African Perceptions of Donor Agencies: Emerging developments in Sino-African relations

Dr.Sc. Joseph Ato FORSON, Dr.Sc. Awaisu Imurana BRAIMAH, MA. Akorkor Kehinde AWOONOR


The purpose of this study is to demonstrate that African perceptions of donor agencies such as China may differ from country to country, and are informed by elements such as the country of origin, the knowledge base and orientation towards China. China has been a longstanding partner of Africa since time immemorial through series of trade and cultural exchanges. Using a combination of quantitative and qualitative approaches to inquiry, we collect primary data via social survey using google forms with questionnaires administered to participants of ten (10) and six (6) tertiary institutions in Ghana and Togo respectively. This is to give voice to participants from Francophone and Anglophone speaking countries on the subject matter. We give more meaning to the survey data using documentary evidence. Evidence from our frequency distribution of the weighted responses on the various dimension of engagement and that of our phenomenology and narrative tools indicate that there are no singular overarching African perception of China as a donor agent; as the African continent is a 55-state region with diverse conflicting political, economic and socio-cultural proclivities. Africans have embraced China as an emerging force but unlike traditional multilateral bodies, China prefer to deal with Africa on an individual level without going public on matters relating to debt reliefs.


Multilateral Agency; Debt Reliefs; Sino-Africa Relations; Donor Agency; Foreign Policy; International Politics;


Ado, A., & Su, Z. (2016). China in Africa: a critical literature review. Critical Perspectives on International Business, 12(1), 40–60.

Aidoo, R. (2016). The Political Economy of Galamsey and Anti-Chinese Sentiment in Ghana. African Studies Quarterly, 16(3–4), 57–72. Retrieved from

Appiah, E. (2013). Looming diplomatic feud between Ghana and China as both countries tighten visa controls. Retrieved February 15, 2019, from

Awoonor, A.K., and Forson, J. A. (2020). African Perceptions of Trade Partners: A Ghanaian and Togolese Perspective of Sino- African Relations. Insight on Africa, 1–25.

Baah-Ennumh, T.Y., & Forson, J. A. (2017). The Impact of Artisanal Small-Scale Mining on Sustainable Livelihoods: A Case Study of Mining Communities in the Tarkwa-Nsuaem Municipality of Ghana. World Journal of Entrepreneurship, Management and Sustainable Development, 13(3), 204–222.

Baah-Ennumh, T.Y., Forson, J.A., & Mmbali, O. S. (2020). Sustainable Livelihoods in Artisanal Small-Scale Mining Communities: a Case Study of Tarkwa-Nsuaem Municipality of Ghana. Global Social Welfare, 7(1), 81–95.

Calvin-Smith, G. (2020). Covid-19: Nineteen African countries to benefit from IMF debt relief. Retrieved June 8, 2020, from

Carter, B. (2014). Is China’s economy really the largest in the world? Retrieved February 26, 2019, from

Creswell, J. W. (2013). Qualitative Inquiry and Research Design: Choosing Among Five Approaches (3rd ed.). Los Angeles: Sage.

Czarniawska, B. (2004). Narratives in Social Science Research: Introducing Qualitative Methods series. London: Sage Publications.

Forson, J.A., Buracom, P., Baah-Ennumh, T.Y., Chen, G., & Carsamer, E. (2015). Corruption, EU Aid Inflows and Economic Growth in Ghana : Cointegration and Causality Analysis. Contemporary Economics, 9(3), 299–318.

Forson, J. A. (2019). West African states have a science and technology plan. But it’s going nowhere. Retrieved June 8, 2020, from

Forson, J. A. (2020). Innovation financing and public policy dilemmas in the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS). Journal of Science, Technology, Innovation and Development, 12(1), 1–11.

Gilpin, R. (1988). The Theory of Hegemonic War. The Journal of Interdisciplinary History, 18(4), 591–613.

Gilpin, R. (2004). The China Threat: Perception, Myths and Reality. London: Routledge.

