29/09/2012 to 05/10/2012

Top Stories:                                                                                                          

 China’s U.S.$60 Million Mega Ministerial Complex for Liberia – a Gift Beyond Imagination – The New Dawn (LBA)

China’s goodwill project like this one are very high profile and can generate huge goodwill. The article offers effusive praise for the announcement of plans to build a mammoth new ministerial complex in Monrovia, which when built will be the second largest building in Africa. 

 China is not colonizing Zimbabwe – Zim Daily (ZWE)

After last week’s article on the findings of the Southern Africa Resource Watch, there appears to be some disagreement within the Zimbabwean press as to whether Chinese investments are enriching a small elite, or demonstrating China’s ‘all weather friendship’. 

 The takeovers will buy votes – Africa-Asia Confidential

AAC’s article explains the complex political and commercial dynamics around China’s involvement in Zimbabwe. The upcoming 2013 election has motivated Zanu-PF and MDC officials to pursue funds from China with added zeal in recent months.

 Niger to reduce fuel prices after China loan rate cut – Reuters Africa

Interesting example of the power of China’s aligned EXIM Bank and state owned firms. Niger has faced violence over fuel prices. A 60% owned CNPC refinery in the country being funded by EXIM bank loans has seen loans restructured to reduce short term costs and allow cuts in fuel prices. One can only assume that the decision has been made to protect the Chinese investment in the country.

 China’s Africa Policy: A Matter of Development – New Knowledge, INSEAD

Interesting article by Jonathan Story touching on the dangerous dependency relationships that can develop between China and African countries such as Niger, where China’s economic potential can become too important for officials to question.

 Why We Introduced Chinese Language in Public Schools, Fashola – Vanguard (NGA)

Popular Lagos Governor Babatunde Fashola gives some interesting views on why it is important for Nigerians to learn Chinese. According to Fashola it is an economic reality and a product of China’s growing importance in the country. It’s certainly a real bellwether for the growth of the relationship.

Politics                                                                                                                 

Beijing bets on Dos Santos – Africa – Asia Confidential
05/10/2012
China may advocate a policy of non-interference, but that did not stop it taking a pretty prominent place in Angola’s 31 August elections, from the campaign trail and the debates through to charges of manipulation of the electoral register.

The takeovers will buy votes – Africa-Asia Confidential 
05/10/2012
Ahead of national elections in March 2013, Indigenisation Minister Kasukuwere targets Chinese companies to raise funds for ZANU-PF’s campaign team

New Monograph on China’s Advance in Africa – The official blog of  Amb. David H Shinn
03/10/2012
David E. Brown, a career member of the U.S. Foreign Service who is assigned to the Africa Center for Strategic Studies as senior diplomatic advisor, authored in September 2012 a 128-page monograph titled Hidden Dragon, Crouching Lion: How China’s Advance in Africa is Underestimated and Africa’s Potential Underappreciated. The Strategic Studies Institute at the U.S. Army War College published the monograph.

China’s U.S.$60 Million Mega Ministerial Complex for Liberia – a Gift Beyond Imagination – The New Dawn (LBA)
02/10/2012
Liberia has over the last few years benefitted from significant contributions made by the People’s Republic of China towards its post-war reconstruction progression.

China and Africa: A Love Story? – BU Today (CHN)
02/10/2012
The international press has called him China’s “Mr. Africa.” He is Zhong Jianhua, the recently appointed People’s Republic of China special representative for African affairs, and on September 21 he paid a visit to BU as a guest of the African Presidential Center.

Here’s opportunity to salvage Somalia – Business Daily (KEN)
02/10/2012
Amid the flurry of international concern over the European economic crisis, the American elections, the controversy surrounding Iran and the fallout from the Arab spring, it is important not to ignore Somalia.

China’s global role under spotlight – Business Daily (KEN)
01/10/2012
China, a conformist country that used to be “revolutionary”, is much in the news because of its growing global influence.

China is not colonizing Zimbabwe – Zim Daily (ZWE)
01/10/2012
There have been misplaced statements in the media and other social platforms, which suggest that China is the new colonizer of Zimbabwe

Ethiopia’s new PM says policies will remain constant – Walta Info (blog)
29/09/2012
Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn has pledged to maintain the policies of his predecessor, the late PM Meles Zenawi, who died last month.

Uganda’s FM says China-Africa cooperation based on mutual respect – Global Times (CHN)
29/09/2012
Preparations are in high gear as Uganda prepares to mark 50 years of diplomatic ties with China.

China categorizes 50-year ties with Uganda as sincere, protective – FOCAC (CHN)
29/09/2012
As Uganda and China prepare to mark 50 years of diplomatic ties next month, theChinese ambassador to Uganda has described the half a century relation as sincere and protective.

Commentary – China-Liberia Relations At the 63rd Anniversary of the Founding 
of the People’s Republic – The Inquirer (LBA)
28/09/2012
Although there are many impressions about Liberia’s foreign relations, let us use theoccasion of the 63 Anniversary of the Founding of the People’s Republic of China to provide some concrete impressions about China-Liberian relations.

Agriculture                                                                                                           

High tea prices shield farmers from drop in output – Business Daily (KEN) 
01/10/2012
Strong global tea prices will see earnings by farmers hold steady this year, shielding them from declining production.

Feast and famine for Africa farm investment – Reuters Africa
29/09/2012
African agriculture has a big investment problem: lots of private equity interest but few opportunities because most farms and companies are too small to absorb the cash or provide attractive returns.

