Foreign direct investment and aid to Africa: exploring the views of Kenyan academics and civil servants
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Type of Workapplication/pdf
ix, 92 pages
DepartmentTowson University. Department of Geography and Environmental Planning
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This paper explores the issue of Chinese investment in Kenya through the eyes of Kenyan academics and civil servants. I discuss initial findings from interviews and surveys that explored these informants' views on Chinese aid and foreign direct investment (FDI), their effects on national economic and social development, and the emergence of Chinese economic interest in Kenya. Fundamentally, I reflect on differences between Chinese and Western aid and investment in Kenya and explore whether these informants view the Chinese-Kenyan relationship as conducive to development and sustainability in Kenya. Informants suggest that China is able to deliver aid at a speed unmatched by Western donors and confirm that Chinese investment in infrastructure dwarfs that of Western donors (Lyman, 2005). However, they also criticize Chinese investors for ignoring human rights and refusing to listen to complaints from Africans on topics that range from low wages to negative environmental effects of aid and investment projects.