Increased 'Chinalisation' of Uganda Could Boomerang

Economic ties between China and Africa have grown steadily over the years, as reflected in trends of aid to and trade with Africa in recent years. For instance, by last year, trade between Africa and China stood at $200bn compared to $9bn in 2000 China and Uganda diplomatic relations date back to 1962, when Uganda got its independence.




Chinese “aid” is a lightning rod for criticism. Policy-makers, journalists, and public intellectuals claim that Beijing uses its largesse to cement alliances with political leaders, secure access to natural resources, and create exclusive commercial opportunities for Chinese firms—all at the expense of citizens living in developing countries. We argue that much of the controversy about Chinese “aid” stems from a failure to distinguish between China's Official Development Assistance (ODA) and more commercially oriented sources and types of state financing. Using a new database on China's official financing commitments to Africa from 2000 to 2013, we find that the allocation of Chinese ODA is driven primarily by foreign policy considerations, while economic interests better explain the distribution of less concessional flows. These results highlight the need for better measures of an increasingly diverse set of non-Western financial activities.

View ArticleDownload Data

Related Datasets

Related Publications