Chinese investment in Africa

Laufman, Adam
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University of Delaware
Chinese investment in Sub-Saharan Africa has increased dramatically in the last decade. In contrast to Western financial institutions, China employs a no-strings-attached method of investment in a resources-for-infrastructure model. This policy, consequently, does not require host countries to commit to reform measures before investments are made. In order to determine the effect of this policy on the general population in Africa, I will use three countries as case studies: Angola, Sudan, and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Within each country, I will apply three indicators to measure the impact of Chinese investment: transparency within governance, environmental degradation, and human rights. I will make the argument that Chinese investment, with its lack of attached conditions, does not benefit the local population of these case study countries and those of Sub-Saharan Africa in general. This thesis is organized thematically. Chapters two, three, and four address the broader issues of transparency, environmental impact, and human rights respectively. These chapters are divided into a literature review and sub-sections focusing on Angola and Sudan. The final chapter addresses the DRC and serves as the conclusion; it applies insights from the previous chapters in order to consider the long-term implications of Chinese investment in Africa. Because the Congo has only recently entered the realm of large-scale Chinese investment projects, the chapter is arranged differently than those addressing the thematic issues. The DRC chapter is divided into a literature review and sub-sections that address each thematic issue individually.