Document Type



DOI: 10.1177/03611981211031228

Publication Date



china investments in africa, comprehensive development planning, transportation planning, covid19


Africa has not invested enough in its healthcare system, and China has been investing in and financing much of Africa’s transportation system. Many African countries’ fragile health and transportation systems have been further weakened by the COVID-19 pandemic. This literature review confirms the interdependence of the key functional areas of comprehensive development planning and the importance of building and maintaining a sound transportation infrastructure. With respect to partnerships with China, African nations need to strengthen government functional areas more comprehensively, considering all of the areas of development planning including trade as well as transportation and aid issues. It is all the more apparent given the COVID-19 pandemic that these trade deals need to include simultaneous heavy investments in healthcare, education, housing, public utilities (water and electricity), and economic development through improved supply chain management and the use of advanced digital technology. In addition to the deal structures for China’s investments in Africa’s transportation infrastructure, there are also opportunities to reimagine the African nations’ internal transportation spending. For example, there are models in the United States for using transportation funds to invest in health clinics in transit stations. The COVID-19 pandemic has brought this issue to bear, and it is a problem that can be rectified with ‘‘comprehensive’’ development planning that takes into account all of the key functional areas of planning: healthcare, environmental protection, safety, education, housing, economic development, and transportation. Five recommendations follow the literature review and discussion.



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