Weekly news

17/11/2012 to 23/11/2012

Top Stories:                                                                                                          

 China to launch second African satellite – Science Tech

China built and launched two satellites in Nigeria four years ago. The first attempt failed after operators lost contact. Hopefully lessons have been learnt.

 Blackwater Founder Erik Prince Is Making A Huge Bet On China’s Thirst For African Commodities – Business Insider

Real innovation from the former Blackwater founder here. Looking to provide an outsourced service for China’s human rights abuses. The solution to security problems for corporations is rarely to beef up security. Worrying development.

 China’s Leadership Transition and Africa – Daily Trust (NGA)

Very interesting article elegantly arguing why China has had success in Africa, and where the limitations of the relationship lie.

 China urges UN to pay more attention to Africa- China Daily (CHN)

US and European politicians are quick to call the Chinese colonialists in Africa, but tend to ignore the efforts China has made to ensure better representation of Africa in international bodies like the UN. While China has its own motivations, China’s efforts in this regard demonstrate common interest that the US and Europe do not share.

 Total to sell Nigerian oil stake to China’s Sinopec – Business Day (ZAF)

Large Chinese oil firms continue to buy up the assets of pinched western multinationals. African Barrick Gold and Lonmin are both considering Chinese buyers for their African assets. Increasingly Chinese companies are buying prized assets rather than looking for resources that others have ignored. 

 SA wines should target China – Business Day (ZAF)

There are very few high value added exports from Africa to China. As this article points out, where opportunities do exist, African producers should grab them with both hands.

Politics                                                                                                                 

Call me, maybe – Africa – Asia Confidential
23/11/2012
The influence of Chinese money on Ghana’s heated politics has crossed a legal redline, say activists who accuse telecoms company Huawei of bribing officials of the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) with free  plane trips and US$150,000 worth of paraphernalia to be used in its campaign for the 7 December vote

President Guebuza Receives Chinese Deputy Foreign Minister – Club of Mozambique (MOZ)
23/11/2012
Mozambican President Armando Guebuza on Thursday received the Chinese Deputy Foreign Minister Zhai Jun, who is on a three-day working visit to the country.

Explaining China’s Role in Africa – Brussels Institute of Contemporary China Studies (BEL)
21/11/2012
“We need to adjust to Africa and not always expect Africa to adjust to us.” Zhong Jianhua, the Chinese special representative on African affairs, is a seasoned diplomat, if only by his ability to explain each obstacle as an opportunity

China’s Leadership Transition and Africa – Daily Trust (NGA)
20/11/2012
The 18th Congress of China’s Communist Party ended last Thursday with the election of new leaders for the country. The smooth transition contrasts with the cacophony of divisive messages and hate-filled debate that characterise elections in the United States, particularly in the last one in which President Barack Obama won a second term.

IDCPC: China-Africa Party-to-party Relations Entering a New Developmental Stage-FOCAC (CHN)
20/11/2012
Chao Weidong, Deputy Chief of Bureau No. 4, International Department, Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC), was interviewed by the reporter of China Radio International on the topic of party-to-party exchanges between China and African countries south of Sahara.

China urges Security Council to pay more attention to Africa – FOCAC (CHN)
19/11/2012
China on Thursday urged the UN Security Council to pay more attention to the demands of Africa and support the efforts of the African Union  in maintaining peace and security on the continent.

Somali Piracy, China and the US – Official blog of Amb. David H Shinn
17/11/2012
Andrew Erickson, associate professor in the Strategic Research Department at the US Naval War College, and Austin Strange, a researcher at the China Maritime Studies Institute of the Strategic Research Department, collaborated on an article in the Spring/Summer 2012 issue of the Harvard Asia Quarterly on China’s role in combating Somali piracy and its implications for wider naval involvement.

China urges UN to pay more attention to Africa- China Daily (CHN)
17/11/2012
China on Thursday urged the UN Security Council to pay more attention to the demands of Africa and support the efforts of the African Union in maintaining peace and security on the continent.

