China's Development Finance to Africa: A Media-Based Approach to Data Collection

68 Pages Posted: 3 May 2013 Last revised: 27 Jan 2014

See all articles by Austin Strange

Austin Strange

Harvard University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences, Department of Government

Bradley Park

College of William and Mary

Michael J. Tierney

College of William and Mary

Andreas Fuchs

University of Goettingen (Gottingen) - Faculty of Economics and Business Administration; Kiel Institute for the World Economy

Axel Dreher

Heidelberg University

Vijaya Ramachandran

Center for Global Development

Date Written: April 29, 2013

Abstract

How big is China’s aid to Africa? Does it complement or undermine the efforts of traditional donors? China releases little information, and outside estimates of the size and nature of Chinese aid vary widely. In an effort to overcome this problem, AidData, based at the College of William and Mary, has compiled a database of thousands of media reports on Chinese-backed projects in Africa from 2000 to 2011. The database includes information on 1,673 projects in 51 African countries and on $75 billion in commitments of official finance. This paper describes the new database methodology, key findings, and possible applications of the data, which is being made publicly available for the first time. The paper and database offer a new tool set for researchers, policymakers, journalists, and civil-society organizations working to understand China’s growing role in Africa. The paper also discusses the challenges of quantifying Chinese development activities, introduces AidData’s Media-Based Data Collection (MBDC) methodology, provides an overview of Chinese development finance in Africa as tracked by this new database, and discusses the potential and limitations of MBDC as a resource for tracking development finance.

This working paper accompanies the release of AidData’s Chinese Official Finance to Africa Dataset, Version 1.0.

Keywords: China, development finance, foreign aid, non-DAC donors, emerging donors, southsouth cooperation, media-based data collection

JEL Classification: F13, F54, O24

Suggested Citation

Strange, Austin and Park, Bradley and Tierney, Michael J. and Fuchs, Andreas and Dreher, Axel and Ramachandran, Vijaya, China's Development Finance to Africa: A Media-Based Approach to Data Collection (April 29, 2013). Center for Global Development Working Paper No. 323. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2259924 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2259924

Austin Strange

Harvard University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences, Department of Government ( email )

1737 Cambridge Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Bradley Park

College of William and Mary ( email )

P.O. Box 8795
Williamsburg, VA 23185
United States

Michael J. Tierney

College of William and Mary ( email )

P.O. Box 8795
Williamsburg, VA 23185
United States

Andreas Fuchs

University of Goettingen (Gottingen) - Faculty of Economics and Business Administration ( email )

Platz der Goettinger Sieben 3
Goettingen, 37073
Germany

Kiel Institute for the World Economy ( email )

Kiellinie 66
Kiel, Schleswig-Hosltein 24105
Germany

Axel Dreher

Heidelberg University ( email )

Grabengasse 1
Heidelberg, 69117
Germany

HOME PAGE: http://www.axel-dreher.de

Vijaya Ramachandran (Contact Author)

Center for Global Development ( email )

2055 L St. NW
5th floor
Washington, DC 20036
United States

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