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Russia-Africa Summit: The Bear Returns to Africa

For decades the Soviet Union had extensive ties across Africa, from its contribution to the national liberation movements in countries such as Mozambique, Guinea-Bissau and South Africa, as well as its involvement in the Ogaden conflict. After the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991, these relationships ...

China’s Ambassador to South Africa Is New to Twitter but From the Looks of It, He’s Learning How to Waste Time on Social Media Just Like the Rest of Us

China's outspoken ambassador to South Africa, Lin Songtian, just joined Twitter last month and for the most part, he's been posting the usual things that ambassadors tend to post on social media like photos from official events and pro-Beijing propaganda. Then out of character, a video ...

Kenya’s Newest SGR Line is Up and Running But Bad Roads Means No One Can Actually Get to the Stations

Two days after the high-profile launch of Kenya's Standard Gauge Railway line between Nairobi and Naivasha, the trains are running largely empty as very few passengers can actually get to the stations due to the poor condition of the roads.  Nearby ...

With Africa-Russia Summit Kicking Off This Week, Judd Devermont Has Some Advice for How the U.S. Should Respond

The inaugural Russia-Africa Summit will take place on Wednesday and Thursday of this week in the Olympic city of Sochi near the Black Sea. Some 50 heads of state have been invited to what many regard as Russia's formal re-entry into African geopolitics. ...

Wang Yi’s Quick Visit to South Africa Highlights How SA is Now China’s #1 BFF in Africa

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi made a quick one-day stop in South Africa on Friday where he met with President Cyril Ramaphosa and his counterpart Naledi Pandor for talks. The big smiles in the official photos (above) highlight how these two governments are becoming increasingly aligned with ...

Analysis from Cobus van Staden

China’s African Debt Experiment

The Financial Times today published a deep dive into the issue of Chinese lending to African countries and what struck me was how it crystallizes some of the underlying issues that aren’t necessarily made clear in the debt debate.

In the first place, it shows that Africa’s need for financing far outstrips both the available financing options and the continent’s current ability to repay them. The Calvinist logic that underlies much of ...