Gallagher Publishes Op-Ed in The Hill on China’s Lending in Africa


Kevin Gallagher, Professor of Global Development Policy and Director of the Global Development Policy Center at the Frederick S. Pardee School of Global Studies at Boston University, co-wrote a recent Op-Ed examining accusations made by former United States Secretary of State Rex Tillerson that China is fostering dependency with predatory loan practices in Africa.

Gallagher’s Op-Ed, entitled “Trump Team Bashes China but Offers no Alternative in African Nations,” was published in The Hill on March 15, 2018. He co-wrote the Op-Ed with Deborah Brautigam.

From the text of the article:

The now former Secretary of State Tillerson’s talking points for his hastily-arranged trip to Africa last week accused China of fostering dependency, with “opaque contracts, predatory loan practices, and corrupt deals that mire nations in debt,” hurting growth and local employment. Is China really a predatory lender in Africa?

It’s clear that Tillerson last trip as secretary of State to Africa was an attempt to try to repair relations with a continent that was outraged by President Trump’s foul language in discussing their countries. Pointing a finger at China is already deflecting attention from the Trump administration’s image problems. But are these accusations true?

Our two research groups have been tracking Chinese loans globally and in Africa for the past decade. Predatory lenders use deception and fraud to entice borrowers to take out expensive loans they don’t really need and can’t afford. But, it seems that Chinese loans fund projects African borrowers really do need, and the loans generally have favorable terms.

Gallagher served on the U.S. Department of State’s Investment Subcommittee of the Advisory Committee on International Economic Policy and the International Investment Division of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development.  He has served as a visiting or adjunct professor at the Paul Nitze School for Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University, the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University; El Colegio de Mexico in Mexico; Tsinghua University in China; and the Center for State and Society in Argentina. You can follow him on Twitter @KevinPGallagher.