Chinese Hydropower Development in Africa and Asia: Challenges and Opportunities for Sustainable Global Dam-Building, 1st Edition (e-Book) book cover

Chinese Hydropower Development in Africa and Asia

Challenges and Opportunities for Sustainable Global Dam-Building, 1st Edition

Edited by Giuseppina Siciliano, Frauke Urban


174 pages | 37 B/W Illus.

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In recent years, both Chinese overseas investment and hydropower development have been topics of increasing interest and research, with Chinese actors acting as financiers, developers, builders and sub-contractors.

Chinese Hydropower Development in Africa and Asia explores the governance and socio-economic implications of large Chinese dams’ development in low- and middle-income countries in Asia and Africa and asks how these big infrastructure projects promote sustainable local and national development in the recipient countries. The book first discusses general aspects of Chinese involvement in hydropower development in Africa and Asia, looking at political and economic aspects, before presenting selected case studies from large dams built and financed by Chinese actors in Asia and Africa. Based on these results, the book further makes recommendations on how to improve the planning, implementation and governance of large dams for sustainable global dam-building.

This volume is a valuable resource for academics, researchers and scholars in the areas of Development, Environmental Studies, Politics and Economics.


"Large hydropower dams are experiencing a global revival in the attempt to mitigate climate change and reduce energy poverty. This development is spearheaded by Chinese dam-builders and financiers. The book edited by Siciliano and Urban is therefore very timely and addresses the role of Chinese dam-builders in Asia and Africa in a nuanced manner, drawing on a wide range of in-depth research. It is important reading for everyone who is interested in China's role in Asia and Africa."Khalid Nadvi - Professor of International Development, Global Development Institute, University of Manchester

"This book represents a valuable contribution to enhancing the empirical knowledge of Chinese large dams’ development in Africa and Asia by providing a holistic analysis of the local environmental and socioeconomic implications from a detailed case study analysis. The content of the book is of global importance and highly timely due to the global resurgent interest on hydropower development especially in energy poor countries in Africa and Asia".Johan Nordensvard - Lecturer in Social Policy, University of Southampton.

"Chinese Hydropower Development in Africa and Asia convincingly illustrates a wide range of approaches that can be used for the analysis of the multifaceted implications of hydropower investments in the global South, including political ecology and the water-energy-food nexus and identifies best practices to improve the planning, implementation and governance of large dams for sustainable global dam-building. It presents therefore an important reading for both students and professionals working on the interface between environment and development."Maria Cristina Rulli, Associate Professor in Hydrology and Water Engineering, Politecnico di Milano, Italy

Table of Contents

  1. China’s hydropower development in Africa and Asia: Implications for resource access and development Giuseppina Siciliano and Frauke Urban
  2. Rewards and Risks of Chinese Hydropower in the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) Stew Motta and Nathanial Matthews
  3. China’s Investment in African Hydropower: How to Govern the Water-Energy-Nexus? Evidence from the Bui Dam in Ghana Oliver Hensengerth
  4. Benchmarking the Environmental and Social Management Policies and Practices of Chinese Overseas Dam Builders Ying Qiu, Grace Mang and Peter Bosshard
  5. The political ecology of rising China: Case study of Chinese hydropower dams in Africa and Asia May Tan-Mullins, Frauke Urban, Grace Mang
  6. The environmental and social governance of the Bui Dam project in Ghana Paul W. K. Yankson, Kwadwo Owusu, Alex B. Asiedu
  7. The environmental and social governance of the Kamchay dam in Cambodia Giuseppina Siciliano, Frauke Urban, May Tan-Mullins, Lonn Pichdara and Sour Kim
  8. Process and Project Failures in Dam Building in Nigeria: The Case of Zamfara Hydropower Dam Olorunfemi Felix and Onwuemele Andrew
  9. Chinese dam building, renewable energy and socioecological change in East Malaysia Fadzilah Majid Cooke, Gusni Saat, Frauke Urban, Giuseppina Siciliano
  10. Challenges and opportunities for sustainable global dam-building Frauke Urban and Giuseppina Siciliano

About the Editors

Giuseppina Siciliano is a Research Fellow at the School of Oriental and African Studies SOAS, University of London, UK.

Frauke Urban is a Reader at the School of Oriental and African Studies SOAS, University of London, UK.

About the Series

Routledge Explorations in Development Studies

The series features innovative and original research at the regional and global scale. Its scope extends to scholarly works that take an interdisciplinary and comparative approach.

In terms of theory and method, rather than basing itself on any one orthodoxy, the series draws broadly on the tool kit of the social sciences in general, emphasizing comparison, the analysis of the structure and processes, and the application of qualitative and quantitative methods.

The series welcomes submissions from established authors in the field as well as from junior authors. To submit proposals, please contact the Development Studies Editor, Helena Hurd (

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Public Policy / Environmental Policy
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Developing Countries