The Return of Non-DAC Donors to Africa: New Prospects for African Development?


  • This article is based on a study conducted for the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs on financing for development in Africa. The author wishes to thank Peter Gibbon and Ole Therkildsen and an anonymous referee for valuable comments on an earlier draft of this article. The usual caveats apply.


This article examines the consequences of the return to Africa of donors that are not members of the OECD's Development Assistance Committee (DAC). It categorises these donors according to form, content, size and modality of their aid. It finds that their return increases external financial flows, in particular to countries not targeted by DAC donors. Moreover, for some donors like China and India the flows are closely related to other financial flow s such as trade and investment. Furthermore, it finds that the return of non-DAC donors may conflict with plans to harmonise aid and may simultaneously raise transaction costs for recipients.