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Impact of China’s Trade Policy in East Africa Community’s Infrastructure Projects

Abstract:

The infrastructure inadequacies demonstrated by poor road networks and outdated railways should be quickly addressed if the East African region is to promote regional connectivity and integration. The People Republic of China is considered to be the second-largest economic power, and in recent years has set a precedent for fast economic growth. In addition to this rapid economic growth, China has increased foreign direct investment all over the world, particularly in Africa. The need for regional infrastructure development in East Africa has left governments open to foreign investments for this sector. This study sought to investigate the role China plays in infrastructure development in East Africa and assess the impacts of Chinese investment in relation to creating new opportunities for economic development and regional integration in the framework of advancement of new regionalism in Africa. A review of existing literature on selected Chinese infrastructure projects was done and interviews with key informants conducted. It was found that China’s involvement in infrastructural development projects in East Africa impacted economic development and that these investments have potential to drive regionalism in East Africa. It is recommended that EAC member states work together in developing regional transport corridors in order to capitalize on regional connectivity to promote regionalism. Further, steps should be taken to continually ensure that the engagement between EAC and China remains mutually beneficial to both parties.

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