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30 Aug 2023

Boston University Global Development Policy Center,
Fudan University Green Finance and Development Center,
South African Institute of International Affairs,

Africa: New research highlights ESG concerns in Chinese-funded infrastructure projects

[...] A new report published by the Boston University Global Development Policy Center (GDP Center), the Fudan University Green Finance and Development Center, South African Institute of International Affairs (SAIIA) and LSE IDEAS used a consistent ESG framework to analyze the ESG risks and impacts of five China-funded infrastructure projects in Egypt, Nigeria and Ethiopia. The analysis focuses on two key sectors – energy and industrial parks – that are major destinations for China’s infrastructure finance in Africa. The report digs into the projects’ compliance with ESG standards, including factors like environmental impacts, labor practices and community engagement.

The report finds mixed outcomes from an ESG perspective. On the upside, Chinese investment has stimulated economic growth and improved livelihoods in many areas. However, projects often fall short of China’s own recommended ESG guidelines, the Green Development Guidance for Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) projects, signaling significant room for improvement in ESG practices.


The report also put forth recommendations targeting Chinese firms, African governments and international development partners to address the ESG issues uncovered in its analysis.