. It developed a wide range of businesses, such as being a major importer of grain and holding the agency for kerosene in East Africa (Playne 1909: 420–23). Esmailjee eventually migrated to Mombasa in 1880, where he was among the first Bohras to settle. Like many of his South Asian contemporaries, he had run his business from East Africa but his longing for India remained. It is likely that he retired in Mandvi. It is certain that he left a building as charity to be used as a girl’s school in Mandvi in 1902. This is probably one of the first charities in north-west India to have been donated by an Asian African (Oonk 2009). While Esmailjee and Pirbhai shifted their business interests to Mombasa, the youngest brother, Karimjee Jivanjee (1826–1898), continued his own business in Zanzibar. In the late nineteenth century, he was exporting commodities such as ivory, copra, ground-

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nuts, cereals, beeswax and cloves from Zanzibar and the East African mainland to India. The Karimjee Jivanjee firm had developed as a truly international company, and shipped direct to Europe, where it had its own buying and selling agents. It also conducted business in Mauritius, Madagascar and the Seychelles, as well as with India and Ceylon (now Sri Lanka). The Karimjees, like most South Asians, were not involved in either the slave trade or the inland caravan trade. This was left to the Arabs, who were the major traders to explore the African interior (Playne 1909). At the same time he was looking after his own family affairs, most importantly his son, Alibhai’s, marriage. In those days, most Bohra brides were recruited from India, and Karimjee Jivanjee went to India to arrange his only son’s marriage. After he had settled his family affairs in India, he apparently invested all he had in buying goods there with the intention of selling them in Zanzibar. Unfortunately, he lost his entire investment as the cargo had to be jettisoned during a violent storm on the return journey. He arrived penniless and probably in debt to some of his community members in Zanzibar. As the Karimjees had built up their ‘good name’, Jivanjee was determined to keep that valuable asset within the community. He most likely had to work for some of his creditors to repay his debts. Nonetheless, he was able to build up his own business in a comparatively short period of time. This was due to his tenacity and patience as well as a system of ‘trust’ within the Bohra community whereby reliable and trustworthy members of the community were able to obtain loans on relatively favourable terms (Oonk 2006). The Karimjee Jivanjee firm is an example of ‘trust relations’ beyond the family firm happening to be favourable for the family.

Diversification and new investments In the period between 1880 and 1920, the Karimjee family business came to an important crossroads. At this stage, the Karimjee Jivanjee Company was still a trading company, trading in a wide range of products, the majority of which were in agricultural products and textiles. Goods were imported from a wide range of countries, including the UK, Germany and India, while East African agricultural products were exported to these same countries, as well as Mauritius, the Seychelles and Ceylon. The company owned many dhows, which were used for the coastal trade, especially in Pemba, Tanga, Dar es Salaam, Bagamoyo, Kilwa, Lindi, Mikindani, Mombasa and Lamu. There were trading agents in most of these places.

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An important trading directory published in 1909 summarizes the business activities of Karimjee Jivanjee & Company as follows: Their principal imports are Manchester cotton goods; sugar from Austria, Germany and Russia; rice from India; tea and coffee, beads (Bohemian and Viennese); metal – especially galvanised iron from Birmingham; oil, paints, nails and all kinds of merchandise except hams and bacon which are prohibited owing to their religion. Exports […] local produce, such as cloves, copra, hides, beeswax, rubber, chillies, all kinds of shells, groundnuts, and East African produce. They have a certificate of merit for cloves awarded at the Zanzibar Exhibition of 1905. (Playne 1909)

The classical development pattern from trade to industries was not an option for entrepreneurs and businessmen in East Africa. It was clear to most merchants that the conditions for industrialization in Africa were hardly ideal. The other option to diversify the trading business into a ‘producing’ business was to invest in agriculture. This opportunity manifested itself when the British auctioned German properties after the First World War. The schedules of properties offered for sale were published in the Tanga Post and East Coast Advertiser and the London Times. At the first sale in May 1921, Indians bought at least fifteen of the forty business lots auctioned in Dar es Salaam. The total amount of money invested by Indians was more than 50,000 pounds sterling of a total of 112,000 pounds sterling (Gregory 1993: 380). Of the Indian bidders, Yusufali Karimjee was the most active, buying a range of real estate and land. The Tanga Post and East Coast Advertiser from 11 June 1920 mentioned twenty lots, fifteen of which were bought by the Karimjees. These included: (1) a sisal and rubber plantation of 292 hectares, situated near Ruvu on the Central Railway (Dar es Salaam, 6,250 pounds sterling); (2) a plot of land of 41 acres, together with a three-storeyed building of offices and living quarters, a double-storeyed building being used as living quarters and printing works, as well as a range of stabling stores, garages, etc. (all in Dar es Salaam for the total sum of 8,500 pounds sterling); and (3) a coconut plantation of 50 hectares, situated on the old Bagamoyo Road (650 pounds sterling). The total investments amounted to more than 38,000 pounds sterling.9 By 1924, the firm had acquired six sisal estates and eventually became the thirdlargest sisal producer in the world. The extensive nature of Karimjee Jivanjee Estates’ plantation work can be gauged from the fact that

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it employed a large army of labourers, numbering between 12,000 and 15,000. It also employed forty European managers, assistants and engineers comprising English, German, Greek, Italian, Dutch, Swiss, Indian and Sri Lankan nationals.10 The property market and agricultural business, ranging from tea and coffee plantations, kapok estates and sisal plantations, were a novel departure for the Karimjee Jivanjee Co. Ltd. The process of managing capital and labour in a trading company differs significantly from that of an enterprise in agricultural production. In a trading company, the balance between buying and selling goods generates the profits. Throughout the agricultural production of goods, however, a range of constantly changing factors affects the profit margins, including the price of seeds and raw materials, the cost of labour, the price of machines, and changes in government legislation regarding labour, environment, taxes and the efficiency of management. The process of cutting trees, of developing land, seeds, fertilizers, training a labour force, and many other things had to be developed and managed. For the Karimjee Jivanjee family, Abdulla Mohamedali Karimjee became the estate business’s prime entrepreneur, manager and foreman. The Karimjees realized that part of the success of the plantation business relied on their relations with workers. The training and control of workers formed one of the major challenges in the estate business. Karimjee Jivanjee Estates Ltd is said to be probably the first in the whole of East Africa in the care it takes and the solicitude it shows in the maintenance and welfare of its large numbers of labourers. […] On its Soga plantation, the firm has erected a mosque for labourers and its dispensary for them. On the Gomba plantation […] a special hospital has been provided with a European nurse in charge. On the Kidugalo Estate also, a hospital has been built and efforts are being made to provide every one of its plantations with such a hospital.11

This evidence shows that the relations with labourers were highly valued. As the sisal industry expanded, there was a need for the sisal growers to unite and talk with one voice to the government, the sisal dealers, etc., through such dominant organizations as the Tanganyika Sisal Growers Association (TSGA) and the Tanzanian Sisal Marketing Association (TASMA). Abdulla Karimjee played a prominent role in establishing these institutions. At that time, Karimjee Jivanjee & Co. owned estates totalling 10,000 acres and employed

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20,000 labourers. Tayabali Essaji Sachak had the second-largest Asian firm. Eventually, the two Bohra families established affine relations with the marriage of Anverali Karimjee to Rubabai Sachack.12 Sisal, and therefore Tanga, was booming on the eve of the Korean War (1950–53). Many countries feared that this could be the beginning of another world war. There was an immediate panic among numerous countries to buy up strategic commodities. They did not wish to make the same mistakes as they had before the Second World War, and began to buy all strategic commodities such as tea, coffee and also sisal. The price of sisal went up from 18 pounds sterling per ton, which was already a profitable price, to almost 250 pounds sterling per ton. In this relative short period, Tanganyika’s sisal producers became overnight millionaires, leading to their nickname of ‘sisal barons’. The boom did not last very long, but it was long enough to create enormous wealth in Tanga, and sisal became known as ‘the white gold of Tanganyika’ (Table 3.1).13 Table 3.1 – Sisal production in Tanganyika by proprietors in 1954 Ownership

Production in tons

Percentage of total

British

55,228

30.98

Greek

53,160

29.83

Asian

45,321

25.43

Swiss

15,549

8.72

African (random sisal)

3,979

2.23

Dutch

2,994

1.68

Italian

1,200

0.67

819

0.46

178,250

100.00

German Total

Source: Sir Eldred Hitchcock, The Sisal Industry of Tanganyika, reprinted from the Tanganyika Trade Bulletin, 1955, p. 5

In addition to the initial diversification of the estate development, a second phase of diversification included the expansion of the cars, car parts and petroleum business. This all started with a trading licence to sell kerosene. The American-owned Texas Co. started to export oil to South Africa in 1908. Three years later, the Texas Co. formed a subsidiary based in Cape Town. The Texas Co. (South Africa) Ltd quickly became a leader in the South African market, advertising its products effectively, building a strong marketing and distribution network, and establishing one of the nation’s first

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filling stations in 1922. In 1924, the Texas Company decided to start exporting to Tanganyika and, with this in mind, they sent their representative, Mr Boyac, from their African head office in South Africa, to Zanzibar to find a suitable agent. The Karimjees took up the Caltex licence to sell petrol and kerosene in East Africa.14 In those early years, any sale of five or more tins of kerosene or petrol was reportedly personally attended to by one of the family members, where other firms might well have left such sales to their subordinates.15 Abdulhusein Adamjee, a family cousin who had began life as a departmental manager, was very much involved in the early petrol sale years. In the 1920s, Caltex products came from the United States – a giant refinery in Bahrein in the Persian Gulf was built many years later – and were brought to Zanzibar in cargo ships. Dar es Salaam was supplied with petrol, oil and kerosene by dhows transporting two to three hundred cans at a time. In 1953, however, the sales – excluding those to the government – averaged 120,000 gallons of kerosene and 250,000 of gasoline monthly. Although Caltex later set up its own branch in Tanganyika, the Karimjees kept the licence for Tanga, the Southern Provinces and Zanzibar.16 In 1927, a subsidiary business was started at Tanga and Dar es Salaam, the International Motor Mart (IMM). The basic aim was to provide East Africa with motorbikes, cars and spare parts. They needed cars and tractors for their agricultural business and assumed that other plantation owners as well as the small African, European and Asian elite would be interested as well.Yusufali’s son Abdukarim became the executive manager of this division. Within an incredibly short amount of time, they were able to deal with the most important car and motor dealers in the world. This again is evidence of the importance of maintaining a good name, because, without any previous experience in car sales and the spare parts business, that was all they had. IMM soon became the agents for Triumph Motors, which now produced vehicles with a cult status among the youth. IMM imported the well-known Nash Cars (founded in 1916 by former General Motors president Charles W. Nash, who also acquired the Thomas B. Jeffery Company). They were also agents for International Trucks, and Francis-Barnett Motor Cycles.17 IMM soon acted as an agent for the Rootes Group (originally founded in Kent in 1919 by William Rootes as a car sales company), and, furthermore, IMM acted as the representative of International Harvester for tractors and agricultural machinery. This diversification shows a clear progression, whereby the experience in selling oil products and

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car parts merged with the new estate ventures. At this point, the company needed trucks and agricultural machines, and anticipated that a profitable collaboration with car companies would be to the benefit of the estate business while also boosting the export figures of those companies. There is no doubt that the diversification benefited from the vertical and horizontal integration within the Karimjee group of companies. For example, Karimjee Jivanjee Estates’ agricultural activities benefited from the auto and agro agencies of IMM, as well as in the supply of tyres. Karimjee Jivanjee Estates would take advantage of Karimjee Jivanjee & Co. Ltd’s insurance and shipping services as well as of the Caltex agencies. Tea and sisal would be exported and the Clearing & Forwarding section of the shipping division of Karimjee Jivanjee & Co. Ltd would import machinery parts. The rapid expansion of new companies resulted in the formal separation of the trading, properties and agricultural divisions in order to clearly identify legal ownership and management. The parent company remained Karimjee Jivanjee & Co. Ltd, while each company had a similar family shareholding and board of directors that consisted mainly of family members (Figure 3.1). Akberally Adamjee played an essential role in this transformation. He was recruited from India in the 1930s to assist the young Karimjees in the management and administration of the business. He was a very capable administrator and quickly became a senior manager. He was the first non-family director in the business. He was primarily employed by Karimjee Jivanjee & Co. Ltd, Karimjee Properties, and in handling the insurance and shipping agencies.18

Business networks and political (in)stability from within Networks with community members as well as outsiders were based on personal relations. Trust was important, not only for commercial purposes, and minimizing entrepreneurial risks and transaction costs, but also for personal security, particularly during times of war and political instability. Historically, trading and travelling were neither safe nor secure: it may come as no surprise that political instability may increase profit margins while simultaneously expanding insecurity and commercial and personal risk. The Karimjees divided responsibilities among various family members. Yusufali Karimjee (1882–1966) was responsible for the European and South and East Asian part of the business (Playne 1909). In Asia, he built a dense business network with Bohra community members who had set up businesses in these areas. His favourite

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Figure 3.1 – Company structure of the Karimjee Jivanjee family in 1950 KARIMJEE JIVANJEE & Co Ltd Established in 1825 in Zanzibar

The International Motor Mart, Ltd

Karimjee Jivanjee Estates, Ltd

Established in 1929

Established in 1939

(Dar es Salaam, Tanzania)

(Dar es Salaam, Tanzania)

Karimjee Trading & Co. Ltd

Karimjee Jivanjee & Co. (UK) Ltd

Bombay branch

London branch

Established in 1939

Established in 1949

Karimjee Properties Ltd Established in 1942 (Dar es Salaam, Tanzania)

itinerary included Zanzibar, Karachi, Bombay, Colombo, Rangoon, Singapore, Bangkok, Hong Kong and Kobe in Japan. In all these places, he would visit Bohra friends. In Colombo (Ceylon, nowadays Sri Lanka), he was close to the Akberallys, the Nurbhais and the Esufallys. In Mauritius, Yusufali was close to the Currimjees, the Kakals and the Ismails. He never had to stay in a hotel as he always had a place to stay with these families. Eventually, the Karimjee family married into the families, further solidifying the connection (Oonk 2009). These links must certainly have diminished the cost of transactions and increased the family’s understanding of global markets as well. The Karimjees did not rely solely on family and community members as they built close alliances with other people to ensure their business success. Let me present two examples. In the early 1930s, Yusufali got married for the third time to a Japanese woman, Katsuku Enomoto Banoo, when he lived in the country for a few years. No documentation about the reason for this marriage can be found and no references to the business or market can be found in

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the letters that remain from that period. The records show that she came from a high-class background and that they met at a hospital where she worked and Yusufali happened to be a patient. The relationship with Japan became important after the Karimjees closed their deal with Toyota (see below). The Karimjees were able to escape the Second World War in East Africa, as some family members stayed in Mauritius, while others moved to live in Kashmir and kept a low profile at their businesses and branches until the war was over. The family was unable, however, to escape political instability entirely, despite their personal networks and international relations. The three decades that followed Tanzania’s independence were overshadowed by growing political and economic insecurity among Asians in the country. The Zanzibar revolution in 1964 eventually led many Asians to migrate to the mainland, and Asians who remained in the country were heavily impacted by the Arusha Declaration in 1967 and the nationalization of properties in 1971 and its economic consequences. While the nationalization of these economic sectors as well as of schools and buildings was not directed against the Asians specifically, they were nevertheless seriously affected by these policies, and this led to a major exodus of Indians in 1971. Some observers have estimated that 150,000 persons of Indian origin left the country, which reduced the country’s Indian population by 60 per cent (Gregory 1971; Oonk 2004). The Acquisition of Buildings Act of April 1971 hit the Karimjee Jivanjee family profoundly as it nationalized the houses and properties in Tanganyika. Although their sisal estates were not nationalized, numerous Karimjee buildings in Dar es Salaam and Tanga were, and the family lost more than thirty-five buildings and houses almost overnight in Dar es Salaam alone. In many cases, the Karimjees became tenants of the Registrar of Buildings or the National Housing Corporation. They had to rent their ‘own’ buildings. Furthermore, the new landlord was unable to maintain the buildings to the most basic standards and some buildings fell into disrepair within months. The administrative procedures to manage the nationalized properties were complex and multifaceted. Ironically, in some cases the Office of the Registrar of Buildings requested that the Karimjee Jivanjee family assist with the process, for example with the responsibilities for tenants and owners.19 During this turmoil, the Dar es Salaam head of the family was Abdulkarim Karimjee (1907–1977). He advised his family members to leave the country – especially those with younger children. He

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felt that, for the time being, the future of the Karimjees was not in Africa as he foresaw difficult times ahead for Asians in East Africa. Although he himself remained in East Africa to look after the local businesses, mostly in the position of managing director of IMM, most of his family members went to the United Kingdom to work for other companies or establish themselves as professionals. Some started new businesses. Abdulkarim Karimjee’s most important contribution to the family business was acquiring trading licences for Toyota, which remains one of the Karimjees’s most important moneymakers. The deal with Toyota is a good example of three important pillars of successful businessmen coming together: i.e. (a) ‘having a good name’; (b) using your entrepreneurial instinct; and (c) ‘being there at the right time and the right place’. The Toyota story began in Rhodesia when Prime Minister Ian Smith issued a Unilateral Declaration of Independence (UDI) from Great Britain in 1965. The British government was offended by this one-sided approach and decided to impose economic sanctions on Rhodesia, including a blockade on shipments to the country, especially through Beira, Mozambique. At that time the Toyota agent in Rhodesia was Lonrho (London and Rhodesian Company, established in 1909). Toyota had sent a ship full of Toyotas to Beira, Mozambique, for delivery to Rhodesia and, owing to the British blockade, the ship eventually landed in Dar es Salaam under strict conditions not to transship to Rhodesia.20 Thus, Lonhro was looking for an agent in Dar es Salaam to sell these cars locally and prevent them from further losses. Interestingly, Lonhro owned vehicle agencies in Tanzania, which were agents for Ford and Renault, namely Motor Mart and Riddoch Motors (not to be confused with International Motor Mart Ltd, which belonged to Karimjees). Both Motor Mart and Riddochs refused to take the Toyotas. In those days, Japanese products were considered ‘cheap products’, like cheap Japanese toys. Lonrho eventually approached International Motor Mart with the request to take the vehicles and sell them. Abdulkarim consulted his right-hand man, Pitamber, who was formally his secretary but acted in many ways as the executive manager. IMM agreed to take the vehicles on a consignment basis whereby they would pay Lonrho only after they sold the vehicles. Karimjees found that the Toyota cars were very popular, even though the cars were not as good as American and British cars. They were, however, fully loaded with accessories and attractive gadgets, such as radios with electric antennas, cigarette lighters, wing mirrors, etc. These accessories were available at an extra charge in British

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cars but were standard on Toyotas. As a result, the first consignment sold very rapidly. Karimjees may have foreseen that British cars were on their way out owing to the rising cost of production and British trade unions’ increasing interference, which made British cars too expensive, and the companies that produced them were unable to provide customer service. Eventually, the Karimjees applied for and received the Toyota agency from Toyota Motor Corporation. International Motor Mart became Toyota’s third agency in sub-Saharan Africa after South Africa and Rhodesia. This licence has remained important for the family up to today. Despite that fact that the head office of Karimjee Jivanjee & Co. Ltd is still in Dar es Salaam, the family itself has scattered over the world. During the turmoil of the Asian expulsion from East Africa, only three family members stayed to look after local affairs. Most of the family members went initially to the United Kingdom, and currently reside in the United Kingdom as well as in Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, Mauritius, Canada, the USA, Australia, India, Pakistan and Dubai. Some family members own residencies in more than two countries, while others stay in one place only. Most family members are citizens of the countries where they live. In 2007, I spent some time in London visiting the trading office of Karimjee Trading & Co. Ltd. One day a week I visited the trading office in the financial district. Usually, I sat next to the director, watching him making phone calls, writing e-mails and instructing his secretaries. He was born in East Africa, but joined the London office in the 1960s. His son was born and raised in London. In fact, I was sitting at his son’s desk as he had just left to open an office in Dubai. The father phoned his son at least once a day to enquire about daily affairs and coach him in running the Dubai business, which focused on shipping vegetables from various places in the Indian Ocean region to destinations in East Asia, East Africa and western Europe. The company never owns the cargo; they finance the shipment of bulk agricultural products, a field in which they have more than 120 years’ experience. What we see here is very interesting, because it includes 200 years of history and experience. They know how to discuss the varieties, quality and various names of the products in various languages. Furthermore, the family still recruits their own sons to open new trading branches in emerging markets or profitable places, such as Dubai. This is a globalized business family in a globalized world.

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Conclusion The Karimjees have been an exclusive family firm for over 150 years now. Karimjee Jivanjee & Co. Ltd and its dependencies are fully owned and managed by family members. In addition, the company has owned properties and businesses in more than one country, and they have traded with South and South-East Asia and Europe. They usually deal with (Bohra) community members or relatives as agents in these places, but at times they have established firm relations with local representatives. At one time, they had more than twenty thousand people working for them. They currently hold licences to import Toyota cars into East Africa. Nowadays, the family members themselves are scattered around the world and hold properties, assets and citizenship wherever they are. In this chapter, I have shown that this firm can best be described as a diasporic family firm. They rely on trust and trade in long-distance relations, from Japan to London. In addition, I have highlighted the importance of (transnational) marriage patterns, the role of the family eldest, and succession. The history of the Karimjee Jivanjee family firms shows that they were able to survive some major setbacks by using typical ‘diasporic’ resources. When Karimjee Jivanjee’s son, Alibhai, lost all his investments in 1860, he was able to rebuild his fortune because of his ‘good name’ and the fact that Bohra community members in Zanzibar supported his recovery. During the expulsion of Indians from East Africa and the nationalization of buildings and industries (1968–72), the senior member of the family sent most of his family out of the country, keeping only three family members including him in the country. This chapter describes how the Karimjee Jivanjee family and firm remained in Zanzibar and Dar es Salaam while dynasties, empires and nations emerged and changed. The Karimjee family started in Zanzibar during the reign of the Sultan of Oman. They witnessed the emergence of the German and British colonial regimes and the inclination of each to exploit the region and develop it for their own needs. They observed the origins of the Tanzanian independence movement and played a role in it as Abdulkarim Karimjee presided over the ceremony and the family’s largest charity was the Karimjee Hall, which served as the Tanzanian parliament for more than forty years. Karimjee Jivanjee & Co. Ltd cannot, however, be aligned with Tanzania, India or the United Kingdom alone. The current shareholders (all family) hold citizenships in eight different countries,

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and some have dual citizenship. This may be a new element in the diasporic family firm that needs more exploration in terms of consequence and magnitude. Most historical studies on transnational trade and business tend to focus on Western companies, which are, more often than not, part of the European empires, most notably the British Empire. In this study, I focused on a firm with its origins in the Indian Ocean and the ability to develop not only without the support of empire or state, but, in fact, despite it.

Notes 1

This chapter was written during a term as honorary affiliate of the Centre for Indian Studies in Africa (CISA), University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg. In 2006, the Karimjee Jivanjee family assigned me to write their family’s business history. Private businesses are not renowned for their willingness to lay bare their insights to researchers. However, for the purpose of that research, I was given free access to all the available sources, records and correspondence related to the business history of the Karimjee Jivanjee family. They shared their invaluable business insights and experience with me at various occasions between 2007 and 2009. This chapter is based on this biographical research, as published in Oonk (2009, 2013). 2 Aslanian argues on similar lines for the New Julfan Armenian network. He shows that Armenian trading networks were able to flourish within the Moghul, Ottoman and British empires. This argues against the Eurocentric and state/ empire-centred approach that is so dominant in the history of European expansion and the economic histories of emerging nation-states, empires and regions. 3 Many of the early settlers had a background in agriculture. However, it is likely that migrants from the Indian rural areas underwent an ‘initiation period in the Indian ports’, where they –

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under the guidance of family and community members – learned something of overseas trade (see Sheriff 1971). 4 Bartle Frere, Extracts from the evidence taken before the select Committee of the House of Commons, Colonial Office, 1887. See also Burton (1872: 329–35). The first volume of Cynthia Salvadori’s (1996) fieldwork account We Came in Dhows contains a few oral testimonies of families that kept trading branches in Bombay and other places in India as well. 5 See also the next paragraph for examples of South Asians who went bankrupt within the first ten years after arrival in Zanzibar. Earlier, Claude Markovits (1999) made a strong case against the idea of permanent settlement. He argues that the majority of Indian migrants in the nineteenth century were not permanent migrants, but temporary migrants. 6 I learned about the connection between Buddhaboy Noormuhammed and Jairam Sewji in an interview with Anverali Hassanali Noorani, who was the great-grandson of Jivanjee. He was born in 1901 (interview published in Salvadori 1996: 100–101). Information related to Jairam Sewji can be found in the Colonial Office, Memo by Sir Bartle Frere, Correspondence 1856, p. 10. Recently an interesting study appeared based on the

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family records of Jairam Shivji (note different spelling due to transliteration, but it is the same person). See also Goswami (2011). 7 Memo by Sir Bartle Frere, Correspondence 1856, p. 101 (Colonial Office). 8 In an undated typewritten document by Fazlebas Esmailjee Jivanjee it is said that he may have drowned during one of his trips from India to Zanzibar (family archives, Dar es Salaam). The bulk of the family archives are in Dar es Salaam. The company records are in the head office of Karimjee Jivananjee & Co. Ltd and most of the family records are with the current family eldest, Hatim Karimjee, and his brother, Mahmood Karimjee. Nevertheless, I have seen records with family members in Mauritius, London and Karachi as well. All the records have been scanned and are in the author’s possession. 9 Newspaper sources were used to balance the information from oral histories. In this article, I have used papers published in Dar es Salaam and Zanzibar. They can be found in the Zanzibar Archives and the National Library of Tanzania, Dar es Salaam. The papers include: The Tanga Post and East Coast Advertiser; The Tanganyika Herald; The Zanzibar Voice; The Tanganyika Opinion and The Age. In addition, I have seen the Jubilee numbers of the newspaper Samarch (1929 and 1936) in the company’s archive in Dar es Salaam. For an overview of the Karimjee Jivanjee investments in land, see: The Tanga Post and East Coast Advertiser, 11 June 1921, p. 3. 10 Samarch Silver Jubilee number, 1929, p. 47. 11 Ibid. 12 For more intermarriages, see my family tree of the Karimjee Jivanjee family (Oonk 2009). Please note that intermarriages are not always arranged for business reasons. 13 The Age, 11 October 1956;

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Tanzania Affairs, 1 January 1991. For an excellent study of the marketing of sisal and competition between growers and the empire, see Westcott (1984). 14 ‘Tanganyika merchant princes’, Caltext Star, 3(9), 1952, pp. 4–7. 15 Ibid., p 5. 16 Ibid. 17 Francis-Barnett was a British motorcycle manufacturer founded in 1919 by Gordon Francis and Arthur Barnett. 18 In this context, I would especially like to mention Hatim Karimjee, Latif Karimjee and Mahmood Karimjee, who all sat through the series of long, searching interviews between 2007 and 2008 in various places, such as Dar es Salaam, London, Mauritius and Zanzibar. 19 Correspondence between the government of Tanzania and the Karimje Jivanjee Co. Ltd, family archive. 20 Richard Hall, the biographer of Tiny Rowland, the founding father of the Lonrho company, stated in 1987: ‘Tanzania has always been Rowland’s “dead” area in East Africa’ (Hall 1987: 240).

References Alpers, E. (2009) East Africa and the Indian Ocean, Princeton, NJ: Markus Wiener Publishers. Aslanian, S. D. (2011) From the Indian Ocean to the Mediterranean: The Global Trade Networks of Armenian Merchants from New Julfa, Berkeley: University of California Press. Bonacich, E. (1973) ‘A theory of middleman minorities’, American Sociological Review, 38: 583–94. Bose, S. (2006) A Hundred Horizons: The Indian Ocean in the Age of Global Empire, Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. Brown, R. (1996) Chinese Business Enterprise: Critical Perspectives on Business and Management, London: Routledge. Bruland, K. and P. O’ Brien (eds)

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(1998) From Family Firms to Corporate Capitalism: Essays in Business and Industrial History in Honour of Peter Mathias, Oxford: Clarendon Press. Burton, R. (1872) Zanzibar City, London. Casson, M. (1990) Enterprise and Competitiveness: A System View of International Business, Oxford: Oxford University Press. Chaudhuri, K. N. (1985) Trade and Civilization in the Indian Ocean: An Economic History from the Rise of Islam to 1750, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ––––– (1990) Asia before Europe: Economy and Civilization of the Indian Ocean from the Rise of Islam to 1750, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Cohen, A. (1971) ‘Cultural strategies in the organisation of trading diasporas’, in C. Meillassoux (ed.), The Development of Indigenous Trade and Markets in West Africa, London: Oxford University Press, pp. 266–81. Curtin, P. (1984) Cross Cultural Trade in World History, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Dobbin, C. (1996) Asian Entrepreneurial Minorities: Conjoint Communities in the Making of the World Economy, 1570–1940, Richmond: Curzon. Goswami, C. (2011) The Call of the Sea: Kacchi Traders in Muscat and Zanzibar, c. 1800–1880, New Delhi: Orient Black Swan. Gregory, R. G. (1971) India and East Africa. A History of Race Relations within the British Empire 1890–1939, Oxford. ––––– (1993) South Asians and East Africa: An Economic and Social History 1890–1980, Boulder, CO: Westview Press, pp. 1–15. Greif, A. (2006) Institutions and the Path to the Modern Economy: Lessons from Medieval Trade, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Hall, R. (1987) My Life with Tiny:

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A Biography of Tiny Rowland, London: Faber & Faber. Harlafis, G. (2007) ‘From diaspora traders to shipping tycoons: the Vagliano Bros’, Business History Review, Summer, pp. 237–68. Jones, G. (1996) The Evolution of International Business: An Introduction, London: Routledge. ––––– (2000) Merchants to Multinationals: British Trading Companies in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries, Oxford: Oxford University Press. Lydon, G. (2009) On Trans-Saharan Trails: Islamic Law, Trade Networks and Cross-Cultural Exchange in Nineteenth-Century Western Africa, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Markovits, C. (1999) ‘Indian merchant networks outside India in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries: a preliminary survey’, Modern Asian Studies, 33(4): 883–911. ––––– (2000) The Global World of Indian Merchants, 1750–1947: Traders of Sind from Bukhara to Panama, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Oonk, G. (2004) ‘After shaking his hand, start counting your fingers. Trust and images in Indian business networks, East Africa 1900–2000’, Itinerario, 18(3): 70–88. ––––– (2006) ‘South Asians in East Africa (1880–1920) with a particular focus on Zanzibar: towards a historical explanation of economic success of a middlemen minority’, African and Asian Studies, 5(1): 57–89. ––––– (2007) ‘“We lost our gift of expression”: loss of the mother tongue among Indians in East Africa, 1880–2000’, in G. Oonk (ed.), Global Indian Diasporas: Exploring Trajectories of Migration and Theory, Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press, pp. 31–67. ––––– (2009) The Karimjee Jivanjee

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Family: Merchant Princes of East Africa, 1800–2000, Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press. ––––– (2011) ‘Clothing matters: Asian African businessmen in European suits, 1880–1980’, Comparative Sociology, 10: 528–47. ––––– (2013) Settled Strangers: Asian Business Elites in East Africa (1800– 2000), Delhi, London and Los Angeles: Sage. Pearson, M. N. (1998) Port Cities and Intruders: The Swahili Coast, India and Portugal in the Early Modern Era, Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press. Playne, S. (1909) East Africa (British): Its History, People, Commerce, Industries, and Resources, London: Foreign & Colonial Compiling & Publishing Co. Salvadori, C. (1996) We Came in Dhows, Nairobi: Paperchase Kenya Ltd. Sheriff, A. (1971) ‘The rise of a commercial empire: an aspect of the economic history of Zanzibar, 1770–1873’, PhD thesis, University of London.

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––––– (2010) Dhow Cultures of the Indian Ocean, London: C. Hurst. Simmel, G. (1950) ‘The stranger’, in K. H. Wolff (ed.), The Sociology of Georg Simmel, New York: Free Press, pp. 402–8. Sombart, W. (1982 [1911]) The Jews and Modern Capitalism, London: Transaction Books. Stein, K. and A. Ryen (2002) ‘Enacting their business environments: Asian entrepreneurs in East Africa’, African and Asian Studies, 1(3): 165–86. Tignor, R. (2007) ‘The business firm in Africa’, Business History Review, 81: 87–110. Trivellatto, F. (2009) The Familiarity of Strangers: The Sephardic Diaspora, Livorno and Cross Cultural Trade in the Early Modern Period, New Haven, CT: Yale University Press. Westcott, N. (1984) ‘The East African sisal industry, 1929–1949: the marketing of a colonial commodity during depression and war’, Journal of African History, 25(4): 445–61.

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4 The Lebanese community of Ibadan: a portrait of successful entrepreneurship Azeez Olaniyan

The Lebanese community in Nigeria offers some of the most enduring evidence of early South–South interaction long before the emergence of academic Global South discourses. At the end of the nineteenth century, movement from northern Lebanon to destinations across the globe began. It continues today, and has led to the establishment of vibrant Levantine communities that have predominantly maintained contact with their home country and contributed to its development. These communities have also, however, impacted their different host societies by creating business empires and providing employment opportunities. Many Lebanese migrants have moved to Africa. While there have been numerous studies about Lebanese movement to African countries, some of which I discuss below, it is rarely considered in research on South– South mobility and cooperation, which normally has a strong focus on macro analysis. Furthermore, these studies rarely consider that this South–South cooperation started long before the 1990s. Extant literature on the Global South shows an intrinsic link between the politics of the Cold War and increasing interaction between countries in the Global South, with the former acting as the impetus for the latter. Scholars therefore largely situate discourses on the growing phenomenon of South–South cooperation in the context of the events during and after the Cold War. Such interactions, however, have evolved through different phases (De Sa e Silva 2008), extending back to the formation of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) via the Bandung conference in 1955, which brought together twenty-nine heads of states in a historic meeting that became a watershed in the annals of the Global South fraternity. Five years later, the movement was swelled up by the seventeen newly independent African countries. Removed from the burden of colonialism and bound by the desire to end it, part of NAM’s goal was to distance the emerging Third World countries from the two major powers of the time – the USA and the USSR – to prevent

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these countries from becoming theatres for proxy wars. The NAM emerged as a platform for both the articulation of voices from the South and socio-economic, cultural and political interactions. The early 1990s saw the rebirth of international cooperation far beyond the Cold War era (ibid.), which led to the intensification of Global South interaction with a new pattern of engagement on a primarily economic level. According to Amitava Krishna Dutt, ‘the share of Southern exports to the South increased by 18 percent, while that to the North decreased by 40 percent over the course of the 1990s’ (Dutt 2013: 2). In the same period, the Global South fraternity was extended as heads of state met more frequently than they had during the NAM era. Indeed, scholarly interest in the increasing Global South interaction after the end of the Cold War has grown. There are, however, two limitations to this impression: first, scholars’ conceptualization of Global South interaction as a post-Cold War phenomenon; and second, their focus on state activities. Macro-level analysis of the Global South neglects the forms of interaction that preceded the formation of NAM and the Cold War. A micro-level analysis could therefore illustrate that such interactions took place not only between states but also to an ever-growing extent between individuals from countries in the South. With a long history of migration, the Lebanese community is a good example for illustrating this mobility, not least for its entrepreneurial spirit in pursuing private business ventures and contributing to the economy of the home and host countries. This chapter provides insight into the facets of this South–South cooperation through a close look at the Lebanese community in Ibadan, Nigeria, and the genealogy of its main actors and their entrepreneurial ventures. This micro-analysis shows the agency and achievement of Lebanese business people and their contribution to the Nigerian economy. It uses a biographical approach to illustrate how these migrants became entrepreneurs, how they managed to build up their business empire, and how they interact with the state. Data were collected through personal interviews conducted with select members of the Lebanese community in Ibadan between March and May 2014, including individual life experiences, such as the motivation to migrate, survival strategies, activities and aspirations, as well as their contributions to Nigerian society and the impacts of these interactions on Nigeria–Lebanon relations. Following this introduction, the chapter provides a brief history of the Lebanese community in West Africa as background to their

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migration story in Ibadan. It then moves on to a chronology of the Lebanese community’s activities by focusing on the prime movers in the community. This is followed by an analysis of the impact that such experience has on Nigeria–Lebanon relations to illustrate how individual interactions between people in the Global South have a macro-level impact on Global South interactions.

Lebanese migration to West Africa West Africa received the first set of Lebanese migrants towards the end of the nineteenth century, although the exact date of arrival has yet to be identified in scholarly work on the subject. Sources clearly indicate that the pioneer migrants reached West African countries at different times: Dakar in the 1860s (Akyeampong 2006: 305; Leighton 1979: 86), Conakry in 1888 (Khuri 1968: 91), Sierra Leone in the 1880s (Winder 1962), Nigeria in 1890 (Adebayo 2010; Falola 1990), Liberia in 1899, Ghana in 1900 (Winder 1962) and Côte d’Ivoire in 1920 (Bierwirth 1997). The success of the first arrivals triggered the migration of other people from Lebanon based on, in the words of Chris Bierwirth, the ‘familial and other personal connections’ (ibid.), and the population has continued to grow ever since. Productive discourses on the history of migration to West Africa should be situated in the context of modern Lebanese migration since the middle of the nineteenth century, particularly the 1850s (Winder 1962). Scholars agree that the migration was a response to a number of socio-political, economic, demographic and religious factors, such as the excruciating poverty that pervaded Lebanon at the turn of the nineteenth century. The crisis had been driven by the collapse of the silkworm industry, the mainstay of the Lebanese economy in the early nineteenth century, which had resulted in the loss of jobs and opportunities. It was also compounded by exponential population growth during a period of economic downturn and a sharp increase in the number of mission-educated Lebanese who lacked opportunities to work at home, and ethno-religious-generated tension and persecutions stemming from the Ottoman Empire’s influence on the region and the civil war in the 1860s, all of which triggered a desperate search for greener pastures (Akyeampong 2006: 304; Falola 1990; Morrill 1962: 147; Winder 1962: 296). The choice to seek out such pastures in West Africa was largely fortuitous and never by design; West Africa was never among the

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top destinations for pioneer migrants, as were the Americas and Europe (Falola 1990; Winder 1962). The literature shows that the first Lebanese migrant might have arrived in West Africa either out of ignorance or as the result of deceitful shipowners whose motives were influenced by business interests (Akyeampong 2006: 305; Leighton 1979: 86; Winder 1962). As Bayly Winder explains, the first immigrant to West Africa might have been tricked into coming to the region in the belief that he was travelling to New York or São Paulo rather than to St Louis or Dakar (Winder 1962: 297), as Marseille served as the starting point for Lebanese emigrants’ transatlantic crossing to North and South America (Akyeampong 2006). However, the underlining factor of this migration remains what scholars have identified as an inability to secure a passage to the United States of America, the initial destination of choice, owing to stringent immigration policies with strict health and monetary requirements. As such, West Africa’s relatively relaxed immigration policies at the time, as well as the failure of effective legislative control policies, particularly those created by France’s West African states (Arsan 2011; Bierwirth 1997; Falola 1990; Morrill 1962: 147; Winder 1962), brought migrants to the region. Lebanese communities can be found in every West African state and many share similar stories. In the first instance, they are very prominent in transportation, business and economic fields, which evolved over three stages: peddling, retailing and wholesaling/manufacturing (Winder 1962). Most of the early migrants arrived in West Africa penniless and had to resort to peddling coral beads and other cheap items along the roadside. They graduated from this stage to retailing before moving on to the larger stage of wholesale and manufacturing using their skill and business knowledge, and selling at lower prices to capture the market from their competitors (Bierwirth 1997; Falola 1990). Secondly, they have been quite successful in their ventures and have impacted the socio-political lives of their host communities tremendously by investing in the local economy as well as becoming involved in philanthropy. Thirdly, they have been subjected to resentment on several occasions as exemplified in the anti-Lebanese rice riots in July and August 1919 in Sierra Leone (Kaniki 1973: 97), the local traders’ protests in Ibadan, Ijebu-Ode, Abeokuta and Ile-Ife (Falola 1990: 540–47) and several anti-Lebanese campaigns and measures in countries across the region. Fourthly, most of West Africa’s indigenous population sees them as unscrupulous businessmen (Winder 1962).

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The Lebanese in Ibadan Nigeria has a large concentration of Lebanese in West Africa, perhaps second only to Sierra Leone (Falola 1990; May 1984). Their presence in Nigeria was traced to 1890,1 when Ilyas el-Khoury, a Maronite from Mizyarah in the northern region of Lebanon arrived in Lagos (Adebayo 2010; Ali 2011; Falola 1990: 525; Olaniyi and Ajayi 2014; Winder 1962: 300). He was reported to have moved to Nigeria via Sierra Leone to settle in Tinubu Square in Lagos, and other Lebanese migrants joined him before dispersing to various parts of the Nigerian hinterland (Ali 2011; Falola 1990). Since then, the community has grown in leaps and bounds, occupying key business positions in many cities, such as Lagos, Ibadan, Calabar, Kano, Ilesha, Ijebu Ode and many others, making them ‘too visible to be ignored’ (Falola 1990; Morrill 1962; The Nation 2013). The Lebanese community had primarily been involved in trade, and there is currently a growing number of Lebanese business empires in Lagos, Ibadan and Kano, as well as an increasing rate of intermarriage. Records from the Nigerian immigration service in 2008 put the Lebanese population in Nigeria at over thirty thousand, many of whom are third-generation Lebanese-Nigerians and now hold Nigerian passports (The Nation 2013). However, as Olaniyi and Ajayi (2014: 133) indicate in their study, the numbers could as well be over 100,000. Part of the hinterland that drew the first wave of migrants was Ibadan city. It is about 130 kilometres from Lagos and largely populated by the Yoruba ethnic group, who speak Yoruba. Lebanese immigrants reached Ibadan in 1910 (Falola 1990: 526) and, through the influx of other migrants, the community has expanded tremendously in terms of population and impact on the socio-economic lives of the city’s population. However, as Falola observed, scholarly literature on the south-western economy in the colonial era focuses extensively on the impact of British colonialists, with little or no credit given to the contributions made by other groups such as Greeks, Indians and Levantines, despite their impact on the economic landscape of the region. As Levantines, the Lebanese occupy a unique role in the socio-economic development of Ibadan city. The Lebanese are so famous and popular in Ibadan that a whole neighbourhood, formerly known as Gbagi Street, was renamed Lebanon Street as far back as 1935 (Heap 1997) by the traditional ruler of the time, Baale Shittu Are (Layonu 2013a: 42). The street became a famous trade centre heavily populated by the Lebanese, who were recognized for their role in trade and commerce. They initially confined themselves

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to retailing cloths before moving on to selling groceries, electrical materials and more fashionable cloths before graduating to wholesale and manufacturing (Lloyd 1967). The street later became the point of convergence for migrants from Lebanon. Since their first arrival in the city, the Lebanese community’s involvement in commerce, trading and entrepreneurship has been recognized. Lebanese people are generally known for their commerce and trading (see also Olaniyi and Ajayi 2014: 138). As the story of the West African Lebanese community illustrates, their socio-economic activities have evolved over three phases of peddling, retailing and wholesaling/manufacturing. Over the years, they have positively impacted the socio-economic lives of Ibadan city, making them a force to be reckoned with. The Lebanese community’s impact on Ibadan city and its people can be felt in various spheres, including industry and economy, education, agriculture and philanthropy, as well as in the employment opportunities generated by their success in these fields. Owing to its success in the city, the Lebanese community has become a force to be reckoned with. This chapter focuses on the individual experiences that have contributed to the Lebanese community’s success and impact on Ibadan city and its people, including how these individuals cope and thrive in the city as well as the challenges they face.

Business and Industrialization One major sphere that the Lebanese community in Ibadan have made tremendous impact on is business entrepreneurship. Research findings show that among the Lebanese in Ibadan, the leading industrialist is Raymond Zard, whose life deserves an in-depth analysis. As a Lebanese businessman, he has been hugely successful in Ibadan, thereby making him a household name in the city and its environs (see also Olaniyi and Ajayi 2014: 137). His is not only an example of Lebanese success and influence in Ibadan but also a good example of successful interaction of individual actors in the Global South. He speaks Yoruba, the language of the Ibadan people, with the flourish of a Yoruba man, and is versed in the Yoruba proverbs. As he was born and grew up in Ibadan, he is often referred to as a ‘son of the soil’ (Ade-Ajayi 2013: 19). As a result of his success and activities, he was awarded the Order of the Federal Republic (OFR) by President Olusegun Obasanjo in 2001, and before then he had

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already been accepted by the Central Council of Ibadan Indigenes (CCII) (Fabowale 2008). He oversees Zard Holdings, a business conglomerate of eleven different incorporated companies that span agriculture, construction, general merchandising, food processing and educational institutions. Zard Holdings is reputed to have an employee base of about ten thousand men and women, making it one of the largest employers of labour in the country (Layonu 2013a: 55). Some of his leading businesses include Kopek (Nig.) Limited, Ibadan, devoted to exporting cocoa and palm kernels; Kopek Construction Limited, Ibadan, which focuses on road and civil engineering works; Zartech Agriculture Limited, Ibadan, which is the largest poultry farm in Oyo State; Steel Works Limited, Ibadan, which deals with steel fabrication and metal/wood furniture; Vina International Limited, Ibadan, which imports and sells kitchen cabinets and office and household furniture; Interpak Limited, Ibadan, which is solely devoted to industrial and packaging printers; Intercap Limited, Ibadan, which is the largest producer of egg crates in Oyo State; Energy Foods Company, Ibadan, which is the manufacturer of Cabin biscuits and other confectionery; Sweetco Limited, Ibadan, which makes confectionery; Alpha Beta Medics Healthcare Centre, Ibadan, which provides healthcare services to the people; and Ibadan International School, which provides educational services to the people. Raymond Zard owns all these enterprises. Raymond Zard is a second-generation Lebanese who was born in Ibadan in 1938 to Khalil Assad, who left northern Lebanon in 1919 for West Africa as a result of factors related to poverty, tension, uncertainty and persecution in his homeland (Fabowale 2008). Khalil arrived in Lagos in 1920, and the search for greener pastures initially took him to Ile Ife cocoa plantation,2 before he finally settled in Ibadan, where he met fellow Lebanese migrants and thus decided to make the city a permanent abode. He raised all six of his children in Ibadan, including Raymond Zard (ibid.; Layonu 2013a). Khalil became the first Lebanese person in Ibadan to start a cocoa and palm kernel business. He was quite successful, wealthy, and therefore very popular among the Yoruba elites of the time (Falola 1990: 531). By 1925, Khalil Assad’s company was reported to be one of the leading cocoa exporters in Nigeria, having bought 8,000 tonnes of cocoa out of a total national production of 49,000 tonnes (Fabowale 2008; Layonu 2013a: 43). He was also reported to have built the first multi-storey building in the city in 1936 (Ali 2011). After completing his education in Ibadan as one of the pioneer students at University College Ibadan Senior Staff School, Eleyele,

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and Manchester University in London, Raymond took over the family business and expanded it tremendously. From mere producebuying, Zard and Company metamorphosed into Zard Holdings and became a large conglomerate that encompassed the eleven companies listed above. In recognition of Raymond Zard’s meritorious service to the people, he was awarded the Officer of the Order of Niger (OON) honour by the Nigerian state in 2001. Additionally, Zard has received thirteen other awards and honours from across the Nigerian state, including two honorary doctorate degrees from leading universities in Nigeria, the University of Ibadan and Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife. Another major Lebanese player in the industrialization of Ibadan is Boulus Foods and Beverages (BFB) in Ibadan. BFB was established in July 2013 by a Mr Boulus, with its headquarters in Lagos, Nigeria. The Boulos family became involved in Nigerian business in 1936 shortly after their arrival from Lebanon. Through hard work and perseverance, the Boulos Group became a major player in the Nigerian market as a privately owned conglomerate comprising two core operations in addition to several other activities (Boulus Group n.d.). By the 1960s, Boulos Enterprises was able to secure the franchise to make it the sole importer of Suzuki motorcycles in Nigeria. In 1969, the company built Nigeria’s first motorcycle assembly factory. This was unique in the fact that it was the first Lebanese company to play in a terrain that only multinational conglomerates typically dabbled in – their early competitors were Leventis (Honda motorcycles) and John Holt (Yamaha motorcycles). A decade later, Boulos was manufacturing motorcycles in Ogba, Lagos. In the 1980s, Boulus tried his hand at waste paper recycling, setting up Bel Papyrus Limited, the first operation of its kind in Lagos with an eye on the West African market (Nigeria News 2010; Punch 2013). In 2013, the company spread its business tentacles to Ibadan when it established Boulus Food and Beverages. It is in the Ibadan centre that Gino Abdallah, a third-generation Lebanese, holds sway as the administrative and personnel manager. His grandfather, Naif Minaise, migrated to Nigeria in 1934 in search of greener pastures. His own mother was born in Lagos in the 1950s. Gino spends 95 per cent of his time in Nigeria. Even during his studies at a London polytechnic he spent his holidays in Nigeria. He holds a Nigerian passport and has never had one from Lebanon. He travels to Lebanon only occasionally to visit relatives. Gino does not see himself ever working outside Nigeria (interview, April 2014); he sees himself as a Nigerian and identifies with the hopes and aspirations of the country.

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Secondly, Gino, by virtue of his long stay in Nigeria, understands the country’s business terrain, as well as its government policies and how they affect the needs of the people. He has accordingly been able to successfully navigate the murky waters of the Nigerian business environment. The company engages in the production and canning of tomato paste and juice, and in the process contributes to the socio-economic life of Ibadan city through tax returns to the state government as well as by generating employment for young people. The company has 150 workers in its Ibadan headquarters. Wimpy Supermarket, Ibadan, which was established about two years ago by Tammam Kandil, a Lebanese who migrated to Nigeria over two decades ago, is another big Lebanese company. The company operates shopping centres and eateries in Ibadan. The company is managed by Yusuf and Marvet, his wife. Yusuf is a third-generation Lebanese in Nigeria. His grandfather migrated to Nigeria in 1930 and first settled in Calabar, east Nigeria, before moving to Kano, where he spent the rest of his life. In Yusuf ’s words, his ‘grandfather started in the east [Calabar] and died in the north [Kano]’. His aunt was born in Calabar in 1937 and his own father was born in Kano sixty years ago. Yusuf carries a Nigerian passport and never dreamt of acquiring one from Lebanon. He relocated to Ibadan from Kano thirteen years ago (interview, March 2014). Another business ran primarily by a prominent member of the Lebanese community is the 7Up bottling giant owned by the Khalil Brothers. The company produces and distributes a variety of brands of soft drinks, such as 7Up, Mirinda, Teem and Mountain Dew. The company was established by Mohammed El-Khalil, who had migrated from Lebanon to Nigeria in 1926, and started working with a transportation outfit before divesting into the bottling business. In 1980, the company extended to Ibadan by constructing a bottling plant in the city. It remains one of the biggest companies in the town (7Up Organization n.d.). The company is also one of the biggest manufacturing companies in Nigeria, a major player in the Nigerian economy, with nine manufacturing plants scattered across the country, over two hundred distribution centres and a workforce in the neighbourhood of 3,500, thereby contributing to the Nigerian economy significantly. Other Lebanese businesses in Ibadan are Sumal Foods, founded by Souhail Joseph Nasaar in 1980, which specializes in candy production and is one of the largest employers in the town (Olaniyi and Ajayi 2014: 139); and Foodies Limited, which operates as a shopping centre chain that deals with food, beverages and provisions in both

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wholesale and retail forms. Another major Lebanese imprint in the city is Zartech Farms and Nigerian Eagle Flours Mills (NEFM). While Zartech Farms remains one of the largest farms in the city, focusing mainly on cereal and poultry business, NEFM specializes on flour production for the teeming bakers in the city and its environs (Olaniyi and Ajayi 2014: 139).

Charity and philanthropy One reason for the importance of the Lebanese community in Ibadan is its deep involvement in philanthropic activities. A major player in this regard is Raymond Zard, whose humanitarianism led to two honorary doctorate degrees awarded to him by the two leading universities in Nigeria, the University of Ibadan and Obafemi Awolowo University. When he was being awarded an honorary doctorate degree at the University of Ibadan, the orator described him as ‘a distinguished patron of the arts and sciences who combined in the crowded schedules of the business world the practicality of the manager and entrepreneur with the tenderness of a humanist’.3 The citation goes on to say: Raymond has ploughed very liberally into the Nigerian economy and into the improvement of the lot of the common man about as much as he has gained from the system. His philanthropy and warm-hearted generosity [are] proverbial, and to both high and low the name ‘Zard’ remains a ready fountain of hope, and is the true embodiment of the high ideals of Rotary International of which he is a moving spirit.4

Zard’s philanthropy includes scholarships for indigent students, endowments of prizes and donations to a number of universities and research centres in Nigeria, as well as donations to religious centres, charity homes and voluntary organizations such as the Boy Scouts, the Boys Brigade, the Girl Guides, the Home School for Handicapped Children, Ibadan, and Pro Labore Dei (in aid of the destitute), Ibadan, to mention a few (Layonu 2013b: 107–15). Another notable philanthropist is Dr Fahmi Zuhair Al Halabi, forty-six, who works as a provost and director of a private academy in Ibadan. He was born and raised in West Beirut but attended a university in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, where he received a doctorate degree in Hadith. His mission in life was to engage in education and

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charity work for the less privileged, and he chose Ibadan as his base. According to him, he first came to Ibadan in 2003 to verify what he had heard from friends about the city and to establish whether he could make the city a suitable home. He found the city satisfied his needs and he returned in 2004 for what he described as a permanent stay. In furtherance of his ambition to make Nigeria his permanent abode, upon arrival in Ibadan he married a Nigerian woman, and established Sheikh Hid Foundation, which incorporates Imam Malik College in the Jegede Olunloyo area of Ibadan and a vocational centre. The college focused on education up to diploma level and the students are then assisted with pursuing higher degrees through a linkage with Bayero University, Kano, Nigeria, and King Faisal University in Saudi Arabia. The college also runs a free computer training programme for students and people in the neighbourhood. The vocational centre focuses on training women in tailoring and knitting. The centre’s alumni are given free sewing and knitting machines to continue their trades. The charity foundation also engages in water provision to rural villages. Dr Fahmi has contributed to the cultural life of Ibadan through education, learning and philanthropy and his success is measured by the number of graduates his college and vocational centre have produced, as well as of the beneficiaries of his charity activities (interview, 2014). A number of trends are identified in the descriptions above. First, the Lebanese community in Ibadan is primarily active in private as well as informal sectors of the Nigerian economy. Secondly, they are hugely successful in these areas, even when local businessmen are not faring well. Thirdly, they work for themselves and are hardly ever employed by other, non-Lebanese business establishments. Fourthly, they stay clear of politics. Scholars have analysed the first issue from a historical perspective. According to Warren Morrill (1962: 147), most of the early settlers from Lebanon arrived penniless, and with no skills enabling them to fit into West African society, as well as an economy dominated by the European class. A very few limitedly skilled Lebanese immigrants worked for European firms for a stipend far below that of the Europeans but higher than that of the Africans, and those with no skill to offer the firms became retailers of petty hardware, beads and gunpowder that Europeans sold to Africans. From there, the retailers became marginal players in the British-dominated economy. As the economy grew, the Lebanese upgraded to distributorship and became major players in the economy. The profits from distributorship became the fulcrum that made venturing into other businesses such as textiles, jewellery, cocoa, palm kernels, kola nuts

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and groundnuts possible. The Lebanese community continues to prefer this pattern in Nigeria but have also diversified into, as the trajectories of Raymond Zard, Boulus and Fahmi illustrate, oil and gas, construction, food processing, manufacturing industries, agriculture, eateries, shopping centres, tourism/hospitality and charity. The success of Lebanese businesses in Nigerian also has historical antecedents. Toyin Falola sums it up by saying: The Lebanese responded faster than the indigenous traders to the changes in the colonial era. Whereas the indigenous traders were still concentrating their attention on the 19thcentury patterns of demand and using the old market places, the Lebanese were quick to cater for the interests of the elite and emerging middle class. The Lebanese were equally clever in employing some of the trading tactics of the indigenous traders and settling along with the Europeans in the newly established trading districts in the towns. […] The Lebanese knew how to use low prices, especially on imported goods to out-manoeuvre the indigenous traders. (Falola 1990: 526)

The style and techniques identified by Falola continue to remain the cornerstone of the Lebanese survival strategy in Nigeria. But added to this is the zeal to succeed against the odds in the unfriendly business terrain of Nigeria. Gino Abdallah argues in an interview that ‘doing business in Nigeria has a lot of challenges, especially when you are Lebanese. Most Nigerians tend to see the average Lebanese as unscrupulous businessmen. But the fact is that an average Lebanese trader wants to succeed and he has to devise means to achieve that’ (interview, 2014). In respect of the third trend, the pattern of exclusivity has become a key part of Lebanese trade for two reasons: first, most Lebanese businesses are family owned and are passed down from generation to generation; and second, Lebanese people feel at home working with other people from the Lebanese community. This was supported by comments from some of the respondents. One of them said: ‘When I came to Nigeria, I didn’t know anybody and relating to fellow Lebanese became the normal thing. And when I was looking for job, I doubted whether an average Nigerian would want to employ me; so, it is normal to seek employment with a Lebanese outfit like this’ (interview, 2014). Another reason can be found in Toyin Falola’s account of the historical antecedents of the Lebanese in Nigeria: exclusivity has been a Lebanese practice since the community arrived

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in Nigeria. They operate their businesses in apparent secrecy,5 and this has often pitted them against the local traders (Falola 1990: 543). Lebanese traders in Ibadan, however, have had a tremendous impact on the socio-economic landscape of the city and the people, and continue to be a force to be reckoned with, as well as a major group in the city. But it is not only in Ibadan that the Lebanese businessmen have made waves; they are all over major towns in the country. However, in spite of the big gains they have made, working conditions in their places of work have been object of criticisms, in particular the bad way in which the Nigerian workers were treated (Olaniyi and Ajayi 2014: 145). What effect do Lebanese communities in Nigeria have on Nigeria–Lebanon relations?

Mobility, success and Nigerian–Lebanese relations Lebanese success in Nigeria has impacted national Nigeria–Lebanese relations on several levels. In the first instance, it has resulted in the establishment of formal ties between the two countries. Following the growing influence of successful Lebanese people in Nigeria, the Republic of Lebanon opened a consulate in Lagos in 1946. This was followed by Salims Habis’ appointment as the first Lebanese consul in Nigeria to cater to the growing Lebanese community in the country, and, in 1956, the first Lebanese parliamentary delegation visited Nigeria (Ali 2011). Nigeria followed suit by establishing a formal diplomatic mission in Beirut in 1973 (The Nation 2013). It is important to note that long before the 1946 and 1973 state relations, the two countries’ populations had established a strong relationship among themselves as early as the 1890s, when the first set of migrants arrived in Nigeria, and the Lebanese and Nigerian governments’ actions in 1946 and 1973 were therefore mere formalization of a process that had started several years earlier and was seemingly motivated by the individual actors’ success, influence and pressure. Oluwole Idowu, the Nigerian ambassador to Lebanon, in a speech on the occasion of the celebration of the fifty-second anniversary of Nigerian independence in Beirut, alluded to this: In terms of the Lebanese–Nigerian relations, I am delighted to emphasize that the people-to-people contacts, which began toward the end of the nineteenth century when the first Lebanese emigrant arrived in the country, [have] blossomed into monumental success in the area of commerce and a

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cultural affinity facilitated by inter-marriages involving Nigerians and Lebanese.6

Indeed, the people-to-people contact the ambassador highlighted became the major force in the establishment as well as the strength of Nigerian–Lebanese relations over the years. The continued expansion of these relations also owes greatly to efforts of individual actors. The second area of impact is the resilience and blossoming of bilateral relations over the years. General Mitchel Sleiman, the Lebanese president, alluded to this in his speech on the occasion of his first official visit to Nigeria on 18 March 2013: The Lebanese and Nigerians of Lebanese origin have grown and prospered throughout the past 120 years, contributing their share to national expansion, and blending into the traditions, beliefs and culture, without forsaking the emotional ties that bind them to their mother country. It pleases us that many of them have reached prominence, turning dreams into important projects and enterprises, and creating along the way tens of thousands of job opportunities, in identification and complementarities with their fellow citizens.7

The third example of influence is the establishment of the Lebanese–Nigeria Friendship Association (LENIFRA) by businessmen from the two countries in 2007. The Association has three main objectives: first, promoting friendship and understanding through the creation of an appropriate platform for social interaction among members of the Association; secondly, organizing various social and cultural activities aimed at showcasing the rich cultural heritage of both Lebanese and Nigerian peoples and promoting cordial relations among them; and thirdly, encouraging positive relations among the various establishments and institutions in both Lebanon and Nigeria and within the public and private sectors (LENIFRA Memorandum of Association, 2014). Every year, the Association organizes Nigeria Week in Beirut to celebrate the Nigerian independence anniversary. The celebration always brings together people from the two countries. Lastly, there has been an increase in the involvement of the Lebanese business class in the Nigerian economy. For example, during his official tour of Nigeria in 2013, President Mitchel Sleiman visited the multibillion-dollar Eko Atlantic Project, which is being undertaken by the Lebanese Chagouri & Chagouri Construction Company in partnership with the Lagos State government of Nigeria.

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Conclusion This study has focused on a micro-level analysis of the interactions between Nigeria and Lebanon. The two countries both belong to the Global South, which includes regions described as states on the periphery of the world political economy during the Cold War. Scholarly studies on South–South interactions often focus on the post-Cold War era and contend that cooperation between states is a product of that era. However, micro-studies such as this chapter corroborate that private interactions have existed for much longer than since the Cold War era and often even precede and cement interactions between the states. The Lebanese in Ibadan have long since been part and parcel of the sociocultural and historical evolution and development of the city and its environs. Specifically, the chapter shows that the normalization of the relationship between Nigeria and Lebanon is due in part to the activities and encouragement of individual members of the two countries who have established longterm socio-economic and cultural ties. Indeed, through the activities of individual actors such as businessmen, traders and industrialists, relations between the two countries have evolved. This chapter illustrates that Lebanese people in Nigeria are not just victims of their ecological, economic and religio-political situations, but have also become agents who engage in cultural exchange, economic development and personal achievement, bringing different systems of values, beliefs and economic organization into contact. They have established a global network of communities that keeps contact with their home country and participates in its well-being and development. The Lebanese community is a good example to illustrate the repercussions of economic investment and cultural exchange in the host and the home country in the Global South.

Notes 1

There is a controversy over his exact year of arrival: The Nation offers 1885. It is not disputed, however, that Ilyas el-Khoury was the first Lebanese migrant to Nigeria. 2 See the citation for the Doctor of Business Management honorary degree award at Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife. 3 Citation from the orator’s speech at the conferment of his honorary

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degree of a Doctor of Laws (honoris causa) of the University of Ibadan, Nigeria, 17 November 1990. 4 Ibid. 5 This attitude was exhibited in the course of fieldwork for this study. It was very difficult to get an interview with most Lebanese people as they become immediately suspicious when they see a researcher and hardly ever grant interviews.

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6

Speech delivered by Ambassador Idowu Oluwole on the occasion of the celebration of the fiftysecond anniversary of Nigerian independence at the Phoenician Hotel, Beirut, 2 October 2012. 7 Speech delivered by General Mitchel Sleiman, president of the Republic of Lebanon on the occasion of his first official visit to Nigeria at Abuja on 18 March 2013.

Boulus Group (n.d.) ‘How a retail shop became a conglomerate’, Official website of AG Boulus Group, www.groupboulos.com/, accessed 17 April 2014. Dutt, A. K. (2013) ‘South–South economic cooperation: motives, problems and possibilities’, Paper presented at the ASSA meeting in Philadelphia, USA, 4 January. Fabowale, Y. (2008) ‘The rise of a business dynasty’, Daily Sun, 1 August, www.sunnewsonline.com/ webpages/news/national/2008/ References aug/01/national-01-08-2008-004. 7Up Organization (n.d.) ‘About us’, htm, accessed 10 April 2014. sevenup.org/home/aboutus.php, Falola, T. (1990) ‘Lebanese traders accessed 11 June 2015. in south-western Nigeria: 1900– Ade-Ajayi, J. F. (2013) ‘Raymond 1960’, African Affairs, 189(357): Zard: “the son of the soil”’, in T. 523–53. Marinho and B. Layonu (eds), A Heap, S. (1997) ‘Jaguda boys: Life of Charity: Essays and Tributes pickpocketing in Ibadan, 1930–60’, in Honour of Chief Dr Raymond Urban History, 24(3): 324–43. Zard, Ibadan: Media Report Kaniki, M. (1973) ‘Attitudes and Project. reactions towards the Lebanese in Adebayo, P. (2010) ‘Transnational Sierra Leone during the colonial networks of the Lebanese–Nigerian period’, Canadian Journal of diaspora’, www.mei.edu/content/ African Studies, 7(1): 97–113. transnational-networks-lebaneseKhuri, F. I. (1968) ‘The Africannigerian-diaspora, accessed 10 Lebanese mulattoes of West Africa: June 2015. a racial frontier’, Anthropological Akyeampong, E. (2006) ‘Race, Quarterly, 41(2): 90–101. identity and citizenship in Black Africa: the case of the Lebanese in Layonu, B. (2013a) ‘Raymond Zard “Omo” Badan’, in T. Marinho and Ghana’, Africa, 76(3): 297–323. B. Layonu (eds), A Life of Charity: Ali, M. M. (2011) ‘Chronology Essays and Tributes in Honour of of early Lebanese emigration Chief Dr Raymond Zard, Ibadan: to Nigeria’, www.facebook. Media Report Project. com/notes/lebanese-nigerian––––– (2013b) ‘Raymond Zard and friendship-association-lenifra/ the physically challenged persons’, chronology-of-early-lebanesein T. Marinho and B. Layonu emigration-to-nigeria/133594100050963, (eds), A Life of Charity: Essays accessed 15 April 2014. and Tributes in Honour of Chief Dr Arsan, A. (2011) ‘Failing to stem the Raymond Zard, Ibadan: Media tide: Lebanese migration to French Report Project. West Africa and the competing Leighton, N. O. (1979) ‘The political prerogatives of the imperial state’, economy of a stranger population: Comparative Studies in Society and the Lebanese of Sierra Leone’, History, 53(3): 450–78. in W. A. Shack and E. P. Skinner Bierwirth, C. (1997) ‘The initial (eds), Strangers in African Societies, establishment of the Lebanese Berkeley: University of California community in Côte d’Ivoire, ca. Press. 1925–45’, International Journal of Lloyd, P. C. (1967) ‘The elites’, in African Historical Studies, 30(2): P. C. Lloyd, A. L. Mabogunje and 325–48.

