Weekly news

22/09/2012 to 28/09/2012

Top Stories:                                                                                                          

 Is China’s leadership position more important to Africa than the US election? – The Africa Report

Barry Saltman and Stephen Chan provide some interesting viewpoints on whether the upcoming the US presidential elections or the leadership transition in China is more relevant to Africans. Saltman draws the conclusion that China’s interest in economics over security makes them more relevant, while Chan feels a dearth of Africa expertise in the Romney camp means that it’s the presidential elections that should cause Africans sleepless nights.

 German envoy protests over Kenya bias towards Chinese firms – Business Daily (KEN)

Interesting perspectives from the German ambassador to Kenya who claims that preferential credit from Chinese banks gives Chinese firms an unfair advantage. A Kenyan commentator responds saying China delivers quality as well as a low price.

 Zimbabwe: Myths Surrounding Chinese Investment Exposed – All Africa.com

A new book by the Southern Africa Resource Watch claims that poor Chinese labour practices in Zimbabwe are tolerated due to overly close relations with the government. It posits that Chinese companies in the US work to high standards, but the lack of oversight from Zimbabwe’s leaders lets Chinese companies off the hook.

 Resolution of controversies paves way for Kenya airport terminal project – Engineering News (ZAF)

More controversy around competition for tenders in Kenya. The Minister of Transport cancelled the award of the contract to a Chinese firm citing malpractice. However the minister has since been overruled by the Public Procurement Oversight Authority, and the project will go ahead.

 Chinese firm ZTE mulls telecoms venture in Nigeria – China Daily (CHN)

Chinese and Saudi Arabian companies ZTE and Etisalat are pondering a partnership to deliver telecoms solutions in Nigeria. Chinese firms are increasingly looking at partnerships with other operators as they enter new markets.

 Why was railway deal shrouded in secrecy?- The East African (KEN)

CAN reader comment: “While the story goes that African governments are simply asking Chinese banks for projects, the reality is that large Chinese companies are active agents in themselves. ‘Development finance’ to African governments is a way for China to spend its substantial foreign reserves on sponsoring the entry of its infrastructure companies (which of course grew out of domestic government capital spending) into overseas markets. Africa, with its great infrastructure needs, is the perfect market.”

Politics                                                                                                                 

Tunisian PM attends reception on China’s National Day – Forum on China-Africa Cooperation
28/09/2012
Tunisian Prime Minister Hamadi Jebali attended Wednesday evening a reception held by Chinese Embassy to Tunisia on the occasion of China’s 63rd National Day.

China backs West Asian, North African countries in independently handling internal affairs – Xinhua (CHN)
28/09/2012
Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi on Thursday voiced its support for the countries in West Asia and North Africa to independently handle their internal affairs.

Is China’s leadership position more important to Africa than the US election? – The Africa Report
28/09/2012
Yes, African diplomats should focus more of their resources on the Chinese.

China hails Sudan-South Sudan deals – China Daily (CHN)
28/09/2012
A Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman on Friday hailed a series of deals inked by Sudan and South Sudan earlier this week.

Chinese, Togolese Leaders Exchange Congratulatory Messages on 40th Anniversary of Diplomatic Ties – Forum on China- Africa Cooperation
27/09/2012
On September 19, 2012, Chinese President Hu Jintao exchanged congratulatory messages with his Togolese counterpart, Faure Gnassingbe, to mark the 40th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between the two countries.

Chinese Analysis of Forum on China-Africa Cooperation – Blog of Ambassador David Shinn
25/09/2012
Five Chinese scholars recently assessed the impact of the Forum on China Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) in a document titled “FOCAC Twelve Years Later: Achievements, Challenges and the Way Forward.” A cooperative project of Peking University’s School of International Studies and the Nordiska Afrikainstitutet in Uppsala, it was published by the Open Society Foundation for South Africa and the South African Foreign Policy Initiative.

Ethiopia, China’s ruling parties vow to enhance exchanges – Walta Info (ETH)
22/09/2012
Senior officials from ruling parties of China and Ethiopia on Friday vowed to improve exchanges on country governance and cadre training, during a meeting in Beijing.

Agriculture                                                                                                           

Gearing up for growth – China Daily (CHN)
25/09/2012
Cameroon unveils opportunities in large-scale projects that will create growth and prosperity

Finance and Banking                                                                                           

Sino-African relations based on sound values:Kenyan experts – Xinhua (CHN)
28/09/2012
The growing relationship between China and Africa is based on mutual economic partnership, respect for domestic political systems and promotion of peace and stability, Kenyan experts said.

ADO brings back billions – Africa – Asia Confidential
28/09/2012
China’s interests in Côte d’Ivoire are growing and, for now, the focus is on infrastructure in a country recovering from ten years of political crisis

Are BRICs hitting a growth wall? – Money Web (ZAF)
28/09/2012
A global pattern of easing economic growth in the first half of 2012 has impacted the “BRIC” nations – Brazil, Russia, India and China.

German envoy protests over Kenya bias towards Chinese firms – Business Daily (KEN)
28/09/2012
The government of Germany has complained to Kenya over what it termed as undue advantage accorded to Chinese companies due to financing by the government of China.

