26/01/2013 to 01/02/2013

Top Stories:                                                                                                          

 The other China in Africa – Good Governance Africa

Interesting article charting the political and commercial fortunes of Taiwan in Africa. The article points out that while political relations remain depressed, due to China’s insistence on the one China policy, business interests continue to build.

 Head of African Studies at China’s largest think tank gives wide-ranging interview to CAP, says French intervention in Mali “was necessary” – Chinafrica Project (CHN)

This excellent interview is well worth a read. He Wenping is a very smart and well informed commentator on the China Africa relationship. It’s refreshing to hear a Chinese viewpoint on non-interference, dealing with dictators and the many myths about China’sindiscretions in Africa. 

 Eastern Promise (and Eastern Errors) in Little Africa – China in Africa: The Real Story

Interesting article on Africa town in Guangzhou as well as interesting comments from Deborah Brautigam on misconceptions around Chinese financing of infrastructure projects in Africa. Deals are rarely if ever based on direct payment with resources, rather resources secure the loans for infrastructure through parallel arrangements. 

 How China will make its contribution towards the industrialisation of Africa – Business Day (ZAF)

Interesting article by Kobus Van der Wath, MD of The Beijing Axis. He suggests that China’s major contribution to Africa might be through the promotion of manufacturing in Africa.

 Government awards Karuma deal to Chinese firm – Daily Monitor (UGA)

After years of legal battles around irregularities in the tendering process China International Water & Electric Corporation has been awarded the deal to construct the multi-billion Karuma Hydropower Dam in Uganda. 

 Nigeria to China: we want to climb up the value chain – Financial Times (GBR)

Great to see Nigerian Central Bank Governor Lamido Sanusi say, “We have to get China to produce products on African soil. We have to take advantage of the Chinese market.” African leaders need to demonstrate the same sentiment and seek Chinese state support for Chinese firms to manufacture in Africa, in negotiations around access to primary resources.

Politics                                                                                                                 

China, A Genuine Friend Of Africa, Nigeria – Atiku – Leadership (NGA)
01/02/2013
Nigeria’s former vice president, Alhaji Abubakar Atiku, has called on African countries, and Nigeria in particular, to get more involved with China in the areas of economic and political participations, saying that China has indeed become an indisputable friend of not only Africa but Nigeria.

The other China in Africa – Good Governance Africa 
01/02/2013
In geopolitics, as in a Saturday at the track, sometimes you back the wrong horse. Consider the case of the Republic of China (ROC aka Taiwan) and the Republic of South Africa, circa the 1970s and ‘80s. Those were the good old days, when the apartheid regime, the pre-democratic Taiwanese government and Israel formed a cosy nuclear troika, trading technology, know-how and materiel.

China reiterates support for African integration – FOCAC
31/01/2013
China will continue to support Africa’s integration process and concerted efforts for common development, a Foreign Ministry spokesman said Tuesday. Spokesman Hong Lei made the remarks at a daily news briefing after the 20th Summit for the African Union (AU) was held in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa from Jan. 27 to 28. Chinese Deputy Foreign Minister Zhai Juan attended the summit as a special envoy.

How does China view the current situation in Mali? – FOCAC
31/01/2013
China has been following the developments in Mali and supports the efforts by African countries and regional organizations to safeguard the unity of Mali and peace and security in the region. China calls for an early implementation of the UN Security Council Resolution 2085 on Mali and creation of favorable conditions for deployment of the “African-led International Support Mission in Mali” (AISMIM).

China to strengthen Kenya ties – The Standard (KEN)
30/01/2013
The Chinese Government will promote investment in through its firms and foreign aid to improve China-Kenya relations. The Chinese Government said it is implementing measures of the Fifth Ministerial Conference of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation, which will help strengthen the China-Kenya relationship.

Too often the West sees Africa as a pawn in a power game: John Kerry for one should know better – The Independent (GBR)
30/01/2013
John Kerry, the newly-approved US Secretary of State, appeared at the Senate foreign relations committee last week. Among other things, he warned that “China is all over Africa”, and likened the jostling between China and the US for influence in (or over) Africa to a “game”. He then explained that this “game” was not set in “Cold War terms”, but was, instead, about “business contracts, business opportunities, jobs for Americans, and opportunities to export”; “foreign policy is economic policy”, he declared. Americans needn’t worry, though. Kerry thinks this is a “game” the US can “win”.

Chinese investments help reduce conflicts in Africa – FOCAC
30/01/2013
Chinese investments in Africa are helping create employment and wealth, while reducing opportunities for conflicts, an African diplomat involved in peacebuilding activities in the continent said on Sunday. Olusegun Akinsanya, the regional director for the Institute of  Security Studies and former Nigerian ambassador to Ethiopia and the African Union (AU), made the remarks on the sidelines of the bloc’s 20th summit, which kicked off here on Sunday morning.

