Existing studies have fixated on the macroeconomic implications of Chinese engagements with Africa with relatively less attention to micro-level exchanges and the attendant social consequences. This paper captures the nuances of everyday dispositions and attitudes of Ghanaian traders toward Chinese entrepreneurial migrants relative to ‘older and larger’ immigrant trading groups (notably Indians, Lebanese and Nigerians). The study elicited data from local traders and key informants from trade unions, public institutions and academia. The findings indicate that Chinese merchants often had ‘aggressive’ and ‘overly competitive’ business style compared to other migrants and indigenes. Accordingly, several seemingly unresolvable underlying tensions ensued between the Chinese and other traders. It was evident that contextual elements such as trust and sense of fairness shaped the attitudes and degree of cordiality between the trading groups. Going forward, it will be prudent to focus not only on the legal and political ramifications of Chinese migratory flows but also develop measures to integrate the Chinese in African environment socially.
- international migration