Weekly news

05/05/2012 to 11/05/2012

Top Stories:                                                                                                          

 Sudan Conflict Puts China In A Bind – The Star (KEN)

 China must sweat for African money – Sunday Independent (ZAF)

 Zimbabwe: China to Turn Bulawayo Into EPZ – All Africa

 The real frontline of the Chinese in Africa – Financial Times (GBR)

 African Infrastructure Key to China Growth, Glencore CEO Says – Bloomberg

 Developing world searches for own voice – China Daily (CHN)

Politics                                                                                                                 

NDC hopes for Beijing election bonanza – Africa-Asia Confidential (GBR)
10/05/12
Vice-President Mahama’s April trip to Beijing sealed a position of primacy for China and paves the way for more oil-backed loans.  Just twelve months after the start of commercial oil production, Ghana has mortgaged its lucrative oil marketing monopoly to Unipec via the state-owned Ghana National Petroleum Corporation.

Latest ACP-EU updates: EPAs, China’s presence in Africa, and the CAP – CTA (BEL)
08/05/12
Despite widespread criticism and negative prospects facing the EPAs in Africa, the Caribbean region appeared to demonstrate a better outlook, at least when compared to the East African Community (EAC) and latest germane headlines.

Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi Holds Talks with His Zambian Counterpart Lubinda – FOCAC
08/05/12
On May 2, 2012, Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi held talks with his visiting Zambian counterpart Given Lubinda in Beijing. Yang extended welcome for Lubinda’s visit, which is his first visit to China since he took office as foreign minister. China-Zambia friendship has a long history, said Yang.

Hui Liangyu Meets with Zambian Foreign Minister – FOCAC
08/04/12
On May 2, 2012, Chinese Vice Premier Hui Liangyu met with visiting Zambian Minister of Foreign Affairs and Tourism Given Lubinda in Ziguangge, Zhongnanhai. Hui hailed the traditional friendship between both countries. Hui said the Sino-Zambian friendship has deep historical basis and emotional foundation.

VOA Interview on China-Africa, Sudan and Turkey-Africa – Amb. David Shinn
07/05/12
The Voice of America’s Carol Castiel was the host of Press Conference USA that ran on 5 May 2012. During the half hour interview, Carol asked me about China-Africa relations, especially as they are playing out in the conflict between Sudan and South Sudan.

China and the Two Sudans – Amb. David Shinn
07/05/12
The lead story on al-Jazeera’s 5 May 2012 Counting the Cost English-language television program was about China and the two Sudans. It includes my five-minute interview about four minutes into the program. The focus of the interview was the challenging diplomacy that China faces in preserving its interests in both Sudan and South Sudan.

Sudan Conflict Puts China In A Bind – The Star (KEN)
05/05/12
Southern Sudan and Sudan proper got a bit of a wholesale slap this week. The UN Security Council said to both North and South to stop it, right now, and to sit down and resume talks chaperoned by the African Union – again.

Sierra Leone Mission in China and the desire to restore confidence – Sierra Express Media (SLE)
04/05/12
The role of the People’s Republic of China in Africa’s development has been tremendous. In January of this year, the AU commissioned a $124 million AU headquarters built single-handedly by China for the African continent. This is a clear manifestation of the depth that Sino-Africa relations have reached in recent times.

Economics                                                                                                            

South Bank challenge to IMF and World Bank – Africa-Asia Confidential (GBR)
10/05/12
The 28-29 March New Delhi summit of the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) countries debated establishing a BRICS development bank – the South Bank – to give the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank a run for their money.

Redback takes on greenback – Africa-Asia Confidential (GBR)
10/05/12
African countries will be among the first to adopt the Chinese renminbi as a reserve currency. South Africa, China’s largest trading partner on the continent, looks set to be the first African nation to join the 20 other countries and regions that have swapped currency in deals totalling 1.6 trillion yuan (US$250 billion).

Oil prices, soft China growth pose risk to S.Africa GDP – Reuters Africa
08/05/12
Rising global oil prices and slower growth in key trading partners China and India pose a risk to South Africa’s economic growth, Deputy Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene said in parliament on Tuesday.

China must sweat for African money – Sunday Independent (ZAF)
07/05/12
SA’s current strategy of apparently bending backwards to appease China is raising the spectre of undermining our hard-fought democratic gains in the process and allowing the Asian dragon to buy up all the strategic sectors of the economy, and will lead only to a new form of colonialism, this time not from Western powers, but from the East.

Zimbabwe: China to Turn Bulawayo Into EPZ – All Africa
04/05/12
Plans are underway between Zimbabwe and China to turn the city of Bulawayo into an economic zone, a development expected to revive the second capital’s ailing manufacturing industry.

Business                                                                                                               

South Africa & China: deal-making differences – MoneyWeb (ZAF)
10/05/12
China and South Africa are both commonly referred to as emerging markets but the differences between the countries are significant.

Importers of Chinese products urged to be careful – Business Day (NGA)
09/05/12
Prospective importers of Chinese goods have been advised to always conduct researches to ascertain the standard of such products before buying.

