Weekly news

16/02/2013 to 22/02/2013

Top Stories:                                                                                                          

 Chinese Leader Pledges Support for Africa’s Development – CRI English (CHN)

China’s premier speaks in glowing terms about Africa’s growth potential and the win-win relationship between them, “Africa’s development creates opportunities for China as China’s development creates opportunities for Africa”.

 China’s interest in Africa picking up as its economy recovers – Mining Weekly (ZAF)

Detailed article exploring the relationship between China’s economic growth and demand for Africa’s mineral resources. An official from the China-Africa Development Fund, Liliang Teng remarked that it was “easier to get approvals in African countries. There are no big headaches, like with Canada and Australia”.  

 Zambia seizes Chinese mine over safety – Business Day (ZAF)

The Collum coal mine saga finally comes to a conclusion as the Zambian government take control of the mine while they seek an alternative investor. There have been a number of high profile labour issues including a number of violent clashes between workers and supervisors which have resulted in deaths on both sides.

 Africa shifting to deal with Chinese workforce – Global Times (CHN)

Article by an African journalist in the Chinese Global Times looking at the growing Chinese workforce in Africa. A balanced and interesting article that’s worth a read. It’s a difficult balance between the benefits brought by the experience and knowledge of Chinese workers (who often bring strong skills and work ethic), and the reduced opportunities for Africans resulting from the Chinese influx.

 Chinese oil firm Addax targets growth in Nigeria – Vanguard (NGA)

Recently acquired Chinese oil firm Addax are looking to expand their footprint in Nigeria. By buying out and partnering with western firms China is strengthening its capabilities in managing both technical challenges (e.g. operating in deep water) and also the socio-political issues (e.g. resource nationalism and community complaints).

 Ghana targets more exports to China – Ghana Web (GHN)

Ghana may be the test case for many African countries as they seek to develop their export markets. Ghana is looking to export more to China including cocoa beans and other non-traditional commodities such as garments and artefacts.

Politics                                                                                                                 

China sees Africa as true friend – Xinhuanet (CHN)
20/02/2013
It is a Chinese tradition to visit friends during the Spring Festival, refreshing friendship and exchanging greetings. For years, Africa, a true friend of China, has been on top of the visiting list of the Chinese foreign minister at the beginning of the Chinese Lunar New Year.

Chinese FM confers with South African counterpart on bilateral ties – FOCAC
20/02/2013
Visiting Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi met here on Monday with South African International Relations and Cooperation Minister Maite Nkoana- Mashabane to explore ways of furthering bilateral cooperation. The two sides discussed bilateral relations, the upcoming BRICS summit to be hosted by South Africa in Durban on March 26-27, regional and international issues of mutual concern.

Chinese CSR in Africa – Sino-Africa
19/02/2013
In countries like Tanzania, Guinea, Sierra Leone, CREC No. 7 Bureau has delivered more than a thousand sets of bags, books and writing materials freely to the local schools based on the reality of the local educational materials; donated the ten-thousand-square-meter site to the local government as school lands after the implementation of projects; CREC actively helped the local government to improve the sanitary conditions, donated more than 2 thousand Jotham shillings to support the education and program for women and children.

China and the AUC in Talks to Strengthen Strategic Partnership – AU Press Office (ETH)
18/02/2013
The African Union Commission (AUC) Chairperson Dr Dlamini Zuma and Chinese Foreign Affairs Minister Mr. Yang Jiechi have met in the Chinese capital city, Beijing, in talks to strengthen the strategic partnership between China and the African Union and to promote bilateral cooperation.

Xi pledges continued support for Africa – China Daily (CHN)
18/02/2013
China’s top political leader Xi Jinping pledged continuing support for Africa’s development on Sunday while meeting with Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, chairwoman of the African Union Commission. “Africa is a continent of hope,” said Xi, and Africa’s development conforms to the historical trend of the times and helps to safeguard world peace and stability.

Ambassador Xu Jinghu to Morocco Released Article on Local Newspaper – FOCAC
18/02/2013
Recently, the newly elected General Secretary Xi Jinping of the Communist Party of China said clearly that the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation is our Chinese dream. The CPC is the largest political party with 82 million members and a history of 91 years. How will it realize the Chinese dream?

Chinese Leader Pledges Support for Africa’s Development – CRI English (CHN)
17/02/2013
Chinese leader Xi Jinping met with Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, chairperson of the African Union (AU) Commission, on Sunday and pledged continued support for Africa’s development. “Africa is a continent of hope,” said Xi, general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee as he met with Dlamini-Zuma at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing.

