Australia’s bilateral aid to Africa has diminished and is narrowly focussed.
Bilateral aid to improve fiscal and regulatory system design and implementation is a relatively low cost way of increasing Australian engagement with, and visibility in, a region that will have 2.5 billion people by mid-century.
It is also a way of supporting Australian investors in African mining projects, and associated mining equipment, technology and services exports from Australia to Africa. This is because it reduces investment uncertainty, allowing Australian companies - which for various reasons cannot handle the uncertainty as well as investors from some other countries (particularly China) – greater opportunity to win their share of investment and trade.
This paper, delivered at the recent Africa Down Under Conference, explores some of these issues.