Follow CGSP on Social Media

Listen to the CGSP Podcast

Chinese Infrastructure Loans to Africa Are Not Aid – But What Are They?

Professor Deborah Brautigam, director of the China-Africa Research Initiative at Johns Hopkins University.

As concern grows as to how countries like Kenya will repay their loans to China, navigating misinformation about Chinese lending remains challenging. Johns Hopkins University Professor Deborah Brautigam, one of the world’s leading experts on Chinese lending to Africa, unpacked the issue in a public lecture on February 28 at New York’s Columbia University that was just published on YouTube.

Brautigam challenged many dominant ideas about Chinese lending, not least the ongoing ‘debt trap’ narrative – the idea that China plunges poor countries in debt on purpose in order to seize assets or build influence.

  • 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.

[NEW PODCAST] Why It's Not China's Fault That Its Trade With Africa is So Distorted