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Photo credit: Shutterstock

Photo credit: Shutterstock

Working Paper 21 & Policy Brief 29 - Comparing the Determinants of Western and Chinese Development Finance Flows to Africa

These papers by David G. Landry explore whether various institutional indicators among African countries impact their development finance from China and Western countries differently. This research is the first to explicitly compare the determinants of the value of Chinese and Western development finance received by other countries. These papers find that bilateral trade relations and UN voting alignment have a stronger impact on China’s development finance than that of Western countries. They also find that institutional quality plays a much stronger role in predicting Western development finance than that of China, as China appears to disregard institutional quality in its allocation of development finance.

Download Working Paper & Policy Brief (PDF) »

Photo credit: Shutterstock

Photo credit: Shutterstock

Call for Proposals: 2019 SAIS-CARI Fellowship

SAIS-CARI announces a call for the 2019 round of applications to the SAIS-CARI Fellows program. Fellowships are awarded on a competitive basis or by invitation to researchers, policy-makers, or journalists who wish to carry out research and write about an under-explored policy issue related to China-Africa engagement related. 

In this round, we are looking for proposals that focus on China’s strategic interests and how they impact Africa, Africa’s traditional Western partners, or other key actors in Africa. We are particularly interested in research that examines:

  1. The development-security nexus

  2. China’s military and maritime engagement in Africa

  3. The impact of China’s rising influence on efforts to combat piracy and terrorism; debt distress and economic and political instability; and humanitarian crises. 

Grants may range from $2,000 to $10,000 per project for a research period covering February 1 to September 30, 2019. The application period closed on November 30, 2018, and SAIS-CARI is currently reviewing the submissions.

Visit our 2019 Fellowships Page for more information »

Photo credit: Hang Zhou

Photo credit: Hang Zhou

Working Paper 20 & Policy Brief 28 - China-Britain-Uganda: Trilateral Development Cooperation in Agriculture

Trilateral development cooperation is believed to reflect aid’s changing geographies while helping to forge new, more equitable partnerships. Chinese engagement in trilateral development cooperation has so far received limited attention, and these papers by Hang Zhou seek to fill the gap. By drawing on field research from one of China’s first trilateral projects with traditional donors in Africa—a Ugandan cassava project co-initiated with Britain—these papers detail key coordination challenges from the project implementation phase. More importantly, they also critically examine two often-claimed “advantages" of trilateral development cooperation: its contribution to more horizontal development partnerships and its role in providing recipient countries with more suitable technical assistance.

Download Working Paper & Policy Brief (PDF) »

Photo credit: Ding Fei

Photo credit: Ding Fei

Working Paper 19 & Policy Brief 27 - Work, Employment, and Training through Africa-China Cooperation Zones: Evidence from the Eastern Industrial Zone in Ethiopia

These papers by Ding Fei investigate the developmental impacts of Ethiopia’s Eastern Industrial Zone (EIZ) through a cross-company and cross-sector analysis of local worker experiences of working for, training with, and learning from resident companies. They highlight both similarities and differences in Chinese companies’ management strategies and training provisions, which are contingent upon industry sector, scale of production, and market conditions. While sixty percent of the surveyed local workers did receive training of varying quality and length, they were not satisfied with the training provision and promotion opportunities in current companies. The papers argue for concrete and targeted policy implementation by the Ethiopian government to enforce skills transfer by foreign investors, building of linkages between companies and local training institutions, and organizing zone-wide skills sessions. 

Download Working Paper & Policy Brief (PDF) »

Photo credit: SAIS-CARI

Photo credit: SAIS-CARI

Briefing Paper 1 – The Path Ahead: The 7th Forum on China-Africa Cooperation

The 7th Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) will be held in Beijing from September 3 to 4, 2018. Since 2000, the FOCAC has been held every three years. It serves as the official summit between the Chinese president and African heads of state, and results in major policy and financing announcements. This CARI briefing paper analyzes progress on commitments made during the 2015 FOCAC, and the trends we expect to emerge from the 2018 FOCAC. These will shape the China-Africa relationship in coming years. This paper makes four points:

  1. We find that Chinese loans are not currently a major contributor to debt distress in Africa. Yet many countries have borrowed heavily from China and others. Any new FOCAC loan pledges will likely take Africa’s growing debt burden into account.

  2. The 2018 FOCAC will likely pledge additional loans for infrastructure and investment for manufacturing. But the outlook on Chinese trade with Africa, which has slowed, is uncertain.

  3. Capacity building as well as peace and security are emerging as more prominent parts of the China-Africa relationship, and serves to diversify engagement on both sides.

  4. New areas of cooperation at the 2018 FOCAC may include renewable energy and the Belt and Road Initiative. It may also be influenced by US-China trade tensions and the creation of a national development agency in China.

Download Briefing Paper (PDF) »

CARI Revisits China, Djibouti, and the New York Times: How Much Debt?

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

We are reposting our analysis of Djibouti's debt to China, in view of the launch of the Trump administration's new Africa strategy last week.

Once again, the administration described Chinese lending as predatory: "the strategic use of debt to hold states in Africa captive to Beijing’s wishes and demands." No evidence was provided for this characterization of Chinese lending.

As with the administration's overblown estimates of Chinese lending in Djibouti (discussed below), we urge reporters to do their own reporting on China-Africa debt issues, and not to simply report the administration's "facts" at face value.

Read the complete Blog post »