Date of Graduation

Spring 5-15-2020

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts in International Studies (MAIS)


College of Arts and Sciences


International Studies

First Advisor

Jeffrey Paller

Second Advisor

Brian Dowd-Uribe


This thesis analyzes the presence and impact of Chinese fishing companies in the West African country of The Gambia. The presence of the Chinese companies have resulted in drastic changes in the country’s fisheries industry where they have a comparative advantage due to their geographic location. Through interviews conducted with Gambian officials in the Ministry of Fisheries and Water Resources, and members of the fishing community (both fishermen and merchants), I conclude that the Chinese presence is a trade-off between the Gambian government and the Chinese investors. It is positive because they are engaged in a beneficial partnership with the Gambian government where both sides can have long term benefits to their economic systems, and also negative because it has outcasted the older and less educated sect of the fishing community who cannot advance with the swiftly evolving and modernized fisheries industry of The Gambia. The Chinese presence in the Gambia and the rest of Africa has gained a lot of scrutiny due to the belief that their presence is a form of neocolonialism. The case of the Gambian fishing industry, however, reveals a different narrative. Chinese companies are aiding in the development of a major source of future economic growth for a developing nation, and they are operating under the regulations and guidelines set forth by the Gambian government. To sum it up, The Gambia is facilitating the creative destruction of their fisheries industry in order to gain long term economic strength and independence in the foreign trade market.