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Kenya’s Treasury Chief Refutes Media Reports that the Port of Mombasa is at Risk of Forfeiture to China

Kenya's Treasury Cabinet Secretary Ukur Yattani denied, again, on Monday that the Port of Mombasa could be handed over to China in the event that Kenya Railways is unable to repay its SGR debt. Yattani responded to a front-page story in The Star ...

The Star Editorial Board: SGR Needs to Go Regional to Repay Its Chinese Creditors

Kenya needs to invest even more money into the embattled SGR if the railway has any chance of becoming financially self-sufficient to the point where it can repay its Chinese creditors, according to an editorial in today's The Star newspaper. For ...

MP: Rampant Corruption, Poor Planning and “Pooh Pooh” Leadership to Blame for SGR’s Woes (Not China)

Kenyan Member of Parliament Kitutu Chache gave a very entertaining assessment of why the Standard Gauge Railway is facing so many difficulties which all, more or else in his view, relate to poor leadership and governance. ...

With Chinese Engineers Back on Site, Zimbabwe’s New International Airport is Almost Half Done

Construction of the new international terminal at Harare's main airport is now 46% complete according to Zimbabwean officials who credit the return of Chinese engineers for the recent progress.  Chinese staff on the project had been unable to get back into ...

While Everyone Focuses on Vaccine Distribution, China Appears to Be Ramping Up Donations of Medical Supplies Again

Chinese donations of PPE and other COVID-19-related medical supplies to African governments appear to be picking up again. In recent months China shifted its focus away from shipping masks, ventilators, and other materials to focus instead on the distribution of COVID-19 vaccines.

Analysis from Cobus van Staden

Commodity Supercycle Blues

The editorial board of Financial Times published an op-ed yesterday announcing a new commodities supercycle. They argued that the global pivot towards climate-friendlier technologies like electric vehicles is pushing demand for metals like cobalt, lithium and palladium (used in catalytic converters.) In addition, the Biden administration’s new commitments to building infrastructure at home (and possibly abroad) will further boost demand for steel, with iron ore futures hitting record prices in Singapore this week.Where FT ...

A Chartered Air Zimbabwe Jet Took Off From China to Harare With a “Full Tummy” of Vaccines

344,000 doses of Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccines landed in Harare this morning on a charter flight from China. This latest shipment is part of 1.2 million doses purchase made by the Zimbabwean government. In addition to the vaccines, various supplies including syringes ...

Two Events in China and the DR Congo Illustrate Why the Race for Cobalt Supplies is So Important

Soaring demand for electric cars and trucks is sparking a buying frenzy for the critical ingredients used to make the batteries in those vehicles, namely cobalt. Prices for the metal are up 65% this year alone, the highest since 2018, at $53,000 a ton. ...

BlackLivity’s Láikàn (来看) Series Portrays a Nuanced, Complex View of Black Life in China

BlackLivity, the independent community-based media platform dedicated to showcasing Black life in China, launched a new video this week that highlights the site's compelling Láikàn series that provides first-person stories about the African diaspora experience in and about China.

Why the Debt Trap Narrative Won’t Die Soon (or Ever)

Recent reports of the debt trap’s death might have been exaggerated. Like a vampire that just won’t die, we keep burying it, but it keeps rising from the coffin. This week we saw reports that Kenyan politicians had to clarify again that the Mombasa port itself ...