Over the past decade China has emerged as a global player in the field of International Development.
In particular, China’s expansion into Africa has not only resulted in intensified social, political, economic and cultural links with Africa but has also seen China as a provider of bilateral aid. The current Chinese aid architecture emphasises non-interference in domestic politics and non-conditional lending. This paper argues that while China’s emergence as a major player in the aid, trade and investment industry in Africa provides a number of opportunities, there is very little scrutiny of Chinese aid effectiveness. Chinese aid to Africa defies the Western donor aid architecture by eschewing conditionalities around governance and human rights. To date, academic literature tends to focus on China-Africa from an International Relations perspective with limited critical analysis on the impact of Chinese ‘tied aid’ system; ‘project-based’ development approach; and the ‘power dynamics’ in the aid, trade and investment processes. There are also silences in examining the complexity and multi-dimensionality of development processes from an African perspective. This paper posits that while the concept of development has been the subject of intense and sustained theoretical, philosophical, empirical and methodological debate in the post-war era, the neo-classical ‘modernist’ frameworks have, in many ways, neglected the fundamental ingredients of African social, political, cultural and institutional diversity.
Speaker: Jonathan Makuwira
Wednesday 16 October: 12.30 pm to 2.00 pm
City Campus Library, Seminar Room 1 (B10-05-011)