Author: Asayehgn Desta.
Berkeley Electronic Press Selected Works, Contrary to Western debt and assistance marked by various forms of economic and political overtones, China, using the South-South Cooperation, is in the process of bestowing a mix of loans with generous terms, debt forgiveness, infrastructure development, and other assistance to African nations so that they could be relieved from Western cultural, political, and economic hegemony. African governments have appreciated and responded enthusiastically to this new source of bottom-up, multiple, bilateral investment, trade, and aid because China has professed a willingness to ignore the political, conditional terms that characterize Western assistance. China's deepening involvement across Africa can be viewed from two perspectives. The protagonists of political warfare theory argue that China's policy in Africa is a nonviolent instrument of grand strategy. It involves coordinated activities that could precipitate in tangible effects on intended targets such as economic aid and development assistance, as well as training, equipping, and arming military and security forces to achieve political and economic influence. On the other hand, the South-South development cooperation school of thought views China's increased aid, trade, and investment in Africa as a means to foster Africa's self-sufficiency and sustainable development in the 21st century. Based the review of the literature, the socio-economic impacts of some of the Chinese cooperative investment in Africa were summarized using the following dimensions: a) local employment b) human management skills (control of decision making process), c) technological transfer, d) local content requirements, e) efficiency, and f) the terms of trade. Though the study is anecdotally focused, the modest contributions upon which we hope other researchers will build is that longitudinal studies need to be undertaken if Chinese investments in Africa are politically motivated or are meant to fulfill the agenda of the South-South Cooperative goals. Nonetheless, being engaged in constructive exchange, African policy makers need to redefine Chinese investments to undertake their environmental guidelines so that Africa could use them as a means to achieve self-sufficiency and sustainable development in the longrun.