China’s Role in Infrastructure Development in Botswana

Image: Flickr, Shiraz Chakera
Image: Flickr, Shiraz Chakera

Botswana, a landlocked country in Southern Africa, is often characterised as a major success story on the continent.

Consistent economic growth, effective democratic institutions and strong forward planning contribute to the country’s overall reputation as a developmental state. Infrastructure development is always at the core of the national government’s long term programme, which makes Botswana an attractive destination for foreign investment. A close examination of Chinese investment in Botswana highlights the diversity and complexity of Chinese engagement in this country. With its robust regulatory environment, coupled to a strong commitment to accountable and transparent practices, Botswana provides an illuminating perspective on China’s changing role in the infrastructure sector in Africa and the challenges it faces. The co-operation between Standard Bank of South Africa and the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China in financing the Morupule B Power Station project advances a new model of Chinese involvement in infrastructure development in Botswana that sets an example for the rest of Africa.

SAIIA sincerely thanks those who acted as peer reviewers for this paper.

2 Oct 2009