Herrman, K. R. (2013). Perceptions and Image Theory in International Relations. New Jersey: The Oxford Handbook of Political Psychology.

Hess, S., & Aidoo, R. (2013). Charting the Roots of Anti-Chinese Populism in Africa: A Comparison of Zambia and Ghana. Journal of Asian and African Studies, 49(2).

IMF. (2020). Sub-Sahara Africa COVID-19: An Unprecedented Threat to Development. Washington DC. Retrieved from

Jervis, R. (2008). Perception and Misperception in International Politics (2nd ed.). New Delhi: Princeton University Press.

Jones, K. (2011). US Far Outstrips China in Arms Sales to Dictators. Retrieved February 26, 2019, from

Jubilee Debt Campaign. (2018). Africa’s growing debt crisis: Who is the debt owed to? London. Retrieved from

Kang, D. C. (2005). Why China’s Rise Will Be Peaceful: Hierarchy and Stability in the East Asian Region. Perspectives on Politics, 3(3), 551–554. Retrieved from

Kurlantzick, J. (2007). harm Offensive: How China’s Soft Power Is Transforming the World. Yale: Yale University Press.

Kurlantznick, J. (2007). Charm Offensive: How China’s Soft Power is Transfor-ming the World. New Haven, CT: Yale University: Yale University Press.

Lei, Z. (2016). China delivers warship to Algeria. Retrieved February 26, 2019, from


Lyons, M., and Brown, A. (2010). Has Mercantilism Reduced Urban Poverty in SSA? Perceptions of boom, bust and the China-Africa trade in Lomé and Bamako. World Development, 38(5), 771–782.

Maswana, J. (2009). Can China trigger economic growth in Africa? Chinese Economy, 42(2), 91–105.

McKinnon, R. I. (2010). China in Africa: the Washington consensus versus the Beijing consensus. International Finance, 13(3), 495–506.

Mearsheimer, J. J. (2001). The Tragedy of Great Power Politics. New York: Norton and Company Limited.

Mearsheimer, J. J. (2014). Can China Rise Peacefully? Retrieved March 15, 2020, from

Mukoya, T. (2020). China must step up on Africa debt relief: Ghana finance minister. Retrieved April 10, 2020, from

Navarro, P. (2017). Mearsheimer on Strangling China & the Inevitability of War. Retrieved February 15, 2019, from

Nyabiage, J. (2020). China to forgive interest-free loans to Africa that are coming due, Xi Jinping says. Retrieved June 18, 2020, from

Nye, J. S. (2005). Soft Power: The Means to Success in World Politics. New York: PublicAffairs.

PRC. (2007). Views of China and Its Increasing Influence. In Global Unease with Major World Powers. Washington: Pew Research Centre. Retrieved from 2007-Pew-Global-Attitudes-Report-June-27.pdf

Sprout, H., & Sprout, M. (1965). Ecological Perspective on Human Affairs. Princeton: Princeton University Press.

Taylor, I. (2007). Arms Sales to Africa: Beijing’s Reputation at Risk. Retrieved February 26, 2019, from

The Economic Times. (2020). China silent amid global calls to give Africa debt relief. Retrieved June 8, 2020, from

Wang, J. (2000). Limited Adversaries: Post-Cold War Sino-American Mutual Images. Hong Kong: Oxford University Press.

Xinhua. (2006). Chinese Contribution to UN Peacekeeping Missions. Retrieved February 26, 2019, from

Xinhua. (2013). Delegation in Ghana to Deal with Illegal Mining. Retrieved February 15, 2019, from

Full Text: PDF

DOI: 10.21113/iir.v10i1.551

Article Metrics

Metrics Loading ...

Metrics powered by PLOS ALM


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright (c) 2020 Dr.Sc. Joseph Ato FORSON, Dr.Sc. Awaisu Imurana BRAIMAH, MA. Akorkor Kehinde AWOONOR

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.