Weekly news

10/11/2012 to 16/11/2012

Top Stories:                                                                                                          

 China govt gives advice to companies with ventures in Tanzania – IPP media (TZA)

While its become more usual in the last few years to hear senior Chinese officials apologise for the indiscretions of Chinese companies in Africa, it is important to remember how much the approach of the Chinese government has changed in the past few years. This active engagement and PR with western and African media represents and enormous change from the closed attitude that came before. 

 China gives $12 million towards AU peace, security efforts – Daily Monitor (UGA)

A few more details on China’s support for the AU and peace building efforts. While $12m is not a huge sum, the fact that China is boasting about its support for peace building and security is an interesting development.

 Program to improve Africa’s agriculture – China Daily (CHN)

Fascinating aid partnership between Britain and China to provide agricultural improvements in Africa. Marrying the UK’s aid budget to China’s expertise and capacity in small scale agriculture is a great innovation. A heartening and rare example of cooperation in Africa between China and the west. As I’ve said before, Africa development would not benefit more from one out of the two of the west or China. The best case is that they are both involved.

 South Sudan’s Chinese oil puzzle  – Defence Web (ZAF)

A really detailed and nuanced article on the evolution of China’s relationship with South Sudan. While we here about Chinese soft power, this article gives a great account of how Chinese actors work to win over potential partners, spotting opportunities from an early stage.

 Huawei launches “ICT Star” program for Tanzania education – FOCAC (CHN)

The first time I’ve seen a modern CSR program from a Chinese company. Huawei investing in education in Tanzania through specialist training centres and scholarships for Tanzanians. Seems like a good initiative. 

 Chinese group set to ruffle a few feathers in SA’s taxi market – Business Day (ZAF)

Another Chinese auto-maker moving assembly to Africa. This is a trend that is now well under way, and can only be a good thing for Africa. Going forward governments need to encourage Chinese firms to keep moving up the supply chain in Africa doing more value added production. For the moment though, wage industries with a large labour component and predictable wages are a great first step.

Politics                                                                                                                 

South Africa’s growth can benefit from partnership with China: experts – FOCAC (CHN)
16/11/2012
South African experts suggested that their government should promote its strategic partnership with China to advance the nation’s economic development. The experts made the suggestions during a discussion on the topic of “China-South Africa: Unpacking a strategic partnership” on Wednesday night at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg.

China and Africa: A Century of Engagement – Amb David Shinn
13/11/2012
Gideon Rachman of the Financial Times reviewed three books on 9 November 2012 dealing with China. One of them was China and Africa: A Century of Engagement by David Shinn and Joshua Eisenman.

Zambia urges Africa not to view China through Western perspectives – FOCAC (CHN)
12/11/2012
African countries should not view their ties with China from the Western perspectives, but to have their independent judgment, the Times of Zambia reported on Friday. Citing Minister of Finance Alexander Chikwanda, the Times said instead of viewing China from the Western perspectives, African governments should ensure that they put in place measures that will result in a win-win situation for both.

Europe and China in Africa – Amb David Shinn
12/11/2012
Lorenzo Fioramonti and Patrick Kimunguyi published a paper titled “Public and Elite Views on Europe vs. China in Africa” in the March 2011 issue of The International Spectator. Fioramonti is a research fellow at the University of Pretoria and Kimunguyi is a fellow at Monash University in Australia.

China govt gives advice to companies with ventures in Tanzania – IPP media (TZA)
12/11/2012
China has called upon Chinese companies and individuals who have invested or established businesses in Africa to respect regulations and laws found in the respective countries they work and fulfill their cooperate social responsibilities professionally.

New leadership in US, China to affect Africa – Daily Nation (KEN)
12/11/2012
The United States last week re-elected Barack Obama to the presidency while China will be seeking to get a new leader in processes that are as different as the two countries are geographically removed from each other.

Agriculture                                                                                                           

Program to improve Africa’s agriculture – China Daily (CHN)
13/11/2012
A four-year program jointly launched by the UK and China will start this year to help African countries to improve their agricultural production capacity in a major effort to eliminate hunger.

Finance and Banking                                                                                           

Chinese acquirers find a route to Africa via Australia – The Deal Pipeline
13/11/2012
With more than $500 billion at their disposal, Chinese sovereign wealth funds can flex financial muscle with ease. But their strength is usually cloaked in cloying words of warmth and friendship. That’s what made the hostile bid last month for an Australian-owned, African copper mining concern so jarring.

China gives $12 million towards AU peace, security efforts – Daily Monitor (UGA)
12/11/2012
China and the African Union Council have signed an agreement aimed at boosting the AU’s peace and security efforts on the continent.

China funds construction of House of Chadian Woman – FOCAC (CHN)
12/11/2012
The construction of the House of Chadian Woman in the capital N’Djamena has begun with support from China, according to official sources. Chad’s first lady Hinda Deby Itno and the Chinese ambassador to the African country, Hu Zhiqiang, on Friday laid the foundation stone for the House of Chadian Woman, for which China provides a grant of 11 million U. S. dollars.

Manufacturing                                                                                                      

Chinese group set to ruffle a few feathers in SA’s taxi market – Business Day (ZAF)
14/11/2012
IN A move with the potential to shake up the local taxi market, Beijing Automobile Works (BAW) SA on Tuesday announced the opening of a minibus taxi assembly factory in Springs. It said it expected to move to full manufacturing by 2015.

