Comparing the Determinants of Western and Chinese Development Finance Flows to Africa

Image: Flickr, Steven Shapiro
Image: Flickr, Steven Shapiro

China rose to prominence in the global economy with breakneck speed in recent decades. Its increasing role in the arenas of international trade and foreign investment has been accompanied by a growing development finance agenda.

In 2000, China’s annual development finance to Africa totaled US$121 million and was distributed among a handful of countries. By 2013, it had grown to well over US$16 billion—a figure comparable to those of the largest western development finance providers (see Figure 1). As China’s development finance portfolio grew, the west paid increasing attention to the quality of governance in the developing world and how they relate to economic development. More specifically, issues like corruption controls, democratic development, and respect for human rights all became a more integral part of western countries’ foreign policy agendas. This increasing focus on governance development has also been featured prominently in western countries’ development programming.

1 Jan 2018