Report speaks about advantages of China's aid to Africa

When Dambisa Moyo, a Zambian-born economist, wrote in her book Dead Aid that traditional aid from Western donors had largely failed African countries, fostering dependency, encouraging corruption and perpetuating poor governance and poverty, she said China provided another approach and gave Africans the ability to choose their own way to develop. But how large and how effective is Chinese aid to Africa?

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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.

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