Weekly news

06/10/2012 to 12/10/2012

Top Stories:                                                                                                          

 African countries welcome growing Chinese presence despite West’s
criticism – Shanghai Daily (CHN)

Very pro-China anti-west feature from the Shanghai daily centering on competition for investment in Zimbabwe. While it’s fairly extreme in its portrayal of the negatives of western investment, it’s not much less one sided than the average UK or US piece. 

 China warns South Africa about strikes – Business Day (ZAF)

Chairman of China’s National People’s Congress Shi Xiushi said to the South African parliament this week that labour conflicts could have an effect on the country’s inward investment.

 President Jakaya Kikwete defends Chinese investors – IPP Media (TZA)

President Jakaya Kikwete talks up Chinese investment in the country. Some interesting perspectives from an African leader on exactly why Chinese investment is valued by African leaders.

 Automation poses dilemma in labour market – Business Day (ZAF)

A South African expert discusses whether the country can compete with China in manufacturing without mechanisation of processes and the resultant falls in employment.

 Ivory Coast To Get 275 MW Hydro-Station Following $556m Loan – Ventures

Another massive hydro power project in Africa. This could be hugely beneficial to Cote D’Ivoire if completed, but common issues of displacement of local people and environmental damage will need to be monitored carefully to ensure the benefits of power provision do not come at great cost to nearby inhabitants.

 A Chinese Medical Worker in Africa – FOCAC (CHN)

Interesting PR piece on a Chinese medical worker in Africa. The article gives a rarely seen human view of Chinese aid in Africa.

Politics                                                                                                                 

Zimbabwe: Chinese Delegation Jets in – The Herald (ZWE)
11/10/2012
A 20-member Chinese delegation jetted into Harare yesterday ahead of the Sanganai/Hlanganani World Travel and Tourism Africa Fair. The 2012 Tourism Trade Fair, organised by the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority, will be held in Harare under the theme; “Celebrating Africa’s Tourism Diversity”, from October 18 to October 21.

African countries welcome growing Chinese presence despite West’s
criticism – Shanghai Daily (CHN) 
10/10/2012
Despite spells of criticism on the growing presence of the Chinese in Africa from the Western governments and media, African countries make greater efforts to lure more Chinese investment into the continent.

Africa’s Independence – Myth and Reality – The New Times (RWA)
09/10/2012
Today, Uganda marks fifty years of independence – three months after Rwanda and Burundi celebrated theirs. But if you think the end of colonial rule signaled the end of foreign control, you might have to think again. Events in Africa today are uncomfortably similar to what happened here just over a century and a half ago.

Development at my expense – The New Republic (LBA)
08/10/2012
I remembered sitting in tight overcrowded minibuses in Monrovia years back and the voices ringing in my ears of young Liberians denouncing the level of under development in Liberia.

China’s development path viewed as a lesson for Africa – FOCAC (CHN)
07/10/2012
Over the past 40 years, policies that have failed to promote progress in Africa by some donor countries and international organizations have prompted the continent to look for the other way for inspiration.

Agriculture                                                                                                           

Tobacco Farmers Meet Planting Deadline – The Herald (ZWE)
09/10/2012
The majority of tobacco farmers with irrigation infrastructure have met the September 30 deadline to plant the crop. Planting of the irrigated crop starts in August. Production of tobacco is expected to rise this year due to improved marketing conditions at the auction floors and attractive prices.

Finance and Banking                                                                                           

Governor of Bank of Mozambique calls for a boost to relations with China – Club of Mozambique (MOZ)
12/10/2012
The governor of the Bank of Mozambique, Ernesto Gove, said Wednesday in Macau that there was room to boost economic and financial cooperation between Mozambique and China, at a meeting to discuss a boost in the relationship between China and the Portuguese-speaking countries.

A Youth Encouraged Into Entrepreneurship – New Era (NAM)
12/10/2012
I perceive the South African economy to be a well thought through and highly specialised system that is meant to be exclusive to the black indigenous majority. This fact is clear when the country’s economy is placed in historical context. The youth should make every effort to understand the inner workings and complexities of our political economy that seems to be the root of all things insurmountable when entrepreneurship is the subject.

Europe crisis to slow, not derail, Africa growth – Reuters (GBR)
12/10/2012
Europe’s debt crisis and the related cooling in China is weighing on Africa, but even a sharp worsening of the crisis would be unlikely to choke off the region’s growth, a top International Monetary Fund official said on Friday.

