Weekly news

24/11/2012 to 30/11/2012

Top Stories:                                                                                                          

 Is the United States Losing Egypt to China? – Huffington Post

I’m not sure the Egyptians ever believed their country belonged to the US. Hardly surprising that post Mubarak, Egypt is considering its options.

 Expat Chinese cannot blame Africa for the woes that befall them – Global Times (CHN)

Very interesting article, and the first I’ve seen of its kind. A Chinese businessman in South Sudan writing a piece defending life in Africa, blaming greedy Chinese business interests for Africa’s poor perception within China.

 Sudan seeking Chinese capital for its agri sector – China Daily (CHN)

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

 China imports threatens SA manufacturing – Engineering News (ZAF)

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.

 Chinese firm wins tender for Nairobi surveillance project – Business Daily (KEN)

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. 

 Jonathan seeks support for power sector reform – The Guardian (NGA)

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                                                                                                                 

Dalai Lama’s South Africa visa delay unlawful, court rules – Daily Monitor (UGA)
30/11/2012
South Africa’s government acted unlawfully in failing to give the Dalai Lama a visa in time for a planned visit last year, a court has ruled.

CCM, CPC Struggle for Common Prosperity – Tanzania Daily News (TZA)
30/11/2012
A few weeks ago, Chama cha Mapinduzi (CCM) concluded its 8th General Congress in great success. Almost at the same time thousands of miles away, Communist Party of China (CPC) convened its 18th National Congress from November 8th to 14th in Beijing.

Chinese firms urged to fulfill responsibility in Africa – China Daily (CHN)
29/11/2012
A China-Africa conference on Wednesday urged Chinese enterprises with ties to Africa to fulfill their corporate social responsibilities and abide by local laws and regulations.

Oyebode: Interrogating national development -The Guardian (NGA)
29/11/2012
My task is to enquire what is the state-of-the-art in terms of development in this country? Or, indeed, why are we at the nadir of development in spite of our incredible endowments in terms of resources, whether human or material? Where, when and why did we miss the boat of development and is there anything we can do about it in a bid to cut our losses and, possibly, resume the journey? Are we really doomed or can there indeed be some light at the end of the tunnel? 

Tutu may invite Dalai Lama for 90th birthday – IOL (ZAF)
29/11/2012
Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu may invite his friend the Dalai Lama to attend his 90th birthday, despite South Africa unlawfully delaying his visa application  last year.

Is the United States Losing Egypt to China? – Huffington Post
28/11/2012
Among the many objectives Egyptian President Morsi set for himself upon assuming office in June was to enhance Egypt’s autonomy in foreign policy and reassert its traditional pan-Arab leadership role.

Expat Chinese cannot blame Africa for the woes that befall them – Global Times (CHN)
26/11/2012
A recent Weibo post by a Chinese businessman in Africa has been reposted many times. It says that many Chinese in Africa are looked down upon or bullied. They even dare not say they are Chinese but claim to be Japanese, South Korean or Vietnamese.

South Africa, China to hold strategic dialogue mechanism meeting – FOCAC (CHN)
26/11/2012
The South African government on Friday announced that it will hold the 5th strategic dialogue mechanism meeting with China in next  week.

China vows better ties with Cape Verde – FOCAC (CHN)
26/11/2012
China is looking forward to better ties and cooperation with Cape Verde, according to its new envoy to the Portuguese-speaking Atlantic Ocean island country in West Africa.

Mozambique, China happy with cooperation – FOCAC (CHN)
26/11/2012
Visiting Chinese Deputy Foreign Minister Zhai Jun has said in Maputo that the Chinese government is satisfied with the state of the bilateral cooperation between China and Mozambique.

Chinese State Councilor meets South African delegation – FOCAC (CHN)
26/11/2012
State Councilor Ma Kai on Friday met with L. N. Sisulu, head of South Africa’s Ministry of Public Service and Administration.

Agriculture                                                                                                           

Kenyan firm plucks big investment – Business Day Live (ZAF)
25/11/2012
The world’s second-largest private equity fund, the Carlyle Group, this month announced the single largest private equity investment into Africa to date.

Sudan seeking Chinese capital for its agri sector – China Daily (CHN)
24/11/2012
Sudan is seeking Chinese investment in its agricultural industry, aiming to turn the emerging sector into a new highlight of bilateral economic ties.

Finance and Banking                                                                                           

Global food prices stable but still high – World Bank – Engineering News (ZAF)
30/11/2012
Global food prices remained stable, though close to 2008 record levels, the World Bank said on Thursday, as it warned that a “new norm” of costlier food was setting in and threatening to increase hunger and malnutrition in the world’s poorer regions.

Ethiopia opens window for local banks – Business Daily (KEN)
28/11/2012
Addis Ababa has opened a window for Kenyan lenders to establish marketing offices in a deal that still locks out local banks from starting operations in Ethiopia for direct lending and deposit taking.

Commodity curve flattens as Chinese growth dips – Business Report (ZAF)
26/11/2012
Growth in China has slowed from a peak of more than 14 percent in 2007, according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), to an estimated 7.8 percent this year.

China’s slowdown won’t affect African companies, says JM Finn manager – Fund Web
22/11/2012
An economic slow-down in China is unlikely to affect the growth potential for companies in Africa, according to JM Finn fund manager Anthony Eaton.

Manufacturing                                                                                                      

Chinese group poised to begin assembly of minibus taxis at SA facility – Engineering News (ZAF)
30/11/2012
Beijing Automotive Works (BAW) is set to start local assembly of minibus taxis in South Africa in January, in a move that promises to create 469 jobs.

