Author: Atieno Ndomo, Inyambo Mwanawina, Martin Tsounkeu, Cosmas Milton Obote Ochieng, .
Ndomo, Atieno and Mwanawina, Inyambo and Tsounkeu, Martin and Ochieng, Cosmas Milton Obote and , . 2008. "Mapping Chinese development assistance in Africa: an analysis of the experiences of [name of country/countries]." 53. Causeway, Harare, Zimbabwe:
Is China’s assistance to Africa irresponsible aid?
With a focus on Zimbabwe, Zambia, Mozambique and Angola, this report studies the nature, coordination and management of China’s aid to Africa. The findings aim to be used for public campaigning and dialogue with civil society organisations and governments in the countries concerned in order to demystify official development assistance from China.
The study reveals the historical ties and foreign commercial interests that motivate Chinese cooperation in these countries as well as the process of negotiating and implementing Chinese aid contracts. The so-called "Chinese grand re-entrance" into Africa is marked by Chinese direct investment, both concessional and commercial loans to over 20 African countries, and is significant in such resource rich countries as Angola and Zambia, raising controversial debate over Africa’s development path and its relations with donors. Because donors such as the World Bank insist on imposing lending conditions, Chinese aid flows, which de-emphasise the internal political dynamics of partner countries, are seen to come condition-free to the African countries. Some western donors have raised objections warning this is irresponsible. Criticisms of China’s expanding economic presence in Africa claim that it encourages a lack of transparency, creates new unsustainable debt and only promotes China’s commercial self interest.
Conclusions and recommendations include that:
there remain reasonable doubts that Chinese aid offers meaningful, widespread and long term benefits to ordinary citizens of recipient countries
African trading partners with China must still make the necessary institutional and governance reforms to transform Chinese investments into maximum benefits for their countries
China’s engagement with the continent can be leveraged positively to offer significant development opportunities for the uplifting of African economies - however, the African countries need a coherent understanding of the main determinants of China’s strategies
China’s rise should find room for more African countries at the table of key global economic and political institutions, bringing emerging countries into governance of the international order - other countries such as South Africa and Nigeria can also together play substantive roles in these international institutions than at present.