Are China’s Investments in Africa Environmentally Sustainable? A Case Review of Three Projects in Kenya
Mary W. Gititu, Cornelius M. Kyalo

China is the second-largest economy in the world with an annual Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of about 6% as of 2019, thanks to the speedy economic growth. However, this has come along with environmental challenges attributed to the application of the „pollute first control later? policy. Being a global power, China?s environmental status has been of global concern and their advocacy for a green economy has been criticized. Here, we review the environmental implications of few Chinese-funded projects in Africa, with a key focus on Kenya?s three projects; Standard Gauge Railway (SGR), Lamu Port-South Sudan-Ethiopia-Transport (LAPSSET) and Lamu Coal Plant projects. Our findings show that in most instances, economic growth is prioritized over environmental protection. This has been capped in corruption, misinformation on environmental policies, deprived support towards environmental bureaus, resulting in poor policy implementation. Further, the absence of environmental regulations governing overseas investments, weak bureaucracies, and corruption in the host nations, has played part in environmental degradation. In order to confidently advocate for a green economy, China needs to be an example by investing and funding green projects and promoting sustainable development. The host nations also need to prioritize sustainable development and develop policies that will protect the environment.

Full Text: PDF     DOI: 10.15640/jirfp.v8n1a2