Weekly news

02/02/2013 to 08/02/2013

Top Stories:                                                                                                          

 Mwana Africa, Chinese Sign Pact – The Herald (ZWE)

Deal between Zhejiang Hailiang Company and Mwana Africa to partner on projects on the continent. This either seems like an attempt to gain from Mwana’s contacts and experience, or perhaps a way around indigenisation laws.

 Chinese ‘not exempt from indigenisation’ – Mail & Guardian (ZAF)

As elections in Zimbabwe approach, the Zanu-PF are keen to signal that they are not in the thrall of Chinese investment. Claiming the government is too close to China has become a well used opposition electioneering tactic in a number of African countries, most recently Ghana and Zambia.  

 SABMiller in $864m China brewery deal – Business Day (ZAF)

Proof that big business takeovers between China and Africa don’t just go in one direction. South African brewer SABMiller are looking to grow in China and have taken over Chinese brewer Kingsway.

 Microsoft And China’s Huawei Want To Power One Million New African Businesses By 2016 – Forbes

Interesting partnership between Chinese and US giants Microsoft and Huawei. Their 4Afrika phone is being designed for the African market. The really interesting part is a huge training and employment initiative aiming to increase the number of Africans in highly skilled jobs.

 Changing Channels: The Rise of Chinese Media in Africa – Think Africa Press (GBR)

The great Think Africa Press takes a look at the growing Chinese media presence in Africa. The author points to the different cultures of the press in Africa and China (in their relation to the state – critic or apologist) as a cause for concern.

 CCECC workers protest over anti-labour practices in Lagos – Business Day (NGA)

A week after Nigerian Central Bank Governor Lamido Sanusi said, “We have to get China to produce products on African soil”, this strike unearths one potential challenge. Chinese labour standards are generally not acceptable to African workers.

Politics                                                                                                                 

Chinese ‘not exempt from indigenisation’ – Mail & Guardian (ZAF)
08/02/2013
Zimbabwe’s indigenisation policy requires that all foreign-owned companies cede 51% of their shareholding to local Zimbabweans. Kasukuwere, Zimbabwe’s indigenisation and empowerment minister, said China was a friend of Zimbabwe and had assisted Zimbabwe “since the liberation war days”.

Chinese ambassador meets Syrian opposition leader in Cairo – Xinhuanet (CHN)
06/02/2013
Chinese Ambassador to Egypt Song Aiguo met Tuesday with Syrian National Coalition for Opposition and Revolutionary Forces Chairman Ahmed Moaz Al-khatib in Cairo. Song said during the meeting that China has all along been deeply concerned about and attached importance to the Syrian issue.

Amb. Langa: 15th anniv. marks milestone of China, S. Africa – Xinhuanet (CHN)
06/02/2013
South Africa is a distant country for most of the Chinese people, important but also mysterious. We know about it, maybe because of Nelson Mandela, the man who spent his lifetime fighting against apartheid, and is respected as Father of the Nation. We know about it, maybe because of the happiness it brought to us in the 2010 World Cup. We know about it, maybe because of the strength it showed us in the 2011 Durban World Climate Change Summit.

China and Africa: The Next Decade – Somali land sun (SOM)
04/02/2013
David H. Shinn Adjunct Professor, Elliott School of International Affairs George Washington University Remarks at Conference on “China in Africa” Centre for China-US Cooperation Josef Korbel School of International Studies University of Denver Denver, Colorado1 February 2013. If ten years ago in 2003 I had given a presentation like the one I will attempt today, ten years later in 2013 I would probably be terribly embarrassed by the number of mistakes in my predictions of ten years earlier. This prospect concerns me less today.

Vibrant capital market critical to Nigeria’s growth agenda, says Hua – The Guardian (NGA)
03/02/2013
I think the Nigerian capital market is developing and you do have the equity and government bond markets and they have been functioning for quite a number of years. What truly needs to be developed is the corporate bond market. Just to quote some figures in some other developing markets like South Korea, the corporate bond market contributes 65 per cent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP); South Africa, 20 per cent; and China, 25 per cent; among others.

Veep reaffirms Zambia, China ties – Sunday Times of Zambia (ZAM)
03/02/2013
Vice-President Guy Scott yesterday led scores of Chinese nationals in Zambia in commemorating the Spring Festival Temple Fair with assurance of the country’s commitment to strengthening the existing relations between the two nations.

