Weekly news

15/09/2012 to 21/09/2012

Top Stories:                                                                                                          

 Africa stands to gain from China’s economic transition: expert – Xinhua (CHN)

Interesting article in Xinhua demonstrating China’s soft power push. The article based on comments by a Nairobi based academic, talks up the potential benefits for African agriculture and manufacturing coming from China’s development.

 Agency intercepts Sh16m raw nuts destined for China – Business Daily (KEN)

In contrast to the previous article, Business Daily focuses on China’s ability to stifle value added production in Kenya due to unrestrained demand for illegally exported raw nuts. Smuggling of ivory has given China a poor reputation. It would be wise for Chinese agencies to clamp down on this trade to avoid further deterioration.

 Global car makers drive into East African market – The East African (KEN)

An increasing number of car manufacturers are building assembly plants in Kenya. This is a hugely significant trend for the country. Chinese and Indian firms providing low skilled wage paying jobs is one of the most beneficial aspects of south-south cooperation. 

 Zambia approves $832 million Chinese copper project – Reuters

Yet more evidence that Sata’s election has not resulted in any deterioration of relations with large Chinese companies. NFC are one of the largest investors in Zambia.

 Chinese finance Abuja light rail : at last –  China in Africa – The Real Story

Very interesting nuanced insight into the world of Chinese infrastructure deals. Things are rarely as they seem. At least this project does seem to be going ahead.

 China and Tanzania Railway Authority to undertake USD42m programs together – IPP Media (TZA)

More Chinese investment in the Tazara railway. This is the latest in a number of relatively small Chinese investments as new management seek to finally get Tazara working to full capacity.  

Politics                                                                                                                 

Zuma and Xi : Uncanny similarities, vast differences – Daily Maverick (ZAF)
21/09/2012
Two months ago, Chinese vice president and leader-in-waiting Xi Jinoing arrived at Beijing’s Diaoyutai State Guesthouse for a meeting with President Jacob Zuma of South Africa.

“China model” tells win-win story in Africa: U.S. scholar – FOCAC
14/09/2012
China is trying to tell a win-win story amidst its new wave of aid and investment in Africa, a U.S. scholar says. In a recent interview with Xinhua, Professor Deborah Brautigam of Johns Hopkins University said some African countries could learn from the “China Model” of the past 30 years’ opening-up and make their own success in the next three decades.

Agriculture                                                                                                           

Experts on track to eradicate wheat stem rust – The East African (KEN)
15/09/2012
Wheat experts have reported a breakthrough in their ability to track the lineage of wheat stem rust Ug99 and related strains of the deadly and rapidly mutating pathogen that threatens wheat fields in East Africa and South Asia.

Africa stands to gain from China’s economic transition: expert – Xinhua (CHN)
20/09/2012
Africa’s agricultural sector stands to gain more from China’s deepening economic diversification through greater demand for produce to propel its rapid industrialization, experts say.

Agency intercepts Sh16m raw nuts destined for China – Business Daily (KEN)
19/09/2012
Illegal export of raw nuts has intensified with the onset of the low season, indicating that smugglers mopped up hundreds of tonnes during the harvest season.

Finance and Banking                                                                                           

South Africa urged to follow China in small business development – FOCAC
18/09/2012
South Africa needs to follow China’s strategy for small business development to stimulate economic growth that will deal with the persistent challenges of poverty, unemployment and inequality, a research expert said on Tuesday.

Investment relations – Africa-Asia Confidential
14/09/2012
Despite the travails in Zambia’s relations with China and fears that changes in mining regulation and taxation would scare off Asian companies, the flow of investment continues. Officials of the Chinese-owned Chambishi Copper Smelter announced in April that CCS was embarking on a programme to double production of copper blister from its current rate of 150,000 tonnes per year.

Manufacturing                                                                                                      

Global car makers drive into East African market – The East African (KEN)
15/09/2012
A rising number of global vehicle manufacturers are setting up shop in East Africa targeting demand in the fast growing regional market.

Mining and Metals                                                                                                

Coal mining dispute shifts focus to Chinese company – Business Daily (KEN)
20/09/2012
Mwingi South MP David Musila has called for an investigation into the award of a multi-billion-shilling coal mining tender to a Chinese company following claims that the firm has no capacity to commercially exploit the deposits.

Zambia approves $832 million Chinese copper project – Reuters
20/09/2012
A unit of China Nonferrous Mining Corp has won Zambian approval to build an $832 million copper mine that will add 60,000 tonnes to the country’s annual output of the metal, a company spokesman said on Thursday.

Oil and Energy                                                                                                     

Chinese firm wants to build $3.5 billion power station in Zimbabwe – Times Live (ZAF)
18/09/2012
A Chinese firm is planning to set up a $3.5 billion thermal power station to generate about 1,200 megawatts of electricity in energy-starved Zimbabwe, state media reported Tuesday.

Oil rises on renewed supply concerns – Business Day Live (ZAF)
21/09/2012
Brent crude rose towards $111 on Friday, extending its gains from a one-and-a-half-month low hit in the previous session, as Libya’s precarious security situation and lower production from the North Sea stoked supply fears.