Chinese state councilor applauds China-Africa relations – Xinhuanet (CHN)
16/02/2013
Chinese State Councilor Dai Bingguo applauded China-Africa relations on Saturday, while also vowing to back the African Union‘s (AU) role in African affairs. “China highly values its ties with the AU and will continue to support the significant role played by the AU in African affairs,” Dai said in his meeting with visiting AU Commission Chairperson Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma.

China-African Union talks – CNC World (CHN)
16/02/2013
China and the African Union have held their fifth strategic dialogue to boost cooperation in Beijing. Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi and AU Commission Chairman Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma co-chaired the talks on Friday.

Africa seeks to learn a lesson from China – China Daily (CHN)
16/02/2013
Africa hopes to learn from China’s development experience and strengthen its partnership with Beijing on issues relating to regional peace and security. This was the message from the head of the African Union Commission on Friday who was attending the fifth China-AU Strategic Dialogue.

Finance and Banking                                                                                           

China’s interest in Africa picking up as its economy recovers – Mining Weekly (ZAF)
22/02/2013
The year 2011 saw a staggering increase in Chinese mining investments in Africa. Whereas these had totalled some $1.5-billion at the end of 2010, by the conclusion of 2011 the figure had rocketed to $15.6-billion. Africa has become the site of almost 75% of Chinese foreign mining investment.

China grants $30m to Sierra Leone – China Daily (CHN)
22/02/2013
Chinese government granted about $30 million to Sierra Leone for the western African nation’s peace construction when Jiang Weixin, the Special Envoy of Chinese President Hu Jintao visited Sierra Leone’s President Ernest Bai Koroma in Freetown on Thursday.

China’s Special Economic Zones in Africa – Amb. David Shinn
20/02/2013
The Centre for Chinese Studies at Stellenbosch University published in February 2013 a study titled “Chinese-led SEZs in Africa: Are They a Driving Force of China’s Soft Power?”  The author is Yejoo Kim, a research analyst at the Centre for Chinese Studies.

China’s foreign direct investment falls – Business Report (ZAF)
20/02/2013
Foreign direct investment in China declined in January, official data showed Wednesday, extending a downward trend after falling on an annual basis in 2012 for the first time in three years.

China Positive On Ethiopian Investment Despite Some Concerns – Addis Fortune (ETH)
18/02/2013
It has not been hard to spot red spherical lanterns with yellow tassels around Addis Abeba in the last two weeks. These decorations have been put up in areas where Chinese businesses are located, to mark the nation’s New Year.

Private Chinese Investment in Africa – Amb. David Shinn
18/02/2013
Xiaofang Shen, visiting scholar in the SAIS China Studies Program and former World Bank investment specialist, published in January 2013 an excellent study titled “Private Chinese Investment in Africa: Myths and Realities” as a World Bank working paper.

Mining and Metals                                                                                                

Zambia seizes Chinese mine over safety – Business Day (ZAF)
21/02/2013
THE Zambian government took over the operations of a Chinese-owned coal mine on Wednesday, invoking poor safety and lack of environmental compliance, as Human Rights Watch issued a fresh report on the country’s copper industry.

Chinese Copper Mines in Zambia: Are they improving? – China in Africa: The Real Story 
20/02/2013
Human Rights Watch has published a follow up report to their critical 2012 study. The new report, “Zambia Safety Gaps Threaten Copper Miners,” monitors changes (and lack of changes) at the Chinese state-owned CNMC copper mines in Zambia. According to HRW, “The report focuses on important labor rights improvements that have been made by CNMC’s subsidiaries during the last year, along with challenges that still remain for both the Zambian government and CNMC in Zambia.”

China’s Changing Access to African Minerals – Amb. David Shinn
18/02/2013
A new study suggests that China’s model of providing large concessionary loans for infrastructure projects to be paid back by sending oil and minerals to China is gradually changing.  Ana Cristina Alves authored a report titled “China’s Economic Statecraft and African Mineral Resources: Changing Modes of Engagement” in January 2013 as an occasional paper for the South African Institute of International Affairs.

Oil and Energy                                                                                                     

Chinese oil firm Addax targets growth in Nigeria – Vanguard (NGA)
20/02/2013
Chinese energy firm Addax said on Wednesday it was seeking further growth in Nigeria after the recent purchase of a significant offshore stake from France’s Total in Africa’s largest oil producer.