Service providers woo Chinese Clients – New Vision (UGA)
08/05/12
Local Business people who attended this year’s China’s Import and Export show (Canton Fair) in Guangzhou, are optimistic that their participation will open more opportunities into Chinese markets as Beijing plans to permit more foreign goods to boost its domestic consumption.

The real frontline of the Chinese in Africa – Financial Times (GBR)
07/05/12
Every day, we carry our hearts in our hands”. You hear this Chinese idiom across Africa; it means to live in fear. As one young man said recently: “Every week the police and immigration come and extort money from us, but the Chinese embassy does nothing, they just look down on us. Why do we have to live as if we are thieves?”

Finance and Banking

Absa Launches Yuan/Rand Trade As China’s African Investment Boom – Wall Street Journal (USA)
04/05/12
Absa Capital, an affiliate of Barclays PLC (BCS), has launched an electronic facility to enable direct trading in the South African rand against the Chinese yuan–or renminbi–amid a boom in Chinese investment into Africa.

Oil and Energy

Coal is hot – Africa-Asia Confidential (GBR)
10/05/12
Southern Africa is now the major frontier of coal exploration for Indian energy companies. Khopoli Investments, a subsidiary of India’s largest private power producer, Tata Power, agreed a 50-50 joint venture with South African miner Exxaro in March to form Cennergi

China to launch first deep-water oil rig – The Citizen (TZA)
09/05/12
China will this week launch its first home-grown deep-water drilling rig located in the South China Sea, some 300 kilometres southeast of Hong Kong, state media reported this week.

African Energy markets Botswana coal in Asia – Mmegi (BWA)
04/05/12
African Energy has embarked on a campaign to market Botswana coal resources to the Asian market ahead of the company’s resumption of mining at its Sese coal project next year.

Telecommunications

Zimbabwe praises China’s technology transfer – China Daily (CHN)
10/05/12
Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe on Wednesday hailed as a great success China’s technology transfer to Zimbabwe and Africa, hoping China would further speed up the process in the future.

Transport and Infrastructure

African Infrastructure Key to China Growth, Glencore CEO Says – Bloomberg
04/05/12
Investing in the development of Africa’s commodities infrastructure is key to China’s long-term growth, Glencore International Plc Chief Executive Officer Ivan Glasenberg said.

Investment

China in East Africa: Win-Win? – Think Africa Press 
08/05/12
“Look, they work really hard, really fast, they are a fantastic example and inspiration to us, and at last we have what we need – a road!” proclaimed Nairobi hotel owner Emelda Nzungu, referring to the Chinese-built bypass just outside the city. And she is not alone in her enthusiasm for China’s role in the region.

Trade

Zimbabwe: Local, China Trade Surges – The Herald (ZIM)
07/04/12
Trade between Zimbabwe and China has doubled to US$800 million in the last two years as ties between the two countries continued to grow, outgoing Chinese Ambassador to Zimbabwe Xin Shunkang said last Thursday. Ambassador Shunkang was speaking at a public lecture ahead of his departure following the expiry of his term of office.

Media                                                                                                                   

Balanced reports needed: Experts – China Daily (CHN)
10/05/12
Media from China and Africa must cooperate to provide a perspective that can counterinaccurate reports from dominant Western sources, experts said on Tuesday at theInternational Seminar on International Media Coverage of China-Africa Relations.

China invests in Africa news as western media declines – Amsterdam News (NLD)
09/05/12
Chinese investment in Africa rose 87 percent last year, with a substantial chunk in media, writes Tom Rhodes of the Committee to Protect Journalists. Observers are asking if the new media emperors will offer a fresh, alternative, and balanced perspective on the continent–or simply propaganda.

Developing world searches for own voice – China Daily (CHN)
09/05/12
Media from China and Africa must cooperate to provide a perspective that can counter inaccurate reports from dominant Western sources, said an expert on Tuesday at the International Seminar on International Media Coverage of China-Africa Relations.

An alternative approach for African media – China Daily (CHN)
09/05/12
I recently read a New York Times opinion piece entitled “Africa’s Free Press Problem” by Mohammed Keita and wondered which Africa he was writing about. Keita makes sweeping statements about the state of press freedom in Africa but ends up only citing the cases of Rwanda and Ethiopia.

China Making Major Media Push in Africa – Amb. David Shinn
08/05/12
China has long emphasized its media activities in Africa but it has only been in the last decade or so that it had the resources to compete with western governments and private news sources such as Voice of America, BBC, Reuters, Bloomberg, Agence France Presse and Associated Press.

China’s media footprint in Kenya – Committee to Protect Journalists
07/05/12
Will China’s quickly expanding media presence in Africa result in a fresh, alternative, and balanced perspective on the continent–much as Al-Jazeera altered the broadcast landscape with the launch of its English service in 2006–or will it be essentially an exercise in propaganda?

Other                                                                                                                    

A History of Overseas Chinese in Africa to 1911 – Chine-Afrique
07/05/12
A History of Overseas Chinese in Africa to 1911 explores early Chinese knowledge of and contacts with Africa through Chinese literature on Africa and current archeological evidence, suggesting Sino-African trade existed as early as the seventh century.

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