Date of Award


Degree Type


University or Center

Clark Atlanta University(CAU)

Degree Name



Political Science

First Advisor

Hashim T. Gibrill, Ph.D


This study examines the influence of China's foreign aid policies on the political economic development of Nigeria for the years 1979-2010. Three research questions were proposed and examined in this study: (1) What were the micro-macro political economic drivers of the relationship between China and Nigeria? (2) How has China's foreign aid policy between the years 1979 to 2010 influenced the political economy of the Federal Republic of Nigeria? (3) What role has the international community played in the relationship between Nigeria and China? The international community in this context includes the United States, Soviet Union/Russia, United Kingdom, World Bank, and the International Monetary Fund.

This study was based on the premise that the guiding principles which undergird China's foreign policy formulation, "Principles of Peaceful Coexistence," are no longer applicable in the 21st century. This assertion is made due to China's newly acquired position as the second largest economy in the world. This point is the crux of this research.

The methodological approach utilized was case study and comparative analysis. Scholarly books, journals, government websites, and information from multilateral institutions such as the Bretton Woods Institutions and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development were consulted. An additional source, AidData, which works closely with the aforementioned multilateral institutions, was also used. The sectors examined in this study include health, education, oil and mining and infrastructure in Nigeria. Time series design was utilized to track the influence of aid over the time period of study for the independent variable, China, and also the antecedent and intervening variables of the international community. The study was informed by two theoretical paradigms, complex interdependence and micro-macro linkage model guided by a political economic perspective highlighting the use of neo-mercantilism and neo classical realism by China.

The findings indicate that the sectors of infrastructure and oil and mining are prominent sectors that have received a great deal of attention from China as compared to the global powers and the multilateral institutions. Two reasons can be attributed to this phenomenon: (1) From the Nigerian perspective, the trade and abundant natural resource oil and natural gas in exchange for infrastructure projects has been utilized to help place the country on a more sound economic footing; and (2) From the Chinese perspective, the economic and modernization goals that it wishes to fulfill to help facilitate its rise as a global power are assisted through both the human and natural resources provided by Nigeria.

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