The great China handover – Al Jazeera (QAT)
17/11/2012
It is not often that two superpowers choose their leaders within days of each other. Last week we looked at the  coverage  of the US elections – and the cacophony of media voices that covered them. This week, it was China’s turn when it announced its new leader President Xi Jinping at the once-in-a-decade political event  – the 18th Congress of the ruling Communist Party.

China’s new leadership to cement ties with SA – IOL (ZAF)
16/11/2012
The “smooth transition” of China’s leadership at the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC), that ended yesterday, will ensure that China continues to strengthen relations with Africa and South Africa, says Tian Xuejun, Chinese ambassador to South Africa.

Agriculture                                                                                                           

Global Rice Production Outpaces Consumption – Daily Chronicle (GHN) 
22/11/2012
Global rice production for 2012 has been forecasted to outpace consumption in 2012/13, resulting in an upward revision of 5 million tonnes in 2013, closing inventories, according to a new forecast by FAO’s Rice Market Monitor (RMM) issued yesterday.

Agri investor talks of opportunities in China, Africa – Agrinews
20/11/2012
These days, a hotel in downtown Indianapolis can be found on a given day to host people of all backgrounds. A farmer from Indiana may be talking to a Chinese grain investor or even a farmer from Africa.

Finance and Banking                                                                                           

Africa the China of 30 years ago, analyst argues – Engineering News (ZAF)
23/11/2012
Several Chinese analysts would relate the current economic situation of Africa to that of China 30 years ago, when foreign capital started to target a market with significant potential, says advisory firm Frontier Advisory China analyst Jinghao Lu.

Rand not weak enough for exports – Engineering News (ZAF)
23/11/2012
Although the rand has plummeted in recent months owing to decreased investor confidence in local industry, it is still too strong for the steel export market to flourish, says International Steel Fabricators of South Africa (ISF) director and industry stalwart Kobus Marais.

Chinese firm to seek $200m loan to build NADMO offices nationwide – Ghana Business News (GHN) 
19/11/2012
Ghana and the China Railway Engineering Design Institute Company Limited have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to fund the construction of the National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO) office complex as well as it regional and district secretariats.

South Africa’s growth can benefit from partnership with China: experts – People’s Daily (CHN)
17/11/2012
South African experts suggested that their government should promote its strategic partnership with China to advance the nation’s economic development.

No guts, no money: Africa an opportunity RI overlooked – The Jakarta Post (IDN)
16/11/2012
“There are a lot of starving children with flies circling about their heads; robbery is common.”

Manufacturing                                                                                                      

Logistics company expands truck fleet – Engineering News (ZAF)
23/11/2012
Zambia-based logistics company Buks Haulage Limited (BHL) has expanded its truck fleet with 80 new FAW trucks from China, which were delivered last month.

Mining and Metals                                                                                                

Attractive assets, now CoAL strategy is key – Business Day Live (ZAF)
22/11/2012
COAL of Africa (CoAL) is making progress regarding the planned restructuring of its thermal coal mining operations in Mpumalanga, and the planned $100m investment by China’s Beijing Haohua Energy International is on track, CEO John Wallington said on Wednesday.

Oil and Energy                                                                                                     

Political storm over Chinese gas contract – Africa- Asia Confidential
23/11/2012
Opposition parties and anti-corruption activists call for investigations into and a renegotiation of Beijing’s energy and telecoms deals with Accra

Thirsty resource – Engineering News (ZAF)
23/11/2012
The assessment that the US could emerge as the world’s largest oil producer before 2020 and even transition to full self- sufficiency by 2035 was the undoubted highlight of the International Energy Agency’s (IEA’s) ‘World Energy Outlook 2012’ report, released last week. The world’s largest economy currently imports around 20% of its total energy needs.

China oil major’s Africa purchase to raise its expertise – Commodities (CHN)
21/11/2012
China Petrochemical Corp, the parent of listed China Petroleum & Chemical (Sinopec), has clinched a US$2.46 billion deal to buy French oil major Total’s 20 per cent stake in an oil field in West Africa, adding to its portfolio of overseas assets worth over US$35 billion.