China imports threatens SA manufacturing – Engineering News (ZAF)
28/11/2012
The import of cheap goods from China was one of the largest external factors inhibiting the exploitation of the manufacturing sector in South Africa, said Manufacturing Circle chairperson Stewart Jennings on Wednesday.

Chinese firm wins tender for Nairobi surveillance project – Business Daily (KEN)
27/11/2012
A state owned Chinese firm is the winner of the multimillion Integrated Urban Surveillance System (IUSS) project which is to be completed by end of January 2013.

Mining and Metals                                                                                                

Gold One International begins new chapter –  Proactive Investors (GBR) 
30/11/2012
is looking at a strong 12 months as it puts the strike at the Ezulwini Operations in South Africa behind it and begins a new chapter as Neil Froneman steps down as CEO.

Oil and Energy                                                                                                     

Jonathan seeks support for power sector reform – The Guardian (NGA)
29/11/2012
President Goodluck Jonathan has appealed to all stakeholders to work towards the success of the ongoing reform in the power sector, saying his administration is committed to ensuring constant electricity supply in the country.

Booming power supply through independent plants – The Guardian (NGA)
29/11/2012
Industrialisation and development come on the wings of adequate and stable power supply as all industrial processes depend on stable and cheap electricity supply.

Net-metering could reduce high cost of power for consumers – Business Daily (KEN)
27/11/2012
Think of all the things you do with electricity when you get home. Imagine switching on the lights, watching TV, ironing clothes, heating water, even cooking; all this time your electricity meter is just spinning forward and blinking fast.

China’s uncomfortable diplomacy keeps South Sudan’s oil flowing – China Dialogue
26/11/2012
As South Sudan’s biggest oil customer, China has found  itself at the centre of attempts to resolve disputes with northern neighbour Sudan.

Telecommunications                                                                                            

International Telecommunications Union Meeting: U.S. Is Ready To Fight The Internet ‘Tax’ Russia Wants – Huffington Post
30/11/2012
European Union member states are preparing to fight as a bloc alongside the United States to prevent a move by Russia and countries in Africa to impose a levy on internet traffic and make it easier to track users’ activities.

Trade                                                                                                                    

China at Center of Illegal Timber Trade – Club of Mozambique (MOZ)
30/11/2012
Voracious demand for wood to feed factories for exports and satisfy wealthier consumers at home has turned China into a magnet for the illegal timber trade, causing other countries to strip their forests as Beijing does little to discourage the practices, an environmental group said in a report released Thursday.

China-Africa trade reach new highs, but there’s reason to worry – How we made it in Africa
30/11/2012
Trade between Africa and China are at all time highs, but the terms are mostly dictated by China. So says a new Standard Bank report, written by analysts Simon Freemantle and Jeremy Stevens.

Conference told of growing China-Africa trade – China Daily (CHN)
28/11/2012
The trade volume between China and African countries will exceed $200 billion this year, Sun Guangxiang, deputy minister of commerce, predicted at a conference on Tuesday.

China-Africa trade volume reaches $122.2b first three quarters of 2011 – Ghana Business News (GHN)
25/11/2012
The volume of trade between China and Africa has reached $122.2 billion during the first three quarters of 2011, the China Daily reports citing officials of China’s Ministry of Commerce.

Transport and Infrastructure                                                                                 

Airports shaping new business location, development – Engineering News (ZAF)
28/11/2012
Airports are driving a fifth wave of economic development, as the twenty-first century will be essentially an aviation-based economy, with global commercial passenger and aircargo traffic soaring.

A guide to China’s overseas Dam industry – Official blog of Amb. David H. Shinn 
26/11/2012
International Rivers, an organization that works to stop the construction of destructive dams, published in October 2012 The New Great Walls: A Guide to China’s Overseas Dam Industry.

China and Mauritania: Whatever Happened to the Railway? – China in Africa: The Real Story
25/11/2012
In 2007 and 2008, many of us read in the Western and Chinese media  that a Chinese-Sudanese joint venture was going to build a railway to Mauritania’s phosphate deposits in the border town of Kaedi, and that China Eximbank had agreed to finance 70 percent of the $686 million project.

Environment                                                                                                         

UN talks seen falling short despite climate change fears – Engineering News (ZAF)
26/11/2012
Despite mounting alarm about climate change, almost 200 nations meeting in Doha from Monday are likely to pay little more than lip service to the need to rein in rising greenhouse gas emissions.

Education                                                                                                             

China, Unesco Jointly Launch Project to Bridge Educational Quality Gap in Africa – FOCAC (CHN) 
23/11/2012
China and UNESCO on Thursday jointly launched the 8 million U.S. dollars program to support educational development in Africa over four years to help narrow educational quality gap in the continent.

Society                                                                                                                 

East African Famine 2011 (Somalia) – The New York Times (USA)
30/11/2012
Much of the Horn of Africa, which includes Kenya, Somalia, Ethiopia, Eritrea and Djibouti, was struck in the summer of 2011 by one of the worst droughts in 60 years.

WHO reports 44% drop in fake medicines in Africa – The Guardian (NGA)
29/11/2012
The World Health Organisation (WHO) has reported an over 44 per cent drop in the circulation of fake and substandard medicines in Africa.

Thinking Chinese and being Ugandan – Daily Monitor (UGA)
25/11/2012
The character Su Lee from the classic Mind Your Language, and kungfu film stars I watched growing up (Jackie Chan, Chow Yun Fat, Bruce Lee, Sammo Hung, Donnie Yen, Jet Lee, Yuen Biao) influenced my primary impression of China as a nation of Chairman Mao zealots and fierce ambassadors of their heritage.

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