New Data Base for Measuring China's Aid to Africa

AidData introduced on 29 April 2013 at the Center for Global Development in Washington its dataset on Chinese aid to Africa based on an innovative media-based data collection program. It posted the data at aiddata.org/content/index. Estimates of the size and nature of Chinese aid to Africa vary widely. In an effort to overcome this problem, AidData, based at the College of William and Mary in Virginia, has compiled a database of thousands of media reports on Chinese-backed projects in Africa from 2000 to 2011. The database includes information on 1,673 projects in 51 African countries and on $75 billion in commitments of official finance.

Author(s)

Abstract

Abstract

Chinese “aid” is a lightning rod for criticism. Policy-makers, journalists, and public intellectuals claim that Beijing uses its largesse to cement alliances with political leaders, secure access to natural resources, and create exclusive commercial opportunities for Chinese firms—all at the expense of citizens living in developing countries. We argue that much of the controversy about Chinese “aid” stems from a failure to distinguish between China's Official Development Assistance (ODA) and more commercially oriented sources and types of state financing. Using a new database on China's official financing commitments to Africa from 2000 to 2013, we find that the allocation of Chinese ODA is driven primarily by foreign policy considerations, while economic interests better explain the distribution of less concessional flows. These results highlight the need for better measures of an increasingly diverse set of non-Western financial activities.

View ArticleDownload Data

Datasets Referenced

Publications Referenced