Nigeria’s ex-vice-president hails China – New Times (RWA)
02/01/2013
Nigeria’s former vice-president Atiku Abubakar on Thursday recognized China as a genuine friend of Africa, going by the huge sum of investments and presence of people and government of the Asian country to promote technology, economic stability, as well as peace and unity in the continent.

Sierra Leone’s Envoy to China highlights China’s role in Africa’s sustainable development – CoCo Rioko (SLN)
02/02/2013
Sierra Leone’s Envoy to the People’s Republic of China, Abubakarr Multi-Kamara has spoken, that China is now a major player alongside other traditional bilateral and multilateral donors in providing financial and technical assistance to Africa for its (Africa) sustainable development and future prosperity.

Eight steps to successful China-Africa collaboration – Business Day (ZAF)
25/01/2013
Since its inception in 2000, a lot has been achieved by the Forum on China-Africa Co-operation (FOCAC), which has grown into the premier mechanism for collective dialogue and practical collaboration between China and Africa.

Finance and Banking                                                                                           

SABMiller in $864m China brewery deal – Business Day (ZAF)
06/02/2013
SABMiller, the world’s second-largest brewer, said on Tuesday that China Resources Snow Breweries (CR Snow), its joint venture with the China Resources Enterprise conglomerate, had agreed to buy the brewery business of Chinese beer maker Kingway for $864m.

Chinese Firms Spread Tentacles in Zim – The Standard (ZWE)
03/02/2013
China has spread its tentacles over most of Zimbabwe’s productive sectors in recent years, raising the spectre of re-colonisation. The Far East country is involved in mining, agriculture and construction among other sectors, but critics are sceptical at China’s involvement in the Zimbabwean economy.

China Pledges More Investments – Times of Zambia (ZAM)
31/01/2013
China has pledged more investments into Zambia, especially in telecommunications, infrastructure and mining sectors.And Standard Chartered Bank managing director Mizinga Melu said Africa-China trade has risen tenfold in less than a decade.

Mining and Metals                                                                                                

Mwana Africa, Chinese Sign Pact – The Herald (ZWE)
08/02/2013
Mwana Africa, a multi-commodity African mining group listed in the United Kingdom with a strong presence in Zimbabwe, has announced the formal signing of the Joint Venture Agreement with Zhejiang Hailiang Company Limited of China. The Alternative Investment Market-listed firm controls 52,9 percent in Zimbabwe-based Bindura Nickel Corporation, Africa’s only integrated nickel miner, smelter and refinery listed on the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange.

China poised to play bigger role in mining industry – Business Day (ZAF)
07/02/2013
This week’s “Letter from China” is penned not from a snow-covered Beijing CBD, but from fair-weathered Cape Town, on the sidelines of the Investing in African Mining Indaba.

China set to continue driving demand for iron ore – Business Day (ZAF)
05/02/2013
Global demand for iron ore is expected to reach 2.6-billion tons in the next seven years, with China poised to remain the biggest consumer of the steel-making ingredient, Diedrik Tas, a partner at research firm McKinsey, told delegates on Monday at the Africa Mining Indaba in Cape Town.

China’s scramble goes platinum – Business Report (ZAF)
02/01/2013
China’s scramble for resources is breaking new ground on South Africa’s platinum belt.
As older and less profitable shafts face closure, Chinese money is bank rolling one of a handful of new platinum mines being built in South Africa, which sits on about 80 percent of known global resources of the white metal.

Telecommunications                                                                                            

Conquering Africa One Device at a Time – Investing Daily
07/02/2013
Last week I wrote about Lenovo Group’s successful entry into the Chinese smartphone market. I posited that the company would have a relatively easy time breaking into Africa, given the prevalence of Chinese technology on the continent.

Microsoft And China’s Huawei Want To Power One Million New African Businesses By 2016 – Forbes
04/02/2013
Microsoft and Huawei are introducing the Huawei 4Afrika, a full-functionality Windows Phone 8, preloaded with select applications designed for Africa.Here’s the amazing power in all of it: By 2016, the 4Afrika Initiative plans to help place tens of millions of smart devices in the hands of African youth, bring 1 million African small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) online, increase the skill level of 100,000 members of Africa’s existing workforce (they call it “upskill”), and help an additional 100,000 recent graduates develop job skills, 75 percent of whom Microsoft will help place in jobs.

