Weekly news

09/03/2013 to 15/03/2013

Top Stories:                      

 CNPC in talks with Eni for $4b gas assets in Mozambique – Sweet Crude (NGA)

CAN comment: It used to be that Chinese firms could only compete for resource assets in frontier markets which the big western companies avoided. CNPC buying into Eni’s assets is an example of a growing trend for partnerships between Western and Chinese firms in Africa.

 Bosomtwi MP Launches First Ghana-Made Vehicle In Tema – Modern Ghana (GHN)

CAN comment: The curious case of the Wontumi Grifon, a Ghanaian designed heavy duty vehicle which has up until now been assembled in China, for the Ghanaian market. Ghanaian firm Hansol Assembly will start to assemble the vehicles in Tema, Ghana.

 China products gaining ground on African market – Gabon News (GBN)

CAN comment: While the story is not groundbreaking – it reports that Chinese exports to Africa have risen again in 2012- interesting to see this Gabonese article celebrate Chinese goods goods for their low cost and high quality. This is not a common refrain in African news sources.

 BRICS African agriculture investments paying off – GhanaWeb (GHN)

CAN comment: Great article about BRICS aid and investment in African agriculture. Chinese aid is financing 20 agrotechnology research and training centres in Africa specializing in activities chosen by the host country. Programs also encourage country-specific opportunities for Chinese agricultural investment such as cotton in Egypt, fruit and nuts in Nigeria, sisal in Tanzania and tobacco in Zimbabwe.

 Kenya election reactions: West cautious while China, African countries positive – Africa Review

CAN comment: Useful contrast drawn by Africa Review between the warm welcome for new Kenyan president Uhuru Kenyatta given by the Chinese government, and the guarded approach of European and US governments unsure about giving their full support considering Kenyatta’s unresolved ICC indictment.

 Chinese investors show interest in Kenya’s Rift Valley – NewsTime Africa

CAN comment: Interesting article about Chinese investors from Henan province setting up manufacturing facilities in Kenya to supply products to the Kenyan market. Unfortunately no further details of the products being manufactured, are offered. If this type of import substitution project can be made successful it could be a hugely significant trend.


China Is Deserving Of More Attention By Africa Nations – Brown Beauty (SUD)
Chinese purchase of Africa has increased quickly over the past few years, but do you know the implications of China’s foray within the region, asks expert in China-African relations Solange Guo Chatelard.

Nigeria central banker says China’s Africa embrace self-serving – The Standard (HKG)
China is engaged in the African continent for its own interests, Nigeria’s central banker has said. Nigeria Central Bank Governor Lamido Sanusi, whose father was previously Nigeria’s ambassador to Beijing, says Africa must remove “the rose-tinted glasses through which we view China.’’ He made the observations in an opinion published in the Financial Times today.

Africa warned of China exploitation – BDLive (ZAF)
AFRICA must shake off its romantic view of China and accept Beijing is a competitor as much as a partner and capable of the same exploitative practices as the old colonial powers, Nigerian central bank governor Lamido Sanusi has warned.

Ekweremadu seeks parliamentary tie between Nigeria, China  – The Guardian (NGA)
IN view of the emerging trend in parliamentary diplomacy across the globe, the Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, has advocated a closer relationship between the national parliaments of Nigeria and China.

Botswana and China true friends – Daily News (BOT)
China has become a significant and strategic partner in Botswana’s development, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Mr Phandu Skelemani has said. Bidding farewell to Ambassador Liu Huanxing of China on March 11, Mr Skelemani said Botswana continued to receive development assistance from China to improve the livelihood of its people.

Africa must get real about Chinese ties – Financial Times (GBR)
It is time for Africans to wake up to the realities of their romance with China. Nigeria, a country with a large domestic market of more than 160m people, spends huge resources importing consumer goods from China that should be produced locally. We buy textiles, fabric, leather goods, tomato paste, starch, furniture, electronics, building materials and plastic goods. I could go on.

Does Africa need China? – Africa Interrupted
Most if not all, of the articles – in books, magazines and on the Internet – which I have perused about China in Africa, state that Africa is integral for China’s development. Even a recent Africa Forbes magazine article asked why China could not survive without Africa. However, in terms of development, does Africa need China as much as China needs Africa?

