Working Paper & Policy Brief 01/2019 - Local Skill Development from China’s Engagement in Africa: Comparative Evidence from the Construction Sector in Ghana
These papers by Qingwei Meng and Eugene Bempong Nyantakyi explore local skill development from China’s engagement in Africa. Over the past decade, Chinese enterprises have made significant progress in developing new business ventures in Africa. There is ongoing debate whether these Chinese enterprises contribute to local skill development in their host countries. The authors use survey data from the construction sector in Ghana to examine the heterogeneity in skill transfer to local workers in Chinese enterprises, other foreign and local enterprises, and the challenges faced by firms in local skill development. The results show that both Chinese and other foreign owned enterprises contribute positively to local skill development through the provision of general and specific training. However, Chinese enterprises have a higher propensity to provide short-term general training to local workers than those of other foreign enterprises. The authors identify low technical education quality, low employee retention rate, short project time frame, and communication and cultural barriers as key challenges that distort incentives for skill-upgrading in the construction sector. Foreign governments and host country stakeholders could strengthen bilateral cooperation in technical and vocational education to mitigate these structural challenges.
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.
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:
The development-security nexus
China’s military and maritime engagement in Africa
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 »
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.
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.
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.