Tanzanian infrastructure development and the role of China: the case of Bagamoyo Port

Policy Brief no. 4 – October 2018

Since the mid-2000s, the strong presence of Chinese actors in the construction sector in Africa shifted the continent’s development agenda to increasingly focus on infrastructure. The reluctance of traditional aid donors to extend further funding to African countries, has left a void in the construction sector, which has contributed to Chinese actor’s increasing commitment to unlock potential and create new opportunities. Chin+a’s engagement has invigorated interest in the infrastructure sector and positioned it on a new competitive trajectory on the continent. China’s engagement in Africa’s infrastructure development has gained momentum along with its Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). This game changing initiative has the potential to drive Africa’s socio-economic development and structural transformation. However, this policy brief argues, through an examination of China’s role in Tanzania’s Bagamoyo port development, that the success of the developments depend on the proper management of risks, uncertainties, and the complexity of the policy making process by the host governments, rather than Chinese contractors or finance institutions. [Continue reading]