Ore For Infrastructure: A Contratual Model For The Optimization Of China'S Investments In Mining Sectors Of Africa

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This dissertation is the first major systematic study of resource-for-infrastructure (R4I) investment contracts in Africa. It describes the terms and conditions of the R4I investment contracts that Chinese investors have been using in the mining sectors of resource rich countries in Africa since the turn of the century. It then shows - and that is its paramount objective - why African governments should prefer R4I contracts over traditional investment contracts, especially production-sharing agreements (PSA) and turnkey infrastructure projects. R4I contracts are a remarkable departure from traditional foreign direct investment (FDI), unique in mining contract history, innovative and adapted to the particular circumstances of most resource rich countries in Africa. The dissertation investigates ways in which resource rich countries in Africa can frame their mining contracts so that they can maximize infrastructure investments while minimizing the risks and costs associated with China's FDI in the mining sectors of Africa. It proposes R4I investment contracts as a model for taking the greatest advantage of China's mining investments in Africa. The basic mechanism is the exchange of natural resources for national infrastructure through the innovative combination of two different types of traditional investment contracts, namely a resource (minerals or hydrocarbons) contract and an infrastructure contract. China gets the resources; the host state in Africa the infrastructure. The dissertation's main argument is that the ways in which R4I contracts combine mining contracts and infrastructure projects offers FDI benefits greater than those provided by the mere sum of these two contract types. R4I contracts increase infrastructure investments exponentially by drastically reducing t ransaction costs. As a consequence, most countries that entered into R4I contracts attracted their largest infrastructure finance in recent years, if not since independence, even if such substantial finance does not come without its own package of risks. With the discourse on China's FDI in African mines shaped largely by insights from political science, economics and development theories, the present dissertation fills a gaping hole in that fast burgeoning Sino-African economic scholarship by approaching the issue from the perspective of contract law. iv

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Ndulo, Muna B.

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Thomas, Chantal
Hockett, Robert C.

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J.S.D., Law

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Doctor of Science of Law

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