Follow CGSP on Social Media

Listen to the CGSP Podcast

Data Reveals Africa’s Inefficient Distribution of Road Building Projects Financed by China and the World Bank

Source: Tilman Graff, “Spatial Inefficiencies In Africa’s Trade Network,” National Bureau of Economic Research Working Paper Series, 2019. Note: Circle = project site; size of circle = logarithmic disbursement value of project in U.S. dollars

The Brookings Institution today showcased some of the findings from an earlier working paper by Harvard doctoral student Tilman Graff who studied the spatial inefficiencies of Africa’s transportation industry and its impact on trade.

According to Graff, road building projects financed by both the World Bank and China’s policy banks are not efficiently distributed across the continent:

  • Get a daily email packed with the latest China-Africa news and analysis.
  • Read exclusive insights on the key trends shaping China-Africa relations.
  • Full access to the News Feed that provides daily updates on Chinese engagement in Africa and throughout the Global South.

China, Africa and the Global South... find out what’s happening.

Subscribe today for unlimited access.

What is The China-Global South Project?


The China-Global South Project is passionately independent, non-partisan and does not advocate for any country, company or culture.


A carefully curated selection of the day’s most important China-Global South stories. Updated 24 hours a day by human editors. No bots, no algorithms.


Diverse, often unconventional insights from scholars, analysts, journalists and a variety of stakeholders in the China-Global South discourse.


A unique professional network of China-Africa scholars, analysts, journalists and other practioners from around the world.