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China s Foreign Aid to Africa: Socio-Economic Impact of the Tazara Aid Project on Tanzania

DOI: 10.3923/sscience.2013.34.41

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Abstract:

The study researches Chinese aid relationship with Africa mirrored in the Tanzania-Zambia Railway (Tazara) aid project with a view to analyzing its socio-economic impact on the lives of the people of Tanzania. The idea of a rail link between Tanzania and Zambia dates back to the colonial era. But, the impetus for the actual construction developed in 1965. Appeals for assistance were made to the West but were rejected. China came in when the hope on the West was disappointed. Following President Nyerere s visits and appeals to China in 1967 China agreed to finance the project. The Tazara linked Kapiri Mposhi in Zambia with Dares-Salaam in Tanzania. It was the biggest aid commitment at the time costing about 400 million dollars. The study adopts the inter-dependence theory as its theoretical and analytical framework for the discussion of aid in Chinese relationship with Africa. The findings are that the railway aid project was significant in a number of positive ways and therefore developing to the economy and the state of Tanzania. Among other things, the Chinese involvement in the project demonstrated that despite the ravages of the cultural revolution and the effect that this had on Chinese foreign policy, China remained committed to Africa. By signing the deal on the project at the height of the revolution, China signaled to the continent of Africa of its commitment to her development and liberation from the shackles of imperialism and colonial hang-over. On its completion, the project by its process had transferred technology to Tanzania and left rural lives significantly transformed.

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