Head of African Studies at China’s largest think tank gives wide-ranging interview to CAP, says French intervention in Mali “was necessary” – Chinafrica Project (CHN)
30/01/2013
The China Africa Project conducted the following interview with Dr. He Wenping, director of African Studies at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, as a follow-up to our podcast discussion with her.

Chinese envoy to attend Mali conference – Xinhuanet (CHN)
29/01/2013
A special representative for China will attend an international donors’ conference on Mali, according to a Foreign Ministry announcement on Tuesday.”Ambassador Zhong Jianhua, special representative on Africa affairs for the Chinese government, will attend a conference of donors on Mali,” spokesman Hong Lei said at a daily press briefing.

China’s influence in Africa will only grow – South China Morning Post (CHN)
29/01/2013
Go into the casino in Tanzania’s largest city, Dar es Salaam, and what strikes you? The fact that the overwhelming number of players are Chinese. If the Chinese are not quite everywhere in Africa, their numbers, investments and trade have mushroomed over the past 10 years. If one compares Chinese and US investment in Tanzania, there is no contest.

Chinese envoy to attend Mali conference – Xinhuanet (CHN)
29/01/2013
A special representative for China will attend an international donors’ conference on Mali, according to a Foreign Ministry announcement on Tuesday. “Ambassador Zhong Jianhua, special representative on Africa affairs for the Chinese government, will attend a conference of donors on Mali,” spokesman Hong Lei said at a daily press briefing.

WTO nominee vows further China-Africa trade gains sites – New Times (RWA)
28/01/2013
The nominee for the job of the director general of the World Trade Organisation (WTO), Amina Mohamed, says she will work to build on the trade gains resulting from China’s engagement with Africa. Mohamed is a one of the two African candidates for the WTO job along with John Alan Kyeremanten, a Ghanaian diplomat and former presidential candidate. One of them will assume the WTO’s leadership in September to replace current Director General Frenchman Pascal Lamy.

Chinese investments help reduce conflicts in Africa: diplomat – People’s Daily (CHN)
28/01/2013
Chinese investments in Africa are helping create employment and wealth, while reducing opportunities for conflicts, an African diplomat involved in peace building activities in the continent said on Sunday.

Did China make the rest of the world aware of the opportunities in Africa? – How we made it in Africa
28/01/2013
China’s investment into Africa has sparked a number of debates around the world. Some have viewed it positively while others have been more suspicious, criticising it as the new colonisation of Africa. However, Hannah Edinger, head of the research and strategy division at Frontier Advisory, argues that China’s investment in Africa has made the rest of the world aware of the commercial opportunities existing on the continent.

China’s aid to Africa needs transparency – Global Times (CHN)
27/01/2013
China’s foreign aid expenditure has been soaring with Africa chosen as the main recipient. A new roadmap defining Chinese aid shows that the continent will receive $20 billion over the coming three years, about double what it has received in the past three years.

Eastern Promise (and Eastern Errors) in Little Africa – China in Africa: The Real Story
26/01/2013
Kit Gillett at The Global Mail interviewed me for a January 25, 2013 feature story on Africans in China, “Eastern Promise in Little Africa.” The article is extremely well-written. Kit took a lot of care, and created a fascinating piece of work, with a number of interviews and photos. It looks like a good, balanced human interest story. However, even a careful reporter like this can get things wrong in presenting the big picture that frames the story.

 

Finance and Banking

China-Zambia: China pledges more investments – AfriqueJet
31/01/2013
Investments – China has pledged more investments into Zambia, especially in telecommunications, infrastructure and mining sectors. And Standard Chartered Bank managing director Mizinga Melu said Africa-China Trade has risen tenfold in less than a decade.

African nations brace for China slowdown – The New Statesman
29/01/2013
One under-explored aspect of the prospect of a slow-down in Chinese growth — a so-called “hard landing”, which some have inferred from the declining returns on infrastructure spending in the country — is that it will hit hard for the poorer countries which have chosen to rely on China.

Manufacturing                                                                                                      

How China will make its contribution towards the industrialisation of Africa – Business Day (ZAF)
30/01/2013
CHINA’s economic involvement in Africa has thus far been dominated by that country’s need for and extraction of resources, and its exporting to Africa of all types of “Made in China” manufactures. Its construction contractors, telecom players and banks are also big players in the infrastructure arena, energetically and successfully selling to Africa.

Mining and Metals                                                                                                

China’s Africa resource scramble goes platinum – Mining Weekly (ZAF)
01/02/2013
China’s scramble for resources is breaking new ground on South Africa’s platinum belt.
As older and less profitable shafts face closure, Chinese money is bank rolling one of a handful of new platinum mines being built in South Africa, which sits on about 80 percent of known global resources of the white metal.

