Weekly news

17/03/2012 to 23/03/2012

Top Stories:                                                                                                          

 Chinese Delegation Leader Hails President – The Herald (ZWE)

 China in a tug of war between two Sudans – Washington Post (USA)

 Britain lags behind BRICs in African race, warns former Nigeria president Olusegun Obasanjo – The Telegraph (GBR)

 JSE opens lower on China concerns – Business Report (ZAF)

 ZChina mine hunt turns to Africa, S.America, Asia – Reuters Africa

 No, China will not usher in the Renaissance Africa dreams of – Daily Monitor (UGA)

Politics                                                                                                                 

Chinese, South African presidents discuss bilateral cooperation – People Daily (CHN)
26/03/12
Chinese President Hu Jintao met Monday with South African President Jacob Zuma to discuss development of China-South Africa ties and exchange views on improving cooperation between the two countries. Hu said the international situation is undergoing a profound and complicated transformation. Because of that, the Chinese president said, solidarity and cooperation among developing countries has become more important and pressing.

Zimbabwe: Chinese Delegation Leader Hails President – The Herald (ZWE)
24/03/12
HEAD of a visiting Chinese delegation and Chinese Communist Party Politburo member Cde Lui Qui yesterday commended President Mugabe for his influential role in the establishment of cordial relations between China and Zimbabwe and the rest of Africa. Cde Lui said this when he paid a courtesy call on the President at State House and pledged China’s continued support to Zimbabwe in all facets of life.

China in a tug of war between two Sudans – Washington Post (USA)
24/03/12
On the day South Sudan became independent last year, China opened an embassy here, eager to protect its oil interests. It quickly dispatched its foreign minister and began discussing a huge aid package for this destitute land. Just a few months later, Beijing finds itself trapped in a bitter wrangle between South Sudan and its former rulers in Sudan, with both countries pressing Beijing to take their side.

We must make the most of Sino-African relations – The Citizen (Tanzania)
22/03/12
The strengthening of relations between China and Africa in the past decade has been the subject of much debate and discussion globally. Sino-African engagements have virtually become a growth industry in its wake, with an increasing number of academics training their sights on the how and why of the unfolding relations.

Chinese foreign minister on Beijing’s firm foothold in Africa – Daily Monitor (UGA)
18/03/12
China’s burgeoning influence around the world has reshaped global affairs, not least, the economic and political issues. In a recent interview with more than 500 journalists at the Great Hall of the People, China’s Foreign Affairs minister Yang Jiechi spoke on a wide range of issues and underlined his country’s foreign policy and external relations.

Britain lags behind BRICs in African race, warns former Nigeria president Olusegun Obasanjo – The Telegraph (GBR)
18/03/12
n an interview with The Telegraph, he warned Britain was so focused on opportunities in China and India that it was missing out on the world’s hidden growth story. If it does not wake up to Africa’s rapid development, Brazil and China could replace the City of London as the continent’s main source of finance capital, he said.

Sino-Africa, honeymoon in the coming decade – Sierra Express Media
17/03/12
The Conference of the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, which came to an end few days ago, is the most important event in the political calendar of the China.

Concerns over security of allies in Africa raised – Taipei Times
17/03/12
Although the tug-of-war between China and Taiwan for diplomatic recognition in Africa has died down since President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) took office in 2008, China is still trying to increase its political influence in the only four allies Taiwan has left on the continent, a source said yesterday.

Economics                                                                                                            

China to Become Africa’s Next Growth Phase, Says Expert – Business Ethiopia
23/03/12
China is set to become Africa’s largest export destination this year, reflecting a dramatic alteration since 2008 when Africa exported half as much to China as it did to the US, according to Jeremy Stevens, Standard Bank Group’s Beijing-based economist.

Weak China data rattles shares – Fin24 (ZAF)
22/03/12
Asian shares gave back most of their earlier gains on Thursday after data showed China’s factory activity shrank for a fifth successive month, renewing concerns about a growth slowdown in the world’s second-largest economy. European investors will likely take the cue from their Asian peers, with financial spreadbetters predicting major European markets to open down 0.3%. US stock futures were down 0.1%.

JSE opens lower on China concerns – Business Report (ZAF)
20/03/12
The JSE opened in the red on Tuesday, weighed by weak mining stocks and concerns about China’s growth prospects. At 09:15 local time, the JSE all-share index had lost 0.51%, led lower by a 0.93% slide in resources, a 0.85% decline in gold miners and a 0.15% fall in platinum miners. Industrials gave up 0.34%, banks shed 0.26% and financials were 0.17% softer.

