China’s Role in Financing African Infrastructure

Monday, May 14, 2007

As part of its going-out strategy, China is rapidly expanding its economic cooperation with Africa. China Exim Bank plays an important role in this cooperation. The policy bank is financing more than 250 projects in Africa, primarily in the infrastructure sector.

Infrastructure development is urgently needed in Africa. But many infrastructure projects are located in sectors (such as large dams, mining and forestry) which are socially and environmentally very sensitive. Social and environmental concerns need to be integrated in the planning of such projects.

This International Rivers report reviews the social and environmental impacts of Chinese infrastructure projects in Africa.It analyzes how the policies of the Chinese government regarding China's overseas projects have developed in recent years.

The report was written by Peter Bosshard, policy director of International Rivers, in May 2007. It aims to contribute to a better understanding of China's role in Africa, and in global dam building. The report has now been translated into Chinese by Tian Song, lecturer at Beijing Normal University and currently International Visiting Scholar at the University of California in Berkeley.