Africa wants robust, dynamic relations with China: PM Hailemariam – Walta Info (ETH)
In an exclusive interview with CCTV, the newly appointed Chairperson of the African Union and current Ethiopian Prime Minister, Hailemariam Desalegn, said Africa is looking forward to a robust and dynamic economic relationship with China.

Kenya election reactions: West cautious while China, African countries positive – Africa Review
Western nations were Sunday silent on how they will work with the new Kenyan government to be headed by President-elect Uhuru Kenyatta even as the Chinese congratulated the Jubilee flag bearer.

Kenya’s Election: What Uhuru Kenyatta’s Victory Means for Africa – Time World
Uhuru Kenyatta, wanted by the International Criminal Court (ICC) for crimes against humanity, won election Saturday as Kenya’s new President. The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission announced that Kenya’s richest man — the current Deputy Prime Minister, former Finance Minister and the son of Kenya’s first President Jomo Kenyatta — won 50.07% of the vote, just marginally more than was needed to avoid a second-round runoff.

Chinese FM urges respect of Africa’s choice for partners – Xinhuanet (CHN)
Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi Saturday urged all parties to respect African countries in choosing cooperative partners by themselves. “We hope that all parties can view the cooperation between China and African countries in an objective manner, and respect the African friends in choosing cooperative partners by themselves,” Yang told a press conference held on the sidelines of the annual parliamentary session.


BRICS African agriculture investments paying off – GhanaWeb (GHN)
BRICS African agriculture investments in small projects paying off. The African agriculture sector is showing signs of improvements attributed to BRICS investment flows in smaller agricultural projects, reversing the trend triggered by the global food crisis in 2008.

Liberia Project Gets US$500 Million Loan from China Development Bank – 4 Traders
SINGAPORE–Golden Agri-Resources Ltd. (E5H.SG) said Wednesday its investment unit in Liberia has received a US$500 million loan from China Development Bank Corp. to develop palm plantations in the African country.

Chinese and Brazilian cooperation with African agriculture: the case of Mozambique – Trademark Southern Africa
It has become a cliché to say that Brazil and China are rising powers in international development and that debates on development and aid can no longer overlook their roles. Their growing presence and inflence in Africa has attracted much attention from the development community, press and social scientists and is leading to a quickly expanding body of literature, most notably on China

Finance and Banking

Loan from China Development Bank to Sonangol is a sign of the “close relationship” between Angola and China – Macauhub (CHN)
The US$1.32 billion loan recently granted by the China Development Bank to Angolan oil company Sociedade Nacional de Combustíveis de Angola (Sonangol) is a sign of the “close relationship” between the two countries, which will “remain strong,” the Economist Intelligence Unit said.


Chinese investors show interest in Kenya’s Rift Valley – NewsTime Africa
Cost of living is set to drop at some percentage for people living in Nakuru town and Rift Valley as a whole as well as increased job opportunities to the youth living within the region. This is after the region’s business community came into collaboration with a group of 20 Chinese from China’s Henan province.

Mining and Metals

‘China firms eye Africa for growth’ – Business Report (ZAF)
Resource-hungry Chinese firms eager for a slice of Africa’s mineral wealth are opting for joint ventures over mergers and acquisitions to limit costs in the face of fragile global growth, a Bank of China International official said on Wednesday.

Diamonds discovered in Bikita: Chinese move in – News Zimbabwe (ZIM)
FOUR kimberlitic pipes rich in diamonds have been discovered in Budzi communal lands in Bikita near the border with Manicaland Province. The four rock formations infested with diamonds discovered here, experts say, are likely to see Zimbabwe consolidating its position as one of the top world diamond producers.

Oil and Energy

Why China is taking a burning interest in North Sea oil and gas – The Independent (GBR)
China’s decade-long acquisition spree has taken an unlikely turn as Britain’s long-declining North Sea oil and gas industry finds itself at the centre of the Asian juggernaut’s latest phase of expansion. China entered the North Sea last year when state-owned Cnooc bought into Britain’s largest oilfield in the latest phase of its global asset takeover designed to secure energy for its rapidly growing electricity needs.

China oil enters Mozambican – Journal de Angola (ANG)
The Chinese state oil company China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) will enter the oil exploration in Mozambique, as reported this week the Mozambican press.  The company is negotiating with the Italian group ENI to acquire a stake in an oil block in Mozambique where they were discovered large deposits of natural gas, according to the Mozambican press.

