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China’s Decision to Join COVAX Hints at a Multilateral Approach to Its Budding Vaccine Diplomacy Agenda

Friday's surprise announcement that China would join more than 150 other countries in the COVID-19 Vaccines Global Access Facility, or Covax, marked a sharp pivot in Beijing's budding vaccine diplomacy strategy. Until last week, Chinese officials had resisted joining the WHO-backed vaccine alliance, hinting ...

IMF Chief: Africa Faces Projected Financing Gap of $345 Billion Through 2023

IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva implored the international community to "do more to support Africa" to help recover from the worsening economic crisis on the continent brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.  She said lenders and international NGOs have so far only ...

Kenya Advised to Restructure Current Debts, Reduce Commercial Borrowing if It Wants to Avoid Default

The Washington, D.C.-based multinational NGO International Budget Partnership (IBP - it was formerly known as the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities) recently warned Kenya's National Treasury to take drastic measures in order to avoid the bottom falling out of the economy due to the ...

Q&A: U.S. Ambassador to Kenya Rejects Assertion That Washington is “Playing Catch-up” With Beijing

Washington's outspoken envoy to Nairobi, Kyle McCarter, denied that the U.S. is trying to use a free trade agreement that's currently being negotiated by the two governments as evidence that the Trump administration is trying to "catch up" with the Chinese in Africa. 

China’s Top Diplomat for Sub-Saharan Africa is Now on Twitter

Wu Peng is the latest senior Chinese diplomat to get a Twitter account. Beijing's top diplomat for sub-Saharan Africa is a late-comer to the "Twitplomacy" era that gathered steam last fall when dozens of Chinese diplomats, embassies, and state-owned enterprises started to use ...

Analysis from Cobus van Staden

The Different Readings of FOCAC

One of the intriguing results of last week’s FOCAC meeting has been a narrative pushed by key English-language publications that it represents a reduction in Chinese engagement with the continent. Bloomberg set the tone in its initial report which counted the sums mentioned in President Xi Jinping’s speech and came to $40 billion. Comparing it to the $60 billion funding targets of 2015 and 2018, it concluded that the summit represented a pullback from ...

African Debt: At Some Point, the Hole Becomes Just Too Big to Fill

The rapidly deteriorating financial crisis in Lebanon provides a grim preview to other developing countries of what happens when the bottom falls out of an economy. After the government defaulted on its debt last spring, conditions spiraled downwards to the point where