Weekly news update: 11/04/2013 to 17/05/2013


Top Stories:

 

CAN comment: Mozambique is one of the fastest growing economies in Africa and has huge potential to grow further due to significant gas and coal reserves in the country. While major Chinese and multinational companies are competing for a share of the reserves it is no surprise to see President Xi meeting with President Guebuza of Mozambique and talking about strengthening the relationship.

CAN comment: Direct evidence of China’s ever growing campaign to influence Africans through the media. This article provides effusive praise of China’s role in Africa and was published in a major Kenyan daily. The writer is the spokesperson for the Chinese embassy in Kenya.

CAN comment: Great article by Mthuli Ncube and Michael Fairbanks calling for African countries (particularly Nigeria, Angola and South Africa) to club together to negotiate tougher terms with China. A particular goal they set out is to persuade China to build greater linking infrastructure between countries to help build regional trade.

CAN comment: Interesting article in the Japanese press commenting on the benefits and pitfalls of Chinese aid, and the struggle of other nations to compete with the generous terms offered under Chinese deals. The article quotes the OECD’s estimate that Chinese aid was worth $2.47 billion in 2011 and that in 2009, 46 percent of China’s aid went to Africa.

CAN comment: There is a great deal of coverage of the Chinese in Africa, but much less of the growing diaspora of Africans in China, particularly in manufacturing export hubs like Guangzhou. These traders play a vital role in bringing Chinese goods into Africa and have settled into life in China.

CAN comment: Chinese car companies are increasingly looking to Africa as a growth market, but African countries need to do more to persuade them to move value added production to Africa. One car maker Foton is increasingly assembling vehicles locally in Africa using kits imported from China. For Chinese companies this provides a way to avoid the high tariffs on imported cars in nations such as South Africa, Algeria and Egypt.

Politics

Ghana China Friendship Union Appeal – Ghana Web (GHN)
16/04/2013
The Ghana China Friendship Union (GCFU) has applauded the move by government to clamp down on illegal mining and its resultant negative impacts in the country. In a statement issued in Accra yesterday, GCFU noted that the Ministerial Taskforce set up by President Mahama to deal with illegal mining must however recognise the presence of legal Chinese firms providing supportive services in the mining sector.

20th Anniversary of Establishment of Eritrean-Chinese Diplomatic Relations Commemorated – Shabait.com
16/05/2013
The 20th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Eritrea and the People’s Republic of China (PRC) was commemorated yesterday at the Chinese Embassy in the presence of President Isaias Afwerki, senior Eritrean government and PFDJ officials, as well as invited guests.

Xi touts opportunity for co-op with Africa – China Daily (CHN)
14/05/2013
China and Mozambique vowed to deepen economic cooperation, top leaders of both countries said on Monday. President Xi Jinping said in a meeting with visiting Mozambican President Armando Guebuza that there is “an important opportunity” for tangible cooperation between the two nations.

China-based Nigerians seek consular office in Guangzhou – The Guardian (NGA)
14/05/2013
TO enhance easy access to travel protocols as required by the host country, Nigerians resident in Guangzhou, China, Tuesday called on President Goodluck Jonathan to see to the creation of a consular office in that province.

Africa is not the new China, it’s the new Africa – WEF Africa
14/05/2013
While preparing for the World Economic Forum on Africa, which took place last week in Cape Town, I read about Africa being “the next China”. I wondered about that comparison before, but can today say from a business perspective that it is inaccurate.

How Third World benefits from China – Daily Nation (KEN)
13/05/2013
China’s engagement with Africa is the most momentous phenomenon over the last decade. Two-way economic relations have improved exponentially. This has not only been attributed to China’s remarkable development but also to Africa’s fast economic growth.

Africa’s strategy must be to gain from China – City Press (ZAF)
12/05/2013
Angola, SA and Nigeria are the fulcrum of the relationship, write Mthuli Ncube and Michael Fairbanks. China has fine-tuned its statecraft in ­Africa and morphed into the world’s most radical pragmatist. What can Africans do to gain from China’s new strategy?

Africans seek win-win ties with Chinese – Business Day (ZAF)
12/05/2013
CHINA’s growth model is shifting, but Africa’s response has been unclear and inadequate. Over the past couple of years, China has become less resource intensive as the economy moves into middle-income status. As prosperity spreads, it has become more consumer and services driven.

Calls for deeper China-Africa ties at World Economic Forum – CCTV
12/05/2013
China’s role in Africa’s development has been one of the key themes at the World Economic Forum held in Cape Town, South Africa. Before the three-day forum concluded Friday, African leaders hailed Chinese investments in the continent. Meanwhile, they called for a greater exchange of ideas moving forward.

Finance and Banking

Despite its extravagance, Chinese aid not always welcomed in Africa – Asahi Shimbum
12/05/2013
There’s a towering presence in the foreign aid landscape in Africa, once the domain of Western donor nations and Japan: It is China.

Manufacturing

African traders flocked to Guangzhou for the cheap goods but are staying to run manufacturing operations – Quartz Trading
13/05/2013
Guangzhou is a store front for manufacturers in the Guangdong province, China’s biggest exporter, and is crammed full of wholesale malls offering everything imaginable in bulk: kitchen cabinets, furs, car parts. It is also home to the biggest African community in the country, an estimated 20,000 people.