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B. Awe (eds), The City of Ibadan: A Symposium on Its Structure and Development, London: Cambridge University Press. May, C. (1984) ‘Lebanese in Africa: tale of success (and anxiety)’, New York Times, 9 July, www.nytimes. com/1984/07/09/world/lebanese-inafrice-tale-of-success-and-anxiety. html, accessed 14 June 2015. Morais de Sá e Silva, M. (2008) ‘South–South cooperation: the same old game or a new paradigm?’, Poverty in Focus, 20: 3–4. Morrill, W. (1962) ‘Sociocultural adaptation in a West Africa Lebanese community’, Anthropological Quarterly, 35(4): 143–57. Mosuro, K. (2013) ‘Tributes’, in T. Marinho and B. Layonu (eds), A Life of Charity: Essays and Tributes in Honour of Chief Dr Raymond Zard, Ibadan: Media Report Project.

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Nigeria News (2010) ‘Antoine (Tony) George Boulus: June 30, 1927–November 8, 2010’, news2.onlinenigeria.com/news/ top-stories/61632-antoine-(tony)george-boulos:-june-30,-1927%E2%80%93-november-8-2010. html, accessed 15 April 2014. Olaniyi, R. and O. Ajayi (2014) ‘The Lebanese in Ibadan, Nigeria: 1986–2012’, Journal of the Historical Society of Nigeria, 23: 131–49. Punch (2013) ‘Bulous diversifies into tissue paper production’, 26 July, www.punchng.com/business/ industry/bolous-diversifies-intotissue-paper-production/, accessed 10 April 2014. The Nation (2013) ‘Nigeria– Lebanese relations take a new leap’, 17 March, thenation onlineng.net/nigerian-lebaneserelations-take-a-new-leap/. Winder, B. (1962) ‘The Lebanese of West Africa’, Comparative Studies in Society and History, 4(3): 296–333.

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5 Importing goods to Khartoum: traders between Sudan, China and Dubai Raphaëlle Chevrillon-Guibert

Every year thousands of containers of manufactured goods circulate between Asian countries and the Sudan, and many traders commute between these regions. Interestingly, there is hardly any research on the growing economic role that Asian countries have played in the commercial sector over the course of the last two decades; studies have focused neither on the impact of this trade nor on local traders’ practices. Scholars have rarely studied Asians in Sudan or the Sudanese in Asia, despite the fact that a large South–South trade has been developed in recent years. Instead, studies are more interested in macro-narratives that relate to the global economic dynamics of liberalization or new trends concerning the integration of Sudan in global capitalism. They analyse the growing economic liberalization in the 1990s (see, for example, Khalid Hassan Elbeely 2011), as well as the new orientations that the country’s new regime took. In terms of the Asia–Sudan relationship, some studies have underscored the eastward reorientation of the Sudan since the beginning of its oil economy in the 2000s, a move that was made possible thanks to the country’s partnership with Asian countries, mainly China and India but also South Korea, Malaysia and Japan. Large and Patey (2011; Patey 2014), for instance, detail the challenges that the main actors such as states, oil firms or politicians have faced over the course of recent decades. Other scholars offer a thorough analysis of those actors and their evolving relations in a volatile context (Verhoeven 2015). When they took power in 1989, the members of the Sudanese Islamic movement had an ambitious project for Sudanese society: not only did they want to completely reshape the country’s entire social system, they also wanted, first and foremost, to modify the lives of each and every Sudanese. Most commentators on the regime therefore scrutinized the different form of politics that had been implemented by the new regime in its attempt to reorder society, drawing attention to the ways in which the Islamists’ choices gave

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them full control of the state and its economics (e.g. Gallab 2008). The literature on Sudanese political Islam, nevertheless, focuses mainly on political actors, their thinking and discourses (e.g. Woodward 2013; Warburg 2003) and on their relationships within the state apparatus (e.g. Sørbø and Ahmed 2013; Ahmed 2007) but did not question the depth of the transformations that were ongoing in Sudanese society. In particular, they did not draw attention to how the Islamist policies had been challenged, changed and circumvented by the people they directly affected in their daily lives. Few considered how this interaction led to special ways of being and practices, and those who did were mainly concerned with the transformation of the social (Gray and Kevane 1995; Simone 1994) rather than the economic field. Few recent studies of this topic have been completed (Casciarri et al. 2015; Gertel et al. 2014), and it is precisely this gap that this contribution intends to fill by analysing the evolutions of the commercial sector in the Sudanese capital. This chapter studies the evolution of three main markets for manufactured goods located in Greater Khartoum, as most goods are wholesaled or retailed in the capital, from the 1980s until the present: the Souk Libya, the Central Souk of Omdurman, and the Souk El Arabi. Since Sudanese independence, the city has grown faster than other towns because of the great centralization of the Sudanese political arena combined with an unequal redistribution of resources across the federal states. This chapter explores how this trade operates, the individuals who are involved in it, and how their activities evolved over recent decades. It also investigates how those new trading perspectives interact with Islamist policies in the daily practices of traders and the changes or the continuities in the traders’ way of being and their relation to the world. This analysis will allow us to interpret changes as the effects of interactions between local and international factors in the context of neoliberal globalization. It highlights the specificities that each market has developed and the characteristics of their great merchants’ business. In particular, it highlights ways traders familiarize themselves with the new Asian trade, especially with China, and how this is embedded in wider political dynamics encouraged by the National Islamic Front (NIF). More specifically, these transformations will be traced by scrutinizing the successful trajectories of some traders,1 based on fieldwork conducted between 2004 and 2016 (a total of one year, more than 400 interviews and 160 biographies). The chapter describes the implications of the traders’ international experience and their upward

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mobility beyond the common social and commercial practices they have developed. It distinguishes different categories of professional pathways and identifies the emergence of particular types of merchants. The first group shares the characteristics of the ‘nomad’ merchant described by Alain Tarrius (2002): loyalty to a single place of origin, the non-specialization in specific products, and a certain remoteness from the perspectives of integration in the host society. A second group shares the characteristics of the ‘Islamist bourgeoisie’, which, in line with the capitalist economy, derives its fortune from its extroversion, as is the case in many other countries.

Biographies of markets and trajectories of traders Following a classical pattern, the Sudanese Islamic movement’s access to power on the eve of the 1990s marked the beginning of ‘politics of the belly’, in the words of Jean-François Bayart (2009). This refers to the Cameroonian adage that ‘goats graze where they are attached’ and relates to political rulers’ grab for both material and symbolic state resources. Historically, to make one’s fortune in Khartoum implies in one way closeness with the political power, which is the main purveyor of resources. Under Nimeiri’s socialist regime, resources came through industries and nationalized markets. Later, during the second civil government, resources were monopolized through granting captive markets. Blatant corruption has grown continuously since the 1970s. The situation has not changed with the Islamists. For instance, in the commercial sector, during the first three years following the 1989 coup, the new regime supported by the National Islamic Front combined its focus on destroying the upper bourgeoisie, which had a close relationship with established parties, with the direct promotion of a new trading class devoted to the NIF. This has largely been possible because of the central government’s control of export licences. Apart from a classic top-down strategy of collaboration with specific important businessmen, Islamists have also developed a bottom-up strategy by co-opting new small entrepreneurs committed to the Islamic cause and/or distant from traditional parties. Hence, the NIF tried to rally individuals from social groups that had been marginalized by former political parties, in order to gain the social base it was lacking when it came to power. The rise of Souk Libya (Figures 5.1 and 5.2), a popular market located on the outskirts of Khartoum’s urban area, underscores this strategy’s success.

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Figure 5.1 – Souk Libya, Khartoum, June 2015

Photo: Raphaëlle Chevrillon-Guibert

Figure 5.2 – Traders in the Souk Libya, Khartoum, June 2015

Photo: Raphaëlle Chevrillon-Guibert

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Souk Libya has played a growing economic role in supplying the Sudanese capital with manufactured goods for the past thirty-five years. This market was the most important local market established in the aftermath of the 1970s and 1980s economic crisis and the resumption of war in the south. These difficult times led many Sudanese people to flee from different Sudanese regional states to seek refuge in Khartoum. At that time, many popular markets were established to fill the immediate needs of the displaced populations. Among them, the Souk Libya established itself as one of the leading markets. By 1990, however, it had become a key hub for international trade, moving the bulk of the import-export trade initially located in the heart of the capital city, in its central souks such as the Souk Omdurman or the Souk El Arabi in Khartoum, towards the periphery of the city (Figure 5.3). Since its beginning, Souk Libya has been a marketplace where international trade networks intersect, linking Egypt, Chad and Libya to Sudan (Chevrillon-Guibert 2016a). By the middle of the 1980s, it had opened up to the Arabian peninsula and a few years later, in the 1990s, to Asian products. The trajectory of Mohamed,2 a trader at the Souk Libya, illustrates the typical changes of that period and exemplifies how individuals were constantly adapting their activities to new constraints and opportunities. Mohamed was born in 1940 in Darfur. He is from the Zaghawa ethnic group. He spent five years at a Koranic school in South Darfur and then returned to his village in 1965 where he became a farmer like his brothers and father. In 1967, Mohamed moved to Khartoum hoping to find a job and gain enough capital to buy cattle. He first became a tailor in the Shuhada market next to the large market of Omdurman. He used to come back regularly to Darfur but life seemed to be easier in Khartoum and he decided to settle there. In 1972, he got married with his cousin. They had four girls and five boys. Thanks to his job as a tailor, Mohamed accumulated the necessary capital to start a trading business. He started as a retailer selling home products. His shop was located in block 4 of the new market settled in Umdurman’s suburb by the authorities. At that time, this market became known as ‘Souk Libya’ because products from Libya were sold there. Those products were smuggled from Libya by Zaghawa traders. There were no legal importers in the market because all the main import-export

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Figure 5.3 – Map of Khartoum’s main markets

Source: Ministry of Urban Planification, adapted by Alice Franck

traders were at the Omdurman market or in the Souk El Arabi. ‘The Jellaba had a monopoly on the imports.’ In 1988, Mohamed became a wholesaler. Many merchants made the same move at that time because it was the beginning of the ‘suitcase trade’ with the Gulf countries. In 1992, authorities granted them the first import licences. Starting from this year, Mohamed began to import products from Dubai. It was his son who went there for the first time. (Biography based on an interview conducted in Arabic, with a translator, and in English, Souk Libya, Omdurman, February 2008)

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Like Mohamed, most of Souk Libya’s founding merchants in the late 1970s were migrants from the Darfur and Kordofan regions. They came to Khartoum hoping for a better life and perhaps to find success. Some of them established trade relations with western Sudan, where many consumer goods subsidized by the Libyan government were smuggled into Sudan across the long Saharan frontier. So they used to sell those goods at bargain prices in the Khartoum suburb where internal refugees continued to flood into the neighbourhood. This smuggling was organized by merchants of the Zaghawa ethnic group, who took advantage of their location on the border of Libya (Chevrillon-Guibert 2016a). They also used the significant market position they had held in Darfur since their massive economic restructuring, which happened in response to the 1950s droughts.3 Then they organized a successful long-distance trade, often on the margins of law. At the end of the 1980s, the market made a bold move towards establishing economic links with Gulf states. This was made possible by the so-called ‘suitcase trade’, which consisted of going to a Gulf state, particularly Saudi Arabia, for personal purposes (family visit, pilgrimage, etc.) and then coming back to Sudan with a small number of products which they did not declare to customs. Later, Dubai became a ‘storeroom city’ (Marchal 2005), and most of the trade volume in the market came from there, particularly following the liberalization of foreign trade undertaken by the Islamists in 1992. It might be imagined that this shift towards the Gulf states, and Dubai in particular, would dry up the dynamism of Souk Libya, which was initially designed for illegal trade with Libya. While it did indeed modify the market’s links with western Sudan (because this region was a source of customers and not yet of suppliers), it mainly amplified its national influence. Its traders benefited from the eviction of the old bourgeoisie and have been able to take advantage of the new context as well. However, this new trading environment made possible by internal policies and the new global trend – the development of South–South trade thanks to the rise of Dubai in the Sudanese case – led to the emergence of new competitors in the business, as they were ready to evolve in a more legal environment, helping to balance and redistribute the power within the market. The trajectory of the well-known Abu Sabeeb family proves to be very typical of new competitors, whose success lies in the international trade that developed at that time. The family is said to be one

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of the richest in the market. Its fortune was made within the market thanks to its involvement in the import sector. Nowadays, five brothers of the Abu Sabeeb family are working in the market in the textile field (the three others are engineers). Each of them is specialized in a particular textile sector (children’s clothing, women’s clothing, pants, etc.). The eldest leads the import-export trade branch of the Union of the Sudanese Chambers of Commerce whereas some years before he had chaired the same branch in the souk’s chamber. Before that time, their uncle was the head of this chamber for years. At the beginning of this business story, there is the father, who was first a farmer in the agricultural region of Gezira. He then went to Saudi Arabia for a couple of years in the 1970s as an employee. He settled in the souk on the eve of the 1980s when he came back from Saudi Arabia using the capital he made in the Gulf to start his business. His sons went to high school and/ or university and they used to help him during their free time. Gradually, each of them started their own business thanks to the help of their father and some uncles who were also traders in the souk. The beginning of the sons’ own businesses coincided with the new liberal policies and Dubai’s boom as an international marketplace. Thus, all of them established trading activities with Dubai. A few years later, two of them developed new trades with Indonesia and, two years after, with China. At that time, they used to work with an office in Guangzhou created by some Sudanese. These had lived in China since 1979 and opened their office in 1991. At first, this office worked with traders from Morocco, Algeria, Libya, etc., but not from Sudan. Due to increasing competition in the market illustrated by the rising number of importers (there were four legal importers in the 1990s, around sixty in 2004 and more than one thousand in 2014), the brothers chose to diversify their activities and invested in a transport company in 2005, then in gold mining and farming activities after 2011. Each one of the five brothers has his own company but they sometimes take part in some investments (like the transport company). All the brothers used to share their experience but their activities are not organized in the same way. It depends on their speciality. For example, in 2014, Hashim, the youngest brother, established trading activities with Mumbai in India due to the low exchange rate of the dollar there in comparison to China. Siddig,

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the eldest son, who is specialized in pants, prefers to deal with an office in Dubai, while Mohamed, the third son, who bought the China office a few years before with two other businessmen from the souk, still works with this office. Nevertheless, Mohamed thinks that he will have to change and sell his parts of the office because of the rising dollar rate in China. He is the one who has invested in agricultural projects. (Biography based on different interviews conducted in Arabic, with a translator, and in English, Omdurman, between 2004 and 2016)

The trajectory of the Abu Sabeeb family is illustrative of the alternatives deployed by the non-Darfuri Omdurman traders in the souk. These people usually came from the central regions of Sudan and have been attracted to the souk because of the market’s rapid growth. They settled there during the 1980s, usually thanks to capital acquired by means of employment in the Gulf countries or thanks to previous agricultural activity. They first developed a ‘suitcase trade’ between Saudi Arabia (or Egypt) and Sudan, and then turned to a more legal trade during the mid-1990s as a result of the new economic policies of liberalization. The arrival of new competitors in the market was the result of the regime’s major ambitions, i.e. the in-depth transformation of Sudanese society and the achievement of a wider social basis for the Islamists (Chevrillon-Guibert 2016b). Islamists promoted educated people and a kind of modern entrepreneur by fostering a liberal and modern economy. Henceforth, it was difficult to succeed without being able to establish a company or manage the new legal procedures. But this modernization and the mastering of new codes of conduct and business practices require a basic minimum of education. Historically, education is an important marker of the difference between the old trading families of the central markets in the capital and entrepreneurs in the Souk Libya, who come from the regions and lower social strata. Within the Souk Libya, non-Darfuri traders were also better educated than their Darfuri counterparts, because although they were not from the capital they had generally been better educated in their native regions. Therefore, inside the souk, the Zaghawa traders’ domination was undermined by the business success of these merchants coming from other regions; these traders were not necessarily there at the beginning of the market. Omar, one of the owners of Afrah Dubai Company, a leading company in the market, established his trade in the souk in 1996.

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Before that time, he was a chemistry teacher in Benghazi for eight years. He went there after his studies at Khartoum University. On the advice of a friend, he started his business in the souk with capital of 50,000 dollars earned in Libya. He rented a shop for four years and then decided to buy one in 2000. Nowadays, he imports from Guangzhou in China. He deals with a Chinese company he met in Dubai in 2004. His partner is one of his old friends. His business in the souk is not his only activity; he has also owned a distribution company for foodstuff and oil since 2007 and has invested in real estate. He is a member of the souk’s Chamber of Commerce and also of the national ones. (Interview conducted in English, Khartoum, June 2014)

Nevertheless, even if liberalization policies helped new competitors enter the Libya market, the Darfuri merchants, who had strong trading networks there since the 1970s, maintained an advantage in the souk up to the Darfur war as half the goods sold in the souk were for the Darfur Province. However, from that time on, because of the insecurity linked to the conflict and because of the Darfuri population’s loss of purchasing power as they were now displaced in camps and surviving largely thanks to international humanitarian aid, all of the souk’s traders had to reshape their business. They had to target areas other than Darfur, something merchants from other souks in the capital also used to do. However, at the same time, these other traders had already evolved with the rise of the Souk Libya, and the advantage enjoyed by the Darfurian traders in some of the distribution areas was not sufficient to cope with the fierce competition with Chinese traders.

The impact of Chinese trade on commercial practices: requalification and adaptation In order to survive cut-throat competition, traders in the central markets started selling either more expensive products or those of higher quality. In some cases, they have managed to maintain their wholesale and import activities. This is especially true for expensive goods or products for which the Asian market is not the main provider. Therefore, the central souks have specialized in imported products such as perfumery, upholstery and evening dress. Some traders also chose to evolve towards a new kind of commerce. The novelty consists of implementing management practices that

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promote international and standardized retail models: shops with an external window display, models of products laid out on display for customers to have free access, fitting rooms, etc. These commercial practices are very different from the traditional Sudanese ones, which generally rely on small stalls where the customer buys an item without trying it on. The young and wealthy customers of Khartoum find this new kind of shop attractive. Both central markets have also developed some retail activities in the luxury sector thanks to their geographical location and their historical reputation, which attracts the capital’s well-off population. They do not go to Khartoum’s suburbs’ popular districts such as Umbadda, where the Souk Libya is located. These new commercial practices did not, however, radically change the traders’ business experiences. What truly modified these practices was the opening up to Dubai and Asia, which compelled many merchants to embark on international trade whether in Souk Libya or other central markets. Indeed, as in many countries, the impact of the commercial boom in Dubai and the rise of China in the 2000s as a new source of supply at unbeatable prices deeply transformed local practices. Nowadays, it is mainly China, and very often specifically Guangzhou, which provides most of the imports for Khartoum’s souks. The increased number of importers has been particularly noteworthy in every market since 2010, and even before that date in Souk Libya. The fact that the increase occurred first in Souk Libya may be due to its traders’ ability to conquer new markets, which has resulted from their previous experience with difficult situations (famine and economic challenges), as it meant that they had to leave their regional markets to discover new horizons and made them open to the capacity needed to adapt. Another reason is the relative specialization of the souk in clothes or fabrics, but also in electrical and household appliances and hi-fi. Historically, the commercial advantage of the Souk Libya has never derived from the quality of the products sold there since the comparative advantage had more to do with quantity and very low prices. Therefore, the Chinese platform has opened up many promising opportunities, especially as Souk Libya’s wholesalers had already been purchasing cheap Chinese merchandise in Dubai before they went directly to China. From that time, Dubai’s popularity diminished in the eyes of international wholesalers while it became increasingly attractive for Darfur’s internal wholesalers in Souk Lybia, who from then on began to trade in Dubai. For major international Sudanese wholesale

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importers, Dubai remains an interesting if occasional market. They make use of it to meet an urgent demand that cannot withstand the constraints of time required to transport goods from East Asia by sea. The Sudanese international wholesalers who do not have offices in China usually choose to work with wholesalers suggested by a friend or managed by a fellow Sudanese. The first trip to China usually lasts several weeks. It gives the Sudanese traders the time needed to navigate the new market, take their goods and understand their new environment in order to organize future exchanges, which will usually take place during short stays or ideally through a long-distance relationship with the supplier. Amazingly, the first trip is not well planned. China’s reputation as a place where it is easy to make deals leads Sudanese tradesmen to be overconfident in their capacity to identify contacts. The stories that everyone tells convey the idea that ‘everything in China is made for trade’, ‘they [the Chinese] organize everything, from packing to transportation’. The reality is, however, sometimes a little more complex, and tradesmen tend to connect with their fellow countrymen for help and to share their experiences and pass on advice. The trade fairs, which are held regularly in many Chinese cities, are also an occasion to gain a first Chinese experience. Everything is organized to simplify exchanges: concentration of goods in one place, easy accommodation, translators, organized transactions (official documents) entirely managed by Chinese business people, etc.

The role of political power Proximity to the centre of political power in Sudan has also contributed to reshaping relations and practices within and between markets. The authorities can significantly contribute to easier access to dealings within the market either through their direct intervention by means of subtle taxation and exemptions or through pressure exerted by security services. More passively, they can also accommodate certain illegal activities. The authorities’ attitude has fluctuated during various political periods. For example, Zaghawa communities were initially part of the Islamists’ hegemonic alliance and supported for that, but the war in Darfur and the shift inside the Islamic movement deeply modified that alliance (Chevrillon-Guibert 2013a, 2013b). Zaghawa traders were suspected of being active supporters of the rebel movements and also close to the deposed leader of the Islamic movement, Hassan

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al Turabi. Therefore, many of them were the victims of a witch-hunt. The actual political context of the Darfur war played an important role in reshuffling the balance between the different actors at Souk Libya, but equally that between the different markets of Greater Khartoum. At the same time, the regime has made it easier for new businessmen with close links to the ruling party to establish themselves within the souk. The activities of such entrepreneurs within the souk primarily consist of investment of capital that has usually been accrued outside the souk. The need for large amounts of capital for trading is precisely what actually profoundly modifies the power relations within the Sudanese markets. Even if Chinese products are bought at very low cost, the entire transaction still incurs significant costs. In order to make a profit after deducting the cost of the trader’s travel expenses and accommodation in China, in addition to the cost of the transportation of goods and the payment of tax, the volume of imported goods has to be sufficiently large. Moreover, most of the transactions with China are settled with cash and hard currency; it is only if the commercial link becomes more firm over time and through repeated transactions that it would be conceivable to obtain credit payments, something that most of the Souk Libya’s traders lack. A merchant clearly summarized the situation: ‘If you do not have a lot of business, a financial or large social capital, banks don’t want to hear about you and won’t lend you money. The only solution you have is a family network.’ Having a wealthy family is not the prerogative of the majority of the Souk Libya’s traders, who were initially poor migrants. This is, however, the case for some traders in the central souks. The fact that most of Souk Libya’s transactions are settled with cash is also a reason for the regime to be very suspicious of this market, because it encourages the use of the black market for currency exchange and international transfers. Using the black market allows discreet exchanges escaping limitations dictated by the law to obtain hard currency, circumventing the difficulties of using the banking system without pecuniary or political guarantees and in the end avoiding the authorities’ controls on the exchanges. Nowadays, this system is in great demand because it is the only way for businessmen working in the country to maintain international activities since South Sudan’s independence. Indeed, because most of the productive oilfields were in the southern area, with the creation of the new country, Sudan lost the oil economy that had fuelled most of the government’s budget, as well as the country’s hard currency

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reserves. The country is therefore now facing a huge economic crisis, particularly a dramatic lack of foreign currency. This makes it nearly impossible for businessmen and companies to obtain hard currency in commercial banks. As a result, many foreign companies left the country and internal companies have been forced to buy dollars from the black market at inflated prices, and they, accordingly, face huge problems. However, also on this issue, thanks to political links, some merchants could get help in this matter by way of loans or special rates granted by banks usually under the regime’s control.

The appearance of new types of entrepreneurs All those developments brought about significant evolutions among the great merchants who currently work as importers in Khartoum’s souks. Twenty years after the Islamist regime came to power, different successful figures have emerged in the commercial sector. Two groups are evident, according to the trajectories of these actors. In the first group, one may find great merchants who come from trading families. Generally, these individuals started businesses with their fathers, who passed on their skills and trading experience. Quite often, these entrepreneurs first assisted the elder generations before taking on more responsibilities by managing the shop or part of the family business. In some cases they also deal with new prospects,4 or even sometimes create new shops. In this case, the trader will use the same trading niche as his family, as he will be able to benefit from intergenerational specialization as well as from his family’s reputation in business. Relatives will generally act as their guarantors, or will provide the capital required by these new activities. The prominent merchants of Souk Omdurman belong to this first group; their notable positions were greatly facilitated by the fact that this souk is the historical market of the city, where traders linked to the famous Mahdiya and Khatmiya Sufi brotherhoods had established themselves some generations ago. Often, these men reinvest the social capital they acquired through their trade in the political, or at least public, field. They are active members of the administrative organizations which manage commercial activities in their markets, and, generally, when they get older and more well known, they gain local status on the municipal level and then national prominence in Khartoum State, or in the area from which their family historically came. While the dynamism of entrepreneurs in Souk Libya has more than often had an

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impact on Omdurman’s great traders’ businesses, the trading skills acquired by a number of generations, and their high-level studies, which were encouraged by their families, allowed them to reconvert by specializing in activities where education matters and by creating companies that make their work as importers easier. On the other hand, traders in Souk Libya were very poorly educated until very recently, and worked in a very traditional manner. This prevented them from having easy access to the banking system and to the advantages that stem from the existence of a company (common management, multi-partnerships, access to loan services, etc.). The newer, more visible generation of great traders at Souk Libya have their home towns in the Sudanese ‘central’ regions, i.e. not Darfur, and they also belong to this first group. This more recent group were also trained by their family, primarily their fathers or uncles, who had arrived in Khartoum in search of a better life as a result of a classic rural–urban migration. Step by step, they learnt to develop their own trade in the textile field, in the shadow of the dominant group of Zaghawa merchants. The former generation was usually poorly educated, but the more recent generation completed their studies up to university level. Today, they choose to give their children a high level of education, sometimes even choosing private schools where teaching is conducted in English. They hope that they will be able to give their offspring the skills they need to succeed on the international level. These entrepreneurs made their traditional trade evolve and created companies that were at the level they needed to organize their commercial activities. The different regional backgrounds of traders in Souk Libya imply different local and human contexts and especially different ways to conceive of their roles in the circles to which they belong (family and ethnic, local and national communities) (Chevrillon-Guibert 2016b). Traders from the central regions tend to convert the social capital they have acquired through professional success into the field of public representation, and are very visible in the collective social instances in the market (the trade chamber). Some are even notorious enough to be referees during commercial conflicts that emerge between some traders in the souk. Their public prominence is nevertheless rooted in the market, and sometimes in the national trade chamber, with the exception of some Omdurman traders, who are now representatives in the national assembly. Nevertheless, the recent arrival of new, government-backed, individuals could change things. All the great traders of this first group long for social ascension for the benefit of their children. This elite emerged in the Sudanese

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political and economic landscape in the early 2000s. They share the same characteristics as an urban bourgeoisie, and some of the Islamist elite, before its accession to the state, initially consisted of activists and supporters of the Islamic movement. The group has developed around common interests shared by individuals close in social space and who are aware of this convergence. It is identifiable in particular by a specific consumerism which is ostentatious and focused on the acquisition of material symbols of modernity. These traders are proud of their commercial success, as their ostentatious practices demonstrate: building great houses painted in vivid colours in relatively fashionable areas, owning the latest four-wheeldrive vehicle, local generosity, which leads them to be the head of a number of associations, the outward manifestations of a well-off man (overweight, luxury clothing, etc.). Of course, their commercial activities made them discover new worlds from where they can import their goods. This opening also orients them more towards the ethos of ‘modernity’, common to the global evolution of upper classes in urban Sudanese society: a higher level of education, modernization of the day-to-day environment, erosion of tradition. The development of this group – which we can refer to as a new Islamic bourgeoisie – has happened hand in hand with the emergence of a capitalist economy. Its success is based on its extroversion, as was the case with the bourgeoisie linked to the traditional parties, which is similar to how the situation developed in many other countries such as Turkey (Yankaya 2013), Egypt and Indonesia (Haenni 2005). However, in the case of Sudan, the Islamic characteristics of their practices seem to accord with the ongoing presence of the Islamic regime at the head of the state and its secularization. In this regard, the trajectories of individuals who belong to this first group are very different from those found among prominent Zaghawa traders in Souk Libya. This second group hails from well-off pastoralist families in north Darfur, most of whom were confronted with economic problems due to the recurring droughts in the region. They turned to trade, making use of their mobility experience as well as their roots as an ethnic group located at the frontier with Libya. The trials of migration and the socio-economic transformations that they have endured as a group over some fifty years, and more recently the worsening conditions under which they live owing to the Darfur war, have organized and shaped a collective experience. This experience plays its part in the construction of a reference frame to evaluate difficulties, which is quite different from the practice of the first group of entrepreneurs. As day-to-day difficulties still persist,

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this collective memory of a harsh past has modified the scale they use to assess the difficulties of any given situation. They become bolder, and are less attached to the comfort of an unfamiliar urban lifestyle. This probably explains why Zaghawa traders of the Souk Libya turned more easily towards international trade than their colleagues in other markets. This experience also shaped their conceptualization of social space.5 In this space, mobility and external hostility are essential characteristics. It is owing to their great mobility that these men were able to survive in hostile environments. The psychological universe of prominent Zaghawa traders in Souk Libya clearly distinguishes them from traders of the first group, who work in other markets in Greater Khartoum or in Souk Libya and originate from regions of Sudan other than Darfur, in terms of both commercial and social practices. Whereas the main traders identified in the first group consider specialization an essential characteristic of business competitiveness, this second group places its bets on mobility. The point for them is to benefit from differences in wealth linked to borders (Chevrillon-Guibert 2016a): whether this be national trade with Chad and Libya for a time, then with Gulf and Asian countries, following opportunities, or simply adapting to circumstances (activity in South Sudan during the war and signing the Comprehensive Peace Agreement thus changing behaviour when trade was forbidden, etc.). In the case of the second group, the choice of activity and places for trade depends not on intergenerational specialization but on the favourable commercial attraction of such activities. There are also risks associated with this group’s business engagements, which can be turned into assets: illegal activities, operating in war zones, or facing organizational difficulties, as was the case in the trade with China when it began its commercial boom. The group’s economic model emphasizes circulation and border crossings, which are evident on a global scale. Alain Tarrius (2002: 18) references the knowledge of ‘how to circulate’, ‘how to cross borders’ and ‘how to create human continuity’ across barriers instituted by official economies, states or institutions, or sociocultural barriers.6 Such knowledge is also reflected in Adam’s story: Adam’s father was originally a crop trader in Darfur in the 1970s. Gradually, his activities extended to Khartoum, where he settled permanently on the eve of the 1980s. His sons used to work with him during their free time. If the father was poorly educated, all of his sons went to university: the eldest in Khartoum but the

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youngest abroad. Indeed, the fourth studied in China and the fifth in India. Both of them used to work for the family business while studying. After the father’s death, the brothers did not create separate businesses. They stayed as one unique but informal business group. Together, they established several companies for their different activities, usually not using the family name. They used to trade various manufactured goods depending on market needs but their principal business is foreign exchange on the black market, a lucrative but extremely dangerous activity. The organization of their business depends on the mobility of the different brothers, who are always moving from one place to another: sometimes in Asia, sometimes in the Gulf or in an African country. According to opportunities, they have also invested in other fields (construction, foodstuff, real estate, etc.). They are not planning to settle in a particular place. ‘That will depend on business opportunities.’ (Biography based on different interviews conducted in Arabic, with a translator, and English, Omdurman and Khartoum, between 2008 and 2015)

This second group of great traders organizes its activities following a relation to space disconnected from the national frame. The territory that shapes them is, in this case, linked to their personal experience as well as to that of the group, of its collective memory. Joe S. Migdal (2004: 9–10) speaks about a mental map around which an individual’s entire social life is built. This implies particularly strong links between members of the entrepreneurs’ trade networks. These links are usually based on blood ties. Apart from family partnerships, which are found in both groups, partnerships within the second one usually differ because they bring together people from the same ethnic community, even from the same clan.7 Conversely, the first group’s partnership can be formed with friends or colleagues within the space of the market. Therefore, unlike Mark Granovetter’s conclusions that highlight the importance of weak ties within networks (Granovetter 2000), the findings of this chapter are more in line with Alain Tarrius (2002, 2014), who postulated that, in the case of the second group, it is strong, not weak, bonds that matter. This explains the importance of the ethnic community, as well as the clan, for these entrepreneurs, as these entities are relays of strong ties of solidarity that traders use in their business. In contrast to the first group of entrepreneurs, which has ostentatious social practices that testify to its will to integrate with Sudan’s bourgeois society, this second group has no real prospect

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of integrating in the city and its society. In the end, these entrepreneurs’ mental maps organize their relationships with the world and draw new territories for them, which are transversal and supersede national territories. Therefore, in these territories the trader’s strong social circle matters, rather than a sedentary installation that varies over time. Very often, in these alternative territorial configurations, the group’s place of origin also has an important status. This place of origin becomes some kind of mythical location to which members refer. This is notably the case for Zaghawa traders and their relationship to North Darfur, despite the fact that a number of them have never inhabited this area. In this manner it becomes a primordial reference for this group, linked to their initial culture. Social and commercial practices are organized on this basis. In this sense, traders from the second group share the characteristics of the ‘nomad’ entrepreneur described by Tarrius (2002): faithfulness to a unique place of origin, non-professional intergenerational organization, and finally a marked distance from prospects of integration into the host society. This accounts for the importance of the group’s concern with developing the specific assets that facilitate success in trade (mobility and border crossings) because they cannot rely on the reputation of their products or their involvement in politics to guarantee this objective.

Conclusion The Sudanese international trade practised in the main souks of Greater Khartoum has been the subject of far-reaching evolutions since the Islamist coup with, on the one hand, its ‘politics of the belly’ and its new liberal orientations, and on the other hand the rise of Dubai and eventually China as new sources of supply at unbeatable prices. This chapter has identified some of the characteristics of present-day Sudanese entrepreneurs by analysing these evolutions. Nowadays, being a successful business person demands openness towards the international scene (especially towards Asia) as well as the possession of high-level educational qualifications. Such evolutions have equally shaped new common expectations and practices associated with the global spread of neoliberal policies (certain types of management or ways of being). Nevertheless, the Asian commercial experience combined with the specific history of social groups from which traders originate also promote differentiated professional paths and relationships to the state and society.

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Despite the presence of some common social and commercial practices, such as new forms of management, two types of entrepreneur can be distinguished in the contemporary period. The first shares the characteristics one might expect to find in any form of bourgeoisie in other Muslim countries, whereas the second exhibits the characteristics of the nomadic entrepreneur described by Tarrius. These nomadic entrepreneurs create makeshift identities that mediate between near and far universes through their experience with migration, and organize the world according to the social networks that are more likely to circulate notions derived from ‘original territorial constructions’, and are thereby disconnected from articulations of national territory.

Notes 1

The term ‘trajectory’ is used in the same context as the concept ‘career’ defined by Becker (1991). 2 All names in this chapter have been changed in order to maintain the anonymity of informants. 3 This restructuring did not mean giving up camel breeding. Most of the time, in an extended family, the different members try to avoid economic hazards by diversifying their activities. 4 Generally, the son will travel abroad, not only because he is more physically robust but also because of his better education. He will deal with product orders, since he appears to be more at ease with new technologies such as the internet. 5 We understand collective memory through the meaning Maurice Halbwachs gives to it, as a ‘reconstruction of the past […]; it adapts the image of ancient facts to the beliefs and spiritual needs of the day’ (Halbwachs 2008 [1941]: 7). The concept of social space developed by Halbwachs includes at the same time the physical material space of the group as well as its symbolic space, and the space of its relationships. It is to be understood as the social frame that includes other frames, language and time, and becomes

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the necessary condition of the illusion the group has about the perpetuation of its collective memory – that is, in other words, it grounds a subjective temporality. 6 My translation of Tarrius’s terms ‘savoir-circuler’, ‘savoir-traverser-lesfrontières’ and ‘savoir-faire-continuité humaine’. 7 ‘Clan’ represents membership of a birth or descent group.

References Ahmed, E. (2007) ‘Political Islam in Sudan: Islamists and the challenge of power (1989–2004)’, in B. Soares and R. Otayek (eds), Islam and Muslim Politics in Africa, New York: Palgrave Macmillan. Bayart, J.-F. (2009) State in Africa: The Politics of the Belly, Cambridge: Polity Press (original French edn 1989). Becker, H. (1991) Outsiders: Studies in the Sociology of Deviance, New York: Free Press. Casciarri, B., M. Assal and F. Ireton (eds) (2015) Multidimensional Change in Sudan 1989–2011: Reshaping Livelihoods, Conflicts and Identities, Oxford and New York: Berghahn. Chevrillon-Guibert, R. (2013a) ‘Des commerçants au cœur de l’expérience islamiste au Soudan. Rapports de/au pouvoir et recompositions des communautés

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darfouriennes zaghawa à l’aune des alliances du mouvement islamique soudanais (1950–2011)’, PhD thesis, Université d’Auvergne, www.fasopo.org/sites/default/files/ jr/th_chevrillon-guibert.pdf. ––––– (2013b) ‘La guerre au Darfour au prisme des alliances du mouvement islamique. Retour sur quelques trajectoires d’hommes d’affaires zaghawa’, Politique africaine, 130(2): 113–36. ––––– (2016a) ‘Les commerçants zaghawa du Darfour (Soudan): des passeurs de frontières’, Territoire en Mouvement: Revue de géographie et aménageme, 29, tem.revues. org/3303. ––––– (2016b) ‘Charity and commercial success as vectors of asymmetry and inequality: the unconceptualised elements of development in Islamist Sudan during the First Republic’, International Development Policy, 7(3). Gallab, A. (2008) The First Islamist Republic: Development and Disintegration of Islamism in Sudan, Burlington: Ashgate. Granovetter, M. (2000) Getting a Job: A Study of Contacts and Careers, Harvard, MA: Harvard University Press. Gray, L. and M. Kevane (1995) ‘Local politics in the time of Turabi’s revolution: gender, class and ethnicity in Western Sudan’, Africa, 65(2): 271–96. Gertel, J., R. Rottenburg and S. Calkins (eds) (2014) Disrupting Territories: Land, Commodification and Conflict in Rural Sudan, London: James Currey. Haenni, P. (2005) L’Islam de marché: l’autre révolution conservatrice, Paris: Seuil. Halbwachs, M. (2008 [1941]) La Topographie légendaire des évangiles en terre sainte: étude de mémoire collective, Paris: Presses Universitaires de France. Khalid H. E. (2011) ‘Does privatization work? The story of

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Sudan’s White Nile Tannery’, Journal of US–China Public Administration, 8(4): 444–57. Large, D. and L. A. Patey (eds) (2011) Sudan Looks East – China, India and the Politics of Asian Alternatives, Woodbridge: James Currey. Marchal, R. (2005) ‘Dubai, global city and transnational hub’, in M. Al-Rasheed (ed.), Transnational Connections and the Arab Gulf, London and New York: Routledge, pp. 93–110. Migdal, J. S. (2004) Boundaries and Belonging: State and Societies in the Struggle to Shape Identities and Local Practices, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Patey, L. (2014) The New Kings of Crude: China, India, and the Global Struggle for Oil in Sudan and South Sudan, London: Hurst. Simone, A. M. (1994) In Whose Image? Political Islam and Urban Practices in Sudan, Chicago, IL, and London: University of Chicago Press. Sørbø, G. and A. G. M. Ahmed (eds) (2013) Sudan Divided: Continuing Conflict in a Contested State, New York: Palgrave Macmillan. Tarrius, A. (2002) La mondialisation par le bas. Les nouveaux nomades des économies souterraines, Paris: Balland. ––––– (2014) ‘Deux notions théoriques et méthodologiques, paradigme de la mobilité et territoires circulatoires, préalables à l’étude des transmigrations’, Revue Européenne des Migrations Internationales, 30(2): 169–92. Verhoeven, H. (2015) Water, Civilisation and Power in Sudan: The Political Economy of MilitaryIslamist State-Building, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Warburg, G. (2003) Islam, Sectarianism and Politics in Sudan since the Mahdiyya, London: Hurst. Woodward, P. (2013) ‘Hasan Al-Turabi’, in J. Esposito and E. El-Din Shahin (eds), The Oxford

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Handbook of Islam and Politics, Oxford: Oxford University Press. Yankaya, D. (2013) La nouvelle bourgeoisie islamique. Le modèle turc, Paris: Presses Universitaires de France.

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6 The Senegalese in Argentina: migratory networks and small-scale trade Bernarda Zubrzycki

The migration of sub-Saharan Africans to South America is a relatively recent but growing phenomenon that scholars have not yet sufficiently explored. Although studies about the African presence in Argentina have increased significantly in recent decades, most take a historical perspective and are primarily concerned with the descendants of Africans enslaved during the colonial period. This chapter, conversely, deals with Africans’ more recent movement to the continent. It focuses on the migration of Senegalese and their mobile trade as street vendors in Argentina, thereby contributing to the understanding of the more recent mobility of people and things between sub-Saharan Africa and South America. Migratory movements are very common among Senegalese (see also Sall, this volume). In addition to the internal rural–urban migration that followed the crisis of peanut production at the end of the 1960s, migration by Senegalese to other African countries began with the skilled-labour needs in the former French colonies such as Côte d’Ivoire, Gabon and Guinea (Fall 2009). Migration to other continents began after the First World War when groups of mainly Toucouleur, Fulbe and Soninke moved to France. A second movement took place between 1945 and 1970 when young students, who would later, after independence in 1960, become the Senegalese political elite, left the country. More Senegalese travelled to other destinations when in 1981 their government abolished the law that required a permit for Senegalese to leave national territory. From then on, members of the Mouride brotherhood also became part of the process (Moreno Maestro 2006). Owing partly to restrictive measures that France imposed on immigrants from the 1980s onward, Senegalese began first to migrate to Spain and Italy, then also to England and Germany, and from the 1990s onward to the USA and Canada.1 Most of these Senegalese migrants are Wolof and belong to the Mouride brotherhood, although there are also Fulbe, Serer, Toucouleur and Diola in all these destinations. This is particularly true for Argentina.

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In this chapter, I will explore the reasons why the Senegalese who have relocated – and continue to do so – to Argentina decide to leave their country. I will also investigate the way in which these individuals organize their travel and how the informal market supports the pathways into which those Senegalese insert and consolidate themselves as a transnational community. If migration comprises the constant circulation of people and establishes connections between the migrants and the land on which they live, these circulations must be understood as starting points for the formation and consolidation of earlier and recent bodies of knowledge. This knowledge consists of the special expertise associated with travelling and migration, and is continually transmitted to the next migratory generation, mobilizing new migration routes at the same time. A characteristic feature of these circulating migrants is their loyal attachment to their place of origin, which is concomitant with reluctance to integrate in the Argentinian society and at times a temporary instrumentalization of citizenship.Their frame of reference is the territory they construct, which they refer to with neither concern for the customs and values of the people living there nor a desire to acquire knowledge about the reality of the country. Any inclination towards learning about the host society is driven by a need to understand how they can avoid bothering anybody, including the knowledge of how to disappear quickly when necessary (Tarrius 2000, 2007). Looking at migrants as moving individuals provides insight into the Senegalese practices of mobility, as they remain in Argentina and move around steadily, thereby remaining perpetually in situations of transit and temporary conditions.

Africans in Argentina: the Senegalese migration The African presence in Argentina has a long history. Early documents depict that the first slaves had already arrived in Buenos Aires in 1585. From then on, African arrivals were continuously noted in Argentina. At the time of the Viceroyalty of Río de La Plata’s first census in 1778, more than 30 per cent of the population was of African descent. The last census that mentions skin colour as a criterion of differentiation, thereby allowing for an estimation of the number of Africans and their descendants in the country, was conducted in 1887. It suggests that there was an immense decline in the African population as in 1887 only 2 per cent of the population was registered as having African descent (Zubrzycki and Agnelli 2009).

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At the same time, a dominant narrative that emphasized whiteness began to take shape and an ideology of an ethnically homogenous white Argentinian population gained influence. This construction coincided with the beginning of the nation-building process in Argentina. Segato therefore suggests that in relation to Africans and their descendants ‘the disappearance of Blacks in Argentina was ideologically, culturally and literally constructed before their actual demographic decline […] and their presence was at first excluded from the official representation that the nation created of itself’ (Segato 2007: 255). It was only a relatively short time ago that Afro-Argentinians began to reclaim not only their historical but also their current place in society. They have actively demanded not only that they be recognized as black Argentinian citizens but that they also receive reparation payments for the historical debt related to slavery and discrimination in a process López (2005) calls the ‘ethnogenesis of Blacks in Argentina’. At the end of the nineteenth and the beginning of the twentieth centuries, a group of people from Cape Verde also arrived in Argentina. At that time, they actively participated in a process of ‘Argentinization’ using an identity strategy to invisibilize their African identity or blackness (both in terms of their bodies and an equality discourse), whereas in the 1990s they initiated a process of visibilization (Maffia and Zubrzycki 2014). This underscores the fact that Africans in Argentina were always a very heterogeneous group of people that, in the twentieth century, began to unite under a common discourse. This is the context into which the new migrants from sub-Saharan Africa enter, specifically those from Senegal, Nigeria, South Africa, Ghana, Cameroon and Guinea, among others. Beginning in the mid-1990s, and specifically since the 2000s, the presence of these people has increased in Argentina’s main cities, particularly in Buenos Aires city and province. Among the reasons for this new migration of Africans towards Argentina specifically, and South America generally, we can find the dynamics of the consolidation of the global capitalist world economic system and the toughening of migration politics in Europe and North America, as well as limited opportunities for integration in local labour markets. Conversely, the permeability of international boundaries and their closely knit migratory networks contribute to the ongoing circulation and mobility of Africans within South America. The Senegalese are the largest group among the new migrants from sub-Saharan Africa in Argentina.2 Until approximately 2010, the majority came into the country via Brazil. In more recent years,

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numerous Africans have entered the country across the borders between Paraguay and Argentina, as well as between Bolivia and Argentina. In the latter case, migrants arrive with visas; others enter Bolivia through Ecuador, as the Senegalese do not need visas to enter Ecuador and later move towards Argentina through Bolivia. This journey must be made overland, which is a far longer journey and includes several border crossings. Argentina’s border crossings are irregular and there are several points where crossing the border is prohibited. Migrants accordingly often lack legal proof of when they entered the country and this often prevents them from later possessing legal documents that would allow them to settle down in the country. A few Senegalese also came to Brazil via container ships, not as stowaways but rather with the cooperation and awareness of the crew (Marcelino and Cerrutti 2011). This journey is far less expensive than travelling by air. A limited number of Senegalese arrived in Argentina as stowaways by making the journey in ships’ cargo holds; these are, however, rather exceptional cases. The growing number of Senegalese who cross Argentina’s border with Brazil is driven by the lack of an Argentinian embassy or consulate in Senegal where it would be possible to apply for a visa. Senegal does, however, have a Brazilian embassy where they can apply for a visa in order to travel to Brazil. The nearest Argentinian embassy to Senegal is in Nigeria, but travelling there just to obtain a visa would require a significant investment of time and money. Notwithstanding difficulties, be it by plane, ship or land across several borders, the Senegalese continue to arrive in Argentina and extend their migratory networks. As most other migrants do, the Senegalese who arrive in the country count on the help of some relative, friend or acquaintance with whom they are in contact. They insert themselves in migration chains and networks, which practise solidarity and reciprocity and hold the conviction that they will be able to rely on the help of fellow Senegalese migrants (Zubrzycki and Agnelli 2009). New migrants therefore profit from belonging to the local networks of the Senegalese pioneers and from the contacts and relationships these first arrivals developed in different spaces, such as the labour market, social networks, cultural attachment and family connections. These networks are organized according to horizontal and vertical relationships. The horizontal relationships are generally formed by friends and relatives and are based on loyalty, solidarity and cooperation. The vertically established networks are defined by hierarchical

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and asymmetric relationships of inequality that the migrants occupy within the chain and/or network in relation to actors who hold power (Pedone 2010). When the relationships become vertical, information and contacts acquire an economic value in the hands of very few people, for instance regarding access to work and housing.3 There are at least two Senegalese networks in Argentina that the pioneer migrants have established. First, the ethnic network that was formed by initial, predominantly male migrants of Diola origin from the Casamance region, who settled in Buenos Aires at the beginning of the 1990s and brought their wives later in the decade. These initial migrants were generally not involved with street vending; they worked as waiters and cooks in bars and restaurants, as mechanics and construction workers. Some of them were artists, particularly musicians, dancers and African percussion and dance teachers. Most of these migrants from the Casamance form part of the Muslim Tijaniyya brotherhood. The second, religiously based network is much larger. It was formed by migrants from the Muslim Mouride brotherhood.4 According to Minvielle (2010), the first Mouride who successfully settled as a trader in Argentina came from the Senegalese town of Diourbel and arrived in the mid-1990s. This pioneer ‘opened the path’ from the beginning of the 2000s onwards and began to build a network that functions until today. Members of this network are mainly ethnic Wolof men who engage in the street vending of trinkets. These migrants are known as and refer to themselves as modou-modou,5 a term that was initially used for rural–urban migrants with only very basic school education in Senegal. They are primarily involved in the commercial sector and belong to the Mouride brotherhood. Over the course of time, people began to apply this name to all Senegalese migrants who travelled abroad to work as traders.6 Several scholars have studied the Mouride’s migration. Lacomba (1996), for example, illustrates that in the countries of emigration, the activity that is associated with the Mouride organization is street vending. In Senegal, this economic activity is related to peanut cultivation, which has been controlled by the Mouride brotherhood and is based on a special labour philosophy. An important pillar of Mouridism is the division of competences, which entails delegating prayer and meditation to the marabout (a religious leader and teacher) while the disciples are occupied with creating wealth for the brotherhood community. Lacomba also mentions that street vending, owing to its informal character, allows Senegalese migrants to maintain a ‘mercantilistic’ and commercial logic, which they are already

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familiar with from their home country and extend to a major part of their economic activities in the host society. This logic keeps them in contact with the brotherhood in any new environment (ibid.). Similarly, Wabgou (2000) emphasizes that the brotherhoods constitute true pillars of support for their members, who have a well-conceptualized emigration project with the objective of engaging in economic activities at their destination. Among the reasons Senegalese mention for choosing Argentina as a country for migration are the relative ease with which they can enter the country illegally and the ability to survive as a street vendor. The pioneers at first imagined South America in general, and particularly Argentina, as a transitory stage on their way to migrating to North America. However, as the migration policies of the United States of America toughened in 2001, in the face of the relative calmness with which it was possible to work in the streets of Buenos Aires, many immigrants reconfigured their migration destinations to include Argentina. Discovering new work places and ‘venturing’ to new destinations form part of the Senegalese migration idea, especially that of the Diola and Wolof, who were among the pioneers venturing to South America in the mid-1990s, as will be shown below. Argentina became attractive to them because it had a strong currency, equal to the American dollar, and that was important because these migrants had to send remittances to their families at home. After the economic crisis of 2001, the economy improved again by the mid-2000s, and additionally, two new laws were passed that improved access to rights and the quality of life for migrants in Argentina. These were the new Migration Law of 20047 and the Law of Recognition and Protection for the Refugee of 2006. Another factor, as Marcelino and Cerrutti (2011) point out, is that ‘both Argentina and Brazil have famous football teams, a fact that should not be underestimated in a football-obsessed continent [Africa], particularly when most of the migrants correspond to the football-crazy demographic group’. Indeed, in different interviews, several Senegalese have pointed out that before travelling the only thing they knew about Argentina was Messi and Maradona. Among the reasons to migrate, my Senegalese informants mentioned their search for greener pastures, more generally. Migrants also seem to have further motives, however, that allow for a more detailed perception. Moustafa,8 a migrant who was born in Tambacounda and a former student of law in Dakar, provided a highly interesting analysis of his own society. During our inter-

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view, he pointed out that there are not only economic reasons to explain the phenomenon of Senegalese migration but also a changed perspective of migrants and the symbolic weight that is now attributed to them. An African who is not leaving to look for work abroad will be [looked at] as if he has nothing. Somebody can stay there [in Senegal] and earn his living peacefully, but now leaving is something psychological for the youth […]; now somebody who is not leaving to find work abroad or is not leaving to send money to his father, his brother, his wife, is as if he has nothing. It is psychological. (Interview, La Plata City, October 2008)

Moustafa even points to concrete problems of finding a wife for a young man who otherwise might not have migrated: I’ll give you an example: to get married in Africa was very easy, having a fiancé was very easy, but now it is quite difficult because the first migrants who went abroad to Europe made lots of bucks, came back here to construct houses, buy cars, and someone who was lucky easily can have a wife there [in Senegal], because marrying is an economic issue […]; the one who, for example, makes a journey to Europe, to America, to Argentina and who comes back to his country is like a king. Therefore, I say it is now psychological. (Interview, La Plata City, October 2008)

Beyond the idealization of the migrant, the extracts from Moustafa’s interview also provide another explanation for migration: the journey as an experience of getting to know the world. Scholars such as Riccio (2004) and Barbali (2009) refer to a ‘culture of migration’ that is strongly linked to the issue of masculinity. Migration, the journey and exiting one’s country prepare an individual for becoming a male and provide expression for the value of their masculine identities. It is indeed a rite of passage. This culture of migration partly explains why usually young, single, male Senegalese choose this route. It is important to stress here that there are as many single males as there are men with children who have migrated to Argentina. In general, however, those who are already married also experienced migration before they reached the country and married. Several of our interviewees, now married men, had travelled when they were still single and had lived in Italy, Spain or South Africa, among other destinations.

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Beyond the issue of masculinity in this culture of migration, there are, however, other equally important factors such as getting to know the world and being able to reflect upon oneself. This attitude appears in an interview with Fall, a Senegalese youth born in Thies who now resides in Argentina: In Senegal I never needed to work, I learned English at the University of [Cheikh] Anta Diop and played basketball in the university team but I did not finish my studies. I wanted to leave to get to know the world; visiting Latin America was my dream. (Interview, La Plata City, June 2008)

Barbali (2009) calls Senegalese migrants who want to get to know the world ‘cosmopolitans’, whereas Morales (2011) calls them ‘internationals’. Morales refers to two classifications for sub-Saharan African migrants (not exclusively Senegalese) living in Argentina: internationals and adventurers. The first represents the migrant who has lived, travelled and got to know a lot, whereas the figure of the adventurer represents two meanings. In the one with a negative connotation, he ‘represents a migrant without definite objectives and/or without a precise plan that guides his activity, without means, a wanderer’ (ibid. 15). In the other, positive connotation, ‘the adventurer is somebody who dares to travel the world, a traveler’ (ibid.: 15). The latter representation, according to the author, connects the adventurer with the international, and both these classifications can be applied to the same actor. The adventurer as an analytical category for sub-Saharan migration was developed by scholars like Bredeloup (2008) and Sarró (2009). Sarró, particularly, suggests that scholars should analyse African migration from the perspective of adventure, echoing Simmel’s (1936 [1911]) classic essay ‘The adventure’, first published in 1911. This approach, starting from the concept of adventure, broadens the migration experience to include the perspective of action, initiative and risk rather than simply considering it victimization, trauma and economic despair (Sarró 2009: 502).9 In this respect, we can link adventure and masculinity since, for Simmel, adventure is a masculine action. Furthermore, as Sarró points out, if people in Africa speak about adventurers they talk about males, particularly young males, which means that, today, adventure is a way of constructing models of African masculinity.

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The life of the Senegalese in Argentina Through Malik’s biography, I will briefly describe the history of Senegalese migrants in Argentina. I chose to focus on Malik’s biography, as it largely resembles the life stories of many of his compatriots in the country. My fieldwork with Senegalese migrants in Argentina started in 2008,10 and I have since carried out fieldwork in the cities of La Plata, Morón and the autonomous city of Buenos Aires. To date, I have interviewed thirty-eight Senegalese migrants (some of them several times) and had informal conversations in the streets with twenty Senegalese.11 I met Malik for the first time at the end of 2011. He was selling trinkets on La Plata’s main road. Born in Thiès, he is a thirty-nineyear-old Wolof. Although he is married and has three children, his wife and the children live in Senegal. In Thiès, he was already a trader, as he bought clothes and other articles in Mauritania and Guinea and sold them to retailers in Dakar. Two of his siblings live in Italy, where they also sell various commodities on the street. Malik, in contrast, preferred to go to Argentina because friends who already lived there told him that it was very uncomplicated and peaceful to work there. In 2009, he travelled to Brazil. He arrived in São Paulo and from there continued overland to Argentina, entering the country illegally with the help of various Senegalese who were already in Brazil and organized the border crossing. When he arrived in Buenos Aires, he immediately contacted other Senegalese he knew who were staying in the city. Several days later, he had acquired a small black briefcase with trinkets (rings, bracelets, necklaces, bangles), which he intended to sell on the street. From then on, he sent money to his wife every month. Malik defines himself as a modou-modou, which requires, according to him, a kind of lifestyle that entails three elements: commercial activity, religion and saving money. Malik remained in Buenos Aires, specifically in Once,12 a zone which has been called ‘Little Dakar’ by some scholars as so many Senegalese live there (Marcelino and Cerrutti 2011; Reiter 2011). Among them are numerous street vendors and traders who have rented shops as well as a local kiosk or street restaurant, ‘Touba Argentine’, which is run by a Senegalese couple, and serves Senegalese dishes to Senegalese during the day. During his first year in Argentina, Malik lived in a hotel that was occupied almost exclusively by Senegalese. This hotel was also the place where the first dahira, a religious association of the Mourides,

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was founded in Argentina.13 Several weeks after his arrival, Malik applied for asylum at the national commission for refugees, as many others had done before him. His application was assessed but was rejected approximately one year later. He therefore decided to return to Brazil, where he was employed for about ten months as a construction worker, after which he decided to return to Argentina and continue his work as a street vendor. He was an illegal migrant worker until early 2013 when the ‘legalization plan’ was eventually implemented for Senegalese citizens. After his return to Argentina, Malik continued to sell his goods in the most competitive spaces in Buenos Aires. Upon the recommendation of other Senegalese, he decided to try his fortune in the city of La Plata, as at that time only a small number of Africans were selling goods on the streets there. In mid-2011, he decided to move to La Plata to avoid the daily commute between his home in Buenos Aires and his workplace in La Plata, a journey that often took him more than one hour. In La Plata, he shared a room with six other Senegalese in a hostel that consisted of three rooms in which fifteen of his compatriots lived. As part of his daily routine, Malik prays and has breakfast together with his hostel-mates. Between 9 and 10 a.m. he starts work. He no longer walks around with his little black briefcase offering his goods for sale, but remains instead at the same place in the same part of the city each day. There, he sells his goods from Monday to Thursday, if it is not raining, and on Saturdays and Sundays he sells his stuff at a market. He normally travels to Buenos Aires on Fridays to refresh his supply of goods. During his first year in Argentina, he travelled to the Atlantic coast in the summer. Subsequently, however, he preferred to remain in La Plata and frequented local and regional markets. He stays at his place of work until 5 or 6 p.m., or later during the summer, before he returns to his room. He buys and prepares his evening meals with his room-mates at the hostel. Thiebou yapp (rice with meat and vegetables) is one of the main dishes they prepare together as they can cook it without having all the spices that are normally used in Senegal to prepare the dish but which are not available in Argentina. They generally eat the food in their rooms, sitting around the plate and eating with their hands. After eating, they catch up on the prayers that they were not able to carry out during their workday. Two or three times a year, such as during Grand Magal (the Mourides’ most important religious feast) or a marabout’s visit, the dahira organizes events that last an entire day. During this day, they pray,

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eat and meet other compatriots. Many Senegalese come together to mark such occasions, including those who live in other provinces or belong to other brotherhoods. When possible, they travel to the large events that unite all the Senegalese migrants. Malik and his roommates used to participate in these events, except for the Magal in 2014 when Malik was in Senegal for the first time since his arrival in Argentina. While he was in Senegal with his wife and children for five months, a young, recently arrived Senegalese replaced him at the location where he usually sold his goods. In June 2015, as I finished writing this chapter, Malik had returned again to Thiès to supervise the renovation and extension of his home.

Mobile street selling in an illegal situation As Malik’s biography illustrates, the modou-modou in Argentina are primarily involved in selling trinkets on the street, and they often add other accessories such as belts, watches, sunglasses and wallets, and, in some cases, seasonal goods. While these products are made in Brazil or China, they are bought from Argentinian, Senegalese and Paraguayan wholesalers and retailers, and the modou-modou are not necessarily aware of the commercial channels through which these products reach Argentina. The goods are generally sold from little briefcases. They are displayed on improvised tables that allow the seller to move from place to place with ease at their own convenience, under the thumb of controlling bodies such as the police, which places pressure on them.14 A few sellers remain at fixed locations in different cities and display their goods on wooden folding tables; others sell in a strictly itinerant manner, offering the goods in their little briefcases in restaurants, cafés and public places. Generally, goods are sold on central streets in major cities as well as in commercial zones such as near railway stations and other highly frequented places. In addition to the street vendors, there are several Senegalese wholesalers from whom the street vendors buy their trinkets, but this market is not completely controlled by wholesalers – at least for the moment. The advantage of getting their supply from these Senegalese wholesalers is that they have cars with which they can reach the hotels and apartments where the African migrants live and deliver the trade goods directly to the vendors. Furthermore, the delivered goods can be paid for after they have been sold, particularly the first little briefcase that migrants buy when they arrive in Argentina.

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The commercial relations that the migrants maintain with Senegal are limited; only some of the Senegalese in Argentina travel home on an annual basis and bring products to Argentina to sell when they return, including clothes, musical instruments, handicrafts and decorative arts. These trade goods are sold in rented shops and commercial galleries in city centres, and most of their customers are not Senegalese. In contrast, African migrants primarily buy fabrics displaying African motifs and traditional Senegalese clothes that are mostly used during African feasts and religious or communitarian events. Whenever someone returns from Senegal, they bring clothes to those who have requested them. The quantity is, however, limited owing to the strict customs rules and regulations in Argentinian airports. To avoid paying customs duty on these clothes, an individual can only import a certain number of items in order to remain under the personal use limit. Street vending is an activity that everybody can carry out easily. Migrants in Argentina15 – like the Senegalese studied by Kane (2011) in New York or by Moreno Maestro (2006) in Seville – prefer this field of business for similar reasons: the majority do not speak the language fluently, they were already traders or street vendors in Senegal, and street vending is a very flexible activity in terms of space (where to sell) and time (when to begin and to end) but also in terms of the paperwork required. Street vending is a feasible option even before all the legal documents have been obtained; for official lines of business, a lack of documents would be an obstacle. Despite the relative ease with which an individual can become involved in the street trade in Argentina, informal trade also causes problems for many of the Senegalese, as well as other sub-Saharan African migrants in Argentina, once they want to obtain legal residence status in the country. Currently, immigration law requires that migrants have a work contract (a dependent work relationship) in order to obtain a residence permit. This does not take into consideration the fact that migrants who are engaged in trade are working independently without any sort of formal employment, a situation faced by the majority of the Senegalese in Argentina. Additionally, the Senegalese face another obstacle in their attempts to obtain a residence permit: the lack of regular documentation of their arrival in the country, as many of them enter the country illegally. In response, Senegalese immigrants have founded the Asociación de Residentes Senegaleses en Argentina (Association of Senegalese Residents in Argentina).16 With the help of other civil society organizations, they helped lobby the Dirección Nacional de Migraciones

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(the national migratory office) to implement the Régimen Especial de Regularización Migratoria de Extranjeros de Nacionalidad Senegalesa (special regime of the migration of foreigners with Senegalese nationality) in January 2013.17 Street vending combined with the vendors’ illegal status often creates problems between the Senegalese and the police or official agents of the municipality. Over the course of the last six years, conflict has arisen in three locations where I have carried out fieldwork. In La Plata and Morón, I observed numerous abuses of power and instances of discrimination towards Senegalese street vendors, such as the robbery of goods and the illegitimate detention that occurred in Morón in 2011 and in La Plata 2012 (Espiro and Zubrzycki 2013). For weeks in these cities, it was very difficult for vendors to hang out peacefully in the streets. Such difficulties led the Senegalese to modify the channels they used for street selling in Argentina, which encouraged them to develop local knowledge about ‘how to migrate’ and ‘how to do things (‘el saber-migrar’ and ‘el saber-hacer’; Chevalier-Beaumel and Morales 2012); they had to look for other locations where they could market their goods without facing threatening police checks. In some cases, this affected the duration of the work week and provoked further readjustments so that the vendors could regain the level that their former sales had reached. The migratory structure of Senegalese residents in La Plata and Morón was affected by these conditions. As mobile street vending is a practice that is easily compatible with the migration project and its ongoing mobility, the concrete success of the project largely depends on the extent to which the migrants can pursue their work successfully. The migrants do not necessarily experience their success in terms of sales but rather in terms of the extent to which they delve into this field of work and choose locations where risks can be minimized (Moreno Maestro 2006). To carry out their activities in such a context of instability, the migrants have developed strategies to continue their projects. In this context, the knowledge of ‘how to migrate’ and ‘how to do things’ is fundamental for regaining mobility and inserting themselves in other possible spaces, which, again, is linked to being part of different social networks. These social networks are chosen and articulated individually. Each of them selects and defines the specific territories they go to as well as the social knowledge contained within the migratory network and its extension into the different provinces in Argentina and adjacent countries.

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Some Senegalese therefore opt to stay in one place, for example, other cities or provincial capitals, where they have contacts available from within their social networks and where concrete work possibilities exist. Some of them even prefer to return to Buenos Aires despite high commercial competition, which results in two or three vendors per block. Others still encounter symbolic and economic capital that promises new opportunities outside the country, for example in Brazil. Finally, other migrants choose to stay in cities where the conflicts stemming from street vending arise most frequently. The reasons for staying there despite challenges are related to their need to mobilize the capital that moving to other places entails while seeking out intermediary solutions until the time arrives when they can move to another place. Moreno Maestro states about migrants in Seville, Spain, that the Senegalese in all their adventures function as a group and act in solidarity. If one of them sees the police, he warns the others in order that they can quickly disappear with their goods and avoid the police contact. The mutual support among Senegalese is constantly present in the activities of trade. (Moreno Maestro 2006: 125, my translation)

In La Plata, where violent confrontations between vendors and municipal agents take place often, migrants also warn each other via mobile phones whenever they identify an urban representative of law or the police. When anyone is arrested, the others come running to support him and mediate the situation. Understanding that the representatives of state law have often acted illegitimately and irregularly, the Senegalese accompany fellow vendors to police stations or organizations, such as the Secretaría Provincial de Derechos Humanos (the Provincial Office of Human Rights), where they complain about police behaviour, which constitutes a strategy in which the goal is to leave evidence and show their strength and decisiveness concerning the reclamation of the rights they have as migrants and workers. It also underscores to the state that they will not abandon their migratory project. The same can be said when the group supports vendors whose briefcases have been confiscated, as each Senegalese vendor will share a small proportion of their goods with their compatriot: some give a few rings, others watches or necklaces, so that the individual is eventually provided with the minimum to continue his work the next day.

