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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:From Scotch whisky to Chinese sneakers: international commodity flows and new trade networks in Oshikango, Namibia
Author:Dobler, GregorISNI
Periodical:Africa: Journal of the International African Institute
Geographic term:Namibia
Subjects:trade routes
External links:https://doi.org/10.3366/E0001972008000259
Abstract:After the end of the colonial period, international commodity flows into Africa at first continued to reproduce patterns of colonial domination. In the last ten years, however, important shifts have become visible. New commodity chains bypassing the old colonial powers have developed and are changing the way Africa is integrated into the global economy. This article looks at four trade networks that converge in Oshikango, a small trade boom town in northern Namibia. It describes how trade in Scotch whisky, Brazilian furniture, Japanese used cars and Chinese sneakers into Oshikango is organized. Whisky trade follows old colonial patterns; furniture trade relies on new South-South business contacts backed by political lobbying; in the used car trade, goods from the North are traded by networks of Southern migrant entrepreneurs; Chinese consumer goods are brought into Africa by Chinese migrants who bridge the cultural gap between the markets. Trade in Oshikango highlights the importance of new trade routes for Africa. Migrant entrepreneurs play an important role in these trade routes. A closer look at them shows, however, that their importance is largely due to opportunities arising from their place in the international system, not to a group's inherent cultural or social characteristics. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. in English and French. [Journal abstract]