Deborah Bräutigam

Deborah Bräutigam has been writing about the fact and fiction of China and Africa, state-building, governance, and foreign aid for more than 20 years. Her most recent book, Will Africa Feed China? (Oxford University Press, 2015), sheds light on the contrast between realities, and the conventional wisdom, on Chinese agricultural investment in Africa. She is also author of The Dragon’s Gift: The Real Story of China in Africa (Oxford University Press, 2010). She blogs at China in Africa: The Real Story.

Bräutigam is currently Bernard L. Schwartz Professor of International Political Economy, Director of the International Development Program and founding director of the China Africa Research Initiative at Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies. She has also held faculty appointments at American University, Columbia University, the University of Bergen, Norway, and has been a senior research fellow with the International Food Policy Research Institute in Washington, D.C. Bräutigam has twice won the Fulbright research award. She is also a recipient of fellowships from the Council on Foreign Relations and the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. Her research and work with CARI has been funded by the German Marshall Fund of the United States, the Smith Richardson Foundation, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and the U.K. Centre for Economic Policy and Research, Carnegie Corporation of New York, and the Economic and Social Research Council.

She has served as a consultant for Transparency International, the United Nations, the World Bank, DFID, GIZ, DANIDA, the African Development Bank, and USAID, and has provided commentary to the Financial Times, The New York Times, The Guardian, CNN, National Public Radio, Al-Jazeera, Voice of America, CCTV, and MSNBC. Her Ph.D. is from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University.

Last Updated: November 10, 2015

Where is the Evidence of Debt Traps in Africa?

Eric Olander, Cobus van Staden & more
To discuss accusations that China engages in so-called “debt trap diplomacy,” Eric and Cobus spoke with Deborah Brautigam, a Johns Hopkins University Professor and Director of the China-Africa Research Initiative in Washington, D.C. The “debt trap”...



China is Upping Its Aid and Development Game. How Should the U.S. Respond?

Deborah Bräutigam, Mark Akpaninyie & more
During his September 2018 U.N. address, President Donald Trump threatened that the United States may decide to only give foreign aid to “those who respect us and, frankly, are our friends.” In August, the White House attempted to cut foreign aid...

Challenging the Myth of Chinese Land Grabs in Africa

Eric Olander, Cobus van Staden & more
Among the most durable myths surrounding the China-Africa relationship is the fear that the Chinese government and private enterprises are buying vast tracts of African farm land and have plans to transplant millions of Chinese peasants to live and...