Trade                                                                                                                    

China ‘smuggles’ Mozambique Timber – EIA – Club of Mozambique (MOZ)
08/02/2013
Nearly half of the timber exported from Mozambique to China is illegal, a pressure group has said. The Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) said its investigation showed that Mozambican politicians and Chinese traders were systematically involved in timber smuggling and illegal logging.

Ecobank sees more benefits in China-Africa trade – Xinhuanet (CHN)
07/02/2013
Pan-African commercial bank Ecobank Group is positioning itself to play a bigger role in facilitating the growing trade links between China and Africa, the head of the bank’s operations in Kenya said on Wednesday.

Ecobank Vows to Support Trade With China – FOCAC
05/02/2013
Ecobank is geared to reduce costs of doing business between Tanzania and China, by providing affordable, convenient financial solutions and trading in Chinese currency, the bank said during the ushering in of the new Dragon year.

Transport and Infrastructure                                                                                 

2013 Budget: Employers want more spending on infrastructure – GhanaWeb (GHN)
01/02/2013
Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Employers’ Association (GEA) Alex Frimpong says employers want to see accelerated infrastructure development in this year’s budget statement, especially regarding the road sector, to open up business.

Environment                                                                                                         

Sino-Africa initiatives on urban renewal gains traction – FOCAC
05/02/2013
China has deepened cooperation with several African countries to promote urban renewal through sustainable waste management, improved service delivery alongside efforts to combat environmental pollution. Officials told Xinhua in Nairobi on Thursday that symbiotic relationship between Africa and China is critical to help promote growth of sustainable, inclusive and safer cities.

Education                                                                                                             

Chinese-built primary school opens in Harare – Xinhuanet (CHN)
07/02/2013
A primary school that was built by the Chinese government in Harare has started operating, Zimbabwe’s Minister of Education, Sport, Arts and Culture David Coltart said on Wednesday.

Chinese language courses set to be offered at UDOM – IPP Media (TZA)
05/02/2013
University of Dodoma (UDOM) plans to offer Chinese language courses as a key to learning from the best practices of China. The courses will be offered under the newly established Confucius Institute at UDOM to allow students and ordinary citizens to learn and understand Chinese language and culture.

Chinese embassy constructs playground for Kacyiru school – FOCAC
04/02/2013
The Embassy of the People’s Republic of China has built a play ground and paved compound sidewalks for Kacyiru I Primary School. The facilities were inaugurated on Tuesday by the Chinese ambassador to Rwanda, Shu Zhan, together with the State Minister fro Primary and Secondary Education, Dr Mathias Harebamungu. Ambassador Shu said the facilities were China’s contribution to the government’s policy of school safety.

Media                                                                                                                   

Changing Channels: The Rise of Chinese Media in Africa – Think Africa Press (GBR)
07/02/2013
China’s growing role in Africa is no secret. Its expansive resource-backed infrastructural projects are widely reported on and the $200 billion/year trade between China and Africa has been turning heads around the world.

Society                                                                                                                 

China travel will be a key pillar of the African development agenda – Travel Daily News (CHN)
06/02/2013
Addressing the China Tourism Forum during FITUR Travel Fair, the International Coalition of Tourism Partners (ICTP) President, Professor Geoffrey Lipman, said that “China’s commitment to make tourism a consumption-lead industry and a pillar of the economy was incredibly significant.” He added that Africa will be one of the great beneficiaries as win-win trade deals for resources intensify in the next decade and Chinese outbound travelers – business and leisure – discover the beauties of Africa.

CCECC workers protest over anti-labour practices in Lagos – Business Day (NGA)
01/02/2013
Nigerian Workers of China Civil Engineering Construction Company (CCECC) on Friday protested alleged abuse and anti-labour treatment by the company’s management. The aggrieved workers carried placards and chanted protest songs in front of the company’s office at the National Theatre Complex, Iganmu, Lagos, as early 9:00 a.m.  Some of the placards had inscriptions such as: “We are the least paid construction workers in Nigeria’’, Gov. Babatunde Fashola must hear this’’ and “Increase our salaries’’.

Nigerian workers protest conditions at Chinese construction projects – China in Africa: The Real Story
01/02/2013
This is a huge cultural conflict. Aside from the long hours, some of this reflects Chinese cultural assumptions about flexibility: work is work, and if the need is to develop the garden or lay bricks, and there isn’t a need for carpentry, then carpenters should lay bricks.

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