Dambisa Moyo’s 2010 publication Dead Aid notes that, in the past 50 years, more than $1 trillion in official development assistance (ODA) has been transferred to Africa. Moyo argues that the African countries that are dependent on ODA have made less economic progress when compared with African nations that have supported a model of trade-based financing. One of these forms of trade-based financing is ‘other official flows’ (OOF). China provides overseas assistance to the water sector in Africa both as ODA and as OOF. China’s involvement in the African water sector is clearly visible, with projects ranging from the construction of city water supply systems to its involvement in rural water well drilling. International literature recognizes the importance of China’s investments and private sector presence as one of the main catalysts behind rapid water infrastructure growth in Africa. China’s history of lifting 500 million Chinese out of poverty over the last 30 years by providing essential water and sanitation infrastructure in urban areas is a strong lesson for Africa, which is predicted to be 64 per cent urbanized by 2050. Concerns over the substitution of local skilled professionals with Chinese experts combined with quality assurance and procurement transparency issues have resulted in the development of a number of innovative models of Chinese engagement in the water sector.