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China's Belt and Road: Is it Good for Africa?

The China in Africa Podcast

Release Date: 06/25/2017

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China's Belt and Road Initiative is widely hyped, and many African governments view it as a special shot in the arm of African economic development. The scheme links China with Europe via Kenya and Egypt, and if it is built, it will be one of the biggest infrastructure projects in human history.

On the surface, it's easy to see why African governments are excited. The project will provide new infrastructure to Africa, including new ports in East Africa. Also, it will link regions to each other. Kenya's new Standard Gauge Railway won't only integrate Kenya with the rest of East Africa, it will also connect the region to a massive trade route. This opens opportunities not only to connect to China, but also to Europe.

Great, right? Not so fast. This week Eric and Cobus speaks to the Kenyan development economist Anzetse Were. She raises several big questions about the impact of the Belt and Road scheme on Africa. She asks how it will impact on East Africa's own development agendas, who will have power over which aspect of the project, and whether East Africa itself is ready to take full advantage of it. It is a provocative show that flips assumptions about development and China-Africa relations