Competing for Africa: Is China’s Africa’s economic campaign unstoppable – The North Africa Journal
27/09/2012
China’s Africa’s economic policy remains a major topic among Analysts and watchers.

Loan and grant agreements with China – Club of Mozambique (MOZ)
24/09/2012
The Mozambican and Chinese governments on Saturday signed in Maputo two cooperation agreements, to the total value of 23.7 million US dollars to finance projects to be agreed between the two countries at a later date.

Manufacturing

Ethiopia inaugurates wire, cable production plant, truck assembling factory – Forum on China – Africa Cooperation
28/09/2012
Ethiopia on Thursday inaugurated a wire and cable production factory and a truck assembling factory executed in cooperation with a Chinese company Poly Technologies in Modjo town about 80 km south west of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

Mining and Metals                                                                                                

A new dawn for the local mining sector – Business Daily (KEN)
26/09/2012
Mining in Kenya has been in the news lately. We have heard about the high potential for coal and titanium.

Oil and Energy                                                                                                     

Ghana to hit half a million barrels – Mahama – Ghana Web (GHN)
28/09/2012
Ghana is poised to produce about 500,00 barrels of oil per day, as the nation makes more and more new discoveries in the oil sector, the President, John Mahama, has said.

Telecommunications                                                                                            

Chinese firm ZTE mulls telecoms venture in Nigeria – China Daily (CHN)
27/09/2012
The Chinese telecommunications and network solution firm ZTE is set to partner with the United Arab Emirate telecommunication service provider, Etisalat, to provide network transformation as well as sustainable and robust growth of the company in Nigeria, Africa’s most populous nation.

Trade                                                                                                                    

China, Zimbabwe bilateral trade surges this year – Forum on China – Africa Cooperation
28/09/2012
China and Zimbabwe bilateral trade surged 20 percent to 533 million U.S. dollars in the first five months of 2012, compared to the same period last year, an official said on Thursday.

Zambian to Adjudicate on China, US, EU & Japan” Rare Earths” Trade Dispute – Lusaka Times (ZAM)
27/09/2012
Former Zambia’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations World Trade Organisation (WTO) in Geneva, Ambassador Darlington Mwape, has been selected by Members of the World Trade Organisation WTO, to be part of a panel of three experts constituted with the mandate to assist in resolving the trade dispute between China on the one hand and US, EU and Japan on the other.

Standard Chartered propels Botswana – China Trade – Mmegi Online
27/09/2012
Speaking at the celebrations, Standard Chartered CEO, Moatlhodi Lekaukau said the China-Africa relationship dates back to 1853 when the Chartered Bank of India, Australia and China was founded, with branches opening in Shanghai and Hong Kong shortly thereafter.

Rwanda: Chinese Community Marks National Day – All Africa.com
27/09/2012
The Minister of Infrastructure, Albert Nsengiyumva, hailed the government of China for fostering unconditional friendship and for being a dependable development partner with African countries.

Africa urged to use trade law, duties against China – Business Day Live (ZAF)
25/09/2012
The only effective way for Africa to deal with cheap imports from Asian economies, especially China, is to adopt unfair trade remedies including antidumping and safeguard duties, says George Geringer, senior manager at PwC tax services.

Zimbabwe: Myths Surrounding Chinese Investment Exposed – All Africa.com
23/09/2012
Most Chinese companies in Zimbabwe violate local regulations and abuse workers with impunity because they are protected by the country’s leaders, a new book has revealed.

Transport and Infrastructure                                                                                 

Resolution of controversies paves way for Kenya airport terminal project – Engineering News (ZAF)
28/09/2012
Construction of a $655-million new terminal at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) is finally set to begin, following the resolution of controversies involving the awarding of the contract to a Chinese company.

China boosts Uganda’s road construction, unlocking economic potential- FOCAC
25/09/2012
Economic experts argued Uganda’s poor road network is one of the major bottlenecks to unlocking Uganda’s economic potential, while China’s engagement in the road construction is conductive to unleash the economic drive.

Why was railway deal shrouded in secrecy?- The East African (KEN)
22/09/2012
That Kenya (and by extension the East African region) needs a modern railway infrastructure is is not in dispute.

Defence                                                                                                                

China and Security Issues in Africa – Blog of Ambassador David Shinn
22/09/2012
The China Institute at the University of Alberta and several other Canadian organizations held a conference in Ottawa on 20-21 September 2012 titled “China and Canada in Africa: Interests, Strategies and Africa Perspectives.” I was asked to provide a scene setter on peace and humanitarian issues for one of the panel discussions.

Environment                                                                                                         

China takes a huge step in reducing carbon emissions – Mail & Guardian (ZAF)
25/09/2012
The tide is changing. In a huge move for the global effort to reduce carbon emissions, China has announced that it is starting its own emissions trading system. And it is doing so with the help of the EU, with the long-term aim of the two carbon markets working together.

Education                                                                                                             

Liberia: China Reiterates Support to Youth Development – All Africa.com
28/09/2012
The Government of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) through its embassy here has reiterated its continual support to the youth development of Liberia.

Society                                                                                                                 

Library helps Tanzanians better understand China – China Daily (CHN)
25/09/2012
A China library opened within Tanzania’s national library in the African nation’s capital of Dar es Salaam on Monday.

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