China’s Engagement and Africa Beyond Aid

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Evans Tetteh


In the current interdependent globalized world, inter-polity engagements are anticipated to unleash and empower economic development. To a larger extent, this, however, could be said not to be the case as evidenced in the African context where relations with the developed world have triggered dependence on foreign aid as a conduit to pursue and gratify vital development needs. Contemporaneously, China’s intensive forays and engagement in Africa since the turn of the twenty-first century has been one characterized by irresistible development assistance to the latter. This situation has ensuingly excited agitations, cardinal among which borders on the claim about the potential deadweight and stymying effect of foreign aid on Africa’s growth and development – thereby adding more odium to the discourse on the call for an ‘Africa beyond aid’ – currently a bourgeoning research sphere. To this end, the objective of this article is to explore how the Chinese aid engagement could relate to the Ghanaian leadership’s clarion call for Africa’s development beyond aid. Consequently, the study employed qualitative data and analysis to interrogate the Chinese aid policies towards Africa, as well as projects implemented across the continent. The findings show that gauging from the policy perspective, much as Chinese aid tends to be well suited to the ‘Africa beyond aid agenda’, it nonetheless exhibits some disquieting implementation features that could impede in the long term, Africa’s development beyond aid. This unappealing situation makes it imperatively urgent for Africa to understand, and strategically align with China’s aid - with recourse to the vision of Africa beyond aid.


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Evans Tetteh. (2021). China’s Engagement and Africa Beyond Aid. PanAfrican Journal of Governance and Development (PJGD), 2(2), 3-30.
Author Biography

Evans Tetteh, Hong Kong Baptist University, Hong Kong.

Evans Tetteh is currently a Ph.D. candidate at the Department of Government and International Studies, Hong Kong Baptist University. He holds a BA in History and Information Studies and an MA in International Relations from the University of Ghana and Xiamen University in China respectively. His research areas include non-traditional security studies, foreign aid for development and local governance, and rural development.


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