Understanding China's Belt and Road Infrastructure Projects in Africa
This paper examines the implementation of BRI infrastructure projects in Africa in light of available information and concludes that African experiences with the BRI are quite heterogeneous. Some of the major borrowers have debt sustainability problems, while others have integrated the loans from China into sound overall macroeconomic programs. Some of the major borrowers are authoritarian countries with poor records of human rights, but other major participants are among the more democratic countries of Africa. It is hard to make simple generalizations about BRI in Africa. For this reason, it would be wise for Western countries to tone down their rhetoric on BRI, as many of the projects will probably work out well. It would help if Western countries provided more support to the International Monetary Fund to help countries manage their borrowing and to the World Bank to provide more infrastructure financing that increased options for the developing countries of Africa.