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G7 Finance Ministers Openly Frustrated With China on Debt Relief

Debt relief for developing countries is emerging as the latest front in China's rapidly escalating confrontation with the U.S, European countries, and Japan. Finance ministers from many of those countries, representing the Group of 7 (G7), met on Friday to discuss debt relief initiatives for ...

Here’s What the G20 Says DSSI Has Accomplished So Far

When the G20 says it has provided $14 billion of "estimated total immediate liquidity provided by official bilateral creditors in 2020 alone," consider that amount is spread across all regions around the world. It falls far short of calls by Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy ...

First, Zambia Defaulted on Part of Its Debt, Then Came the Credit Downgrade, Now the Question is What Will China Do?

Zambia's financial situation is rapidly deteriorating following last week's announcement by the government that it would default on $3 billion of Eurobond debt. Soon after, the credit ratings agency Fitch downgraded Zambia's foreign-currency bonds, immediately increasing the cost of borrowing for Lusaka. ...

Is Default the Next Step for Kenya’s Embattled Standard Gauge Railway?

The Chinese-financed and built Standard Gauge Railway is losing money at an unsustainable rate of $9.2 million per month prompting renewed calls in parliament for the State House to renegotiate the $3.2 billion of loans used to construct the Nairobi to Mombasa ...

New U.S. Proposal to Limit Student Visas All But Hands the Educational Diplomacy Advantage in Africa to China

The United States government is proposing to severely restrict access to student visas from a majority of African countries in an effort to crack down on visa overstays.  The new proposal by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) calls for any ...

Analysis from Cobus van Staden

What We’ve Lost in the Fire

This weekend was a rough one for South Africa. On Sunday, the country watched as fires around Table Mountain slowly started creeping downhill, towards the beautiful campus of the University of Cape Town (UCT). Soon it was confirmed that the university’s African Studies library, which housed a unique collection of African film, and one of the biggest repositories of historical documents related to Southern Africa, was on fire. Librarians are still trying ...

China Faces a Critical Test in Kenya

Kenya's difficulties in servicing its debts for the newly-built, Chinese-financed Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) is nearing a breaking point. Even before the COVID-19 outbreak, the railway failed to meet passenger and cargo volume targets and now the economic downturn brought on by the ...

Letter to the Editor: Contrasting Japanese vs. Chinese Investment in Africa

Dear Eric, As the Representative in Africa for JETRO (Japan External Trade Organization), I would like to comment regarding your column on September 24th, "What It Takes To Compete Against the Chinese in Africa," where you mentioned that ...