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In these conflict-ridden situations,18 Senegalese migrants have organized and worked with diverse social groups from both their own community and local society, specifically civil society organizations linked to human rights and migration. In this context, the Asociación de Residentes Senegaleses en Argentina plays an important role, having representatives in each place where Senegalese are found.

The pathways of mobility Street vending is characterized by mobility and constant circulation to find the best work opportunities. In addition to having a fixed location for selling their goods that normally organizes the traders’ weekly itinerary, some traders persistently circulate between different seasonal or regional fairs and local markets during the weekends, and between these fairs and provincial fiestas during the year. Others sell their goods on the Atlantic coast’s beaches in the summer (Agnelli and Kleidermacher 2009; Reiter 2010) and move between Argentina and Brazil (Minvielle 2010), as well as, to a lesser extent, between Argentina and Senegal.19 In addition to this high-level spatial mobility, migrants are also reluctant to integrate in the way that the decree of migratory regularization intends for them. But at the same time they do not ‘come to stay’, as newspapers have often stipulated. We are currently facing, as Arab (2008) indicates, many complex and insecure displacements that do not aim at sedentary settlement but associate themselves with transnational spatial mobility. These circulatory ways of being in a certain region entail the socialization of space that follows the logic of mobility, which transmigrants or circulatory migrants prefer (Tarrius 2010). For many Senegalese who stay in Argentina, the objective is to leave their homes, work and live in a different place such as Argentina and return to Senegal and visit their families there and to buy and sell there, at least for some time. This provides the time needed to save money to develop a business or invest in Senegal. In almost all my interviewees’ narratives, the idea of returning plays an important role. Return is a constitutive element of the migrants’ condition. They constantly occupy themselves with their migration project and relate to both the society of emigration and immigration (Sayad 2000); they do not imagine this project as necessarily definite and permanent, but more as a phase in the process of migration and mobility.

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In this sense, migrants’ visits to Senegal can be conceptualized as ‘visits of returning’ (Duval 2002); they are based on earlier experiences and are not touristic but social and cultural. Through physical contact with their places of origin, the migrants renew, reiterate and consolidate their familiar and social networks. The physical movement enables them to experience, renew and render these social and cultural linkages visible. This is important for those who intend to return in the future (Hirai 2013). Five of my key informants, for example, travelled to Senegal on return visits between May and October 2014 (the cold months in Argentina). They remained in Senegal for between four and six months, and three of them visited their wives and children in Senegal, whom they had not seen for five years. The programme of migratory regulation and the process of obtaining a temporary residence permit allow them to travel and to return to Argentina without a problem.20 If the ideal situation for those migrants would be to stay half of the year in Senegal and the other half working in Argentina, however, flight costs as well as the current economic conditions in Argentina make it impossible in the short term for this practice to be repeated annually. Obtaining a temporary residence permit allows other Senegalese in Argentina to move more easily between Argentina and Brazil. This is specifically true for those who decide to try their luck as workers in the Brazilian seasonal agricultural economy and the cold-storage enterprises that export halal products, particularly frozen chicken, to the Muslim world (Silva 2013). Some young Senegalese I interviewed in La Plata had worked for several months in Brazil during the past years and returned to Argentina during the summer months, when they would move along with other Senegalese vendors to the Atlantic coast’s beaches and other important touristic centres in Argentina. Summer is the most important time for street vendors in Argentina, and the Senegalese vendors try to take advantage of the season that starts in December with Christmas and lasts until Easter in April.

Conclusion This chapter has introduced the Senegalese modou-modou in Argentina and their engagement in ambulant trade, to highlight the meaning and central place these commercial activities occupy in their migratory identity. It analysed some migrants’ narratives to shed light on their decision to migrate and the way in which the Senegalese who have arrived and continue to arrive in Argentina realize and pursue

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their projects. In addition to the reasons connected with the need to work to make a living, migrants emphasized the limited opportunities for professional development in their home country, as well as the expectation of improving their own living conditions and those of their entire families. Further important reasons that form part of the complex bundle of motivations for migration are strongly associated with masculinity and a desire to know more of the world. This could be conceptualized as migratory culture, which includes the notion of (an economic) adventure as a fundamental category. The Senegalese migrants, and sub-Saharan migrants more generally, take on an adventurous journey to both become men and gain knowledge of the world. At the same time, they also travel to meet the economic expectations of their families, who remain at home. Argentina has become a likely destination for Senegalese migrants since the pioneers of this trajectory at the end of the 1990s, the modou-modou traders, managed to install themselves in Buenos Aires and occupy a hitherto unfilled commercial niche: the ambulant sale of trinkets. To successfully realize their migratory projects, remaining mobile and continually leaving for new opportunities where the potential risks are minimized constitute important rules for the Senegalese who form part of this transnational network. The importance of the street trade corresponds to different dimensions of identity, which have become intertwined with each other over time and have resulted in what might be conceptualized as specialization in a particular activity – the ambulant street sale. Hence, work is constitutive for the migratory project and intrinsically entangled in an intra-communitarian social network that unites informal actors and guarantees social reliability (Moreno Maestro 2006). My research results show that ambulant trade not only occupies a major part of the Senegalese modou-modou migrants’ daily and weekly time but also strongly influences the Senegalese community’s other social routines, for example the time devoted to religious, cultural and associational activities. These activities are not just local or individual but constitute important elements of the daily lives of Senegalese communities all over the world. Hence, the way in which they are articulated within the same group of migrants is both a consequence and an actual part of the knowledge of ‘how to migrate’. If we consider migration as a system that comprises the constant circulation of individuals and puts old and new regimes of knowledge into practice, the transitional movement of the Senegalese through different spaces and the experience of conflict with the representatives of the state law favour the empowerment of migrants who

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constantly accumulate new knowledge within and for their migratory project. Such processes are essential for developing knowledge about ‘how to migrate’, which is transmitted to new migrants coming into the country or to potential migrants at home. The routes of mobility are also reconfigured in this way. These mobility strategies differ from the expectations of the host society. For the Argentinian state, the regime of migratory regulation is a mechanism of control and subjugation of the Senegalese migrant community, with the objective of integrating and rooting them in the country. The Senegalese, however, want to obtain legal documents not so much because they want to integrate but rather to achieve mobility; being legal in Argentina enables them to move freely between Argentina and Senegal. Permanent settlement is, therefore, despite common understanding, not synonymous with the success of the migratory project. In contrast, in the context of these continuous circulations, the feeling of belonging to different worlds, the opportunity to participate in the possible ventures they offer, and the knowledge of how to migrate and circulate are essential.

Notes 1

For further information on of which 54 were granted. The Senegalese migration in Italy most recent figures relating to the see Riccio (2001, 2004), Sinatti migration regularization of the (2006); for Spain, see Moreno Senegalese population, collected Maestro (2006), Jabardo Velasco between January and June 2013, (2006), Lacomba (1996); for the indicate that 1,697 applications USA, see Kane (2011), Fall (2002), had been submitted. 3 For an analysis of the Senegalese Stoller (2002); for Canada see, migratory networks in Argentina, Wabgou (2008). 2 In the national population census see Zubrzycki and Sanchez of 2001, the largest groups of Alvarado (2015). 4 The Mourides (mouridiyya) are sub-Saharan Africans were a Senegalese brotherhood that the South Africans at 213, the was founded by Wolof at the Senegalese at 63 and Nigerians end of the nineteenth century. at 49 individuals. In the census It is currently the most active of 2010, the largest groups were and growing brotherhood in the Senegalese at 459, South Senegal with its religious centre Africans at 406 and Nigerians at in Touba. The Tijaniyya is one 160. Statistics about the number of the most important mystical of refugee applicants also provide orders in northern and western information about the number of Africa. This brotherhood and sub-Saharan migrants that have its associates constitute the setteld in Argentina. The National largest Muslim brotherhood in Commission for Refugees counted Senegal, and, until the 1980s, 936 applications from Senegalese it had the largest number of asylum seekers between 1991 and members outside Senegal. It 2010, of which 71 were granted, is only today that the Mouride and 198 Nigerian applications,

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brotherhood has become more influential. 5 However, as Crespo indicates, not all of the Senegalese who participate in the street trade, carrying out street sales or some other type of commercial activity, are Mourides, nor are all of the Mourides traders (2006: 250). 6 For a more detailed analysis of the category of people called modoumodou, see Crespo (2006), Diouf (2000), Kane (2011), Riccio (2001) and Sow (2004). 7 Argentina’s most recent migration law contains many positive aspects when compared to the previous laws, even though it entails a series of restrictions and obstacles concerning entrance to the country and the residence permit, especially for migrants outside MERCOSUR (Mercado Común del Sur). It provides advantages such as the right to healthcare as well as public and free education even for illegal immigrants. 8 The names of informants have been replaced with pseudonyms to protect their identity. 9 Sarró clarifies, however, that thinking of migration in terms of adventure does not presuppose a binary opposition between adventure and necessity and even less between adventure and suffering: ‘Saying that Africans come to Europe for “adventure” is not equivalent of saying they came for “vacation”, nor is it equivalent of saying that today in Africa there is no need to migrate. […] the adventure and the necessity are not incompatible […] in fact, one has to be a great adventurer in order to be able to face the enormous suffering that the migration transfer implies. To say that Africans come to Europe for adventure is not minimalizing nor ridicularizing or relativizing their journey’ (Sarró 2009: 504–5). 10 My fieldwork formed part of a research project on sub-Saharan

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migration to Argentina and was financed by the National Council of Scientific and Technical Research as well as by the University of La Plata. 11 Some of the interviews that were carried out between 2008 and 2009 were undertaken with the anthropologist Silvina Agnelli. 12 Once is a commercial zone in Buenos Aires in which traditionally European Jews, Arabs and Armenians settled; more recently, Koreans, Chinese, Peruvians and Bolivians have moved there as well. 13 According to Bava’s (2004) study of the Mourides in Marsella, the Mourides’ religious associations were initially assocaitions for mutual support that were actively involved in, for example, the reception of recently arrived migrants and took over responsibily for health problems, administrative documents, finding housing, etc. They also provided space for members to meet and pray. 14 In many Argentinian cities, selling goods in a public space is prohibited. 15 I refer to Argentina generally, since the enquiries carried out by the research team to which I belong as well as the research undertaken by other academics in different cities and provinces of Argentina, show that the situation in terms of street selling is similar across the country. 16 The Asociación de Residentes Senegaleses en Argentina was founded in 2006. Mourides and members of the Tijaniyya are part of this association alongside Wolof, Diola and Serer migrants. This organization has been legally acknowledged by the Argentinian state since 2010, and its board of directors is comprised of individuals who are in a legalized migratory situation, which means that they have at least a temporary legal residence permit. Some of them are even formally employed.

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In Argentina, the possession of documents is a necessary requirement for being a member of the board of directors of an organization of this type. 17 The regulatory regime, which came into effect between January and July 2013, includes the need to obtain a temporary residence for one year. It can be extended twice consecutively in order to apply for a permanent/ unlimited residence permit. 18 During March and April 2014, the government of the autonomous city of Buenos Aires launched a series of actions that led to the domestic disturbance and persecution of mobile vendors, mostly Senegalese. 19 An analysis of the circulation and geographical mobility of Senegalese in Argentina can be found in Chevalier-Beaumel and Morales (2012). 20 Together with Dr Feline Freier (LSE and Universidad del Pacífico, Peru) I am working on a study of the impact of the regulation programme, particularly on the work conditions of Senegalese migrants.

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Sayad, A. (2000) ‘O retorno: elemento constitutivo da condição do imigrante’, Revista Travessia, 13: 7–32. Segato, R. (2007) La Nación y sus Otros. Raza, Etnicidad y Diversidad Religiosa en Tiempos de Políticas de la Identidad, Buenos Aires: Prometeo. Silva, A. R. de C. (2013) ‘Imigrantes africanos solicitantes de refúgio na indústria avícola halal brasileira’, Revista Travessia, 73: 21–30. Simmel, G. (1936 [1911]) ‘La aventura’, Revista de Occidente (Madrid) (issue on Cultura femenina y otros ensayos), pp. 123–38. Sinatti, G. (2006) ‘Diasporic cosmopolitanism and conservative translocalism: narratives of nation among Senegalese migrants in Italy’, Studies in Ethnicity and Nationalism, 6(3): 30–50. Sow, P. (2004) ‘Prácticas comerciales transnacionales y espacios de acción de los senegaleses em España’, in M. Angeles Escrivá and N. Ribas (eds), Migración y Desarrollo. Estudios sobre remesas y otras prácticas transnacionales en España, Córdoba (Spain): Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas, pp. 235–54. Stoller, P. (2002) Money Has No Smell: The Africanization of New York City, Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press. Tarrius, A. (2000) ‘Leer, describir, interpretar. Las circulaciones migratorias: conveniencia de la noción de “territorio circulatorio”.

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Los nuevos hábitos de la identidad’, Relaciones, 83: 38–66. ––––– (2007) La mundialización por abajo. El capitalismo nómada en el arco mediterráneo, Barcelona: Hacer. ––––– (2010) ‘Pobres en migración, globalización de las economías y debilitamiento de los modelos integradores: el transnacionalismo migratorio en Europa meridional’, Empiria. Revista de Metodología de Ciencias Sociales, 19: 133–56. Wabgou, M. (2000) ‘Senegaleses en Madrid, mercado de trabajo y vida asociativa desde la perspectiva de redes sociales’, Paper presented at the Segundo Congreso sobre la Inmigración en España, Universidad Pontificia de Comillas, Madrid, sirio.ua.es/documentos/ pdf/flujos_migratorios/estudio%20 sobre%20la%20inmigracion%20 de%20senegualeses.pdf, accessed 20 October 2010. ––––– (2008) ‘Insertion au marché du travail. Les expériences des immigrants sénégalais à Montréal’, IMI Working Papers 11. Zubrzycki, B. and S. Agnelli (2009) ‘“Allá en África, en cada barrio por lo menos hay un senegalés que sale de viaje”. La migración senegalesa en Buenos Aires’, Cuadernos de Antropología Social, 29: 135–52. Zubrzycki, B. and L. F. Sánchez Alvarado (2015) ‘Redes y proyectos migratorios de los senegaleses en Argentina’, Cadernos CERU, 26: 69–84.

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7 Migration, successes and liminal spaces: a contemporary perspective on Africans in India Renu Modi

In the past two decades or so, new patterns of interactions between India and Africa have taken shape, defining the emerging political, economic and cultural engagements between the two regions. Beyond the macro-narratives about new forms of South–South activities, there has been a universe of bidirectional interactions, transactions and movements. These movements refer to people, objects, stories and ideas that have continued to infuse the Afrasian connections over the longue durée since antiquity. In the contemporary context, the movement of people by and large has been subject to macrolevel forces – the state, borders and international politics and issues of security – real or imagined. African immigrants move back and forth between India and Africa, having chosen the former as the destination where individuals are likely to realize their dreams and aspirations. Some Africans manage to actualize their wishes; for others, the ‘India experience’ is a blend of success stories and challenges. Various factors have shaped the itineraries of migration and mobility of Africans to India. In this study, the generic term ‘African people’ is used for immigrants from any of the fifty-four countries on the continent. This exploration factors in the specific social, political, cultural and economic contexts that have generated multiple and more often than not circular migration trajectories between India and Africa. Individual actors from various countries on the continent choose India as their preferred destination for a multitude of reasons. This chapter focuses on three specific categories of Africans who often make their way to India: students who come to access higher education, ‘medical tourists’ who are seeking quality healthcare, and informal traders who stay on for longer periods. There is scant research on the increased flows of Africans to India that have taken place over the past two decades. The overarching aim of this study is to understand the individual and collective narratives of adaptation in the context of a foreign land, the socio-political, cultural and economic landscapes they cross while in India, and

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several micro-narratives that they engender in the process. This chapter juxtaposes the biographies of these itinerant immigrants, the objects they carry to and from India and their cultural/dietary habits that circulate with them against the culture of the host contexts. These engagements can be enabling as well as discouraging, and in turn impact the lived experiences as well as life strategies of these mobile people. On the basis of newspaper reports and interviews, this chapter also highlights the occasional tenuous relations between the Indian and African communities. At this juncture, the media and media products have played a critical role in generating collective discourses, which have provoked a wide range of reactions. Thus, it is of particular interest to understand the liminal spaces of discomfiture that exists at the contact zones of these intercultural encounters and at the intersections of foreign and local norms. This research has relied extensively on information gathered during informal interviews and focus group discussions held at a local Pentecostal Evangelical Church; the Redeemed Christian Church at the Shanti complex on Mira Road, a suburb in North Mumbai, one of the few churches in Mumbai where there is a predominance of African churchgoers. The church was established in 2008 with generous contributions from members, mainly Nigerian business people in India. Reportedly, this is the only church owned by Nigerians in India (personal communication, Mumbai, 2015). Additionally, interviews were also conducted with members of housing societies and several groups of African students who visited the University of Mumbai to attend several academic events; caregivers for African patients at three major hospitals in Mumbai (Hinduja Hospital, Jaslok Hospital and Prince Aly Khan Hospital) also volunteered to share their stories.

Africans in India: immigration and entrepreneurship Outward migration from countries in Africa to various international destinations is triggered by push factors such as conflict situations, governance issues and limited economic opportunities in some countries on the continent. Desire for adventure, economic entrepreneurship and creativity, to pursue dreams and passions are other reasons that facilitate mobility. African immigration to India has historical antecedents. History bears testimony to the fact that bidirectional mobile trajectories have been evident across the Indian Ocean since antiquity. As early as the tenth century, slaves

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were shipped from the Swahili coast to India to serve as bodyguards, labourers and domestic workers (Pouwels 2002: 392–3). The numbers were small and averaged from ‘250–300 per annum and a total of about 20,000 slaves were traded during the Portuguese rule’ (Sheriff 1987: 40). What is of significance here is that the slave routes catalyzed a small African diaspora in India, the descendants of African slaves, referred to by the eponym Siddis. The Siddis have blended into the multicultural fold of the Indian nation over the past centuries, though remnants of their African heritage continue to be evident to date through their material culture, cultural practices and physiognomic features. With the upbeat economic engagements between India and Africa, trade and travel between the two regions have accelerated over the past two decades. Although Europe and other developed regions remain the preferred destinations for African immigrants, restrictive immigration regimes and high living costs in the West deflect them to countries of the Global South such as to India. Improved air connectivity and continued goodwill between India and African countries as well as easier visa regimes have facilitated travel and tourism and thus African familiarity with India. When African sojourners return home, they carry back their impressions and stories of opportunities of relatively better livelihood options in India, as compared to those in their home countries, some of which are mired in conflict and politico-economic instability. New immigrants usually tread the familiar path and follow in the footsteps and benefit from the networks of their friends and family members when they decide to immigrate to India. Yet some of them explore new paths as well. The direction and destinations of their migration trajectory are contingent on the level of education, access to resources and perception of opportunities in their chosen termini. These emerging patterns of mobility in the contemporary context, as in the past, include women, either as individuals or as part of their families. By attempting to unravel the individual agencies, this chapter highlights South–South transnational interactions, including business strategies, expectations from their mobile courses, and grassroots globalization. The stories of African immigrants in India are replete with narratives of success, of achievements on the personal and professional fronts. Furthermore, the stories tell of the challenges faced while adapting to a new environment and the survival strategies that were adopted in response to new milieux. A large number of immigrants to India, often associated with the informal sector or the shadow economies, migrate to eke out a

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livelihood in distant lands or for adventure. Peter Obi’s1 trajectory is one such instance. He is an Igbo-speaking resident from Enugu city in eastern Nigeria and came to India to seek job opportunities, preferably a salaried job, in 2004. Since Peter did not find employment for a fixed wage, he turned to trading ready-made clothing: T-shirts, shirts, socks and children’s garments he purchased at wholesale prices from Crawford Market, Dadar Market or Hindmata Market. The merchandise was sent by air through cargo agencies located in Mohammed Ali Road and Colaba, in South Mumbai. The city of Mumbai has seen a growth in the business of logistics agencies over the past few years. These agents partner with African airlines such as Kenya Airways or Ethiopian Airlines to deliver the goods directly to several countries on the continent. Peter’s business did not do well because clothes are a bulk item and the cargo costs to Enugu city were high, cutting into his profits. He then switched to trading in artificial jewellery, buying charms and gifts, wedding bands, pearls, bracelets, stud earrings, specifically sacred cross studs and pendants, pins and brooches, tiepins and cufflinks made of high-quality sterling silver, stainless steel and zircon, and exported them back home. Several immigrants source wares for day-to-day consumption and send them to their home countries for sale; shoes, apparel, leather bags, kitchenware, artificial hair, coloured beads, decorative items, khangas and brightly coloured wax prints, among others, are purchased at reasonable prices from the wholesale textile markets in the city. Peter made a small profit from trading, after which he returned to Enugu city in 2010, where he was later married. He came back to India with his wife a year later, started a family, and now has three young children. ‘People here are peaceful and do not interfere as long as you are law-abiding,’ says Peter. Peter, like many other African nationals in India, initially could not adapt to Indian society. Many Africans settle in gradually through support and fellowship with other Africans, as Peter did at the Redeemed Christian Church at Mira Road. This particular church also has branches in other Indian cities such as Pune, Bengaluru, New Delhi and Chennai. There are several other churches that African nationals attend in and around Mumbai: the Christ’s Embassy Church, a branch of one of the largest denominations in Nigeria, at Grant Road in South Mumbai; Mountain of Fire and Miracles Church at Goregaon, also found in Nigeria; and the Redeemed Christian Church opened recently at Koperkhairane, a distant suburb in the New Mumbai area. African immigrants also

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pray together in community halls near their residential areas, in Vashi, Kharghar and Santa Cruz West. The above-referenced places of worship have predominantly African parishioners but some Indian Christians from the neighbourhoods also worship alongside them. The church community offers immigrants like Peter immense spiritual and emotional sustenance as well as a community support system in an unfamiliar territory. These foreigners constitute an invisible community within the country. They live together, usually in the less prosperous neighbourhoods, with fellow African immigrants. Their community lives are centred on other immigrants, mainly people from their own country or from the same fellowship. Outside the church, the immigrants’ interaction with the Indian people and the local cultures is marginal and confined to the public space. Martha Adife, a Yoruba-speaking Nigerian national from Benin City in southern Nigeria, had dreams of going to the West but ‘destiny’, she says, brought her to India in 2002. Most Nigerian women doing business in India are Yorubas from south-west Nigeria and Igbos from eastern Nigeria. Martha likes living in India and settled here to make a living through trading and small business in order to support her two children who reside with her. She too purchases goods to sell back home: cotton T-shirts, handbags, hair products such as hair extensions and gels are all bought from wholesale markets in Mumbai. She parcels the bulk consignment to Lagos, where her brother collects the items for sale in the local markets. Of her five children, three are married and have settled in Nigeria. She tried to get her youngest daughter admitted to a government medical school in Mumbai but had little success. The documents required for the government schools, which cost much less than the private medical institutes, were not available to her because of incompatibilities between Nigerian and Indian education systems. To support herself and her family of three, Martha runs a kitchen from her home in a nondescript lane in the remote neighbourhood of Navi Mumbai. She sells traditional Nigerian cuisine to a small but committed clientele of fellow Nigerians and Africans from other countries, mainly to single males who work in the informal sector. To retain the traditional Nigerian flavour, Martha purchases red oil and bitter leaf from home to prepare dried fish to go with goat curry and ‘swallow’ (starchy foods that are cooked to a dense paste and eaten with various soups) made with pounded yam powder. Yet another Igbo woman, Cicilia Chukuma, runs a beauty parlour and braids hair for an African clientele in the Shanti

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complex at Mira Road: ‘Indian girls also want to learn our skill in hair braiding,’ Cicilia explains. In Mohammed Ali Road, a bustling, nearly chaotic business area in Mumbai, one can find a few Africans working in courier companies that ship goods across the world, including to Africa. Other immigrants are seen around the dock areas. These are Martha’s clients. Some of them pre-order their meal from her kitchen, which is then packed and transported by local train from Navi Mumbai to Mohammed Ali Road. The two cases cited here are representative of several immigrants from across the continent who are engaged in informal trade and home-based activities within India. Immigrants come from across the African continent and there is a significant number from Nigeria, the most populous African country. Martha hopes that the Government of India (GoI) will allow Africans with small businesses like hers to operate from large-scale commercial premises and grant them licences for commercial activities. However, the granting of licences for commercial activities to expatriates in India is contingent on their having a business visa. It is only with a business visa that they have a legal right to live and work in India. Short-term visas such as tourist or student visas offered for a maximum period of six months are inadequate for getting licences for commercial activities. At present, the home-based operations from downmarket neighbourhoods are located far from the city centre and therefore curtail the scope of the immigrants’ commercial enterprise. According to the immigrants, there is a lack of ‘reciprocity’ by the Indians. Indian restaurants in Africa, they say, thrive because they are frequented and patronized by local Africans. However, eateries offering Nigerian or other African cuisine operate away from public spaces and therefore they have not been able to introduce the Indians to delectable cuisines from Africa. This could also possibly be because a large percentage of Indians are vegetarians and African cuisine is predominantly non-vegetarian. Sometimes immigrants from Africa come as students and engage in trading as well. Patrick, a student from Tanzania, enrolled at a university in Mumbai around 2005 to complete his master’s degree. While at the university, Patrick occasionally flew down to Thailand to source merchandise and buy consumer goods, mainly children’s clothes. He also purchased brightly printed fabrics in the wholesale markets in Mumbai, which he sent as cargo to Dar es Salaam. He was happy to educate his children at a local kindergarten in North Mumbai and stayed on until his student visa ran out. On

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return, Patrick joined his family-run shop in Kariakoo Street in Dar es Salaam. The exact number of immigrants from across the continent and the particular purpose for which they come to India cannot be ascertained owing to a lack of disaggregated data on the African immigrants. From the limited data that could be accessed from the Indian High Commission websites for a few countries on the continent, business, medical treatment and higher studies seem to be the major reasons for travel to India, as Table 7.1 shows. Table 7.1 – Number of African immigrants per country Country

Number of Indian visas (2014)

Nigeria

40,000 (medical treatment and business)

Kenya

18,000 (medical tourism and business)

Uganda

1,500 (medical treatment), 1,032 (student visas)

Rwanda

756 (medical tourism), 1,582 (student visas)

Burundi

205 (medical tourism), 447 (student visas)

Source: Websites on the bilateral relations of India with the above-referenced countries (MEA 2015a, 2015b, 2015c, 2015d, 2015e)

Statistics on the exact purpose of immigration cannot be collated because the purpose of travel and the category of visa applied for do not always coincide. For instance, several Africans come for medical treatment on tourist visas because the latter are cheaper and require fewer documents – a tourist does not have to submit a letter confirming admission to a hospital in India. Some immigrants such as Patrick from Tanzania also engage in trade while on a student visa, thereby masking the activities they engage in once they are in the country.

Fulfilling aspirations through education India has a long tradition of imparting world-class education through universities and training institutions that have nurtured and shaped generations of students from Africa. A steady stream of African students have been making their way to India from Africa since soon after India gained independence in 1947. Apa Pant, the first Indian high commissioner to East and Central Africa and consul general to the Belgian Congo, was posted to Kenya in August 1948. Under the premiership of Jawaharlal Nehru, India

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offered scholarships to students in East Africa, much to the chagrin of the colonial authorities in Africa (Gregory 1993: 86–7). For example, Henry Chipembere of Nyasaland (present-day Malawi), who later became a key figure in his country’s freedom struggle, could not avail himself of his scholarship to India because the colonial authorities rescinded it. They feared that the already-aware youth would be further politicized in a country that had just thrown off its colonial yoke (Phillips 1976: 7). The late Bingu wa Mutharika, president of Malawi (2004–12), was a beneficiary of the Indira Gandhi scholarship. He graduated from the Shri Ram College of Commerce and completed his master’s in economics from the Delhi School of Economics. Several political luminaries such as the Nigerian presidents Ibrahim Babangida (1985–93) and Olusegun Obasanjo (1999–2007) studied in India, whereas Fredrick William Kwasi Akuffo, head of state of Ghana (1978–79), received military training in India (MEA n.d.). To cite further examples, Professor Sam Ongeri, the former minister of education for the Government of Kenya (GoK), and Professor Peter Amollo Odhiambo, both eminent surgeons in Kenya in the 1980s and 1990s, completed their medical education at the Universities of Delhi and Mumbai, respectively (Odhiambo 2013: 4). These examples of Indian university alumni are merely illustrative, not exhaustive. Some African students returned home to become leading politicians while others trained as professionals, such as doctors, software engineers, scientists and teachers. Initially, there were a higher number of East Africans who came to study post1947, probably because of the geographic proximity between the two regions and the use of a common language, English, in the erstwhile British colonies in East Africa as well as in India. India offers quality higher education at reasonable prices predominantly in the domains of science and technology, commerce, business and liberal arts. Further, the cost of living in India, barring the metropolises of Mumbai and New Delhi, is reasonable when compared to that in Western countries. Rwanda in its post-genocide reconstruction programme sent the first batch of its students to India in 1999: the Naini Agricultural College in Allahabad, Osmania University in Hyderabad, the University of Pune and Delhi University rank high in terms of African student enrolment.

Government of India (GoI) initiatives Since the first India–Africa Forum Summit (IAFS) in 2008 and the subsequent two editions of IAFS (2011 and 2015), there has been a

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rise in the inflow of students from beyond anglophone Africa. Nearly six to seven thousand African students from across the continent enrol in Indian universities annually. Most are self-financed while others are recipients of GoI scholarships for undergraduate and higher studies. Since the IAFS II (2011) over 24,000 scholarships across 300 training courses in 60 institutions have benefited Africans in subjects such as IT, renewable energy, marine hydrography and agriculture (IAFS III 2015: para. 36). In 2015 and 2016, 900 slots were extended to countries in Africa by the Indian Council of Cultural Relations (ICCR) under the Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation (ITEC) programme. The ITEC – India’s main development assistance programme – was launched by the GoI in 1964, as a manifestation of successful South–South cooperation. The top five countries in terms of recipients of scholarship slots are Mauritius (97), Kenya and South Africa (52 each), Ethiopia (50) and Mozambique (34) (OFA 2016). There is an understated linkage between India’s promotion of soft power through these sponsorships and strategic interests in these countries. The use of English as a main medium of instruction has facilitated an inflow of students from the anglophone regions. But students from Portuguese- or French-speaking countries such as Angola, Benin and Senegal have a severe language barrier and therefore several ITEC slots allocated to these have not been utilized. For example, Angola did not avail itself of any slots in 2014 and 2015, predominantly because of the language issue (IAFS 2015). Students opt for a wide range of courses: Indian music and dance, Ayurveda and yoga are popular in Humanities; however, technical education in medical sciences and related fields, computer sciences, business administration, pharmacy and commerce are the preferred options. Capacity in the fields of science and technology has been further bolstered by the C.V. Raman International fellowship for African researchers that commenced in 2010. It offers African students an opportunity to conduct research under the guidance of a host scientist in India.

Lived experiences of students in India A small group of twenty-five students from various countries in East Africa visited the Centre for African Studies, Mumbai University, in 2015, and interacted with faculty and students. According to them, about a thousand students were enrolled at the University of Pune, of which only thirty were from Rwanda while the majority were from Nigeria. For Laura Mitchel, a student from Rwanda, completing her

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four-year undergraduate course in business administration at Pune, her ‘India experience’ was memorable. Laura stated that upon her return, she would strongly recommend higher education in India to fellow Rwandans. All the students I met were confident that they would get good jobs with their degrees from India (personal communication, Mumbai, 2015). With an Indian degree in hand, students aspire to obtain meaningful employment at home or return to India for further studies. Only a few settle down in India. For instance, Chris, who came from Nairobi to India on a student visa, acquired a degree in information technology from Manipal University in southern India in 2001 and married a woman from north-eastern India. He settled down in Mumbai after he got a job at a software company. He was able to extend his visa because he had married an Indian citizen. Chris’s two young children have Indian citizenship as they were born in India and their mother is an Indian citizen. In his spare time and on weekends Chris also works as a pastor at a church near his residence. Chris considers himself very lucky to have found employment as well as a soulmate in Mumbai. He visits his family in Kenya when he is able to travel. The students I interviewed, including Chris, shared their negative encounters in India as well. They expressed their concerns and spoke candidly about the sporadic incidences of racism that they were subjected to while in public spaces and during their interactions with the locals. To protect their interests and network with each other, African students in India have formed a national association, the Association of African Students in India (AASI). They stay connected and share information with the African student community through social networking sites such as Facebook or through emails (AASI n.d.). The Association works closely with the Association of African Diplomats based in New Delhi when required or when they face any major problem such as incidences of racism.

Liminal spaces: racism against Africans in India Over the course of the last three to four years, virulent attacks directed against Africans have been a cause of concern among African immigrants as well as the Indian people. In 2014, in Khirki Extension, a suburb of New Delhi, a local politician conducted a midnight raid on the African residents living in Khirki. Several women, most of whom were Ugandan nationals, complained that

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they were manhandled by strangers. The assailants alleged that the Ugandan women were involved in a drug and prostitution racket and forced them to undergo medical tests. The politician’s accusation drew flak as it was unsubstantiated and beyond the remit of law (Indian Express 2014). Such instances, though sporadic, shed a dark light on India, a country known for its age-old tradition of welcoming foreigners and syncretism. In 2013, African nationals took to the streets in Goa to protest about the death of a Nigerian national, Obado Uzoma Simeon, allegedly in a drug war between the locals and the Nigerians. It was dealt with as a law-and-order problem and the culprits were arrested (Firstpost 2013). Yet another Nigerian, Sambo Davis, along with twenty-eight other African men, was rounded up and arrested on charges of peddling and trading drugs in Mumbai. Later, Sambo was released because the police did not find any drugs on him and he had valid documents (Hayden 2014). Such instances of unfounded stereotyping of all ‘blacks’ as drug dealers or prostitutes clearly reveals a lack of intercultural understanding between the two communities. The most recent case of racism against Africans was reported from Bengaluru on 31 January 2016. Four Tanzanian students, one woman and three men, were beaten and their vehicle was torched as a reaction to another ultimately unrelated incident where a Sudanese man had mowed down a thirty-five-year-old Indian woman, which had led to her death; in retribution, the Tanzanian girl was stripped, beaten and then paraded naked in public (Rajendran 2016; Roy 2016). This incident made headlines in print and electronic media, shocking the nation. Racial profiling and stereotyping of Africans in public spaces has been a subject of intellectual discourse and immense concern in India. Matters on the unfortunate Bengaluru issue have been resolved with the involvement of the Ministry of External Affairs, the representatives of the Tanzanian High Commission in New Delhi and the state administration of Karnataka (Deviah 2016). Incidents of racism against African nationals invariably snowball into strained diplomatic relations between countries in Africa and India, but were eventually sorted out through diplomatic channels.

The insider/outsider dichotomy Reflecting on the Bengaluru episode, Linda Peasah Owusu, a Ghanaian student at the School of International Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi, claims that the Indian mind still sees ‘the African’ as ‘depraved, poor, and perverse’ (Owusu 2016). She also highlighted the mob mentality operating on misconceived

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notions and constructed views of the ‘outsider’. In the Bengaluru case, the ‘outsider’ is the African in general and the African woman in particular. Owusu also believes that the government has not done enough to protect African students against racism based on unfounded and misconceived notions about Africans (ibid.). Although infrequent, these attacks, when they do take place, are virulent and publicized via electronic and print media, and such violent acts do not find support among Indian people in general. The Polish sociologist Zygmunt Bauman suggests that ‘Us’ and ‘Them’ are not separate groups of people but rather two different sets of attitudes – one of trust, emotional attachment and security and the other of fear, suspicion and antipathy. According to Bauman, ‘Them’ is firmly conceptualized as different and considered opposite to insiders – it refers to the stranger (cited in Yates 2004). It is through the strangeness of the stranger that we define our idea of what is ‘normal’. Since the stranger is a construction rather than something naturally ‘given’, we often find that those unfamiliar to us are constructed as strangers. But this ‘stranger’ is not merely different. He or she is a ‘hostile or detestable one, a stranger who has to be eliminated’ (Khair 2015). We may attempt to understand the stranger within the insider/outsider or the ‘Us’ and ‘Them’ binary. Those in the latter category are often subjected to xenophobic attacks. The word ‘xenos’ in Greek means ‘stranger’ and ‘phobia’ means ‘fear’, both of which are cultural constructs that are learnt. In his article ‘The new xenophobia’ Tabish Khair distinguishes between what he calls ‘old xenophobia’ and ‘new xenophobia’ (ibid.). The old xenophobia is that in which the visible ‘other’ is seen as a threat and the strangers are constructed as strange on account of their difference, such as the Jews in the Nazi era. Old xenophobia emphasizes strangeness but at the same time recognizes these differences. For Khair, ‘new xenophobia’ has its origins in modern capitalism. Herein, the neoliberal economy and the welfare state work together to construct a new ‘other’ where the visibility of the immigrants’ cultural differences causes ‘problems’. Efforts are made to erase the ‘strangeness’, i.e., the ‘visible differences […] in order to find an illusory “cultural” harmony’ (Doubinsky 2016: 38). In the new xenophobia the strangers continue to remain strangers but without being allowed to demonstrate their difference. The end aim is to assimilate the stranger. The reality in India today reflects a grim picture of xenophobia that combines characteristics of both the old and new, wherein differences are highlighted and erased as per the demands of the political situation (Mehta 2016).

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The intolerance of the ‘Other’ can be better understood and identified if the problem of xenophobia is located in a wider context. In fact, like Africans in India, Indians in other countries have been on the receiving end of xenophobic behaviour – wherein they have also been treated as the ‘Other’. In 2009 and 2010 and most recently in 2014, there have been vicious attacks on Indians in Australia, especially students, involving racial abuse and physical injury (New Indian Express 2014). The ‘curry-bashing’, as it is known in popular parlance, is seen by the Australian authorities as opportunistic robberies of clueless outsiders, rather than racially motivated attacks.

Resisting racism One would expect the Indian population, as victims of racism, to have a better understanding of the futility of such unfounded hatred. However, in India there are diverse strains of thought about foreigners that range from xenophobia to the condemnation of intolerance towards immigrants. For instance, Khoj, an international artists’ association in Delhi, screened a film entitled Cry Out Loud by visual anthropologist Ethiraj Dattatreyan. To convey his message of remonstration, the film-maker puts the camera into the hands of men and women from the African community living at the same site where they had been humiliated: at Khirki Extension. The footage captures the everyday lives of Cameroonian, Nigerian, Ugandan, Ivorian and Somali men and women from Khirki and puts their understanding of the violence they face as undesirable ‘outsiders’ into perspective (Khoj 2014). The AASI registered the angst and dissent of the African immigrants against racism through social media, their Facebook page, and expressed deep distress and anger at the recent attacks directed at the Tanzanians in Bengaluru. They organized a peaceful demonstration to express their feelings of fear and insecurity in order to better the situation for all Africans living in India (AASI 2014). According to my informants, immigrants have also failed to integrate with the local people owing to differences between their socio-religious and cultural backgrounds. In general, responses from civil society indicate that racism against foreigners cannot be justified on any count. Despite the racial profiling against Africans in general and Nigerians in particular, there are professional Nigerians who are sought after and considered as role models for young Indians. Soccer star Ranti Martins, who plays for the Dempo Sports Club in Panjim, is one of the stars among the 400 other African footballers who play

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in clubs all over India (Sugden 2013; Business Standard 2014). Martins hopes that his children, who are growing up in India, will find more acceptance despite being of a different race and colour. Similarly, twenty-three-year-old Ugochi Latoya Igwilo came to India at her father’s behest to study interior design at the Amity University in Delhi. Her unconventional face attracted the attention of the Indian fashion industry and she became the first black model to walk the catwalk at the prestigious Lakme Fashion Week (LFW) event in March 2015. She does, however, feel that the way she looks sometimes leaves designers apprehensive about working with her (Oladeinde 2015). It is important to note that African immigrants to India are not a homogeneous constituency. They are stratified along lines of countries of origin, religious denomination and varied socio-economic strata. African expatriates living and working in India include people in diplomatic positions as well as those employed in private corporations. They are on par with their Indian professional colleagues in the diplomatic or business circles. There have been no incidences of racism reported by this segment of immigrants, as the victims of racism are seemingly ordinary Africans in public spaces, mainly students and small traders. In most cases of strained ‘insider’/‘outsider’ relations, such as in South Africa, known globally for the highest rate of xenophobia, foreigners are seen as a threat and competitors for economic resources such as jobs or a pool of limited public resources (Modi 2003: 1760–61). In India, however, African entrepreneurs, tourists or students are a steady clientele for Indian products and therefore contribute positively to the economy. They are in no way in competition with the Indian populace for employment opportunities or other economic assets.

Problems faced by Africans in India In addition to racism, immigrants face several problems during their migration trajectory. The two immediate difficulties they are confronted with are securing decent housing and visa extensions to facilitate longer stay.

Lack of access to housing According to the immigrants who were interviewed, housing societies invariably restrain the house-owners from renting their premises to them even if they wish to do so. This means that, more often than not,

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the immigrants are forced to stay in undesirable, far-flung suburbs of the city which are not sought after in the rental market and are therefore cheaper. The members of two housing societies explained that they were reluctant to rent their house to the Africans because of their cultural and dietary habits. They explained their social exclusiveness in terms of differences in the socio-religious and cultural backgrounds between themselves and the immigrants: ‘Giving it a racist colour is taking the matter a bit too far’ (personal communication, Mumbai, 2015). The Hindu owners of a housing society in Goregaon suburb in north Mumbai, mainly Gujaratis, were strict vegetarians and teetotallers and did not even let their apartments to other Indians who were non-vegetarians. This, however, offers only a partial explanation for the reluctance of housing societies to lease their premises to the immigrants under study. The immigrants expect a certain kind of ‘reciprocity’ which they consider is not extended to them. They cite the example of the Indian diaspora in Africa, who by and large have fared well economically and live reasonably good lives owing to the hospitality and acceptance in their countries of adoption. Indians in countries of East Africa or South Africa are now fifth- or sixth-generation descendants of the ‘old diasporas’ who emigrated from India in the nineteenth century (see also Oonk, this volume). Several generations of Indians were born and raised in the countries to which their forefathers had migrated. Today they are at ‘home’ in their adopted country. Indians in East and South Africa today, though a minority, are relatively more integrated than the African immigrants in India. While they generally live in exclusive residential areas and interracial interactions in terms of mixed marriages or in private spaces are limited, interactions in public spaces with fellow Africans have been accepting and harmonious. The Indians explain their limited interaction in the private sphere in terms of cultural, religious and dietary habits, which differ from those of their African neighbours. But they acknowledge the fact that the local laws provide them with equal status and offer protection to minority communities (personal communication, Mumbai, 2015). It needs to be understood that African immigration to India is a new phenomenon and gained currency only about two decades ago, more so after the IAFS established scholarships for students as well as people-to-people engagements.

The issue of visa extensions Student visas are easily obtained once a foreign student submits a letter confirming his/her admission to the chosen educational institute

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in India. The visa is awarded for the duration of the course. While a multiple-entry tourist visa can be procured for a maximum period of 180 days with no option of extending it while in India, it requires a minimal number of easily obtainable documents as proof. A multiple-entry business visa is granted for a period as long as five years, along with the convenient option of extending it while in India. This visa, however, is more problematic given that it requires ‘documents to prove bona fide purpose (company letter)’, which is difficult for informal traders to procure. This probably explains why some African immigrants prefer to engage in informal trade while on a tourist visa (Indian Visa Online GoI n.d.). The main cause of concern among the immigrants I interviewed was the extension of their tourist visas as they are valid for a maximum of six months. If they want to stay longer but validate and renew their documents, they need to go back to their home country at the expiration of the stipulated six-month period and reapply. This is where the grievance and contention lie as several of these immigrants have been living in India for decades and would like to live there for as long as possible. It is expensive for these immigrants to travel back and forth to their respective countries only for the purpose of a visa extension, and many consider it to be unnecessary. Therefore, several overstay as ‘the police turns a blind eye so long as they do not break the law of the country’ (personal communication, Mumbai, 2015). This causes a problem, however, when they want to return to their home countries, even if this is after a decade or so, as the immigrants have to report to the Foreign Registration Office (FRO). If they do not have a criminal record they are required to pay a nominal penalty for obtaining a ‘no objection certificate’ for travel. Since the fines for overstaying a visa for those with a clean record are not stringent, most of the African immigrants opt for this route instead of returning home for visa extensions. The Nigerian informants complained that visa rules were more severe for them as compared to those for Kenyans, Congolese, Sudanese or the Senegalese. They expressed angst that all Nigerians were stereotyped as drug peddlers or cyber criminals, which is certainly not the case.

Seeking healthcare in India The inflow of African patients to India is not a new phenomenon, as ‘medical tourism’ or the trading of services in the healthcare sector

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based on comparative advantage caught attention as far back as 1989 (OECD 1989, cited in Modi 2011a: 116). Initially, the demand for quality treatment in internationally accredited facilities in India came from the 28-million-strong constituency of Overseas Indians,2 of which about 2.5 million reside in Africa (MOIA 2015, MOIA n.d., author’s calculation). The bulk of patients visiting India are from anglophone countries, though there has been a rise in the number of patients from francophone and lusophone countries in recent years. As stated earlier, the numbers of patients coming to India cannot be ascertained because they do not always travel on a medical visa but use the tourist visas route as well. Of the inflow from Africa, Nigerians constitute the largest single group. About 40,000 Nigerians visit India annually, of which about half come for medical purposes (Premium Times 2015). There are methodological challenges in trying to collate data on this category of immigrants. Hospitals do not allow access to patient data, which is kept confidential, and at times patients are in a critical condition; it is therefore unethical to approach them for an interview. However, based on a small sample of fifty interviews conducted in 2008/09 among patients and caregivers from East Africa, and eight additional interviews conducted in 2015 for this study, I have attempted to understand why Africans come to India to access healthcare. A shortage of qualified doctors, nurses and technicians, poor healthcare infrastructure and low government expenditure on the health sector have led to the collapse of the healthcare sector in several countries in sub-Saharan Africa, with the exception of a few countries such as South Africa and Mauritius. Furthermore, under the World Bank’s structural adjustment programmes of the 1980s and 1990s, which laid emphasis on privatization, the free market and macroeconomic stabilization, subsidies to the public healthcare system have been withdrawn and user fees are the norm. As a result, ‘out of pocket’ expenses for treatment increased and a majority of poor patients fell through the safety net. The political elites – heads of state from various countries such as Malam Bacai Sanha (Guinea-Bissau), Bingu wa Mutharika (Malawi), John Atta Mills (Ghana), Meles Zenawi (Ethiopia) and Alahai Umaru Musa Yar’ Adua (Nigeria), among others – have sought treatment in developed countries with advanced medical care but died in hospitals abroad or on their return home (Modi 2012). These examples affirm that the elites do not trust their national healthcare systems and that it is a privilege to be able to travel abroad for healthcare, which is often considered a status symbol that testifies to the symbolic achievement

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of economic and political success. Treatment abroad is available only for those from the affluent socio-economic strata who can cover the cost of air travel and treatment in India. A few families from Nairobi and Dar es Salaam explained that they were able to raise funds through voluntary contributions from their church congregation (Modi 2011b: 136). Treatment in India has consumer appeal for cost-conscious patients from Africa. While the cost of treatment continues to escalate in the developed world, in India high-quality and state-of-the-art healthcare facilities are available at one third to one sixth of the cost of treatment in the West or the USA. With the rise in medical tourism, this industry is projected to grow from US$3 billion to US$8 billion by 2020 in India (CII/Grant Thornton 2015). Several internationally accredited hospitals in major cities such as Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Chennai, Delhi, Hyderabad and Mumbai are preferred destinations for international patients (ibid.). The process is facilitated by online marketplaces/web portals such as MediConnectIndia, PlanMyMedicalTrip and India4health among others. They assist foreign patients by matching their disease profile with expertise in Indian hospitals. Logistics such as hotel accommodation and value-added services are attended to by the facilitators (Ayyar and Ramalingam 2016). Indian hospitals are marketing their services proactively. For example, the Apollo chain of hospitals has a promotion with Emirates airlines for special fares for those seeking treatment in their facilities (KPMG-FICCI 2014: 43). Most private hospitals that woo foreign patients also have a dedicated segment for international patients on their hospital web portal. Mohammed Ali, a fifty-year-old pilot with Kenyan Airways, chose his doctor based on an internet survey. He sought treatment for a severe knee injury in the Prince Aly Khan hospital in Mumbai. Ten days after his surgery, Ali could resume flying. ‘In Mumbai, you find the best doctors in world and they are not expensive,’ said Ali (Ghose 2008). The best publicity for any hospital is positive feedback based on the personal experience of patients who have success stories to share. There are narratives of failed outcomes as well. Ailments such as knee replacement and other surgeries and diagnosis that do not require monitoring and follow-ups are invariably successful, but conditions of terminal or chronic illness such as cancer that require a longer stay and constant follow-ups have had a mixed rate of success. ‘Medical tourism has been a cause of concern in countries on the continent.’ The anguish is evident inthe managing director of Nigeria’s Access Bank, Herbert Wigwe’s, statement: ‘Why can’t we revisit

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the health care system to make sure it works better? Why must we spend about USD 2 billion annually on children’s school fees overseas or medical tourism abroad?’ (Udo 2016). Healthcare abroad has serious limitations in terms of outcome and is a drain on the foreign exchange of sending countries in Africa. But until medical infrastructure in terms of hospitals and human resources is in place on the continent, the ongoing trend of seeking healthcare beyond state borders, such as in India, will continue.

Conclusion Immigrants’ lived experiences in India defy generalization, as every migration trajectory is unique. For Chris from Nigeria, pilot Mohammed Ali, footballer Ranti Martins and model Ugochi Igwilo, India is the destination of opportunities: it has widened prospects and fulfilled their basketful of aspirations. Mobility to India has been a game-changer for several other immigrants as well. With excellent educational institutions and medical facilities, and enormous opportunities for small businesses, India has offered immense prospects for immigrants. Several immigrants spoke about the freedom of movement, safety and a peaceful environment that India offered. They also acknowledged the economic opportunities they received in India, ‘away from conflict and stressful economic situations back home’ (personal communication, Mumbai, 2015). There is, however, a flip side to the story as well. Sambo Davis, the residents of Khirki Extension, Linda Owusu and the Tanzanian girl in Bengaluru showcase the liminal spaces in their preferred destination of migration. Owusu’s pensive questions, ‘Has an African no god? But should my identity and where I come from really matter in this day and age? What happened to treating people equally and fairly regardless of gender, tribe or nationality?’, offer a darker picture of immigration to India (Owusu 2016). The intense and mixed emotions and concerns about African immigrants to India continue to be an unresolved puzzle, leaving us with an ambivalent understanding of human behaviour towards ‘outsiders’.

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Notes 1

Names of all informants have been changed. 2 ‘Overseas Indians’ includes non-resident Indians and people of Indian origin.

References AASI (Association of African Students in India) (2014) Facebook, www.facebook.com/ AssociationOfAfricanStudentsIn India/?fref=nf, accessed 13 February 2016. ––––– (n.d.). aasi.org.in/, accessed 13 February 2016. Ayyar, R. and A. Ramalingam (2016) ‘Medical trip is as easy as planning a holiday’, Times of India, 23 January, timesofindia. indiatimes.com/business/indiabusiness/A-medical-trip-to-Indiaas-easy-as-planning-a-holiday/ articleshow/50690500.cms, accessed 16 February 2016. Business Standard (2014) ‘African footballers flock to India for greener pastures’, Business Standard, 12 January, www. business-standard.com/article/ news-ians/african-footballersflock-to-india-for-greenerpastures-sports-feature114011200513_1.htmlv, accessed 13 January 2016. CII/Grant Thornton (2015) ‘Medical tourism to touch US$8 billion by 2020: Grant Thornton’, 31 October, www.grantthornton.in/ en/news-centre/medical-tourismin-india-to-touch-us$-8-billion-by2020-grant-thornton/, accessed 10 January 2016. Deviah, M. A. (2016) ‘It is racist. Why is everyone reluctant to brand attack on the Tanzanian girl in Bengaluru so?’, Firstpost, 7 February, www.firstpost.com/india/ why-is-everyone-so-reluctantto-brand-the-attack-on-thetanzanian-woman-in-bengaluruas-racist-2615574.html, accessed 13 February 2016.

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Doubinsky, S. (2016) ‘Erasing the Other’, Economic and Political Weekly, 51(11): 38–40. Firstpost (2013) ‘Nigerians in Goa: are we ignoring racism while blaming drugs?’, Firstpost, 8 November, www.firstpost.com/ india/nigerians-in-goa-are-weignoring-racism-while-blamingdrugs-1218153.html, accessed 13 October 2014. Ghose, R. (2008) ‘Thanks to kneesurgery in Mumbai, Kenyan pilot can read Namaz again’, Mid-day, 14 November, archive. mid-day.com/news/2008/ nov/141108-News-MumbaiKenyan-pilot-Namaz-knee-surgery. htm, accessed 12 May 2010. Gregory, R. (1993) Quest for Equality: Asian Politics in East Africa 1900– 1967, New Delhi: Orient Longman. Hayden, M. E. (2014) ‘Dirty city’, Skin, March, www. motherlandmagazine.com/skin/ dirty-city, accessed 24 March 2015. IAFS (2015) ‘India–Angola relations’, www.iafs.in/downloads/Angola.pdf, accessed 21 October 2015. IAFS III (2015) ‘Third India– Africa Forum Summit 2015: India–Africa Framework for Strategic Cooperation’, www.mea.gov.in/Uploads/ PublicationDocs/25981framework. pdf, accessed 21 October 2015. Indian Express (2014) ‘Khirki Extn. midnight raid: judicial probe indicts Bharti, gives clean chit to police’, Indian Express, 2 March, indianexpress.com/article/cities/ delhi/khirki-extn-midnight-raidjudicial-probe-indicts-bharti-givesclean-chit-to-police/, accessed 28 September 2015. Indian Visa Online GoI (n.d.) ‘Visa provisions’, indianvisaonline.gov. in/visa/, accessed 15 February 2016. Khair, T. (2015) ‘The new xenophobia: first we create a stranger, then we hate him’, Scroll.in, 20 December, scroll. in/article/776859/the-new-

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xenophobia-first-we-createa-stranger-then-we-hate-him, accessed 30 March 2016. Khoj (2014) ‘Cry out loud and waiting subjects’, Khoj International Artists Association, 5 April, khojworkshop.org/ programme/cry-out-loud-waitingsubjects/, accessed 13 February 2016. KPMG/FICCI (2014) ‘Medical value travel in India’, www.kpmg. com/IN/en/IssuesAndInsights/ ArticlesPublications/Documents/ KPMG-FICCI-Heal-Sep2014.pdf, accessed 16 November 2015. MEA (2015a) ‘India–Nigeria bilateral relations’, High Commission of India, Abuja, Nigeria, hcindia abuja.org/display_content.php?id =28, accessed 12 February 2016. ––––– (2015b) ‘India–Uganda bilateral relations’, www.mea. gov.in/Portal/ForeignRelation/ Uganda_2015_08_31.pdf, accessed 12 February 2016. ––––– (2015c) ‘India–Rwanda relations’, www.mea.gov.in/ Portal/ForeignRelation/Rwanda2015_08_31__1_.pdf, accessed 12 February 2016. ––––– (2015d) ‘India–Kenya relations’, www.mea.gov.in/ Portal/ForeignRelation/IndiaKenya_Relations.pdf, accessed 12 February 2016. MEA (2015e) ‘India-Burundi relations’, www.mea.gov. in/Portal/ForeignRelation/ Burundi_2015_08-31.pdf, accessed 12 February 2016. MEA (n.d.) ‘International leaders who studied in India’, Ministry of External Affairs, www.mea.gov. in/photofeatures.htm?878/ International+Leaders+who+ studied+in+india, accessed on 16 February 2016. Mehta, P. B. (2016) ‘Book review: Stranger Anxiety’, The Hindu, 6 February, indianexpress.com/ article/lifestyle/books/book-reviewstranger-anxiety/, accessed 4 April 2016.

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Modi, R. (2003) ‘Migration to democratic South Africa’, Economic and Political Weekly, 38(18): 1759–62. ––––– (2011a) ‘Healthcare of Africans in India’, in R. Modi (ed.), South– South Cooperation: Africa on the Centre Stage, New York: Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 116–37. ––––– (2011b) ‘Offshore healthcare management: medical tourism between Kenya, Tanzania and India’, in E. Mawdsley and G. McCann (eds), India and Africa: Changing Geographies of Power, Cape Town, Dakar, Nairobi and Oxford: Pambazuka Press, pp. 125–39. ––––– (2012) ‘Accessing healthcare beyond state borders’, Gateway House, 5 August, www. gatewayhouse.in/accessinghealth carebeyondstateborders/, accessed 10 February 2015. MOIA (2015) ‘Population (estimate/ assumed) of overseas Indians country-wise’, Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs, moia.gov. in/writereaddata/pdf/Population_ Overseas_Indian.pdf, accessed 16 February 2016. ––––– (n.d.) ‘Estimated number of Overseas Indians’, Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs, moia.gov. in/writereaddata/pdf/nrispios-data. pdf, accessed 16 February 2016. New Indian Express (2014) ‘Timeline of Indian students attacked in Australia’, New Indian Express, 2 January, www. newindianexpress.com/nation/ Timeline-of-Indian-StudentsAttacked-in-Australia/2014/01/02/ article1978395.ece, accessed 14 March 2015. Odhiambo, P. A. (2013) ‘Curriculum vitae’, profiles.uonbi.ac.ke/peter/ files/amolo.pdf, accessed 3 January 2016. OECD (1989) ‘Trade in services and developing countries’, Paris. OFA (Opportunities for Africans) (2016) ‘Government of India (ICCR) Africa

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scholarships 2016/2017’, www. opportunitiesforafricans.com/ government-of-india-iccr-africascholarships-20162017-for-studyin-india-fully-funded/, accessed 20 January 2016. Oladeinde, Y. (2015) ‘Ugochi Igwilo: how I broke through the Indian fashion industry’, The Nation, 17 May, thenationonlineng. net/ugochi-igwilo-how-i-brokethrough-indian-fashion-industry/, accessed 14 January 2016. Owusu, L. (2016) ‘The belief that Africans are depraved and perverse lingers in India’, Hindustan Times, 8 February, www.hindustantimes. com/analysis/the-belief-thatafricans-are-depraved-andperverse-lingers-in-india/ story-dVmCEIxobCJrQixSjgyzNJ. html, accessed 13 February 2016. Phillips, E. (1976) ‘H. B. M. Chipembere, 1930–1975: Malawi patriot’, Ufahamu, 7(1): 5–18. Pouwels, R. (2002) ‘Eastern Africa and the Indian Ocean to 1800: reviewing relations in historical perspective’, International Journal of African Historical Studies, 35(2/3): 385–425. Premium Times (2015) ‘20,000 Nigerians seek medical treatment in India annually’, Premium Times, 18 January, www.premiumtimesng. com/news/top-news/175164-20000nigerians-seek-medical-treatmentindia-annually.html, accessed 18 July 2015. Rajendran, D. (2016) ‘The mob was assaulting us but the police simply stood by: a Tanzanian student’s trauma’, The Wire, 5

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February, thewire.in/2016/02/05/ the-mob-was-assaulting-us-butthe-police-simply-ignored-it-atanzanian-students-trauma-20929/, accessed 13 February 2016. Roy, S. (2016) ‘Bengaluru incident exposes an old toxic seam of racism embedded in us’, Economic Times, 5 February, blogs.economictimes.indiatimes. com/et-commentary/bengaluruincident-exposes-an-old-toxicseam-of-racism-embedded-in-us/, accessed 13 February 2016. Sheriff, A. (1987) Slave, Spices and Ivory in Zanzibar, New York: James Currey. Sugden, J. (2013) ‘Nigerian soccer star on racism in India’, Wall Street Journal, 7 November, blogs.wsj. com/indiarealtime/2013/11/07/ nigerian-soccer-star-describesracism-in-india/, accessed 13 February 2016. Times of India (2014) ‘Mob hounded 3 African youths as cops watched’, Times of India, 30 September, timesofindia.indiatimes.com/ city/delhi/Mob-hounded-3African-youths-as-cops-watched/ articleshow/43840914.cms, accessed 13 February 2016. Udo, B. (2016) ‘Nigeria: foreign exchange – education, medical tourism, not restricted items, says CBN’, Premium Times, 13 February, allafrica.com/ stories/201602150058.html, accessed 16 February 2016. Yates, R. (2004) ‘“Us” and “Them” categories’, roger.rbgi.net/Us%20 and%20Them%20Categories. html, accessed 13 February 2016.

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8 African businesses in Malaysia: ‘You just have to be smart’ to survive Ute Röschenthaler

For the past fifteen years, the number of Africans in Malaysia has been growing constantly. In 2012, almost 80,000 Africans entered the country (Zurairi 2013). While this number is not completely verifiable, it provides a rough estimate of the breadth of this movement. Among these Africans, students make up a large group with more than 25,000 enrolments. Others work as employees in embassies or various organizations, are resident business people, itinerant traders or tourists. Additionally, an undefined number of Africans stay in the country without valid documents. The Malaysian administration considers Africans (and other foreigners as well) not as immigrants but rather as temporary visitors who should stay a few weeks (itinerant traders, tourists), or a limited number of years (students, employees). Business people are more welcome when they are in a position to make a substantial investment. Only in such cases are they permitted to run their own business under their own name, as other business people can only register a company together with a local partner under this partner’s name. Their visa situation remains precarious, and even resident business people who have stayed in the country for decades are required to renew their residence permit every few years (Daniels 2014; Lian 2011). These policies have led to a complex, almost paradoxical, situation that encourages foreigners to come into the country as educational consumers but not for work, as they might take the jobs of locals. On the one hand, Malaysia encourages paying African students to come; on the other hand, it perceives African countries to be receivers of development programmes, and indeed Malaysia is one of the major Asian investors in Africa (see Gabar 2007 for Nigeria; Marchal 2011 for Sudan). But what does this mean for individuals who have travelled to Malaysia, and how do they manage to make a living there? During my fieldwork in Malaysia, I mainly interacted with Cameroonian and Nigerian students and business people (see Röschenthaler 2017).1 Many of them complained that they felt

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discriminated against by Malaysian citizens and that they had not been treated very well by the authorities. Conversely, Malaysians are generally worried about Africans, and particularly suspect Nigerians of being engaged in dubious activities that would endanger the moral order and social values of Malaysian society. My interview partners readily confirmed that they knew of fellow Africans who were involved in illegal activities. As one Cameroonian stated, ‘if you really want to be the hustler who drives in big cars or whatever, you have to be doing something illegal; like people who [he adds in a low voice] move drugs and something like that; the majority are Nigerians’ (interview, Kuala Lumpur, March 2014). A Nigerian businessman complained, ‘irrespective of the fact that there are a lot of Africans that are criminal, there are still some Africans that are good. […] we [should] be able to educate and change the ones who are criminal because some people are doing crime because they don’t have exposure [to reasonable things]’, adding that this did not necessarily mean that they were bad people (interview, Cyber Jaya, March 2014). Their activities ought to be understood as a means for the creation of solutions to problems, for which they were not responsible. This resonates with Nicholas de Genova’s (2002) findings that labour laws and immigration policies determine the situation and activities of foreigners in a country to a great extent and can easily produce illegal migrants and practices that the host countries later complain vociferously about (see also Gurowitz 2000). This chapter looks at how this complex situation has emerged in the past decades. I begin by briefly outlining the history of the exchanges between African countries and Malaysia and the diversity of African economic activities in the country. I then present four groups of businesses that I illustrate with selected histories of entrepreneurs and what they wish to achieve for themselves, for their families at home, and how they accordingly contribute to the social and economic landscape in which people live at home and abroad. The chapter seeks to understand the motivations that make individuals move from their home country to Malaysia. These motivations form part of what Appadurai understands as a normal social practice, i.e. imagining that often becomes ‘the fuel of action’ (1996: 7) when people are convinced that a foreign place is more appropriate than home for the acquisition of experience and capital (see also Zubrzycki, this volume). With their movement, they produce a transnational business- and ethnoscape, in the sense that many African business people have family members who have branch offices in different parts of the world or contribute otherwise to a

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family business. In addition to this, social organizations tend to join individuals in a foreign country that come from the same area or home country into associations that are interlinked among each other and with the home country. These findings also show how strongly the Malaysian and African imaginations and expectations of each other diverge. The African presence not only raises concerns about protecting the local economy and establishing political privileges, it also – inevitably – makes Malaysian society more diverse and heterogeneous and gradually provokes what Khoo (2014) called a movement of ‘cosmopolitan solidarity’ in the new Malaysia, which he understands as encouraging social acceptance, moral responsibility and equal citizenship in the country.

