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The Nested Tragedies of Kenya’s Standard Gauge Railway

Recently we've seen two new pieces of research on Kenya’s Standard Gauge Railway (SGR,) which make for fascinating – if depressing – reading. They show that the project was doomed from the start by corruption and bad dealing from ...

The Black Expat Experience in Hong Kong

African residents living in China today are either students or traders, according to widely-held perceptions. With more than 80,000 African students studying in China every year and tens of thousands of people from across the continent doing business in port cities ...

Reuters: Zambia Claims It’s Shared Chinese Loan Details With Bondholders, But Investors Say They’re Still in the Dark

The Zambian government, according to Reuters, says it's doing "everything possible" to avoid defaulting on billions of dollars of Eurobonds, including acceding to investor demands that it reveal the extent of its Chinese loan portfolio. “We’ve given all the information that needs to ...

No Excuses. China Exim Bank Rejects Uganda’s Appeal For Repayment Delay

Back in August, the Ugandan government asked the China Exim Bank for a repayment delay on the loans needed to build the $1.7 billion Karuma dam project. A week went by and the bank replied with a simple answer: no. The government had requested the repayment delay ...

Why Kenya’s Standard Gauge Railway Was Doomed From the Start

Kenya's new multi-billion dollar standard gauge railway (SGR) was destined to fail even before it launched, argued Kenyan legal scholar Luis Franceschi in a new opinion column in the Nation newspaper. Franceschi joins a growing number of analysts who have long asserted that ...

Analysis from Cobus van Staden

The Long Arc of Chinese Lending to Africa

The biggest headline from November’s FOCAC meeting was China’s pivot away from infrastructure funding. But like many FOCAC headlines, it needs several asterisks. In the first place, the pivot might actually be away from a particular infrastructure model (massive projects funded with large bilateral Chinese policy bank loans and built by Chinese state-owned enterprises) rather than from infrastructure-building itself.

The larger question is what China is pivoting to. Instead of ...

What the EU Can Learn From China’s Development Efforts in Africa

Legacy aid donors in the United States and Europe generally don't look to China for inspiration on poverty alleviation programs that their aid agencies implement in places like Africa. That's a big mistake according to Philani Mthembu, executive director at Institute for Global Dialogue in Johannesburg. Mthembu ...

China’s COVID Donations Go to 53, Not All 54 African Countries

Chinese diplomats and state-run media outlets used to highlight how COVID-19 donations were sent to all 54 African countries across the continent. Recently, though, both Xinhua and the likes of senior diplomat Wu Peng have ...