What can Western donors learn from China's approach in Africa? (in cooperation with Knowing Emerging Powers)


Video duration: 
1 h 38 min.

In cooperation with Knowing Emerging Powers

See the ASC's webdossier 'China and Africa' (2008)

South-South cooperation is gaining prominence and was high on the agenda at the Busan conference on aid effectiveness. All eyes were on China: would China be in or out? Ultimately China signed the Busan Declaration because it states that the nature, modalities and responsibilities of South-South cooperation are different from North-South cooperation and that the principles and commitments are only a voluntary reference for China.

How do we understand South-South cooperation and Sino-African relations in particular? Is there anything Western donors can learn from the Chinese approach to development partnerships in Africa? This seminar outlines the Chinese model of development cooperation and the implications of this approach for recipient countries (governments, business and civil society) as well as for western donors and international financial institutions (IFIs).

Many Western donors think they know what China is doing in Africa. They have seen the headlines: the Chinese arrived a few years ago in a desperate search for oil, have set up a huge aid programme and are propping up governments in resourceā€rich, pariah states that the West will not touch. Their companies are bringing in their own workers and refuse to hire Africans. And they are leading the ‘land grab’ in Africa and growing food to ship back toChina. This an alarming story ... but, on closer inspection, none of it is true.

Deborah Brautigam is a professor in the American University's International Development Program at the School of International Service and from 2011 to 2012 is a senior research fellow at the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI). She has lived in Asia and Africa, studied Chinese for many years and done research in more than a dozen countries in Africa. She is the author of The Dragon’s Gift: The Real Story of China in Africa, a book on Chinese aid and economic engagement in Africa (Oxford University Press, 2009, revised 2011). Her blog ‘China in Africa: The Real Story’ takes up where the book leaves off. Blog:http://www.chinaafricarealstory.com/.



Date, time and location

28 March 2012