African lead­ers abuse Chi­nese aid

The Star Early Edition - - NEWS -

NAIROBI: China’s “no strings at­tached” aid is be­ing abused by African lead­ers who chan­nel the lion’s share of funds to their home ar­eas, US-led re­searchers found in the first geo-ref­er­enced data­base of Chi­nese aid to the con­ti­nent.

China is a favoured donor for many African pres­i­dents, weary of the con­di­tions at­tached to Western aid.

China’s pol­icy of non­in­ter­fer­ence makes it easy for cor­rupt politi­cians to use it to re­ward their po­lit­i­cal sup­port­ers, rather than di­rect it to the ar­eas most in need.

“The home re­gions of African pres­i­dents re­ceive three to four times more Chi­nese aid,” Roland Hodler, a pro­fes­sor of eco­nomics at Switzer­land’s Univer­sity of St Gallen, said. “This sug­gests that the Chi­nese prin­ci­ple of non-in­ter­fer­ence in do­mes­tic af­fairs al­lows African pres­i­dents to use Chi­nese aid for pa­tron­age pol­i­tics.” – Reuters

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