Wednesday, May 1, 2013

China, Africa and NGOs

One does not normally think of Chinese non-governmental organizations (NGOs) being important players in Africa.  An article in the 29 April 2013 issue of China Daily by Meng Jing and Sun Yuanqing titled "Chinese NGOs Reach Out to African Countries" suggests otherwise by identifying recent Chinese NGO activities in Africa.

It is important to read this article in combination with an excellent report published on 14 January 2013 by Shawn Shieh and Amanda Brown-Inz titled "Mapping China's Public Interest NGOs."  China's NGOs are quite different from those in the West.  Many are small, lack staff and expertise and have an operating style that is not like what is found in Western countries.  Most important, many are government-organized NGOs or GONGOs.  Others rely heavily on government funding. 

Because of the sheer number of Chinese NGOs, however, and the fact that some are independent or grassroots organizations this is a topic deserving of more attention in the context of China-Africa relations. 

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