Africans in Malaysia: interaction and divergent expectations Trans-regional exchange across the Indian Ocean had been proliferating for centuries during pre-national times (Khoo 2014; Mandal 2014). It connected the Strait of Malacca via the Indian Ocean and Arabia to East Africa (Love 2006). This interaction was not restricted to the exchange of trade goods but included migration and cultural interchange, which allowed the Malay archipelago to absorb various traders and migrants for centuries (Mandal 2014). Discourses about Malay primacy that justify privileges and unequal citizenship emerged only after independence in 1957, when a social landscape emerged with citizens, sub-citizens (non-Malay Malaysian citizens and long-term foreigners) and non-citizens (students, migrant workers). During the same period, Malaysia began to establish formal relationships with several African countries. For example, Malaysia and Nigeria signed a cooperation agreement in 1965 (Foreign Relations of Malaysia 2014) and many of my interviewees mentioned that Malaysians had taken seedlings from Nigeria to improve their palm production in the 1970s (see also Ajani et al. 2012), which eventually led them to become one of the largest palm oil producers worldwide. Since then, individual Nigerians as well as Cameroonians have travelled to Malaysia.2 It was only in the 1990s, however, that Malaysia established diplomatic relationships with African countries. For example, Nigeria has a Malaysian embassy and there has been a Nigerian High Commission in Kuala Lumpur since 1991.3 In the 1990s, Malaysia began to privatize some of its state enterprises and in 1997 it opened its higher education sector to foreign

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private universities. From the 2000s onwards, private universities actively began to recruit international students, mostly from developing countries (Daniels 2014; Lian 2011) (Figure 8.1). In 2003, 179 Nigerians studied in Malaysia, whereas by 2009 there were already 5,969 (Ministry of Higher Education n.d.). Nigerians make up the highest number of sub-Saharan students and the fourth-highest number of international students. Nigerians also receive scholarships from the Malaysian government (Gabar 2007). In contrast, the number of Cameroonian students is small, and there is also no diplomatic relationship between these two countries. Cameroonians apply for a visa at the Nigerian embassy in Abuja. African students have long studied abroad, mostly in Europe or North America. Foreign university certificates were highly valued and considered an entry ticket for jobs with the state until the 1990s. These jobs often supported entire extended families. From the 1990s onward, structural adjustment programmes and the privatization of state enterprises greatly reduced the job opportunities for youth in the public sector. Accordingly, young diploma holders were increasingly unable to marry, construct their own house and have a regular income. They were therefore left to find novel ways to make a living, which resulted in the emergence of new models of social and Figure 8.1 – Advertisement for the private university Limkokwing, Kuala Lumpur, 2014

Photo: Ute Röschenthaler

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economic success (Banégas and Warnier 2001), including youth who made money with whatever means available at home or abroad. As student visas were easily available for Malaysia, many decided to try their luck there. The Malaysian government, however, expected the foreign students to pay their study fees, study quickly and return home, but the African youth intended above all to make money as diplomas no longer guaranteed entry into jobs in their home country. Hence, tensions were inevitable. Cameroonian and Nigerian students stated that they agreed to study in Malaysia because the visa application was uncomplicated. They noted that higher education was not all they wished to achieve; they also wanted to ameliorate their situation and felt that this was impossible at home (Alpes 2011, for Cameroonians). When they left for Malaysia, most were unaware that it would be difficult to work while studying in that country, not to mention getting paid a salary worth the effort. Many were already in their thirties and did not want to beg their parents to send them money but wanted to free themselves from financial and social dependency or moreover support their family at home (Röschenthaler 2017). In their search for strategies to survive, finance their stay and save for their return, many of them tried to find work in the official world, did not succeed, but did not want to rely on illegal activities. They instead sought other solutions, such as opening small informal businesses and offering brokerage services for customers, mostly fellow Africans. These activities have produced a camouflaged African infrastructure that is hardly noticeable to outsiders: shops are hidden in remote market corners, restaurants and bars lack signboards which otherwise draw the attention of customers, and services are even more invisible and informal. Moreover, the business situation is characterized by great fluctuation, which is the result of the limited duration permitted for study and business visas. I have, nevertheless, collected a sample of 120 Cameroonian and Nigerian businesses4 in the wider urban conglomerate of Kuala Lumpur. I encountered these businesses through my Cameroonian and Nigerian informants. Such a sample can never be complete as the majority are informal, but I am convinced that it provides a good impression of the diversity among African ventures. Nineteen of these businesses were hair salons in which men offered barber services and women provided braiding and other beauty amenities (manicure, styling, etc.); eighteen businesses were import-export undertakings that mostly imported clothes and accessories from China for African customers in Malaysia; others sold commodities

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from Malaysia to their home country. There were sixteen restaurants preparing Nigerian and Cameroonian dishes (Figure 8.2), thirteen event managers, nightclub promoters and entertainers, twelve cafés, bars and chill-out places, nine shipping and cargo agencies, eight brokers offering various informal services, six student agents who recruited students in Africa for Malaysian universities, four shops selling African food items and groceries, three IT and network services, two recording studios, two car rental and repair agencies, two evangelists (pastors and church founders), one gold trader, one magazine producer, one branch representative of a Nigerian bank, one clinic owner, and one house cleaner. Figure 8.2 – Informal advertisement for a hair and beauty salon, Kuala Lumpur, 2014

Photo: Ute Röschenthaler

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Some of these business owners provided a range of services. For example, women offered hairstyling, manicure and catering; and some shipping agents also offered brokerage and money transfer services (in the sample I have counted only one of their services). Offering a bundle of services was part of their diversification strategies. Others had several businesses. One doctoral student ran several nightclubs, advertised social events and produced a magazine. Another business person had opened a large Nigerian restaurant in 2003, and ran the Nigerian bank branch and a shipping agency. Probably only half of these businesses are registered and students normally do not have registered businesses. One individual might have a registered business but also provide other informal services and engage in other activities. About two-thirds of the businesses in my sample had business cards. Most of my informants mentioned that the majority of Africans in the country would be involved in some kind of hustling.5 Still other Africans (not in my sample) work as translators in the courts, as artists, footballers, or own palm oil plantations in Malaysia. In the following, I will present a closer look at some of these businesses and discuss them together with the biographies of their ‘owners’. Four business types that represent different degrees of informality will be illustrated through the history of two Cameroonians and two Nigerians, referred to as the Intermediary, the Caterer the Event Manager and the IT specialist, to protect their identity.

Knowledge as capital: brokerage services One way of surviving in an environment that does not offer decent work opportunities for students is to offer brokerage services to fellow African students. Brokers make a name for themselves among their social network, for whom they hope to be of help. Their services might include connecting people with each other, transferring money or phone credit, organizing travel and other documents, or recruiting students in Africa for private universities that do not have the contacts. For their services these brokers receive a certain percentage or a fee (see Stovel and Shaw 2012). One of my Cameroonian interviewees, whom I call the Intermediary, offered such brokerage services (see also Röschenthaler 2017). He came from the anglophone part of the Cameroon Grassfields, and before travelling worked as a sales manager for a Cameroonian company and in a cyber café in one of the coastal towns, where he also has a fiancé and a child of school age. At a certain moment, he

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felt that he needed to increase his opportunities so he searched on the internet for universities where he could study. His first option was Europe or North America, but, as the visa application for Malaysia was easy, he decided to enrol in a three-year programme in business management in Kuala Lumpur. He had some savings and with the help of his mother managed to pay for an emigration broker, the travel documents and the study fees for the first year. He knew a few Cameroonians with whom he could stay for his first weeks in Malaysia before he rented his own three-room apartment, which he shared with two other Cameroonians in one of the many condominiums. He was lucky to quickly find an apartment, as property owners (mostly Indians) have become increasingly reluctant to rent to Africans. They complain that Africans are noisier than Malaysians and easily attract the police, which suspects them of being involved in illegal activities (Daniels 2014). As the apartment was not situated at a metro station, he obtained a Malaysian driving licence and bought a car. During his first year in the country, the Intermediary lived off his savings; he studied and began to build up his personal network. As his savings waned, he was keen to find employment. This did not, however, work out: ‘They don’t offer jobs to Africans in Malaysia; it is difficult if not impossible to get authority [permission] to have the right to work [as a student].’ He continued: ‘If you want to do business here you should not come with a student visa, you should come with a tourist visa or a business visa and enough capital.’ Then he began what he calls ‘hustling’, which is, according to him, ‘any kind of activity to make money’ (interview, Kuala Lumpur, March 2014). One could say the hustler ‘reinvents global capitalism to his advantage’ (Ndjio 2008: 5). Over the course of time, the Intermediary established contact with at least 150 Cameroonians, half of the estimated 300 students from the country, and with numerous Nigerians. He phoned them regularly to ask how they were doing and whether he could be of help to anyone. He offered to transfer mobile phone credit for attractive prices, and, as foreign students with a study visa often find it difficult to send larger amounts of money back home and many Cameroonian families need to send money to support their children in Malaysia, he also organized the transfer of money between Malaysia and Cameroon. Trust is essential in the payment and fulfilment of these services as they are informal and no official institution will help in case of fraud. He also acted as a recruitment agent to bring Cameroonian students to Malaysian private universities that paid him a commission for successful recruitment. He worked around the clock, his mobile phone served as his office and

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his social network was his capital. Most of his activities remained undocumented, and the divide between helping a friend for a gift and making money as a broker often merged. In his third year, the Intermediary began to plan his return and tried to get into the export business – for example, selling mobile phones and flat screens to Cameroon, where he wanted to open a shop. He was discouraged as ‘the shipping is very expensive, and the tax is too high’ (interviews, Kuala Lumpur, March 2014). In June 2014, he finished his studies and indeed returned to Cameroon as his visa ended and his hustling activities had provided him with enough means to return. He was, however, not yet satisfied with his situation, and in April 2015 he set out again, this time for Thailand, to work there as a language teacher (email communication, February and May 2015). Meanwhile he is back in Cameroon and settled down there.

Travelling foods: supplying the African community Cooking – like hair and barber services, house cleaning or car repair – implies manual work and takes place in a defined physical space. If they are informal, such activities are more vulnerable to inspections, as Malaysian policies include complicated restrictions that delimit low-scale foreign entrepreneurship. Many African businesses therefore try to remain invisible in the public space. Food plays an important role in migrant life. Many students stated that they do not like Malaysian food and eat African dishes whenever possible. Owners of informal restaurants were mostly women, whereas most formal restaurants, bars and chill-out places were managed by African men. African restaurants range from friends’ places and informal eateries to formally registered restaurants. The bigger restaurants are more expensive and cook primarily with ingredients imported from Africa. One small informal restaurant is situated in a neighbourhood where many Cameroonians live (Figure 8.3). The owner, whom I call the Caterer, is a Bamileke woman who had a small restaurant in Douala before she came to Malaysia. In her opinion, her restaurant at home did not go well enough, and when her fiancé, the father of her first child, died, she decided to leave the country because she felt that her situation did not provide her with enough opportunities. One day she met a woman who had just bought a house in Douala. This friend told her that she had returned from Malaysia, where

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Figure 8.3 –Condominium frequented by Africans, Ampong, 2014

Photo: Ute Röschenthaler

she had a restaurant and had been able to save money from the enterprise. The Caterer then decided to try her luck there as well. In contrast to most other Africans, she did not travel on a student visa. Initially, she found it difficult to sell food. When her visa expired, she tried to gain recognition as a refugee because she did not yet have the money to pay for extending her visa. During her first year in Kuala Lumpur, she also conceived her second daughter with a Cameroonian businessman. At the time of the interview, the daughter was four years old, went to a Chinese school, spoke fluent Chinese and English, and understood French. The elder daughter already studied in France. After a difficult year, the Caterer got the opportunity to run a wellknown eatery whose female owner, also a Cameroonian, returned home and offered the place for takeover. She rented the private apartment from the Indian owner of the condominium. From then on, she had her own income and no longer depended financially on the father of her second daughter. The restaurant was already known to Cameroonians all over Kuala Lumpur as a place to eat, find friends, and hold meetings. The apartment consists of two rooms, a large living room, a kitchen and a bathroom. Her private home is in a different part of town, where she only goes to sleep, as her entire life revolves around the restaurant. Her friends are Cameroonians; she does not have any Malaysian friends, and intends staying in Malaysia only until she has saved enough to return to Cameroon.

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In her restaurant, she sells up to eight different dishes a day. She serves original Cameroonian plates such as atchu (the favourite dish in the Cameroon Grassfields made of pounded cassava mixed with palm oil) on Sundays, ndole (a dish made with bitter leaf and melon seeds) with plantains, fufu with eru (pounded yam balls with a liana vegetable), macabo porridge (a root crop mixed with a spicy sauce), fried fish with fried plantains, etc. The selection of food items is crucial for combining originality of taste with affordability. She buys fresh vegetables from local markets, and purchases other items in the Nigerian food shops in the Chow Kit neighbourhood. She still obtains other ingredients from Cameroonians who travel to Malaysia and are asked to bring her the food items that her older sister buys in Douala (interviews, Ampong, March 2014). There are, for example, several African food shops in the Chow Kit market and in one of the large shopping malls in Cheras, together with other African shops and agencies. They are run by Nigerians, mostly Igbo. Some shops are branch companies of a main enterprise in Nigeria, but in Malaysia they can only be run in cooperation with a local partner, usually an Indian or a Malay woman who will act as the principal in the shop with other local employees, as only a small percentage are permitted to be foreign. In these shops, a variety of foodstuffs are offered, from fresh yams and red palm oil to packaged dried vegetables and mushrooms, spices, tinned sardines, milk powder, etc., which are mostly imported from Nigeria. The Nigerian yam roots are big and greatly outsize the local yam that is also available in the market for much cheaper prices (Figure 8.4). The restaurant is not only frequented by Cameroonians looking for food from home, it is also a very popular meeting place. Many of the Cameroonian home-town associations come here for their weekly, biweekly or monthly meetings. There is a meeting for all Cameroonians (ACAMAL) (with an estimated seventy members); the ‘village meetings’, such as that of the Sawa from Douala (with twenty-two members), the Singa from the capital, Yaounde, the Bafang from the Grassfields; some regional meetings, such as BINAM for all Bamileke and ECAM for the anglophone Cameroonians, and the New Generation meeting (which does not seem to be based on ethnic criteria). Like those in Cameroon and Nigeria, these meetings entail a registration fee, and some have a so-called trouble fund, encourage regular savings, provide members with credit and offer an emergency fund in cases where a member has to travel to Cameroon for a funeral, or in cases of death when a corpse needs to be shipped back home. Many Cameroonians participate in

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Figure 8.4 – Shop in Chow Kit, owned by a Nigerian woman in 2014, with an Indian partner who is working in the shop; note the Nigerian yams and the red palm oil

Photo: Ute Röschenthaler

the meetings because they support members in times of crisis and trouble. Others appreciate the contacts but do not actively participate in meetings as they take ‘too much time and money’. Nigerians have similar meetings in Malaysia: an overall Nigerian association and numerous home-town meetings. There are also discussion groups and blogs on social networks. These associations greatly contribute to the success of restaurants as members consume food and drinks after the meetings. The eateries are normally frequented by Africans from the same country as the owner or cook. There is no signboard at the door or at the entrance to the condominium to indicate the existence of the Caterer’s restaurant, as most African eateries, bars and chill-out places are informal. The more visible restaurants are registered officially, and therefore have a local partner and a business licence. In contrast to the informal eateries, they can be expensive, situated in the high-priced shopping malls and owned by wealthy Nigerians. They openly advertise in African magazines and are on Facebook or have videos on YouTube.

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The requirement ‘to be smart’: organizing leisure Nigerians and Cameroonians mostly spend their free time in meetings, attend church service at least on Sundays, and frequent nightclubs. Talented Nigerians organize club nights, parties and events, create magazines, or cater to the religious needs mostly of fellow Africans, but the events are also attended by a few other foreigners and Malaysians. Churches have the same non-official status as many businesses. Initially, signboards were not placed in front of the houses a pastor rented for the service. In recent years, however, African churches have gradually become more tolerated and visible. Most Africans frequent the Pentecostal churches, such as the Christ Embassy (with several branches in Malaysia), Garden of Glory and the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG), which are all run by Nigerians (Igbo). Another church is called GP 6-11 (Figure 8.5), founded by a Cameroonian, a Bamileke man. He runs the church with his wife, who is half Cameroonian, half Congolese; she was trained in Nigeria and does the preaching. They regularly invite preachers from their global network.6 Several Cameroonian informants explained that only Chinese church services are permitted to be held in residential neighbourhoods as they are very quiet. In contrast, African church services need to be held in commercial areas as they become quite noisy when 150 people gather, sing and dance together, while some become possessed by spirits. African churches normally offer three services a week: regular mass on Sunday, a four-hour prayer session, and a four-hour midnight session to cast out demons for members who are troubled with misfortune and illnesses of spiritual (witchcraft) origin. Other popular meeting places are nightclubs. Most of them are organized by Nigerian promoters who rent a hall and organize the technical equipment, the decorations and items for consumption, and invite the MC and the DJs and are responsible for the peaceful operation of the event. As licences are required for these events, Africans rely on the local house-owner, who is not only paid rent but also a certain percentage of the evening’s profits.7 The story of the Event Manager who organizes several such nightclubs provides some details about the circumstances in which such activities begin (see also Röschenthaler 2017). Before arriving in Malaysia, he had studied mechanical engineering in Nigeria and had worked for two years as an engineer in Abuja and a consultant for a hydropower project. He recalls that his work environment was very competitive, as many of his Nigerian colleagues not only had a

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Figure 8.5 – Welcoming signboard in the hall of the GP 6-11 church, Kuala Lumpur, 2014

Photo: Ute Röschenthaler

master’s degree but also a doctorate. He felt that he could only get to the top level with a foreign certificate. He began searching for suitable universities online, communicated with his younger brother, a teacher in the UK, and then decided that he would go to Malaysia. He was admitted to Limkokwing University, and his father, a local chief and rural farmer, agreed to provide the funds for travel and the study fee. Three weeks after he had enrolled in the university, the Event Manager left for Kuala Lumpur in early 2009. One and a half years later, he obtained his master’s degree and received a Malaysian doctoral fellowship for a thesis on human resource management, which he had almost completed in 2014. Like other students, he faced problems funding his stay in Malaysia. He neither wanted to squeeze his parents for more support nor become involved in irregular activity. At that time, students were already allowed to work in more places and for more hours, but the salaries of 5 ringgit (MYR; about US$1.23) per hour were completely unattractive. If someone had to take a taxi to and from work, the salary of an entire day was already gone. The exchange rate that he got for Nigerian naira he had received from his parents was discouraging as well. Occasionally, police checks also required additional cash (see Sani 2010 for police corruption). Although he had succeeded in obtaining a position as a manager in a company,

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he was unable to sign a contract with them as he was not entitled to have a work permit in Malaysia as long as he was a student. He therefore had to find alternatives to salaried employment. He explained: ‘So I create something, it’s my innovation, my creativity … I can’t stay in this country without money, I need to be smart, and I don’t want to do crime’ (interview, Kuala Lumpur, March 2014). He began to give out flyers for events at the university for someone he knew. Then a Chinese entrepreneur asked him to find customers who would spend time and money in his club. He enlarged his social network of Africans in Malaysia (on Facebook, where he has more than a thousand friends) who would be interested in the events he was about to organize at a club owned by the Chinese entrepreneur. The Chinese also owned the licence and bought the drinks. The Event Manager invited the African DJs and MCs, enlivened the venue with decorations, informed people about the event and mediated in any instances of fights breaking out. At the end of the night, he received 10 or 15 per cent of the sales; and the guests did not even see the Chinese owner. The Event Manager also advertised events for other people in his network, as they do not have as many contacts as he does. He explained: ‘So if you have anything you want to do, you pay me for my service to market your event. I have a company, I market for you like on the internet [in my] social [network]. For that one you cannot hundred per cent say you need a work permit, no?’ (interview, Kuala Lumpur, March 2014). Such activity takes place in an informal grey zone within the framework of an official structure with formal documents. Together with his Nigerian friend, who has a local wife, the Event Manager also ran his own nightclubs himself. As a student in Nigeria, he had already gained experience in organizing monthly events for his fellow students. With this Nigerian friend, he has also created an African magazine, of which he produced 2,000 copies. The first (and, so far, only) issue was launched in December 2013. The magazine informs readers and includes portrayals of individuals who have been successful in Africa, Malaysia and elsewhere. It shows Nigerians who have invested in Malaysia and created job opportunities, Nigerians who have donated considerable sums of money to less privileged Malaysians, and advertisements for successful African shops and restaurants. Two Nigerians have previously produced similar magazines in Malaysia, seeking to promote African life and show the achievements and beneficial activities of Africans. Largely featured in the magazines, but also on Facebook, are the annual award ceremonies, the African Social Awards Malaysia

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(ASAM), that have existed since 2011, organized by Nigerians. For this event, Africans in Malaysia nominate their stars to participate in the public competition for a trophy. The favourites are invited to Kuala Lumpur to perform in front of a large, and mostly African, audience. This event caters to Nigerian ambitions to show off who they are and how much they can spend on the event. The 2014 award ceremony, for example, took place in the high-priced Crystal Crown Hotel in Petaling Jaya. The prices for different categories of tables provide an idea of the exclusivity of the event. The entrance fee amounted to 200 MYR (about US$49) (for students 150 MYR), then there were places at VIP tables for 300 MYR, at VVIP tables for 400 MYR, at gold tables for 6,000 MYR and platinum tables for 10,000 MYR (about US$2,500) for six people each, which included a certain number of drinks served throughout the night. Altogether eight awards were given to select African artists (who were invited from Africa, Malaysia or other South-East Asian countries) and business people. Malaysian bands and personalities also participated in the ceremony, and a Chinese-Malaysian businessman won a trophy in 2011 as well. All this demonstrates the variety of African activities and the diversity of approaches Africans use to survive in a complicated social environment. It also illustrates the close interconnectedness of the core activities that bring people together via their various networks. Informal restaurants serve as meeting places for associations whose members support each other in times of trouble. Churches help provide them with the space to pray for success and money, often obtained by scamming. In contrast, nightclubs offer them the opportunities to show their success through ostentatious consumption and to display the exclusivity of their wardrobes. Nightclubs are also the place of work for those women who survive from prostitution,8 and this completes the circle of interconnected activities and places. These places and businesses are non-permanent; nightclubs close down as soon as the event managers move on or new talents take over the place. This makes the African infrastructure fluctuant, fluid and constantly changing, meaning the investment of energy, time and money is high.

Transnational business and cooperation with local partners Trade goods go in both directions from Nigeria to Malaysia and from Malaysia to Nigeria. While most small-scale trade is informal, those who move greater quantities of goods do this officially and

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with the help of shipping agents. Most official trade from Malaysia to Africa in commodities such as powdered milk and palm oil is carried out by Malaysian companies. As one of the largest global palm oil producers, Malaysia exports palm oil to African countries, while, almost paradoxically, Nigerians import Nigerian palm oil to Malaysia because they prefer its original taste and higher quality. The degree to which African agency actually hides behind official statistics is, however, under-researched, as nearly all African companies are registered under the name of the local partner. As clothing and shoes in Malaysia are not necessarily made to fit African bodies and match their tastes, there is also a market for apparel. A number of Nigerian business people order dresses from factories in China. In my sample were also, two Cameroonian women, students in their fifth year, who travelled every few months to China to get sports dresses, shoes, hair and handbags in small quantities. Back in Malaysia, they announced their collections at their regional meetings so that interested people could buy these items from them. Obtaining a short-term visa for China was not difficult when they presented their university admission letters, and once they were in China, depending on the quantity, they also sent some of the items directly to Cameroon by air cargo or DHL. Another Cameroonian woman ordered shoes online from the USA and sold them to her friends in Malaysia. Between Africa and Asia, many also used their transnational networks and commissioned fellow Africans to take commodities as extra luggage with them. Machine parts and highly complex electronic gadgets also made the journey between Africa and Asia, as the story of the IT specialist illustrates. He worked as an IT and training specialist in a company in Cyberjaya, a neighbourhood in the wider Kuala Lumpur area where many IT companies have offices. His company offered various computer and internet services and training programmes for students. Before he came to Malaysia in 2006, he had studied botany in Enugu, but was unable to find a job in the sector. After trying his luck with a snail farm, he decided to open his own company. To get into his new field of IT, he first needed to study. He chose Malaysia as he could easily obtain a visa to study there. In contrast to other students, he went to work in Australia during the holidays when he realized that it was impossible to work in Malaysia. After he had finished his studies in 2002, he established a branch of his Nigerian company in Cyberjaya, together with three study colleagues, two Chinese and one Indian Malaysian. At first, they worked for an Indian university, which the IT specialist had got to know during a visit to India and for whom

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they facilitated an online branch in Malaysia. They supervised the application and enrolment of students and provided them with books and information about the curriculum. The latest product of the IT specialist’s company was civilian drones, which were equipped with a camera and able to document events and demonstrations among other activities and movements. The team had already developed the programme and constructed the prototypes; the drones themselves were produced in China (interview, Cyberjaya, March 2014; see also Röschenthaler 2017). Not all business people are lucky enough to start a company with people they had studied with. To formalize their business, most foreigners rely on trustworthy local partners, mostly Chinese or Indians with Malaysian citizenship, who rent a business place and have a licence. In most cases, the joint venture with a local partner is an unequal business relationship. In the past, the amount the foreign partner had to share with the local partner depended completely on the goodwill of the local partner. Currently, the local partner is legally entitled to 30 per cent of the profit without even actively working in the business. An alternative to such arrangements is to marry a Malaysian woman. The couple can open a company together, and the wife does not necessarily get the 30 per cent because they work together. Additionally, such an arrangement facilitates the visa renewal process. Couples are usually African men and Malay women, rarely Chinese or Indian women. The children of African-Malaysian couples are entitled to Malaysian citizenship while the African parent is not entitled to the same right. Officially, foreigners can obtain Malaysian citizenship by naturalization after living in the country for ten years, but they must also speak Malay and apply to the National Registration Office (Citizenship 2014). Such requests are, however, only rarely granted (Fellowships 2014). Indeed, it is very difficult for foreigners to be granted Malaysian citizenship (for an exception, see Chee et al. 2014) and there are probably no Africans among them. This situation makes it difficult for Africans to create a sense of belonging and build a home in the country. Such unequal citizenship rights greatly reduce opportunities for cosmopolitan solidarity and what Wise (2009; Khoo 2014) called ‘quoditian transversality’, which refers to the mutual interest of reciprocal interactions in daily life between citizens and non-citizens. Malaysian policies clearly favour the local businesses; nevertheless, and despite high taxes that complicate profit-making, Nigerians

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import food items, clothes and accessories from Nigeria and other countries to sell in Malaysia. The African names of such shops are not, however, found in any directory as only the name of the local partner appears. The IT specialist remarked that it is only ‘if you have enough money and you have enough standing that you can do your own thing’ (interview, Cyberjaya, March 2014). Several wealthy Nigerians have bought the obligatory licences for themselves.9 The close economic cooperation between Nigeria and Malaysia on the official level in the name of development has implications for both economies and industries. Malaysia protects its economy and local industry by introducing restrictive policies that complicate foreign entrepreneurial activity. The Nigerian economy seems to be less well protected than that of Malaysia. The IT specialist also stated that bilateral economic cooperation and foreign investment were suffocating the Nigerian industry. The Nigerian cloth and shoe industry, which had provided countless eastern Nigerians with employment during the 1980s, has experienced similar difficulties (Forrest 1994; Meagher 2010; Okhuoria 2010). Accordingly, the same Nigerians who had formerly worked for the local industry currently travel to China to buy clothes and shoes, among many other things. Nigerians travel to Malaysia to buy spare car parts such as tyres, etc., and ship them back to Africa rather than supporting the Nigerian car industry.10 In this way, the policies that seek development for Africa strengthen Asian economies and once again render African economies dependent (Röschenthaler 2016). Migration should therefore also be valued in terms of investment in the host country. The Event Manager stated that despite obstacles: ‘Nigerians invest money in Asia […] and also create job opportunities in their country’ (interview, Kuala Lumpur, March 2014). Those Nigerians who have bought palm oil plantations in Malaysia, however, have the capacity to offer jobs to Malaysians and contribute to the development of the Malaysian economy.

Conclusion African–Malaysian relationships display conflicting issues, policies and aspirations. I have shown how Africans organize their lives in such a challenging situation, which stimulates their creativity in developing different approaches and results. I have shown the diversity of African businesses in Malaysia, which was illustrated through the stories of four entrepreneurial individuals. Some activities, such

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as the brokerage services, are more invisible, while others include more overt physical activity such as catering or selling. They all require a talent for organization, maintenance of social networks, and inventiveness. I have also pointed to the fact that most of these businesses are situated somewhere between the formal and the informal, the legal and the illegal, the legitimate and the illegitimate, which are attributions that defy clearly defined classifications. When a business becomes more visible a local partner or sufficient capital is needed. Business people who act as local partners by hosting an African business might not be committed to working hard with the partner but might be motivated because such a venture promises a legally prescribed percentage of profit. When an African marries a local woman, then the partnership will require some sort of cosmopolitan solidarity and encourage the couple to work more closely together. Despite difficult conditions, Africans have built up a diversity of ventures that include churches, restaurants, bars, magazines, nightclubs, shops, award ceremonies and money transfers. This chapter concludes with three observations. First, for many Africans their stay in Malaysia is an experimental stage during which they test their creativity and survivability, and collect essential experiences. They strengthen their individual identity and their resistance to challenges, and explore how far they can get in fulfilling their aspirations to success. They form three different kinds of networks: they strengthen the bonds between fellow expatriates in their associational meetings. Their activities also consolidate transcontinental networks and pathways for goods, knowledge and skills between Africa and Malaysia, and they create transversal connections that constitute relationships with Malaysian citizens. Their presence not only leaves mixed-race children but also cultural traces in the domains of fashion, food and art. Secondly, cosmopolitan solidarity (Khoo 2014) ought to be considered a specific attitude which is not self-evident. Most of my Cameroonian and Nigerian interview partners complained about isolation and explained this in terms of rejection by Malaysian citizens. At the same time, they clearly preferred to spend their free time among friends of similar cultural backgrounds with whom they relaxed without having to give complicated explanations. Only a few imagined ever marrying a local partner because they felt the cultural differences were too great. While marriages between African men and Malay women are not so very rare, it is difficult to say whether such marriages are inspired by love or by business, or perhaps both. These relationships are nevertheless complicated as the state does

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not recognize such couples as a family, even when they have children, and does not provide citizenship status for the foreign parent. The existence of Africans in Malaysia remains ambiguous. As paying students and wealthy business people they are appreciated, but are otherwise easily stereotyped as criminals. These same Africans come from middle-class families who have the means to send their children abroad to study. Many of them have already studied or worked in Africa. Their return home is connected with high social expectations as they are supposed to invest in their country and prevent their middle-class families from returning to poverty. This recalls the contradicting social imaginaries and the status paradox that Nieswand (2011) describes for migrants elsewhere. Thirdly, the growing African presence tends to leave an unfavourable impression. On the one hand, this impression has to do with Malaysian social self-perception, with unequal citizenships and human rights. On the other, Africans are not innocent in the consolidation of this image. At the beginning, Africans were highly respected, especially as business people. The problem started only in the 2000s when they arrived in great numbers and had to survive by participating in illegal activities as they were unable to work. Ironically, the more criminal activities were observed, the stricter the Malaysian policies became, which in turn forced more people to find money quickly.11 These illegal activities have greatly contributed to the stereotyped image of Africans in general, which is detrimental to all those who are trying to seriously study or work in the country. As an attempt to counterbalance this impression and rebrand Africa, Nigerians have initiated discussion groups, seminars, magazines, public concerts at universities, award ceremonies and even public donations, which emphasize African achievements and generosity. In this chapter, I have argued that the Malaysian state, with its labour and immigration policies which are supposed to protect the local economy, exacerbates the informality and illegality of many foreigners in the country about whom its officials and citizens complain, as the policies are formulated without any consideration of the aspirations of these foreigners whom they invite to the country. Therefore, the informality and illegality of many of my informants’ activities do not necessarily derive from some kind of ‘African way of doing things’ but are encouraged by the structural constraints in which they find themselves and from which they need to find a way out. Indeed, much of the informally or illegally acquired wealth that the successful Africans have gained is redistributed in ostentatious consumption and reinvested in formal businesses or developmental

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activities in the host or the home country. They often achieve this through the creation of their different networks, which organize their activities and provide mutual support. These findings corroborate that the boundaries of economic activities can hardly be seen as clear cut, as either ‘formal’ or ‘informal’ or as forming part of ‘globalization from below’ or ‘above’ (see the introduction to this volume). These actors shift to informality when formality is difficult to achieve and they abandon it if their situation allows them to do so. Despite the complicated policies that foreigners face in Malaysia, Africans have managed to build up an infrastructure of goods and services for their compatriots in the country. They have created diverse businesses and networks with which they bridge geographical and social spaces and bring a ‘part of home’ to Malaysia: condiments and consumer goods, places to feel at home, cultural practices and artistic performances.

Notes 1

A short version of this chapter was presented at the second AFRASO (Africa’s Asian Options) conference at Cape Town in March 2015 (see also Röschenthaler 2017). My insights are built upon field research in Malaysia (in March 2014 and in February and March 2017), China and Vietnam within the framework of the AFRASO project (sponsored by the German Foreign Ministry of Education and Research) and the Goethe University Frankfurt, Germany, and research in Cameroon and Nigeria since 1987 (see Röschenthaler 2011). 2 Informants knew of a few Nigerians and Cameroonians who have been in Malaysia since the late 1970s. 3 Twelve sub-Saharan countries have diplomatic relations with Malaysia: Nigeria (in 1991), Senegal (in 1992), Ghana, Ethiopia, South Africa, Sudan, Kenya, Namibia, Malawi, Mauritius, Tanzania and Uganda. Malaysia invests in most of these countries, especially in Ethiopia, Senegal, Nigeria and Ghana. 4 One hundred and three of the sample were Nigerian and 17

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Cameroonian, 98 were run by men and 22 by women. 5 The men tend to engage in scamming, confidence trickery, the drug trade, etc., the women rather in prostitution. 6 GP 6-11 (the name is a short form of a Bible verse) recently invited guests from Cameroon, Ghana, Hong Kong, Tanzania and Uganda. A few Africans preferred Malay-run Christian churches because these would not ask for donations aggressively and implicitly ‘encourage illegal activities praying for success, wealth, and protection from trouble’. Another informant estimated that membership of the Christ Embassy consisted of 90 per cent Nigerians and a few other Africans and Asians. There is also a large African Muslim community from Sudan, East Africa, northern Nigeria and West African countries who pray in the Malay mosques. 7 The thirteen nightclubs in my sample were all run by Nigerians in cooperation with a local partner who figures as the owner. Three such owners were Indians, one Arab, one white and three Nigerians with local wives. For

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the remaining four no information was available. One was run by a Nigerian for an East African clientele. 8 Interviewees stated that most prostitutes came from Nigeria and East Africa. Some began this trade as students when they had difficulties financing themselves, and others were lured into it in Africa by mainly female bosses (see also Salt and Stein 1997). 9 A licence for a foreigner can amount to 350,000 MYR (ca. US$86,000). 10 In November 2014, the first 500 Nigerian-made Inoson cars rolled from the assembly line (Mordi 2015). 11 Many remain imprisoned or are indeed executed. A warning that drug dealing is punished with the death penalty is stamped in African passports.

References Ajani, E. N., E. A. Onwubuya and H. U. Nwalieji (2012) ‘Assessment of oil palm production and processing among rural women in Enugu North agricultural zone of Enugu State, Nigeria’, International Journal of Agricultural Sciences, 2(12): 322–9, internationalscholarsjournals.org. Alpes, M. (2011) ‘Bushfalling: how young Cameroonians dare to migrate’, PhD thesis, Amsterdam University, dare.uva. nl/document/342146. Appadurai, A. (1996) Modernity at Large: Cultural Dimensions of Globalization, Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press. Banégas, R. and J.-P. Warnier (2001) ‘Nouvelles figures de la réussite et du pouvoir’, Politique Africaine, 82: 5–21. Chee Heng, M. Lu and B. Yeoh (2014) ‘Ethnicity, citizenship and reproduction: Taiwanese wives making citizenship claims in Malaysia’, Citizenship Studies, 18(8): 823–38.

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Citizenship (2014) ‘Malaysian citizenship: how to become a citizen of Malaysia’, www. justlanded.com/english/Malaysia/ Malaysia-Guide/Visas-Permits/ Malaysian-citizenship, accessed 3 September 2014. Daniels, T. (2014) ‘African international students in Klang Valley: colonial legacies, postcolonial racialization, and sub-citizenship’, Citizenship Studies, 18(8): 855–70. De Genova, N. (2002) ‘Migrant “illegality” and deportability in everyday life’, Annual Review of Anthropology, 31: 419–37. Fellowships (2014) ‘Malaysian Commonwealth Scholarship and Fellowship Plan’, www. study-domain.com/2014malaysian-commonwealthscholarship-and-fellowship-plancsfp-for-commonwealth-countries/, accessed 5 September 2014. Foreign Relations of Malaysia (2014) en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Foreign_ relations_of_Malaysia, accessed 26 May 2014. Forrest, T. (1994) The Advance of African Capital: The Growth of Nigerian Private Enterprise, Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press. Gabar, B. (2007) ‘Nigeria Malaysia relations’, All Africa, 27 May 2007, allafrica.com/ stories/200705291304.html, accessed 20 February 2015. Gurowitz, A. (2000) ‘Migrant rights and activism in Malaysia: opportunities and constraints’, Journal of Asian Studies, 59(4): 863–88. Honey, R. and S. Okafor (eds) (1998) Hometown Associations: Indigenous Knowledge and Development in Nigeria, London: Intermediate Technology Publications. Khoo, G. C. (2014) ‘Introduction: theorizing different forms of belonging in a cosmopolitan Malaysia’, Citizenship Studies, 18(8): 791–806.

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Lian, I. (2011) ‘An exploration of African students in Malaysia’, US–China Education Review B, 6: 856–61. Love, R. (2006) Maritime Exploration in the Age of Discovery, 1415–1800, Westport, CT, and London: Greenwood Publications. Mandal, S. (2014) ‘Arabs in the urban social landscape of Malaysia: historical connections and belonging’, Citizenship Studies, 18(8): 807–22. Marchal, R. (2011) ‘Malaysia–Sudan: from Islamist students to rentier bourgeois’, in D. Large and L. Patey (eds), Sudan Looks East: China, India and the Politics of Asian Alternatives, Oxford: James Currey, pp. 102–19. Meagher, K. (2010) Identity Economics: Social Networks and the Informal Economy in Nigeria, Suffolk: James Currey. Ministry of Higher Education (n.d.) ‘Total enrolment of international students in public and private higher education institutions, Year 2003–2009, jpt.moe.gov.my/eng/ statistik/total%20enrolment%20 of%20international%20 students%20in%20public%20 and%20private%20higher%20 education%20institutions%20 by%20country%20of%20origin,%20year%202002%20-%202009. pdf, accessed 25 February 2015. Mordi, F. (2015) ‘Roll-out for first made-in-Nigeria cars’, African Business, 5 March, africanbusinessmagazine.com/ africa-within/countryfiles/roll-firstmade-nigeria-cars/, accessed 13 March 2015. Mulumba, M. et al. (2008) ‘International student mobility in and out of Africa: challenges and opportunities’, in D. Teffera and J. Knight (eds), Higher Education in Africa: The International Dimension, Chestnut Hill, MA: Boston College and the Association of African Universities, Ghana, pp. 490–514.

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Ndjio, B. (2008) ‘Cameroonian feymen and Nigerian “419” scammers: two examples of Africa’s “reinvention” of the global capitalism’, ASC Working Paper (Leiden) 81, pp. 1–28. Nieswand, B. (2011) Theorizing Transnational Migration: The Status Paradox of Migration, London: Routledge. Okhuoria, E. (2010) ‘The impact of Chinese imports on Nigerian traders’, in A. Harneit-Sievers, S. Marks and S. Naidu (eds), Chinese and African Perspectives on China in Africa, Cape Town: Fahamu Books, Pambazuka Press and Heinrich Böll Foundation, pp. 128–38. Röschenthaler, U. (2011) Purchasing Culture: The Dissemination of Associations in the Cross River Region of Cameroon and Nigeria, Trenton, NJ: Africa World Press. ––––– (2016) ‘Good quality or low price? Competition between Cameroonian and Chinese traders’, African East-Asian Affairs, 1: 32–65. ––––– (2017) ‘In constant search for money to survive: African youths in Malaysia’, in A. Graf and A. Hashim (eds), Asian– African Encounters, Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press. Salt, J. and J. Stein (1997) ‘Migration as a business: the case of trafficking’, International Migration, 35(4): 467–95. Sani, M. (2010) ‘The politics of Islam Hadhari and ethnic relations in Malaysia’, in M. K. David et al. (eds), Ethnic Relations and Nation Building: The Way Forward, Petaling Jaya: SIRD, pp. 47–71. Stovel, K. and L. Shaw (2012) ‘Brokerage’, Annual Review of Sociology, 38: 139–58. Wise, A. (2009) ‘Everyday multiculturalism: transversal crossings and working class cosmopolitanism’, in A. Wise and S. Velayutham (eds), Everyday Multiculturalism, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 21–45.

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Zurairi, A. R. (2013) ‘At Subang condo, ban against “African” tenants’, Malay Mail online, 26 August, www.themalaymailonline. com/malaysia/article/in-subangcondo-ban-against-african-tenants, accessed 16 March 2014.

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9 Senegalese women in international trade: from Dakar to Asia Mohamadou Sall

From the late 1970s to the present day, Senegalese women have increasingly escaped the domestic sphere to which society tends to confine them (Ba 2003), and have launched themselves into international trade using countries adjacent to Senegal and the Canary Islands (Las Palmas) as their testing ground. As Asian markets opened up from the 1990s onwards, they targeted Dubai before turning their attention from 2010 to the new markets in China and India. Women’s previous confinement to the domestic sphere, however, does not mean that they did not engage in commercial activities outside this sphere; rather, it is the case that their involvement in domestic affairs tied them to locations close to home.1 Concomitant with the broadening of their geographical horizons, women diversified the range of products they traded. Initially, women began to trade goods that were exchanged locally, which they used themselves and were associated with the woman’s sphere, such as clothing, beauty products and jewellery. Their substantial knowledge about material quality, fashions and affordable price ranges for their target customers greatly facilitated their entrance into the international market. The success of many women who decided to become international migrants greatly depended on the continuation of occupations for which they had already gained substantial expertise at home. This is especially the case for Senegalese women who migrated to the USA, where they successfully established beauty, hairdressing, catering and restaurant businesses. In these sectors, competition with male traders and entrepreneurs is not intense (Ebin 1993). Female Senegalese traders have not, however, limited themselves to these sectors, but have also established successful ventures in furnishings, computer hardware products and spare car parts. This chapter presents stories of female key players in Senegal’s international trade. It is based on an analysis of qualitative data collected from twenty-nine female traders, three customs officials, two forwarding agents and two agents of the tax services in Dakar in 2013 and 2015. The female traders that were interviewed were

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selected following the recommendation of friends and other traders who knew about their activities. These women had an average age of 51.6 years; the youngest was forty-two and the oldest fifty-nine. All the women were married except for two divorcees and one widow. This chapter is organized in four sections. It begins by outlining the long history of trade-related migration until the time when women began to play their own part in international trade. The second section analyses the trajectories of female traders, particularly how women became traders while they were generally young. This is followed by insights into how female traders managed to venture into international trade. The chapter concludes by analysing how women cope with tax and customs authorities and use their knowledge and strategies to lure them into connivance. The chapter argues that women’s engagement in international trade depicts two tendencies: in their ventures, women not only leave the domestic sphere of their compounds and families for the temporary exploration of distant markets in Asia, they also begin to venture into sectors that are typically within the domain of male traders, such as computer hardware and spare car parts. Furthermore, their ventures into new markets and novel commodities gradually reorient the gendered commercial order. This does not, however, seem to disrupt gender roles and family life altogether. The female traders’ activities demonstrate that both can be combined and their commercial ventures often create substantial income.

From male to female itinerant traders International migration, including that of women, has played an increasing role in structuring economic, social and cultural life in Senegal. The propensity to migrate is a strong factor that has characterized the Senegalese identity and ethos for centuries; the extent to which migration and mobility occupy the minds of Senegalese has reached hitherto unknown dimensions. This phenomenon in Senegal fits well into what Sheller and Urry (2006) have termed the ‘new mobilities paradigm’, which is so complex that it can only fully be understood using an interdisciplinary approach based on regards croisés (see also Boesen et al. 2014). The migratory undertakings analysed in this chapter have a long history that reaches back to the emergence of the prosperous commercial towns in the Sahel region, each with its own foreigners’ quarters and facilities accommodating the itinerant caravan traders (Curtin

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1984) during the time of the trans-Saharan trade, which spanned the forest regions in the south and North Africa and pilgrimages to the holy city of Mecca in the east (Bovill 1958; Diawara 1990; Hunwick 1999; Lydon 2009). Another variation of seasonal migration is mobility stimulated by degradation of environmental conditions. This was observed among the Fulbe of the silvopastoral zone of Ferlo (in the districts of Matam, Podor, Kanel, Ranérou and Linguère), who were forced to migrate with their herds to Senegal’s southern regions (Kaffrine and Tambacounda), in particular to find pastures for their animals. These transhumant herders remain in the south until July when the rains return and transform the dry land into meadows again (see also De Bruijn et al. 2001 on mobility as a mode of life). For the people who live in Senegal, migration is a highly symbolic activity. In the oral histories of most ethnic groups, migration and adventure are idealized and have considerable social prestige (Bredeloup 2013; see also Zubrzycki, this volume). This idealization can be dated back at least to El Hadj Umar Tall, a religious leader who left the Senegal river valley in the mid-nineteenth century to move to the region that later became known as the Soudan Français during colonial times (in present-day Mali). When Tall was about to leave, he encouraged locals to give migration a try, telling them, ‘Fuutankoobe, pere ndarjon [people of Futa, emigrate if you want to find happiness]’. The Senegal river valley is also one of the areas in Senegal from which the earliest migrants left for France, and the Wolof people continue to remember these words of El Hadj Umar Tall when they say ‘Ku du tukki du xaam fu dekk neexe’, which means ‘He who does not travel will not know where it is good to live’. In earlier times, migration was closely connected either to longdistance trade or, in the case of seasonal migration, to pastoralism. In Senegal, particular ethnic groups, the Fulbe and the Soninke in the Senegal river valley, were involved in these forms of migration. Migration has been part of these ethnic groups’ lives for centuries; autonomous migration, however, was only a possibility for men. Women only began to migrate much later, as part of family reunification programmes in France (Ba 2003). New destinations for migration opened up during colonial times and continued into independence (Marfaing 1997, 2003). This chapter focuses on the history of migration that began in Senegal during the colonial period when many migrants moved from villages to towns and cities and to other West African countries. Around the time of independence, migrants primarily from the Senegal river valley began to try their luck in Guinea (Fall 2003) and

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Côte d’Ivoire, working in hotels and restaurants. Some of them would later work in the diamond trade, which would take them to central and southern Africa. Many went in search of work to Cameroon, Gabon and Congo, often together with their wives (Ba 2003). It was not until the 1970s, as a result of severe droughts that had a lasting impact on the countries of the Sahel, that migration truly began to intensify. These migrations were a way of adapting to agro-ecological crises that gave people good reason to leave. Faced with the breakdown of their countries’ production systems and economies, the only viable thing to do was to emigrate. Hence the Fulbe saying ‘So yadu yonti djonde ko ayiba [when the time comes to leave, it becomes wrong to stay]’. This motivation to migrate, which Gonin (2010: 8) calls ‘leaving to live’, corroborates the thinking in Senegal that migration helps families by ‘lightening the food burden’. From 2006 on, another commonly used expression emerged: ‘Barça wala Barzak [reach Barcelona or die]’. This has become the motto of the clandestine migrants who decide to undertake the tedious and dangerous journey to Europe via the Canary Islands, the Sahara and Morocco, and/or by boat. This slogan is an adaptation of the well-known slogan of the Soninke of the Senegal river valley, ‘Ma kara ma Bordeaux [go to Bordeaux or die here]’ (see also Triulzi and McKenzie 2013). This chapter specifically studies the ventures that provide traders with new opportunities on other continents. During the 1980s and 1990s, migration from Senegal continued to grow to a hitherto unknown extent. The new destinations centred on southern Europe (Italy), the Iberian peninsula (Portugal, Spain) and North America (the USA and Canada) for skilled migrants.2 The 1980s and 1990s in particular witnessed the emergence of women on the international migration scene, as women had so far been confined to domestic tasks and local trade from home. During these decades, however, they managed to break free and set out to find economic and social independence. The appearance of the female traders on the international migratory scene should be analysed in the larger context of social change – including political, economic, social and cultural aspects – in Senegal. This had a large impact on values and norms. One of these constructed values related to women was that they should ‘have a short leg [avoir un pied court]’, which refers to women who prefer to remain in the compound and are not fond of going out. When women nevertheless set out to engage in long-distance trade, they had to find a balance in terms of what Stephen Greenblatt (2010: 251) terms the tension between ‘individual agency and structural constraint’. Seen

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from this perspective, the appearance of women on the migratory scene could be interpreted as the achieved conquest of the social order, which had assigned them their place in the compound.

Life stories of female traders: how to get into business The careers of female traders who have managed to enter the realm of international trade comprise a mixture of family lives and educational backgrounds. Most of these women began to trade at an early age, usually as part of the family business, as they helped their parents, who were traders as well. Discussing the role of women in the informal sector in French-speaking Africa, Carlos Maldonado, Bertrand Gaufryau and Florence Bonnet (2001: 65) note that ‘the type of work they do is a projection, in trading terms, of the know-how they have absorbed, acquired, and developed within the home’. In Senegal, the integration of young girls into society also involves helping their mothers with the ‘small-scale trading’ that often forms part of their survival strategies. In poorer households, particularly, girls often have to stop their schooling before obtaining degrees in order to help their families – most frequently their mothers – in managing the household. Several informants explicitly mentioned the petty trade they were involved in at the beginning of their careers. For example, a fiftyyear-old married woman trader with a primary level of education explained: ‘I come from a modest family and we found it hard to make ends meet. So, at a very early age, I started to sell all sorts of things to help my parents out. That was the main reason why I stopped going to school.’ Another informant described how ‘I started trading when I was twelve with my mother, because I wasn’t very clever’ (female trader, forty-eight years of age, married, primary education). Another female trader began with petty trade and extended her trade goods using her family connections abroad: ‘I sold peanuts for my mum, and sandwiches. I also worked as a maid. My younger sister was in Turkey and used to send me goods that I would sell.’ The flexibility of the informal sector, which allows women to combine work and home life, is one of the reasons why women tend to gravitate towards it (Akinboade 2005; Roberts 1991). Most of the women I interviewed started out in small-scale or retail trading, and they often went into trade in the contexts of structural insecurity. Some female traders come from such poor-off backgrounds; others still faced additional economic precariousness, such as divorce or

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widowhood, as a fifty-eight-year-old woman explained. For her, the death of her husband and the need to pay the household bills were the deciding factors that drove her towards international trade: I studied in the Medina in Dakar. I was married in 1976 and I’ve never worked for a company. Throughout my life, I’ve always been a trader, starting by selling from tables and small units, and now from my shops […] After my husband died in 1992, I had to take over, and so I needed more money.

Two years later, in 1994, she had managed to secure enough capital to travel to Asia. Such insecure situations often force women to progress to another stage in their lives, whereas in normal circumstances such economic activity tends to clash with managing home and family. The money these women used to start trading internationally usually came from their own personal savings, loans or help from relatives. A fifty-two-year-old female trader explained that while she had invested her personal savings, she had also received financial help from her husband: I went all the way through school in Dakar and got my baccalaureate at Maurice Delafosse Secondary School. For two years, I worked for a company that installed meters in taxis. I got married when I was twenty-three […]. I started with the business in 1992 using my personal savings and money from my husband. In actual fact, the company where I was working went bankrupt, and I was having problems finding another job, that was what encouraged me to start trading.

Personal savings were the standard form of investment. Actually, in many parts of Africa women meet regularly in saving and credit associations (tontines) in order to save substantial amounts of money that they use as a basis for investment in trade goods or business (Guérin 2002; Lulli 1998). The women made little use of the formal banking system or even micro-credits, which at that time were still in their infancy. A fifty-five-year-old civil servant who was a member of an Economic Interest Grouping (EIG) told me: ‘For my start-up funding, I obtained a loan from the credit union thanks to our EIG, which had ten members. So, after years of saving, we were able to get a loan for ten million FCFA’ (about US$16,000). The female traders who venture into international trade with Asian countries have only in rare cases invested very substantial

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sums of money. Their trade engagements remain in the frame of what Gordon Mathews terms ‘low-end globalization’, which he defines as follows: ‘“low-end globalization” is the transnational flow of people and goods involving relatively small amounts of capital and informal, sometimes quasi-legal or illegal transactions, commonly associated within the developing world’ (2007: 170). One in every two female traders who were interviewed for this study had started trading during the 1990s, when women first arrived on the migration scene. As noted in the introduction, these women range in age between forty-two and fifty-nine. For this study, I was unable to identify any woman who was involved in international trade and less than thirty years old. If this conclusion is correct, there has been no generational renewal in the occupation. There are, however, two potential reasons for this. Perhaps the women have formed a tight, corporatist clan that has shut other women out of the sector (by not sharing the information needed to access it), thus excluding all potential candidates; or, perhaps, this sector has not been a key focus for the new, more educated generations with greater chances of finding employment in the formal sector, as the women interviewed had a relatively low level of education. All the women in the sample were married except for two divorcees and one widow. This distribution illustrates the high importance of marriage in Senegalese society. It also reflects the intensity of a demographic phenomenon that serves to measure the proportion of women in a generation that have reached an age where it is no longer acceptable to be single and have therefore got married. Some of the married women had previously been divorced but have married subsequently as marriage is highly valued: a woman’s social status is ‘correlated’ to her marriage status. Even if it were possible to find younger women who are active in international trade, the capacity to carry out such trade is normally only possible after a woman has reached a particular stage in her life, which usually occurs at a more advanced age. Indeed, advancement in the trade sector implies several stages that are found in more or less all the women’s biographies. They begin by completing their education in a French school or learning the Quran in a dara (Quranic school); they complete their education in a trade after getting married. The following two trajectories of female traders illustrate this evolution from schooling to initial trade activity and eventual international trade. The first is a married woman who related that she has four children and more than fifty grandchildren. Before trading, she went to school until secondary level:

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I received primary education at the École Clemenceau de Dakar, middle school in the Lycée Blaise Diagne, and secondary education at the Lycée Lamine Gueye […]. At the end of the first class, I married at the age of twenty-four. So, during the final class I was pregnant and was unable to finish my A-levels. In the following year, I gave birth to my first child and no longer went to school because I wanted to care for my child. At the beginning, I had a tailor shop in my house and I employed tailors who sewed clothes for me. I sent these clothes to a cousin who stayed in Bamako and was married to a customs official. She sold the clothes and with the money she bought cloth for me that I resold here in Dakar. After some time, I decided to add sugar to the things I sold. I obtained the sugar from Gouloumbou town. From this trade, I made enough money to be able to travel to Dubai. It was my own money; nobody had to help me. I wanted to travel to this country because I knew of a friend who gained a lot from her business travels and so I asked myself that if she is able to do this, why wouldn’t I succeed in this venture as well? This is how I got the courage to go there. I buy cloth and groceries but this depends on the season. In other words, what I get depends on the needs of the people at a certain time, for example, above all during the time of the tabaski3 […]. I began trade with Dubai because this country was more accessible in terms of financial means. From Dubai I import cloth, mobile phones, and groceries.

The second women trader is also married, has four children, but did not want to disclose her age: I was born in Dakar, precisely in Niari Tali. I studied in the Marché Nguelaw school until class CM2. Then I dropped out of school because I was not allowed to pass to class six. My mother then even wanted to bring me to a private school, but I no longer wanted to study because already at that time I had nothing else than trade in my head. Actually, I had an aunt who was a trader and my grandmother was also one, and all of a sudden, the trade virus caught me. I come from a traders’ family, and I remember that sometimes I skipped school to assist my aunt – my mother’s sister – in the market. All this is to say that I have been trading for a long time. After my failure in school I directly went into trading. I was thirteen or fourteen years old. At that time, I worked as a street vendor. And after this I was selling cooked food at the HLM market for my aunt. I stayed with my aunt for fifteen years,

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until I was twenty-two years old. Then she told me that I was now capable of taking care of myself and that I should open my own canteen. Soon after, in 1994, I married. This was two years later when I was twenty-four years old. My first experience in the international trade came already in 1992, when I accompanied my aunt to Mecca. After this, I travelled to Morocco and to Nigeria, and in 1993, I went to Dubai. I began to travel when I was still young. When you look at my passport photo from that time you will notice that I was young. But I always travelled with my aunt. Only after these travels, she told me to travel alone, as she was not only getting old but also found it hard to travel. This is why she asked me to open my own canteen and try to make a living. I then travelled with my own means. Actually, I went off with 400,000 francs CFA [about US$640], which I had saved by participating in a saving and credit association [tontine]. I never took any credit from a bank during that time. I only took one in 2012. I have been to India, China, Dubai, but I do not have a particular preference for a certain country. I have primarily sold cloth. I only purchase tiles and nappies in China. In the other countries, I only purchase fabrics. You know, in Dubai, they have new varieties each week. Therefore, this market is appreciated by all the traders of the world.

Half of the twenty-nine female traders who were interviewed identified their profession as ‘trader’. When asked about the beginning of their trade, their stories resembled those of these two women. The other half are involved in different occupations, ranging from public service as a teacher or a secretary to the private sector, including being a human resources manager or a travel agent, to self-employed occupations such as a hairdresser, dressmaker or livestock project manager. These occupations have a common denominator: they provide access to the public and to potential clients. Most often, the clients of the women who combine international trade with another occupation are the same individuals who are also their commercial clients.

From euts4 to Asia: gaining a foothold in international trade The involvement of the Senegalese female traders in international trade took place over several stages. In the early years, female traders explored neighbouring markets in Guinea, Gambia, Mauritania or

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Mali.5 In Mali and Gambia in particular, the women bought clothes and fabrics that they brought to Senegal to resell there. In Mali, they mainly bought dyed fabrics (see Gérimont 2008) that are highly prized by Senegalese women. Even today, the market for dyed fabrics in Mali is still very strong. The next step involved the traders travelling to the Canary Islands, especially to Las Palmas from the end of the 1970s onwards. In this sense, the Canary Islands were the testing ground where they learned the basics to successfully tackle bigger markets in Europe, Dubai, India and China (see also Marfaing and Thiel 2015). From neighbouring countries, the women first moved on to Europe in general, and southern Europe in particular (Spain and Italy), where they bought clothing, jewellery and beauty products. It was not until the late 1990s that they refocused their activities on Dubai, then later China and India. Each country provides a specific selection of trade goods that the women are interested in acquiring. In Dubai, they mainly focus on household furniture, decorative items, mobile phones, clothing, generators and air freshener products, including incense. In China, they buy electronic goods, clothing, spare car parts and building materials (particularly tiles). In India, the women set out to buy crockery and clothing. The reason the women gave for choosing these different destinations is that they offer merchandise that is in great demand in their country and more affordable than in Europe. The women do not really plan their purchases and do not have any elaborated business plans. When asked what determines the products they buy, they say that they simply ‘follow trends’, which illustrates the spontaneity, the intuition they follow and the informality of their activities. They make abundant use of mobile phones; modern communication technologies like the internet, however, are of little use for their transactions. As Senegal is a francophone country, many women face communication problems in Asian countries, where, if it is spoken at all, English is the predominant trade language. Once abroad in Asia, especially China, most of the female traders use intermediaries who are Senegalese or other Africans, who, as the women state, sometimes set up scams with the connivance of local traders. Other women manage to move around and try to complete purchases using the vocabulary they have at their disposition. The female trader cited above who did not want to disclose her age stated that for her venture it was not crucial to know the language but she picked up the necessary words that enabled her to carry out her business:

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You know, we do not have a language guide [translator], we do it all by ourselves, we somehow get along with the local traders who do not know our language when we want to buy our products. Hence, each of us has a calculator with which we convert the prices into francs CFA of those trade goods that we want to buy.

To transport their goods to Senegal, the female traders have several options. They can, for example, arrange transport individually or in groups. Owing to the fact that an entire container is costly for an individual trader with limited means, several traders get together as a group and share a container. This also provides an opportunity for them to get around the rules. Senegalese officials are also aware that there is often room for chicanery and scheming abroad. One Senegalese customs officer explained: ‘In group operations, it’s difficult to assess the value of the goods, so we have to inspect them [the traders] in person to value the products.’ To get their trade goods in the container to their home country, most of the women worked with a shipping agent in Senegal. Others chose to work with different forwarding agents. These differences reflect the opportunities available, and the fact that the forwarding agents have varying degrees of latitude when it comes to negotiating with the customs authorities. This latitude is decisive in the event of a dispute. One forwarding agent explained that the ‘discrepancies between the products declared and the contents of the containers are a recurring problem. I manage to get around it by contacting friends in the customs authority. Sometimes they’ll turn a blind eye if it’s not too flagrant, but otherwise I pay a fine.’ The forwarding agents are the interface between the women and the customs authority. Almost all the women said that they know nothing about the customs legislation (Customs Code). Some even claimed that they do not need to know. One customs officer explained the women’s argument: ‘It’s because that’s the forwarding agent’s job, so the women make no effort to find out what the rules are. The forwarding agent does that for them. If there’s new legislation, the women only want to know if it will affect their taxes. All they’re interested in is paying less.’ It seems that the tax evasion has to do with the women’s lacking confidence in the overall benefits of tax payments.

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Facing the tax and customs authorities: amateurism or sharp strategies? The ease with which female traders have expanded their commercial activities into new areas is linked to their ability to develop avoidance measures to minimize the tax to be paid. Their strategies include, according to the customs officers interviewed, under-invoicing in order to reduce the impact of customs duties and taxes, not declaring imports, and corruption. A good number of the female traders collected valuable experience of trans-border trade during the time they started to import and export from and to neighbouring countries such as Gambia, Mauritania and Mali. They have integrated this knowledge with awareness of how to cross borders with trade goods clandestinely in the face of customs officials and how to circumvent customs barriers. Cynthia Howson (2012: 422) effectively describes this phenomenon using her research on the trajectories of those women who are called ndioganes, who cunningly outsmart the Senegalese customs officials at the Gambian border on a daily basis: The cross-border traders known widely in Senegal as ndioganes are women who smuggle everyday commodities from Gambia (sugar, tomato concentrate, batteries, fabric, and cooking oil). Some head-load small quantities several times a day between remote periodic markets (loumas) and rarely encounter customs officers. Others depend on horse and cart drivers who specialize in smuggling, and are experienced in customs evasion and the art of the high-speed chase.

Moreover, while all the women interviewed are on the trade register, only nine – about one third – say they have a company identification number, called NINEA (Numéro d’identification nationale des entreprises et des associations). This number is acquired from the Agence Nationale de la Statistique et de la Démographie and given to the candidates once they have registered their firm on the commercial register. Although the formalization of the trading activity is organized by a single ticket office, which provides the NINEA and the entry in the trade register, the traders gave different reasons for not complying with the rules here. Some say that they do not see the point of having this document. Others – the majority – fear that having a NINEA would mean that they would have to pay taxes.

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The contribution of these traders to the development of the country is a critical and controversial issue. Furthermore, these actors who carry out their activities at the intersection between the formal and the informal (see Marfaing and Sow 1999) cannot always be considered model economic citizens as they are less inclined to conform to the law. At the same time, they insist that they are development actors because they bring affordable consumer goods into the country and employ a good number of people in their firms. For example, one fifty-two-year-old woman who had twenty-five years of work experience as a human resources manager for a fishing company employing 1,200 workers explained why she never applied for a NINEA for her trade: ‘I have a shop with employees, and I’ve been on the trade register since 2009. But I don’t have a company with a NINEA because the taxes are high, as I know from the job I had for twenty-five years.’ Other traders also complained about the high amount of tax that they fear they would have to pay, which would reduce what they consider the meagre revenue they make. Another female trader (aged fifty-five, married, with a secondary education) gave a similar answer when asked whether she thinks she contributed to developing her country: ‘Yes, I’m a development actor because I employ several people. But I don’t have a legal company because you must pay tax if you’re in the formal sector. I’ve been on the trade register since 2004.’ Similarly, a fifty-eightyear-old widow with secondary education explained that she thinks she is a socio-economic development actor: ‘Of course I am, because I give several people the chance to work. It’s not a formal company at present, because I’m scared of the taxes, they’re ruinous. I’ve been on the trade register since 1994, though.’ This attitude again becomes very clear from the statements of two of the female traders, when asked about the impact of their activities. Said one: Yes, I’m a development actor because I employ over fifteen people, and no, I don’t have a company with a NINEA because I don’t see the point and I’m happy with my current status. I’m on the trade register, but I don’t remember exactly when I got the registration document – it was a long time ago.

The practice of not complying with the legislation governing their trading activities can be interpreted as a choice that the women have rationalized. It is a deliberate determination to develop ‘outside the law’ (Mathieu 2001: 34). One of the customs officers working at Dakar assessed this attitude in a very critical way: ‘It’s true that people in the

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informal sector have no sense of citizenship when it comes to taxes. They know they have to pay tax, but they refuse to do so.’ The traders are supposed to pay a tax of 3 per cent of the total value of the goods that they have imported. The women consider themselves developers of their country, not by paying taxes but by offering informal employment to those who have no formal education or qualification for another job and who would otherwise not find work. In this way, they contribute to social well-being but not to the public treasury. By thus developing ‘outside the law’, female traders create and support the informal sector and, furthermore, ensure that their employees are in the same position. When they maintain and support the informal sector, the women also deprive the public purse of revenue. This is a situation which the Senegalese government has always clearly recognized, and it has always tolerated those operating in the informal sector, on the grounds that the informal sector acts as an economic and social regulator by absorbing the high demand for jobs and, in certain cases, acting as a ‘safety valve keeping urban violence and insecurity at acceptable levels’ (Sall 2010: 49). Reflecting upon the informal traders’ activities, François Roubaud (1997) concludes that ‘the potential lost revenue is far from negligible’. The losses are all the greater because the Senegalese tax system relies on declaration – in other words, it is the taxpayer who goes to the tax department to declare his income – but the culture behind economic production in Senegal is one of secrecy, particularly in the informal sector. This adds to the fact that the sector is massive, not to say all-pervasive. According to a report by the Forecasting and Economic Studies Department (Direction de la Prévision et des Études Économiques, DPEE) on taxation and the informal sector, In fact, 90 percent of the 281,600 informal production units surveyed by the Forecasting and Statistics Department (DPS) in the Dakar region in the second half of 2003 were not known to the public authorities. There has often been disagreement about why informal businesses live outside the tax system, with opinions divided as to whether the situation is down to a deliberate choice by informal entrepreneurs to avoid tax, the excessively high tax rates, the red tape involved in meeting tax obligations, or simply informal entrepreneurs’ ignorance of those obligations. (Republic of Senegal 2008: 3)

To simplify the tax procedures, the government came up with a single contribution system (CGU) in 2004, which covers all taxes,

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including the monthly VAT declaration, the annual income declaration, the business tax, and the tax on licensed premises. The single contribution was based on a scale negotiated with the National Union of Senegalese Traders and Manufacturers (UNACOIS, Union Nationale des Commerçants et Industriels du Sénégal). Depending on their income, the taxpayers pay a fixed sum, which some scholars think is an inappropriate method, calling on the government to target ‘taxes on the “biggest” informal production units’ (Backiny-Yetna 2009: 344). This simplification has, however, failed to encourage many of the actors in the informal sector to comply with the tax legislation. Fewer than half of the women importers have a NINEA, yet analysis of the data collected shows that some of them have become wealthy through importing, and now owning real estate (land) and commercial premises (small units, shops). Aware of the need to tax these women importers, the Taxation and Property Department has proposed making every importer prepay 3 per cent of the value of each container. This is a further step towards taxing a sector that is resistant to regulation.

