March 6, 2014:
"A Chinese Trading Post in Oshikango, Namibia"
On the Namibian side of the Angolan/Namibia border there exists a Chinese Trading Post in which Chinese traders own the majority of the land and are the largest employers in the area. Each day large numbers of Angolans cross the border to buy cheap Chinese goods. Such goods can only be paid in US dollars. There exists a great deal of controversy in Oshikango over the presence of the Chinese traders. Since it is an export processing zone, imported goods enter the area duty free, thus depriving the Namibian government of much needed revenue. In addition, workers complain of unfair labor practices by the Chinese traders, while the Namibian government appears to be protecting the Chinese traders against Namibian employees. How the Chinese managed to acquire most of the land at the border and the refusal of the Namibian government to address these and other issues is the subject of Professor Lee's presentation.
Margaret C. Lee is Associate Professor of African Studies in the Department of African, African American, and Diaspora Studies, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC- Chapel Hill). Prior to coming to UNC, Professor Lee was a Visiting Scholar with the African Studies Program at the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced and International Studies at Johns Hopkins University (Washington, DC). Her teaching interests include Southern Africa, The 21st Century Scramble for Africa, and China-Africa relations. Dr. Lee has received research support from the Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation (New York) and from 2003 to 2013 was an advisor to a Guggenheim project designed to train the next generation of African scholars. She has lectured widely, both in the United States and abroad on various topics related to her research on the political economy of Africa. Professor Lee's most recent book is Africa's World Trade: Informal Economies and Globalization from Below. The book was commissioned by the Nordic Africa Institute in Uppsala, Sweden and will be published in 2014 by Zed books (London and New York); the Nordic Africa Institute (Uppsala, Sweden); and the Africa Institute of South Africa (Pretoria South Africa). In addition she has published three other books, numerous journal articles, chapters in books, occasional papers, etc.
Economic Change and Emerging Asia-Africa Interactions Lecture Series:
Professor Lee's lecture is the third in a series on "Economic Change and Emerging Asia-Africa Interactions." The last two decades have witnessed a shift in the cultural, political and economic geographies of Africa and Asia. The changing relations between the countries and the people of the two continents are among the most visible and striking evidence of the move from a unipolar to a multipolar world. UCLA's African Studies Center and Asia Institute are joining forces to invite speakers with deep knowledge of both continents and their interactions to explore the topic of "Economic Change and Emerging Asia-Africa Interactions". Over the next six months, the series will ask how we can understand the growing ties between Africa and Asia from vantage points that do not start from or converge on US and Europe. The series will consider both "top-down" relations – international relations, government policies and corporate relations – and "bottom-up" relations, or how ordinary citizens are experiencing and responding to the growing presence of Asia in Africa and of Africa in Asia.
Speaker: Margaret C. Lee (UNC-Chapel Hill)
Location: 10383 Bunche Hall
Co-sponsored by UCLA Asia Institute, UCLA African Studies Center, UCLA Mellon Postdoctoral Program in the Humanities "Cultures in Transnational Perspective", and the UCLA Center for Chinese Studies