Chinese Presence in Africa: For better or worse?- A Study on the Effects of Chinese Aid on Press Freedom in Africa

University essay from Göteborgs universitet/Graduate School

Abstract: Over the last 20 years, China's growth has increased exponentially, and one aspect of this growth is increasing Chinese presence in many international and economic settings. In this study we focus on the international impact of Chinese foreign aid and in more detail how it influences the press freedom in Africa on a cross-national and sub-national level. On an aggregate level, we measure how the number of projects sites in a country affect the press freedom score using Varieties of Democracy’s press freedom index. To capture the effect on a micro-level, we measure the difference in perceived level of press freedom when living close to an ongoing Chinse aid project site and a projected Chinese aid project site. The results suggest strongly significant and negative effect of Chinese presence locally while we find no evidence for such an effect at an aggregated level.

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