China’s Aid in African Agriculture: a dynamic learning process

Authors: Gubo Qi*, China Agricultural University, Lixia Tang, China Agricultural University, Lei Meng, China Agricultural University
Topics: Global Change, Africa, China
Keywords: China’s foreign aid, aid in African agriculture, effectiveness of aid, dynamic learning
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/12/2018
Start / End Time: 10:00 AM / 11:40 AM
Room: Regent, Marriott, River Tower Elevators, 4th Floor
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


The effectiveness of China’s foreign aid is paid more and more attention by multiple stakeholders. At macro level, there are arguments about mutual-benefits and discussions on neocolonialism, and the effectiveness at micro level raised some debates but not clear yet. Based on a case of China’s Agricultural Technology Demonstration Center (ATDC) in Africa, this paper analyses deeply the results of China’s foreign aid through the perspectives of the implementation agency, local partner institute and beneficiaries, particularly smallholders. We interviewed the officials, experts and male and female participants involved in ATDC implementation phases during 2014-2017. Our research indicates that there are visible results of projects activities complementation and cooperation mechanism setting-up. More important result is that smallholders participating in project activities facilitated their access to resources and livelihood development. Furthermore, some results are unexpected, such as gender equality, innovative ideas, income sources change, and improvising adjustment, and those results show the character of dynamic learning process, which is different from traditional donor’s working style. Those results along with the process are mostly produced by flexible and adaptive cooperation relying on all partners who are not only interrelated but also very independent in terms of decision-making. This cooperation made a space for involved individuals and institutes to play full roles as per their various advantages; in other words, stakeholders are all agencies contributing to the learning process in their own ways positively. However, the importance of learning from traditional aid pattern is also discussed for sustaining the results of the cooperation.

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