Weekly news

24/01/2012 to 30/01/2012

Top Stories:                                                                                                          

 Sudan: Chinese Official Holds Rare Meeting With SPLM-N Leaders – Sudan Tribune (SUD)

 Africa’s New AU Building: How Many Chinese Workers? – Deborah Brautigam’s blog

 Africa: China Committed to Stronger Ties With Region – Daily News (TZA)

 AU Chair: Can Jean Ping Survive The South African Challenge? – Leadership (NGA)

 BHP Said in Talks for Gabon Iron Ore Deposit Held by China – Businessweek

 Africa and China: Is it about time Africa introduces rules? – LSE (GRB)

All links:                                                                                                               

Chinese in Africa on alert – Global Times (CHN)
31/1/12
The abduction of 29 Chinese workers in the Republic of Sudan rang alarm bells over the safety of Chinese nationals overseas, as Beijing sees an investment boom in some emerging markets where the stakes could be too high, analysts say.

Sudan: China Sends Team to Country, Demands Release of Workers – RNW (NED)
31/1/12
China on Tuesday called for the immediate release of 29 Chinese workers held by Sudanese rebels, as it dispatched a team to the African nation to help defuse the situation.

Zimbabwe: Chinese Ensemble Makes a Welcome Return – The Herald (ZBW)
31/1/12
The China Disabled People’s Performing Art Troupe is set to wow their Zimbabwean audience when they showcase their act at Celebration Centre on tomorrow.

Sudan: Chinese Official Holds Rare Meeting With SPLM-N Leaders – Sudan Tribune (SUD)
30/1/12
The Chinese ambassador to Addis Ababa Xie Xiaoyan met on Monday with the chairman of the Sudan People Liberation Movement North (SPLM-N) Malik Agar and its Secretary general Yasir Arman to discuss the release of workers kidnapped over the weekend during clashes with Sudan Armed Forces (SAF).

Sudan: Chinese Firms Warned Against Security Situation – Sudan Tribune (SUD)
30/1/12
China’s Ministry of Commerce has warned Chinese companies of security risks in Sudan after the kidnapping of Chinese workers in South Kordofan region.

Africa’s New AU Building: How Many Chinese Workers? – Deborah Brautigam’s blog
30/1/12
A couple of days ago, Yoon Jung Park at Howard University forwarded a very thoughtful article by Howard University grad Chika Ezeanya, reacting to the just-opened $200 million African Union headquarters building in Addis Ababa, a “gift” from the dragon. Her mixture of frustration and disgust at the symbolism of the African Union accepting the donation of this building was almost tangible and very nicely phrased.

Top SA investor’s gamble on China – Money Web
30/1/12
Orbis, part of South Africa’s highly rated Allan Gray investment management organisation, is betting big that Chinese consumers will spend increasing amounts of time and money on the internet. It is holding a massive chunk of Nasdaq-listed Sohu (NASDAQ: SOHU), a Chinese internet stock that many large international fund managers have shunned.

Taking back seat inadvisable for China in Africa – Global Times (CHN)
30/1/12
In the old Cinderella story, a wretched orphan is mistreated by a trio comprising of two evil stepsisters and monstrous stepmother. Luckily her fairy godmother turns up to change the girl’s fortune.

China pledges more aid for Africa even after workers go missing – LA Times (USA)
30/1/12
In a sign of its growing dependency on Africa for resources, China pledged to provide nearly $100 million in aid for the continent only a day after 29 of its overseas workers were kidnapped by Sudanese rebels.

China doubts Sudan workers freed in South Kordofan – BBC News (GBR)
30/1/12
The fate of 29 Chinese construction workers kidnapped in Sudan is unclear after Chinese officials were quoted casting doubts on reports that some had been freed.

Sudan: Rebels Promise to Release Kidnapped Chinese Workers – Sudan Tribune (SUD)
30/1/12
The rebel group Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/Army North (SPLM/A-N) has promised to secure the release of Chinese nationals reportedly held by its fighters in South Kordofan State.

China says 29 workers remain captive in Sudan – Reuters
30/1/12
China’s embassy in Sudan said all 29 Chinese workers kidnapped by rebels in the border state of South Kordofan remained in rebel hands, the official Xinhua news agency said on Monday, despite a Sudanese report that 14 of them had been freed.

