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To what extent does China’s aid in Africa affect traditional donors?

Kassaye Gudeta Deyassa (Department of Geography, Faculty of Social Sciences, Universitetet i Bergen, Bergen, Norway)

International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy

ISSN: 0144-333X

Article publication date: 7 May 2019

Issue publication date: 28 May 2019




The purpose of this paper is to examine whether the welfare and social policy ideas that characterize Chinese aid in Africa are influencing traditional donors and becoming global.


The paper utilised a qualitative study that has two main components: first, a comprehensive content analysis of over 50 key Sino–African, Chinese and Western policy documents from 2000 (since cooperation between Beijing and African countries first became institutionalised); and, second, there were semi-structured interviews with Chinese, African and Western stakeholders in Addis Ababa (Ethiopia), who were directly involved in the relationship between China and Africa and related development issues.


The results of documentation and interview analyses show that there are currently significant differences between Chinese and Western approaches. China has developed much stronger and more explicit links between development aid and economic activity than most Western donors. The aid is usually implemented through specific projects rather than broader programmes or policies.


It is reasonable to assume that the new developments initiated by the Agency’s international pioneers are likely to be a new emerging trend. As the conditions and processes of social policy design in developing countries are so closely linked with the ideas of international development institutions (if not predetermined), a possible change in the direction of travel of the ideas and activities of this community requires close coordination analysis and evaluation.



Deyassa, K.G. (2019), "To what extent does China’s aid in Africa affect traditional donors?", International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, Vol. 39 No. 5/6, pp. 395-411.



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