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Credit: Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy

Credit: Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy

Policy Roundtable:


CARI will host a policy roundtable on Wednesday, April 26 from 11:00 am to 2:00 pm at Johns Hopkins SAIS in Washington DC to explore the future of U.S.-China-Africa relations in the Trump era. This roundtable will draw on the public and private sectors to explore the future of this trilateral relationship in an evolving geopolitical landscape.

A light lunch will be served from 11:00 am to 12:00 pm.

The roundtable discussion will take place from 12:00 pm to 2:00 pm. This event is free and open to the public.

More details can be found here.

Livestream can be accessed here.

Policy Brief 18: The United States and China in Africa: What does the data say?

This brief by CARI researchers Janet Eom, Jyhjong Hwang, Lucas Atkins, Yunnan Chen, and Siqi Zhou examines how Chinese engagement compares to US engagement in African countries. How do oil exports influence Chinese and US trade relations with Africa? Why do Chinese and US firms favor investment in different African industries? What are the main sectors to which China and the United States provide loans in Africa? This policy brief analyzes CARI’s data on Chinese and US trade, FDI, and loans to Africa over the past 15 years to answer such questions. The authors find that Chinese engagement emphasizes Africa’s infrastructure needs, key countries are consistently top destinations for different economic activities, and fluctuating commodity prices are important to both the United States and China in Africa. Download Policy Brief (PDF) »

Working Paper 12: Diffusing Chinese rice technology in rural Tanzania: Lessons from the Dakawa agro-technology demonstration center

This paper by Hezron Makundi uses empirical evidence from the Dakawa center in Tanzania to examine the role of agro-technology demonstration centers in diffusing selected agro-technologies to local farmers. The Dakawa center has struggled to balance the goal of technological diffusion with other interests, most notably the manifestation of China’s soft power and its commercial goal of operating a financially self-sustaining farm. Yet, despite these broad ambitions, the center has managed to contribute a great deal towards multi-actor efforts to lessen the information and knowledge barriers hindering the adoption of improved rice farming technology by farmers in Dakawa. Download Working Paper (PDF) »

Credit: Peter Volberding

Credit: Peter Volberding

Credit: Lin Qi

Credit: Lin Qi

Working Paper 11: China and Uranium: Comparative Possibilities for Agency in Statecraft in Niger and Namibia

This paper by Peter Volberding and Jason Warner asks how the entry of Chinese firms in African uranium markets has impacted the agency of host African states to pursue strategies of economic and social statecraft. Using a comparative case study method with extensive field work, the authors examine how Chinese investment has impacted the uranium sector in both Niger and Namibia and, more critically, the impact investment has had on these states' ability to enact state agency across eight indicators in both economic and social domains. The paper finds that the impact has been mixed and uneven. Download Working Paper (PDF) »

Policy Brief 17: Creating a Market for Skills Transfer:
A Case Study of AVIC International

This paper by Irene Yuan Sun and Lin Qi explains how Chinese companies view the issue of local skills development in Africa. Do Chinese companies perceive local skills development to be a salient issue? Has this issue caused them to change their strategies and operations? How has this influenced how they interact with local stakeholders, and what sorts of changes are produced as a result of these interactions? This study offers a starting point for answering these questions by using AVIC International as a case study. AVIC International is a Chinese state-owned company and member of the Global Fortune 500, and is one of the major construction contractors and heavy machinery providers in Kenya. Download Policy Brief (PDF) »

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

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

The New York Times had a front page article on China and Djibouti this past weekend: “U.S. Wary of its New Neighbor in Djibouti—a Chinese Naval Base.” Like many observers, the NYT seems to have been misled about the scale of Chinese engagement, and Chinese lending to Djibouti in particular. Here’s what they said:

Beyond surveillance concerns, United States officials, citing the billions of dollars in Chinese loans to Djibouti’s heavily indebted government, wonder about the long-term durability of an alliance that has served Washington well in its global fight against Islamic extremism.

Here at the China Africa Research Initiative we specialize in tracking and confirming Chinese loans in Africa. We have not been contacted by the US government, and we wonder where they are getting their “data”? In this instance, we were able to interview top ranking officials in Djibouti's Ministry of Finance to confirm Chinese loan financing. 

Read the complete Blog post »