Thursday, April 14, 2016

Join me in launching a NEW database of China's Africa loans

In 2009, I published The Dragon’s Gift: The Real Story of China in Africa. And in 2010, I wrote my first post on my blog, China in Africa: The Real Story. Since then, I have continued searching for and telling you the “real story”: what China is really doing in Africa, instead of rumors of what it might do. In 2014, I launched the China-Africa Research Initiative at Johns Hopkins SAIS to continue busting myths and getting the facts right. And at SAIS-CARI, I have made tracking down Chinese loans to Africa our main research project, after years of doing it on my own.

Now, I am proud to be launching SAIS-CARI’s NEW database of Chinese loans to Africa. Next week at SAIS in Washington, Thursday, April 21, 10:30 to 1:30 at Policy Roundtable: How Chinese Money is Transforming Africa: It’s Not What You Think, we will unveil our exclusive insights into Chinese loan finance. SAIS-CARI’s core team of 14 researchers has been collecting, cleaning, and analyzing China’s Africa loans, and now we are providing our work to the public for the first time. In coming months, we will expand ways for the public to engage with our database. But for next week, we will explore some surprising insights: 


  • Who gets the Lion's share of the Dragon's loans?  Angola received 25% of all Chinese loans to Africa between 2000 and 2015, almost all of them backed by Angolan oil.
  • Bloomberg and Fitch, take note: Did China Eximbank really lend more than the World Bank in Africa? SAIS-CARI data shows cumulative 2001 to 2010 China Eximbank loan to Africa amount to only US$27.2 billion, not your figure of US$67.2 billion. The World Bank is still a larger lender than China Eximbank.
  • What do Chinese loans pay for in Africa? Transportation. Between 2000 and 2014, transportation received the largest share: US$23.6 billion worth.
  • What are the biggest Chinese loan-financed infrastructure projects in Africa? No. 1: Kenya's Mombasa-Nairobi Standard Gauge Railway Phase I, funded by US$3.6 billion worth of Chinese loans; No.2: Ethiopia's Addis-Djibouti Railway, funded at US$2.5 billion. Both were signed in 2013.

I hope you will join us next week in understanding how Chinese money is actually impacting the African continent. Please make sure to RSVP in advance.

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