Confidence in China’s recovery sustains copper rally – Business Day (ZAF)
28/01/2013
Copper traders are bullish for a third consecutive week as the fastest expansion in Chinese manufacturing in two years boosts confidence that the biggest buyer of the metal is leading a global recovery.

Oil and Energy                                                                                                     

China’s economy will determine coal prices – Business Day (ZAF)
31/01/2013
CHINA’s economic growth will determine the direction coal prices take this year as South Africa’s coal competes with that from Australia and the US where there is an oversupply.

China’s narrow focus on oil in South Sudan won’t work: U.S. envoy – Reuters
31/01/2013
China needs to move beyond a narrow focus on oil issues in South Sudan and help tackle that country’s larger political disputes with Sudan, the outgoing U.S. special envoy to the two African states said on Wednesday. Ambassador Princeton Lyman said he had worked closely with Chinese officials for more than two years, during which time South Sudan seceded from Sudan in 2011 to become the world’s newest nation.

Tanzania battles deadly protests over billion-dollar gas project – Daily Monitor (UGA)
30/01/2013
Tanzanian leaders are struggling to calm the troubled southern region of Mtwara after protests over a billion-dollar gas project turned deadly at the weekend, claiming eight lives.

Government awards Karuma deal to Chinese firm – Daily Monitor (UGA)
27/01/2013
China International Water & Electric Corporation (CWE) has been awarded the deal to construct the multi-billion Karuma Hydropower Dam. This follows two years of protracted legal battles that witnessed several cancellations, injunctions, investigations and a repeat of the technical evaluation processes.

Trade                                                                                                                    

SA Importers Must Get to Grips with Eastern Complexities – Engineering News (ZAF)
31/01/2013
With China becoming an increasingly integral supplier of raw materials, components and products to South African companies, it is critical that local importers get to grips with the complexities involved in transacting with trading partners in the ‘Middle Kingdom’.

Nigeria to China: we want to climb up the value chain – Financial Times (GBR)
29/01/2013
Is the honeymoon of the unofficial Africa-China wedding over? Last week, the Nigerian Central Bank voiced its discontent about the unfavorable trade balance with China – and made it clear Nigeria was already looking elsewhere for friendship (and maybe more).

Transport and Infrastructure                                                                                 

Chinese firm seeks to block Port of Dar es Salaam contract award – Engineering News (RSA)
01/02/2013
The planned expansion of Tanzania’s Port of Dar es Salaam has been thrown into jeopardy by a Chinese company that is seeking to block the Tanzania Port Authority (TPA) from awarding the contract for the project.

Chinese firm completes first fly-over in record-breaking time in SW Nigeria – FOCAC
26/01/2013
The China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC) has officially handed over the first overhead bridge to the government of southwest Nigeria’s Ogun State, since its creation in 1976. The four-lane fly-over project was designed and built by the Chinese firm that has been playing an active role in the improvement of infrastructural conditions in Africa.

Zimbabwe: Chinese Housing Project On Cards – FOCAC
24/01/2013
Harare City has partnered with Henan Guoji Industry and Development Company from China for the development of housing structures in the city. Authority was given to Mayor Muchadeyi Masunda and Town Clerk Dr Tendai Mahachi to structure the deal with the Chinese. The company has a strategic partnership with the China Import and Export Bank.

Education                                                                                                             

GTUC Signs MOU with Guilin University of Technology of China – GhanaWeb (GHN)
31/01/2013
The Ghana Technology University College (GTUC) and Guilin University of Technology (GUT), China have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to promote the strengthening and development of academic partnerships, publication and research for high quality technology education.

School Construction: World Bank versus China – China in Africa: The Real Story
29/01/2013
In The Dragon’s Gift, I made the argument that the Chinese approach to funding aid projects employs a high degree of financial control. As one African official told me: “with the Chinese, you never see the money.” This has drawbacks for ownership, but is likely to mean that corruption and embezzlement is lower with Chinese aid, and the promised projects actually get built. Maintenance of course is another issue, something I also addressed in the book.

Chinese embassy constructs playground for Kacyiru school – New Times (RWA)
24/01/2013
The Embassy of the People’s Republic of China has built a play ground and paved compound sidewalks for Kacyiru I Primary School. The facilities were inaugurated on Tuesday by the Chinese ambassador to Rwanda, Shu Zhan, together with the State Minister fro Primary and Secondary Education, Dr Mathias Harebamungu.

Society                                                                                                                 

China-assisted hospital commissioned in Nigeria – People’s Daily (CHN)
29/01/2013
A new 150-bed hospital, assisted by China, is officially commissioned in Abuja, capital of Nigeria, on Monday. The China-Nigeria Friendship Hospital, which sits atop approximately five hectares of land, would serve as a perfect gift to mark the 42nd anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Nigeria, according to Deng Boqing, Chinese ambassador to the west African country.