Policy Seminar

The Dragon’s Gift: the Real Story of China in Africa

May 17, 2010 - 04:15 pm to 05:45 pm EDT

Is China a rogue donor? Media reports about huge aid packages, land-grabbing, support for pariah regimes, regiments of Chinese labor, and the ruthless exploitation of workers and natural resources in some of the poorest countries in the world have sparked fierce debates. China's tradition of secrecy fuels rumors and speculation, making it difficult to gauge the risks and opportunities in China's growing embrace. This seminar will assess what China is doing and how the Chinese are doing it. It will then focus on why this engagement has a chance of working better for Africa's development than decades of efforts from the West.

Deborah Bräutigam's research focuses on China-Africa relations, foreign aid, industrialization, state-building, and development. She is the author of The Dragon's Gift: The Real Story of China in Africa (Oxford University Press, 2009) as well as publications on foreign aid and governance; taxation and state-building; global networks and comparative development in Africa and Asia.

Xiaobo Zhang is a Senior Research Fellow at the Development Strategy and Governance Division at IFPRI. He has published widely in the fields of economic growth, income distribution, public investment and rural industrialization in China and other developing countries. He is a Co-editor of Chinese Economic Review.

Shenggen Fan is the Director General of IFPRI. Prior to working at IFPRI, he held positions at the International Service for National Agricultural Research (ISNAR) in the Netherlands and the Department of Agricultural Economics and Rural Sociology at the University of Arkansas.