China’s Dangerous Game: Resource Investment and the Future of Africa – Foreign Policy Journal
12/10/2012
It was an important day for Angola, June 20th, 2006.  Amid the diplomatic pomp and handshakes of an official visit Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao opened the Luanda General Hospital and had his picture taken peering into a microscope surrounded by officials in suits and medics in white smocks.

Is Africa’s economic miracle just a mirage? – Worldcrunch
11/10/2012
In the financial press, Africa is now hailed as the ‘go-to’ continent.

BRICS discuss alternative to world bank – The Official Blog of Amb. David Shinn
10/10/2012
The 2012 BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) Think-Tanks Forum recently met recently in China to pursue an earlier proposal to create a BRICS development bank. While there is no timetable to establish the bank, it seems to be moving forward.

China warns South Africa about strikes – iAfrica
10/10/2012
The effects of the financial crisis continued to spread around the world, dragging the growth rate of major economies below expectations, a financial and economic specialist of China’s National People’s Congress (NPC) said on Tuesday during a discussion with members of Parliament’s standing committee on finance.

Chinese Entrepreneurs in Africa’s Informal Economies – Academia.edu
09/10/2012
With an annual growth rate of around 10% since the early 1980s, we have become accustomed to think of China as a “miracle economy”.

Don’t focus on Brics to the exclusion of African investment, says KZN MEC – Business Day (ZAF)
09/10/2012
South Africa’s membership of Brics (along with Brazil, Russia, India and China) should not mean that local businesses lose sight of the opportunities on the African continent, KwaZulu-Natal MEC for economic development and tourism Mike Mabuyakhulu said on Tuesday.

SA’s bulk exports up 14.3% in September – Business Day (ZAF) 
09/10/2012
Africa’s bulk export volumes rose 14.3% year on year in September, data from the Transnet National Ports Authority showed on Tuesday.

Chinese banks set for greater international role – China Daily (CHN)
08/10/2012
China Construction Bank Chairman Wang Hongzhang said in September that he is prepared to spend up to $15 billion (11.6 billion euros) on a major acquisition in Europe.

Africa’s economy not immune from euro crisis, China slow growth – World Bank – Ghana Business News (GHN)
08/10/2012
The accelerating rate of economic growth in Africa can hit a snag due to the continues euro crises and recent slowdown of the Chinese economy, according to the World Bank.

Africa needs China’s positive investment, says Botswana expert – Xinhua (CHN)
08/10/2012
China is an important source of investment and finance, and African countries need the positive investment to develop their natural resources and infrastructure, said a former deputy chief of Botswana’s central bank.

Resource-Rich Countries Still ‘Cursed’ – Open Society Initiative for Southern Africa (ZAF)
08/10/2012
Headline Growth Figures and the attendant gushing media headlines – often obscure important realities. Yes – Africa is rising and many of its economies are growing strongly on the back of strong demand for its vast natural resources. And surely this shows that the drip down effect is working as the continent’s middle class expands and more countries become ‘technically’ middle-income? But the answer to that – encapsulated in a World Bank report – is actually ‘no’.

Who’s afraid of the big black cat – FOCAC (CHN)
07/10/2012
In 1961, Chinese political leader Deng Xiaoping famously stated, “It doesn’t matter whether it’s a white cat or a black cat; a cat that catches mice is a good cat.”  These words marked a pragmatic path towards development, later resulting in nearly 30 years of economic growth of over 9 per cent, and most importantly, raising 400 million people out of poverty. As economist Jeffrey Sachs put it, “China is the most successful development story in world history.”

President Jakaya Kikwete defends Chinese investors – IPP Media (TZA)
06/10/2012
President Jakaya Kikwete on Thursday strongly defended the foreign direct investments, massive loans and aid from China saying Tanzania would continue to attract more investors from the Asian superpower despite the negative image painted by the Western media on its business deals in Africa.

Manufacturing                                                                                                      

Automation poses dilemma in labour market – Business Day (ZAF)
10/10/2012
South Africa needs to develop its manufacturing technologies so that it can compete with the likes of China, says Sanlam group economist Jac Laubscher.

Australia’s Discovery Metals rejects $844 mln Chinese takeover bid – Reuters Africa
11/10/2012
Australia’s Discovery Metals Ltd unexpectedly rebuffed a takeover offer led by a Chinese private equity firm valuing the copper miner at A$824 million ($844.31 million), but said it remained open to a higher bid.

Chinese security threat or US insecurity? Congress attacks Huawei – Daily Maverick
09/10/2012
On Sunday night, 7 October, American news network CBS aired a segment that asked whether the United States, which has largely left its telecommunications business to foreigners, could trust the Chinese to build and maintain the critical data infrastructure that its government and industries rely on.