Sudan army frees 14 ‘kidnapped’ Chinese: report – France24 (FRA)
30/1/12
The Sudanese military has freed 14 Chinese workers “kidnapped” by rebels in the country’s South Kordofan state, the official SUNA news agency reported on Monday.

Africa: Glitzy New AU Headquarters a Symbol of China-Africa Ties – Angola Press (AGO)
30/1/12
Standing on what was once Ethiopia’s oldest maximum security prison, the new African Union headquarters funded by China is a symbol of the Asian giant’s push to stay ahead in Africa and gain greater access to the continent’s resources.

Full text of top Chinese political advisor’s speech at AU summit – Xinhua (CHN)
30/1/12
Jia Qinglin, chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), delivered a speech at the 18th summit of the African Union on Sunday.

Africa: China Committed to Stronger Ties With Region – Daily News (TZA)
30/1/12
China has reaffirmed its commitment to strengthen its cooperation with Africa, stressing that ties will focus on respect for human rights and mutual benefit, a top Chinese official said here on Sunday at the opening of the 18th Ordinary session of the African Union Assembly.

Rwanda: Linking Nation’s and China’s Ceramic Arts – New Times (RWA)
30/1/12
The Chinese New Year celebrations were held at Serena Hotel Kigali in “Muhazi” Hall on January 18th, 2012. The event was graced with various activities that portrayed the exciting Chinese culture that included acrobatics, dance and an art show.

Sudan: Dozens of Chinese Workers Captured By Rebels – RFI (FRA)
30/1/12
Efforts are underway on Monday to rescue 29 Chinese workers captured by Sudanese rebels. The Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North group has said they are in “safe hands” although it is not clear whether the Chinese workers were the original target of the raid. The workers’ employer has set up an emergency response team to monitor developments.

Africa: China Pledges to Support Continent’s ‘Just Position’ – The Herald (ZBW)
30/1/12
China has pledged to support the “just position” of African countries in various international forums saying it was opposed to the “big, strong and rich countries bullying the small, weak and poor” of the world.

China’s stadium diplomacy in Africa: is it worth it? – China Africa Project podcast
29/1/12
If you are an African football fan then there is no better place to be these next few weeks than in the Gabonese capital Libreville where tens of thousands are flocking to the city’s brand new Stade de l’Amitié or friendship stadium.

Sudan Rebels Are Said to Hold Road Crew From China – New York Times (USA)
29/1/12
More than two dozen Chinese road workers have been seized by a Sudanese rebel group, Chinese and Sudanese officials said Sunday, underlining the risks for China in sending ever-greater numbers of its workers into some of the world’s most turbulent countries.

Uganda: Museveni, Oil Firms Disagree Over Tax – The Monitor (UGA)
28/1/12
The proposed sale of multimillion dollar stakes by British-based explorer Tullow Oil to France’s Total and China’s CNOOC has been delayed by disagreements over tax compensations, President Museveni has said.

Top Chinese political advisor: China willing to further boost China- Ethiopia ties – Xinhua (CHN)
28/1/12
China is willing to further promote its relationship with Ethiopia to a new level, top Chinese political advisor Jia Qinglin said here on Saturday.

Will China help out the West in Sudan? – Asia Times
28/1/12
China, which purchases much of the oil from East Africa and provides investment and armaments to the Sudanese government in return, has suffered abuse and derision for its engagement with Khartoum.

Significance of China’s Construction of the African Union Headquarters – the African Executive
28/1/12
The African Union (AU) will once more witness the Chinese meet one of their objectives during the Forum on China – Africa Cooperation (FOCAC). Chinese President Hu Jintao is expected to visit Addis Ababa in late January 2012 to inaugurate a new African Union headquarters financed by his government.

Inauguration of New AU Headquarters Celebrates China’s Rise in Africa – VoA
28/1/12
The African Union has inaugurated a new headquarters with tributes to China’s rise in Africa, and to the political prisoners who died in the jail that once occupied the site.

