The Chinese take a very different approach to their agricultural development programs in Africa compared to those of traditional donors. Rather a conventional aid model, China instead built dozens of centers in countries across the continent that bring together Chinese technical expertise, private sector partners and government funding to work with mostly small scale farmers.
Isaac Lawther, a PhD student in international relations at the University of Toronto, wrote a research paper that was published in the prestigious academic journal Third World Quarterly that examined the effectiveness of these Chinese agricultural centers in Rwanda and Uganda.
Isaac joins Eric & Cobus to reflect on his findings and provide a critical assessment as to whether China’s approach to agricultural assistance in Africa is actually effective.
- Quartz: The real story behind China’s alleged conquest of African farmland by Deborah Brautigam
- The China Global South Project: China’s Agricultural Technology Demonstration Centers: Do They Help Africa’s Food Security Needs? by Development Reimagined
- The China Global South Project: China’s Been Doing Agricultural Development in Africa For 10+ Years. Is it Helping?
About Isaac Lawther:
Isaac Lawther is a PhD student studying international relations and comparative politics at the University of Toronto. Isaac’s dissertation focuses on the strategies of rising challengers in great power competition. His broader research interests include topics such as international order, China’s rise, Chinese and African affairs, and the political economy of food and agriculture.