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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:From formal- to informal-sector employment: examining the Chinese presence in Zambia
Author:Gadzala, Aleksandra W.ISNI
Periodical:Review of African Political Economy (ISSN 0305-6244)
Geographic terms:Zambia
working conditions
External link:https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/03056241003637904
Abstract:This paper analyses China's recent engagement with Zambia, examining especially Chinese hiring practices, methods of business organization and the labour conditions maintained by Chinese-operated construction and mining firms. Moving beyond existing analyses which remain focused solely on Chinese trade, aid and investment, the paper first explores the microlevel of Chinese ventures, arguing that the continued employment of co-nationals as well as the generally substandard labour conditions maintained by Chinese firms lead to the offloading of Zambian workers into the country's burgeoning informal economy. There, newly emerged Chinese businesses stand to threaten local entrepreneurs who lack the resources necessary to parry Chinese competition. The result is a rapidly growing national unemployment rate and an increasing number of Zambians left struggling to sustain their livelihoods. The paper further argues that the characteristics defining China's engagement with Zambia are not particular to the Zambian context alone, but are rather abiding characteristics of overseas Chinese businesses in general. The paper ultimately calls for a policy framework regulating Chinese business activities in Zambia, lest the negative consequences of the Sino-Zambian partnership prevail. Bibliogr., sum. [Journal abstract]