Sudan: Nation Urges China to Exert Pressure On South Sudan to Reach Oil Deal – Sudan Tribune (SUD)
28/1/12
The Sudanese president Omer Hassan al-Bashir met today with the chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference Jia Qinglin and briefed him on the ongoing negotiations with the south regarding the oil dispute.

Glitzy new AU headquarters a symbol of China-Africa ties – Chicago Tribune (USA)
28/1/12
Standing on what was once Ethiopia’s oldest maximum security prison, the new African Union headquarters funded by China is a symbol of the Asian giant’s push to stay ahead in Africa and gain greater access to the continent’s resources.

China committed to helping build Africa’s self-development capability: official – Xinhua
27/1/12
China is committed to helping African nations to improve their abilities for self-development, Chinese Vice Commerce Minister Gao Hucheng said on Friday.

Liberia: Upholding Country-China Relations – The New Dawn (LBR)
27/1/12
The Government People’s Republic of China has exemplified itself as a true partner of Liberia since the resumption of diplomatic relations here in 2004 under the interim administration of former Chairman Charles Gyude Bryant. Chinese peacekeeping troops serving with UNMIL have made significant contributions to restoring peace to Liberia. Chinese medical personnel have saved lives in many parts of the country.

China’s finger is now in virtually every Zimbabwean pie and the Chinese Yuan may soon become the official currency – Newstime Africa
27/1/12
From downtown shops that stock cheap clothing and shoes that fall apart after one wear, to mining concessions in platinum, gold and diamonds – the Chinese finger is now in virtually every Zimbabwean pie. From city sidewalks to low-income suburbs, the Chinese have become part of the local population, and if some senior government bureaucrats have their way, the country could soon find itself adopting the Chinese Yuan as its official currency.

Ghana: Chinese Loan May Cost U.S.$8.5 Billion – The Chrionicle (GHA)
27/1/12
Ghana might end up paying US$8.550 billion for the $3 billion Chinese loan it has contracted from the China Development Bank.

Liberia: China Hands Over New Health Ministry – The New Dawn (LBR)
27/1/12
The Government of the People’s Republic of China has handed over the newly constructed US$5 million Health Ministry complex in Congo Town to the Government of Liberia.

New AU headquarters mark strong China-Africa ties – Times (ZAF)
27/1/12
Towering above the Ethiopian capital, cloaked in urban smog, the new Chinese-built African Union headquarters in Addis Ababa is a bold symbol of China’s rapidly changing role in Africa.

Kenya: Chinese Contractor Begins Langata Road Extension – Nairobi Star (KEN)
27/1/12
Chinese contractor China Wu Yi has already set a site at the Bomas of Kenya for the planned construction of the dual carriageway extension of Langata Road from Kenya Wildlife Service gate to Magadi Road Junction. The company was awarded the Sh2.6 billion tender last month, in a project which will include street lighting and a footbridge at the KWS gate.

Liberia: China to Build Ministerial Complex – New Democrat (LBR)
27/1/12
The new ministry of health built by the Chinese government in Oldest Congo town is named “Joseph Nagbe Togba, Sr. M.D. Office Complex, in memory of Liberia’s first medical doctor who also served as the first general administrator of the JFK Medical Center.

Construction criticism casts the spotlight on intra-African trade – The Guardian (GBR)
27/1/12
Sleek and glinting in the sun, combining a traditional office tower with a more unusual spherical conference centre, shaped like a flying saucer, the new African Union (AU) headquarters in Addis Ababa, the Ethiopian capital, is an impressive symbol of modernity.

South Africa’s hypocrisy on the Dalai Lama – Politicsweb (ZAF)
26/1/12
Isaac Mpho Mogotsi contrasts South Africa’s policy towards Tibet, with South Africa’s approach to South Sudan.

To Yuan or Not to Yuan, That is the Question – IPS
26/1/12
From downtown shops that stock cheap clothing and shoes that fall apart after one wear, to mining concessions in platinum, gold and diamonds – the Chinese finger is now in virtually every Zimbabwean pie.

Africa: Opening China’s Gateway to Africa – Southern Africa Report
26/1/12
China has announced to its massive business community that the gateway to Africa is open, and South African Airways (SAA) has the keys.

