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China and the U.S. in Africa: Comparing their Impacts on Development
AuthorCook, Christopher W.
AdvisorMakoba, Johnson W.
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This study aims to assess the impact of American and Chinese economic influence on development in Africa. With its status as the least developed region in the world, Africa can potentially benefit from external development assistance. Whose strategies are the most effective in creating sustainable development? The two largest economies in the world are seen as having fundamentally different political-economic systems that in turn influence their strategies towards international development. Since the 1970's, China has resembled a highly-centralized developmental state whereas the U.S embodies the characteristics of a neoliberal state (So, 2011). The development models of China and the U.S. in Africa reflect the inherent ideological differences between them and have real implications for Africa's development. This study utilizes American and Chinese investment, aid, and trade data along with social, economic, and political development indicators from a non-random sample of African countries (N=53) to empirically examine the nature of these relationships and evaluate the potential costs/benefits for Africans. The findings show that while Chinese investment is more effective in promoting economic development in Africa, U.S. investment is associated with increased human development and decreased infant mortality.