Total to sell Nigerian oil stake to China’s Sinopec – Business Day (ZAF)
20/11/2012
Total, France’s largest oil company, is selling a 20% stake in a Nigerian offshore oilfield to China Petrochemical Corporation (Sinopec) for about $2.5bn as part of an asset-disposal programme.

Telecommunications                                                                                            

China to deliver communication satellite for DR Congo – FOCAC (CHN)
19/11/2012
The state-owned China Aerospace & Technology Corporation (CASC) will team up with China Telecom to provide communication satellite in-orbit delivery for the Democratic Republic of the Congo, according to a commercial contract inked Saturday in Zhuhai.

China to launch second African satellite – Science Tech
18/11/2012
China Great Wall Industry Corp will launch the Democratic Republic of the Congo’s first satellite, which will also be developed by China, before the end of 2015, according to a contract signed on Saturday.

Trade                                                                                                                    

Calls for protection against Beijing’s exports – Africa – Asia Confidential
23/11/2012
The government wants to improve trade terms with China as new studies show how cheap imports are damaging local industries and costing jobs

Preferred trader assessments to be conducted this month – Engineering News (ZAF)
23/11/2012
In a letter dated November 9 and titled ‘Customs preferred trader accreditation: competence assessment’, the South African Revenue Service (Sars) informed of competence assessments that were to be conducted during the latter part of this month.

Luxury industry’s next frontier: Africa – The Globe and Mail (ZAF)
22/11/2012
Africa has more millionaires than Russia, but for many wealthy Africans shopping for designer handbags or luxury watches still means travelling to New York or Europe.

Blackwater Founder Erik Prince Is Making A Huge Bet On China’s Thirst For African Commodities – Business Insider
20/11/2012
Navy SEAL, Infamous private security entrepreneur and former CIA employee Erik Prince has officially opened up  shop for Chinese investors, helping to pave the way for their economic inroads into Africa.

Expert suggests South Africa – China Free Trade – CRI English (CHN)
20/11/2012
South Africa should maintain vigilance against protectionism and advance its free trade with China, an expert told Xinhua in an interview on Monday

Transport and Infrastructure                                                                                 

SA firms bid for piece of Kenya’s commuter rail action – Engineering News (ZAF)
23/11/2012
South African engineering and construction groups Basil Read and Aveng Grinaker are among the companies vying to operate the commuter railway system in Nairobi, the Kenyan capital.

Ethiopian Airlines CEO wins African CEO of the Year award – Walta Info (ETH)
20/11/2012
Tewolde Gebremariam, CEO of Ethiopian Airlines, was given the African CEO of the Year on Tuesday on November 20, 2012 at a  meeting of African CEOs in Geneva.

Air Mauritius to add one weekly flight to China’s Shanghai – FOCAC (CHN)
19/11/2012
Air Mauritius will add one more weekly flight to China’s business hub Shanghai from Jan. 24, 2013, the national airline of Mauritius said in a statement on Friday, bringing to two weekly flights due to increased demand.

Environment                                                                                                         

Green policies to color future world trade environment – China Daily (CHN)
23/11/2012
The booming green orientation in the global economy, including the trade in environmental goods and carbon tariffs and certification advocated by developed economies, has begun to take an increasing toll on China’s foreign trade, a senior official said.

Education                                                                                                             

Huawei launches “ICT Star” program for Tanzania – FOCAC (CHN)
17/11/2012
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.

Society                                                                                                                 

China-Africa: Migration Both Ways – Official blog of Amb. David H. Shinn
20/11/2012
The Secretariat of the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) group of states published a report in 2012 on Chinese migration to Africa and African migration to China.

SA wines should target China – Business Day (ZAF)
18/11/2012
Exporting wine to China is not about just dipping in and out when occasional opportunities arise.

Chinese in Ghana have a bad rep – Radio Netherlands (NED)
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.

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