Wednesday, May 01, 2013

Secretive aid to Africa...

I doubt the authors of this report "Chinese Development Finance in Africa Roughly Equal to US Assistance" really and accurately know about Africa. The idea is good but they seem to use a poor methodology: "The database draws upon thousands of news reports on Chinese-backed projects in Africa from 2000 to 2011" therefore often inaccurate and non actualised data, and in the end this report, started with a good idea but ended with mediocre result. It fits the mood of a massive neo colonial interest for human resources and minerals of Africa not for aid to Africa's development.

The focus of this US funded project for the way China handles its aid to Africa is set in motion with this comment: "... Further analysis of the media reports of Chinese-backed projects may eventually yield insights into such controversial questions as to what extent Chinese assistance to the region is focused on natural resource extraction, and whether Chinese activities complement or compete with assistance from other donors."

The difficulty to assess the situation of such aid to Africa is roughly admitted here: "Further complicating matters, Chinese package financing often brings together agreements that mix aid, investment, export credits, and both concessional and non-concessional financing. Chinese state-owned enterprises also blur the line between official government finance and private flows." I am amazed to read that this report has been repeated everywhere, of course it is a Washington based report!

TICAD V is approaching. Still a lot of misunderstanding by US, Chinese and Japanese about how African nations think, conceive, achieve.

Some watchers also wonder whether Japan contrary to China will offer the sufficient tools for development to its African partners? Does it fit the needs of African nations, one by one, or as a whole, or is it going to be a way for digging further more into Africa's rich soil, as usual, sending their NGO's as intelligence agencies' spooks for the benefit of Japan corporations.

In the end the whole motion will obliterate the aim of development of people and nations to a mere rush for a quick profit. Same as China is doing filling the suitcases of African leaders with cash after a juicy's visit to Beijing.

"While official ODA from Western countries and some major developing countries is openly reported and easily tabulated, Chinese aid [to Africa] has been much more difficult to track, said creators of the database, china aid-data org

"China treats its aid activities as a state secret".

About this Center for Global Development (CGD) in Washington's report, read the French presentation in "Jeune Afrique"

Now an interesting counter report, quite informative here "China in Africa: The Real Story". "The main problem is that the teams that have been collecting the data and their supervisors simply don't know enough about China in Africa, or how to check media reports"


  1. Very nice piece and having worked in the sub-Saharan context for a decade it still is a confusing and unfolding tapestry. Marred with insurgent conflicts, changing regimes and the never ending quest to shift from a colonized and benefactoral receiver climate to one in which self sufficiency and growth potential exists error can/and do get made. Is it wrong for the West to donate money only to have it exploited, ending up in the wrong hands, or developing a never ending dependency? Is it wrong for China to offer economic gain in exchange for mineral and resource wealth (bearing in mind that they have a tremendous s demand just to support their people)? We are living in a world of great misunderstanding, prejudices and unabated anger towards each other. As the saying goes, united we stand and divided we fall.... and today we are not at all united in manaing the globe for the fair and equitable benefit of all.

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. Thank you for your comment and for the reminder that a house divided against itself cannot stand.


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