Conclusion Migration used to be a selective phenomenon involving only men. Over the course of the last two decades, however, women have burst onto the international migration scene in general and the commercial scene in particular. With their emergence as actors in international trade, Senegalese women have gradually ventured from trade around their compounds (euts), first to neighbouring countries and then to other continents. In order to carry out their trade expeditions successfully and make gains, they have managed to acquire substantial knowledge in terms of travel, how to purchase and circumvent borders and barriers, and also to develop what has been termed ‘vernacular cosmopolitanism’ (Rosanders 2005). However different the individual trajectories of their careers, these women generally have chosen to keep their trade in the informal sector. They do not seek to leave this sector to emerge from their participation in ‘globalization from below’ (Brecher et al. 1993) or ‘low-end globalization’ (Mathews 2007: 170), which takes place at the intersections between the formal and the informal and the legal and the illegal. The female traders interviewed for this research choose to remain attached to the informal and the illegal sphere,

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and this manifests itself on the one hand in a lack of determination to know about the legal regulations relevant for the exercise of their activities, and, on the other, for some at least, in the refusal to register their enterprise properly and provide it with a judicial personality. Shaping their business in this way is an intentional and conscious decision, since it is in line with their perceptions and ideas about ‘formalization’, which in their eyes only means having to pay high taxes without visible benefits for society. It remains to be seen whether they will comply with the new 3 per cent tax rule on imports or try to develop avoidance strategies, which would, in some ways, mean ‘the failure of the state’ (De Soto 1994: 49). This issue is particularly crucial since women’s involvement in driving the informal sector and their considerable success in international trade are growing constantly. Thus, some people call for consideration of the ‘roles and interests of women entrepreneurs in the formulation of international and cross-border trade policies’ (Akinboade 2005: 294). Certainly, these policies should not only take into account how women find the means to enter into business and how to make laws that facilitate integrating women’s businesses into the legal customs and taxation system – and possibly discouraging them and steering them away from the informal sector, as they have since long had to face society’s attempts to socially and economically tame their commercial spirit – but also to value more highly women’s activities and encourage their enterprises, as they are often highly responsible social actors and investors. The opportunities that these women have opened up for themselves by extending the range of their circular migration and business ventures – despite ongoing social resistance – also reflect the changes currently affecting Senegalese society (see also Sarr 1999), which has to cope with the challenges of the compatibility of traditional values, development and women’s empowerment through mobility, knowledge and experience of distant markets in the Global South.

Notes 1

For an early example of successful female entrepreneurs, called the Signares, see Brooks (1997); for the economic activities of women in Dakar, see also LecourGrandmaison (1969). 2 For a study of Senegalese street vendors in Barcelona, see Kothari (2008); for Italy, see Riccio (2001); for illegal migration to the Canary

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Islands, see Poeze (2013). The biggest feast for Muslims, in commemoration of Abraham’s sacrifice. 4 In Wolof, this means the courtyard of the compound, a place traditionally occupied by women. 5 See Lambert (1993) for a study of influential female traders on the Dakar–Bamako railway line; visits 3

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of relatives on both sides of the border provided the women with the legitimate excuse to travel; see Choplin and Lombard (2014) for a study on the border trade between Mauritania, Senegal and Mali, including women traders.

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10 African entrepreneurs in China: true actors of globalization Laurence Marfaing and Alena Thiel

The proliferation of academic attention on the movement of Africans toward China has produced in-depth descriptions of the phenomenon’s social and economic characteristics (Martinez 2008; Le Bail 2009), processes of community formation (Bodomo 2010), and the role of networks and institutions shaping transnational mobility (Bredeloup 2013 on personal attitudes; Cissé 2013 on business types; Haugen 2013 on the recruitment of African students by Chinese universities; Müller and Wehrhahn 2013; and Marfaing and Thiel 2015 on the role of African business networks in China). In view of the scale of the phenomenon and the enthusiasm with which Africans continue to travel to China – for short-term business trips and long-term relocation – the term ‘South–South mobility’ has come to be associated with these individual expressions of China–Africa relations. Despite its wide usage, we are concerned that the vocabulary of the Global South, particularly the conceptual frame for ‘South–South’ connections, mobilities and other associated contexts, cannot be uncritically applied to the very complex empirical situation of (West) African movements towards and within Asia, particularly China. Based on our observations of Ghanaian and Senegalese transnational entrepreneurs, this chapter emphasizes that these actors orient their mobilities towards the economic opportunities that certain places offer them while simultaneously transforming these places into hubs for their activities and, ultimately, into platforms for further diversification or expansion. Hence, for many of our informants destinations in the ‘South’ are only stations in their larger expansion strategies and cannot be adequately classified as part of an exclusive conceptual emphasis on South–South mobilities. In order to show that our informants1 – transnational Ghanaian and Senegalese businessmen and -women who are integrating China in their transnational entrepreneurial activities – are embedded in strategies of circulation that include but cannot meaningfully be subsumed under the label of South–South trajectories, we adopt a

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biographical approach. Before centring on selected biographies of personal and business development, we present our methodological approach and the relevance of biographical interpretation as a response to the arguably simplistic and homogenizing South–South conceptual lens. We then proceed to portray the complexity of the activities that take place in the entrepreneurial realm between China and West Africa, proposing a typology derived from our comparative empirical case studies and our informants’ social and economic backgrounds, which mediated their mobile economic activities. Though in no way exhaustive, our tentative typology of transnational entrepreneurship between West Africa and China illustrates how activities are far too complex to be subsumed under a homogeneous label. Moreover, it allows us to discuss in depth the truly global business strategies of our informants, who may be represented more densely in certain economic activities but exist in all areas of our typology irrespective of their residence in China or Africa or their previous entrepreneurial experience or training. In a third step, two biographical vignettes of selected informants illustrate the temporal and spatial contingence and fluidity of transnational trajectories as well as their geographic dispersal beyond the conceptual boundaries of South–South mobility. We focus less on the activities of these entrepreneurs in China (which we have already done to some extent; see Marfaing and Thiel 2014, 2015), and position China instead in the totality of these economic actors’ strategies of expansion. This biographical approach allows us to cover these entrepreneurs’ socio-economic backgrounds at home and in the places of their engagement with globalization – that is, the circulation of themselves, their capital and their ideas in truly global realms. We conclude by depicting our primary argument: the mobilities presented in this chapter cannot be subsumed under a one-size-fits-all South–South mobility label, or, even worse, migration.2 Drawing on the heterogeneity of activities and trajectories in our sample, we seek to portray an alternative picture of African businessmen and -women as equal partners in globalization.

Beyond South–South limitations: biographical approaches to the study of West African mobilities in China The term ‘South’ generally refers to Latin America, Asia (with the exception of Japan, South Korea and Hong Kong), Africa and Oceania (excluding Australia and New Zealand); that is, countries

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that have a GDP per capita below that of Euro-America and share a common colonial past rather than cultural or regional traits. As such, the term has come to be associated with the ‘periphery’ of geopolitical power relations (Dados and Connell 2012). While the South–South vocabulary is more often used in the economic contexts3 of developing countries, the Global South is more closely associated with the colonial past, ideas of the Third World (ibid.; Grovogu 2011; Therien 1999) and activism (cf. Audet 2011; Polet 2007, 2010). This categorization presents a number of problems. First, the conceptual frame of the South is such that the definitions often remain unclear; are we talking about geographical or geopolitical delineations or are the stakes rather ideological, emphasizing, for example, the role of China as a new global player in Africa in contrast to the so-called West? Although it is heavily charged, the conceptual vocabulary is usually not sufficiently positioned in these struggles over definition. Particularly in the case of China, the macro-economic orientation of the concept denies the fact that China’s affiliation to this body of countries is far from obvious. China’s place as the second-largest economy in the world, member of the UN Security Council and one of the BRIC states contradicts its status as an emerging economy associated with non-aligned states and its classification as ‘Southern’ country in relation to its GDP per capita, to say the least. The fact that West African China traders predominantly target China’s hyper-modern cities such as Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and maybe to some extent even Yiwu4 further complicates their positioning in the so-called ‘South’. The second reason why we are critical of the South–South or Global South vocabulary is that it does not sufficiently capture – and may even silence – the complexities of movement and trajectories of individual actors who are not limiting their entrepreneurial and other aspirations to the ‘South’, thereby reducing their entrepreneurial creativity and resilience to a generic and unilinear movement of a homogeneous group. Not only are the concepts of South–South and Global South engagements profoundly rooted in macro-economic developments and lose their explanatory value when applied on the level of individual economic interests (Therien 1999: 8; Audet 2009: 118–19, quoting from Narlikar 2003), they also reproduce a questionable notion of African engagements in a world that is defined by limitations rather than the ability to spot opportunity and make use of it with creativity and adaptation. Particularly, the idea that ‘given their differences of economic structure, the North and the South had different needs’ (Therien

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1999: 726) is fundamentally challenged where business relations span across Europe, America and, of course, various countries in the South as sources of their own, slightly adapted versions of global consumerist fashions and trends. Fieldwork for this research was conducted in three stages. We have been dealing with the movements of transnational entrepreneurs between China and West Africa since January 2011. While we initially focused on transnational Chinese economic actors, we also conducted interviews with their Ghanaian and Senegalese counterparts. This provided insight into these actors’ business engagements in and with China. We have focused predominantly on these African perspectives since 2013 by following Ghanaian and Senegalese traders’ movement between their West African home societies and their Chinese business locations, particularly in Yiwu, Guangzhou and Hong Kong. For this chapter, we drew on 147 informants (71 Senegalese, 76 Ghanaians) from our total sample. These informants are characterized by their more or less regular encounters with China as a sourcing destination for their businesses at home, irrespective of the length of their stay, the frequency of their travels or the modes of their engagement.5 In itself, this sample of West African traders and business people in China illustrates how China is only one step in our informants’ strategies of movement and expansion. Only a minority (forty-two out of 147) have – owing to constrained capital and experience – at this moment limited their transnational mobility to China. In contrast, the majority move between a wide range of business destinations that cannot be subsumed under the terms of ‘South–South’ or ‘Global South’ relations, notably countries in Europe, America, the Arab world or South-East Asia, including Hong Kong and Korea among many other destinations (see Table 10.1). Table 10.1 – South–South mobility? Business destinations of 147 Ghanaian and Senegalese China traders

*

North Africa

South-East Asia

China

Dubai, Jeddah

India

Europe

North America

Hong Kong

Lebanon, Turkey, Israel

Korea, Japan

Global North (153)

East, South Africa

Unspecified (190)

West Africa

Global South (83)

42

10

10

21

147*

32

11

60

26

39

15

13

Of our total sample of China traders, 42 travel to China only

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Interviews in our sample of 147 informants make mention of 153 destinations in the so-called ‘Global North’ as part our informants’ business trajectories, in contrast to 83 destinations that are usually classified as ‘Southern’, and 190 destinations that cannot be specified as belonging to the so-called South because, as we have argued above, they may fall in both categories depending on the criteria applied. Hence, if the extensive focus on China–Africa relations has created the impression of a linear South–South mobility between China and our interview partners’ home societies, our sample does not lend itself to this conclusion. Conversely, the binary opposition between North and South is no more productive than the South– South vocabulary when it comes to expressing the complexity of relations and exchanges at stake. What we learned from our informants is that in their role as entrepreneurs they follow opportunities and economic interests that specific locations offer them irrespective of their classification as ‘North’ or ‘South’. In view of our concerns about the conceptual language of South– South mobility and our immediate empirical observation of business trajectories that completely evade this categorization, we chose to adopt a biographical perspective. This approach is fundamentally rooted in our in-depth qualitative fieldwork. While we are experienced in our respective field sites in Ghana and Senegal, conducting fieldwork with transnational entrepreneurs who are venturing from their home societies in Ghana and Senegal to China among many other destinations presented a number of challenges, particularly in terms of recruiting informants in China. In Guangzhou specifically, a field that has been extensively researched over the years with regard to its African communities, subjects have become quite sensitive and many potential informants were taken aback by the ongoing academic interest. For them, their often ambiguous legal status in China and the added exposure when talking to other non-African foreigners carries potentially existential risks. During our fieldwork in China, we addressed this by following up with the business contacts of our informants in Ghana and Senegal, who, in contrast to many of the informants recruited ‘from the street’, usually had legal residency in China. Our approach of ‘snowballing’ from contact to contact along our informants’ transnational connections enabled us to negotiate access to the higher echelons of the Ghanaian and Senegalese business networks in China and West Africa. Furthermore, it provided more comprehensive insights into individual enterprises by following up on the employees, partners, colleagues and acquaintances of each

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informant in China and in Africa. Crucially, this approach revealed much-needed information about businesses’ past transnational trajectories and future projections. In other words, our efforts to revisit our key contacts in at least two of their transnational business destinations in China and Africa allowed us to add this edited volume’s in-depth biographical component to our analysis as contacts were often longer-term acquaintances who also revealed more information about their social and economic backgrounds. Having approached our fields with a broad range of qualitative research methods, including narrative and life biographical interviews, we agree with Crapanzano (1984: 953) that the ethnographic biography as a mode of collecting and presenting qualitative data underscores the aptness of the method to uncover aspects of movement and change. This is due to, as Miller (2000: 2) illustrates, the holistic quality of the biographic approach. ‘Rather than limiting itself to the slice of an individual’s situation located at the present, the focus of interest is upon people’s complete lives or, at the very least, upon a significant portion of people’s lives […] present activity can be seen as formed as much by the anticipation of the future as it is by the experience of the past.’ Hence, Miller argues, biographic approaches are ideally suited to portray processes of change, ‘ongoing or developing phenomena’, and with them ‘the ongoing reconstruction of identity in response to changing situations’ (ibid.: 4, 160); or, as Salvatore (2004: 187) puts it, studying biographies ‘creates the possibility of a broader understanding of the interplay between an individual and social forces’ that shapes life beyond its control. In this chapter, our concern with applying the biographical method is thus less the preoccupation of the ‘biographical turn’ of the 1980s and 1990s – that is, the proliferation of reflexivity and identity in anthropological knowledge production (Wengraf, Chamberlayne and Bornat 2012 [2002]: 78) that went hand in hand with the hermeneutical interpretative approaches of Geertz (1983) – and more an interest in biographies for their potential to highlight the relevance of micro-dynamics in the process of increasing transnational flows of actors and ideas. In other words, we apply the biographical lens to depict multi-local and long-term biographies of movement to underscore our point that the vocabulary of South–South mobility is inaccurate and superficial as our informants’ trajectories are in fact much more complex than this vocabulary suggests.

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Entrepreneurial trajectories between Africa and China In our previous work on African trade agents residing in China (Marfaing and Thiel 2014, 2015), we followed Bredeloup (2012) by deconstructing the routine classification of Africans residing in China as a more or less homogeneous group and pointing to the substantial differences in economic activities and rationales between the two cases – Ghanaians and Senegalese – in our comparative study. Conversely, we emphasized the differences in status that persist across the two national communities in China, underscoring them in our alternative – but by no means exhaustive – categorization of full agents, associates, apprentices and coaxers6 (Marfaing and Thiel 2014, 2015). Across these categories, we first and foremost perceive these African residents in China as international businessmen and women. Coming to China in search of profit, their installation as service providers usually does not represent their predominant economic activity or identity but is a component of their wider strategy of stabilization and expansion. As they realized that these services are in high demand in their area of investment, they decided to diversify and settle down in the anticipation of further opportunities. Among these African residents in China, we admittedly encountered people who had never been to any business destination other than China. These informants fall into the categories of coaxers and young apprentices, people who are hoping to improve their lives in China owing to a lack of opportunities elsewhere. The majority of our informants, however, had come to China via previous export hubs, including, depending on their area of trade, either Dubai, India or Bangkok, and sometimes several destinations subsequently. In addition to our previously described typology of African residents in China, this chapter depicts the characteristics of a sample of transnational traders who travel to China on a temporary basis and can equally be differentiated within ideal types. The first type is probably the most veteran trader type in China and is composed predominantly of older traders (mostly female in the Ghanaian case), above the age of fifty, who have usually already accumulated considerable experience as distributors and importers before expanding their businesses and importing directly from China. This group is characterized by a general lack of higher education and training – with some even being illiterate – although they often have decades of experience in trade. Most have gathered initial experiences in places other than China (including Europe and the USA since the 1960s, Bangkok, which has attracted West African traders since the early 1980s and, finally Dubai since the 1990s).

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Members of the second group differ distinctly with regard to formal education and socialization in trade. Between twenty-five to forty-five years old, they are usually sons and daughters of longtime traders in the first group but in contrast to their parents have been educated in business schools or have formal training in other professions. They also have access to relevant business networks and capital. A significant subgroup engages in a variety of economic activities or is employed in skilled professions such as accounting or marketing, leaving little time for travel to China. Nonetheless, they source a larger variety of goods from China and in fact do not restrict their sojourns to China alone but travel to many other markets in Europe and North America as well as to other destinations in Asia, for example Japan or Korea, in order to source latest trends in fashion and technology. As they have been exposed to mainstream international business education, formal management practices inform their economic engagement with China. They rely on the latest communication technologies to cultivate interpersonal networks with their Chinese business partners, which tends to reduce the frequency of travel related to sourcing activities in China. Members of the third group have their younger age in common with the second group (up to forty). This group, however, is more open to newcomers in that it includes young – and predominantly male – traders who had not been previously socialized in the conventional kinship-based networks of (transnational) trade. For the most part lacking any experience in business management, they enter the profession by selling cheap goods imported from China by others and slowly work their way up from retail (street) trade to transnational entrepreneurship, particularly in textiles and small electronics. In contrast to the norm of intergenerational knowledge transfer in this business (Marfaing and Thiel 2013), most have not received formal or informal education qualifying them for any kind of business. In other words, they have not undergone the gradual transmission of responsibilities found in kin-based business, which would prepare them for their own independent business endeavour. Recently, they have begun to explore the Chinese supply market after accumulating enough capital from trading activities in their home countries or combining funds with a group of friends and business partners. Most travel frequently – in the so-called suitcase trade up to twice a month – between China and their home countries because they do not have lasting relationships with Chinese suppliers. The clear trend of sophistication in this group may turn these traders into emancipated businessmen and -women in the long run. Although

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this group is the most likely among our informants to only source their goods in China, we could observe how China acts as a dooropener to other international business destinations for them as well. Following new trajectories for sourcing paved by their more experienced countrymen and -women, many of them are now preparing to try new destinations such as Turkey or Brazil, and have, in many cases, already stopped over in more traditional destinations such as Dubai or Bangkok. The fourth and final group of informants is the most heterogeneous, in terms of both age and economic niches. Unlike the second group, their large experience with transnational mobility does not stem from family-mediated knowledge and capital transfer. While some are complete career changers, shifting for example from touring as performing artists to business and trade, others have been travelling as business people ever since. For most of these actors, China is just another place among the many they have explored for importing goods, often on the basis of tenders for large companies, but also machines and materials for production or investment at home. They are therefore characterized by a deeply innovative stance in their investments and their capacity to diversify. We neither intend to suggest that this typology could in any way be exhaustive, nor do we think that it is the only plausible method of delineating similarities and differences between these actors; our purpose here, rather, is to reflect on the heterogeneity of aspirations, motivations, predispositions and strategies implicit in transnational entrepreneurial engagements. All our informants share an ability to grasp the economic opportunities that China offers at this particular moment thanks to lower entry barriers in terms of capital and visa requirements as well as the accessibility of Chinese products, which are indiscriminately sold to anyone who can afford to pay.

Biographies of movement and expansion In the following, we present two exemplifying biographical vignettes that underline our proposal that our informants’ operations defy the classification of South–South mobility. We do this by situating China in a range of destinations in these informants’ personal and business trajectories. Whereas the first vignette summarizes the biography of movement of a Ghanaian newcomer in trade who bases his entrepreneurial decisions on his educated background, the second case from Senegal is representative of the common system of knowledge

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and capital transfer in trade through kin relations. Gender and age further differentiate these two biographies. At the same time, they both illustrate the key dynamics that we observed widely in our field of West African transnational entrepreneurs in China: the family support they receive when implementing their mobility and their immense adaptability to new contexts in the pursuit of opportunities.

John John’s trajectory to Hong Kong begins like the biographies of many African ‘adventurers’ in China. Raised in a suburb of Accra, despite being part of the matrilineal Fante ethnic group residing in Ghana’s Central Region, this young mechanical engineer managed to gather capital from his father’s extended family in the city in order to ‘learn the world’. In view of the popularity of China as a destination for many of his age mates, John enrolled in a Guangzhou-based language school, secured his visa and bought his ticket. In contrast to other cases, however, he did not use the language school as a pretext for entering the forwarding business (and in fact did not do so until much later) but took his Chinese classes quite seriously. Towards the end of his language course, John recalls that a conversation with a Guangzhou policeman was decisive for his trajectory; faced with a soon-expiring visa, he found the policeman’s warning resonating in his memory. Considering the increased crime and xenophobic attitudes in the city, especially targeted at immigrants who lacked official residence documentation, he decided to follow the policeman’s suggestion to try his luck in Hong Kong or Seoul. Hong Kong, at that time, had the comparative advantage that it did not require a visa, which made his initial choice easy. After borrowing money from his brother, who was an established engineer in Europe, John booked a room in a Chungking Mansions hostel to come to a final decision about what his way forward would be. There, he befriended the Ghanaian hostel manager. Reconnecting with another brother located in Japan, the two men decided that John should come to Japan via Thailand and Korea. However, when he faced difficulties securing a visa for Japan, John decided to stay in Seoul with another distant relative. The two men agreed to set up a joint business that combined his cousin’s local knowledge with capital borrowed from yet another contact of John’s in Dubai. Within a short time after John’s arrival in Seoul, the two men had purchased a container-full of second-hand electronics and a few second-hand cars that John accompanied to Ghana for sale. However, upon his return, problems arose with his attempt to re-enter Korea. As he had

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failed to renew his visa before his return, the Korean immigration officials confronted John with deportation. Thanks to a layover in Hong Kong, he was able to return to the city where he was hoping to receive assistance from his friend, the hostel manager. In Hong Kong, John indeed reconnected with his friend, and, following the latter’s hasty departure from Hong Kong to Guangzhou, took over his hospitality business in Chungking Mansions. It was only when John married his wife, a Hong Kong citizen, that he withdrew from this business as, she explained, the exposure to the many guests in the hostel made her uncomfortable. The couple therefore shifted their business attention towards freight forwarding, an area that John’s wife had previous experience in and felt more confident with managing. With the decline of the Hong Kong trade, however, alternative income sources were required to support their small family. John took up a job in Hong Kong’s construction sector and continued dealing in second-hand electronics and cars. The situation was not satisfactory for the young, educated man. In particular, his dependence on Ghanaian sales personnel in his Accra-based shop led to ongoing frustrations. John’s master plan from the start had been to return to Ghana with his family at some point. With this in mind, John worked relentlessly to make his business in Ghana sustainable. His initial business model relied heavily on his ability to quickly turn over the electronic goods he regularly shipped to Ghana. John directly reinvested profits from these sales in the import clearing of the second-hand cars he also dealt in. Based on his experiences in previous years, John knew that his presence was required for this sequence to work out. Accordingly, he banked his leave for two years and spent two months in Ghana in early 2014 to promote his business plan. In his narrative, and evidenced by the smartphone pictures that he proudly used to illustrate it, John did not even get to unload his container of used stereos and home appliances before a long queue formed in front of his shop. Within two weeks, two-thirds of his stock had been sold. In addition, John made substantial changes to his car importing business; instead of investing a lot of time in preparing cars for sale, he shifted to trading pre-ordered cars against a down-payment and therefore was guaranteed the ability to release the cars in a reasonably short time. This allowed him to concentrate his resources and time on his other, more substantial projects. Currently, John is developing a few plots in the north of Accra for a school complex and training facility for occupational safety, something he learned to appreciate in his Hong Kong-based construction

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job. With the help of his father’s family in Accra, he acquired the land and managed to secure his plots by giving his mediator’s wife, his aunt, permission to sell cement on his premises during the construction phase. In exchange, he was granted a loan for the necessary building materials to fence off his property immediately after purchase. At the same time, he decided to develop his father’s plot in Accra, building a complex of small shops, and a Hong Kong-style guest house next to the new family house for his wife and daughter. John’s case illustrates how transnational trajectories are often contingent on the dynamics that certain locations offer at certain moments. In addition, the presence of personal contacts at these sites has been fundamentally important for John. The following case illustrates the ability of Astou, a second-generation trader from Rosso in northern Senegal, to actively discover opportunities at new geographic sites thanks to her access to capital.

Astou Fifty-year-old Astou has internalized trade as a way of life since her early childhood. Witnessing her mother’s business going transnational – with the import of second-hand garments from France – through the help of family connections in Paris, Astou’s aspirations to establish herself as a transnational trader were planted early on. With the assistance of her maternal uncle – a successful businessman who came into money while working in the Rosso sugar factory, trading at the same time and investing in the booming rice trade – Astou was able to depart for her first transnational sourcing trip to Mauritania with a capital of 700,000 FCFA (about US$1,200). Astou invested this business loan wisely in veils that were fashionable in Dakar at the time. She maintained this import business between Mauritania and Senegal for some years until her husband advanced her 4,000,000 FCFA (about US$6,800), which allowed her to travel to Morocco to launch her fashion and shoe trade while continuing to sell her veils. With her sourcing decisions working out well, Astou decided to broaden her business by including ‘bazins riches’ (highquality damask) in her shelf line. She then began to travel to Austria regularly in order to source high-quality fabric along with embroideries. In the mid-1990s, Astou’s business was really able to take off and she bought real estate for future returns and repaid her husband. By the beginning of the 2000s, however, counterfeit fashion from China began to arrive in Senegal, especially damask copies for ‘boubous’.7 The Senegalese merchants who were bringing such copies into the country were offering them for lower prices, forcing

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Astou to drop the import of her ‘bazins riches’ and to import cheaper fabrics instead. In 2003, she travelled to Dubai and in 2005 she organized her first visit to China and the Guangzhou Fair. Her initial interest in Chinese sourcing locations resulted in the establishment of business contacts and eventually led her to order her own counterfeits herself. However, from 2006 onwards, the Chinese established in Senegal began to bring these fabrics – both wax and damask – into Senegal themselves, thus making this business unprofitable as well. Astou accordingly decided to focus on trade in embroideries that were not included in the Chinese shelf-line of low-quality fabrics.8 In order to diversify her business, Astou has also opened a tailor’s shop in Dakar, where she employs about ten seamstresses9 working on sewing machines brought in from China. In other words, she successfully managed to transition from trade into production by taking the risk to invest some of her capital in the new venture. At the same time, Astou continues her trade with South-East Asia. She imports two to three containers annually, which she fills partly with fabrics and partly with tiles and furniture. The embroideries come from China and Korea. She also travels to Mumbai, where she sources ten to fifteen boxes of embroidered fabrics every three months. Because the fashion in these fabrics changes quickly, they are transported as air cargo. These niches are relatively safe from Chinese competition as Korean fabrics are ‘richer’ – that is, of higher quality – while the Indian embroideries and embellishments with beads and sequins are labour intensive and hence relatively costly. After the damask business ceased to yield profits in 2011 and 2012, Astou retreated from the core area of her trade and refocused on embroideries that have a good turnover because they are needed for ceremonies such as weddings but also represent investment in social and commercial relations in the everyday. Nonetheless, Astou’s business strategy continues to include China because, as she puts it, ‘the profit you have in China you cannot get from Europe. All in all, for you to survive you have to do business with China, but you have to diversify.’ Going to China is costly: 2,000,000 FCFA (about US$3,400) for the trip; plus 2,000,000 to 2,500,000 for customs and 1,500,000 for freight. While Astou’s margins were as high as 50 per cent with the Austrian damask, the Chinese goods bring her only 5 to 10 per cent. Hence, Astou needs to stock large quantities of only a few models – in addition to adding goods like tiles, which have a high profit margin, to the container. Consequently, she travels to China only about twice a year, to screen the market and maintain her Chinese business contacts. In the

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meantime, she prefers to buy from her Chinese contact’s representative in Dubai, where she can buy smaller quantities. From Dubai, Astou usually continues her travels to Mumbai and returns home after approximately one month with a diversified range of products. Having long outgrown her beginnings in Dakar’s HLM market,10 Astou’s future perspective is focused on her daughter, who, after taking care of the shops during her mother’s travels, has recently taken charge of one of her mother’s five boutiques. After obtaining her degree from Dakar’s Haute École de Commerce business school and accompanying her mother to China from time to time, she is being prepared to internalize transnational business as a way of life as her mother did in her own youth. Astou is, however, not completely ready to retire yet and has concrete plans for her own business as well. In a move to regain the high-quality segment of her trade, she recently set aside one boutique for such quality products as ‘one should not mix the goods so that the people will know that you sell quality’. She also re-entered the German and Austrian damask trade in 2013, sourced through a Malian middleman, convinced that ‘customers know the difference’ and would bring back the high profit margins of the past. These two biographical vignettes, which focus in their own ways on the informants’ multiple business destinations, perfectly illustrate the heterogeneity of African traders in China and the multiplicity of their experiences and perceptions, their aspirations and trajectories in their transnational mobility. In the final section of this chapter, we conclude our discussion of how this diversity is best conceptually captured and represented.

Transnational mobilities through the biographic lens The biographies of Ghanaian and Senegalese businessmen and -women presented above are not exceptional cases but illustrate two of the ideal types identified in our sample.11 Whereas Astou almost typically falls in the ideal-type of experienced, veteran traders who chose the transnational route as a consequence of internalizing trade as a way of life (with her daughter representing the group of second-generation transnationals), John is, conversely, part of the fourth group of non-conventional entrepreneurs and career-shifters. We are convinced that the business engagements of these groups cannot adequately be described as ‘South–South mobility’. If one group in our typology falls under this label, it would be the third

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group of inexperienced newcomers in trade and coaxers in the new sourcing destinations who indeed move along lines that connect Ghana and China in a one-directional way. Even within these mobilities, we argue, aspirations are far more complex as China is often seen as a stepping stone towards other, more attractive destinations. Certainly for our three other clusters, and our selected biographies in particular, China is only one piece in the jigsaw puzzle of transnational business destinations spread out across the globe. While experienced traders turned to China early on owing to the opportunities it offered them in comparison to older destinations such as Europe or America, building the networks that the second generation of transnationals then came to expand in the region and beyond, career-shifters and other newcomers hopped on the trade in China bandwagon at a particular historical moment. Well aware that the peak years of this destination may already be over, they are ready to likewise exploit the next location for their own benefit. Geographically speaking, even though an increasing number of newcomers in the Ghanaian and Senegalese marketplaces gather their capital and render themselves directly to China, the biographies of movement of most experienced West African entrepreneurs in the Chinese sourcing destinations of Yiwu, Guangzhou and Hong Kong passed through earlier European, American, Arab and finally Asian commodity hubs such as Thailand, Taiwan, Malaysia, India and/or Hong Kong. They all pick up discourses about alternative sourcing and production destination in countries like Turkey, Vietnam or Brazil. Depending on their product choices, financial capacities and access to information, transnational traders’ mobilities target varied locations in the pursuit of new trends and opportunities.12 Global trends in sourcing and procurement are, however, insufficient for explaining the stations and trajectories of entrepreneurs moving between these destinations. Astou and John’s case studies show that movement is in no way a solitary decision. Economic actors are dependent on substantial resources for operating businesses, most crucially financial capital but also, among others, market information. We have described elsewhere (Marfaing and Thiel 2013) how aspiring newcomers in West Africa’s urban markets mobilize the relations provided by seniority and the elders’ sharing obligations to raise these and other start-up capital. For a lot of our transnational informants, their initial steps towards becoming business people in China follow comparable dynamics. Both John and Astou found ways to establish themselves because of their access to financial capital through kin relations. Mobilizing the skills and

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knowledge of a more experienced partner or role model, they made sure to turn this initial investment into a basis for further expansion. Mobility choices are thus mediated by personal contacts and networks. Spanning across the entire region, these connections not only enabled the two entrepreneurs to adapt to business environments as different as the cities of Hong Kong, Guangzhou and Yiwu, but also to India, Korea and Dubai. Generally speaking, experienced entrepreneurs like Astou and educated newcomers like John skilfully mobilize their networks in order to expand their businesses. In addition to their embeddedness in social networks, the movements of Ghanaian and Senegalese transnational entrepreneurs are marked by these actors’ particular backgrounds at home. Some studies speak with surprise when they note that their African informants in China held master’s degrees (Mathews 2011). In fact, a rather large proportion of our informants possess tertiary training from either West Africa or China or from North America or Europe as well, both in commerce and completely unrelated fields such as agriculture, medicine and education, or engineering in the case of John. Considering the limited benefits of these educational investments in the actors’ home societies, it comes less as a surprise and more as a call to reconsider the terms under which Africans in China are routinely categorized, especially in the case of uniform terms like South–South migration. Accordingly, the classifications of these transnational mobilities – often without much further qualification – require a more informed look at where the actors come from, which global networks of resources and opportunity they are enclosed in, and where they project their plans for the future. A more comprehensive biographical approach provides an encompassing perspective on these questions. Applying the biographical method allowed us to reveal the connections and disruptions within the multiple turning points of our informants’ lives. By doing so, this chapter casts a productive light on our informants’ ability to adapt to new circumstances and opportunities. In other words, the biographic method moved the emphasis from macro-interaction to the micro-dynamics of transnational flows of actors and ideas. It is these micro-dynamics that matter when it comes to evaluating the actual contribution of West African traders in China to large-scale economic processes and, ultimately, globalization. The vocabulary of South–South mobilities is not intended to detect these and other complexities, and, worse still, potentially silences activities that do not comply with its associated forms of

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movement. When economic actors do not limit their entrepreneurial aspirations to the ‘South’ but instead pursue opportunities with creativity and resilience with little attention to geopolitical affiliation, the terms their activities are evaluated in should be chosen carefully. While the homogeneous label of South–South mobility is certainly factually inaccurate, it also denies these actors the recognition of their actual contribution to processes of globalization.

Notes 1

See the projects ‘Entrepreneurial Chinese migrants and petty African entrepreneurs: local impacts of interaction in urban West Africa (Ghana and Senegal)’, www.gigahamburg.de/de/projekt/ entrepreneurial-chinese-migrantsand-petty-african-entrepreneurslocal-impacts-of; and ‘West African traders as translators between Chinese and african urban modernities’, www.giga-hamburg. de/de/projekt/west-african-tradersas-translators-between-chineseand-african-urban-modernities, carried out at GIGA Hamburg within the framework of the DFG Priority Programme SPP1448, ‘Creativity and adaptation in Africa’, since January 2011. 2 For a discussion of the shortcomings of this concept regarding the empirical case of African entrepreneurs in China, see our working paper ‘Agents of translation’ in the SPP1448 Working Paper Series, www. spp1448.de/fileadmin/media/ galleries/SPP_Administration/ Working_Paper_Series/SPP1448_ WP4_Marfaing-Thiel_final.pdf. 3 South–South connections were first mentioned in World Bank discussions, which noted that migration flows and remittances within ‘the South’ surpassed those from ‘the North’ (Ratha and Shaw 2007). Today, they mainly refer to trade relations. 4 These sites are characteristic of Therien’s (1999: 724) claim that ‘the South has formed a thin layer

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of society that is fully integrated into the economic North’. 5 This sample includes sixty informants (thirty-one Senegalese and twenty-nine Ghanaians) who are residing in China more permanently. We include these informants in our sample because our interviews revealed how, besides their work in China, they engage regularly with their home societies in terms of trade and other exchanges and travel to diverse destinations in Asia and beyond. 6 The term ‘coaxer’ is an adaptation of the French neologism ‘coxeur’, which is widely used in francophone West Africa for the role of attracting clients, especially in the transport and retail sector. Recently, the term has come to be associated with all sorts of intermediaries. Particularly in the international markets of Casablanca or Guangzhou, just to name two examples, it designates the role of guides and service providers for the West African entrepreneur visiting these locations for the first time. 7 Damask is used primarily for tailoring the elegant garments that are worn by West African men and women for festive occasions, for example the Friday prayer. 8 The Chinese traders know which fabrics are in demand but they primarily focus on cotton fabrics, veils and damask marketed at low prices in the Senegalese hinterlands.

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Some of Astou’s employees are family members trained in the business, but Astou prefers to employ people who are not related to her. ‘The family eats too much’, whereas her employees are paid 50,000 FCFA a month or 2,000 FCFA a day. 10 HLM is a quarter of Dakar named after the social housing project (habitations à loyer moderé, HLM) developed there in the 1960s. The market stretches out across the 5th district of this quarter and is the largest fabrics market in Dakar. 11 At the same time, they evade typologies and classifications altogether in that a closer look at their lives and business trajectories reveals the fluidity in time and space of identities that overlap and neatly integrate individuals at given moments in time. Hence, our typology explicitly serves only to identify typical ideal-clusters of activities in view of particular structural conditions and dispositions. 12 Contingent on the mobility choices of transnational entrepreneurs, these sourcing trends are constantly evolving and not least differ with regard to a trader’s community and access to information (see also Zubrzycki, this volume, on Senegalese in Argentina).

References Audet, R. (2009) ‘Du tiers-monde au sud global. Le renouveau de l’activisme diplomatique des pays en développement à l’OMC. Une analyse du discours et des formes organisationnelles’, PhD thesis, Université du Quebec, Montreal, www.archipel.uqam.ca/2392/1/ D1853.pdf. ––––– (2011) ‘Le Sud global et les nouvelles figures de l’équité à l’OMC’, Éthique et économique [Ethics and Economics], 8(2), ethique-economique.net.

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Bodomo, A. (2010) ‘The African trading community in Guangzhou: an emerging bridge for Africa– China relations’, China Quartely, 203: 693–707. Bredeloup, S. (2012) ‘African trading post in Guangzhou: emergent or recurrent commercial form?’, African Diaspora, 5: 27–50. ––––– (2013) ‘The figure of the adventurer as an African migrant’, Journal of African Cultural Studies, 25(2): 170–82. Cissé, D. (2013) ‘South–South migration and trade: African traders in China’, Policy Briefing 4, Center for Chinese studies, www.ccs.org.za/?cat=64. Crapanzano, V. (1984) ‘Lifehistories’, American Anthropologist, 86: 953–60. Dados, N. and R. Connell (2012) ‘The Global South’, Contexts, 11(1): 12–13. Geertz, C. (1983) Local Knowledge: Further Essays, Interpretive Anthropology, New York: Basic Books. Grovogu, S. (2011) ‘A revolution nonetheless: the Global South in international relations’, The Global South, 5(1): 175–90. Haugen, H. Ø. (2013) ‘China’s recruitment of African university students: policy efficacy and unintended outcomes’, Globalisation, Societies and Education, 11(3): 315–34, www. tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1 080/14767724.2012.750492#. VPXR8i4vlYo. Le Bail, H. (2009) ‘Les grandes villes chinoises comme espace d’immigration internationale: le cas des entrepreneurs africains’, Asie Visions, 19, www.ifri.org/?page=detailcontribution&id=5570, accessed December 2013. Marfaing, L. and A. Thiel (2013) ‘New actors, new orders: the changing norms of market entry in Senegal’s and Ghana’s urban Chinese markets’, Africa (Journal

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of the International African Institute), 83(4): 646–69. ––––– (2014) ‘“Agents of translation”: West African entrepreneurs in China as vectors of social change’, SPP 1448 Working Paper Series 4, www.spp1448.de/fileadmin/media/ galleries/SPP_Administration/ Working_Paper_Series/SPP1448_ WP4_Marfaing-Thiel_final.pdf. ––––– (2015) ‘Networks, spheres of influence and the mediation of opportunity: the case of West African trade agents in China’, Journal of Pan African Studies, 7(10): 82–109 (special issue: ‘Africans in China: Guangzhou and beyond’). Martinez, O. (2008) ‘Connexions territoriales entre Afrique et Asie: rôle et influence des commerçants malien, répercussions en termes de “développement local à distance”’, Presentation at the workshop ‘Actualités de la recherche sur les migrations maliennes’, FLASH, Bamako, 2–4 June. Mathews, G. (2011) Ghetto at the Center of the World, Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press. Miller, R. (2000) Researching Life Stories and Family Histories, London: Sage. Müller, A. and R. Wehrhahn (2013) ‘Transnational business networks of African intermediaries in China: practices of networking and the role of experiential knowledge’, Die Erde, 144(1): 82–97.

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Narlikar, A. (2003) International Trade and Developing Countries: Bargaining Coalitions in the GATT and WTO, New York: Routledge. Polet, F. (2007) ‘Retour d’une perspective Sud–Sud. Contexte, stratégies et portée’, Alternatives Sud, 14(3): 7–26. ––––– (2010) ‘Etat des résistances dans le sud: Afrique’, Alternatives Sud, 17(4), www.babelio.com/livres/ Polet-Alternatives-Sud-Volume-17N-42010--Etat-des-re/303161. Ratha, D. and W. Shaw (2007) ‘South–South migration and remittances’, Development Prospects Group, World Bank, January, siteresources.worldbank. org/INTPROSPECTS/Resources/ South-SouthmigrationJan192006. pdf. Salvatore, N. (2004) ‘Biography and social history: an intimate relationship’, Labour History, 87: 187–92. Therien, J.-P. (1999) ‘Beyond the North–South divide: the two tales of world poverty’, Third World Quarterly, 20(4): 723–42. Wengraf, T., P. Chamberlayne and J. Bornat (2012 [2002]) ‘A biographical turn in the social sciences? A British-European view’, in J. Goodwin (ed.), SAGE Biographical Research, London: Sage, pp. 77–100.

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11 Chinese textile production in East Africa: cooperation through the experience of Tanzanian managers Sarah Hanisch

About fifty years ago, the Sino-Tanzanian Friendship Textile Mill, commonly known as Urafiki, ‘friendship’, in Swahili, was built in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. Urafiki is located on one of Dar es Salaam’s busy roads, buzzing with local taxis, trucks, cars and street vendors. Upon entering the premises on a hot Wednesday afternoon in November 2013, my attention was immediately drawn to the large signboards announcing the ‘Sino-Tanzanian Friendship Textile Mill’. The administrative building itself has two storeys and offices are lined up along open-air hallways. The architecture reminded me of the early ‘communist style’ used for official buildings in China. Many of the offices were empty, and, apart from the chirping of some crickets and some distant laughing downstairs, the whole upper level was quiet, creating the impression that the busy ‘golden days’ were long over. As I later learned, the origin of the Urafiki dates back to the Sino-Tanzanian Friendship Treaty of 1965. Originally, Urafiki was designed to strengthen Tanzania’s textile industry, which consisted of only a few factories at the time. While Tanzania was a major producer of cotton, it exported the raw material to Britain and re-imported the finished products from there. The mill’s goal was to provide employment opportunities for Tanzanians and reduce Tanzania’s dependence on textile imports from Western countries. During the initial trial period, Tanzanian workers were trained by their Chinese colleagues. In 1976, the management of the Urafiki was officially handed over to the Tanzanian staff, which employed 2,000 locals, operated four shifts each day and produced for both local and East African markets at its peak. Its and other early Sino-Tanzanian cooperation projects’ success led to a positive image of Sino-Tanzanian relations among Tanzanians. This, in conjunction with government support, enabled the circulation of people, objects, knowledge, ideas and language skills between China and Tanzania in the first post-independence decade. Many Tanzanians were familiar with famous Mao quotes, and it seems that Tanzanian intellectuals tried

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to learn from the ‘Chinese experience’1 (Naipaul 1978). A number of Tanzanians received Chinese government scholarships to study in China. Chinese experts travelled frequently to Tanzania, and Tanzanian government officials paid regular visits to China. The opening up of China’s and Tanzania’s economies in the mid-1980s gave new impetus to the cooperation between the two countries which culminated in today’s intensifying relations between China, Tanzania and other countries of the Global South. I focus in this chapter on Urafiki as an example of the complex network of people, knowledge and technology constituting Sino-Tanzanian relations. I analyse the biographies of two Tanzanian managers working at Urafiki; more specifically, I depict how they shaped individual careers at Urafiki in a context of changing socio-economic and political conditions in China and Tanzania. To bring out these features, I not only focus on the biographies of the two managers, but also on that of the organization in which they worked, and combine this with an analysis of wider developments. This chapter is the outcome of a two-week fact-finding mission to Dar es Salaam in November 2013 organized by a representative from the Austrian NGO Working Globally – Weltumspannend Arbeiten. Since I had already carried out interviews with Chinese people in Lesotho, South Africa and Zambia, and am fluent in Mandarin,2 my role in this mission was to act as a translator and research assistant. The mission sought to obtain a broad picture of Sino-Tanzanian relations of which Urafiki is a vital part. At Urafiki we used open, semi-structured interviews to interrogate Joseph, a Tanzanian human resource manager, and Peter, a Tanzanian production manager at Urafiki.3 Mandarin played an important role in starting conversations with and gaining access to information from non-Chinese counterparts. This shows that both the biographical approach and my Mandarin language skills have been important for gaining access to the field in Sino-African research. The interview material together with follow-up email exchanges and telephone interviews with Joseph form the basis for the biographical accounts. By including biographical accounts of Tanzanian managers at Urafiki, I am extending existing research on Urafiki. To date, research has tended to focus on ‘Chinese managers’ and ‘African workers’. This might be the case because Tanzanian managers are a minority in the management of Urafiki. Their relations with the Chinese management team appear to be less explored. I argue, however, that the biographies of the two managers highlight (1) how the Cold War period offered career opportunities under the

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Sino-Tanzanian friendship and solidarity slogan at Urafiki, regardless of individual achievements; and (2) how the post-Cold War generation of Tanzanian managers has to use their individual educational and professional achievements to develop (transnational) careers at Sino-Tanzanian cooperation projects. This chapter starts with a brief overview of Sino-Tanzanian relations, tracing their development from the early 1960s to the early 2000s. This context forms the backdrop for the history of Urafiki as a symbol of Sino-Tanzanian friendship. I deconstruct the image of Urafiki as a static and timeless monument to Sino-Tanzanian cooperation. I then move on to the biographies of two managers who, as members of a skilled Tanzanian middle class, represent two individual career paths. I show how their careers were also tied to wider structural changes in Tanzania and the world. The conclusion relates this chapter to the wider theme of the book.

A brief overview of Sino-Tanzanian relations ‘In the coming ten years, we, the people of Tanganyika, will do more to develop our country than the colonists had done in the previous forty years.’ This quote from President Julius Nyerere’s speech on 9 December 1961 summarizes the spirit of the early post-independence years in Tanzania. This spirit was connected to questions of development and ‘catching up with the West’. In China ‘catching up with the West’ was also of paramount importance. In the middle of the twentieth century, Tanzanians and Chinese increasingly obtained knowledge about the living standards and economic conditions of the Western ‘core’ countries. They realized that their countries were lagging behind and attributed this to their unfavourable relative position. The two countries’ paramount political figures of the early post-independence era, Julius Nyerere and Mao Zedong, saw the 1960s as a chance to reorganize their external economic and political relations. Mao chose a clear orientation away from the Soviet Union and towards socialist countries like Tanzania. Nyerere chose to alter Tanzania’s core–periphery relation4 with Western countries, most notably with Britain. Bailey argued that ‘contacts between the two countries [China and Tanzania] developed rapidly – partly because of Nyerere’s wish to reduce his country’s dependence on the British’ (1975: 39). In 1961, informal exchanges on these and other topics started between China and Tanzania. However, an official visit between Julius Nyerere and Mao Zedong took place only in 1965.

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From their initial contact, both leaders shared a common idea for their respective development. Development would rely on mutual support between countries from the ‘Third World’,5 and take place without help from the West. The foundation of post-independence Sino-Tanzanian relations was laid with the friendship treaty in 1965, the focus of which was, for various reasons, the promotion of self-reliance.6 Internally, Mao actively promoted self-reliance in China following the crisis with the Soviet Union in 1960. The key component was ‘the establishment of a comprehensive, independent economic system not only in the nation, but at the regional and local levels as well even down to that of the communal and the individual enterprise’ (Tisdell 2013: 240). Nyerere employed a similar multilevel self-reliance concept in 1967 (Naipaul 1978: 202), whereby being self-reliant implied being more independent rather than merely self-sustaining. Nyerere and Mao both actively pursued external cooperation. Nyerere believed that China could play a particularly vital role in facilitating Tanzania’s economic self-reliance by supporting the establishment of a manufacturing base in Tanzania. Mao, on the other hand, regarded Tanzania and other socialist African countries as key to gaining international recognition, i.e. getting a seat at the United Nations Security Council. Within the framework of Sino-Tanzanian relations, China increased its investment in Tanzania to strengthen the latter’s economic and political position. In addition to the Tanzanian–Zambian railway link (TAZARA), China also funded projects in the manufacturing sector, which must be considered within Tanzania’s larger economic context. In the 1960s, urbanization and rural–urban migration unfolded rapidly as Tanzanians migrated to Dar es Salaam and the towns of Kilimanjaro Region because ‘rural poverty [acted as] a continuing spur to peasants’ (Lonsdale 1968: 335). Dar es Salaam and the Kilimanjaro Region were the two most important providers of job opportunities. However, jobs for less-educated peasants in the formal sector were rare. In 1967, ‘wage earners […] represented a bare 5 percent of the population’ (ibid.: 342). For example, Moshi, the town in which Joseph grew up, had only a coffee curing factory and a textile factory (Bryceson 1980: 20). Dar es Salaam was characterized by ‘large industries (often stemming from single establishments)’ (Silver 1980: 480). In 1967, only 34,157 people were employed in the manufacturing sector in Tanzania (ibid.: 485). Nyerere selected the textile industry as a key industry for employment creation in Tanzania (Yu 1971: 1111). As Tanzania was a major producer of

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cotton, it was logical to abandon the practice of exporting the raw material and re-importing the finished products from Britain.7 Tanzania’s cotton production matched China’s interests as the country had acquired some expertise in the textile industry and favoured technical cooperation projects in the textile sector (ibid.). Urafiki is the most prominent example. Tanzania used this expertise for the development of its manufacturing sector. In 1971, the number of persons employed in the manufacturing sector rose to 53,565 (Silver 1980: 481). From the late 1960s on, people, goods and ideas from China were common in the daily lives of many Tanzanians. Thousands of Chinese workers were employed at TAZARA. Chinese goods could be found in stores, and newspapers had many articles on China (Naipaul 1978: 216). In Dar es Salaam, Chinese literature and propaganda (Brooke-Smith 1978: 149) were easily available. Therefore, at the time, many Tanzanians had a basic knowledge of China, and Sino-Tanzanian cooperation projects. Owing to the initial success of projects like Urafiki and TAZARA, Tanzanians had a positive image of Sino-Tanzanian relations. An associate from the National Museum told Shiva Naipaul, a writer and journalist from Trinidad, in 1975 that the Chinese ‘are not selfish like the imperialists. […] The Chinese are our best friends’ (Naipaul 1978: 271). With the death of Mao in 1976, and the beginning of economic reforms in China, the level of intensity of cooperation between China and Tanzania decreased. In the 1980s, Tanzania introduced multiparty democracy and a more neoliberal economic system. Emphasis on self-reliance decreased to a loose commitment to South–South cooperation that did not translate into any significant cooperation projects in the 1990s. Still, China and Tanzania maintained strong bilateral ties throughout the 1980s and 1990s on which the new relations from the 2000s onwards were built. Since 2000, Sino-Tanzanian cooperation has continued to grow. In recent years, there has been a slow but steady divergence between the official narrative on Sino-Tanzanian relations and the unofficial one. The top Chinese and Tanzanian political representatives created the official narrative, in which the friendship narrative has remained (almost) unchanged. President Xi’s visit to Tanzania in 2013 was described by the Chinese leaders as ‘a trip of friendship and inheritance’ (Bitekeye 2013: 1). Generation after generation of state leaders from China and Tanzania cite Urafiki and TAZARA as the best proof of their mutually beneficial cooperation. The Tanzanian public, as well as some sceptical senior officials, do not buy into this narrative as they consider Sino-Tanzanian relations to be

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increasingly asymmetric. One Tanzanian official stated that Tanzania is ‘giving more while receiving less. […] The ideal situation would be for the relationship to change to an equal profits one’ (ibid.: 1). Tanzania is not an exceptional case; many African people outside the top political elite share the view that their countries are giving more than they are receiving from cooperation with China. The unquestioned repetition of the friendship mantra by political leaders only accentuates the divergence between political leaders’ narratives and those of the general public, a gap that has created an increasingly negative perception of everything related to China among the general public.

Urafiki: a symbol of Sino-Tanzanian relations Urafiki continues to have a strong symbolic value for Sino-Tanzanian relations. In public speeches, it is often cited to demonstrate the mutually beneficial friendship between the two countries. However, the image of Urafiki as a static and timeless monument to Sino-Tanzanian cooperation is misleading. Over the course of the last fifty years, Urafiki has changed from a Chinese aid project in 1968, to a Tanzanian parastatal entity in 1976, to a semi-private Sino-Tanzanian joint venture in 1997. These dynamics have also influenced the way Urafiki was perceived and what Urafiki symbolized for Sino-Tanzanian relations. Urafiki’s original design had once been geared towards self-reliance; from the beginning, the cooperation project’s goal was to enable Tanzanians to run the factory without Chinese help. Since Tanzanians neither command the knowledge nor own the technology, Chinese experts were sent to support their Tanzanian counterparts during an initial trial and training period. After this, Urafiki was supposed to achieve self-reliance on multiple levels, which was, in theory, to be fostered through Urafiki’s provision of employment opportunities and cheaper fabrics.8 On the company and national levels, Urafiki became self-reliant as it produced everything from yarn to the finished fabric. In the first decade, Urafiki generated surplus and exported fabrics to the neighbouring countries of Uganda and Kenya. This contributed to stimulating economic growth in Tanzania, and Urafiki became a symbol of successful Sino-Tanzanian relations. When the trial period ended, Urafiki’s management was officially handed over to the Tanzanian managers in 1976 (Eadie and Grizzell 1979: 219), and Urafiki became a parastatal entity. The concept of

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a parastatal entity was introduced by Julius Nyerere. It referred to ‘governmental organizations which fall outside the main lines of the departmental and ministerial hierarchies and which have, in consequence, some measure of quasi-autonomy in their day-to-day activities’ (Loxley and Saul 1975: 55). Peter, the production planning manager, whose biography will be explored in more detail below, started working at Urafiki shortly after it became a parastatal entity. He recalls his first years at Urafiki: ‘During the golden years, more than two thousand people worked here. We worked in four shifts. Each day, only one shift would go home to see their families. The others stayed at the hostel on the factory premises’ (interview, November 2013). In those days, Urafiki offered secure and relatively well-paid jobs to workers regardless of prior educational qualifications. Peter was one of the few Tanzanian workers at Urafiki with a higher education (Bryceson 1980: 21). A workers’ council, which had already been set up in 1970, provided workers with the opportunity to get a basic education by offering classes in ‘literacy education, including reading, writing, arithmetic, and political ideology’ (Stites and Semali 1991: 54). At Urafiki, these councils seemed to play a ‘useful role’ (Jackson 1979: 240). The continuing success made Urafiki a symbol for an alternative to conventional factories and foreign cooperation projects. In the 1980s, Urafiki’s success began to fade. Slowly, Urafiki changed from a ‘self-sufficient’ alternative to conventional factories to an outdated factory. In 1990, it ‘failed to operate because of financial problems […] and outdated machines’ (Mwansele et al. 2011: 2). Notions of ‘self-reliance’ seemed difficult to implement in a connected world in which neoliberalism had emerged as the dominant force. In 1992, a Parastatal Sector Reform Commission was set up to deal with the 413 parastatals in Tanzania, including Urafiki (Temu and Due 2000: 693). The Commission introduced a more ‘market-oriented’ approach in the parastatal sector because existing parastatal factories were not able to compete in these ‘modern’ times (ibid.) and in a globalizing world economy. For workers at Urafiki, many of the non-financial benefits and participatory mechanisms gradually disappeared. Moreover, access to job opportunities started to be ‘determined by skills acquired rather than party affiliation or government assignment’ (Stites and Semali 1991: 71). When Joseph, the Tanzanian human resources manager, started at Urafiki in 1992, it was still considered a parastatal entity. Shortly after, the Tanzanian government privatized Urafiki, turning it over ‘to the Chinese Government’ (Mwansele et al. 2011: 2). In 1997,

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the Chinese government contracted a Chinese textile company from Changzhou to enter into a joint venture with the Tanzanians (Brautigam 2009: 201). Urafiki became a semi-private Sino-Tanzanian joint venture, in which ‘Tanzania owns 49 percent and China owns 51 percent’ (Mwansele et al. 2011: 2). Inspired by their own experience in the textile industry in China, the new Chinese managers made competitiveness and integration into global markets their new imperatives. One of their first points of action was to restructure the workforce. The new Chinese managers decided to keep Joseph and Peter because they commanded a particular set of skills and experience. For example, managers like Joseph, who were fluent in both Mandarin and Swahili, were needed to act as mediators between the Chinese managers and the shop-floor workers. In December 2002, only 1,260 workers of the former 2,000 workers remained (Lee 2009: 4). In 2013, production was reduced to only one shift per day (interview, Joseph, November 2013). Changes in the production and work schemes had a rather negative effect on less-skilled Tanzanian workers. When I visited Urafiki, it had only 840 permanent Tanzanian workers, sixteen Chinese managers and two Tanzanian managers. Many workers felt that these transformations had negatively affected them and talked of the exploitation of Tanzanian workers at Urafiki. They felt that the Chinese managers treated and paid them inadequately (Lee 2009).

Urafiki, Sino-Tanzanian relations and the biographies of two Tanzanian managers Urafiki and Sino-Tanzanian relations are closely related. However, there are important differences in the way Sino-Tanzanian cooperation is designed at the state level and the way it is implemented on the company level. On the state level, state leaders have maintained a cordial friendship. Today, Urafiki has little to do with its original design. These changes have not only affected the way Urafiki was run, but also career opportunities for Urafiki’s workers. Flexible work regimes leave little room for worker education and secure incomes. As a result, many workers from Urafiki have a negative impression of the company as a semi-private Sino-Tanzanian joint venture. They think that Chinese managers at the top are benefiting while African workers at the bottom of the organizational hierarchy are being exploited. Peter and Joseph are both members of Urafiki’s management team, located somewhere between the Chinese

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managers and the shop-floor workers (interviews, November 2013). Their perspective offers the possibility of moving away from the existing one-dimensional picture. The biographies of Peter and Joseph have to be considered in the context of the specific situation of the urban and semi-urban middle class during the Nyerere era. Peter was born in the late pre-independence era and grew up near Dar es Salaam. Nearly a decade later, Joseph was born in Moshi, a small market town around eighty kilometres from Arusha in the Kilimanjaro Region. His parents came from the ‘educated elite’; his father worked as a lawyer, and his mother was a teacher. In the early 1960s, the TANU (Tanganyika African National Union) leadership still regarded the educated elite as crucial for overcoming Tanzania’s shortcomings (Stabler 1979: 45). Like other African post-colonial elites, his parents’ generation ‘expected to enjoy urban living and salaries appropriate to their training and status’ (ibid.: 45). However, these expectations were curtailed by the socialist and egalitarian aspirations of the Arusha Declaration of 1967 (ibid.: 45). The government decided to nurture an elite ‘prepared to work hard, serve the country and broadly accept the TANU policies for socialism’ (Brooke-Smith 1978: 149). This shift also had profound implications for the education system in Tanzania. When Peter attended primary school, the priority was to provide ‘a basic education for all’ (Stites and Semali 1991: 58). Primary education was supposed to be ‘complete in itself ’, to educate students to be ‘self-reliant’; and to enable them to make a ‘contribution to rural development’9 (Stabler 1979: 44). Since many parents, including those of Peter and Joseph, place more value on academic education, they sent their children to one of the expensive private schools. Unlike many of their fellow Tanzanian workers at Urafiki, both Peter and Joseph were able to obtain degrees from institutions of higher education. In the mid-1970s, Peter studied engineering at the Dar es Salaam Technical Institute (renamed the Institute of Technology in 1997).The Institute was the first institution to offer technical training courses to Tanzanians and enjoyed a good reputation. After the Musoma Resolution in 1974 – about the time Peter started his studies – ‘village or factory work experience and party endorsement’ (Stites and Semali 1991: 54) became a requirement for admission to university. This was in line with the official anti-elitism discourse, but in reality, ‘it mainly benefited professionals, like teachers, technicians, and bureaucrats, who saw in it another opportunity for social mobility’ (Ergas 1982: 580). The government probably realized that

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it needed educated and skilled people like Peter rather than workers or peasants with only primary education to ‘achieve self-sufficiency at all skill levels in the economy by 1980’ (Brooke-Smith 1978: 143). This goal seemed difficult to achieve since it was estimated that the number of foreign experts ‘would reach 8,000 in 1980’ (Ergas 1982: 579). When Peter started working at Urafiki in 1977, ‘workers with a university degree represented only 1.2 percent of Urafiki’s workforce, and almost 40 percent of all workers had no education at all’ (Bryceson 1980: 21). When Joseph enrolled at the Institute for a diploma in engineering in 1980, the socialist rhetoric about introducing a self-reliant and egalitarian society began to disappear. Education policy and economic policy were completely reorganized. In 1982, a special presidential commission suggested introducing ‘academic schooling, expert evaluation, and responsibility for costs’ (Stites and Semali 1991: 69). In other words, many of the practices that had been central to the early post-independence education system in Tanzania were reintroduced. People like Joseph and Peter whose parents had provided them with an academic education could adapt comparatively easily to these changes. Education was not the only area undergoing major changes; changes were also introduced by the economic reforms, which were also felt at parastatals like Urafiki. This was no problem for Peter; as a production planner he had a specific set of skills needed at Urafiki. However, for the majority of the workers with little education at Urafiki, as well as in Tanzania as a whole, the reforms had negative effects (Temu and Due 2000: 706). From the mid-1980s on, new possibilities opened rapidly for Tanzania’s middle class owing to the disappearance of socialist rhetoric. Joseph benefited from new incentives offered by the Tanzanian government to further his studies abroad. After graduating in 1984, Joseph applied for a scholarship in China. He recalls, ‘You know, back then it was very easy for us to get a scholarship to study abroad. Of course, you needed good grades. Luckily, I had always had good grades so I got a scholarship from the Tanzanian Ministry of Education’ (interview, November 2013). He went to China to study Mandarin for four years at the Beijing Foreign Language University. When he arrived in Beijing in 1985, he found it remarkably different in comparison to his home country. He recalled: ‘When I was there, they still had food coupons for foreigners. So we could get only one jin [500g] of chicken’ (ibid.). Joseph was familiar with the shortage of goods in Tanzania, but individual consumption was never limited to a coupon system. Joseph summarized: ‘Life was a bit tough back

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then. The economic situation of China was not good, and there were many challenges for us, especially when it came to social relations. It was really not so easy’ (ibid.). Still, he enjoyed China and liked Chinese food, the speed of development and the Chinese habit of keeping to time. In 1990, he returned to Tanzania for a brief spell. Only one year later, he returned to Beijing to continue with a postgraduate degree in Finance and Management at Qinghua University. This time he had to pay US$2,000 for his tuition fees. He considered it a good investment in his professional future. It was also during his second stay in China that he further enhanced his understanding of Chinese culture. After some time, he discovered that the ‘Chinese are friendly people, especially if you speak their language’ (interview, February 2014). In 1992, Joseph returned to his country because he ‘wanted to contribute to the economy of Tanzania’ (ibid.). He was hired as a production manager by Urafiki, which was just embarking on its extensive restructuring programme. Both Peter and Joseph were able to make it through the restructurings, which included the reintroduction of Chinese management. Peter never had much trouble with the Chinese managers, but he was never given any significant promotion or an opportunity to visit China. Joseph, on the other hand, was promoted to human resource manager. He leads a highly mobile life allowing him to travel frequently to China, Europe and North America to accompany government delegations. In fact, the return of the Chinese management created new opportunities for Joseph. His studies in China helped him, as he explained: ‘At first, I really didn’t understand their mentality, but then, I understood. It makes things so much easier for me’ (interview, November 2013). The Chinese managers gave him an important managerial position because he spoke Mandarin and Swahili fluently. In return, they also expected him to understand and communicate the changes they were intending to introduce. From time to time, this tainted his relations with local workers. Still, he considers the return of the Chinese management a positive development, giving him access to other Chinese managers and companies: ‘Even today, I have Chinese companies who hire me for two hours because of my language and cultural skills.’ He travels frequently to China and, for example, spent nearly the entire month of February 2014 in China accompanying a Tanzanian government delegation. His son studied at Qinghua University, China, and is now working and living in Beijing. Joseph emphasized that ‘knowing the Chinese language is a very big advantage for me. I got a lot of opportunities’ (ibid.).

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Today, Joseph and Peter are both pursuing successful careers at Urafiki. Urafiki’s golden era is over, but it is not a ‘dead giant’. When I visited in 2013, Peter told me that they were constructing a new showroom across the road. Both managers seemed to be content that they will continue working at Urafiki. Their biographies highlight how Urafiki continuously offered career opportunities for highly educated and skilled (multilingual) Tanzanians. There are, however, important generational differences. For Peter’s generation, the official anti-elitist and egalitarian rhetoric during the Cold War era meant that Urafiki offered access to a steady and secure income regardless of educational attainment.10 Initially, Peter acquired his position at Urafiki not because but despite his educational attainments. In hindsight, Urafiki’s education and hiring policies meant that many workers in the 1970s did not pursue higher education. Today, they are among the large number of unskilled workers without any prospect of a secure income and position. For Joseph’s generation, going abroad for further education became both a requirement and an increasingly available opportunity. For them, Urafiki offered career opportunities as they had a high degree of flexibility and a broad spectrum of qualifications. Joseph’s biography shows how his ability to speak Mandarin allowed him to develop a better understanding of the Chinese mentality, culture and work ethic, which in turn opened up new professional possibilities at Urafiki and beyond. He emphasized that he believes that China holds many opportunities for Tanzanians, especially if they are able to speak Chinese. He told me, ‘I think Tanzania would benefit a lot if more people would speak Chinese’ (ibid.). Joseph’s recommendation is particularly applicable for the younger generation of Tanzanians. In the future, young Tanzanians might not look for work at Urafiki, but with the right language skills and expertise they might easily find a job at one of the many new Chinese projects in Tanzania.

Conclusion In this chapter, I explored Sino-Tanzanian relations by analysing the ‘biographies’ of two Tanzanian managers, Peter and Joseph, from the Sino-Tanzanian friendship textile factory Urafiki. I showed that in the 1960s and early 1970s, Urafiki was linked fundamentally to the national goal of self-reliance. Urafiki’s initial success made it a symbol for Sino-Tanzanian relations. Over the years, Urafiki changed from an aid project to a parastatal entity to a Sino-Tanzanian joint venture.