Retail                                                                                                                    

In Africa’s warm heart, a cold welcome for Chinese – The Sowetan (ZAF)
18/09/2012
Malawians bill their country as the “Warm Heart of Africa” and pride themselves on a reputation for friendliness. But Jaffa Shaibu, a burly 32-year-old merchant in a clothes market in Salima, a dusty town near the shores of Lake Malawi, feels less than welcoming to the Chinese traders who have moved in over the past four years.

Trade                                                                                                                    

China Sourcing Fair back in South Africa – Bizcommunity (ZAF)
17/09/2012
The third China Sourcing Fair will be held at the Gallagher Convention Centre, Midrand from 28-30 November 2012.

China a two-edged sword for Africa, says Frontier Advisory CEO – Business Day Live (ZAF)
18/09/2012
The “China price” in manufacturing has been incredibly disruptive for Africa, yet capital flowing from Beijing to Africa has been politically enabling, says Martyn Davies, CEO of research and capital advisory firm Frontier Advisory.

Drop in shipping premiums heralds cheaper import bill – Business Daily (KEN)
19/09/2012
Commercial shipping lines have lowered their premiums following suppressed piracy off the coast of Somalia, raising the hopes of consumers for cheaper commodities.

It’s Business As Usual for China – New York Times (USA)
20/09/2012
In the wake of China’s growth and the West’s continued stagnation, many developing countries now look to China for aid, investment and trade.

Transport and Infrastructure                                                                                 

Angolan airliner resumes flights to Beijing – FOCAC
19/09/2012
Angola’s national airliner TAAG has resumed its weekly flights to Beijing, the capital of China, after a five-month stoppage due to operational reasons, Angola’s official news agency reported on Tuesday.

KAA withdraws suit against Chinese firm – Daily Nation (KEN)
18/09/2012
Kenya Airports Authority (KAA) has withdrawn a suit it filed to stop the government from committing it into a Sh55billion contract with a Chinese company.

Chinese finance Abuja light rail : at last –  China in Africa – The Real Story (Blog)
16/09/2012
Business Day, a leader in the Nigerian press, has published details about a US$1.1 bn set of loan agreements signed recently with China Eximbank.

Money clouds airport tender after Anhui win – Business Daily (KEN)
17/09/2012
The financing details of the Sh55 billion new terminals at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) in Nairobi remain a mystery even as the government signed a deal with the contractors.

China and Tanzania Railway Authority to undertake USD42m programs together – IPP Media (TZA)
18/09/2012
The Tanzania-Zambia Railway Authority (Tazara) and the Government of China have concluded an agreement identifying 12 new projects with the value of RMB Yuan 270 m (approximately USD42m) to be undertaken under the Protocol of the 15th Economic and Technical Cooperation (15th Protocol).

Mozambique-China cooperation project to create 2,000 jobs – China Daily (CHN)
21/09/2012
A $725 million bridge under Mozambique-China cooperation was launched on Thursday by Mozambican President Armando Guebuza in the capital Maputo, with the project estimated to generate 2,000 jobs.

Defence                                                                                                                

United States, China in joint anti-piracy drills – IOL (ZAF)
18/09/2012
The U.S. and Chinese navies have carried out drills to combat pirates off the Horn of Africa, the U.S. Navy said on Tuesday, in a rare joint military exercise between the powerful nations.

China on the rise – the case for Africa Aerospace and Defence –  Nautic
20/09/2012
This week marks the seventh Africa Aerospace and Defence (AAD) exhibition and the return of the exhibition to its traditional base at AFB Waterkloof after being held at AFB Ysterplaat, Cape Town in 2006, 2008 and 2010.

Environment                                                                                                         

Unprecedented levels of poaching in Africa –  The East African (KEN)
15/09/2012
Unprecedented levels of poaching of African elephants and rhinos have led to a global campaign by leading conservation groups to get governments both in Africa and the Far East to clamp down on the issue.

Media                                                                                                                   

Zimbabwe media seminar hails China- Africa relations – Global Times (CHN)
19/09/2012
Relations between China and Africa continue to grow from strength to strength with more focus now being placed on this “new type of strategic partnership” that has become a model for other partnerships to emulate, a Zimbabwean journalist has said.

Zimbabwean journalists critical of misinformation about China – FOCAC
19/09/2012
Zimbabwean journalists who attended the just-ended Seminar for Media Officers from Zimbabwe in Beijing, China are critical of misinformation about the Asian country which enjoys increasing ties and cooperation with Africa, ZBC News said on Tuesday.

Big Brother is being watched by you: Chinese television in Africa – Daily Maverick (ZAF)
19/09/2012
CCTV, China’s state-run television network, and Xinhua, the state-run news agency, have a mandate to provide “alternative African stories

Society                                                                                                                 

Africa Focus: Kenya hails China’s assistance in health sector – FOCAC
10/09/2012
Kenya’s Minister for Medical Services, Professor Peter Anyang’ Nyong’o on Thursday hailed China’s contribution to the country’s health sector, which he said the country has immensely benefited from.

China hands glowing stadium to Kenya – China Daily (CHN)
21/09/2012
Kenya’s premier sporting facility, Moi International Sports Center, Kasarani,rediscovered its glow after two years of facelift works worth $12.5 million backed by the Chinese government.

Chinese Ambassador to Uganda gets peace award – The New Vision (UGA)
15/09/2012
The Chinese Ambassador to Uganda, Zhao Yali has been awarded a key peace award for his role in spearheading peace and development in Uganda.

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