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The U.N.’s Role in China’s African Development Agenda

A China in Africa Podcast

China’s embrace of multilateral diplomacy in Africa is a relatively new phenomenon. For years, Beijing rejected the Western aid model, preferring instead to work bilaterally with African governments where they often employed aid (or infrastructure) for resource deals. Many of those early policies were born from China’s own development experience in the late 20th century, specifically Japanese aid-for-resource deals, and largely avoided engagement with the traditional donor agencies.

Among all the various international donor agencies, the United Nations appears to be playing an increasingly important role in China’s development agenda in Africa. After years of sitting on the sidelines of United Nations-led development initiatives, China’s newfound enthusiasm for these programs in Africa is a welcome change, says Nicholas Rosellini, head of the U.N. delegation in China.

Nicholas joins Eric and Cobus to discuss how the United Nations fits into China’s overall African development strategy and what impact China’s more prominent role in global aid will have on the U.N. in the future.

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