China's role as provider of development assistance to Africa
China is playing an increasingly important role in poor and developing countries through commercial and political engagement although we are witnessing important modifications and changes in Chinese approaches under Xi Jinping and after Covid and ongoing geopolitical changes. It has, especially, contributed strongly to development of physical infrastructure (roads, railways, power plants and more) in many parts of the Global South. Furthermore, China is also emerging as an important provider of development aid. It has expanded its aid budgets, established a separate aid agency and it is becoming a vocal participant in international meetings on development aid and sustainable development.
This project will examine China's new role as provider of development aid with a focus on its role in Africa. We will study the policies behind and the mechanisms and instruments that China uses in delivery of such aid. Furthermore, we will scrutinise how this compares with and impacts on the traditional and Western approach to development which has dominated global thinking on these issues.
The project will examine these issues through studies of the new aid agency in China and its policies and guidelines and the use of different channels for delivery of aid. We will also study the implementation and effectiveness through case studies of China's role in multilateral institutions, including in relation to the African Union, and through a series of country case studies from Ethiopia (industrial growth, capacity building), Tanzania (infrastructure) and Mozambique (loans and debt service). This will be compared to main trends and evolving changes in traditional Western aid, including aid from the Nordic countries. The main results will publised in book with expected publication in 2024.
The project also emphasises dissemination of rtesearch findings and interaction with aid officials and stakeholders. This will be achieved inter alia through public seminars, publication of briefs and workshops.
This project seeks to capture the nature and dynamics of the evolving changes in Chinese development assistance. The changes are manifested in a new organisation of aid at home as well as internationally in the relationship to the global aid architecture and established donors, in the rapid expansion in the volume of aid and the geographical scope of recipients, and in the launch of new aid instruments.
The project will identify the explanatory determinants behind the evolving Chinese aid and how China interacts with the Western-dominated aid architecture. The project will capture this through a multilevel analysis and a new institutionalist approach. The project analyses the evolving development aid policy and management at central level in China; the engagement with multilateral institutions, including a case study of the China's new relations with the African Union; and case studies of implementation of Chinese bilateral aid in Ethiopia, Tanzania and Mozambique focusing on job creation, skills development and management of national debt.
Through academic research and publications and active engagements with development aid stakeholders in China, recipient countries and among other donor countries and multilateral institutions, this project contributes to strengthened global partnerships as formulated in the Sustainable Development Goal 17.