Telecommunications                                                                                            

China’s Huawei Had Plans To Invest In Nigeria’s Nitel – IT News Africa (ZAF)
21/02/2013
Chinese telecommunications company and fast-growing mobile phone handset maker Huawei said that it had planned to make a $627 million investment into the now-defunct Nigerian telecommunications company, Nitel.

China reportedly helping Zambia with eavesdropping technology – ComputerWorld (ZAM)
19/02/2013
China is facing allegations that it is helping the Zambian government with deep packet inspection technology to eavesdrop, mine data, censor and intercept communications. The allegations come less than two years after the Chinese government was accused of helping the Ethiopian government block news websites in Ethiopia and jam Ethiopian Satellite Television (ESAT) and other broadcasters including the Voice of America and Germany’s Deutsche Welle Amharic service.

Trade                                                                                                                    

Ghana targets more exports to China – Ghana Web (GHN)
21/02/2013
Ghana is making efforts to export more products to China to close the trade imbalance between the two countries that currently favours China, Vice-President Kwesi Bekoe Amissah-Arthur has said. In that regard, he said, Ghana was exploring new markets for cocoa beans and products and other non-traditional commodities such as garments and artefacts.

Transport and Infrastructure                                                                                 

Malawi turns to Chinese contractors to build key infrastructure – Engineering News (ZAF)
22/02/2013
The Malawi government has engaged Chinese firms to carry out multimillion-dollar infrastructure projects, including the construction of airports and the rehabilitation of railway lines linking the landlocked country to the Mozambican Indian Ocean ports of Beira and Nacala.

Kenya lauds Chinese investment in hotel industry – China Daily (CHN)
21/02/2013
Kenya has lauded Chinese investment in the hotel industry, stating that it would increase bed occupancy especially at this time when the country is experiencing a revamp in the tourism industry.

Standard Bank informs Africa to benefit from China infrastructure investments – Spy Ghana (GHN)
20/02/2013
Africa’s infrastructure is poised for increased development and investment. The next decade should see increased spending on the back of commodity expansion and a growing middle class on the continent. Africa’s economy has remained resilient despite the downturn being experienced in Europe and the US. Africa and South America will be the next global growth point and will see increased investments especially from China.

Khama wants fewer Chinese firms to receive state contracts – BDLive (ZAF)
20/02/2013
CHINESE companies may not be collecting many more government contracts in Botswana in the near future if Ian Khama has any say in the matter. As he is the president of the thinly populated and resource-rich country and since the party he leads is dominant in parliament, the prospects for Chinese bidders for infrastructure tenders are not looking good.

China to construct Ghana’s 2nd airport – Ghana Web (GHN)
19/02/2013
China Airports Construction Corporation (CACC) is set to begin construction of Ghana’s second international airport after Kotoka International Airport with the capacity for large aircraft, a government official has revealed.

Environment                                                                                                         

Climate Conversations – Understanding the Role of Forest Income in Rural Livelihoods – Insights From China – Reuters
19/02/2013
With almost a quarter of the world’s population relying on forest resources for their livelihoods, understanding how forests can improve the lives of the poorest people is an important topic in economic development.

Education                                                                                                             

China expands sponsorship of SA students – SANews (ZAF)
19/02/2013
The Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, has thanked China for expanding the number of scholarships available to South African youth to study in the Asian giant, by 200 additional places.

Media                                                                                                                   

Chinese media expands Africa presence – Ethipoian Review (ETH)
19/02/2013
The China Daily newspaper recently launched an African edition, a sign of China’s expanding media footprint [Colin Shek/Al Jazeera]. Fresh evidence of China’s growing media footprint in Africa rolled off printing presses for the first time in Kenya last month. Hitting news stands in Nairobi alongside the established likes of Daily Nation and the Standard was an African edition of China’s biggest English-language newspaper.

Society                                                                                                                 

Africa shifting to deal with Chinese workforce – Global Times (CHN)
20/02/2013
Africa is turning out to be a new home for Chinese people. Four years after he entered Kenya, a Mr Liu says he may not head back to his rural home in East China’s Fujian Province anytime soon. Having taken part in the construction of the just completed Thika Superhighway, the father of three says he plans to open up a retail business or get another job in the country.

China to Provide Mozambique with Medical Equipment for Central Hospital – Club of Mozambique (MOZ)
20/02/2013
The governments of China and Mozambique on Monday signed an agreement in Maputo for the provision of new medical equipment for Maputo Central Hospital. The accord was signed by Mozambican health minister, Alexandre Manguele and the Chinese ambassador to Mozambique, Li Chunhua.

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