Rand Declines as China Housing Data Damps Outlook for Exports – Bloomberg Business Week 
19/03/12
The rand weakened against the dollar for the first time in three days on concern slowing growth in China, South Africa’s biggest trading partner, will damp prospects for the nation’s exports.The currency of Africa’s largest economy depreciated as much as 0.8 percent to 7.6165 per dollar and traded 0.1 percent weaker at 7.5678 as of 3:35 p.m. in Johannesburg.

China will extend renminbi loans to BRICS – Russia & India Report
19/03/12
On 29 March, China intends to sign a memorandum in New Delhi with its Brazilian, Russian, Indian and South African BRICS counterparts to make national currency loans available within the bloc. This will reduce the influence exerted by the U.S. dollar in BRICS, while promoting use of the national currencies, primarily the yuan. Yet, for India and Russia, settlements with China in national currencies will only have political advantages in a few years time.

Business                                                                                                               

Chinese fever – The Independent (UGA)
25/03/12
On Feb. 21, the China National Offshore Oil Company (CNOOC), acquired a third of Uganda’s newly discovered but potentially huge oil reserves in a US$ 2.9 million farm-down deal with the British firm, Tullow Oil and France’s Total. Nothing official yet, but China is expected to lead negotiations to construct an oil refinery in the country’s Albertine region.

Banking and Finance

Africa: Standard Bank – China Has Front Row Seats to Continent’s Next Growth Phase – All Africa
22/03/12
China is set to become Africa’s largest export destination this year, reflecting a dramatic alteration since 2008 when Africa exported half as much to China as it did to the US, according to Jeremy Stevens, Standard Bank Group’s Beijing-based economist.

Mining and Metals

China mine hunt turns to Africa, S.America, Asia – Reuters Africa
23/03/12
Chinese firms are on the prowl for mining investments in Africa, South America and central Asia as they look to feed ever expanding domestic demand for key commodities, but are switching away from Australia and Canada, which are getting too expensive.

China on the prowl for mining investments in Africa, S.America and Asia – MineWeb (ZAF)
23/03/12
Chinese firms are on the prowl for mining investments in Africa, South America and central Asia as they look to feed ever expanding domestic demand for key commodities, but are switching away from Australia and Canada, which are getting too expensive.

Trade

Africa: China to become Africa’s biggest export market in 2012 – Afrika.no (NOR)
22/03/12
Already Africa’s single biggest trading partner, China is set to become the continent’s largest export destination in 2012 according to South African based Standard Bank. The milestone would mark a significant turnaround since 2008, the bank says, when exports to China stood at half of those to the US.

China’s booming trade with Africa helps tone its diplomatic muscle – China the Next generation (CHN)
22/03/12
When Malawi’s state television shuts down for the night, it does not switch to CNN or, as might once have been expected in the former British protectorate, the BBC. Instead insomniacs are treated to the minutiae of Chinese domestic affairs courtesy of that country’s CCTV News. President Bingu wa Mutharika sensed what direction the wind was blowing when, five years ago, he dumped Malawi’s longtime partner Taiwan and adopted a “one China” policy, establishing diplomatic relations with Beijing.

China, ECOWAS Seek to Deepen Trade Ties as Forum Opens – CRI English (CHN)
21/03/12
The second China-Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Economic and Trade Forum opened here on Tuesday with an objective of enhancing trade and economic ties between China and the West African economic community.

Investment

“When China Met Africa”: A Screening on Monday, March 26th – Africa.com
21/03/12
As foreign powers struggle to retool their relationships with Africa, no country has done so with more gusto in recent years than China. The star of the developing world has, since the firstForum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) in 2000, turned to Africa for much of its energy needs—30 percent by some accounts—and provoked concern over a new scramble for Africa’s resources.

African countries want investment now, not aid later – The Zimbabwean
21/03/12
Wealthy nations, particularly the British government, which is facing its own budgetary constraints and pressures, are finally waking up to the opportunities in Africa and are taking a different approach to the continent in the wake of the global financial crisis.
Education

Other

No, China will not usher in the Renaissance Africa dreams of – Daily Monitor (UGA)
22/03/12
When the new Chinese-funded African Union headquarters was recently unveiled in Addis Ababa, Equatorial Guinea’s President Teodoro Obiang Nguema hailed the $200 million spectacle of marble and glass as “a reflection of the new Africa .” Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi called it a symbol “of the African renaissance.”

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