Dambisa Moyo Explains Why Africa Has Opened its Arms to China

Interviews with people who shape our culture.
May 24 2013 8:30 AM

A Red Carpet for Beijing

Economist Dambisa Moyo on why Africa is opening its arms to China and what the U.S. may be missing out on.

Dambisa Moyo, economist and author, attends the Hay Festival on May 29, 2011 in Hay-on-Wye, Wales.
Dambisa Moyo, economist and author

Photo by David Levenson/Getty Images

Economist Dambisa Moyo snickers when she hears talk that the Chinese are trying to take over Africa. What they want, as she argues forcefully in her latest book Winner Take All, are natural resources, which are in abundant supply around the African continent. 

And as Moyo tells Slate’s Jacob Weisberg, African nations that are doing business with the Chinese are getting plenty in return.

This productive engagement raises the question: Are the U.S. and its counterparts in the West missing out on a huge opportunity?

In Part 1 of our interview, Moyo explains why traditional aid to Africa doesn’t work and how Bill Gates and others could better spend their money there. And in the second segment, she discusses her long journey from childhood in Zambia to seats on the boards of Barclay’s Bank and Barrick Gold.