Cathay Fortune buys Australian-listed mine in Africa – Finance Asia
08/10/2012
Cathay Fortune wades into Africa to scoop up yet another resources company as prices are depressed and opportunities arise.

Mining and Metals                                                                                                

Discovery rebuff disappoints Chinese – Sky News (GBR)
12/10/2012
Two Chinese entities proposing a takeover of minerals explorer Discovery Metals say they are disappointed by Discovery’s rejection.

Oil and Energy                                                                                                     

Ivory Coast To Get 275 MW Hydro-Station Following $556m Loan – Ventures
09/10/2012
The Ivory Coast will see construction of a 275 megawatt hydropower plant, funded by China’s Export-Import Bank (Exim), begin by the end of 2012 in a government push to increase power output.

Sinohydro – New Vision (UGA)
08/10/2012
Sinohydro, widely known as “China’s first brand in hydropower construction”, is a leading player in the global market of engineering & construction, power investment, real estate development, electrical and mechanical plant fabrication and installation.

Trade                                                                                                                    

Chinese consumers loving the luxury – The New Zealand Herald (NZL) 
11/10/2012
China is set to become the world’s second biggest market for luxury goods after the United States in five years, overtaking France, Britain, Italy and Japan, an industry report has said.

Zimbabwe – Russia Bilateral Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement
sealed  – The Herald (ZWE)

09/10/2012
Zimbabwe last Sunday signed a Bilateral Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement with Russia as part of its ultimate goal to expand trade and investment ties with all BRICs countries. Permanent Secretary for Economic Planning and Investment Promotion Dr Desire Sibanda confirmed the signing of the Bippa.

Standard Chartered plans $100m Africa expansion push – Engineering News (ZAF)
09/10/2012
Standard Chartered plans to bulk up in Africa with a $100-million investment plan aimed at doubling the size of its business on the continent in the next five years.

Western countries should stop hypocrisy on China-Africa trade deals – IPP Media (TZA)
07/10/2012
In our Saturday edition, we published a lead story about President Jakaya Kikwete, in which he strongly defended the foreign direct investments, massive loans and aid from China, saying Tanzania would continue to attract more investors from the Asian superpower despite the negative image painted by the Western media on its business deals in Africa.

Africa, the final frontier, but the challenges are daunting – The Telegraph 
06/10/2012
She told me how she had recently found herself in China to discuss opportunities in the consumer staples sector with a well-known Swiss multinational and all they wanted to talk about was Africa.

Long slog ahead to rebuild Geely’s SA image – Engineering News (ZAF)
05/10/2012
It is easier starting a new brand than taking a failed brand and reviving it,” muses new Geely South Africa (Geely SA) MD Henri Meistre. “But, in terms of what we see happening in the automotive sector, especially in China, we simply must revive the Geely brand in South Africa.”

Transport and Infrastructure                                                                                 

China – Africa: Resources for infrastructure – The official blog of Amb. David Shinn
10/10/2012
Nathan William Meyer posted on 9 October 2012 at International Policy Digest a piece titled “China’s Dangerous Game: Resource Investment and the Future of Africa.” It discusses China’s massive resources-for-infrastructure deals in Africa.

Prasa to conclude fleet renewal ‘as quickly as possible – Montana – Engineering
News (ZAF)
05/10/2012
Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa) CEO Lucky Montana is positive the first train in Metrorail’s R123-billion fleet renewal programme can be delivered by 2014 or 2015.

Education                                                                                                             

Afro-China Scholars Forum to Be Held in Bishoftu – Ethiopian Press Agency (ETH)
11/10/2012
Afro-China Scholars 2nd Forum will be held in Bishoftu town of Oromia State in the coming Friday and Saturday, the Addis Ababa University Peace and Security Study Institution said.

Media                                                                                                                   

China central television expands soft power in Africa – The official blog of 
Amb. David Shinn
10/10/2012
Ronald Yick published a brief analysis on 23 September 2012 on the growing role in Africa of China Central Television (CCTV), which is owned by the Chinese government. CCTV opened a regional bureau in Nairobi, Kenya, at the beginning of 2012.

Society                                                                                                                 

A Chinese Medical Worker in Africa – FOCAC (CHN)
09/10/2012
It is a special group of people and their stories in Africa are seldom told for being too far away from the spotlight.

Mozambique to have permanent tourism representative in China – Club of Mozambique(MOZ)
05/10/2012
Mozambique is set to have a permanent tourism representative in China to promote the country as a tourist destination, Minister Fernando Sumbana told Macauhub in Maputo.

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