Mining and Metals                                                                                                

FDI inflows hit Sh425bn as mineral explorers call – Business Daily (KEN)
11/11/2012
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) estimates Kenya received up to Sh425 billion in foreign direct investments (FDIs) last year for both new and existing projects by Chinese and oil explorers.

Oil and Energy                                                                                                     

South Sudan to resume pumping oil – Daily Monitor (UGA)
16/11/2012
South Sudan is next week expected to jubilantly flag off oil production again after the first test engines that were abruptly shut down in January restarted properly.

South Sudan’s Chinese oil puzzle  – Defence Web (ZAF)
14/11/2012
A few months before South Sudan seceded last year, Henry Odwar drove to a Juba hotel to confront the men who would be at the heart of the new country’s economy.

South Sudan, China and Oil – Amb. David Shinn 
14/11/2012
Writing for Reuters on 14 November 2012, Alexander Dziadosz provided an especially good account of the relations between South Sudan and China as relates to their respective interests in oil.

China cautious but still committed to nuclear – Engineering News (ZAF)
13/11/2012
The pace of nuclear project approvals will be slower in the next few years as China seeks to allay safety concerns in the wake of Japan’s Fukushima crisis, but commitment to the sector remained undimmed, the head of the country’s biggest nuclear firm said.

Total to sell Nigeria assets to Sinopec – News24 (ZAF)
11/11/2012
The Chief Executive of French oil major Total said he would not deny a report that the firm was in talks to sell assets in Nigeria, worth about $2.4bn, to China’s Sinopec.

Telecommunications                                                                                            

Huawei launches “ICT Star” program for Tanzania education – FOCAC (CHN)
16/11/2012
Huawei Technologies Tanzania Co. Ltd, a leading information and communication technology solutions provider, launched on Thursday an Information Communication Technology (ICT) education program that will foster ICT development and ICT talent training in Tanzania.

Huawei to capitalise on African growth – Business Report (ZAF)
14/11/2012
HUAWEI Technologies’ revenue in southern and east Africa might climb as much as 30 percent in the next three years as growth on the continent outpaced most regions, the company said yesterday.

Trade                                                                                                                    

China-Nigeria trade set to hit $10bn – Chinese Minister – Vanguard (NGA)
09/11/2012
TRADE volume between Nigeria and China will hit $10billion by the end of 2011, the Chinese government has said. China’s Deputy-Minister for Commerce, Mr. Fu Ziying, disclosed this during a meeting with the Nigerian Minister of Trade and Investment, Olusegun Aganga, in Beijing.

Transport and Infrastructure                                                                                 

Africa’s Infrastructure Boom – Will This Time Be Different? – This is Africa
15/11/2012
High inflows to Africa’s infrastructure sector bode well for growth. But stubborn obstacles – from procurement to currency denomination choices – now need to be tackled.

This is what must be done to tap full potential of the Thika superhighway – Business Daily (KEN)
13/11/2012
It must have been a proud moment for the Head of State, the roads authorities, and in deed for Kenyans to witness the Thika superhighway inauguration. Several other infrastructure projects are understood to be lined up for inauguration by the President prior to his well-earned retirement.

Beijing pledges further funding for infrastructure – Business Daily (KEN)
11/11/2012
Chinese state-owned banks will increase their investments in Kenya’s flagship infrastructure projects despite the change of the political regime in the Asian nation, officials said.

Environment                                                                                                         

Climate Change, Conflict, East Africa and the Horn – Amb David Shinn
13/11/2012
Researchers at the University of Colorado-Boulder examined extensive climate datasets between 1990 and 2009 for Burundi, Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Somalia, Tanzania and Uganda. They concluded that the risk of human conflict increases somewhat with hotter temperatures and drops slightly with higher precipitation. They also concluded that socioeconomic, political and geographic factors play a much more substantial role than climate change.

Education                                                                                                             

China offers Sh2.5b grant to modernise polytechnics – Business Daily (KEN)
14/11/2012
Polytechnics in Kenya expect to benefit from Sh2.5 billion worth of modern equipment and machines after the government received financing from the government of China.

Society                                                                                                                 

China’s Tiens Group provides succor to Nigerian orphans – FOCAC (CHN)
15/11/2012
The China-based charitable and business organization Tiens Group on Wednesday provided succor to more than 100 orphans by donating cash and other gift materials to the SOS Children’s Village located in Isolo area of southwest Nigeria’s Lagos State, as part of its corporate social responsibilities (CSR).

Chinese in Ghana unaware of their bad rep – Radio Netherlands Worldwide (NLD)
15/11/2012
Chinese migrants in Ghana are growing and so is their notoriety, says a study by a nominee of the African Thesis Awards 2012. Yet according to Judith Zoetelief, the author of the nominated thesis, many Chinese workers do not know they have a bad reputation.

China Warns Citizens in Nigeria against Maltreating Employees – This Day (NGA)
12/11/2012
The government of the Peoples Republic of China has warned its citizens living and doing business in Nigeria and other parts of Africa against ill-behaviour towards their employees, saying it will not condone any act capable of tarnishing China’s image and simultaneously hampering the good relations between the two countries.

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