In the last few decades, there has been an increase in Chinese investment and migration in West Africa and Africa more broadly. The Chinese government has been working closely to produce trade agreements and infrastructure projects with these countries, stating it to be a ‘win-win’ solution, sparking development in some stagnant African states and stimulating each others’ economies. However, politicians, journalists, political pundits, and global activists have wondered if this relationship is neocolonial and if China is creating an opening for Africa’s dependency, taking its natural resources and not creating enough opportunities for its population.
By surveying modernization theory, dependency theory, and world-systems theory, my thesis gets to the theoretical root as to why relationships between a state like China and West Africa can become one of dependence quickly. The poor institutions West Africa harbor due to colonization and international institutions like the World Bank are the reason for dependency becoming a more likely result. But, there may be instances that could prove beneficial to Africa, in particular, if the government effectively puts restrictions on Chinese operations in their countries and if China is seriously creating work opportunities. Through the creation of my comic entitled Jigawa, which essentially surveys the impact the relationship between China and West Africa (Nigeria in particular) has on its citizens, alongside the theoretical framework outlined, the answer to whether the relationship is advantageous or disadvantageous is constructed.