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The Urafiki I visited in 2013 and the former ‘poster child’ (Monson 2006: 114), i.e. a good example of successful Sino-Tanzanian cooperation, are two different worlds. As a consequence, the perception of Urafiki shifted from symbolizing self-reliance to symbolizing the exploitation of Tanzanian workers by the Chinese (management). I argued that these perceptions tend to emerge from micro-level interactions between two common groups, i.e. Chinese managers and African workers, rather than the larger structural changes in the way Sino-Tanzanian relations are organized at the state level. The inclusion of the Tanzanian managers’ experiences at Urafiki illustrates how Urafiki offers interesting, albeit limited, career opportunities for educated and skilled Tanzanians. I concluded that different aspects influenced these career opportunities during and after the Cold War period. During the Cold War period, career opportunities were offered under the Sino-Tanzanian friendship and solidarity slogan, and individual achievements were often secondary. In the post-Cold War era, educational and professional achievements became mandatory for (transnational) careers at Sino-Tanzanian cooperation projects. To bring out these features, I analysed the biographies of individual actors and of the organization they worked for. In combination with an analysis of wider developments, the study provides a different perspective on Sino-Tanzanian relations. Two themes emerging from this chapter in the context of this edited volume require further consideration. Generally speaking, (new) patterns of interaction between countries of the Global South, here China and Tanzania, are considered to be partly shaped at the state level. As I showed in this chapter, the patterns of Sino-Tanzanian interaction at the state level are relatively stable: the projects might vary in size, cost and duration, but everything takes place under the never-changing Sino-Tanzanian friendship. Implicitly underlying this friendship is the idea of mutual support. In reality, this mutual support often boils down to applying ‘the Chinese experience’ to the Tanzanian context. Urafiki illustrates this point: it was designed according to the ‘Chinese experience’ with textile factories and was intended to become an identical copy of a Chinese textile factory. Transplanting Chinese machinery and equipment into the Tanzanian context was not a difficult task, but beyond the hardware other aspects, such as factory and worker management, proved to be more difficult. In China, the management of textile factories would have included a tight control of workers and an enforcement of set production targets, if necessary at the physical and emotional cost of workers. In contrast to Chinese management, in the first ten years

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after the handover, the Tanzanian management at Urafiki placed an emphasis on participatory and educational measures for workers. Urafiki therefore became an identical copy only insofar as the physical structure was concerned. This in turn raises questions about the applicability of ‘the Chinese experience’ in Tanzania which are absent from state-level accounts of Sino-Tanzanian relations. A study of Sino-Tanzanian interactions, at both macro and micro levels, can have a tendency to exclude external developments from the analysis. In this chapter, I showed that the lack of career opportunities for Tanzanian workers at Urafiki did not stem exclusively from the Sino-Tanzanian cooperation framework, but also from external factors. The large number of unskilled workers is partly related to the socialist education policies of Tanzania. Here, the official anti-elitist and egalitarian rhetoric meant that many people did not get a higher education because manpower development and higher education were, at least temporarily, limited to ‘practical needs’. Today, these people are aged forty or more, and would typically be at a senior career stage. Since they have no special skills needed at Urafiki, they do not hold managerial positions and can only be hired as unskilled workers. Similarly, the various forms of exploitation of unskilled workers at textile factories in general, and Urafiki in particular, seem to be a global phenomenon. The global textile industry is influenced by a complex, asymmetrical relationship between supply and demand. During colonial times and the early post-colonial period, Britain had a strong influence on the global textile industry, including Tanzanian textile manufacture. Urafiki was a major South–South cooperation project aimed at breaking away from British influence. Alternative circuits of production were created by producing cotton and textiles in Tanzania and importing knowledge and machines from China rather than Britain. Today, the global textile industry continues to be fuelled by a demand for cheap, high-quality clothing and textiles. On the supply side, numerous countries are willing to supply cheap labour and venues for the labour-intensive textile industry to meet that demand. Cheap labour is a global synonym for low-wage, often exploitative working conditions. At Urafiki, the need to provide cheap labour translated into low wages and flexible work regimes. While workers at Urafiki attributed this to the ‘Chinese management’, it is a global phenomenon. This points to the necessity to include external and global developments in the analysis and questions an exclusive focus on bilateral relations in the study of new patterns of interactions in the Global South.

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Notes

The Citizen, www.africareview. com/Analysis/What-Xi-Jinpingsvisit-to-Tanzania-means-/-/979 190/1725458/-/94xmahz/-/index. html, accessed 21 December 2014. Brautigam, D. (2009) The Dragon’s Gift: The Real Story of China in Africa, New York: Oxford University Press. Brooke-Smith, R. (1978) ‘The politics of high supply in Tanzania manpower’, Comparative Education, 14(2): 143–50. Bryceson, D. F. (1980) ‘The proletarization of women in Tanzania’, Review of African Political Economy, 17: 4–27. Eadie, G. and D. Grizzell (1979) ‘China’s foreign aid, 1975–78’, China Quarterly, 77: 217–34. Ergas, Z. (1982) ‘Can education be used as a tool to build a socialist society in Africa? The Tanzanian case’, Journal of Modern African Studies, 20(4): 571–94. Jackson, D. (1979) ‘The disappearance of strikes in Tanzania: incomes policy and industrial democracy’, Journal of Modern African Studies, 17(2): 219–51. King, K. (2014). ‘Why China wants African students to learn Mandarin’, The Conversation, 30 April, theconversation.com/ why-china-wants-african-studentsto-learn-mandarin-26079, accessed 2 February 2015. Lee, C. K. (2009) ‘Raw encounters: Chinese managers, African workers and the politics of casualization in Africa’s Chinese enclaves’, China Quarterly, 199: 647–66. References Li Yuanchao (2014) ‘Work Bailey, M. (1975) ‘Tanzania and together to promote the cultural China’, African Affairs, 74(294): communication and mutual 39–50. learning between China and Beckert, S. (2014) Empire of Cotton: Africa’, in Joint Conference of A Global History, New York: Knopf. Confucius Institutes in Africa, Dar Biersteker, T. (1980) ‘Self-reliance in es Salaam, english.hanban.org/ theory and practice in Tanzanian article/2014-07/11/content_544491. trade relations’, International htm, accessed 2 February 2015. Organization, 34(2): 229–64. Lonsdale, J. (1968) ‘The Tanzanian Bitekeye, A. (2013) ‘What Xi experiment’, African Affairs, Jinping’s visit to Tanzania means’, 67(269): 330–44. 1

This does not refer to the lessons learned from China’s economic reforms, but from China’s seemingly fast industrial development in the 1960s. 2 Mandarin or Putonghua is the standard language in China, and is taught in all schools. 3 For the sake of anonymity, their names have been changed to Peter and Joseph. 4 Like many other African countries, Tanzania was exporting raw materials and had to re-import the manufactured goods at considerable cost. 5 Today, former Third World countries are referred to as countries from the Global South. 6 Self-reliance has often been treated as ‘merely part of the ideological jargon’ (Biersteker 1980: 229). 7 For a history of the global capitalist cotton industry, see Beckert (2014). 8 In practice, individuals did not value the opportunity to achieve individual self-reliance because they were not satisfied with their salaries and their work (Jackson 1979). 9 Rural development became the priority during Nyerere’s time. 10 For managerial positions, educational qualifications were advantageous and sometimes required. However, they were not as important as they were to Joseph and the generations following him.

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Loxley, J. and J. S. Saul (1975) ‘Multinationals, workers, and the parastatals in Tanzania’, Review of African Political Economy, 2: 54–88. Monson, J. (2006) ‘Defending the people’s railway in the era of liberalization: TAZARA in southern Tanzania’, Africa, 76(1): 113–30. Mwansele, H., F. Sichona and R. Akkaro (2011) ‘Determination of inventory control policies at Urafiki Textile Mills Co. Ltd in Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania’, Journal of Business and Economics, 23: 1–9, www. omicsonline.com/open-access/ determination-of-inventorycontrol-policies-at-urafiki-textilemills-co-ltd-in-daressalaamtanzania-2151-6219-2-023.pdf, accessed 8 July 2015. Naipaul, S. (1978) North of South, London: Penguin. Silver, M. S. (1980) ‘A regional analysis of industrial production and labor productivity trends in Tanzania, 1965 to 1972’, Canadian

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Journal of African Studies, 13(3): 479–85. Stabler, E. (1979) ‘Kenya and Tanzania: strategies and realities in education and development’, African Affairs, 78(310): 33–56. Stites, R. and L. Semali (1991) ‘Adult literacy for social equality or economic growth? Changing agendas for mass literacy in China and Tanzania’, Comparative Education Review, 35(1): 44–75. Temu, A. E. and J. M. Due (2000) ‘The business environment in Tanzania after socialism: challenges of reforming banks, parastatals, taxation and the civil service’, Journal of Modern African Studies, 38(4): 683–712. Tisdell, C. (2013) ‘Economic selfreliance and China’s development: changing perspectives’, International Journal of Development Issues, 12(3): 239–62. Yu, G. T. (1971) ‘Working on the railroad: China and the Tanzania– Zambia railway’, Asian Survey, 11: 1101–17.

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12 Mandarin education for economic empowerment: the Confucius Institute in Lagos, Nigeria Philip Ademola Olayoku

China has become a major player in global politics and economics. Its increasing relevance is particularly visible in African countries (Alden 2007; Broadman 2007) through what scholars have referred as cultural diplomacy (Gsir and Mescoli 2015; Hartig 2012; Zaharna 2014). The Chinese presence in Africa is reflected in the numerous Chinese economic and cultural projects found in almost all African countries. Nigeria is no exception, having become China’s thirdlargest trading partner in 2012.1 These activities and mutual exchanges are captured through visible Chinese manpower, media networks, humanitarian initiatives, sponsored projects, scholarships and exchange programmes. Nigeria was one of the first countries, in recent times, to establish relationships with China through diplomatic relations dating back to February 1971. It also plays host to a great number of Chinese projects made possible by the Nigerian government’s interests and cooperation. For several decades, increasing numbers of Nigerians have been travelling to China and the Nigerian population in China is the largest from sub-Saharan Africa. While it is difficult to ascertain the actual number of Africans and more specifically Nigerians in China, Bodomo and Panjancic (2015) estimate that there are approximately 500,000 Africans of which Nigerians constitute about 200,000.2 China’s growing influence has also increased interest among Nigerians at home in attaining expert knowledge of the Chinese language and culture. Reflecting this interest, two Confucius Institutes and a language centre were established in the country through partnerships between Nigerian higher institutions and the Chinese government/institutions. Intrinsically connected to these developments is the question of Chinese soft power in Africa, which becomes increasingly relevant when questions of symmetry in this mutual exchange are raised. Why are Nigerians interested in learning Mandarin? Why did the Chinese government spend money to establish Confucius Institutes

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in Nigeria? What do the new opportunities to learn Chinese bring to both parties involved in this interaction? This study examines how Nigerians became interested in Mandarin education and came to understand it as a means of empowerment. It explores the implications of the dissemination of Chinese language on society and nation-building in the light of previous initiatives by countries such as France, Britain and Germany to establish their own language institutions. Competence in the Chinese language enhances Nigerians’ knowledge of China, its culture and manners. Furthermore, Nigerians benefit from this knowledge when they seek jobs, study and carry out business with Chinese in Nigeria as well as in China. The official version is that both countries perceive the introduction of the institutes’ mediating capacities to be mutually beneficial. What can be said about the relationship between the two countries and the symmetry of this relationship? A Nigerian Cultural Centre had been opened in Beijing in 2011 and the Chinese government reciprocated this action in Nigeria two years later. A Nigerian Cultural Week is celebrated in China during which Nigeria’s culture and arts are displayed, while there continue to be high-powered delegation meetings between both countries’ contingents to explore the potential for cultural, economic and political interchange (Adesewo 2013; Duke 2014). Most studies on language acquisition have concentrated on how the language is learned in host countries with a focus on the integration of migrants (Adsera and Pytlikova 2012; Colic-Peisker 2002; Esser 2006; Guven and Islam 2013; Kerswill 2006; McHugh and Challinor 2011; Ros I Sole 2014; Sbertoli and Helga 2014). Other studies focus on the importance of language in connection to migration in the global context (Collins et al. 2009; Piller and Takahashi 2011). Meinhof (2009), in his study of migrant networks, emphasizes the existence of ‘transcultural capital’, which merges interdependent social, economic and cultural capitals, driven across different transnational spaces, thereby making language an important tool for transnational migrants (De Haas 2010). Scholars have also emphasized the interrelation of space with the modes of language use and sociocultural meanings their users imply (Kerswill 2006), which are important in relation to migration contexts and Nigerians’ business trips to China as well. In short, these studies point to the importance of language skills for migrants in achieving their goals in a foreign country, and emphasize that language skills are of competitive advantage in the labour market (Adsera and Pytlikova 2012; Beckhusen et al. 2012; Colic-Peisker 2002; Guven and Islam

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2013; McHugh and Challinor 2011; Somerville and Sumption 2009). Governments in host countries therefore reasonably invest in the migrants’ language acquisition in order to equip them and help them fit into the labour market, especially by incorporating language lessons in other skill acquisition programmes (McHugh and Challinor 2011). These studies, however, do not sufficiently consider that while many Africans migrate to foreign countries, they do not follow such policies of integration. The studies cited above rightly insist on the cultural capital of language acquisition, but do not consider the aspects of mutual partnerships that are closely connected with learning foreign languages, especially if learning takes place in the country of origin. This study therefore details the processes of Mandarin acquisition by taking into consideration the various partnerships for establishing the Confucius Institutes and the trajectories of their operations in Nigeria. The study examines language empowerment in Nigeria through the establishment of the Confucius Institute in Lagos. The rise of Chinese soft power and its increasing influence on the Global South are important reasons for learning Mandarin, as well as for its introduction to the linguistic educational system across different Nigerian institutions. The study concentrates on learning Chinese as a foreign language in Nigeria and how Nigerians use Chinese-language institutes as a tool for acquiring linguistic skills that might be of use in later professional life in their home country as well as abroad. Previous studies on cultural centres abroad have focused on foreign policies, nationalism, cultural diplomacy, cultural capitalism, network collaboration, cultural performance, soft power and strategic narratives (Gsir and Mescoli 2015; Hartig 2012, 2014, 2015; Hubbert 2014; Paschalidis 2009; Zaharna 2014). While these studies focus basically on official documents and interviews with administrators from these institutes’ country of origin, there is very little focus on the receptor nations of language education, particularly in terms of the direct beneficiaries of such projects. This chapter therefore focuses on the micro level of cultural interactions from the perspective of the direct beneficiaries and local administrators. It analyses how an institution (the Confucius Institute) travels between different countries, especially from China to African countries, and how its mission to disseminate language and culture enhances mutual interactions between the countries involved. The study maintains that the Sino-Nigerian interactions are guided by an economic narrative, in which China is presented as a better alternative to Europe and North America in terms of access to economic empowerment and

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opportunities for Nigerians, even as Nigeria offers a more accessible market for Chinese products. This study’s key questions are explored using in-depth interviews and observation that were carried out in Lagos between 2012 and 2014, along with an analysis of primary literature, including documents of meetings between the Chinese and their Nigerian partners. The informants mainly comprised Nigerian and Chinese teachers, students and business people in Nigeria as well as students who returned to Nigeria after completing their studies in China. The interviewees included twenty-five transnational traders (twenty Nigerians and five Chinese) in Lagos State, Nigeria, administrators including the deputy director of the Confucius Institute in the University of Lagos, a former director of the Institute, the head of department of the African and Asian Studies Department in the University of Lagos and the deputy director of the Lagos State Multilingual Centre, three returning Nigerian exchange students and four Chinese student-researchers on Nigeria. The interviews were guided by semi-structured questions, which enabled the informants to give a detailed perspective on their experiences regarding the linguistic aspects of interactions between the two groups. While the study is basically concerned with the Nigerian aspect of the bilateral relations, it also includes Chinese voices.

Sino-African cooperation and the Confucius Institute’s mission The roots of cultural institutes abroad have been traced to Europe in the late nineteenth century during which Italy, Germany, Britain and France established cultural centres abroad for the purpose of cultural nationalism and territorial protection. Paschalidis (2009) identifies four different epochs during which countries established cultural institutes for similar reasons: the cultural nationalism epoch in the pre-World War I era (1870s–1914); the cultural propaganda epoch covering the world war years (1914–45); the cultural diplomacy epoch during the Cold War (1945–89); and the cultural capitalism epoch in the post-Cold War era (1989 to present). The emergence of the Confucius Institute in 2004 therefore falls under the post-Cold War epoch, which Paschalidis (ibid.: 285) characterizes as the commercialization of cultural resources, productions and experiences. Thus, as with other cultural institutes such as the Dante Alighieri, the Alliance Française, the Goethe Institute and the British Council,

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the Confucius Institutes provide a platform for learning (Chinese) language and culture (Hartig 2012). Additionally, while the Chinese government was involved in the initiative to export Chinese culture globally, the network’s collaborative approach distinguishes it from the rest. As such, host institutions play pivotal roles in the establishment and maintenance of these institutes (Zaharna 2014), as the trajectory of the Confucius Institute in Lagos illustrates. Therefore, since 2008, the Confucius Institutes in Nigeria have complemented foreign language studies, which were introduced to the teaching curriculum at the time of early trans-Saharan contact with Arabs3 and the British colonial period. The introduction of the Confucius Institutes is situated within the framework of decades of Sino-Nigerian trade and diplomatic relationships. As early as the 1970s, contact with the Taiwanese and Hong Kong clothing markets paved the way for trade relations with Nigerian traders, followed by trade in pharmaceuticals, secondhand automobile parts, generators and household products. There was subsequently a continual increase in the Chinese population in Nigeria, estimated at about 100,000 in 2006 (Alden 2007; Brautigam 2009; Obiorah et al. 2008). The interactions have also influenced the local industry positively, as these Nigerian traders acquired the necessary skills and competence to manufacture these products themselves. A survey of the Nigerian markets reveals different levels of replicating American/European market products at more affordable prices (Egbula and Zheng 2011). Beyond trade relations, China provided access to up-to-date technology and human development. Between 2000 and 2006, China trained about 16,000 African professionals while 20,000 were scheduled to be trained between 2010 and 2012. Brautigam (2009: 160) highlighted Angola, South Africa, Nigeria, Egypt, Tunisia and Kenya as major stakeholders that have benefited from Chinese companies’ training in Africa. As a follow-up to this, in 2013, the former Chinese president Hu Jintao announced 18,000 government scholarships for Africans and training for about 30,000 Africans by 2015 (Ayodele and Sotola 2014). These relationships have not been without difficulties. For example, labour unions in Nigeria specifically campaigned against the poor working conditions that Nigerians employed by Chinese companies endure (Egbula and Zheng 2011). During a state visit to Nigeria in April 2006, Hu Jintao also outlined ‘five pillars’ of the new Sino-African relations, to include strengthening mutual political trust, win-win economic cooperation, cultural interaction, cooperation on security, and the close coordination of

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international affairs (Obi 2010: 183). He subsequently signed four agreements and three Memoranda of Understanding with Nigeria to cover infrastructural development, training, health and cultural ties (Obiorah et al. 2008). Hitherto, in 2005, Nigeria and China had already signed a US$800 million crude oil sales agreement to purchase 30,000 barrels daily for five years, while it also has the licence to operate four oil blocks and the Nigerian refinery in the Niger Delta region (Alden 2007; Ayodele and Sotola 2014; Obi 2008, 2010). According to the White Paper published on China–Africa relations in 2013, these economic and trade relations with the Global South are facilitated through the Forum on China–Africa Cooperation (FOCAC).4 In diplomatic terms, China’s policy differs from that of the West in the sense that their interest involves the development of political ties with African governments as allies while they also seek genuine investment and development opportunities in Africa (Alden 2007; Ayodele and Sotola 2014). They therefore aid the development of physical infrastructure, agriculture (mostly non-food products such as cotton, hemp, silk and oil seeds) and industry in which the European and North American countries have little influence, while also supplying labour at very low cost (Akinyi 2008; Ayodele and Sotola 2014). The relations are officially guided by equality and mutual respect, better loan conditions, the exemption of about 440 African products from import duties, and establishing exhibition centres for African products (Ayodele and Sotola 2014). Alden (2007) specifically discusses Chinese–Nigerian trade relations, explaining that FOCAC led to several agreements, including establishment of the Lekki Free Trade Zone between Lagos State (Nigeria) and Jiangsu Province (China), the pharmaceutical manufacturing company jointly operated by Sichuan and Ogun State, and the Henan Province’s Chinese bank in Nigeria. In terms of human development, China has also shown great commitment to cultural, educational, scientific and technological exchanges. This has been achieved ‘by supporting young Africans studying in China, sending young Chinese volunteers to Africa and developing joint research initiatives’. Between 2010 and 2012, sixty-six African researchers received financial support to complete postdoctoral research programmes in China. Additionally, research equipment worth 150,000 yuan was provided to twenty-four researchers who returned to their countries after the end of their programmes,5 18,743 scholarships were granted to African students, 408 volunteers were sent to sixteen African countries and at least twenty pairs of Chinese–African universities cooperate under the

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20+20 Cooperation for Chinese and African Universities.6 Some faculty members and students in Nigerian institutions benefited from the scholarships, including those of the University of Lagos.

Establishing Confucius Institutes and a Chinese Language Centre in Nigeria China expressed its mission of exporting cultural capital through the creation of language centres and institutes in various countries, including Nigeria. Two Confucius Institutes and a Chinese Language Centre were established there to enhance linguistic and cultural exchanges. The first institute was established in 2008 in southeastern Nigeria at the Nnamdi Azikiwe University (UNIZIK), Awka, Anambra State, in partnership with Xiamen University in China. The second is located at the University of Lagos in south-western Nigeria in partnership with the Beijing Institute of Technology. The Chinese Language Centre is located at the Federal Capital Territory (North Central Nigeria) and its activities are coordinated by the Chinese embassy (Egbula and Zheng 2011). By establishing the two institutes and the language centre in Nigeria, China consolidated its diplomatic and economic missions in the country. Lagos and Anambra States are both renowned commercial centres in Nigeria. The Onitsha international market, which is in close proximity to UNIZIK, harboured Taiwanese and Hong Kong traders in the late 1960s and 1970s. Lagos is geographically suited for business with its ports and large markets. Traders who visit China for business purposes are primarily, as some merchants confirmed in interviews, located in these two cities. The Chinese Language Centre in the country’s capital also helps to capture the members of the elite class and their offspring and is well positioned for smoothing future diplomatic relations with China by facilitating the understanding of its language and culture.7 The scope of this study will, however, be limited to the activities of the Confucius Institute in Lagos and its general implications for the Sino-Nigerian relational context. The Confucius Institute in Lagos was established through an agreement signed on 9 October 2008 between the University of Lagos (UNILAG) and the Beijing Institute of Technology (BIT). This agreement, as is the convention for establishing such institutes, was facilitated by the office of the Chinese Council International, Hanban. According to its current deputy director, the Institute focuses on teaching the Chinese language, training teachers, staff

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and student exchanges, theoretical and cultural exchanges, and the promotion of friendly (economic and cultural) relations between Nigeria and China (see also Odugbemi 2009). The Institute commenced its activities in UNILAG on 20 May 2009 and was formally opened on 29 October 2009.8 It has two co-directors, a Nigerian and a Chinese, a Nigerian deputy director and several instructors who are predominantly from China, although there are two Nigerians on the staff list. The Institute’s funding is primarily provided by Hanban, which is the body responsible for the Confucius Institutes globally. UNILAG, however, contributes to funding the institute as it provides accommodation and other logistics for the Chinese staff.9 The Institute admits an average of about twelve to fifteen students per class every September and December.10 Classes are usually organized with morning and afternoon sessions during the weekdays, while weekend sessions target the working class and merchants who are busy during the week. The instructors who were interviewed reiterated that the relationship between the Confucius Institute and UNILAG has been instrumental to the introduction of a Bachelor of Arts degree in Chinese studies at the university. The Lagos State government has also implemented an initiative to introduce the Chinese language into public primary and secondary schools in Lagos State through its multilingual centre. According to the deputy director, the Institute is also currently facilitating the language programme, which puts Lagos ahead of other states in Nigeria. While speaking about the importance of this initiative, he maintained, ‘as you are aware, no one can deny the rise of China today and Lagos would be ready’. Drawing from his research experience, he continued, ‘the language centre also aids research and cultural exchange. I was in Soochow for three months of research but was unable to use my host’s library because I spoke just English; so I could not read the relevant books he had. […] That reiterated to me the importance of learning languages.’ He maintained that learning Mandarin has become a ‘global venture’, as he observed several Western nationals visiting China to learn. Back home, he emphasized the current increasing need for interpreters in business transactions between Chinese companies and the government. The inability to communicate smoothly reflects the need for public servants and the employees of these companies to learn the Chinese language. He concluded: ‘We get documents at the centre from the state government every other time for interpretation; that shows you that there is ample opportunity for our students here.’

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The influence of Mandarin in Nigerian society and its role in schools Key informants in this study explained that the collaboration between the Confucius Institute and UNILAG extends beyond the university premises as they send teachers to both public and private schools in Lagos. With the inclusion of the UNILAG Staff School and UNILAG International School, Chinese instructors are sent from the Confucius Institute to five model schools across Lagos State. This collaboration between the Lagos State government and the Confucius Institute is coordinated by Lagos State’s Multilingual Centre, located in Maryland. The centre had initially started out as a French Language Pilot Project Centre but is now home to French-, English- and Chinese-language classes since it became a multilingual centre in 2008. The centre is funded by the Ministry of Education in Lagos State with the commissioner of education and a permanent secretary as the supervisors. The multilingual centre has a director, a deputy director, and the heads of the different language units serve as their administrators. As part of a joint initiative by the Confucius Institute and the Lagos State government, under Governor Babatunde Raji Fashola, the Chinese language was introduced to the centre in 2011.11 Governor Fashola also proclaimed that the Chinese language should be introduced in all Lagos public schools.12 The Chinese institute supplies the manpower for teaching, whereas the centre coordinates their activities and provides classes for teaching future Nigerian trainers in Mandarin. The impact of this collaboration is forward-looking in that language competence, along with fostering children’s and young adult’s understanding of Chinese culture, will further smoothen and intensify relations between the two countries. The deputy directors of both the Confucius Institute and the multilingual centre confirm that the kids at the nursery and primary schools make impressive progress in learning the Chinese language, which is reflected by the great interest they show in class. Consequently, there has been an increased demand for the introduction of the Chinese language in both private and public school curricula in Lagos State. This is mainly because proprietors consider that this gives them a new competitive edge.13 As the deputy director of the multilingual centre recalled, ‘those children [in the nursery classes] learn very fast and they always show excitement in class, but at present it is difficult to meet the demands of all the schools. We just hope that other governors can see it the way Fashola does and not kill [terminate] the programme.’ The pilot schools also take part in

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competitions and programmes and hold a Chinese Week Competition during which they learn and celebrate aspects of Chinese culture. In Nigeria, the introduction of foreign language schools has been an important factor in the creation of class and identity. This aligns with the view that language is a vital tool in creating and sustaining group identities used in differentiating between ‘us’ and ‘them’. As such, competence in foreign languages has been socially constructed to reflect exposure and by extension a sense of belonging to the economic upper class.14 Musa (2012) succinctly captured the paradox of the educational policy on language and its implementation in Nigeria, maintaining that the English language has dominated contemporary Nigerian lifestyle, and this has led to a gradual erosion of local cultural norms and values. This assertion holds true for most case scenarios in the country as instances of regulations that pupils refrain from speaking indigenous languages are rife. The mastery of these languages is also not considered as rewarding as that of English and other foreign languages. There are, however, several complexities in reversing this trend, including that of devising national (regional) language(s) (ibid.). The introduction of Chinese to the education system gave the discussion on the politics of languages in Nigeria a new impetus. One of the major challenges the introduction of Mandarin faces is the critique of it being a new form of imperialism, and a perceived threat to indigenous languages and cultures. After independence, the post-colonial Nigerian language policy adopted English as an official language while the current National Policy on Education document designated French as the second official national language to be taught compulsorily through primary and junior secondary schools, and as an elective in senior secondary school. This policy was based on geopolitical considerations of the need to interact with francophone neighbours. Similarly, every Nigerian child was required to learn the language of his/her immediate environment for social interaction and national cohesion (especially when such a child is born outside his/her ethnic extraction); as well as one of the three major languages (Hausa, Yoruba and Igbo) to encourage national unity. Thus, the Nigerian Educational Policy document identifies the importance of using language as a tool for creating a sense of Nigerian cultural identity/identities and maintaining geopolitical relations.15 The implementation of this policy has not been as effective as indigenous languages keep being subsumed under the foreign languages, which are considered more economically beneficial. The introduction of Mandarin into Nigerian society has, accordingly,

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been received with mixed reactions. While some consider it important for empowering Nigerians in their economic ventures at home and abroad, others perceive it as a threat to already endangered indigenous languages and cultures.

Studying Chinese at the university: fellowships and exchange programmes with China The introduction of the Chinese Studies Programme at the University of Lagos’ Department of Linguistics, Asian and African Studies reflects the progress that has been made in terms of teaching Mandarin and Chinese culture in Nigeria. This new arrangement is a result of a partnership that was established with Soochow University, China,16 as well as with the Confucius Institute, which provides instructors for the programme. The head of the Department of Linguistics, African and Asian Studies, explained that the newly introduced course takes a 1-2-1 format, whereby students are expected to take introductory courses for Chinese language, literature and culture during their first year in Nigeria. The outlined courses include: Introduction to Chinese Pronunciation, Introduction to Chinese Grammar, Audio Visual Chinese Classes, Introduction to Chinese Orthography, Introduction to Chinese Composition, Chinese Conversation, and Introduction to the Chinese Numerical System. The following two years are spent in Soochow University within the framework of the exchange programme, after which the student returns to UNILAG, which is also the degree-awarding institution, for the final year of studies. The programme is co-sponsored by Soochow University (students’ tuition and accommodation in China), UNILAG (payment and accommodation of lecturers in Nigeria) and the students’ parents/guardians (transportation and upkeep of the students in China).17 One of the goals of this programme is to train future Mandarin lecturers in Nigeria so that the programme can have Nigerians as teachers. Already, some lecturers have been sent to China to learn the language while others are being sent under different partnership programmes to study in various fields, during which time they are expected to master the language. The desire to learn the Chinese language has also spread beyond Lagos State to private universities in other parts of south-west Nigeria. For example, the Afe Babalola University, Ado Ekiti, has introduced it in the General Studies Programme, again in partnership with the Confu-

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cius Institute as the supplier of language instructors. The interest in and spread of the Chinese language and culture confirms the recognition of China as a major stakeholder in the global political and economic spheres, and Nigeria’s need to boost existing relations between the two countries. It is also indicative of the fact that China is focused on establishing its status as the mainstay of Global South politics and economy. Similarly, it empowers Nigerians to expand academic competence and the scope of their economic and trade relations abroad, while also easing economic and diplomatic relations for the Chinese. Within the partnership structure, the university sent one of their lecturers to China for a doctorate specialized in the history of Nigeria–China relations at the Nanjing Normal University, courtesy of a bilateral agreement between the university and the Chinese government (through the Ministries of Education and Foreign Affairs). The scholarship covered funds for tuition and accommodation and a stipend for living expenses, which were all paid by the Chinese government through the federal scholarship board. For this lecturer, the experience was important as he came to learn much about Chinese culture, since the terms of his agreement required that his language of study would be Mandarin. He therefore spent his first year learning the language and familiarizing himself with the environment, including overcoming the culture shock he experienced when it came to Chinese food. According to him, his experience in China also exposed him to the Chinese sense of pride and self-belief derived from their understanding of their country as the centre of the world, Zhong Guo. This corroborates Taylor’s (2006) observation that the critical inheritance of the pre-revolution era in China was fundamental to China’s aspiration regarding its centrality. The country’s aspiration to project itself as a superpower is also based on its large population, rich history, culture and unique civilization (Dijk 2009: 204; Taylor 2006). The advantages of gaining exposure to China and its people created an objective understanding for the lecturer contrary to the opinions he had back home. His studies and daily life were made comfortable through the availability of infrastructure, specifically the elaborate housing system, the constant supply of electricity and the public transportation system (the subway), which are aspects from which Nigeria could learn and benefit from in the long run as its relations with China grow. The China–Africa Joint Research and Exchange Plan was also in place from March 2010 to December 2012, and has supported

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sixty-four projects (workshops, subject research, academic exchanges and publications) as well as academic visits and exchanges of over six hundred African scholars, among other projects. One of the beneficiaries of this project is a doctoral student of the University of Ibadan who was jointly funded by the Chinese Academy of Science (CAS) and The World Academy of Science (TWAS)18 for an exchange programme at the Institute of Geographic Science and National Resources Centre, Beijing. The programme was also beneficial to his work and scholarship as it afforded him a standard laboratory in which to carry out his research more effectively than would have been possible in Nigeria. With a well-equipped office space within the laboratory, the host and co-students facilitated his communication by providing a research partner who had a good knowledge of the English language. He was also well integrated in the system by being accommodated with a Chinese and an Indian. The interactions between them provided him with in-depth knowledge of China and India and a broad view of Asian cultures in general. The major challenge that he faced was, however, an issue stemming from the authorship of academic publications resulting from their research projects. Owing to the source of funds, the Chinese collaborators demanded that he concede his authorship, which he considered a theft of the patent. Such grey areas needed to be monitored to maximize the benefits of the exchange programmes. This programme, however, has been currently suspended in favour of the four-year, full-time doctoral programme.

The role of language for Nigerian business people in China Africans have travelled to China for several decades for reasons ranging from trade, education and employment to diplomatic ties. As Obiorah et al. observed: The increased popularity of China in the 1970s led to greater awareness of Chinese history and culture among ordinary Africans. Some Africans who visited China as students, traders, or employees of Chinese businesses eventually stayed on and settled in China. In recent years, some Chinese companies, universities, and schools have recruited employees, including academics and foreign language teachers, from the African diaspora in Europe and North America. The number of African residents in China is growing and may soon be of political significance. (Obiorah et al. 2008)

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Most Nigerians based in China are business people. Their number has been estimated at between 2,000 and 3,000 in Guangdong Province alone as of 2006. Most of them travel to China to purchase Chinese products, while others work for Chinese companies that import raw materials to Nigeria or go to complete their studies or teach English (Egbula and Zheng 2011). As at November 2014, an estimated 16,000 Africans were reported to be living in Guangzhou while about 430,000 were said to have visited the province.19 However, there are often cultural conflicts between Nigerians and the Chinese during the course of their business transactions. Uchenna, a Nigerian businessman trading in sportswear, explained how these conflicts could result from as ‘trivial’ an issue as making noise. In expressing this view, he said, ‘Let me tell you, the Chinese people in Guangzhou do not like noise. But you sabi we naija people [you know our fellow Nigerians], they like to party with very loud music and noise. The Chinese always complain about Nigerians being noisy at local joints [pubs]. There are times they make noise and fight those Chinese when they complain.’20 Situations such as this had often led to the arrest of Nigerians, he concluded. This incident was a possible misinterpretation of the relaxation habits of Nigerians, and could easily have been averted through cultural and linguistic education. Within the diasporic context, Bodomo and Teixeira-E-Silva (2012) support the proposition of language-based communal identity in their study of the migrant Portuguese-speaking African population in China. They establish that language ties among this population and other high-ranking Portuguese speakers were instrumental in the relative (economic) successes of these Africans in their host country. Thus, the lusophone African diasporic community in Macau, through the language competence gained in their homeland, was better able to integrate and achieve success. On the other hand, Sinatti and Horst (2014) maintain that certain cultural practices retain relevance in the essentialization of ethnicity, which could hinder migrant integration in host communities. Migrants, however, tend to seek legitimacy through cultural hybridity by adopting local cultural habits and intermarrying with the local population. This is reflected in practicable circumstances in the case of complicated intermarriage practices between the Igbo and the Chinese. While there is no official guarantee of integration, they seek legitimacy through these marriages as most well-established business owners have Chinese spouses. Sino-Nigerian marriages are thus often motivated by economic concerns but also have a lot of sociocultural implications. Marriages

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create a basis for social acceptance and integration for the couple both in Nigeria and China, especially through links with both local and transnational networks with which they identify and communicate. According to Emeka, a Nigerian merchant based at Yaba Market, who imports hair products from China, his marriage enabled him to access quality and cheaper products in the Chinese market. In his words, I had a difficulty with the language which affected my ability to enter into negotiations in Guangzhou. I was however fortunate to have met this Chinese lady [who later became his wife] at the bar who took me to certain quarters where products were cheaper and had better quality […] I had to learn the basic greetings in the language which helped me in carrying out my business with them. You know these people appreciate it when you can speak the language and would not speak another language to you if they see that you know their language.21

Joshua has been plying his trade in China for the past fifteen years. His comparative analysis of the treatment he had received at the Chinese embassy in Nigeria over the years reflected better treatment with an improved display of his knowledge of China’s geography, cultural practices, food culture and language. In expressing the situation, Joshua said, ‘Look! It was very complicated for me at the beginning since I had to use intermediaries in transacting business with my Chinese [partners]. Back then, I had to pay for their services and even bought goods at more expensive rates. But I woke up to the task and started to learn the language by employing a personal teacher. My brother, the thing cost me money but I dey save plenty money now [I save a lot of money at present].’22 Nigerians who manage to carry out their business without knowing Mandarin admit, however, that language skills might be advantageous. Nigerian merchants who travel to China for business reasons attempt to learn basic Chinese greetings and words through informal means, which helps them facilitate their transactions. For them, this has been sufficient since most Chinese enterprises have interpreters or staff who are able to communicate in English, as Nnamdi, an importer of Chinese hair products, opined. This, along with minimum competence in the English language on the part of both parties, has gone a long way in managing the differences and creating understanding between the two groups. Nnamdi also spoke about how technology helps in his transnational trade relations. In explaining how this works, he said,

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you know things are a lot easier than they were ten years ago. I started travelling five years ago now but these days I make my orders through the computer. It is much better because I now know what they have and I am sure about what I am going there to do. I even call them before going to confirm the order […] Yes, they do write and talk [speak] in English but I am pretty sure that people who speak their language are favoured [in terms of getting fairer deals for the products].

There is also a consensus among the merchants I interviewed that the introduction of Chinese language to Nigerian schools would be beneficial to Sino-Nigerian trade and economic relations. This is in line with Osakwe’s (2012) suggestions, as she advocated the introduction of Chinese language and culture in Nigeria to advance easier communication and facilitate economic, diplomatic, cultural and scientific exchanges between the two countries.

Mediating intercultural misunderstandings through language education Nigeria’s market for consumer goods is awash with foreign imports, from high-end brands to cheap imitations. Imports from China tend to be perceived as being substandard, a stereotype that is then extended beyond the products and applied to the Chinese themselves, as expressed in the term ‘Chinco’. This nomenclature portrays the Chinese man as an aberration of the European, a sort of ‘fake white man’, just like his products: computers, electronics, clothes, household utensils, phones and bags among other items. This social conception of the Chinese has created a category for Asians, particularly Korean and Chinese lookalikes, who are also considered inferior in personality and products to the West. As such, car products from Kia and Hyundai are often regarded as inferior to Mercedes, Peugeot, Volkswagen, Nissan or Toyota products; and most would often prefer to purchase first-grade used vehicles of the latter categories than purchase new, and often cheaper, brands. This is not to deny the proliferation of Korean products in the Nigerian market but to affirm the preference for European products in terms of quality. The gradual acceptance of the former is based on affordability, and the increasing durability of the products. The negative stereotype of the Chinese in Nigeria stems from interactions between Nigerian businessmen (predominantly Igbos of

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south-east Nigeria23) and their Chinese counterparts. The respondents’ objections to the participation of Chinese traders in the Nigerian retail market complements Alden’s (2007) finding, as, according to the respondents, the presence of the Chinese puts them at a disadvantage in terms of pricing. Their main grouse with this is that it is impossible to emulate this in China as Nigerian traders who export goods to China are not allowed to sell directly to the Chinese populace, except through the agency of local Chinese traders. In other words, they are prevented from making retail sales in China. This has basically been responsible for the hostilities towards these Chinese traders in Onitsha, Aba and some major Lagos markets. Interviews with Nigerians who travel to China for business reasons reveal contrasting views about the treatment they received from the Chinese. There was a consensus that the Chinese have cordial relations with foreigners,24 but that they are also reluctant to go beyond the cordiality owing to suspicion. The majority of traders who visited Guangzhou maintain that most Chinese were looking to outsmart people in business with a capitalist drive for profit. While some see this as outright cheating, others maintain that there is an expectation of such acts since business is meant for profit.25 Concomitantly, the Chinese terms fei ghou (dump site/emptiness) and Ni ri li ya (Nigeria), which are used to describe Africa and Nigeria, are interpreted as derogatory and conflict prone. Some interviewees stated that some Chinese consider Africa as a territory to be conquered and that the strategy would unfold as soon as the exploitation of oil by the West is concluded. These factors, along with suspicion, are the bane of smooth and healthy transactions between the Nigerian and Chinese at present. Worse still, there have been major complaints against Chinese traders, particularly regarding the violation of Nigerian export and import laws, according to the Nigerian Custom Service Department (Obiorah et al. 2008). Unchecked Chinese operations in the Nigerian markets would therefore continue to encourage a potential environment for conflict as the traders interviewed are already alluding to the collapse of several industries, particularly the textile industries in northern Nigeria, as a result of Taiwanese and Hong Kong merchants’ activities in the 1970s and 1980s (see also Egbula and Zheng 2011). However, both Chinese and Nigerian respondents allude to the fact that cultural differences, especially in terms of the ethos of business transactions, are partly responsible for the misunderstandings in Sino-Nigerian trade relations. Some also agree with the fact that competence in each other’s language can be a very good starting point for smooth relationships.

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The Chinese respondents in Nigeria also showed competence in ‘Nigerian pidgin’, which served them as an important medium for economic and social relations, along with a display of their embrace of other sociocultural aspects, including style of dress, food and music. Liu had been involved in business at the Ojota Chinese Village for about seven and a half years. When asked how he had become so fluent in Nigerian pidgin, he responded, ‘I faced lots of difficulty when I first arrived, with very few customers. I did not go out and could not easily mix with Nigerians. Learning pidgin English is a way to live well in Nigeria.’ Three of the Chinese respondents also maintained that they had learned Nigerian pidgin by watching Nollywood films back home. For them, it was quite important to at least be able to communicate with staff and customers in a very basic way; furthermore, the language helped them compete with Nigerians in the market. Ayeomoni (2011) explains that the bi-directional effect of migration and sociocultural practices means that while immigrants are expected to adopt the cultural norms and practices of the host communities, the host communities themselves become influenced by the immigrants’ language and customs. This has been the case with Sino-Nigerian economic relations. Being able to communicate helped Chinese and Igbo traders not only in facilitating trade relations but also in establishing sociocultural ties in general. This is far from being coincidental as, according to Obiorah et al. (2008), there has been purposive implementation of state policies to ensure that Chinese people learn significant languages and about culture in Nigeria. Some Chinese nationals, as informal discussions with Chinese student researchers in Nigeria revealed, had already begun to learn words in the Igbo language during their interactions with Igbo traders in Beijing. This assertion is supported by the establishment of the Nigerian Cultural Centre in Beijing and the subsequent celebration of the Nigerian Cultural Week in 2013 and 2014, as mentioned above. The complexities of these relations have been made obvious by the romantic angle to them. This has shown that there is a need to complement language education with cultural awareness to allow for sustained relationships. A rather pathetic example is the case of Ugo, an Igbo merchant, and a Chinese lady, Jia, who tried to build a genuine relationship while the former was in China for business. Ugo was, however, deported for staying beyond the expiration of his visa and this led to the refusal of his subsequent visa applications. Jia, so much in love with Ugo, looked for a job in Nigeria with a Chinese company and left China against the wishes of her friends

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and family. Her sacrifices, however, were unrewarded because Ugo’s family would not allow him to marry a Chinese because of what they considered China’s unfair treatment of their son and other Igbo. Jia could not understand the perception of family and marriage within the Igbo cultural context and wondered how the family could have so much influence on Ugo’s decision. She was inclined to think that the boy wanted to dump her, though she made huge sacrifices to reunite with him. Instances like this are not uncommon in romantic relationships involving Nigerians and Chinese, and they reflect the need for each group to achieve a deeper cultural understanding of the other. The establishment of the Confucius Institute is thus a step in the right direction in terms of achieving this.

Conclusion This study has explored the importance of language as transcultural capital and projects an economic narrative for the Confucius Institutes in Nigeria. It examined the need for the establishment of Confucius Institutes and Chinese Language Centres in Nigeria within the framework of the existing Sino-Nigerian economic, diplomatic and sociocultural relations. The study maintains that the partnerships involved in establishing the Institute reflect mutual economic benefits between the Nigerians and their Chinese counterparts as they empower Nigerians and facilitate exchanges between both nationals in these two countries. The partnerships also show how institutions travel between different countries, in this case the movement of the Confucius Institute from China to Africa. Based on the nature of the establishment and operations of the Confucius Institute in Lagos, the chapter explains how its mission to disseminate language and culture enhances interaction between China and Nigeria, beyond foreign policies, nationalism, cultural diplomacy, cultural capitalism, network collaboration, cultural performance, soft power and strategic narratives. The learning of Mandarin thus serves as a means of economic empowerment in the realization of certain aspirations of Nigerians. As this study reflects, there cannot be an overgeneralized paradigm for the global purposes of the Confucius Institute, particularly given that the Institute began in Asia (South Korea) and moved to other parts of the world. Thus, the Sino-Nigerian relational context does not reflect a major attempt by China at public diplomacy for soft power. It rather presents an economic narrative of empowerment (for trade and academic purposes) for both Chinese and Nigerians.

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Notes 1

‘Nigerians in China: a special documentary’, www.youtube.com/ watch?v=bLP4srATZyk. 2 Personal communication with Adams Bodomo, 30 July 2015. 3 Ahmad ibn ‘Umar Akït of Timbuktu, Abd al-Rahmän Sukkayn, Makhlüf al-Balbalï are notable fifteenth- and sixteenthcentury scholars who introduced formal Arabic education and literacy in northern Nigeria following the introduction of Islam by Mandingo traders (see Adamu 1984; Niane 1984). From the late 1950s, it was incorporated into the West African School Certificate (WASC) examinations, while the National Policy on Education in 1977 adopted it as an elective course in secondary schools. 4 The forum was initiated in November 2006, with African heads of state convening at the People’s Hall in Beijing to discuss bilateral relations between Africa and China (see Alden 2007; Brautigam 2009). 5 See also China–Africa Economic and Trade Cooperation (2013). 6 Ibid. 7 The Chinese consulate in Lagos is also very supportive of Confucius Institutes and facilitates student visits to the consulate general and book donations for the Institutes’ libraries. 8 Confucius Institute at the University of Lagos in Nigeria, english.bit.edu.cn/International/ ConfuciusInstituteOffice/93381. htm. 9 Interview with Professor Rufus Akinyele, a former director of the Institute, 20 March 2014. 10 Awareness is growing, as the number of applicants for the September session in 2014 was reported to be up to seventy. 11 Mr Babatunde Raji Fashola is a senior advocate in Nigeria and the last governor of Lagos State.

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12 Interview

with the deputy director, Lagos State Multilingual Centre, Maryland, Lagos. 13 Interview with Professor Rufus Akinyele. 14 This is not necessarily the case, however, but what remains constant is that economic factors motivate the quest to accumulate competence in other languages, and this is particularly relevant for those who are learning Mandarin in Nigeria, as this study illustrates. 15 See Federal Government of Nigeria (1977). 16 Interview with the head of the department on 18 March 2014. 17 This programme is already in its second year and the first set of students is already in China to continue their studies. 18 TWAS was responsible for travel arrangements while CAS funded his research stipend, which was disbursed through his host/ supervisor. 19 See Pinghui (2014). Although no specific figures were given, the interviewees suggest that at least one third of the African population in this commercial city are Nigerians. 20 Interview with Uchenna in Lagos, Nigeria, 13 December 2013. 21 Interview with Emeka in Lagos, Nigeria, 15 December 2013. 22 Interview with Joshua in Lagos, Nigeria, 13 December 2013. 23 Although the Igbo are in the majority, the number of Nigerians from other ethnic backgrounds who visit China is increasing. 24 Interview with a lecturer, University of Lagos, 18 March 2015. 25 About 90 per cent of the traders interviewed spoke about security and safety in China, particularly in Guangzhou, where they could carry large volumes of cash with much more confidence than they can in Nigeria.

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13 Africans in China: agents of soft power?1 Adams Bodomo

According to a multitude of media reports and even some academic studies, Africans residing in or visiting China are likely to be viewed as a group of people that pose an array of problems for Chinese society rather than one that continues to influence their host communities in a positive way. In this chapter, I briefly examine the role of Africans in China to uncover the degree to which diaspora communities contribute to the development of Africa–China relations. There are now more than half a million Africans in China (Bodomo 2012, 2014a). This has not gone unnoticed by academics, who have produced numerous studies on the experience of Africans in China (e.g. Bodomo 2009, 2010, 2012, 2013a, 2013b, 2014a, 2014b; Bodomo and Pajancic 2015; Bredeloup 2012; Bork et al. 2011; Castillo 2014; Cissé 2013; Hall et al. 2014; Han Huamei 2013; Haugen 2011, 2012, 2013; Lan Shanshan 2014; Li Anshan 2015; Li Zhigang et al. 2009, 2012; Lyons et al. 2008, 2012, 2013; McLaughlin et al. 2014; Pieke 2012). The high number of Africans is the basis of nascent African diaspora communities throughout China. Here, diaspora communities are recognized as transnational or deterritorialized groups of people who organize themselves into networks and relate to themselves and to their host communities on criteria that are based on common sociocultural features and institutions, such as language, food and clothing, with links – whether permanent or tenuous – back to their historical homelands (Brah 1996; Bodomo 2012; Cohen 2008; Vertovec 1997). On either side of the partnership, the diasporic presence is not without debate: What challenges do these diasporas pose for their hosts in general and for Africa–China relations in particular? Do they play any positive roles? Can we further harness these positive roles to strengthen Africa–China cooperation? On the one hand, media reports (e.g. CNN, BBC and SCMP) and academic analyses (e.g. Zhou Min 2011; Mathews and Yang 2012) show that these communities indulge in activities that create negative perceptions, tensions and divisions, thus threatening the bond of relations between the two parties. On the other hand, however, are those scholars who believe

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that diaspora communities on either side of the partnership have a major role to play in developing stronger Africa–China cooperation (e.g. Bodomo 2010, 2012; Bodomo and Ma 2010, 2012; Bodomo and Silva 2012; Sautman and Yan 2014), a position I continue to argue for. In this chapter, I illustrate that despite challenges posed by some members of the African diaspora, Africans in China are playing positive socio-economic, socio-political and sociocultural roles, although it may be unconsciously, towards strengthening Africa–China cooperation, including the streamlining of immigration rules and procedures and the promotion of people-to-people relations between Africans and Chinese. Africans’ positive socio-economic and sociocultural contributions to China may be seen as the basis of a nascent African soft power in the country, a notion that has become very important in the second decade of twenty-first-century Africa–China relations. The term has multiple definitions and conceptualizations (Nye 1990a, 1990b, 2004; Bodomo 2009; King 2013). For instance, Joseph Nye, the scholar who first used the term, describes soft power or co-optive power in the following terms: ‘The second aspect of power – which occurs when one country gets other countries to want what its wants – might be called co-optive or soft power in contrast with the hard or command power of ordering others to do what it wants’ (Nye 1990b: 166). He goes further to state: ‘Co-optive power is the ability of a country to structure a situation so that other countries develop preferences or define their interests in ways consistent with its own. This power tends to arise from such resources as cultural and ideological attraction as well as rules and institutions of international regimes’ (ibid.: 168). In this study, I conceptualize soft power a bit differently as being the gamut of positive socio-political and sociocultural influences a polity and its citizens have on another polity and its citizens without the threat of gunboat diplomacy or even outright violence. This definition captures the original core idea of soft power, primarily that of an asymmetrical system in which polities use means other than the traditional balance of power politics – mostly seen as regulated by military superiority – to positively influence other polities. This chapter, however, emphasizes that ordinary Africans living in China are consciously or unconsciously acting on behalf of their polities to promote positive views of their countries and continent. How and in what ways have Africans in China employed their positive contributions to Chinese society as a means to increase African soft power, to further positive sociocultural views and attitudes towards Africa in China?

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Based on extensive fieldwork in China, using a mixed mode of qualitative and quantitative sociocultural research methods, I draw on the theoretical notions of soft power and diaspora communities acting as bridges that interconnect host and source communities to illustrate the diaspora communities’ positive contributions to Africa–China cooperation in four sections. The first section sketches the challenges involved for the African diaspora in China, while the second and third sections outline some contributions, with the latter focusing empirically on the contributions of four prominent Africans in China. The fourth section proposes how scholars and other stakeholders in the general issues of relations between Africa and China might complete research towards promoting people-to-people relations and establishing a foundation for Africans to act as agents of soft power in China.

Africa–China relations: the diaspora challenge On 16 July 2009, the South China Morning Post (SCMP), Hong Kong’s main English-language newspaper, had on its front page a bold headline and a picture of Africans in Guangzhou demonstrating against police brutality against members of the African community.2 This was one of the very first times, if not the first, that many people in China and worldwide came to the realization that there now reside sizeable groups of Africans in Guangzhou and other cities in China, such as Hong Kong, Macau, Yiwu, Shanghai and, of course, Beijing. Since then, many more negative news reports (but also positive ones) have appeared in Chinese and international news media such as China Daily, CNN, BBC, CCTV and the New York Times. Most of these reports centre on what have come to be known as the three immigration illegalities (san fei in Chinese): illegal entry, illegal stay and illegal engagement in employment. Alongside these media reports are academic writings (e.g. Zhou Min 2011) which, based on what are called ‘perception studies’ or even ‘attitude studies’, document instances of negative attitudes and opinions that Chinese hosts have about their African guests in cities like Guangzhou. There is a predominant focus on negative activities of Africans in China, despite the fact that Chinese in Africa are in the same manner engaged in dubious activities, as a number of media reports have documented, although these are not broadcast in China itself. The two most prominent instances of negative media reports come from Chinese in Zambia, with regard to the ill-treat-

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ment of workers by Chinese bosses,3 and Chinese in Ghana, with regard to illegal immigration, illegal stay and, more prominently, illegal employment activities in the mining sector, as reported in several international news media.4 For instance, when a group of allegedly illegal miners were arrested in Ghana and faced deportation, community leaders emerged from their ranks to mediate with the Ghanaian government and ministries involved and also to galvanize their members into a pressure group demanding that their embassy and their government back in China intervene to resolve the problem in their favour. Besides these prominent cases on Chinese in Africa, there are numerous other reports about diaspora Chinese indulging in other negative activities, such as selling fake medicines, poaching and undercutting prices to compete with local businessmen. If one were to focus exclusively on these negative reports and their academic analyses, one would conclude that our target diaspora communities serve as great challenges and indeed become a distraction in attempts to build more harmonious relations between Africa and China – more precisely, between both Chinese individuals in African countries, and Africans in China. However, this picture of negativity is far from complete, as we see in the next section of the chapter.

Africa–China cooperation: the diaspora contributions Diaspora communities, given the definition presented above and by most prominent scholars of global diaspora studies throughout the world (e.g. Brah 1996; Cohen 2008; Vertovec 1997), if presented with the right conditions, have often served as vital links between source and host communities. In several works (Bodomo 2010, 2012; Bodomo and Ma 2012; Bodomo and Silva 2012), I have developed theoretical and analytical frameworks showing that Africans in China serve as link points between Africa and China, in addition to information from media. Africans in Africa and Africans arriving newly in China learn about the Chinese in large part through the narratives and discourses of Africans who have already been to China. Chinese, for their part, learn a lot about Africa, whether negatively or positively, through their interactions with Africans in China. In the same vein, Africans in Africa learn a great deal about China and the Chinese by interacting with Chinese in Africa, and Chinese in Africa teach their fellow Chinese in China a great deal about Africa, and

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indeed serve as some of the first points of contact for newly arriving Chinese in Africa. In short, diaspora Africans in China and diaspora Chinese in Africa function as bridges connecting Africa and China in many respects. We may outline three main perspectives to illustrate this bridge theory of migrant–indigene relations: socio-economic, socio-political, and sociocultural.

Socio-economic contributions Socio-economically, diaspora Africans and diaspora Chinese serve as prominent actors in cementing economic relations, frameworks and platforms between Africa and China. They serve as traders, investors and remitters. Many of the Africans who stay in China are traders (Cissé 2015; Marfaing and Thiel 2015). They are more knowledgeable in what their people back home in Africa need, so they select and source the most appropriate goods from Chinese factories for the African market; some of them have graduated into investors, starting up their own shipping and even manufacturing companies, sometimes in conjunction with Chinese businessmen to manufacture goods including textiles, household utensils and farm equipment for the African market and worldwide. Africans remit a substantial amount of money back home to their families in Africa, as the chairman of the Guinea Association in Guangzhou explained to me: The amount sent home is often a function of many factors: how much the person is getting here on average, how the person’s family is organized back home, etc. In general, an adult [male] Guinean in Guangzhou has a wife (or wives) and kids back home in Conakry, the capital (or another big town), and his parents and other relatives (his and his wife’s/wives’ relatives) staying in the villages. It is normal for all these people to be supported by the adult living in Guangzhou. Moreover, it is the ambition of each Guinean in the diaspora to build a house (where he can return) and start a business (shop or plantation, etc.) while still abroad. So, a guestimate for average remittances between 25,000 RMB and 150,000 RMB [about US$22,865] per year is in place.

If all the half a million Africans plying their business in China were doing this, Africans in China would be sending home anywhere between 5 and 50 billion yuan (about US$7.6 billion) a year or more – and this doesn’t even include the value of all the merchandise that

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they buy from China and send back to Africa for sale, which even if not counted as remittance still constitutes a good contribution from diaspora Africans in terms of trade. Worldwide, the global African diaspora sent back to Africa $52 billion in 2010, according to the World Bank, far more than the $43 billion of Overseas Development Assistance (ODA) to Africa in that year. Indeed, the African Union (AU) recognizes and defines the global African diaspora in terms of the contributions it expects it to make to African development (Edozie 2012). Although the focus of this chapter is on African soft power in China, it needs to be mentioned for comparative purposes that Chinese in Africa are also performing functions similar to those of their African counterparts. Much of the Chinese presence in Africa in terms of trade is undertaken by private Chinese businessmen resident in Africa, and many scholars have reported on small-scale Chinese enterprises dotted all over the fifty-odd African countries – be it in Lesotho, Gabon, Nigeria or Senegal (Alden and Davies 2006). In terms of investment, many private companies are being started up throughout Africa by individual Chinese resident on the continent, usually with far more substantial capital than African businesses in China. Chinese restaurants are dotted throughout Africa; these private businesses complement the government businesses led by the top ten Chinese investment companies in Africa, including Sinopec, China National Petroleum, State Grid Corporation, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, China Railway Construction, Sicofor (Sino Congo Foret), CITIC-CRCC, China International Fund (CIF), China State Construction Engineering Corporation Limited (CSCEC) and Federated Steel (Bodomo 2013a; Kernen and Lam 2014).

Socio-political and sociocultural contributions of Africans in China In performing these economic activities, diaspora Africans also accomplish a great variety of socio-political and sociocultural tasks. A number of African diplomatic personnel have told me at informal meetings and gatherings how essential some prominent members of the African communities in China are in helping them perform their official consular duties away from Beijing in places like Guangzhou, Yiwu and Hong Kong. For instance, the office of the chairman of the Nigerian Association in Guangzhou was a de facto consulate for many Nigerians and even other Africans during much of the period of my field research in Guangzhou (2008 to present). African community leaders have met there to strategize and resolve

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immigration and health problems involving their fellow Africans. Many visiting political and business leaders have sought out established members of the African communities in Hong Kong, Macau, Guangzhou and Shanghai for support in performing their duties. Some African community members have served as consultative and advisory committee members at the ruling Communist Party meetings in Yiwu and other municipalities. Socioculturally, Africans in China serve as cultural ambassadors, whether consciously or unconsciously, to showcase and promote their cultures in the societies in which they live. Africans in China (like the Chinese in Africa5) are learning the languages of their host country and the subtleties of communicating. Africans in China are becoming more and more proficient in Chinese, and even in the various local dialects of the cities in which they live, such as Cantonese in Guangzhou, Hong Kong and Macau. In a survey of more than seven hundred Africans throughout China (Bodomo 2012) more than 50 per cent considered that they spoke Chinese at least ‘a little’, with more than 10 per cent being confident that they spoke it very well. We need more of such sociolinguistic surveys to ascertain the levels of language proficiencies in these diasporas. Two interesting linguistic phenomena that I noticed in Guangzhou are that Chinese who trade and interact with Africans in various ways are beginning to speak English with quite audible African accents and African ways of structuring their vocabularies and communication patterns. A second salient way, described at length in Bodomo (2012), is the phenomenon of calculator communication in which Africans and Chinese who do not share a specific lingua franca such as English or Chinese communicate with the help of a calculator. Beyond matters of language, Africans in China are creating cross-cultural spaces such as ethnic restaurants, barbershops, hair and beauty salons, football clubs, small quasi-religious groups for worship (African Muslims and Christians) and social networking. This goes hand in hand with organizing cultural programmes – the annual Nigerian week in Beijing, periodic Miss Africa shows in China, and the African art pavilion in Yiwu (a showcase of African culture such as sculpture, music, drumming and dancing).

African sportsmen, philanthropists and community leaders Many of the over 500,000 Africans in China have lived exemplary lives; some have even excelled in various ways to the extent that

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they have been recognized by the communities in which they live as deserving of awards. In this case study, I focus on two African men and two African women. In terms of the methodology of collecting and collating this data, with respect to the males, I searched many internet fora and selected these two as Africans who have been broadly acknowledged by their communities. Then I contacted them and they kindly agreed to allow me to submit questionnaires to both of them; I followed up with a face-to-face interview with one of them on the sidelines of a conference in Paris in May 2014, along with an email chat with the other one to complement the information I got from the questionnaire. With respect to the African females, I extracted information from field notes my research team and I recorded during a focus group meeting with them in 2009. In the following sub-sections I shall summarize the profiles and contributions of these African ‘soft power brokers’ in China, as one might call them.

Dominique Saatenang: an African Bruce Lee Dominique Saatenang is Cameroonian by nationality and was in his late thirties at the time of my interview. He says that the Chinese call him the African Eagle, the Europeans call him the Black Chinese, while the Africans call him the African Bruce Lee, demonstrating already that both Africans and Chinese have a good image of him. Equipped with an MBA, he considers himself primarily as a businessman and a Wushu master, having trained at the Shaolin Wushu Temple in China.6 He is multilingual, mentioning French as his native language and other languages spoken as Chinese, English and Bamileke. Dominique has lived for eight years in China at Defeng, Zhengzhou (Shaolin Temple), and in Beijing (at the Beijing Sports University). In terms of goodwill and charity, activities that have attracted attention to him include his excellent performance in sports at the Shaolin Temple and the Beijing Sports University. He lists a number of prizes and achievements to his credit, having won many exceptional medals in Wushu practice, including the 2006 Double Vice-World Champion award in Wushu organized in China. He mentions that in 2009 he won a UNESCO medal for his exceptional activities in Wushu; and that in 2011 he won a World Prize for his movie Bring Charm to China; and that in that year he was officially named Wushu Ambassador of the Shaolin Temple by the Spiritual Chief of the Temple, a fact he recounted to me when I met with him at a conference in Paris in 2014 (Figure 13.1). All these medals and

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prizes, according to him, are for highly competitive activities, and have thus brought instant recognition to him. As charity activities, he mentions that he has brought ten Africans to study in China for free during his five years at the Shaolin Temple. Asked whether he had any ideas about how a good African image can be promoted worldwide, he said: ‘We must just try to be the best for what we come to do in China in our chosen activities.’ Figure 13.1 – The author with Dominique Saatenang (left) at a conference in Paris, 2014

Source: Unknown photographer

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Adam Musa: an African Lei Feng Adam Musa was a twenty-nine-year-old PhD student in International Relations at Central China Normal University in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China, at the time of my interview. He is a Nigerian national and his mother tongue is Hausa, and he lists English and Mandarin Chinese among the languages he speaks. Altogether, he has spent six years in China and outside Nigeria. Adam has excelled in many charitable activities, including blood donation, volunteering with the elderly, visiting orphanages and volunteering as a teacher for migrant workers’ schools since 2010 (Figure 13.2). He mentions that he has also been involved in many environmental protection exercises code-named ‘Keep Wuhan Clean’. Adam is a highly decorated community activist. To the question: ‘Have you won any prizes or been recognized in any way by the community or local authorities?’, he provides the following impressive list, all of which, according to him, are prizes and awards for very competitive activities: 2011 Central China Normal University Excellent Student Award 2011 Hubei Province University Students Excellent Award

Figure 13.2 – Adam Musa teaching schoolchildren in China

Source: Unknown photographer

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2012 Hubei Province Excellent Social Work Award 2012 China Youth Volunteer Excellent Award 2013 Central China Normal University Excellent Talent Award 2014 International Cultural Exchange Friendship Award

Indeed, Adam’s work has been widely recognized and acknowledged in the community, and he has been featured on many occasions in Chinese media such as the China Daily.7 When it was his turn to answer the question regarding whether he had any ideas about how a good African image can be promoted worldwide, he said, ‘[a] good African image can be promoted worldwide by Africans wherever they are being law-abiding, [and] they should respect and conform to laws of the society in which they find themselves’. They should also, he said, engage more in the promotion of community development activities.

Ms Adele and Ms Grace: successful community organizers in Macau The next biographies I present are those of two female members of the African community in Macau, China. Since I do not have permission to record precise details about their biographies (exact ages, surnames, positions occupied in the Civil Service, and in the executive committees, etc.), I have referred to them using the pseudonyms ‘Adele’ and ‘Grace’. Adele is from Cape Verde while Grace is from Guinea-Bissau. Both are women in their thirties (at the time of the interview in 2009), and both came to study at the University of Macau. Both now live and work in Macau and occupy high positions in the Macau Civil Service. Both women are among the most active community members in the Macau African community. Each of them provides not only leadership for the national associations of their countries but also leadership that coordinates the activities of the joint Macau–African community meetings. Even though I was not made aware of any formal recognition they have received, I still include them as Africans who have excelled and who have brought positive views of Africa to the general Macau public because of their recognized efforts to bring together Africans and help them integrate into the wider Macau community. This is demonstrated in the way the African community is seen as very well organized in Macau. A brief description of the community (see also Bodomo and Silva 2012) serves to ground the discussion.

