Degree: Doctoral Thesis

Authors: Ansoumane Douty Diakite

Supervisors: Doctor Emilie Tran, Hong Kong Baptist University

The purpose of this research is to analyse the nexus between foreign aid and poverty reduction. In this research, aid provided by traditional and (re)emerging donors, China and France, was compared to understand their strategies toward poverty reduction and the impact of their aid in improving the conditions of their beneficiaries. Guinea, a Least Developed Country, was used as unit of comparison and assessment.

Qualitative research methodology was used to collect data about the two aid donors, China and France. Among other research tools used, there are documents’ analysis (official documents from donors and recipients, declarations, scholarly works, media articles, etc.), interviews with various stakeholders, site visits and observation.

As for main findings, this research found similarities and differences between China and France’s aid strategies in general and in Guinea in particular. There are similarities in the ways they integrate poverty reduction into their aid policies, motives and partly in their geographical and sectorial allocation systems. In terms of differences, they use different instruments and conditions to deliver their aid for poverty reduction.

Regarding the impact of their aid, both donors have to some extent contributed to improving the access of the poor population in Guinea to basic services such as education, health, water and sanitation, etc.
Finally, contrary to those who have denied the importance of foreign aid as a financial tool to reduce poverty, this research posits that aid is still a relevant tool to address poverty. However, more work needs to be done at donor, recipient and direct beneficiaries’ levels to ensure its effectiveness. On the other hand, it posits that the divide between traditional and (re)-emerging donors is becoming blurred as their strategies to address poverty are becoming increasingly alike.