Ghana gas infrastructure suffers another setback – Ghana Business News (GHN)
The Ghana government has said it received only $200 million out of the total $3 billion China Development Bank (CDB) loan that it applied for. At a budget review workshop with the Institute of Financial and Economic Journalists (IFEJ) in Accra Friday March 8, 2013, Mr. Kwabena Oku Afari, Chief Economic Officer at the Finance Ministry lamented over Ghana’s inability to get all the amount the government had applied for.

CNPC in talks with Eni for $4b gas assets in Mozambique – Sweet Crude (NGA)
China National Petroleum Corp, the country’s biggest oil company, is in talks with Eni for a stake in a gas project in Mozambique valued at as much as US$4 billion, according to two people with knowledge of the matter.


Uganda, China enjoy robust relation in ICT sector: Minister – FOCAC
The relation between Uganda and China, especially in the information and communication sector, is robust, said Thembo Nyombi, Ugandan ICT State Minister, on Thursday. Attending the meeting of Africa multi-stakeholder internet governance in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Nyobi told Xinhua that Uganda has very strong relation with China in the ICT sector which the State Minister said is growing rapidly in Uganda, significantly contributing to his country’s economy.


Botswana narrows trade deficit with China – Mmegi Online (BOT)
Botswana narrowed its merchandise trade deficit with China to P1.4 billion last year, improving from P5.1 billion in 2011, mainly due to the completion of major public infrastructure projects.

China products gaining ground on African market – Gabon News (GBN)
Chinese exports soared in 2012, exceeding the expectations of most observers. Beijing exporting activity went up 7.9% in 2012. An increase in exports, which corresponds to an explosion of trade surplus: in 2012 it reached 231.1 billion dollars: 48% increase compared to 2011.

Transport and Infrastructure

China’s new strategy to develop relations with Africa: dam construction – Today’s Zaman
Even though relations between China and Africa date back more than 2,000 years, a visit by Ibn Battuta, known as one of the greatest travelers of all time, in the 14th century is considered the start of relations.

Chinese Firm to Build Four Airport Terminals in Nigeria – This Day (NGA)
Top Chinese construction company that built the world’s biggest airport in China, Beijing Capital International Airport, would start the construction of four airport terminals in Lagos, Abuja, Kano and Port Harcourt in June, 2013.

Bosomtwi MP Launches First Ghana-Made Vehicle In Tema – Modern Ghana (GHN)
The Member of Parliament (MP) for Bosomtwi in the Ashanti Region, Simon Osei Mensah, has launched the first Ghana-made heavy duty vehicle, which was manufactured by Hansol Assembly Company Limited, a wholly-owned Ghanaian company, in China.

Chinese railway in Ethiopia to replace historic French line – Global Post (USA)
Camels rather than locomotives lumber over the railway tracks in this remote desert, famously traversed by storied French adventurers Arthur Rimbaud and Henry de Monfreid in the early 20th century.


Djibouti welcomes China to build a military base – China Africa Project
Looking out the window as the plane descends into Djibouti International Airport you can see military planes from Western countries at a short distance away. Some are parked while some are preparing to take off or have just landed. This was the first time that we, the Global Times’ special correspondents to Djibouti, had heard the roar of fighter planes and the sound irritated our ears.


Angola and China Sign Agreement on Technical Training – Prensa Latina (CUB)
Delegations from Angola and China signed today in Zaire province, northern Angola, a cooperation agreement including technical and professional training of Angolan staff in China. The agreement includes specifically the training in China of Angolan students in engineering areas as of September, 2013.

Interest of Chinese learning increases in Africa – People’s Daily Online (CHN)
In Africa, there is an increasing number of people curious about Chinese culture. Aspecial school in the South African capital of Pretoria is doing its part to educate kidsfrom all over the continent.


Kenya China Project Focused On Increasing Skilled Labour – MBA Vault (KEN)
In the past few months, President Mwai Kibaki has launched 15 new public universities, all with a view to achieving the goal set in Vision 2030. Yet the fact that all the 15 came into being as a result of upgrading colleges and polytechnics has generated mixed feelings among a number of educationists and education-loving Kenyans.

China brings healthcare PR to Africa – Global Times (CHN)
The story of China in Africa is one of the most complex in the recent times. It has been lauded and criticized in equal scale. The Asian nation’s supposed appetite for natural resources has attracted the wrath of the Western nations. In their view, China has a keen focus on exploiting Africa’s vast wealth.

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