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The lusophone African community is a canopy term for describing five well-organized national subgroups, according to the five lusophone African countries, Angola, Mozambique, Guinea-Bissau, Cape Verde and São Tome and Principe, which in turn coordinate very well with each other and with other lusophone groupings in Macau. Besides these national associations there are also other organizations such as the Macau Cape Verde Friendship Association, which does not only include Africans. As mentioned above, on 27 June 2009 my research team and I met with these two executive members of these national associations at the Department of Portuguese, University of Macau, for a focus group meeting with our team of researchers. We were able to extract valuable information about the lusophone African community from this meeting. Discussions about the African presence in Macau were based on three main questions we posed them: how did you become a leader and what drives you to continue to serve your members?; what, in your opinion, are your community’s contributions to improving Africa–China relations?; and what are the main problems facing your community and in what ways can various groups help solve these problems? There are upwards of one thousand registered members of these five associations, so these ladies are leaders of quite a large group of Africans. Leaders are usually elected at scheduled meetings, which are quite regular, and this leadership includes a large number of females, such as the two discussed here. Indeed, female leaders seem to be among the strongest and most committed drivers of the excellence in the organization that we see in Macau among lusophone Africans. In terms of the functioning of these associations, they serve not only to bring Africans together but also to bring many people in Macau together, whether they are Chinese or Westerners. Indeed, these lusophone African groupings are best seen as part of a larger lusophone fraternity in Macau, with the Portuguese language being the key to entering into this fraternity. In that sense, then, they serve to promote Africa–Macau–Chinese relations, and beyond that they serve to bring together other lusophone speakers in other parts of the world, such as Brazil, East Timor and Portugal. In terms of what constraints these Africans are facing, contrary to the situation in Guangzhou and maybe some other parts of China, these leaders did not mention a litany of woes, confrontations and altercations with the Macau authorities. Indeed, many of these community members are Macau civil servants, as mentioned earlier. They are highly educated and prominent members of society,

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and include lawyers, doctors, journalists, teachers and television personalities. This is because many of them actually hold Portuguese citizenship as well as their African country citizenship, which enabled them to enjoy permanent residence in Macau and serve in the Macau civil service prior to the handover of the enclave to Chinese rule by Portugal in 1999. Many of these are people who have studied in either Portugal or Macau. As of 2009, Adele and Grace had, through a demonstration of high-quality leadership skills, generosity of time and effort, and other kinds of selfless devotion, succeeded in creating a model diasporan African community to the admiration of the general Macau populace. It may well be that many things have changed eight years on, and this needs follow-up research by various research scholars. New leaders may have emerged to continue the diasporan community-building. But any change notwithstanding, these two community leaders who shared their story with us have demonstrated beyond doubt that they are agents of African soft power – people who were striving and may still be striving on a regular basis to present a good image of Africa to the people of Macau. These case studies have illustrated – by concentrating on four Africans widely recognized in Chinese society as extraordinary members of the community – that Africans are contributing to the promotion of sociocultural relations between Africa and China. These four and many other Africans located in many places in China, including Guangzhou, Hong Kong, Macau, Yiwu, Shanghai and Beijing, are emerging as agents of African soft power in China.

Looking ahead: pointing to a people-to-people approach We have demonstrated in the above analysis that diaspora African communities in China act as vital economic, political and cultural links or bridges between Africa and China, and especially that a good number of Africans in China are engaging in activities that go to form the building blocks of an emergent African soft power in China. This soft-power-building process may be occurring among Chinese in Africa and awaits closer investigation. It therefore goes without saying that if we are looking for ways to strengthen Africa– China cooperation, we must involve diaspora Africans (and diaspora Chinese). I recommend that research on Africa–China relations by scholars and all stakeholders emphasize a people-to-people approach to Africa–China cooperation. A people-to-people approach involves

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researching ways of creating avenues for different groups of people from each side of the Africa–China partnership, such as professional associations, academic groups, business groups, youth and student movements, artists and sportsmen, to interact more often. Diaspora community members can play a vital role in facilitating contact between all these groups mentioned, since they are indeed already doing this on their own and have a lot of experience of contacts at all levels to offer. Two ways in which we can enhance the participation of diaspora Africans in building Africa–China relations are, first, by streamlining immigration rules on both sides of the partnership. There must be clearer paths to permanent residency and citizenship for Africans in China. Police and other security forces must respect the rights of diaspora members, including treating even those on the wrong side of the law, such as African visa over-stayers in Guangzhou, humanely. This of course is true as well for Chinese carrying out illegal activities in African countries. A second way is to undertake research that will lead to creating structures and incentives to get diaspora Africans keenly interested in strengthening Africa–China cooperation. Funds can be set aside for competitive bidding by various diaspora community groups to be used in promoting cultural activities that go towards enhancing the intermingling of Africans and Chinese. It is now time for academics, governments and other stakeholders to start promoting diaspora cultural festivals, diaspora business meetings, academic conferences on the African and Chinese diasporas, and diaspora sports festivals. There should also be reward and recognition systems to highlight excellence in service and leadership among diaspora community members in China (as well as for the Chinese diaspora in Africa).

Summary and conclusions As Africa and China move closer to each other, hopefully to their mutual benefit, diaspora communities will grow on each side of the partnership. Media and academic reports and analyses are documenting both negative and positive activities involving members of these diaspora communities, suggesting that the communities that are the subject of this chapter can indeed be double-edged swords, in that their activities can pose both challenges to and opportunities for the development of Africa–China relations. I have argued here that, after balancing things out, the positive outweighs the negative

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given the roles the communities in question play in strengthening Africa–China cooperation. Could these Africans in China be agents of an African soft power in China? Many members of the African communities in China are indeed engaging in activities that may go to promote the good image of Africa in China. Furthermore, this may indeed be laying the foundations for an African soft power in China. Diaspora Africans in China (and diaspora Chinese in Africa) are increasingly serving as agents of soft power who promote cultural diplomacy, and as useful links or bridges to the further development of Africa–China relations.

Notes 1

This chapter is a sequel to an earlier article on soft power (Bodomo 2015) based on biographies. While both works focus on two well-decorated African community members in terms of the prizes they have won, the present chapter adds partly anonymized biographies of two women who excelled in their community – the lusophone African community in Macau. Secondly, the present chapter focuses exclusively on Africans in China while the earlier paper also touches on Chinese in Africa in addition to its focus on Africans in China. 2 The SCMP article was entitled: ‘Africans protest in Guangzhou after Nigerian feared killed fleeing visa check’, SCMP, 16 July 2009, www.scmp.com/article/686919/ africans-protest-guangzhou-afternigerian-feared-killed-fleeing-visacheck, accessed: 19 August 2014. 3 Lusaka News, 9 October 2010, www.lusakatimes.com/2010/10/19/ illtreatment-workersdisgraceful-zfe/, accessed 19 August 2014. 4 ‘Ghana arrests Chinese for “illegal mining”’, BBC News, 6 June 2013, www.bbc.co.uk/news/worldasia-china-22793659, accessed 19 August 2014. 5 Chinese in Africa are also beginning to learn the official languages of the countries in

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which they live, such as English, French, Portuguese and Arabic, along with prominent local linguas francas such as Swahili, Hausa, Zulu, Amharic, Yoruba, Akan, Bambara and Wolof. Chinese restaurants can be found in the cities and towns of all African countries. The African middle class is beginning to consume Chinese medicinal products, such as herbal tea, and awareness about Chinese culture is likely to increase because of the increasing presence of Chinese in Africa and also because of the spread of Chinese media such as CCTV and China Daily. 6 A video clip of his activities as a Wushu practitioner can be viewed at this YouTube link: www.youtube. com/watch?v=oXGYsN-VLdY. 7 China Daily, 6 August 2013, has one of several reports on Adam Musa, the latest being an article entitled ‘Lei Feng’s African brother’, Lei Feng being ‘China’s icon of selflessness’; usa.chinadaily. com.cn/epaper/2013-08/06/ content_16874364.htm, accessed 19 August 2014.

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in Greater China’, Journal of Pan African Studies, 7(10): 126–43. Bodomo, A. and R. Silva (2012) ‘Language matters: the role of linguistic identity in the establishment of the lusophone African community in Macau’, African Studies, 71(1): 71–90. Bork, T., B. Rafflenbeul, F. Kraas and Zhigang Li (2011) ‘Global change, national development goals, urbanization and international migration in China: African migrants in Guangzhou and Foshan’, in F. Kraas, S. Aggarwal, M. Coy and G. Mertins (eds), Megacities: Our Global Urban Future, Dordrecht: Springer, pp. 135–50. Brah, A. (1996) Cartographies of Diaspora: Contesting Identities, London: Routledge. Bredeloup, S. (2012) ‘African trading posts in Guangzhou: emergent or recurrent commercial form?’, African Diaspora, 5(1): 27–50. Castillo, R. (2014) ‘Feeling at home in the “Chocolate City”: an exploration of place-making practices and structures of belonging amongst Africans in Guangzhou’, Inter-Asia Cultural Studies, 15(2): 1–23. Cissé, D. (2013) ‘South–South migration and Sino-African small traders: a comparative study of Chinese in Senegal and Africans in China’, African Review of Economics and Finance, 5(1): 17–30. ––––– (2015) ‘African traders in Yiwu: their trade networks and their role in the distribution of “Made in China” products in Africa’, Journal of Pan African Studies, 7(10): 44–64. Cohen, R. (2008) Global Diasporas: An Introduction, London: Routledge. Edozie, R. (2012) ‘The Sixth Zone: the African diaspora and the African Union’s global era pan-Africanist’, Journal of African American Studies, 16(2): 268–99.

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Hall, B., W. Chen, C. Latkin, L. Ling and J. Tucker (2014) ‘Africans in south China face social and health barriers’, The Lancet, 283(9925): 1291–2. Han Huamei (2013) ‘Individual grassroots multilingualism in Africa Town in Guangzhou: the role of states in globalization’, International Multilingual Research Journal, 7(1): 83–97. Haugen, H. (2011) ‘Chinese exports to Africa: competition, complementarity and cooperation between micro-level actors’, Forum for Development Studies, 38(2): 157–76. ––––– (2012) ‘Nigerians in China: a second state of immobility’, International Migration, 50(2): 65–80. ––––– (2013) ‘African Pentecostal migrants in China: marginalization and the alternative geography of a mission theology’, African Studies Review, 56(1): 81–102. Kernen, A. and K. Lam (2014) ‘Workforce localization among Chinese state-owned enterprises (SOEs) in Ghana’, Journal of Contemporary China, 23: 90. King, K. (2013) China Aid and Soft Power in Africa: The Case for Education and Training, Woodbridge: James Currey. Lan Shanshan (2014) ‘State regulation of undocumented African migrants in China: a multiscalar analysis’, Journal of Asian and African Studies, 10: 1–16. Li Anshan (2015) ‘Africans in China: reality, research and reflection’, Journal of Pan African Studies, 7(10): 10–43. Li Zhigang, M. Lyons and A. Brown (2012) ‘China’s “Chocolate City”: an ethnic enclave in a changing landscape’, African Diaspora, 5(1): 51–72. Li Zhigang, L. Ma and D. Xue (2009) ‘An African enclave in China: the making of a new transnational urban space’, Eurasian Geography and Economics,

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Vertovec, S. (1997) ‘Three Meanings of “Diaspora”, exemplified among South Asian religions’, Diaspora, 6(3): 277–99. Zhou Min (2011) ‘Meeting strangers

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14 Rumberos and guerrilleros: Angélique Kidjo, Freddy Ilanga and African–Cuban relations Hauke Dorsch

It was a hot and windy day in Timbuktu. The café’s staff served the drinks professionally but acted rather formally, even distantly, towards me, the foreign toubab, or white person. The only other guest sitting in this front yard was not as obviously a foreigner as I was. He spoke constantly on the phone, talking Spanish and trying to buy different commodities, including a refrigerator. It was the year 2007 and as I had just finished a research project on African– Cuban relations, it was immediately obvious to me that this must be a Cuban doctor on a mission in Africa – who else would try to buy fridges in the middle of the Sahara desert? When I introduced myself to him, he was enthused to finally meet someone who spoke Spanish and right away we got into a lively conversation. He told me that he assumed he would be taken to Namibia (where he had been before) and was thus not prepared to find himself in a francophone country. He said he had been to Mali on such short notice that he did not even have the time to buy a French–Spanish dictionary. While we talked about his experiences in Mali, about my research and about life in Cuba, the young men working at the café sat around us in a circle, and listened to our conversation, or at least to the parts I translated into French. When the doctor and I had to leave the café, the young men saluted us euphorically, ‘Viva Cuba! Viva Fidel Castro!’ This was a reaction that surprised me; it was a reaction I was used to from students in Maputo or Johannesburg who had studied in Cuba and who often defined themselves in terms of their residence on the island. It was sometimes not clear whether their enthused references to Cuba and its political system were shaped more by political convictions or nostalgic memories, but they were completely understandable given that these youths had many reasons to be thankful for a free education and exciting adolescent years. However, it was surprising that these young men at the border of the Sahara who had no such personal experience were equally enthused and forgot their distant, professional behavior

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when they realized that we were talking about Cuba. Although some literature tends to downplay this aspect of African–Cuban relations, I will argue that this has to do with an ongoing fascination among many Africans with the Cuban revolution and the anti-imperialist politics of its government. This contribution will look at highly politicized biographies of two Africans who went to Cuba: one to settle permanently after his involvement in Cuban revolutionary activities in Africa, the other as an artist looking for inspiration. These biographies serve as contrasting examples of very different approaches to politics – namely, to socialism. I will also look at other important aspects of a person’s biography, such as the meaning of family, particularly the role of parents and kin and of establishing a family, the experience of migration or exile, the presence in Cuba of cultural traits regarded as African and Cuban images of Africa, and, more theoretically, at questions of individuals’ agency vis-à-vis the state. This chapter is based on field research on Cuban–African relations I conducted together with Katrin Hansing from 2004 to 2006 in Cuba, South Africa and Mozambique, which has continued to some degree afterwards, as the above-mentioned encounter in 2007 in northern Mali illustrates. The biographical information on the first of the two persons presented, Freddy Ilanga, is derived from interviews I conducted with him in January 2005, and numerous conversations we had between September 2004 and February 2005. Furthermore, the documentary film Che’s Swahili Translator by Katrin Hansing and Waldo Capote was an important source.1 The biographical data on Angélique Kidjo are derived from her memoir co-written with the US author Rachel Wenrick (2014), prefaced by Desmond Tutu and introduced by Alicia Keys. This is of course the ‘official’ autobiography of an internationally successful recording artist aimed at a global (presumably Western) audience. I chose these two biographies because both the interviews and encounters with Freddy Ilanga and the autobiography of Angélique Kidjo and other material available online allow for a detailed description of the two biographies that are uncommon and paradigmatic at the same time. Freddy Ilanga fought alongside Che Guevara in the Congo and was taken to Cuba; his being taken to Cuba, not knowing what awaited him, reflects many African students’ experiences when they go to Cuba to study. Some of these students met Ilanga as he engaged in organizing them and making them acquainted with pan-Africanism and the ideas of Guevara. Kidjo, on the other hand, had the opportunity to freely travel to Cuba and record with Cuban artists, as she

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is an internationally successful artist who can afford such a trip. Although many African artists could travel to Cuba, few had the possibility to do so on their own account, and few would voice their criticism of the Cuban regime as freely as Kidjo did in her autobiography. Thus, in terms of her political views as well as her agency, she serves as a contrasting example to Ilanga’s. The two biographical accounts will be augmented by data from my research with African students in Cuba as well as studies about Cuban music in Africa. As the situation in Cuba is undergoing dramatic changes these days, my observations may be dated in some respects, but will hopefully serve as a glance into a phase of (post-) Cold War transatlantic South–South relations. The careers of Angélique Kidjo and Freddy Ilanga may seem privileged when compared to the fate of those who suffered the Middle Passage, the forced transportations of millions of Africans to the Americas, which marks the beginning and the focus of memory of the African diaspora. Although the memory of the resulting suffering of millions for the greed of a few remains crucial for the collective identities of many people of African descent who have been living on the shores of the Atlantic Ocean for many centuries now, the Afro-Atlantic has been imagined not only as a space of cruel exploitation but also a sphere of intellectual and cultural exchange, especially between musicians, authors and other travellers from Africa and its diaspora. Paul Gilroy’s The Black Atlantic (1993) marks an important turning point in the conceptualization of the Afro-Atlantic world, inspiring discussions in anthropology, cultural studies, history and literary studies and now also including the Pacific and Indian Oceans (Dorsch 2000; Goebel and Schabio 2006; Lovejoy and Trotman 2003; Rossbach 2009). Gilroy describes the culture of the Black Atlantic as a counterculture of Modernity, expressed in literature and popular music, which is, owing to the experience of slavery, sceptical of the Western promises of freedom and progress, including Marxist ideas of the liberating character of labour. Looking at individual trajectories like Angélique Kidjo’s and Freddy Ilanga’s is, as I will show, very rewarding. Following Gilroy, many scholars realized the potential of looking at the political microcosms of ships, and of looking at the agency of individuals in contexts that seem to allow no agency at all: passages on slave ships or on ships transporting convicts or indentured labourers (Christopher et al. 2007). Focusing on this micro level does not necessarily mean losing sight of the wider horizons. An example is those authors who, in paraphrasing Gilroy, introduced – sometimes

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ironically or sceptically – the concept of a ‘Red Atlantic’ as a space for the exchange of ideas of resistance, of a class consciousness brought by seamen from port to port during the heyday of the British Empire. It is a space where rebels, slaves, religious utopians and Luddites as a multiethnic, multinational working class oppose planters, merchants and royal officers as representatives of an Atlantic bourgeoisie (see Armitage 2001, 2002; Rediker 2004). Thus, focusing on a small number of political or religious radicals helped historians understand that not only labourers and convicts crossed the Atlantic; the naval transatlantic exchange also had a crucial meaning for the spread of revolutionary, or ‘red’, ideas throughout the Atlantic world. Freddy Ilanga serves as an excellent case in point.

Freddy Ilanga: Cuban guerrilleros and African students Cuba after the revolution imagined itself as representative of the internationalist exchange that Rediker (2004) called the ‘Red Atlantic’ (although this term was not used in Cuba), as a nation of the Global South that freed itself from neocolonial dependence in 1959. Cuba’s socialist government claimed to stand for a future partnership of the countries of the South or the ‘Third World’ to represent an avantgarde of the tri-continental movement of people from nations in Africa, Asia and Latin America that would end northern American and European imperialist dominance of the globe (D’Estefano et al. 1994). An icon of this ‘Red Atlantic’ is of course the image of Che Guevara, based on the photography by Alberto Korda (Ziff 2006). His image can be found on T-shirts all around the Atlantic Ocean, probably as often as Bob Marley’s. But Guevara himself went as a guerrillero to Africa to fight for Laurent-Désiré Kabila, who would later become the DR Congo’s first president after the downfall of Mobuto in 1997 (Guevara 2000; Risquet Valdés 2000), a voyage that ultimately brought Freddy Ilanga to Cuba. Ilanga was born on 7 November 1948; his life changed when, in April 1965, Ernesto ‘Che’ Guevara arrived in Congo-Kinshasa (in colonial times the Belgian Congo, renamed Zaire in the 1970s and the Democratic Republic of the Congo in the 1990s) to fight alongside Congolese guerrilleros against the Tshombe and Mobuto government. Soon after Guevara’s arrival, both met, and as Ilanga was well versed in Kiswahili, the lingua franca in the eastern parts of the Congo, he served as Guevara’s language instructor and translator.

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For seven months, Guevara and Ilanga lived side by side. Guevara’s presence in the Congo was kept secret for decades by the Cuban authorities. In the beginning, even Ilanga was not aware of Guevara’s identity, as he was introduced to him only by his nom de guerre ‘Tatu’, meaning ‘three’ in Kiswahili. Although secretly in command, officially Guevara was the third in rank among the Cuban detachment in order to cover his identity. Initially, Ilanga experienced Guevara as a ‘blanquito arrogante’ (literally: an arrogant small white guy; interview with Ilanga, 2004). This first impression, however, changed after Ilanga acknowledged Guevara’s support for both Cuban and Congolese fighters irrespective of their colour. Ilanga would describe Guevara’s humanism as an ongoing source of inspiration throughout his life. In October 1965, the Cubans ordered Ilanga to leave the Congo with a group of Cuban guerrillas and they arrived in Havana on 13 November 1965. He was told that he was suffering from a serious illness and was to be treated in a Cuban hospital (interview with Ilanga, 2004; Hansing and Capote 2009). According to another source, he was sent to Cuba because Guevara wanted to make sure he received a decent education (Doyle 2005a, 2005b). Be this as it may, during his early years Freddy thought that he would stay for only a few years in Cuba and prepare for armed struggle in the Congo. You know, when I arrived in Cuba, I had what I would call today ‘the fury of revolutionary love’, the guerrilla, educating guerrilleros and all these things. Everyone was convinced that the only way to achieve independence and complete democracy was through armed struggle. That was the era of these ideas. (Interview with Ilanga, 2004, translated from Spanish)

However, the Cuban authorities made no effort to send him back to the Congo, and ignored his questions about when he could return. But the Cuban state granted him a medical education and a specialization in paediatric neurosurgery. Freddy married a Cuban woman and they had two children. In order to keep at least some link to the Congo and to Africa in general, he tried to stay up to date with news from the continent. He used the time in Cuba to read about colonialism, the African liberation struggle and current political developments. He said that his longing for home and the distance from the Congo broadened his interest in what happened not only in the Congo but also in the entire region and finally the whole continent. Looking at the common colonial past and current suffering

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but also the experience of diaspora made him a pan-Africanist. This pan-Africanist ideology manifested itself in his support for young Africans studying in Cuba. Cubans were, however, not very interested in his pan-Africanist ideas. The authorities considered it ‘petit-bourgeois ideology’ and his colleagues, friends and other Cubans were mainly interested in stories about the time he spent with Che Guevara. He was invited regularly to talk about his experiences with ‘El Ché’. I once joined him for an invited talk in a law office, where he spoke about the guerrilla in the Congo. The audiences asked for more details about Guevara, they wanted the personal story about ‘el guerrillero heróico’. Ilanga’s analyses, his opinions about the situation in the Congo or the current political situation in African countries were of less interest. Ilanga once complained that some Cubans regarded him as being somewhat less advanced in revolutionary consciousness than the Cubans, many of whom saw themselves as some global revolutionary avant-garde leading other countries of the Global South. He found more respect among African students with whom he talked about their experiences in Cuba, the political situation in their respective home countries and about pan-Africanism. He told me that while Cuban authorities were not supportive of his pan-Africanist activities, they did not prohibit them (conversation, 26 October 2004). The African students, he felt, were in dire need of education about their own past: There is no more consciousness, it has turned to individualism, not a national individualism, but a pure individualism, just the individual. You can ask [a student] about his very own country: ‘Tell me the story of Kwame Nkrumah’, he would not know about it. It hurts you that you as a foreigner have to explain to him the history of his own country. You may ask someone: ‘Tell me about Lumumba!’ ‘Ah, yes, Lumumba was a leader of the Congo.’ But what about him? Nothing, you can search for the most prominent persons: ‘Talk to me about Samora Machel.’ ‘Who is it?’ (Interview with Ilanga, 2004, translated from Spanish)

For nearly forty years, he had no contact with his family and homeland, until in 2003 he received an unexpected phone call from Bukavu, his home town. His sister-in-law had googled his name and found an article he had published in a Cuban medical journal, which was published online. She was able to find out his telephone number and after nearly forty years he finally talked to his sister and mother,

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who did not expect him to be still alive. They stayed in contact afterwards, and planned to meet each other as soon as possible; they were, however, unable to gather the means. They did, however, exchange photos and when I visited Ilanga in his home he proudly presented the photos of his mother and other family members on the wall. Ilanga is a dramatic example of a lack of agency when considering the decisions about his going to Cuba and the lack of contact he had with his family in the Congo. Neither did he have a say in whether he wanted to go to Cuba, but was simply taken by the Cubans, nor did he feel that he was honestly informed about the reasons for his exile. Equally, the idea of the need for a link to one’s family was not respected by the Cuban authorities. Presumably, the secrecy of the mission was regarded as being of more importance. This lack of transparency, agency and family ties notwithstanding, Ilanga was able to establish himself in Cuba, developing friendships, having a family, building a career and regularly speaking about his experiences with Che Guevara, and thus being respected at least for his former closeness to the revolutionary hero. He may seem like a passive token at the hands of an overly powerful state, but he did manage to live a successful and meaningful life, to support others, as a doctor, a husband and a father, and as an inspiration for Cubans and African students in Cuba alike. He often referred to Guevara as his main inspiration, as a unique symbol of humanism. Guevara’s life, he said, served as an example that it is possible to change society for the better and follow one’s dreams. Ilanga dreamt of erecting a lighthouse in Africa as a monument to Che Guevara’s engagement in the Congo. Hansing and Capote’s documentary was meant to bring him back to the Congo, so he could meet his family and take the first steps in realizing his dream. Sadly, he died unexpectedly before these plans materialized, on 29 November 2005. Che Guevara’s mission in the Congo can be interpreted as the starting point of a number of Cuban–African relations in the decades that followed. In many respects, Ilanga’s experience of being sent to another country without having much say about it is shared by many African students who were chosen to study in Cuba. Their respective countries and the Cuban government signed agreements about sending students to study abroad in Cuba. In order to understand the context of these agreements, it is important to get at least a rough overview of the relations between the Cuban government and its African counterparts, which started mostly after the triumph of the Cuban revolution in 1959. The new government under Fidel Castro quickly established close contacts with African independence move-

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ments and governments, given that Cuba after the revolution was politically isolated in the western hemisphere (D’Estefano et al. 1994; Erisman 2000; Ritter and Kirk 1995; Suchlicki and Fernandez 1985). From 1961 onwards, Cuba supplied Algeria’s National Liberation Front with arms and medical personnel and shipped wounded fighters and war orphans to Cuba. In the same year, Sékou Touré’s Guinea was the first African country to send students to Cuba. In 1965, the Cuban mission to Congo-Kinshasa headed by Che Guevara began, ultimately bringing Freddy Ilanga to Cuba. It was, however, the long-lasting engagement in the Angolan civil war as well as Cuba’s military support against South African aggression in Namibia and Angola which had a deep impact on Cuba’s selfimage as an internationalist nation leading the South. Over the last forty years, the Cuban government has signed agreements with governments or independence movements of nearly all sub-Saharan African nations on the sending of students to Cuba. Literacy and education programmes were seen as means to free the nations of the South from neocolonial dependence from the North, mainly the USA and Europe. These programmes were considered to be part of the struggle between socialist internationalism and South–South solidarity on one hand and imperialism or neocolonialism, today often referred to as neoliberal globalization, on the other. Seen as providing the means for this struggle, Cuban higher education often focused on applied fields – that is, the state sanctions a high number of admissions to study programmes in medicine and health services, and agriculture and technical studies (Gleijeses 2002: 24–55, 78; see also Gálvez 1999; Guevara 2000; Mesa-Lago and Belkin 1982; Risquet Valdés 1999, 2000). During the 1980s and 1990s, hundreds of primary, secondary and pre-university students were sent mostly to the Isla de la Juventud. This island, formerly known as Isla de Pinas (Isle of Pines), is characterized by agriculture and pine forests. Thus, the students’ extracurricular activities included agricultural work, hiking trips and possibly visits to the model prison, a panopticon-like building where Fidel Castro was jailed. They were allocated to schools built specifically for these foreign students. These programmes were cost-shared, Cuba paying the larger part, comprising education, accommodation, school uniforms, etc., and the sending countries’ governments paying for travel expenses, their national teachers and sometimes pocket money for the students (McManus 2000; Stubbs 1989). With the collapse of the socialist camp in eastern Europe and Cuba’s resulting economic problems, Cuba’s so-called ‘special

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period’, the number of foreign students dropped. Nevertheless, numerous university students continue to study in different subjects, mostly medicine or nursing, but also agriculture, veterinary medicine, sports, informatics, social communication, law, art, film, sociology, Spanish language, economics, accountancy, and others. By 2000, 35,000 students from thirty-seven countries had been schooled on ‘La Isla’ (Risquet Valdés 2000: 96). According to official figures from the Cuban Ministerio de Educación Superior, nearly 43,000 foreign students finished their studies in Cuba at a secondary or university level between 1961 and 2004, of which nearly 30,000 came from sub-Saharan Africa. Of those, 8,053 came from Angola, the largest single national group, and yet another 3,764 from Mozambique. This changed recently. During our research in the 2004/05 semester, of the nearly 1,800 sub-Saharan African students who graduated in Cuba, 344 came from South Africa and more than two hundred from Mali, but only fewer than fifty from Mozambique. Generally, the number of students sent by each nation was indicative of the political relations Cuba had with the respective African countries. Ideas of an Afro-Atlantic connection informed these education programmes. Fidel Castro and other Cuban politicians and intellectuals justified Cuban activities in Africa not only with political or economic interests and references to Socialist Internationalism, but also with the common historical experience of slavery and colonialism that African and Latin American countries shared. They would also refer to the debt Cuba owed Africa because of African slaves’ contributions to Cuban culture and in building the country. Castro went even farther by referring to the ‘common blood’ of Cubans and Africans (see Castro 1989; Mandela and Castro 1991). The official recognition of the contribution by an American nation’s black population contrasts with discourses in the USA or Brazil, which downplay these in order to prevent reparation claims (see also Zubrzycki, this volume, for Argentina). Castro’s statements were therefore greatly appreciated by authors from the African diaspora, especially in the USA (see Walters 1993: 315). This official discourse of Southern solidarity was reflected in the curriculum and official events, which were meant to instil students’ pride in their respective country of origin and give them the opportunity to present their culture (mostly food, literature, music and dances) to other students and officials. In Cuban media and in everyday encounters, however, students encountered the stereotypical images of Africa characteristic of most countries of the western hemisphere or in the Global North. If Cubans showed interest in

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Africa, it was often directed at the Yoruba-derived religions and culture as encountered in Cuban Santeria. Although racism and colourism were officially discouraged, African students did encounter them in Cuba. Given these experiences, it comes as no surprise that at least some students from different African countries sought out other opportunities to reflect on their relation to their respective homeland and to Africa in general. The pan-Africanist meetings that Freddy Ilanga organized served as such opportunities. Apart from pan-Africanist ideas, many students took core values of the Cuban revolution back home from these encounters as well as their time in Cuba in general. In Cuba, they read Guevara’s work as he is widely remembered in Cuba and presented to the youths as a role model. Although many of the students I talked to were reserved about socialist ideas, many said that what they took of Che Guevara, Fidel Castro, José Martí and other revolutionaries’ writings home from their Cuban experience influenced their conceptualization of patriotism, collectivism and more self-respect as citizens of former colonies that had also successfully struggled to gain their independence (Dorsch 2008a, 2008b, 2011, 2013, 2014a, 2014b).

Angélique Kidjo: Cuban records in Africa and African musicians in Cuba When Angélique Kidjo travelled to Cuba her criticism concentrated on issues other than race. She was born in 1960 in Cotonou, capital of the West African country Benin (then Dahomey). She was baptized in Ouidah, where her paternal family originates. She describes her parents as unusually supportive, as her father insisted that she and all her sisters went to school, which at the time was still rare. Her seven brothers influenced her, too, as they performed music inspired by the Jackson 5 and the Temptations. Most influential was her mother, who was an actor and manager of a theatre troupe who pushed her to perform at the early age of six. Thus, from an early age, Angélique Kidjo realized that music would be an important factor in her life, and she was inspired by several different genres of music, including traditional music of the Fon and Yoruba, famous musicians from the wider region such as Bella Bellow from Togo, Fela Kuti from Nigeria and Manu Dibango from Cameroon. In her early career, she interpreted mainly American (e.g. James Brown, Santana) and French popular music (e.g. Sylvie Vartan). Her role models, however, were Miriam Makeba and Aretha Franklin:

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[W]hen I was twelve Aretha Franklin’s album Amazing Grace arrived at our home. The way we heard music was through my brothers’ friends who would come back from Europe or the United States wearing flared trousers, sporting big Afros, and bringing precious vinyls. […] When Amazing Grace came, it was the first time I saw a Black woman on an album cover. Aretha is sitting on the steps of a church, in front of an open doorway, and she’s wearing a beautiful African dress the color of burnt sienna lined in pink. Just seeing an American singer wearing an African dress had a huge impact on me. […] Everything about the photo – the stairs leading to the open door, her open arms – suggests pathways and possibilities. (Kidjo with Wenrick 2014: 21)

In those years, vinyl records were the main artefacts that transported not only music but also images and styles via their cover art across the Black Atlantic. African musicians and music lovers looked at the Americas and Europe for inspiration to create their own version of a cosmopolitan style. The young Angélique would quickly turn into a star of Cotonou’s nightlife, performing with her brothers and being driven to the clubs and bars by her father in his Citroën. Being still a schoolgirl and already so successful provoked envy; for instance, when people recognized her in the daylight, they would call her a whore. When she ran in tears back home, her grandmother comforted her, insisting that she continue her musical career and not be discouraged by other people (Kidjo with Wenrick 2014: 19); Kidjo did just that. In 1972, Mathieu Kérékou seized power in a coup d’état and installed a socialist regime in Benin. In the beginning, the new regime provided Angélique, still a schoolgirl, with new artistic possibilities as well as non-academic activities, such as farming and sewing but also music-making as part of the school curriculum, which allowed her to establish a band. After some years, however, and her success notwithstanding, she felt that the socialist regime would not allow her the artistic freedom she needed to follow her vision. She convinced her father that she had to leave the country and go to France in order to further her career. Her voyage is described as an adventurous secretive flight from Cotonou (ibid.: 25–55) as she left for good in 1983. The time in Paris was hard at first, but she soon received a formal education in music, and encountered many musicians with whom she collaborated and met her French husband. She worked with jazz pianist Jasper van’t Hof and soon signed with the Jamaican-British record label Island, which was famous since it had promoted the

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careers of artists like Bob Marley, Grace Jones, U2 and Roxy Music. The moment to look for international success was well chosen, as the newly established marketing label, ‘world music’, would allow for unprecedented sales numbers for African and other artists from the Global South. Kidjo released some twelve albums from 1990 to 2015, toured the Global North and a number of African countries, moved to New York in 1998, served as an ambassador for UNESCO and the African Union, engaged in numerous peace, medical, ecological, fair trade and women’s rights campaigns, received a Grammy in 2007, and currently continues to record and perform. As an expression of her gratitude for her father’s support for her education, she established the Batonga foundation in 2007.2 This foundation supports girls’ education in Benin, Cameroon, Ethiopia, Mali and Sierra Leone by granting scholarships, founding schools and improving teaching standards (ibid.; Taylor 1997, 2012; White 2012). In her biographical account, her migration to Paris is presented as an artistic choice freeing her from the restrictions the government in her native Benin had imposed upon her, and as the start of an international career. Supported by her family, but as an individualist artist who left the constraints of a socialist regime behind, she writes the ideal success story of neoliberal individualist agency. Her music reflects this Western-style neoliberal cosmopolitanism. Brennan characterized it aptly as a typical example of world music by being ‘based on American models, altered by the addition of local rhythms and instrumentation, and produced in European recording studios for global distribution and consumption’ (Brennan 2001: 47). However, her approach to music betrays by no means an unconscious apolitical perspective, which she illustrates with a fascinating anectode: as a fifteen-year-old she heard of South African apartheid for the first time. She got upset and wrote a very critical, even aggressive song about it. Her father forced her to rewrite it, because music was meant to bring people together and not to deepen existing frictions (Kidjo with Wenrick 2014: 44–5). Consequently, she recorded songs addressing, for example, social problems in the Global South, while lacking any analysis of who might be responsible for these issues. In this regard, she did not follow her role model, Miriam Makeba. Having issued a number of successful albums, Kidjo looked to her musical childhood inspirations from the Americas. By moving to New York in 1998 and travelling to Brazil and Cuba from 2002, she followed her interest in African culture in the New World, releasing the albums Oremi, Black Ivory Soul and Oyaya!, which reflected her journeys. Her interests were mainly focused on Yoruba-influenced

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music and religions, such as Santeria and Candomblé. Given her critical stance vis-à-vis Benin’s socialist regime, it comes as no surprise that her narrative of her stay in Cuba is also somewhat distanced. Although musically enthused, she mainly seems to remember the feeling of being observed by state security (ibid.: 178). She searched for African cultural elements in Cuban music and spirituality, which can easily be found, but in her narrative these experiences are attributed more to Brazil than to Cuba. However, famous Cuban musicians like Omara Portuondo and others are mentioned and a website promoting the album Oyaya! celebrates the importance of her trip to Cuba, in stark contrast to her autobiography: But her trip to Cuba was the most important. It is there that she found the memory of humanity through a music in which she recognized the dialects and idiomatic expressions that were the result of slavery as far away as her native country Benin. (Kidjo, quoted in and translated by White 2012: 191)

The fact that Kidjo searched for musical and spiritual inspiration in Cuba is in no way extraordinary; many African musicians went to Cuba for their musical education or as students who went for other educational purposes but caught the Cuban music ‘virus’ and returned as musicians who started their careers in West or Central Africa. Actually, many musicians’ biographies could serve as examples of this musical search and would be even more typical of long-standing musical exchange and more profound in their interest for Cuban music. Still, I chose Angélique Kidjo’s biography as it is a well-documented account that stands in contrast to Freddy Ilanga’s with regard to political views, the role of family and individual agency. Already from the 1920s onwards, Cuban music was widely listened to in West and Central Africa. By the 1960s, the decade of independence, many popular African music genres had a Latin American – more precisely Cuban – ring to them. There were also forms of exchange between Cuba and various African nations. Malian musicians, for example, were trained in Cuba in the 1960s; many of them are still performing today, and some are among the most important representatives of the Malian music scene. This transatlantic influence left its distinctive mark on styles such as ‘goombay’ or ‘gumbe’ and ‘palm wine’ in West African countries such as Sierra Leone, Guinea-Bissau and Liberia. In Ghana and Nigeria, ‘highlife’ emerged from this type of music. As is suggested by its name, this is an elite music style, which celebrates the dolce vita enjoyed by

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the urban upper class both before and after independence. Highlife also had a decisive influence on the styles of ‘juju’ and ‘fuji’, which are popular among the Yoruba ethnic group. Thus, it comes as no surprise that ‘Ghana Freedom’, the piece that accompanied Ghana’s independence, was composed by the famous highlife musician E. T. Mensah, whose band played not only highlife influenced by American swing, but also calypso and Congolese-Cuban pieces (Bender 2005; Coester and Gretz 2005; Perullo 2008; Shain 2002, 2009, 2012; White 2008). Caribbean music in general and Cuban music in particular have been listened to and performed in West and Central Africa since the 1930s. Already in colonial times, the twin capitals Léopoldville and Brazzaville, situated on opposite sides of the Congo river, were a melting pot of the most varied cultural influences. French and Belgian colonial officials, missionaries and businessmen from various European and African countries, West African mariners and civil servants all brought their diverse musical tastes (and gramophone records) to the Congo river. From these musical encounters emerged the Congo rumba, which, as the name already suggests, was influenced by Cuban styles. For decades, the Congo rumba and its derivatives soukous and kwasa kwasa were the most popular styles of dance music on the entire continent. While it is true that famous African artists such as Miriam Makeba, Salif Keita, Youssou N’Dour, Manu Dibango, Khaled and Angélique Kidio have audiences in all the metropolises of the continent, one could argue that only Congolese rumba and soukous as styles can lay claim to being pan-African music, radiating out to West, South and particularly East Africa (Ewens 1994; Monsengo Vantibah 2009; Perullo 2008; White 2008). After independence, the importance of music in nation-building was quickly acknowledged and systematically used, especially by Guinea’s Sékou Touré. With regard to the above-mentioned students in Cuba, music was used to establish a link with their respective homelands and to strengthen ways of identification, directed towards the nation rather than ethnic groups, religions or other collective identities. Besides the usual subjects with a focus on their native countries, the pupils were instructed in the cooking, musical styles and dances of their countries of origin. By learning dances and musical styles from the most diverse regions of Mozambique, for example, they acquired a sense of the nation as a whole. They were encouraged to speak Portuguese instead of their ethnic languages, and thus came to identify as Mozambicans rather than as Shangaan or Makonde, Muslims or Christians. This feeling of community still persists today.

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Cuba’s relations with Angola were even closer than its relations with Mozambique; for years, Angolans formed the largest contingent of foreign students in Cuba. Most importantly, however, the Cuban government sent both soldiers and civil development personnel – physicians, engineers, teachers – into the Angolan civil war. It is likely that the military victory of Cuban and Angolan troops over the South African army accelerated the end of the apartheid regime. This is at least the opinion held by Nelson Mandela, who, in the course of his first international journey after nearly forty years of imprisonment, visited Cuba, among other countries, and published a book jointly with Fidel Castro (Mandela and Castro 1991; see also Dorsch 2008a, 2008b, 2011; Hansing and Dorsch 2005; Hatzky 2008). The recent renaissance of Cuban music in Africa could be interpreted as a commentary on the unfulfilled promises of a bygone revolutionary era. In the light of the success of Cuban music at the turn of the millennium (especially the ‘world music’ product ‘Buena Vista Social Club’), this revival can also be understood as a product of Western marketing strategies that reunited legendary bands, such as the Senegalese Orchestra Baobab, and sent them on world tours. In addition, it is very likely that political factors played a role as well – for example, the establishment of diplomatic relations between Senegal and Cuba in 2001 (Coester and Gretz 2005). The questions of what has been achieved and what chances have been missed seem to find expression in this new retrospective view. The Cameroonian rap group Ak Sans Grave, for example, decidedly and critically addresses the disappointed hopes of the independence era in its version of ‘Indépendance ChaCha’. Even a praise song can be intended to criticize; this is evident, for example, when it does not celebrate politicians ruling today but rather those who have long passed away. Just as Salif Keita once did, the widely respected Malian griotte Bako Dagnon now sings the praises of Guinea’s late president, Sékou Touré, in her piece ‘Le Guide de la Révolution’ (on her album Sidiba, released in 2009). In light of what we know today about the infamous prison camp Camp Boiro and Touré’s paranoid persecution of potential oppositionists, this praise song has a very problematic ring to it. The persistent esteem in which Touré is held becomes comprehensible, however, if we recall his strong commitment to a revolutionary form of independence – that is, his strict refusal of any integration into neocolonial structures. This esteem, particularly on the part of musicians, becomes even more understandable if we make ourselves aware of the importance of Touré’s massive support for music, not

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only in Guinea but also for entire generations of musicians. Thus, it comes as no surprise that Dagnon’s song celebrating Touré as a revolutionary hero is modelled musically after the Cuban guajira style. Undoubtedly, a collective biographical dimension enters into this retrospective glance as well: the generation of musicians whose careers began during the independence era has, since the early 2000s, been looking back at their youth. At first glance, it may seem surprising that Cuban music, of all things, still continues to epitomize the feeling of the independence era. This is even more surprising given that some leaders, such as Julius Nyerere and Sékou Touré, were very critical of the influence of Latin American music on their respective countries. They tended to understand it as yet another Western and colonial influence and thought it necessary to counterweigh it with the support of local genres and dance styles (Dorsch 2010). However, they were not very successful in their endeavour, given that most African popular genres had already ‘incorporated’ Latin American elements, which were to stay. Most importantly, Latin American music in turn has firm roots in African rhythm. This fact was, of course, known to the African musicians and their audiences. Latin American music could thus be viewed as a modern form of African music. The idea of a common identity as inhabitants of the Global South was important as well. This self-image enabled people to distance themselves both from the North and from the image of African backwardness promulgated by the colonizers. It is therefore not surprising that later generations of musicians, too, sought inspiration in styles from outside Africa. African-American music was ‘in’ among the youth of Bamako in the 1970s, as they viewed it as an expression of pan-African feeling, and listening to it as an act of opposition to the ongoing French cultural dominance (see Diawara 1998). A similar function – the expression of a ‘style of one’s own’ as opposed to the West’s – was attributed to reggae a decade later, as Malian reggae musician Oumar Koita pointed out in an interview (Dorsch 1994). In order to understand how Latin American music – and especially the Congo rumba – came to be the expression of the independence era, we need to consider the transatlantic exchange discussed earlier. Still, there is some irony in the fact that in Sékou Touré’s Guinea as well as in Mobuto’s Zaire, Latin American-inspired music became the soundtrack of the African authenticité decreed by the respective governments (Dorsch 2010).

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Conclusion Repeatedly, social scientists voiced doubts about biography as a useful method and agency as a useful concept in social sciences. Authors mainly criticize the methodological individualism as an expression of the typical Western assumption of the triumph of will over contexts (e.g. Comaroff and Comaroff 1992: 10). Angélique Kidjo’s story sounds like exactly such an epic of the ideal Western individualist who, in order to make her way, creatively ignores or even uses the constraints created by cultural norms, laws or state institutions, and who found guidance and support in her parents, her musical idols and her will to achieve artistic expression. One could question this image and ask how much she adheres to Western norms of biographical storytelling, how much her co-author probably reproduces clichés of the rag-to-riches stories that Western audiences love so much. In contrast, the life story of Freddy Ilanga appears as one shaped by forces beyond his individual control – the Cuban authorities who took him to Cuba, his isolation from homeland and family, the interest of his audiences in his role as Che Guevara’s informant, and not in his own story, and the technological innovation that allowed his sister-in-law to contact him. These forces did not, however, inhibit him in following his vision to build the monument and to keep the memory of Guevara’s humanism alive. Sherry Ortner (2006) develops a concept of agency that allows for a fruitful analysis of individual or social action without ignoring the cultural context and the power structures that constrain or shape agency. She argues that agency as a concept requires consideration of the context – such as culture, for example – as a determinant of the goals of actions. At the same time, the context might be transformed by these actions. The goals that drive agency might be based on individual will, but these goals and the accepted ways to achieve them are again shaped by cultural values. In order to avoid discussing agency as some form of individualist voluntarism she introduces the concept of ‘serious games’, which refers both to rules and the possibility of improvisation (ibid.: 12). 
The young men working in a café in Timbuktu or all those kids around the Atlantic wearing Che Guevara T-shirts may not have precise ideas about Cuban politics and those singing the praises of Sékou Touré may not (want to) know about Camp Boiro. It is important to note, however, that, for these kids, Che Guevara and Sékou Touré are seen as revolutionaries who stood up to the powerful. The image of courageous and stubborn men and women seems to be sufficient to inspire young people of

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many generations, even if the details of their political or ideological viewpoints may be lost for many. It is striking to realize that Kidjo chose a very enthusiastic title for the chapter in her autobiography that describes the time under socialism that she seemingly despised so much. Obviously, she tries to exploit the euphoria associated with the idea of revolution, while at the same time using this chapter as a representation of her life as the story of an individualistic success in the face of the boundaries imposed on her by the socialist regimes both in Benin and Cuba. Freddy Ilanga, in contrast, felt obliged to carry the revolutionary spark of Guevara that he described as his life’s main inspiration to future generations. His was a more collectivist vision for humanity. As his statement I quoted above shows, he was shocked by the younger generation’s individualism, which for Kidjo was the prerequisite of her agency. However, he was also painfully aware of the restrictions the Cuban authorities imposed on him and of the shortcomings of the Cuban self-image as vanguard of the Global South. This did not at all restrain him from pursuing his path, which included the idea that Africans could learn from the Cuban revolutionary example and from Guevara’s humanism. His engagement and conviction that a better world, not built on exploitation, was possible may seem nostalgic or even outdated, and Kidjo’s individualist approach appears to be more accepted these days. What they share, however, is a strong emphasis on education as the prerequisite of a better future for the generations to come – an emphasis that both African students who returned educated from Cuba and female students graduating from Kidjo’s schools will appreciate. Both Kidjo and Ilanga knew the rules of the ‘serious games’ and played along and improvised very differently – but with their respective goals in mind – successfully. Ilanga taught African students about their history and how the Cuban revolution may serve as an example. Kidjo taught her listeners about how much Cuban and more general Western popular music owe to African music.

Notes

References

1

Armitage, D. (2001) ‘The Red Atlantic’, Reviews in American History, 29(4): 479–86. ––––– (2002) ‘Three concepts of Atlantic history’, in D. Armitage and M. Braddick (eds), The British Atlantic World 1500–1800, New York: Palgrave, pp. 11–29.

Freddy Ilanga’s children have published a biography in Havana. I have not, however, been able to get hold of it to date. 2 batongafoundation.org, accessed 13 March 2016.

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Bender, W. (2005) ‘Rumba aus dem Kongo. Wie der cubanische Son zur panafrikanischen Musik wurde’, Ila, 291: 31–2. Brennan, T. (2001) ‘World music does not exist’, Discourse, 23(1): 44–62. Castro, F. (1989) ‘We are united by blood’, in D. Deutschmann (ed.), Changing the History of Africa: Angola and Namibia, Melbourne: Ocean Press. Christopher, E., C. Pybus and M. Rediker (eds) (2007) Many Middle Passages: Forced Migration and the Making of the Modern World, Berkeley: University of California Press. Coester, M. and G. Gretz (2005) ‘Salsa Thiéboudienne. Cubanische Musik und ihre anhaltende Präsenz in Westafrika’, Ila, 291: 33–5. Comaroff, J. and J. Comaroff (1992) Ethnography and the Historical Imagination, Boulder, CO: Westview Press. D’Estefano Pisani, Miguel A. et al. (eds) (1994) Fidel y el Tercer Mundo, Hanoi: Editorial Chnih Tri Quoc Gia. Diawara, M. (1998) In Search of Africa, Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. Dorsch, H. (1994) ‘Calor Humano. Schwarze Musik und die Farben der Heimat. Interviews mit “fremden” Künstlern in Hamburg’, InfoMagazin. Zeitschrift für Ökologie und Vierte Welt, 9: 7–10. ––––– (2000) Afrikanische Diaspora und ‘Black Atlantic’. Einführung in Geschichte und aktuelle Diskussion, Münster: Lit. ––––– (2006) Globale Griots. Performanz in der afrikanischen Diaspora, Münster: Lit. ––––– (2008a) ‘Übergangsritus in Übersee? Zum Aufenthalt mosambikanischer Schüler und Studenten in Kuba’, Afrika Spectrum, 43(2): 225–44. ––––– (2008b) ‘Studierende und Schüler aus dem südlichen Afrika in Kuba – Navigieren zwischen

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Rotem und Schwarzem Atlantik’, EthnoScripts, 10(1): 7–29. ––––– (2010) ‘“Indépendance Cha Cha”: African pop music since the independence era’, Africa Spectrum, 45(3): 131–46. ––––– (2011) ‘Red or Black Atlantic? Mozambican students in Cuba and their re-integration at home’, Zeitschrift für Ethnologie, 136(2): 65–86 (Special Issue ‘Afroatlantische Allianzen’). ––––– (2013) ‘Griots navigating the Black Atlantic and scholars constructing the African diaspora’, in W. Kokot, C. Giordano and M. Gandelsmann-Trier (eds), Diaspora as a Resource: Comparative Studies in Strategies, Networks and Urban Space, Zurich and Münster: Lit, pp. 171–97. ––––– (2014a) ‘Agency between two global frames of reference: Mozambican students in Cuba and their reintegration at home’, in D. Neubert and C. Scherer (eds), Agency and Changing World Views in Africa, Münster: Lit, pp. 99–121. ––––– (2014b) ‘Trans-Atlantic educational crossroads: experiences of Mozambican students in Cuba’, in I. Kummels et al. (eds), Transatlantic Caribbean: Dialogues of People, Practices, Ideas, Bielefeld: Transcript, pp. 79–97. Doyle, M. (2005a) ‘Obituary: Freddy Ilanga: translator to Che Guevara in Congo who became a paediatric neurosurgeon in Cuba’, Independent, www.independent. co.uk/news/obituaries/freddyilanga-519094.html, accessed 4 March 2016. ––––– (2005b) ‘DR Congo’s rebelturned-brain surgeon’, BBC, news. bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/4522526.stm, accessed 4 March 2016. Erisman, H. M. (2000) Cuba’s Foreign Relations in a Post-Soviet World, Gainesville: University of Florida Press. Ewens, G. (1994) Congo Colossus: The Life and Legacy of Franco and OK Jazz, North Walsham: Buku Press.

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Gálvez, W. (1999) Che in Africa: Che Guevara’s Congo Diary, Melbourne and New York: Ocean Press. Gilroy, P. (1993) The Black Atlantic: Modernity and Double Consciousness, Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. Gleijeses, P. (2002) Conflicting Missions: Havana,Washington, and Africa, 1959–1976, Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press. Goebel, W. and S. Schabio (eds) (2006) Beyond the Black Atlantic: Relocating Modernization and Technology, New York: Routledge. Guevara, E. Che (2000) The African Dream: The Diaries of the Revolutionary War in the Congo, London: Harvill. Hansing, K. and H. Dorsch (2005) ‘45 Jahre Süd-Süd-Solidarität? Cubanische Mediziner in Afrika, afrikanische Studenten in Cuba’, Ila, 291: 10–13. Hatzky, C. (2008) ‘“Os Bons Colonizadores”: Cuba’s educational mission in Angola, 1976–1991’, Safundi: The Journal of South African and American Studies, 9(1): 53–68. Kidjo, A. with R. Wenrick (2014) Spirit Rising: My Life, My Music, New York: HarperCollins. Lovejoy, P. and D. V. Trotman (eds) (2003) Trans-Atlantic Dimensions of Ethnicity in the African Diaspora, London and New York: Continuum. Makeba, M. with J. Hall (1987) Makeba: My Story, New York: New American Library. Mandela, N. and F. Castro (1991) How Far We Slaves Have Come!, New York: Pathfinder Press. McManus, J. (2000) Cuba’s Island of Dreams:Voices from the Isle of Pines and Youth, Gainesville: University of Florida Press. Mesa-Lago, C. and J. Belkin (eds) (1982) Cuba in Africa, Pittsburgh, PA: Center for Latin American Studies, University of Pittsburgh. Monsengo Vantibah, M. (2009) La

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musique congolaise moderne, 1953– 2003: de Kallé Jeff à Werrason, Paris: L’Harmattan. Nyerere, J. (1967) Freedom and Unity, London: Oxford University Press. Ortner, S. (2006) Anthropology and Social Theory: Culture, Power, and the Acting Subject, Durham, NC: Duke University Press. Perullo, A. (2008) ‘Rumba in the City of Peace: migration and the cultural commodity of Congolese music in Dar es Salaam, 1968– 1985’, Ethnomusicology, 52(2): 296–323. Rediker, M. (2004) ‘The Red Atlantic, or, “a terrible blast swept over the heaving sea”’, in B. Klein and G. Mackenthun (eds), Sea Changes: Historicizing the Ocean, New York: Routledge, pp. 111–30. Risquet Valdés, J. (1999) 40 Años de solidaridad de Cuba con África, Havana: Editorial Si-Mar. ––––– (2000) El segundo frente del Che en el Congo. Historia del Batallón Patricio Lumumba, Havana: Casa Editora Abril. Ritter, A. and J. Kirk (eds) (1995) Cuba in the International System: Integration and Normalization, London: Macmillan. Rossbach de Olmos, L. (2009) ‘Was ist mit dem Schwarzen Pazifik im Schwarzen Atlantik? Paul Gilroys “Black Atlantic” im Spiegel (afro) kolumbianischer Begebenheiten’, in H. Drotbohm and L. Rossbach de Olmos (eds), Kontrapunkte. Theoretische Transitionen und empirischer Transfer in der Afroamerikaforschung, Marburg: Curupira, pp. 41–58. Shain, R. (2002) ‘Roots in reverse: Cubanismo in twentieth-century Senegalese music’, International Journal of African Historical Studies, 35(1): 83–101. ––––– (2009) ‘The Re(public) of salsa: Afro-Cuban music in fin-desiècle Dakar’, Africa: Journal of the International African Institute, 79(2): 186–206.

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––––– (2012) ‘Trovador of the Black Atlantic: Laba Sosseh and the Africanzation of AfroCuban music’, in B. White (ed.), Music and Globalization: Critical Encounters, Bloomington and Indianapolis: Indiana University Press. Stubbs, J. (1989) Cuba: The Test of Time, London: Latin American Bureau. Suchlicki, J. and D. Fernandez (eds) (1985) Cuban Foreign Policy: The New Internationalism, Coral Gables: University of Miami, North South Center for the Institute of Interamerican Studies. Taylor, T. (1997) Global Pop:World Music,World Markets, London: Routledge. ––––– (2012) ‘World Music today’, in B. White (ed.), Music and Globalization: Critical Encounters, Bloomington and Indianapolis: Indiana University Press, pp. 172–88. Walters, R. (1993) Pan Africanism in the African Diaspora: An Analysis of Modern Afrocentric Political

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Movements, Detroit, MI: Wayne State University Press. White, B. (2008) Rumba Rules: The Politics of Dance Music in Mobutu’s Zaire, Durham, NC: Duke University Press. ––––– (2012) ‘The promise of World Music: strategies for non-essentialist listening’, in B. White (ed.), Music and Globalization: Critical Encounters, Bloomington and Indianapolis: Indiana University Press, pp. 189–218. Ziff, T. (ed.) (2006) Che Guevara: Revolutionary and Icon, London: V&A Publications.

Filmography Hansing, K. and W. Capote (2009) Freddy Ilanga: Che’s Swahili Translator, New York: Mariposa and Icarus Films.

Interviews Freddy Ilanga with K. Hansing and H. Dorsch, 21 September 2004.

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15 Culture on the move: Cape Verde between Africa and Latin America Livio Sansone

Over the last few decades, notions such as cultural heritage, heritage preservation, authenticity, diversity, multiculturalism and sustainable tourism have been exchanged across the South Atlantic as they have become part and parcel of efforts to redefine the nature of the nation in both Africa and Latin America, in a process that is obviously rife with tensions and contradictions. This chapter highlights how such a problematic is present in the relationship between Cape Verde and Brazil, two countries that share the experience of having been colonized by Portugal and which are also connected by the movement of people during the slave trade. Since then, both countries have remained in contact, although the movement of ideas and cultural practices from Brazil to Cape Verde seems to be more prominent than from the islands to Brazil. This flow is facilitated by intense relations between these countries that have continued to exist for centuries (Lobban 1995) and encouraged the movement of cultural activities and artefacts that were created in Brazil, as well as their equivalents in Cape Verde. Instances of this cultural mobility are the adaptation of cattle and plants, the education and acculturation of slaves, the diffusion of sailors’ culture and jargon, the use of tools and techniques (predominantly the mill and alembic still), the saints, devotions and Catholic brotherhoods, and musical styles and genres, including both ancient (lundu) and new (samba, bossa nova, tropicália). Music crossovers between Cape Verde and Brazil were boosted by Cesária Évora’s Brazilian tour, supported by Caetano Veloso, and the techno-brega style, (whose leading exponent in recent years has been the Calypso, a band originally from Belém in Pará State, Brazil, popular in Cape Verde), which relates closely to the Cape Verdean genre zouk-love. Brazilian music and literary styles, genres and aesthetics (for example, the aesthetic of poverty) have influenced Cape Verdean literature for some time (Hernandez 2002). Telenovelas have transmitted images of beauty and consumption, or, more recently, imagery surrounding ‘new’ identities: black, female, homosexual. Brazilian

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Pentecostal churches, led by the Universal Church of the Kingdom of God (UCKG), have communicated a new modern religiosity by presenting themselves as anti-modern in terms of the ideal family life, sexual habits and leisure culture (Furtado and Laurent 2008). Over the last few years, two new and interconnected phenomena have also crossed the Atlantic with significant impact: the process of preserving and exhibiting tangible and intangible culture as heritage (including the sites, artefacts and intangible culture associated with the slave trade), and the spectacularization and new semantics that have transformed ‘black’ into ‘Afro’. Both phenomena reflect global tendencies and local histories that not only open up fresh possibilities but also generate new contradictions in the case of Cape Verde. The first is a global phenomenon. ‘Cultural diversity’1 has begun to be worshipped by several state agencies, which are now venturing on the path of a new multicultural approach to school education and even access to public resources, such as support for cultural production and management. In Brazil, this phenomenon took a distinct course after 2002. Essential elements were the introduction and gradual implementation of the Federal Law no. 10369, which makes the subject ‘Afro-Brazilian and African culture and history’ compulsory at all levels of education (Sansone 2007). The new Brazilian multicultural attitude was promptly presented in various African countries, especially Cape Verde, by various missions of the Palmares Foundation of the Brazilian Ministry of Culture in Cape Verde. The Lula government conceived of the aforementioned law as a means of getting rid of Brazil’s traditional image of a ‘racial democracy’, which Brazilian ambassadors had been accustomed to projecting in Africa between 1960 and 2002 (D’Avila 2010). That centre-left Brazilian government suggested that the link between Brazil and Africans was the shared political space of the Global South and the effort to provide social justice and participation to the have-nots. To increase the degree of multiculturality of a society, following the guidelines dictated by UNESCO as reinterpreted by both countries’ ministries of culture and heritage conservation bodies, each form of popular culture seeking public support must possess items, places, habits and artefacts that are clearly identifiable, distinguishable, original, authentic and unique, and which must have the capacity to be turned into visible displays of culture. If Cape Verde – a country that is identified with and values its hybrid and Creole character – wishes to possess ‘evidently’ singular and unique cultural items, it may experience difficulty obtaining a high rating in terms of cultural diversity based on UNESCO standards.

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The second phenomenon is associated with the first and its creation of a new space for valuing cultural diversity, particularly with regard to access to higher education and landownership. It is, however, more of a Brazilian phenomenon, or perhaps more pronounced in Latin America, and a process related to the slow and contradictory transformation of the condition of being black as well as the resignifying of certain icons associated with slavery, previously things that ought to be hidden owing to the shame associated with aspects that embody the resurrection and emancipation of black people. Here I refer to access to higher education and the collective ownership of land, processes whereby being black can be seen as advantageous. The process, which has been ongoing since 1970, is relatively more linear than Africa’s transformation from a negative to a positive icon, having begun with pan-Africanist ideas and being reinforced during decolonization and the period that immediately followed. Here I argue that this new semantics of the ‘Africa’ icon in the Afro-Latin world has also affected ways of assessing the African past and its greatness on the African continent itself, including its most westerly margin, Cape Verde. There is, moreover, something specific to the Cape Verdean context. Each narrative on the meaning of modernity and progress corresponds to particular local Cape Verdean discourses about Africa, Africans and Africanity (Fernandes 2006). Distances and geographic reference points change in the process, moving Cape Verde nearer to or farther away from the African coast (Sansone 2010). Consequently, depending on the type of political-cultural proximity being stressed, Cape Verde can, so to speak, move on the geographical map closer to Brazil, to the African coast or to Macaronesia – the oceanic Madeira, Azores and Canary Islands, the farthest projection of the European continent into the Atlantic. Following independence, generally speaking, progressive politicians stressed the need to integrate the archipelago into continental Africa, whereas conservative politicians emphasized that the islands are in many ways the southernmost part of Europe. Below I present two concrete cases of how icons and attributes of ‘Afro-Brazilian cultural heritage’ can be exploited within the context of cultural activism and the endeavour to affirm some kind of singularity for Cape Verdean cultural production based on the recognition of the country’s central role in the black transatlantic diaspora. This involves the attempt to dramatize and spectacularize the notion of a World Heritage Site and its potential public benefits in the case of Cidade Velha, on Santiago Island, as well as the use of capoeira as

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‘anti-marginality therapy’ for young people in Mindelo city on São Vicente Island and of ‘afro dance’ as a means to revive street carnival in the main city, Praia.

The UNESCO site Cidade Velha: an ancient slave port Cidade Velha, previously Ribeira Grande, is a complex example of ‘top-down’ conservationism undertaken at the wishes of agents outside the local resident community.2 Ribeira Grande was the capital of the Portuguese colony prior to its transfer to the city of Praia in the mid-seventeenth century, as Praia was easier to defend from the endless pirate raids. Ribeira Grande was also the headquarters of the archdiocese and very possibly the first city built and reinforced in support of the transatlantic slave trade. Virtually abandoned, its function was reduced to that of a place for growing sugar cane and producing rum, enabled by its relative abundance of water. The city was ‘rediscovered’ at the end of Cape Verde’s colonial period as part of the government’s attempt to celebrate and trace the roots of the Portuguese presence in the Atlantic and Africa – thus legitimizing claims that Portugal had been in Africa longer than any other European power. A second ‘rediscovery’ took place in the years after independence when the new state began to rewrite its history, not only in books,3 but also in monuments and in the identification of new sites of memory along with a series of cultural elements now identified as part of the cultural heritage of the new homeland. The third ‘rediscovery’ of Cidade Velha took place about ten years ago. Under the MPD’s (Movimento para a Democracia) centre-right government and, more emphatically, the PAICV’s (Partido Africano de Independência de Cabo Verde) second government, the process began that eventually led to the city’s recognition by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site in 2009. In the process of the ‘rediscovery’ of Cidade Velha and its subsequent valorization, ‘outside agents’ have clearly been present: in the first rediscovery, the experts were from Portugal; in the second, primarily from Spain; and in the third, they were foreign and Cape Verdean, who were all subjected, nevertheless, to the new and more severe limits and guidelines imposed by UNESCO. As Flávia Marques dos Santos (2009: 25–74) illustrates, the strong presence of outside agents is a double-edged sword: it confers authority on the intervention project while increasing the sense of alienation and lack of control over the space among the local population. In many cases, the population does not see possible

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benefits that can be brought by these agents – for example, the new and strict limits on the traditional freedom to build dwellings and set up businesses once a location is included on the official list of the heritage sites. Media reports about the UNESCO decision took on definitive language – a major event would take place in the nation’s history: Cape Verde for the first time has a city declared as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. In Cidade Velha, or Ribeira Grande de Santiago, there has been a party atmosphere since the announcement was made in Seville, Spain.4 Cidade Velha is the birthplace of Cape Verdeanity. Hence it is an unavoidable landmark in the history of the Cape Verde islands. In Cidade Velha the Creole Man was born. It was the meeting point of the first Europeans and black people from the coast of Africa, brought to populate these islands.5

One of the requirements for a World Heritage Site to be able to retain this title is for authorities managing the site to demonstrate – in various forms and to various publics – that it possesses something different, unique, non-reproducible and valuable that needs to be preserved and valued. During my last visit in February 2010, the site comprised the following: a set of houses, arranged in two streets running from the seafront to the top of the river valley; a few churches, two of them fully restored and one used for small symposia and meetings (particularly on topics such as heritage and national identity); a central square (the bus stop), where the ancient Pelourinho is located, facing the beach (where it is difficult to bathe because of the numerous rocks); and a few gardens, including a small sugar cane plantation with traditional stills for making sugar cane rum (grogue), and a perennial water source (something unique in this part of Santiago Island). To fully exploit Cidade Velha’s tourist potential and to valorize its history and culture, the well-preserved ruins of the old cathedral have become a centre for accommodating visitors with a number of rooms (built in stone in the ‘ancient’ style); five restaurants have been opened on the site (with prices beyond the reach of local residents); there are a few places selling tourist items6 and some NGOs’ offices, and, finally, the tourist welcome centre owned by a Spanish company that won the tender from the Cape

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Verdean Ministry of Culture and is responsible for training local people in the new professions required by tourism. Above the river is the old castle built during the sixteenth century following an Italian design and recently restored. It is the region’s most attractive landmark and probably receives the most visitors. The city lacks guest houses or a ‘home stay’ programme that could help redistribute income. I stayed at the only hostel that exists, a place with just two rooms, run by an elderly couple who returned to their country of origin – after the experience of migrating first to Dakar and then to France – and invested their savings in the initiative. The welcome centre with the attached guest house mentioned above is more expensive and is rarely used. More commonly visited is the welcome centre at the fortress, where tourists receive information about Cidade Velha and some notion of Cape Verde’s history, frequently accompanied by the screening of a documentary film. It is a tranquil and green vale, set in an arid region, a beautiful place in which to relax. The tourists cited in the official documents of the Cape Verde government and UNESCO refer, almost by definition in this case, to international travellers, who tend to be European or North American. Though few studies exist about the profile of these visitors and what they would like to see and consume on Santiago Island,7 the general impression is that Cidade Velha, as it is now, offers little to them: there is little that can be transformed into a venue for the type of international tourists that visit Cape Verde. The few who arrive along the new expressway, which facilitates a journey time of thirty minutes from Praia to Cidade Velha, spend on average two hours visiting the fort, the Largo do Pelourinho and the restored churches. Spending more time but consuming few goods and seldom visiting local restaurants are the numerous school visits during the week and the Sunday picnics, which are very often organized by neighbourhood or village associations. Compared to other places on the West African coast that have already been glamorized by visits from the Pope and presidents and occupy a central place in the official narrative of the post-colonial nation, such as the Île de Gorée, in Senegal, and the slave forts on the coast of Ghana (Thiaw 2009), Cidade Velha has yet to become part of a circuit of so-called ethnic tourism.8 What is displayed as different is very similar to what is found in other parts of Cape Verde. The resorts are located outside the city, albeit just a few kilometres away, with very few choosing to stay in Cidade Velha itself. In an attempt to change this scenario and cultivate interest in this ‘birthplace of Cape Verdeanity’, diverse associations, along with the

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Cidade Velha Municipal Council and in some cases the Ministry of Culture, promote a variety of culturally dynamic activities. These include fairs with typical produce (Figure 15.1), symposia on topics related to the issues of heritage and culture (Figure 15.2) and music festivals (sometimes with dancing). All this does not appear ‘different’ enough for the Western tourist. To complicate matters, the declaration of Cidade Velha as a World Heritage Site in 2009 imposed severe limits on building work, in some cases stirring resentment as well as making a series of preservation and education activities obligatory. The project’s long-term sustainability continues to be, in my view, an enigma. From where will the tourists come, given that most of the international tourism in Cape Verde is resort-based, concentrated on the islands of Sal and Boa Vista? The idea that national micro-tourism might have potential seems to occur to almost no one. Although this accounts for the bulk of actual tourism, local leaders prefer to dream of an imaginary tourism, usually international and ‘five-star’, rather than engage in stimulating domestic tourism or mass visits (see Amar and Singerman 2006).

