Playing the Blame Game: Enforcing and Monitoring Standards in Zambian Mines




Sikazwe, Yatuta Mukwende

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This thesis engages with debates surrounding Chinese FDI in Africa by examining the real or perceived effects of Chinese investment in the Zambian mining industry alongside the narrative that developed within political campaign discourse between 2006 and 2011. It probes the perception that Chinese mines were, or are, the “worst employers” in the industry and finds that, while there are a range of problems and issues in Chinese owned and operated mines, the framing of labour problems in Zambian mines as ‘a Chinese problem’ is both unfair and inaccurate. In doing so, this thesis calls for a theoretical and policy-oriented shift away from singling out Chinese employers as the chief architects of labour problems in the mines to a more holistic analysis of the political economy of investment and of the regulatory framework for mining.



China, Mining, Zambia, FDI, Africa, Labour, labor