Follow CGSP on Social Media

Listen to the CGSP Podcast

Does China’s Growing Investment in Overseas Aid Lead to More Influence in Places Like Africa?

A new AidData survey of nearly 3,500 policymakers in 126 developing countries that receive aid reveals China’s expanding foreign aid portfolio is translating into greater influence with leaders in those countries receiving that aid, but also that Beijing still trails far behind the U.S.

Eric & Cobus speak with the lead author of the study, AidData’s Director Policy Analysis Samantha Custer, to find out why China’s massive increase in both overseas aid and financial lending in recent years have not led to comparable growth in political influence on the ground in places like Africa.

Show Notes:

About Samantha Custer:
Samantha is the Director of Policy Analysis for AidData. She has co-authored World Bank papers on open data and citizen feedback with the Open Development Technology Alliance, and assisted former US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright to teach a class on foreign policy. Samantha previously advised on multilingual education policy with SIL International and coordinated the advocacy efforts of the Asia Multilingual Education Working Group for UNESCO. She holds a dual MS in Foreign Service and Public Policy from Georgetown University.

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.