Dr. Deborah Bräutigam is the Bernard L. Schwartz Professor of Political Economy, Director of the International Development Program, and Director of the China Africa Research Initiative at Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS). Her most recent books include The Dragon’s Gift: The Real Story of China in Africa (OUP, 2010) and Will Africa Feed China? (OUP, 2015). Before joining SAIS in 2012, she taught at Columbia University and American University. Dr.Bräutigam’s teaching and research focus on international development strategies, governance, and foreign aid. Dr. Bräutigam has been a visiting scholar at the World Bank, a senior research fellow at the International FoodPolicy Research Institute (IFPRI), and advised more than a dozen governments on China Africa relations.
Is China building a new empire in rural Africa? Few development topics are as controversial and emotionally charged as the belief that the Chinese government is aggressively buying up huge tracts of prime African land to grow food to ship back to China. In Will Africa Feed China? Deborah Brautigam, one of the world’s leading experts on China and Africa, probed the myths and realities behind the media headlines. Chinese farming investments are in fact surprisingly limited, and land acquisitions modest. Defying expectations, China actually exports more food to Africa than it imports. Why is the reality of Chinese investment so different from the headlines? Is this picture likely to change? What role will China play as rural Africa moves from subsistence to commercial agriculture, and China builds a portfolio of tools to allow its agribusiness firms to “go global”? Will Africa Feed China? answered these questions as it shed new light on China’s evolving global quest for food security and Africa’s possibilities for structural transformation.