While China’s role and place in Africa has garnered a lot of scholarly attention—be it praise or condemnation—not much has been written about Taiwan’s role and place on the continent even though Taiwan was a major player and partner in Africa’s quest for growth and development. From the 1960s to 1971, more African countries had diplomatic relations with Taiwan as opposed to China. But less than five decades after the United Nations General Assembly Resolution 2758 was passed, there has been a reversal of fortune in terms of supremacy and diplomatic recognition with only one country, Eswatini, recognizing Taiwan as an independent country. Taiwan in Africa: Seven Decades of Certainty and Uncertainties, edited by Sabella Ogbobode Abidde, addresses gaps in academic literature regarding Taiwan’s engagement with states and societies on the continent. This book examines international political economy, international security, the history of modern Africa, and geopolitical pressures and conflict. It addresses Taiwan’s early engagement with the continent and the geopolitical and economic considerations that influenced African governments in their decision-making vis-à-vis their relationship with Taipei.
Sabella Ogbobode Abidde is professor of political science and a member of the graduate faculty at Alabama State University.
List of Abbreviations
Introduction: Taiwan in Africa: The Reversal of Political and Diplomatic Fortunes and the Possibility of a Resurgence in the Twenty-First Century
Part One: Taiwan in Africa: Then and Now
Chapter 1:Taiwan in Africa: The Early Years and Years of Developmental Assistance
Sabella Ogbobode Abidde
Chapter 2: Taiwan-Africa Relations: Exploring the Changing Trends
Chapter 3: Imperialism and the Taiwan Question: The Tragedy of the United Nations and Africa’s Helplessness
Felix O.U Oriakhi
Part Two: Diplomatic Recognition and Geopolitical Considerations
Chapter 4: Taiwan's Overture to Somaliland
Chapter 5: Taiwan and Apartheid South Africa
Chapter 6: Taiwan’s Non-formal International Engagement in the Absence of Formal International Recognition
Part Three: Economic and Geopolitical Consideration
Chapter 7: China-Taiwan Geoeconomic Competition for Diplomatic Recognition: Battling for the Soul of Africa
Chapter 8: Building Capacity in Africa: An Overview of Taiwan-African Relations, 1960-1971
Alecia D. Hoffman
About the Editor and Contributors
"Taiwan in Africa: Seven Decades of Certainty and Uncertainties offers a comprehensive exploration of the contours that characterize Taiwan’s relations with, and presence in, Africa. One of the many laudable virtues about this book is that it eschews the China-bashing that one would expect from a book that details the China-Taiwan jostle for international recognition. At the same time, it does not fall into the trap of beatifying Taiwan, despite its entrenched democracy as compared to China’s equally entrenched political system. This book is a gift and a necessity for international relations scholars, academics, historians, and public servants seeking to understand Taiwan’s checkered history with the African continent, and the force of expediency, agency, and realism in determining a country’s choice of international partners."
"What has Taiwan done in/for Africa? What can Taiwan do in/for Africa? Taiwan in Africa: Seven Decades of Certainty and Uncertainties answers these questions in great detail. It is informative on past Taiwan-Africa relations and raises questions about future relations, considering China's current One China policy and aggression toward any country that wants to recognize or deal with Taiwan independently. This book is an easy and timely must-read for anyone ignorant of Taiwan's history and impact in Africa. It also provides enough information for a critical debate on whether Taiwan should play a greater role in global politics and economics."
Thematically and subject-wise, the edited volume is both comprehensive and of great historicity. The dedication, in itself, is remarkably memorable: indeed, “dedicated to two great African scholars and intellectuals, Professor Alaba Ogunsanwo [Nigerian] for his ground-breaking work entitled China’s Policy in Africa 1958–71; and for the late Emmanuel John Hevi [Ghanaian] for his two brilliant books, An African Student in China, and The Dragon’s Embrace: the Chinese Communists and Africa"... Taiwan in Africa: Seven Decades of Certainty and Uncertainties, the 172-page volume, should be of tremendous benefit for students, researchers as well as the general reader in search of very useful discussions centered on China-Taiwan presence in Africa.