Mining and Metals

Chinese strike about $500m worth of Gold in Ghana with secret method – Ghana Web (GHN)
17/05/2013
Scores of villagers from a small town in China’s southern Guangxi province have struck gold worth more than 1 billion yuan in Ghana – but they’re keeping their method a secret, reported the 21st Century Business Herald.

Oil and Energy

Angola Looks to China as Oil Sales to U.S. Decline – Wall Street Journal
14/05/2013
Angola is depending increasingly on oil sales to China as its exports to the U.S. decline, according to the country’s oil minister, reflecting a shift in the global oil market as North America produces more of its own energy.

Telecommunications

Pentagon Continues Use of China Satellite in New Lease – Bloomberg
15/05/2013
The Pentagon will continue for another year the lease of a Chinese commercial satellite to provide communications for its Africa Command.

Lenovo Plans to Debut Africa Smartphone in Nigeria This Year – Bloomberg
10/05/2013
Lenovo Group Ltd. (992) will introduce its first smartphones in Africa, with a release planned for Nigeria before the end of the year, as the Chinese company looks for markets where it can sell directly to customers.

Trade

Is Western Criticism of China-Africa Trade Fair? – VoA Zimbabwe
14/05/2013
China first visited Africa in the eighth century, but it was only about 30 years ago that the country began engaging the continent economically and politically in any significant way. Since then, many Western critics have labeled Chinese commercial efforts in Africa “exploitative” and harmful to democracy and human rights.

South Africa Wine Exports Setting Records on China Demand – Bloomberg
14/05/2013
South African wine exports are poised to beat their 2012 record this year following high yields and on demand for premium vintages from North America and Asia, industry executives and growers said.

China and Portugal’s trade relation with Angola increasingly important – Macauhub (MOZ)
13/05/2013

China and Portugal are becoming increasingly important for trade relations with Angola, whilst the United States and France are losing ground in the country’s balance of trade, according to Angolan figures cited by Portuguese bank BPI.

Transport and Infrastructure

Automakers map out sales plans in Africa – China Daily (CHN)
14/05/2013
Companies hope to offset tough conditions elsewhere bymaking inroads in the growing market, reports Wang Chao. Like most people in Africa, Cisse Ouattara, an automobiledealer, had never heard of Beiqi Foton Motor Co, or seenthe trucks that the Chinese company is best known for, untila few years ago.

Egyptian National Railways seeks China cooperation to purchase 700 train cars for $570m – Egypt Daily News (EGT)
11/05/2013
A source from within ENR stated that Zakaria received a surprise invitation from the Chinese company to discuss further cooperation between the two sides, adding that the meeting began last Sunday

Defence

China urges efforts for Africa’s capacity-building in fight against terrorism – Global Times (CHN)
14/05/2013
China said on Monday that efforts should be made to help African countries build their capacity in the fight against terrorism, calling for support and assistance to Africa “without any attached political conditions.” Li Baodong, China’s permanent representative to the UN, made the remarks at an open debate of the UN Security Council on peace and security in Africa, which is themed on the challenges of the fight against terrorism in Africa.

Environment

Stronger environmental regulations can help China’s future in Africa – Global Times (CHN)
14/05/2013
China has received a bad rap recently for its environmental exploitation in developing countries. The media asserts that three decades after the intensification of its international forays, China is still struggling to strike a balance between the protection of the environment and its rapid investments, particularly in Africa.

Education

How China is educating Africa – and what it means for the west – The Guardian (GBR)
13/05/2013
The da xue (Mandarin: the big study, or the big reading) or dai ho(k) (Cantonese: the big learning) are Chinese terms for a university. In the romance of the “old days”, learning was the only way to bypass the class system. China‘s annual imperial exams allowed even the poorest subject to step outside his poverty and feudal status to become an official. When, later, learning became concentrated in universities, the institutions became prestigious and symbolic. They were the portals of escape.

Knowing China in Uganda – China Daily (CHN)
12/05/2013
It’s a typical downtown Kampala scene with crowds shifting between businesses – a clothing store, a furniture shop and a hair salon with loud music blasting through its doors onto the street. But above the bustle, on the second floor of a building, is a very un-Kampala picture that might seem more at home in the center of Beijing – a quiet corner of a community library stacked with Chinese literature, where green tea is served from a teapot emblazoned with a dragon.

Society

Africa, China rub minds on AIDS, malaria, others – Vanguard (NGA)
12/05/2013
Chinese and African leaders have met in Gaborone, Botswana, to discuss ways of jointly tackling critical issues such as AIDS, malaria,schistosomiasis, reproductive health, access to life-saving vaccines and non-communicable diseases among others, as the 4th International Roundtable on China-Africa Health Cooperation held to explore new partnerships to address pressing health challenges facing Africa and to strengthen an innovative health collaborative partnership.

Chinese volunteers on the rise overseas – China Daily (CHN)
11/05/2013
Wu Xiangde is super busy these days. As a veteran volunteer from China, the 65-year-old is ona nonprofit program to treat a highly polluted river in Nairobi, Kenya, updating each day’sprogress on his blogs.

China-Africa joint medical research to deepen – University World News
11/05/2013
China is to deepen joint medical research with Africa, particularly in training African medical scientists. Ren Minghui, director general of the Department for International Cooperation in the National Health and Family Planning Commission of China, said research and development was one priority area of collaboration being explored.