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Africa’s Major Economies Sinking Under the Weight of Surging Debt, Reduced Trade, and Massive New Social Welfare Costs

The economic fundamentals in a growing number of Africa's major economies are showing signs of rapid deterioration amid the ongoing economic crisis brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. Seemingly every week there's a new downgrade, analyst warning, or economic indicator that points to an increasingly dire situation ...

China’s New Ambassador to Kenya Makes the Rounds

Given China's extensive involvement in building transportation infrastructure in Kenya, it's not surprising that Chief Secretary James Macharia was high on the list of key cabinet stakeholders to meet, as the newly-arrived Chinese ambassador, Zhou Pingjiang, settles into his new role. ...

The Chinese Embassy in Harare Responds to Zimbabwe’s National Park Mining Ban

The Chinese embassy in Harare responded late last week to the Zimbabwean government's surprise decision to ban all mining activities in the country's five national parks and in most river beds. Although Information Minister Monica Mutsvangwa did not mention China by name when announcing the ...

A New China-Ethiopia Venture is Now Producing COVID-19 Test Kits

Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed toured a new Chinese-Ethiopian joint venture on Sunday that will be able to produce up to 10 million COVID-19 test kits per year. The new test kits will be used to help mitigate the spread of the virus domestically and will ...

More Unsubstantiated Reports of Chinese Troop Deployments to Africa

Longstanding fears of Chinese troop deployments to Namibia resurfaced last week when a legislator claimed, without evidence, that 3,500 Chinese soldiers are currently in the country. Defense Minister Peter Hafeni Vilho didn't help matters when he refused to comment on the ...

Analysis from Cobus van Staden

It’s Not All Gloomy

The last few weeks have been marked by a pervasive gloominess about Africa’s future. 

As Zambia was defaulting on its Eurobond debt, the G20 was praising itself effusively for coming up with a debt response unlikely to help anyone. Meanwhile, the depressing talking points kept coming: a lost decade, 25 years of growth down the drain, millions pushed back into extreme poverty. 

These are all realities. However, they might not show the entire ...

Chinese Port-building Along the BRI: “There’s a Lot More Than Meets the Eye”

Daniel R. Russel and Blake Berger, two scholars at the New York-based Asia Society Policy Institute, have published a new report that looks at the broad security implications of China's Belt and Road Initiative.  Although Chinese officials have long maintained that ...

Taiwan’s New Rep Office in Somaliland Opens Twitter Account

If you'd like to follow what's going on at Taiwan's newly-opened representative office in the Horn of Africa in Hargeisa, capital of the self-declared state of Somaliland, you can do so on their equally new Twitter account. Follow "Taiwan In Somaliland" ...

Developing Countries Have Had Enough of the U.S.-China Feud

The prevailing narrative among large swathes of the conservative media in the United States is that Washington and Beijing are now engaged in a new "Cold War." U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, in fact, suggests that the current confrontation with China is actually even ...