Liberia: Ministry of Health Complex, Named for Dr. Joseph N. Togba, Sr., Is Dedicated, As Chinese Government Pledges Infrastructural, Other Support to Liberia – Government of Liberia (LBR)
26/1/12
President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf on Thursday dedicated the new Ministry of Health and Social Welfare headquarters, named in honor of Dr. Joseph Nagbe Togba, Sr., Liberia’s first trained medical doctor and public health practitioner.

AU Chair: Can Jean Ping Survive The South African Challenge? – Leadership (NGA)
26/1/12
Opposition to Ping’s candidacy stems from his Chinese connection and AU’s reaction in the Arab Spring especially with the crisis in Libya. Ping has a Chinese father and a Gabonese mother and has been China’s man in its recent consolidation of interests in Africa.

Liberia: Govt Signs Contract to Pave Major Highway – The New Dawn (LBR)
26/1/12
Liberia and China Changqing International Construction Corporation (CICO) have signed US$166m agreement to pave the Monrovia-Gbarnga-Ganta highway, according to Public Works Minister Sam Woods.

BHP Said in Talks for Gabon Iron Ore Deposit Held by China – Businessweek
25/1/12
Gabon is considering taking away China Machinery Engineering Corp.’s rights to the nation’s biggest iron ore deposit and is in talks with BHP Billiton Ltd. on the asset, according to two people familiar with the matter.

Asia to Boost West African Crude Imports on Cheaper Brent – Businessweek
25/1/12
Asian refineries will boost their imports of West African crude oil for loading in February to the highest in at least seven months amid cheaper Atlantic Basin grades and rising demand in China.

Kenya: Agent in Sh17.5 Million Ivory Export Charged – Nairobi Star
24/1/12
A clearing and forwarding agent has denied charges of helping to export illegal ivory worth Sh17.5 million to China.

Chinese Refinery in Chad Hits a Major Snag – OilPrice.com
24/1/12
When Chad’s $60 million Djarmaya refinery, 25 miles north of the capital N’djamena, was opened on 29 June 2011 after two years of construction, President Idriss Deby Itno described it as a “gift from China.”

Cameroon: New bell population relieved of bad road – Cameroon Tribune (CAM)
24/1/12
The Chinese company renovating the streets is putting finishing touches for their imminent launch. The renovation of streets, principally secondary roads, has put a smile on the faces of slum residents of Douala II Subdivision. The tarring of the streets has come to resolve the problem of commuting within the neighbourhood.

Who are the Chinese in Africa? – China Africa Project blog
23/1/12
From Algeria to Angola, the Chinese population across Africa is growing rapidly. In less than a decade, hundreds of thousands of immigrants have made the long journey from mainland China to cities and villages throughout the continent.

Celebrating the Chinese New Year in Africa – But Not So Much the Chinese… – About.com
23/1/12
The Year of the Dragon is being celebrated by Chinese communities throughout Africa. The Chinese New Year never struck me as a festival to write about, since Chinese communities used to be relatively small and far between.

How China is driving the grim rise in illegal ivory – The Guardian (GRB)
23/1/12
Demand from Asia is driving the killing of Africa’s elephants for their tusks, with seizures hitting a record high in 2011 following a ban in 1989

Africa and China: Is it about time Africa introduces rules? – LSE (GRB)
23/1/12
The immense flow of literature on the China-Africa discourse, mainly promoted by Western and Chinese media, has shaped conventional views about the scope and role of the Chinese presence in Africa.

China and Soft Power in Sub-Saharan Africa – Ambassador David Shinn’s blog
21/1/12
JoAnne Wagner, a career Foreign Service Officer now serving as the State Department’s Deputy Director for Pakistan, published an article titled “Going Out”: Is China’s Skillful Use of Soft Power in Sub-Saharan Africa a Threat to U.S. Interests? It appeared in the 1st quarter 2012 edition of Joint Forces Quarterly.

China’s aid spurs growth, but traders feel cheated – China in East Africa blog
21/1/12
To widen the tax base, the Ugandan government urgently needs to partner with donors and take more proactive steps to support revenue-raising activities like agriculture, energy and infrastructure or even the private sector so that in the long term, aid dependency is minimized.

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