The Blurry Lines Between Chinese Aid and Investment in Africa

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By The China Africa Project, Eric Olander, and Cobus van Staden. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.

For most countries, aid and investment are two entirely different things. Not with the Chinese, though, where until recently the country's aid programs were actually managed through the Ministry of Commerce.

Because the Chinese have such an opaque system, it's very difficult for outsiders to understand what programs are being managed by which ministry and what are the objectives. Again, this is not the case with other donor countries like the U.S. or the UK where there are high levels of disclosure and transparency in the development finance process.

The Chinese, for their part, do say they are committed to making the distinction between aid, investment and lending more transparent. The first step came last year with the introduction of the new China International Development Cooperation Agency (CIDCA), the supposed Chinese equivalent to USAID, DFID and other traditional donor agencies. Now, just more than a year old, CIDCA hasn't done very much and is still yet to prove itself.

Dr. Pippa Morgan, a teaching fellow at New York University's Shanghai campus, is an expert in Chinese aid and development. She recently completed her PhD on the topic at Fudan University in Shanghai and recently published a paper entitled "'Tracing the Legacy: China's Historical Aid and Contemporary Investment in Africa."

Pippa joins Eric & Cobus this week to talk about the confusing distinctions between Chinese aid and investment in Africa.

JOIN THE DISCUSSION:

Twitter: @eolander | @stadenesque | @Pippa_A_M

Email: eric@chinaafricaproject.com | cobus@chinaafricaproject.com

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