China’s Cooperation with Africa, and Especially South Africa, in Education and Training. A Special Relationship and a Different Approach to Aid?

This paper studies the modalities which are used by China in its human resource cooperation with Africa in general, and where relevant with South Africa in particular. It covers the human resource dimensions of the Forum on China Africa Cooperation (FOCAC), pledges, paying particular attention to the latest round of commitments from the November 2009 Ministerial Conference in Egypt; it reviews the short and long term capacity building programmes for Africans in China; it considers the unique role of the Confucius Institutes in Africa, as well as the stand-alone education or training projects outside the FOCAC framework; and it briefly comments on enterprise-based training in Chinese firms. This discussion of China’s educational aid modalities is embedded in a wider consideration of how China’s approaches differ from the current preoccupations of traditional donors about aid harmonisation and country ownership.

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