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 Photo credit: Shutterstock

Photo credit: Shutterstock

Working Paper 17 and Policy Brief 24 - What kinds of Chinese "Geese" are flying to Africa? Evidence from Chinese manufacturing firms

In a thoroughly researched piece, Brautigam, Tang, and Xia offer a preliminary analysis of the nature of Chinese manufacturing investments in Africa, focusing predominantly on four countries -- Ethiopia, Ghana, Nigeria, and Tanzania.  Drawing on fieldwork conducted between 2014 and 2016, they explore the varieties of existing Chinese manufacturing investment and the sectors into which Chinese companies are investing. Chinese manufacturing investment in Africa is indeed expanding rapidly, yet the official data on investment approvals, both in China and in African countries, significantly overstates the actual number of investments in operation. While several investors fit the model of Akamatsu’s “flying geese” (large firms seeking new locations for production as part of global networks and value chains), they also identified three other kinds of “geese”: large, strategic, local market-seeking geese; raw material-seeking geese; and small geese traveling together in flocks. The different kinds of firms offer different kinds of development opportunities and challenges for structural transformation in Africa.

Download Policy Brief and Working Paper (PDF) »

 Photo credit: Yunnan Chen

Photo credit: Yunnan Chen

Policy Brief 23 – Silk Road to the Sahel: African ambitions in China’s Belt and Road Initiative

This paper by Yunnan Chen explores the Belt and Road Initiative, which has become a centerpiece of China’s foreign economic policy. While primarily focused on the Eurasian, the BRI has salient implications for African development and regional integration, accelerating existing infrastructure and industrial cooperation and contributing to African industrialisation strategies. However rapid expansion of infrastructure lending also brings risks in their debt burdens, sustainability impacts, and economic viability.

Download Policy Brief (PDF) »

 Photo credit: Janet Eom

Photo credit: Janet Eom

Xi, Africa, and the BRICS Summit: Latest Data on China and Africa

Xi Jinping is heading to Africa with stops in Senegal, Rwanda, South Africa and Mauritius. In South Africa, Xi will also attend the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) summit.

Continued Support to SAIS-CARI from Carnegie Corporation of New York

We are pleased to announce that SAIS-CARI has received a generous new two-year grant from Carnegie Corporation of New York. Under the leadership of Prof. Deborah Bräutigam, CARI’s director, this continued funding will allow us to keep producing cutting-edge research on China's role in Africa and reinforce our position as a go-to reference on related issues.

We appreciate Carnegie Corporation of New York for its past support and ongoing partnership, and look forward to this continued collaboration.

Call for Proposals: SAIS IDEV/CARI Student Practicum

With generous funding from the Carnegie Corporation of New York, the China Africa Research Initiative at the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS-CARI) is sponsoring one student practicum group in the International Development Program (IDEV) to do a practicum on a China-Africa related topic in the 2018-2019 academic year. We are currently seeking practicum clients, with an application deadline of July 25th, 2018.

Please click below for more information about previous practicum projects and presentations as well as the IDEV practicum in general.

If you have ideas for a practicum project on China-Africa (i.e. NOT a research project, but a proposal that would involve something more applied: an evaluation, design, survey, strategic plan, etc.), please contact us directly at

More Bad Data on Chinese Finance in Africa

Thursday, July 26, 2018

It is hard to collect data on China's development finance in Africa. That's why we curate a carefully constructed, painstakingly researched database on Chinese loans. We have data project by project, sector by sector. Researchers and policy-makers consult us regularly for more detailed reports on different aspects of Chinese loans. We publish reports on this data and related fieldwork: for example, our first working paper was on Chinese finance for hydropower projects and we have several others on Chinese finance for wind farms in Ethiopia and hydropower in Cameroon.

Read the complete Blog post »