Finance and Banking                                                                                           

Chinese model of economy good for Africa – China Daily (CHN) 
05/10/2012
A Ghanaian academic and policy analyst proposes that African governments take acue from China’s modern development history to boost growth in their own economies.

All About Chinese Economic Penetration…how Excessive Sino Benevolence
Has Won Developing Countries Over – Times of Zambia (ZAM)
05/10/2012
IN diplomatic dealings, particularly with developing countries, China believes in and applies what is aptly termed as ‘Chinese economic penetration’-the process of maintaining and boosting international policy through the application of economic power.

Ethiopia Charts a Chinese Course – IPS (ETH)
03/10/2012
The death of Ethiopia’s leader of 21 years has raised fears of instability in one of Africa’s fastest-growing non-oil producing nations, which could potentially slow investment activity.

China the loser among BRICS after Vanguard move – Business Recorder (CHN)
03/10/2012
Vanguard Group’s switch to tracking the FTSE Group’s benchmarks for six of its international index funds could benefit Brazil, Russia, India, and South Africa, but would be negative for the Chinese markets, JP Morgan estimated.

China’s development path viewed as lesson for Africa – Xinhua (CHN)
03/10/2012
Over the past 40 years, policies that have failed to promote progress in Africa by some donor countries and international organizations have prompted the continent to look for the other way for inspiration.

China adjusts for Africa’s new era of development: Caijing – Morning Whistle (CHN)
29/09/2012
While countries around the world are suffering from the global economic downturn, Africa, once described as the “Hopeless Continent,” is now home to some of the world’s fastest-growing economies.

China development impresses African expert – CRI English (CHN)
29/09/2012
Fast growth in the past decades has proved that China has chosen a right way of development, and a close study on that will be important for African countries to find their own ways of development, said a former deputy governor of Botswana’s central bank.

South Africa expects BRICS bank to boost African development – FOCAC (CHN)
29/09/2012
The proposed BRICS bank is expected to promote the infrastructure development in Africa, a South African expert said Friday.

Manufacturing                                                                                                      

Manufacturing battles gain traction – IOL (ZAF)
02/10/2012
More evidence came yesterday that South Africa’s manufacturing sector is struggling to gain traction. The Kagiso purchasing managers index (PMI) fell into recessionary territory last month, to a seasonally adjusted 46.2 from 50.2 in August.

Africa’s Industrialization Could Benefit From China’s Growth Model – Capital FM (KEN) 
02/10/2012
Kenya and other African countries could increase regional trade and industrial production of goods by using the Chinese growth model, which relies on an abundant labor force to improve product quality, economic experts say

Mining and Metals                                                                                                

Chinese billionaire eyes Boseto Copper Mine – Mmegi Online
05/10/2012
A Chinese private equity firm owned by billionaire Yu Yong has offered P6.5 billion ($848 million) to acquire Botswana Stock Exchange (BSE) listed copper miner Discovery Metals, in what is a clear indicator of the world second largest economy’s ever growing appetite for Africa’s natural resources.

China boosts coal of Africa as loss widens – Mining Review (ZAF)
05/10/2012
A unit of Beijing Haohua Energy Resource Company Limited has offered to inject US$100 million into Coal of Africa (CoAL), after diversified miner Exxaro chose not to exercise its option to acquire a 30% stake in CoAL’s Makhado coking coal project.

Oil and Energy                                                                                                     

Niger to reduce fuel prices after China loan rate cut – Reuters Africa
28/09/2012
Niger will reduce the cost of fuel at the pumps by about 7 percent next year as a result of China cutting the interest rate on a loan taken out to pay for the West African country’s sole oil refinery, the oil minister said on state television.

Trade                                                                                                                    

China’s Africa Policy: A Matter of Development – New Knowledge, INSEAD
04/10/2012
In 2009, China overtook the U.S. as Africa’s prime trade partner. It happened because China substituted the export of revolution for development at home. Mao died with few friends. Now China has many.

Transport and Infrastructure                                                                                 

The Ethiopian Railways Corporation( ERC) aims to complete 42% of Addis light rail project this year – Walta Info (ETH)
29/09/2012
The Ethiopian Railways Corporation (ERC) plans to complete 42 percent of the Addis Ababa Light Rail Transit Project, a 34.25 km double track electrified light rail transit, this budget year.

Education                                                                                                             

Teaching Chinese to Africans – The official blog of Amb. David H. Shinn
3/09/2012
Daouda Cisse, research fellow at the Centre for Chinese Studies at Stellenbosch University in South Africa, wrote on 11 September 2012 a short piece that looks at African interest in learning Chinese.

Confucius Institute Strengthens China-Sierra Leone Relations – Concord Times (SLE)
03/10/2012
On September 27, Chinese ambassador to Sierra Leone Kuang Weilin inaugurated the Confucius Institute at the University of Sierra Leone.

Why We Introduced Chinese Language in Public Schools – Fashola – Vanguard (NGA)
03/10/2012
Governor Babatunde Fashola has justified the reason for the introduction of Chinese Language into Lagos State public schools’ syllabus, saying “it is an economic decision from the government.”

China Reiterates Support to Youth Development – Heritage (LBA)
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                                                                                                                 

South African youth entrepreneurship lagging – Times Live (ZAF)
02/10/2012
Kobus Engelbrecht, of the Sanlam/Business Partners Entrepreneur of the Year competition, said the 2011 Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) SA report found that only a small number of young South Africans were entrepreneurs.