Figure 15.1 – A fair featuring typical local produce

Photo: Livio Sansone

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Figure 15.2 – A book launch in January 2009 of a volume describing the memories of Amilcar Cabral in present-day Cape Verde

Photo: Livio Sansone

It was judged that something more striking was necessary – and here the local leaders conceived of Cidade Velha as a World Heritage Site – to promote interest in the region through external ‘input’. Two examples have prominently stimulated this interest; one began in the United States and was reinterpreted on the island; the other was inspired by an Afro-Brazilian cultural practice.

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The restored slave ship and reviving local artistic performance The first initiative that had huge repercussions in Cape Verde involved the Freedom Schooner Amistad. What happened when this ship arrived, brought to dramatize the moment of UNESCO’s recognition of Cidade Velha? The website www.panapress.com stated on 31 January 2008: The group of American business leaders of Cape Verdean descent belonging to the Cape Verdean American Business Organization (CABO) will finance the journey of the replica of the slave ship Amistad to Cape Verde, due to arrive in the archipelago’s waters between the 27th and 29th of February this year. […] the Cape Verdean Minister of Culture, Manuel Veiga, informed of his decision to help pay for the expenses involved in the journey to Cape Verde of the replica of the ship apprehended on August 26th 1839 in United States waters. The stopover in Cape Verde will take place after the ship has sailed from Sierra Leone and called at the Senegalese Île de Gorée, recognizing the historical importance of this island in the Transatlantic slave trade. In recent statements to the Voice of America (VOA) radio station, Clifton Graves Junior, vice-president of the Amistad Americas’ Atlantic Freedom Tour, the entity organizing the voyage, said that he hopes that the vessel’s scientific stopover will give a fresh boost to Cidade Velha’s bid to become a World Heritage Site. Initially the plan had been to stop in Cape Verde merely for technical checks, but thanks to the intervention of groups supporting Cidade Velha’s bid to become recognized as a World Heritage Site, the voyage of the replica of the Amistad was adapted.

And the website of the weekly Expresso da Ilhas notes on 2 March 2008: Cape Verde was a space for the ‘diasporization’ of Africans across the Atlantic, pointed out Charles Akibodé, the scientific director of Cidade Velha’s application to become a World Heritage Site, who says that ‘the first slaves who left for the Americas left Cidade Velha’. ‘We have clear information that the Latinized

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slaves of Cape Verde were in high demand. For this reason, it is a historic moment that will give an extra boost to the arguments contained in Cidade Velha’s dossier for its candidacy for World Heritage status.’

The operation was indeed a commercial undertaking that promised to confer immense benefits on the places, events and people who would be touched by the Amistad and its international support network. Part of the promise suggested that the legacy of slavery would cease to be a stain on Cape Verde’s history as it would be transformed into something that connects places and events to the modernity of the First World (particularly the United States), which, for Cape Verde, would lead to a significant increase in the flow of tourists, specifically so-called ‘ethnic tourists’. It was also presumed that the benefits associated with the site’s transformation would be further boosted by Obama’s election as president. Moreover, Cidade Velha would cease to be a problem as an emblem of a past to be forgotten and something difficult to preserve in terms of tangible heritage; rather it would become a solution, a bridge to well-being, whatever its place in the world.9 On a sunny day in February 2008, the Amistad weighs anchor in front of Cidade Velha. Two dinghies take the crew to the beach and the many curious locals wanting to visit the ship. The crew is formed by the captain, three sailors, a group of young Americans aged between 20 and 25 years, including a few black members, a retired American couple and two or three young Africans – one of them being a member of the Sierra Leone military. At around 11 am the politicians arrive, including the Minister of Culture and the President of the Republic. After lunch in the Pelourinho square, close to the beach, a cultural show begins. Speeches are given by national and local politicians, exalting the importance of Cidade Velha’s tangible and intangible heritage and celebrating the magnitude of the ship’s visit, which will help to divulge to the outside world the until now internationally little known history of the city. The musical show is formed by a sequence of acts: singer-songwriters, a batuco10 group and a large Afro dance group – which begins to dance on the stage before climbing down to the public – in the square, which is decorated with the market stalls of typical local produce. The dance group is the big novelty, composed by around 30 young people, male and female, aged between 15 and 25. Far from being a style akin to Cape Verdean

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dances, traditional or less so, like zouk, it heavily recalls the shows performed by Afro dance groups in the squares of Salvador, Bahia. The bare chest of the lads and the girls with bikini tops, straw skirts, bodies painted white (as in the Timbalada Afro block), and adornments made from coconut or shells, Afro hair or dread locks. (Extract from field notebook, 20 February 2008)

This use of (Brazilian) Afro dance and the paraphernalia of the Afro carnival blocks, especially those from Salvador, Bahia, as dynamic and spectacular elements that can attract attention to the ‘traditional’ cultural phenomena is not a complete novelty. This has been seen for years in the Mindelo carnival – for example, in the images available on YouTube of the carnivals from 2009 to 2011 – where after decades of influence from the Rio de Janeiro carnival and its samba schools, people have reinterpreted icons of the Salvador carnival, such as the trios elétricos (mobile sound systems) and the Afro blocks, and have reinvented Africa (Sansone 2003) or the re-Africanization of carnival as a practice (Risério 1984). Over the last eight or nine years such attempts have also been made in the city of Praia, just a thirty-minute drive from Cidade Velha, part of a wider effort to revitalize the street carnival tradition.

Animating the site with Afro-Brazilian performance culture Jamal (pseudonym), a well-known cultural animator of about forty years of age, acts as an important agent of change bringing the countries – Cape Verde and Brazil – closer together and organizing the carnival in Praia city using a variety of resources, such as the performing arts, craftwork (or popular art as he prefers to call it), music and dance. He is a true agent of the two worlds, endowed with an extraordinary creativeness: born in Praia, the son of an important politician, trained in physical education at a university in the south of Brazil, where he has lived for years and met artists, black activists, artisans and intellectuals. He travels frequently throughout the archipelago and internationally. He is, so to speak, Brazilianized, at least in his gestures and accent when speaking Portuguese. He has Rasta hair, contradicting the practice of Santiago’s elite, and speaks Creole with his son in public. He pays attention to environmental issues and the need for recycling – aspects present in his choreography. The latter, indeed, celebrates mixture and invention: Afro dance is combined with the batuco, creating new forms. For example, in one

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dance, a group of young bare-chested men wearing short coconut straw skirts dance energetically, although in traditional batuco only women dance. Jamal wears African or Afro-Bahian clothing (Afro block-style frocks) and is one of the few people to do so in Praia. Indeed, the practice and politics of dress in Cape Verde reflect the country’s complex relation to Africa, America and Europe, namely in terms of who wears African clothing, how and when, and what this clothing involves; or who wears traditional clothing and when, such as, in the case of women, the pano di terra headscarf and full skirt (on this topic, see Lopes Filho 1997). My observation is that so-called traditional clothing is only used in the interior of Santiago Island, and rarely at celebrations of traditions, such as the rediscovery of the batuco or tabanka, in Praia; such clothing is hardly ever seen on other islands, and may even, as in Mindelo, be a distinctive sign of the rebidantes,11 the badias women,12 who travel to the city, particularly by ship, to sell various products from door to door, and sometimes on the streets in some areas of the city centre. This cultural activist offers an elaborate and coherent discourse on creativity, inventiveness and the need to make Cape Verdeans more aware of their cultural roots, which are in large part of African origin. The argument is that the form through which black people in Brazil have rediscovered with much effort their cultural roots in Africa – their Africanity and negritude – despite the racism of the whites and the severe difficulties caused by the distance from Africa, can and should be a source of inspiration and a tool of cultural activism in Cape Verde, where many people still deny Africa at all costs. As a lengthy interview given by Jamal to the programme Top Crioulo on Portuguese RPT TV in 2009 states: I am an investigator of the traditional Cape Verdean rhythms. I am interested in the rhythms that I have heard in the street since a child. In Creole people say ‘cultura sabi na chon de bo’ (the culture is beautiful in your land). […] A good son always returns home and our musicians travel and become inspired by the musicians of other countries, but at some point, they come back to the land. There abroad, people search for intercultural values, but here, after Ronaldo Pantera [an unforgettable composer, now deceased], there was no love shown for the musical roots […]. I have an approach that is traditionalist but also universalist. I combine Afro and Afro-Cape-Verdean elements: they have a common ancestral root.

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South–South flows in the Barlovento islands Cidade Velha and Praia are on Santiago Island, the inhabitants of which (and of the other Sotavento islands of Fogo and Maio e Brava) are called Badius. The Badius and their culture were seen as the components of Cape Verde’s culture and population closest to Africa, or farthest from Portugal, since they traditionally possess cultural expressions generally identified as being of West African origin, such as the tabanca, the batuco, the funana, or the pano di costa, and the forms of female dress. At the extreme opposite, the city of Mindelo, on São Vicente Island, represents the alter ego of Praia in the imaginary of Cape Verdean localism or bairrismo (Lopes Filho 1997). Mindelo is, so to speak, the cultural capital of the sampajudos, as the inhabitants of the northern islands of the archipelago are called (Boa Vista, S. Nicolau, S. Antão and S. Vicente). Since its original settlement in the early nineteenth century, Mindelo has formed the entry point for European uses, customs and cultures into the archipelago (Correia e Silva 2000). What characterizes or makes the city ‘different’ culturally speaking is its impressive carnival, a festival that, by general definition, syncretizes, hybridizes, reinvents and mixes with ease – principally in a fairly intense dialogue with carnivals in other places. Mindelenses are proud of the inherently mixed character of their carnival. The Mindelo carnival is presented by the city council and on several websites as a cultural expression in dialogue with the Brazilian carnival, originally Rio de Janeiro’s and more recently Salvador’s carnival as well. I am aware of just one single, recent publication on the contemporary carnival in Mindelo, the result of a master’s thesis (Rodrigues 2011), but do not know of any research on the carnival’s history, and information on the latter is divergent. We know that the carnival in Cape Verde grew in strength specifically after independence in 1975, and that the dialogue between the Mindelo festival and Brazil inspired a famous song by Cesária Evora on the album Café Atlântico, ‘S. Vicente é um Brasilin’ (São Vicente is a little Brazil). It is important to stress the carnival’s centrality and its dialogue with Brazil in its representation as the essence of popular culture in Mindelo, an idea promoted by the city intellectuals with whom I spoke and in the tourist brochures, and that creates a context for Africanity and its transformation into a spectacle that differs from Praia.13

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Capoeira in Mindelo Capoeira is a combination of dance and martial arts performed together with a specific kind of music that was created in Brazil in the 1930s on the basis of previous forms of martial arts brought by slaves from Africa. It is playful and beautiful to watch, and, over the course of the last two decades, this Brazilian cultural expression has gained attention worldwide. One can even speak of a global capoeira phenomenon, with schools and courses on every continent and hundreds of (mostly) Brazilian mestres (trainers) travelling and even settling abroad. After its expansion on the continents where Brazilian emigrants are concentrated, such as Europe and the USA, capoeira is now also expanding into Africa. Capoeira practised in Mindelo has been documented in the city since at least 2002, and meanwhile has gained a more structured form. It is no longer just an occasional dance performance; the city now has its own fully fledged capoeira school or academy run from a warehouse in the centre of Mindelo, next to the cultural centre where exhibitions are held and where the best bookshop and one of the cafés favoured by the city’s intellectuals are found (Figure 15.3).

Figure 15.3 – Capoeira centre in Mindelo

Photo: Livio Sansone

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The most important message from the capoeira academy is that on São Vicente, as in Brazilian cities, there is nothing better than the discipline of a capoeira master for poor boys with little to do. It is a message whose intrinsic strength, along with the undeniable skill and professionalism of the master, has proved successful. Local authorities support the academy, although at a level less than the master would desire. It was by accident and with some surprise that I first found myself in a capoeira school. Despite the school’s hierarchical, disciplined and exciting nature, as soon as I arrived I repeated the error I had once made in Brazil: sitting by mistake on the master’s chair. Immediately, a young follower told me firmly to sit on the much less comfortable wooden bench for visitors, indicating the degree of respect the Mindelo master had already gained, exhibiting the canonical discipline to be found in the capoeira academies in any city of Brazil. Fred, as I refer to the master in this text, is about thirty-five years old. He is pardo (brown-skinned), and was born and raised in Minas Gerais, with a secondary-school education. He understands but does not speak Creole. In 2007, he formed an NGO based in Mindelo, rented a historic building (a warehouse in the centre of Mindelo) and promoted his work as a cultural event. He produced a DVD called Capoeira em Cabo Verde – decorated with the Brazilian and Cape Verdean flags.14 I interviewed him and later accompanied him on tour in his car to see various places on São Vicente Island. Today working with capoeira in Cape Verde is easy. When I arrived here there was already some lad who had learnt about capoeira in Brazil and wanted to continue here. So, when I arrived, already a master, I had the feeling that in Cape Verde I could be a pioneer. (March 2008)

Fred was in a contradictory position: on the one hand, he was a foreigner and a master in a foreign form of martial arts plus dance; on the other hand, he had come to Cape Verde after several Cape Verdeans studying in Brazil had told him that people on the islands were interested in capoeira and that as a Brazilian he would be well received.15 He proudly told me that in Cape Verde there was a good market for capoeira. Cape Verdeans, he argued, were in the process of creating a cultural identity by looking not only internally but also externally, at foreign cultures to which they had long felt somewhat related. Moreover, he said he could count on the sympathy of both the Mindelo municipality, which was pleased with a project that

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promised to keep ‘thugs’ off the streets, and the Brazilian consulate, which offered support to foster exchange between capoeira practitioners in Brazil and Cape Verde. Nowadays, capoeira in Mindelo shows that South–South connections develop along a growing variety of paths and that they benefit from several aspects of what is generally called globalization.

Conclusions These elaborations have, more generally, illustrated the extent to which globalization has affected the black (South) Atlantic and to which actors, centres, agencies and directions as well as intensities of culture flows respond. In addition to that the ‘(intangible) heritage revolution’ across the Global South has created an economy of its own with new opportunities for culture and identity entrepreneurs. The more specific conclusion is that the fusion of cultures towards the creation of something new and original and its claim to be one of the essential characteristics of ‘Cape Verdeanity’ are processes as old as the history of Cape Verde as a political-cultural entity and later as an independent country. The archipelago’s popular culture, once repressed because of its mostly un-European features and later promoted as the alma da terra, the ‘soul of the land’, has become the battleground for a struggle over control of its apparently intrinsic force, a process that contributes to increasing the polyphony around what popular culture might be (IIPC 2007). As Maria Turano shows (1995), in the post-independence phase some Cape Verdean intellectuals explicitly used invention and creativity to resurrect and value cultural forms previously repressed by the colonial power as ‘primitive’ or African in origin. Turano cites the well-known case of the Bulimundo musical-cultural group, reformulating musical genres such as finaçon, batuco and funana, and the Korda Kabuverdi theatre group, which tried to revive the urban African-Catholic tabanca tradition through theatre and drama.16 Currently, this process of cultural production and innovation is taking place in Cape Verde in an increasingly rapidly changing context owing to the advance and consolidation of globalization. Below I cite some examples of this change, along with new flows and actors, and prospects for further research: (1) South–South voyages are no longer the purview of priests, anthropologists and diplomats; over recent years they have involved black

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activists, capoeiristas, musicians, candomblé priests, students, business leaders, Pentecostal pastors, advertisers and marketers as well as adventurers. Completing further research on these new personal trajectories and the survival strategies that these evince strikes me as an important trajectory to explore. (2) The revolution in communication technology brought about by the internet and new technologies in general now circulate the cultural life of Cape Verde and the debate on ‘Cape Verdeanity’ and national identity. This contrasts with the relative weakness of the printed media in a country comprised of scattered islands (all public squares in Cape Verde have free wireless). The internet (plus resources such as Skype and Facebook) is also very important for keeping the very large emigrant community in touch with their families. Nowadays, one can say that communication within the Cape Verdean community at home and abroad has increased significantly since the advent of the internet.17 This should be considered in our research methodologies, as well as in the subject–object relation during research (Melo 2007). (3) The strengthening, now in the Global South as well, of a set of international agreements and even laws intended to support and promulgate not just heritage per se, but more specifically intangible heritage, is worth further notice. (4) The maturation of the democratic process has by itself generated a growing demand for internationalization and opening both in Brazil and in many African countries. (5) The growth – or, in a certain sense, the revival – of the influence of Brazil (and of Angola, which I have not discussed in this text) in terms of culture, music and popular religiosity has introduced more variety into the relation with Portuguese-speaking countries, among which Portugal no longer dominates as a source of inspiration. This, of course, is related to the larger process of a new international profile for Brazil as a regional power that, even though it is still in the process of getting rid of international debt, is already busy redefining its role as a donor country, which means a more active role in Africa as investor as well as a partner in cultural, political18 and scientific exchange. (6) Tourism has become a driving force of the Cape Verdean economy and there is a related construction of a narrative by

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politicians, business people, local authorities and international development agencies which one can read and hear in the media on the necessity to make tourism the main force of the economy. This not only means improving facilities, but also creating tourist attractions on every island, not just the main traditional tourist destinations of Sal and Boa Vista, which might not have splendid beaches, but, in the perspective of the new buzz term ‘sustainable tourism’, could have cultural traditions that can be embellished and presented to visitors. (7) The consolidation of higher education in Cape Verde has contributed to reducing the outflow of artists and intellectuals. A growing group of educated people participate in the already popular debates on the essence of Cape Verdean Creole culture. In a seemingly contradictory twist, the growth of the national intelligentsia increases the possibility for international exchange. These novelties provide new opportunities as well as new tensions within Cape Verdean society. Among other things we can note the need to increase the production of cultural artefacts that can make the country both ‘different’ from the rest as well as more internationally visible. Being mixed or Creole may be good in some contexts, but it may also be a burden when each country within the pantheon of nations has to be culturally different from the others. This is, indeed, the paradox of heritage conservation in Cape Verde: how can there be any clear classification of types, which seems to be necessary to identify and distinguish the aspects and artefacts deserving official support and recognition, in a society that thinks of itself as creolized? In the modern pantheon of nations, the multicultural model does indeed seem to be more accepted than the notion of miscegenation or creolization. Ironically, the countries that have been defined internationally as mixed race seem today to face more difficulties in verbalizing this characteristic in an easily intelligible language within the global discourse promoting diversity, since this discourse bestows increasing attention on notions such as authenticity, uniqueness and originality that can be very complex, especially with regard to Cape Verdean cultural production. Somewhat ironically, the notions of mixture, creolization and hybridism tended to be more highly valued, as an attribute of late modernity, in countries such as the Netherlands and Sweden in the 1990s that have not made mixture an integral part of their national narrative. In these countries, the idea is presented as a modern form of dealing with the cultural diver-

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sity promoted by various facets of globalization (migrations, cultural flows, digital culture, etc.). While this research corroborates some of the so-called canon associated with the globalization of cultures and their process of heritage conservation, I also came face to face with some veritable enigmas. Why was candomblé not exported from Brazil to Cape Verde? It is difficult to believe that no Brazilian pai de santo or mãe de santo has ever tried to establish a foothold in the archipelago, while doing so in other non-black places such as the Rio de la Plata region or Europe. Why was Cape Verdean spiritualism in the first half of the twentieth century also inspired by Brazilian spiritualism? How is it that the Brazil-based Universal Church of the Kingdom of God (UCKG) has arrived there in strength over the last two decades, and so too, albeit more subtly, the curandeiros (healers) from Guinea-Bissau? It seems that Cape Verdeans shop for culture and religion in various places beyond their horizon, rather than being penalized by their geographical and cultural in-betweeness. Cape Verde has traditionally been one of the strong connecting points of the flows between Africa and Brazil and back to Africa. It all started with human bodies, together with plants, animal, diseases and food habits. Over the last few decades, together with commercial and governmental exchange, cultural items, practices, activities and narratives have increasingly moved back and forth from Brazil to Cape Verde.

Notes 1

A term that became canonized by the UNESCO report Our Creative Diversity (Pérez de Cuéllar 1998), which was succeeded by several more specific reports. 2 See the map of the zone at whc. unesco.org/en/list/1310/documents/. 3 See the ‘General history of Cape Verde’, accessible online (in Portuguese) on the website of the Memory of Africa project. 4 Source: www.dw-world.de/dw/ article/0,,4436475,00.html, accessed 11 July 2011. 5 Source: www.cidadevelha.com, accessed 11 July 2011. 6 How the stock of sales goods is assembled and the difficulties faced in creating Cape Verdean souvenirs deserve a detailed analysis (Rovisco 2017).

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7

An exception is the recent online research on tourism carried out by the Cape Verde National Institute of Statistics: www.ine.cv/dadostats/ dados.aspx?d=2, accessed 31 August 2015. 8 See Patrícia Pinho (2010) and www.bahiatursa.ba.gov.br/noticias/ salvador-e-reconcavo-baianooferecem-roteiros-de-turismoetnico/, accessed 31 August 2015. 9 The use of period ships for nationalist reasons and/or for the revival of traditions (nautical or otherwise) is not confined to Cape Verde and indeed is a longstanding practice. The training ships used by the world’s navies can serve similar purposes, so too the replicas of Viking ships, Columbus’ caravels, frigates from

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the US Civil War, or the slave ships displayed in various museums on slavery. 10 An all-women percussion group that also sings and dances. It is a recently revised music genre and has been, in many ways, modernized, typical of the Island of Santiago, which has often been considered one of the most ‘African’ expressions of Cape Verdean performative culture. 11 Rebidantes is the term used for women who sell fruit, fish or goods imported from various countries and in different forms (Grassi 2006). This profession is constantly changing. For example, the arrival of numerous Chinese vendors, who directly trade various kinds of products from China, has profoundly altered the distribution networks in Cape Verde (Beuret 2008; see also the doctoral thesis by Tatiana Reis for the Ethnic and African Studies Program at UFBA, 2012). 12 Badio/a is the name given to residents of the Sotavento Islands (Santiago, Fogo, Brava and Maio). The term comes from the word vadio, vagrant, but does not always have a negative sense today. The residents of the Barlavento Islands (S. Vicente, S. Nicolau, S. Antão, Sal and Boavista) are called sampajudos/as. 13 In Praia city, carnival is also going through a process of revitalization and reinvention. Although I am unaware of publications derived from research, media reports and images can be found in abundance on the internet. See, among others, carnaval.sapo.cv/carnavaldapraia, accessed 31 August 2015. 14 See the interview online at www. youtube.com/watch?v=UsGJ v94MeC8&feature=related, accessed 31 August 2015. 15 Starting with independence, many Cape Verdeans and Guinea-Bissau citizens have attended university in Brazil. This has contribted to both

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an increase in cultural exchanges with Brazil and the strengthening of personal relationships with Guineans, with whom Cape Verdeans share the same Creole language and part of their history. 16 Trajano (2009) shows that the context of tabanca in the island’s interior is very different and less subject to external agents, such as cultural animators. 17 See the exhibition Africa away from Home, curated by Antonio Motta in 2011 at the Museu Federal da Abolição in Recife, which shows how much mobile phones, blogs, Orkut, Facebook and Skype have altered the play of forces in day-to-day Brazil–Africa relations. 18 I am referring to the often quite successful active promotion in several African countries of Brazilian mechanisms and policies for poverty and hunger reduction in the years of the center-left governments of 2002–16.

References Amar, P. and D. Singerman (2006) ‘Contesting myths, critiquing cosmopolitanism, and creating the New Cairo School of Urban Studies’, in P. Amar and D. Singerman (eds), Cairo Cosmopolitan, American University in Cairo Press, pp. 1–45. Beuret, M. (2008) La Chinafrique: Pékin à la conquête du continent noir, Paris: Grasset. Correia e Silva, A. (2000) Nos tempos do Porto Grande do Mindelo, Praia/Mindelo: Centro Cultural Português. D’Avila, J. (2010) Hotel Tropico: Brazil and the Challenge of African Decolonization 1950–1980, Durham, NC: Duke University Press. Fernandes, G. (2006) Em busca da Nação. Notas para uma reinterpretação do Cabo Verde crioulo, Florianópolis-Praia: Editora da UFSC/IBNL.

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Furtado, C. and P.-J. Laurent (2008) ‘Le pentecotisme bresilien au Cap-Vert. L’Eglise Universelle du Royaume de Dieu’, Archives de Sciences Sociales des Religions, 141: 113–31. Grassi, M. (2006) Rebidantes. Il volto femminile del commercio transnazionale a Capo Verde, Milan: Franco Angeli. Hernandez, L. (2002) Os filhos da terra do sol: a formação do EstadoNação em Cabo Verde, São Paulo: Selo Negro. IIPC (Instituto da Investigação e do Patrimonio Culturais) (2007) Museu Etnografico da Praia. Catalogo da Exposição, Cabo Verde. Lobban, R. (1995) Cabo Verde. Crioulo Colony to Independent Nation, Oxford: Westview Press. Lopes Filho, J. (1997) O corpo e o pão. O vestuário e o regime alimentar cabo-verdianos, Câmara Municipal de Oeiras. Melo, S. (2007) ‘Connection@Cape Verde: postcolonial globalisation through the internet’, PhD thesis in Sociology, Nottingham Trent University. Pérez de Cuéllar, J. (ed.) (1998) Our Creative Diversity: Report of the World Commission on Culture and Development, Paris: UNESCO Publishing. Pinho, P. (2010) Mama Africa: Reinventing Blackness in Bahia, Chapel Hill, NC: Duke University Press. Reis, T. (2012) ‘As rebidantes. Relações de gênero e economia informal em Cabo Verde’, PhD thesis in Ethnic and African Studies, Federal University of Bahia (UFBA). Risério, A. (1984) Carnaval Ijexá, Salvador: Corrupio.

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Rodrigues, M. (2011) O Carnaval do Mindelo. Formas de reinvencão da festa e da sociedade, Mindelo (Cabo Verde): Alfanumerico. Rovisco E. (2017) ‘Da resistência africana ao souvenir africano: artesanato, nação e fantasmagoria na ilha de Boa Vista, Cabo Verde’ , Etnográfica 2(21): 5–26. Sansone, L. (2003) Blackness without Ethnicity, New York: Palgrave Macmillan. ––––– (2007) ‘Que multiculturalismo se quer para o Brasil?’, Ciência e Cultura, 59: 24–8. ––––– (2010) ‘Desigualdades e narrativas identitárias em Cabo Verde: em ilhas sem mata não dá para se esconder’, in W. Trajano (ed.), Lugares, pessoas e grupos: as lógicas do pertencimento em perspectiva internacional, Brasilia: Athalaya, pp. 75–91. Santos, F. L. M. dos (2009) ‘Construção patrimonial da Cidade Velha: usos políticos, turísticos e identitários’, in M. E. Lucas and S. Baptista da Silva (eds), Ensaios etnográficos na ilha de Santiago de Cabo Verde, Praia and Porto Alegre: Editora UNICV and UFRGS Editora, pp. 25–74. Thiaw, I. (2009) ‘The archeology of Goree’, in L. Sansone, E. Soumonni and B. Barry (eds), Africa, Brazil, and the Construction of Trans-Atlantic Black Identities, Trenton, NJ: Africa World Press, pp. 45–62. Trajano, W. (2009) ‘The conservative aspects of a centripetal diaspora: the case of the Cape Verdean tabancas’, Africa, 79(4): 520–42. Turano, M. (1995) Un’idea di Africa, Lecce: Grafo7 Editrice.

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Index adventure, 4, 15, 54, 118, 124, 127, 135, 137, 183, 209, 314; concept 118 agency/agent: of change 308; concept, 3, 293; individual, 8, 10, 53, 73, 86, 172, 184, 252, 278–9, 283, 288–9, 294; official 123–4, 181, 301–2; shipping, 162, 172, 181, 191; of soft power, 259, 261, 271, 273; student recruiting, 161, 163; trading 52, 56–57, 61, 65–67, 137, 191, 206; travel 189 agriculture/farming, 32–33, 41, 49, 53, 58, 77–78, 83, 96, 142, 215, 241, 284–5, 287; cloves 55, 57–58; fruit planting, 33; palm oil, 138, 158, 162, 166–7, 172, 174; sisal 59–60; see also coffee, cotton, sugar, tea Algeria, 34, 39, 96, 284 Angola, 142, 240, 270, 284–5, 291, 314 Appadurai, Arjun 6, 8, 11, 15, 20, 157 Arabia/Arab, 12, 14–15, 54–55, 57, 81–82, 93, 95–97, 125, 158, 203, 214, 240 Argentina, 4, 14, 111–28, 285 arts, 19, 81, 122, 141, 237, 308, 311–2 associations/unions, 104, artists 146; Nigeria–China Friendship, 41, 85; home town/national, 10, 17, 122, 127, 143, 158, 166–7, 171, 175, 263–4, 269–70, 303; merchant/ professional 42, 59, 192, 272; religious, 119; saving and credit (tontine), 186, 189 Australia, 5, 66, 146, 172, 201 Bamileke (Cameroon), 164, 166, 168, 266 banks/banking system, 101–3, 150–1, 160, 162, 186, 189, 241, 264; loan, 211 beauty: images, 298; products, 181, 190; salons, 138, 160–1, 181, 265 belonging, 10, 114, 128, 173, 204, 245, 306 Benin, 19–20, 138, 142, 286–9, 294 border, 7, 95, 105, 107, 114, 119, 134, 152, 192, 195–6, 277 Botswana 37

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Brazil, 1, 4, 14, 20, 113–4, 116, 119–21, 124–6, , 208, 214, 270, 285, 288–9, 298–300, 305, 308–14, 316 Burundi 50, 140 Business: administration/ management, 142–3, 163, 207; class/circles, 85, 147; contacts, 204, 212; destinations, 203, 205–6, 208, 213–4; group/conglomerate, 53, 72–73, 76, 78–79, 106, 272; environment, 80, 83, 160, 215; ethnic, 4, 50–51, 115, 183; family, 34, 50–68, 79, 102, 106, 158, 185; formal 106, 160, 162, 176; informal, 106, 194; leaders, 49, 55, 265, 306, 314; opportunities, 18, 55, 106; owners, 162, 249; people, 3, 7, 17, 31, 37–38, 73, 100, 135, 156–7, 171–3, 175–6, 203, 208, 214, 239, 248–9, 315; practices/ strategies, 8, 15, 17, 53, 56, 75, 97, 99, 136, 190, 201, 210, 212; secrecy, 84, 194; small, 16, 138–9, 152; stories/trajectories, 13, 30, 96, 204, 208; transnational, 3, 157, 171, 205, 213–4; men, 17, 37–38, 50, 58, 65, 75, 77, 82–86, 91, 97, 101–2, 157, 165, 171, 200–1, 206–7, 211, 213, 249, 251, 262–4, 266, 190; women, 17, 37, 102, 200–1, 206–7, 213; transactions, 243, 249, 252; trips, 200, 237; type of businesses, 53, 162, 200; see also licence, networks, women, visa Cameroon, 17, 34, 91, 113, 146, 156–68, 172, 175, 184, 266, 286, 288, 291 Canada, 40, 66, 111, 184 Canary Islands, 17, 181, 184, 190, 300 Cape Verde, 20, 34, 113, 269–70, 298–316 capitalism, 5–7, 89, 91, 104, 113, 145, 163, 238–9, 252, 254 carnival, 20, 301, 308, 310 cars, 49, 60–62, 65–67, 117, 121, 157, 161, 163, 164, 209–10, 220, 251; spare parts, 17, 60–62, 174, 181–2, 190

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Chad 15, 93, 105 China, 1, 4, 12–14, 16–19, 21, 89–90, 96–101, 105–7, 121, 160, 172–4, 181, 189–90, 220; Africans in, 200–16, 259–73; Chinese in Africa, 30–45, 221–33, 259–64; China– Africa relationships/cooperation, 30–31, 35, 39–41, 43, 200, 204, 241, 247; China’s Africa policy, 38–39; language 236–54 church, 168, 287, 302–3; Pentecostal, 135, 137–8, 143, 161, 168, 171, 175, 299, 316; Catholic, 298, 313 citizenship, 143, 158, 173, 176, 194, 271–2 cloth, 55, 77, 174, 188–9/fabrics 122, 139, 189, 190, 192, 211–2, 225; textile 33, 57, 82, 96, 103, 137, 207, 263, damask, 211-3, clothing/garments, 33, 104, 172, 259, 309; as trade good 17, 96, 99, 119, 122, 137, 139, 160, 174, 181, 188, 190, 211, 233, 240, 251 coffee, 49, 58–60, 223 colonial/colonization, 72, 76, 83, 111, 202, 222, 233, 280–1, 285–6, 290, 292; European 5, 30–31; British 18, 52, 67, 76, 141, 240; German, 32; Portuguese 32, 298, 301, 313; French 32, 111, 183; anti-colonial, 39; post-, 228, 233, 245, 300, 303; neo-, 280, 284, 291 commodity, 8, 37, 56, 60, 119, 160, 172, 182, 192, 277; chain, 7; information, 41, hubs 214 communication, 42; language, 19, 248, 251, 265, 285; technology, 8, 16, 190, 207, 314; Comoros, 41 companies, 6, 36, 52, 56–58, 102, 169, 172, 302; African 162, 166, 172–3, 225; African diaspora 170, 263; Chinese 40–42, 98, 208, 227, 230, 240–1, 243, 248–9, 253, 264; Indian, 139, 143; Indian diaspora 52, 55–59, 61–63, 65, 67; international 57; Lebanese diaspora 78–80, 85; licence 156; Senegalese 186, 192–3; Sudanese 96–97, 102–3, 106; trading, 53, 55, 57, 59; Western 42–43, 53, 61, 65–66, 68 competition, 38, 75, 79, 95–98, 105, 120, 124, 147, 168, 171, 181, 212, 227, 237, 244–5, 267–8, 272

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computer 17, 82, 142, 172, 181–2, 251 Confucius Institutes, 18–19, 39, 236–54 Congo, 149, 168, 184; Brazzaville, 34, 39; DRC, 19, 20, 278, 280–4, 290, 292; Belgian, 31, 140 consumer goods, 95, 139, 177, 193, 251 consumption, 38, 137, 151, 156, 167–8, 203, 229, 288, 298; ostentatious, 104, 171, 176, cosmopolitanism, 9–10, 118, 158, 173, 175, 195, 287–8 Côte d’Ivoire, 42, 74, 111, 184 cotton, 5; industry 18; producer 18, 220, 223–4, 233; Manchester 58; products 138, 241 creativity: artistic, 308, 313; entrepreneurial, 7, 18, 135, 170, 174–5, 202, 216, 309 Cuba, 19–20, 277–94 cultural: exchanges, 3, 20, 37–38, 43–44, 86, 242–3, 269, 279; influences, 4, 260, 290; integration, 13, 30; interaction, 12, 21, 30, 44, 238, 240; practices, 2, 9, 20, 136, 177, 249–50, 253, 298; transfer, 4, 18–21 currency 101–2, 116, 148 customs (import tax), 95, 122, 181–2, 188, 191–3, 196, 212, 252; (traditions) 37, 41, 112, 253, 310 demonstrations/riots, 38, 75, 144, 146, 173, 271 development, 3, 33, 35, 43–45, 50, 58, 174, 192, 196, 222–3, 228, 230, 240–1, 259, 269; agencies 33, 142, 156, 264, 315; economic 18, 42, 60, 86, 202, 224, 233; of home country 9, 72, 127, 176; of host country 14, 76, 86, 176; strategy 39–40; under-, 2, 6 diaspora, 13, 21, 52, 259–60, 262; African 19–20, 136, 248–9, 260–1, 263–5, 271–3, 279, 282, 285, 300; business networks, see networks; Chinese, 30–45, 262–63, 273; companies, see companies; concept, 51; Indian 49–68, 148; trading, 51, 53 diplomacy, 30, 39–40, 260; China– Africa 43, 45, 141; cultural 236,

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Index

238–9, 254, 273; diplomatic relationship, 4, 39, 84, 144, 158–9, 236, 240, 242, 247–8, 251, 254, 291; diplomats 143, 147, 264, 313 discrimination, 18, 113, 123, 157 Dubai, 14, 16–17, 49, 66, 89, 94–100, 107, 181, 188–190, 203, 206, 208–9, 212–3, 215 Diola/Dyula, 111, 115–6 East Africa, 12–13, 16, 49–68, 141–2, 148, 150, 158, 220–33, 290 ecology/droughts, 14, 86, 95, 104, 184, 288 economy, 33–36, 39, 73–74, 76–77, 82, 86, 97, 116, 126, 147, 230, 314–5; actors, 73–75, 80–82, 85; global 247; growth, 19, 82; emerging 202, 226; neoliberal 91, 104, 145; political 86; protection of, 158, 174, 176; self-sufficient 229; oil 91, 101, 104; shadow, 6, 7; South–South, 313 education, 136, 138, 185, 187–8, 193–4, 206–7, 215, 222, 226–9, 231–3, 277, 281–2, 284–5, 287–9, 294, 298–9, 304, 308, 312; Chinese language 236–8, 241, 244–5, 248–9, 251, 253; diploma 17, 82, 159, 160, 229; higher, 134, 140–8, 150, 152, 156, 158, 160, 226, 228, 284, 300, 315 Egypt, 39, 93, 97, 104, 240 elites, 61, 78, 103, 228, 289, 308; class 83, 242; educated, 228; Islamist, 104; political, 111, 150, 225 employment, 9, 97, 122, 248; alternatives to 170; creation of 4, 14, 80, 174, 223; informal 194; illegal, 261–2; opportunities, 77, 147, 220; provision of, 18, 72, 225; search for, 83, 137, 143, 163, 187 enterprise, 2, 14, 21, 59, 78, 85, 126, 139, 165, 166, 196, 204, 223; Chinese 33–35, 40–41, 250, 264; political 3, state 158–9 entrepreneurial spirit, 7, 50, 73, 196 entrepreneur, 3–4, 14, 16, 19, 36, 41, 44, 50, 58–59, 73, 81, 91, 97, 101, 147, 157, 170, 174, 181, 200–4, 206, 213–6; activities/projects 4, 7, 31, 73, 174; identity, 313; instinct, 65; risks 62, 105, 123, 127;

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transnational 200, 207–9; types of, 53, 91, 102–8, 194; women, 196, 211–3 entrepreneurship, 72, 77, 135, 164, 201, 207 Ethiopia, 137, 142, 150, 288 Ethnic: community, 103, 106, 113, 265; group/identity, 76, 93, 95, 104, 115, 166, 183, 209, 245, 290; minority, 4, 51; multi-, 280; network 115; resources 50, 303, 307; struggles, 10, 249 Europe, 20, 42, 52, 57, 59, 61–62, 66, 82–83, 159, 190, 203, 239–41, 251, 266, 284, 288, 309–10, 313, 316; Africans travelling to/experiences, 206–7, 209, 212, 214–5, 230, 238, 287; colonial expansion of/ migration from 5, 13–14, 30–31, 55, 68, 117, 280, 290, 300–3; migration to 4, 13–14, 31–32, 34, 75, 184, 248, 311; migration politics, 113; as preferred destination, 3, 13, 75, 136, 163, 184 exchange, 100, 157, 204, 222, 236, 239, 254, 280, 292, 298; cultural, 3, 19–20, 30, 37–39, 43–44, 86, 242, 269, 279, 289, 313; currency 96, 101, 106, 152, 169; information/knowledge, 42, 44, 221, 241, 280; international/ transregional 158, 315–6; programmes 243, 246, 247, 248, 251, 314; trade goods 12, 181, 211 fashion, 77, 104, 175, 181, 203, 207, 211, 212; industry, 147 food, 106, 120, 138, 184, 229–30, 247, 250, 253, 259, 285, 316; cuisine, 37, 138, 139; processed 78–80, 83, 98, trade, 161, 164–7, 174–5, 188 France, 75, 111, 165, 183, 211, 237, 239, 287, 303 French 31–32, 43, 111, 187, 286–7, 290, 292, Frenchspeaking/francophone 142, 150, 165, 185, 190, 244–5, 266, 277 Fulbe, 111, 183, 184 Gabon, 34, 111, 184, 264, gender roles, 17, 152, 182, 209 Ghana/Ghanaians, 17, 74, 113, 141, 144, 150, 200, 203–4, 206, 208–10, 213–5, 262, 289–90, 303

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Global South, xi, 1, 3, 5–7, 17, 72–74, 77, 86, 136, 196, 200, 202–3, 221, 232–3, 238, 241, 247, 280, 282, 288, 292, 294, 299, 313–4 globalization, 1–3, 5–9, 17, 21–22, 200–1, 215–6, 313, 316; from below/above, 5–7, 20, 177, 195; grassroots, 6, 136; low end, 6, 187, 195; neoliberal 90, 284 Guangzhou, 14, 16, 96, 98–99, 202–4, 209–10, 212, 214–5, 249–50, 252, 261, 263–5, 270–2 Guevara, Che 20, 278, 280–4, 293–4 Guinea, 111, 113, 119, 183, 189, 263, 284, 290–2, Bissau 39, 150, 269–70, 289, 316, Equatorial 34 Gulf countries, 12, 61, 94–97, 105–6 healthcare, 75, 78, 134, 149–52, 241, 265, 284 Heritage, Cultural, 20, 85, 136, 298–307, 313–16 home, 9, 13, 17, 52, 82–3, 120–1, 127–8, 137–9, 143, 148, 152, 157, 163–6, 173, 181, 184–6, 201, 208, 210, 215, 236, 243, 246–7, 253, 263, 281, 283, 287, 303, 314; charity, 81; leaving 1, 2, 15, 31–32, 125; place/country, 8, 9, 14–16, 18–21, 35, 72–4, 78, 86, 103, 116, 127, 149, 158, 161, 177, 191, 203–4, 207, 215, 229, 238, 249, 259, 282, 286, 290, 293, 301; products, 93; return, 54, 56, 122, 136, 141, 150, 160, 165, 176, 213, 226, 309 homeland, 8, 14, 78, 249, 259, 282, 286, 290, 293, 301 Hong Kong, 16, 32, 34, 36, 63, 201, 203, 209–11, 214–5, 240, 242, 252, 261, 264–5, 271 host, 40, 45, 51, 142, 175, 236, 240, 243, 248, 261; country/society, 1–4, 9–10, 18, 21, 52, 72–73, 75, 86, 91, 107, 112, 116, 128, 135, 157, 174, 177, 237–8, 265; community, 75, 249, 253, 259, 261–2 housing, 64, 115, 135, 147–8, 247 Igbo, 137–8, 166, 168, 245, 249, 251, 253–4 illegality, 7, 19, 176, 261; concept, 3, 175, 195; illegal activities 95, 100, 105, 160, 163, 176, 187, 261, 272;

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illegal migration 116, 119–23, 157, 157, 261–2 immigration, 35–36, 125, 135, 140, 148, 152, 261–2, 265; law/policy, 17, 34, 75, 122, 136, 157, 176, 260, 272; officials, 210; service, 76 India, 1, 4, 12–14, 16–17, 20–21, 31, 49–68, 76, 89, 96, 106, 134–2, 163, 165–7, 172–3, 181, 189–90, 203, 206, 212, , 214–5, 248; business people 49–68, Indian Ocean, 12–13, 54–55, 66, 68, 135, 158, 279 Indonesia 14, 96, 104 industry/manufacturing, 40, 42, 58, 67, 75, 77–80, 83, 91, 151, 174, 195, 223, 240–1, 252, 263; agricultural 5, 15, see agriculture; car 174; fashion 147; textile 5, 33, 38, 220, 223–4, 227, 233, 252; silkworm, 74; shoe 174; see also mining informality/informal activities, 44, 51–52, 82, 106, 112, 115, 162, 176, 187, 190, 222, 250, 264; actors, 127, 134; business, 160, 164, 167, 171; education, 207; vs. formal/ concept, 2–3, 6–7, 170, 175, 177, 193; interviews 119, 135, 253; sector, 136, 138, 185, 194–6; services 161–3; trade 122, 139, 149, 171 infrastructure, 31, 40, 150, 152, 160, 171, 177, 241, 247 integration, 3, 5, 9, 13, 30, 62, 89, 91, 107, 113, 185, 227, 237–8, 249–50, 291 intermediary/broker/middlemen, 51, 160–4, 175, 190, 213, 250, 266 international: agreements, 7, 16, 73, 314; boundaries/migration/travel, 34, 113, 118, 135, 182, 184, 195, 208, 303–4, 308; companies, 52, 57, 61, 64, 65–66, 78; conditions/ frameworks 3, 4, 64, 90, 99, 223, 241, 260, 284–5, 307; education, 78, 159, 207, 244, 268; exchange, 53; 280, 315; experience/success, 90, 278–9, 288, 291; institutions, 81, 98, 142, 144, 146, 150–1, 242, 261–2, 264, 269, 315; marketplace/trade 14, 17, 41, 93, 95–96, 99–101, 103, 105, 107, 181–2, 185–7, 189, 196, 206, 242; politics, 39, 43, 134

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investment, 4, 17–18, 33–37, 40–42, 50, 57–58, 67, 75, 86, 96–98, 101–2, 106, 114, 125, 156, 170–1, 174, 176, 186, 196, 206, 208, 210–2, 215, 223, 230, 238, 241, 263–4, 271, 303, 309, 314 Islam, 12, 90; Islamic movement, 89, 91, 95, 97, 100, 102, 104, 107; Muslim, 12, 49, 55, 108, 126, 265, 290; Muslim brotherhood, 14, 102, 111, 115–6, 121

Lebanese/Lebanon, 13–14, 72–86, 203 liberalization, economic, 16, 89, 95, 97–98 licence: business, 167–8, 170, 173–4, 241; driving 163; trading, 60–61, 65–67, 91, 94, 139 losses of: investments, 57, 64, 67, 194; jobs 74; purchasing power, 98; revenue, 65, 194 Libya, 15, 34, 98

Japan, 13, 31, 63–65, 67, 89, 201, 203, 207, 209 jewellery, 17, 82, 137, 181, 190

Macau, 249, 261, 265, 269–71 machinery, agricultural 61–62; import of 62, 232–3, investing in 33, 40, 59, knitting/sewing 82, 212; outdated, 226; parts as trade goods, 172, 208 macro-economic (perspective), 1, 3, 6, 72–74, 89, 134, 150, 202, 215, 233 Madagascar, 32–34, 43, 57 Malawi, 141, 150 Malaysia, 16–17, 89, 156–77, 214 Mali, 12, 39, 44, 183, 190, 192, 213, 277–8, 285, 288–9, 291–2 Malindi, 54, 55 management, 98, 100, 102–3, 107–8, 207, 225, 230, 232–3; managers 161–4, 168–71, 174, 189, 193, 209–10, 220–2, 225–8, 230–2 market, 6–8, 15, 34–35, 40, 43, 53, 59, 60, 66, 75, 79–80, 90–91, 94–108, 121, 123, 125, 137–9, 150, 160, 166, 170, 172, 188–90, 192, 196, 207, 212–3, 220, 228, 239–40, 242, 250–3, 263, 307, 312, black, 101–2, 106; Asian, 17, 99, 181–2; global, 63, 227; informal 112; place, 14, 37, 83, 93, 96, 151, 214; regional, 14, 99, 120, rental 148, Souk Libya 14–15, 90–105, Souk El Arabi 90, 93, 94; see also labour marriage, 57, 60, 63, 254; importance of, 187; mixed 76, 85, 148, 175, 249–50; patterns, 13, 67 masculinity/manliness ideals, 15, 117, 118, 127 Mauritius, 32, 34, 49, 53, 57, 63–64, 66, 142, 150 media, 4, 19, 42, 135, 144–6, 236, 259, 261–2, 269, 272, 285, 302, 314–5; film/video, 20, 146, 167, 253, 278, 285, 303; telenovela, 20, 298

Kenya, 39, 50, 66, 137, 140–3, 149, 151, 225, 240 knowledge, 1, 53, 75, 127, 175, 181–2, 192, 196, 205, 209, 215, 220–2, 224–5, 233, 237, 248, 250, 263; as capital, 162–4; expert, 236; migratory, 105, 112, 123, 127–8, 195; transfer, 2, 18, 207–8 Korea (South), 4, 60, 89, 201, 203, 207, 209–10, 212, 215, 251, 254 labour, 59–60, 78, 136, 212, 279–80; cheap 21, 31, 233, 241; Chinese hiring preference, 41; indentured, 30–32, 279; law, 17–18, 41, 157, 176; market 113–4, 237–8; Mouride philosophy, 115; skilled 111, 207; unions, 240 land 112, acquiring/developing 58–59, 211; ownership, 49, 195, 300 language, 16, 19, 41, 66, 77, 141, 191, 204, 230, 259, 265–6, 268, 270, 285, 290, 302, 315; barrier 142; Chinese 33, 230, 236–54; learning, 18, 245–6, 250, 265; school 209, 229; skills 220–1, 230–1; teacher/ translator 162, 164, 248, 278, 280, trade 190 Latin America, 1–4, 7, 14, 16, 19–21, 118, 201, 280, 285, 289, 292, 298, 300 law, 37, 41–42, 95, 101, 111, 116, 124, 127, 144, 148–9, 193–4, 196, 269, 272, 282, 285, 293, 299, 314; immigration, 3, 116, 122; import, 252; labour, 17, 41, 157; legal framework, 4, 16; specialist of/ lawyer, 228, 271

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methods, 4, 11, 150, 195, 201, 205, 208, 261, 266, 314; biographical/ life history approach, 4, 10–11, 13, 30, 73, 119, 201, 204–5, 208, 213, 215, 221, 226, 231, 278–9, 293; fieldwork, 90, 119, 123, 156, 203–4, 261; interviews, 44, 73, 90, 116–9, 125–6, 135, 143, 147, 149–50, 157–8, 175, 181, 185, 187, 189, 192, 195, 203, 204, 221, 239, 242, 251–2, 266, 268, 278, 309, 312; multi-sited 11 middle class, 15, 83, 176, 222, 228–9, 251 migrants, 3–4, 9, 12, 21, 32–37, 40, 42–44, 51, 55, 72–78, 82, 84, 95, 101, 111–28, 134–40, 143, 145–50, 152, 156–8, 164, 176, 181, 183–4, 209, 237–8, 249, 253, 263, 268, 311, 314 migration, 3, 8–9, 30–32, 34, 38, 41, 44, 54, 74–75, 104, 108, 111–8, 122–3, 125, 127, 134–6, 147, 152, 158, 174, 182–4, 187, 195, 201, 215, 237, 253, 278, 288, 316; culture, 117–8, 127, history, 55, 73–74, 183, circular circulation 9, 54–55, 112–3, 125, 127–8, 134, 196; rural–urban, 103, 111, 115, 223; seasonal 183 mining: copra, 55, 56, 58; gold, 31, 32, 96, 161; oil/petrol, 34, 40, 60–61, 83, 89, 98, 101, 241, 252 mobile phone, 124, 163–4, 188, 190 model: analytical/concept, 3, 8, 20, 43; business, 99, 105, 210; fashion 20, 147, 152, 288; institutions, 20, 244, 271, 284, 315; role, 8, 21, 118, 146, 158, 193, 215, 286, 288; of trade goods/samples, 42, 99, 212 modernization, 5, 97, 104 Mombasa, 54, 56–57 money, 3–4, 17, 33, 56, 58, 65, 101, 114, 117, 119, 125, 160, 162–5, 167, 169–71, 174–6, 186–8, 209, 211, 236, 250, 263, 284 Mouride brotherhood, 14, 111, 115, 119–20 movement, spatial, 1–5, 8–9, 12–14, 16, 18–19, 21, 30, 44, 72, 111, 126–7, 134, 152, 156–7, 173, 200, 202–3, 205, 208, 214–6, 254, 280, 298; political/religious/social, 34, 38–39, 67, 72, 89, 91, 100, 104, 158, 272, 284

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Mozambique, 32, 54, 65, 142, 270, 278, 285, 290–1 Mumbai, 96, 135, 137–9, 141–4, 148–52, 212–3 music, 19–20, 115, 122142, 249, 253, 265, 279, 285–92, 294, 298, 304, 307–9, 311, 313–4 nationalization of: business, 50; markets, 91; property, 64, 67 neoliberal, 90, 107, 145, 224, 226, 284, 288 networks, 51; business/trade, 2–4, 12, 14, 52–53, 60, 62, 93, 98, 106, 200, 204, 207; collaboration 238, 240, 254; ethnic, 50, 115, 123; family, 13, 17, 101, 207, 214; global, 13, 21, 86, 168, 215; migratory, 111, 113–5, 123, 237; professional, 10, 13; religious 17, 115; services, 161; social 1, 4, 8, 10, 15–17, 21, 52, 56, 64, 108, 114, 123–4, 126–7, 136, 143, 162–4, 167, 170–1, 175, 177, 207, 215, 221, 259, 265; transnational, 17, 127, 172, 250, 307; undercover, 6 Nigeria 12–14, 17, 19–20, 35–36, 39–41, 43, 72–86, 113–4, 135, 137–42, 144, 146, 149–52, 156–63, 166–76, 236–54, 264–5, 268, 286, 289 nomad (figure of), 91, 107–8 norms, 184, cultural, 253, 293; local, 2, 135, 245; Western, 293 North America, 4, 14, 19–20, 31, 113, 116, 159, 163, 184, 203, 207, 215, 230, 238, 241, 248, 303 opportunities, 18, 93, 99, 105–6, 124–5, 127–8, 136, 142, 163–5, 171, 184, 191, 196, 202, 204, 206, 209, 211, 214–6, 228, 230, 237–8, 241, 243, 272, 278, 285–6, 313, 315; career, 221, 227, 231–3; for change, 21; economic 32–34, 36, 54–55, 58, 152, 200, 208; employment, 72, 74, 77, 85, 137, 147, 159, 162, 170, 174, 220, 223, 225–6; lack of 15, 74, 206; landscape of, 4, 5, 16; limited 113, 127, 135, 173; search for 13 Pakistan, 50, 66 philanthropy (by Africans), 35, 75, 77, 81–82, 265

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pilgrimage, 12, 95, 183, 189 police, 41, 43, 121, 123–4, 144, 149, 163, 169, 209, 261, 272 Portugal, 14, 32, 136, 142, 184, 249, 270–1, 290, 298, 301, 308–10, 314; lusophone, 150, 249, 270 power, 6, 30, 32, 43, 72, 95, 115, 202, 260, 293, 301, 313–4; abuses, 123; asymmetries, 2, 6; political, 31, 89, 91, 100–2, 283, 287; manpower, 233, 236, 244; purchasing 98; super-, 247 products (for sale), 17, 20, 33, 36, 57, 61, 91, 93, 98–99, 107, 122, 138, 173, 181, 190–1, 213–4, 240–1, 309; agricultural, 57; 59–60, 66; Asian, 93–95, 251; Brazilian, 121; Chinese, 34, 41–42, 101, 121, 208, 239, 249–51; cotton 18, 220, 224; European, 220, 224, 251; Indian, 147; Japanese, 65, 251; halal, 126; media/music, 135, 291; oil, 61 quality, 66, 99, 134, 181, 205; high product 98, 137, 150–1, 172, 211–3, 233; of life, 116; poor product, 37, 42, 212 racism, 16, 143, 143–7, 286, 309 refugee, 95, 116, 120, 165 remittances, 4, 116, 263–4 resources, 67, 136, 147, 210, 214–5, 248, 308, 314; cultural, 239, 260; ethnic, 50; human, 152, 189, 193, 226; natural, 21, 35, 40, 42; public, 147, 299; redistribution, 10, 90; state, 91; strategy, 34, 40; see also mining restaurants, 36–37, 40, 115, 121, 139, 160–2, 164, 170, 175, 181, 184, 264–5, 302, 303; informal/eateries, 119, 164–7, 171 Rwanda, 50, 140–3 scholarship/fellowship, 53, 81, 141–2, 148, 159, 169, 221, 229, 236, 240–2, 246–8, 288 security/insecurity, 34, 43, 51, 62, 64, 98, 100, 134, 145–6, 185, 194, 202, 223, 240, 272, 289 Senegal, 38, 113–5, 117–22, 125–6, 128, 142, 181–96, 204, 208, 211–2, 264, 291, 303; Senegalese, 14,

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17, 43, 111–28, 149, 181–96, 200, 203–4, 206, 211, 213–5, 291, 306 Seychelles, 57 skills, 9, 11, 15, 18, 21, 50, 75, 82, 102–3, 111, 139, 175, 184, 207, 214, 220–2, 226–7, 229–33, 237–8, 240, 250, 271, 312 slave, 12, 111–2, 134–5, 280, 311, 20; descendants (India, Siddis), 136; freed, 14; ports, 301, 303; slavery, 113, 279, 285, 289, 300, 307; ship, 279, 306; trade, 14, 54, 57, 298–9, 301, 306 smuggling, 93, 95, 192 socialism, 18–19, 91, 222–3, 228–9, 233, 278, 280, 284–9, 294, soft power, 19, 30, 44, 142, 236, 238, 254, 259–61, 264, 266, 271, 273 Somalia, 39, 146 Soninke, 111, 183–4 South East Asia, 34, 51, 67, 171, 203, 212 South–South: connections, 1, 6, 200, 313; cooperation, 18, 72–3, 142, 224, 233; exchange/interaction, 72, 86, 134, 136, 202, 310, 313; mobility, 2–4, 72, 200–1, 203–5, 208, 213, 215–6; perspective, 20; relations, 203, 279; solidarity 284; trade, 89, 95 space: liminal, 134–5, 152; of exchange, 280, 306; of exploitation, 279; ideological, 5; local control of 301; market, 106, 120, 123; office, 248; political 299; public/social, 15, 104–5, 125, 127, 138–9, 143–4, 147–8, 164, 171, 177; private, 148; transnational/crosscultural 11, 106, 114, 237, 265, 300 Spain, 111, 117, 124, 184, 190, 301–2, Spanish, 277, 285, 302 street vendors, 111, 119, 121–4, 126, 220 sports 20, 146, 265–6, 272, 285, 287; capoeira 20, 300, 311–3; dresses 172, 249; football 116, 146, 152, 162, 265 Sri Lanka (former Ceylon), 57, 59, 63 structural adjustment programmes, 2, 15, 150, 159 students, 16–17, 19–20, 33, 36–37, 39, 78, 81–82, 111, 116, 134–5, 139–48, 156, 158–65, 169–73, 176, 200,

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228, 239, 241–3, 246, 248, 253, 268, 272, 277–80, 282–6, 289–91, 294, 314 success, 1, 2, 10, 13, 15, 19, 35–37, 41, 50–51, 53–54, 59, 63, 65, 74–75, 77–78, 80, 82–84, 90–91, 95, 97, 102–4, 107, 115, 123, 127–8, 134, 136, 138, 142, 151, 160, 163, 167, 170–1, 175–6, 181, 190, 195–6, 211–2, 220, 224–6, 231–2, 249, 269, 278–9, 283, 286–8, 291–2, 294, 312 Sudan, 14, 31, 40, 43, 89–108, 144, 149, 156 sugar, 5, 58, 188, 192, 211, 301–2 suitcase trade, 94–5, 97, 207 Swahili, 12, 136, 220, 227, 230, 278, 280–1 Syria, 13 Taiwan, 32–34, 36, 39, 214, 240, 242, 252 Tanzania, 18, 39, 49–68, 139–40, 144, 146, 152, 220–33 tax, 37, 41–42, 59, 80, 100–1, 164, 173, 181–2, 191–6 tea, 5, 49, 58–60, 62 technology, 16, 33, 38, 41, 141–3, 207, 221, 225, 228, 240, 242, 250, 312 Thailand, 4, 139, 164, 209, 214 Togo, 34, 39, 286 Trade: agreement, 4; caravan, 49, 57, 182; chamber, 103; container, 3, 14, 19, 89, 114, 191, 195, 209–10, 212; disputes, 42; export, 21, 40, 42, 55–58, 60–62, 73, 78, 91, 126, 137, 164, 172, 206, 220, 224–5, 240, 242, 252, 316; fairs, 100; free trade zone, 241; history, 30, 182; import, 21, 40, 42, 55–58, 61–62, 67, 78–79, 83, 93–94, 96, 98–104, 122, 166, 172, 174, 188, 192, 194–6, 206–8, 210–2, 220, 224, 233, 241, 249–53; import/export, 33, 36, 93, 96, 160, 192; informal, 122, 134, 139, 149, 194; international, 14, 17, 41, 93, 95, 99, 105, 107, 181–2, 185–9, 195–6; long distance, 13–14, 95, 183–4; national, 103, 105; petty/ small-scale/street, 49, 111–28, 147, 171, 185, 207; retail, 33, 36, 75, 77, 81–82, 90, 93, 99, 119, 121, 185, 207, 252; relations, 12, 41, 43, 52, 95, 240–1, 247–8, 250, 252–3;

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register, 192–3; restrictions, 164, 105; route, 8, 12, 14; settlements, 12, 51; suitcase, 94–95, 97, 207; trans/crossborder, 192, 196; transSaharan, 12, 183, 240; unions, 66; wholesale, 33, 36, 75, 77, 81, 90, 94, 98–100, 121, 137–9; see also diaspora, networks, transnational, slave trade trade goods, 1–2, 12–14, 17, 31, 54, 105, 121–2, 158, 161, 171, 181, 184–6, 190–2, 211; see also cars, clothing, computer, jewellery, products traders, 7–8, 12, 14, 16–17, 19, 49, 51–52, 57, 86, 160; African, 3, 12, 19, 134–52, 202–16, 263; Arab, 12, 57; Chinese, 13, 98, 252; female, 181–96, 206; Ghanaian, 17, 203, 206, 209–13; Indian, 49–68; itinerant, 14, 121, 156, 182; Lebanese/Levantine, 13, 72–86; male, 115, 117–8, 138, 181–2, 263; modou-modou, 115, 119, 121, 126, 127; Nigerian, 75, 83–84, 239–42, 248, 252–4; Senegalese, 17, 111–28, 181–96, 203, 211–3; Sudanese, 89–108; types of, 102–8, 206–8; see also women transnational: business, 68, 171–4, 200–1, 207, 213; business people, 3, 17, 157, 200, 203–8, 211, 214–5, 222, 232, 237, 239; citizenship, 8; interaction, 1, 6, 136, 205; mobility, 21, 125, 187, 200, 203, 205, 208, 213–6; network, 112, 127, 172, 204, 250, 259; relationships, 4, 67, 250; space, 237; trade, 68, 206–7, 211, 214, 239–40, 250–2 transport, 8, 12, 16, 19, 61, 75, 80, 96, 100–1, 139, 191, 212, 246–7, 279, 287 trust (confidence), 10, 13, 17, 39, 52, 57, 62, 67, 145, 150, 163, 173, 240 Tunesia, 39, 240 Turkey, 104, 185, 203, 208, 214 Uganda, 34, 50, 66, 140, 143–4, 146, 225 UNESCO, 266, 288, 299, 301–3, 306 United Kingdom/British, 18, 31, 49–50, 52–56, 58, 60, 65–68, 76, 82, 141, 222, 233, 239–40, 280, 287

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Index

United States of America (USA), 32–3, 61, 66, 72, 75, 111, 116, 151, 172, 181, 184, 206, 284–5, 287, 305–7, 311 Visa, 17, 114, 136, 139–40, 143, 147–50, 156, 159–60, 163–65, 172–3, 208–10, 253, 272 violence (against foreigners), 42, 146, 194, 260 wars, 31–32, 62, 93, civil, 15, 74, 284, 291, Cold War 1, 5, 72–73, 86, 221–2, 231–2, 279; Darfur War, 98, 100–1, 104–5, 144; First World War, 50, 58, 111, 239; Second World War, 32, 60, 64 West/North, 3, 6, 32, 35–36, 39, 43, 53, 66, 68, 136, 138, 141, 151, 202,

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220, 222–3, 241, 243, 251–2, 270, 278–9, 284–5, 288–9, 291–4 Wolof, 17, 111, 115–6, 119, 183 women, 17, 52, 78, 82, 96, 136, 138, 143–4, 146, 160, 162, 164–5, 171–3, 175, 181–96, 200–1, 206–8, 213, 266, 269–70, 288, 293–4, 298, 307, 309 workers, 16, 34, 36, 38, 41, 59, 80, 115, 120, 124, 126, 193, 220–1, 224, 226–33, 262; domestic 136; ill-treatment of, 84, 262; migrant 120, 158, 268; unskilled, 231, 233 xenophobia, 145–7, 209 Zambia, 35, 221, 223, 261 Zanzibar, 13, 49, 52–58, 61, 63–64, 67

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