You are here

The China-Africa Engagement: Contemporary Developments and Directions for Future Research

Submitted by AFAM on Wed, 05/01/2019 - 11:37pm

The China-Africa engagement: contemporary developments and directions for future research

Special Issue - Africa Journal of Management

Guest Editors

Prof Ken Kamoche, University of Nottingham, UK
Professor of Human Resource Management and Organization Theory


Dr Saileshsingh Gunessee, University of Nottingham, Ningbo, China.
Associate Professor in Economics


Dr Nana Kwabena Kufuor, University of Nottingham, Ningbo, China.
Assistant Professor in Economics


Abstract Submission Deadline:  31 October 2019
Full Paper Submission Deadline: 31 March 2020


With the increasing Africa-China engagement particularly in light of China’s new ‘Belt and Road’ initiative, this special issue seeks papers that contribute to our understanding of the nature of this engagement with regard to, inter alia, the management, social-cultural, investment/industrial, and trade/business dimensions. This engagement has important implications for Africa’s industrial-economic rejuvenation, and as Chinese investors become significant players in what has come to be viewed as Africa’s renaissance, we see an important opportunity to debate this phenomenon, to identify appropriate theoretical lenses for an emergent and hence under-researched phenomenon, and to shed light on how the Chinese presence is impacting the African investment and business landscape, including business human resource practices. This call is consist with recent exhortations for researchers to develop new and ambitious inter-disciplinary approaches to African management research and managerial thinking (e.g. Amankwah-Amoah, 2016; Kamoche et al., 2012; Zoogah et al., 2015).

It has been noted that it is not just the stock of Chinese foreign direct investment (FDI) into Africa that is remarkable, but the speed of growth (Gu, 2009). As such, observers have tended to be mesmerised by the astronomical figures that characterize this growth, yet, the situation on the ground remains largely under-researched. Much attention has focused on the experience of large state-owned firms which are heavily over-represented in the infrastructural projects and mining up and down the continent (Fung and Garcia-Herrero, 2012). In much of this debate, the actual voices of Africans remain relatively ‘weak’ (Jackson, 2012). In an effort to extend the scope of analysis, Kamoche and Siebers (2015) adopted a post-colonial lens to examine the perceptions and attitudes of Chinese investors in Kenya, as well as the experiences of Kenyans who work for them. Others have debated the benefits of Chinese FDI and Chinese soft power, resource dependence, the impact of Chinese products on African economies, the appropriateness of Chinese business and human resource management practices, the extent of and impact of knowledge transfer, and so forth (e.g. Brautigam and Tang, 2011; Fijalkowski, 2011; Hanusch, 2012; Jackson, 2014; Jackson & Horwitz, 2017; Xing et al, 2016). There are many questions that remain unanswered, and the field is still in an embryonic stage. Thus, we welcome conceptual, theoretical and empirical papers that advance our understanding of this emergent engagement, and that address but are not limited to the following topics:

  • the drivers of China’s interest in Africa and Africa’s resources
  • the Asian firm in Africa/ the African firm in Asia
  • human resource issues, cross-cultural relations and cultural diversity
  • skill formation and the creation of managerial expertise 
  • China’s involvement in key sectors such as agribusiness, textiles and mining 
  • the role of indigenous knowledge in developing African solutions to the China-Africa engagement
  • soft power, corporate governance, CSR and business ethics
  • implications of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) for Africa

Africa Journal of Management

AJOM is published by Africa Academy of Management (AFAM), an affiliate of the US-based Academy of Management.  As the first scholarly journal of AFAM, AJOM gives voice to all those who are committed to advancing management scholarship, education and practice in or about Africa, for the benefit of all of Africa.  The purpose of the journal is to advance management theory, research, education, practice and service in Africa by promoting the production and dissemination of high quality and relevant manuscripts.  AJOM welcomes manuscripts that develop, test, replicate or validate management theories, tools and methods with Africa as the starting point. The journal also publishes research notes, book reviews and insights, and comments and debates from readers on published papers or important management questions of the day.

Founding Editor, Prof Moses Kiggundu, Carleton University, Canada.
Senior Associate Editor, Prof Bruce Lamont, Florida State University, USA.

Submission Guidelines and Process

  • - AJOM operates an international double-blind peer review process.
  • - Authors should refer to the AJOM website for instructions on submitting a paper.
  • Submission must be done via the Africa Journal of Management Editorial Manager at 
  • - Authors are encouraged (but not required) to submit a 500-word abstract and outline to Professor Ken Kamoche by 31 October, 2019.
  • Notification of abstract acceptance will be done by 18 December 2019. Please note that acceptance of abstracts does not guarantee inclusion in the Special Issue as all full paper submissions will still be subjected to double-blind peer review.
  • - Authors with accepted abstracts, and those directly submitting full manuscripts, should please do so by 31 March, 2020.

Please direct enquiries about this special issue to the lead Guest Editor:
Prof Ken Kamoche, University of Nottingham, UK



  • Amankwah-Amoah, J. (2016). Coming of age, seeking legitimacy: The historical trajectory of African management research. Critical Perspectives on International Business, 12(1): 22-39.
  • Brautigam, D., & Tang, X. (2011). Africa’s Shenzhen: China’s special economic zones in Africa. Journal of Modern African Studies, 49, 27–54.
  • Fijalkowski, L. (2011). China’s ‘soft power’ in Africa. Journal of Contemporary African Studies, 29, 223–232.
  • Foster, V., Butterfield, W., Chen, C., & Pushak, N. (2008). Building bridges: China’s growing role as infrastructure financier for sub-Saharan Africa. Washington, DC: The World Bank.
  • Fung, K. C., & Garcia-Herrero, A. (2012). Foreign direct investment outflows from China and India. China Economic Policy Review, 1(1), 1–15.
  • Gu, J. (2009). China’s private enterprises in Africa and the implications for African development. European Journal of Development Research, 21, 570–587.
  • Hanusch, M. (2012). African perspectives on China-Africa: Modelling popular perceptions and their economic and political determinants. Oxford Development Studies, 40, 492–516.
  • Kamoche, K. & Siebers, L.Q. (2015). Chinese management practices in Kenya: toward a post-colonial critique., International Journal of Human Resource Management, 26:21, 2718-2743.
  • Kamoche, K., Chizema, A., Mellahi, K., & Newenham-Kahindi, A. (2012). New directions in the management of human resources in Africa, International Journal of Human Resource Management, 23, 2823–2834.
  • Jackson, T. (2014). Employment in Chinese MNEs: appraising the Dragon’s gift to sub-Saharan Africa. Human Resource Management, 53(6), 897-919.
  • Jackson, T. (2012). Postcolonialism and organizational knowledge in the wake of China’s presence in Africa: Interrogating South-South relations. Organization, 19, 181–204.
  • Jackson, T. & Horwitz, F.M. (2018). Expatriation in Chinese MNEs in Africa: an agenda for research. International Journal of Human Resource Management, 29(11): 1856-1878.
  • Xing, Y., Liu, Y., Tarba, S.Y., & Cooper, C.L. (2016). Intercultural influences on managing African employees of Chinese firms in Africa: Chinese managers’ HRM practices. International Business Review, 25: 28-41.
  • Zoogah, D.B., Peng, M.W., & Woldu, H. (2015). Institutions, resources, and organizational effectiveness in Africa. Academy of Management Perspectives, 29(1): 7-31.