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Climate Suffering and Its Complications

This week, the climate crisis became a lot more concrete. Heatwaves and fire across North America overlapped with massive floods in Germany and China. I say ‘concrete’ but of course climate change has been pretty concrete for millions of climate refugees across the Global South for a while ...

The China-Mediterranean Observer: China Emerges as Key Mediator in the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam Standoff

Among the most interesting topics discussed this month in the media published throughout the wider Mediterranean region, the crisis over the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam between Egypt, Sudan, and Ethiopia stands out. We also found a number of interesting reports regarding the relations between the countries of ...

Reading the Smoke

As things slowly settle down in South Africa after the last ruinous week, the debates about who’s really to blame are catching fire. It’s now being called an insurrection attempt, and President Ramaphosa has referred to those responsible for fueling the protests as ‘enemies of democracy.’ 

Q&A: Kenya’s Ambassador to China Reflects on the Current State of Ties With Beijing

China-Kenya relations are at a critical stage as the two countries face enormous challenges related to debt sustainability, a severe trade imbalance, and the public health crisis brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. Nonetheless, Kenya remains a strategically vital country for China as a key hub on ...

The Fire Next Door

So…How have you been? Since we last spoke, my country exploded. If you’re not up on South African news, the current government has finally managed to get a charge to stick to its predecessor – former president Jacob Zuma. This took ...

Analysis from Cobus van Staden

Reading the Smoke

As things slowly settle down in South Africa after the last ruinous week, the debates about who’s really to blame are catching fire. It’s now being called an insurrection attempt, and President Ramaphosa has referred to those responsible for fueling the protests as ‘enemies of democracy.’ One of the problems underlying the current crisis is that he’s both right and wrong. South Africa is indeed, as Ramaphosa called it, a ‘hard-fought-for democracy.’ ...

Chinese Media Report on What Happened in South Africa, They Just Won’t Tell You Much About Why It Happened

Chinese media coverage of last week's violence in South Africa was notable for how it reported on the events that led to the death of at least 200 people and caused widespread damage in many of South Africa's largest cities including Durban, Newcastle, and Johannesburg among others. ...

Why Does China Want to Cooperate With Europe in Africa?

What’s in a phone call? Well, when it’s from China’s leader to the presidents of Germany and France then maybe it's something beyond idle chit-chat. And, when it comes on the heels of the G7 summit which Xi Jinping dismissed as international politics of the past, then ...

Weibo User: Where Are the Wolf Warriors to Rescue Chinese Nationals in South Africa?

Where's Wu Jing and the Wolf Warriors to help overseas Chinese impacted by the violence in South Africa wondered Weibo user "Little Tiger" (某小老虎) in a post on the Chinese social network on Wednesday. Although "

An Agricultural Trade Comparison of Africa’s Development Partners: How Does China Measure Up?

Agriculture remains the backbone of many African economies since it accounts for approximately 60% of all employment, a main earner of foreign exchange, source of both savings and tax revenues and accounts for around 40% of the continent’s hard currency. The agricultural sector is the main source ...

eSwatini Could Soon Be in Play

Troops are out on the streets of the tiny southern African kingdom of eSwatini in an effort to quell anti-monarchy protests that look like they could precipitate the fall of King Mswati III. The precise whereabouts of the King are unknown at ...

Nigeria’s Twitter Ban & China’s Cyber Cultural Products

June’s been an eventful month for China, Africa, and the internet. On June 5th, Nigeria’s government suspended the use of Twitter in the country, indefinitely. The next day, the Foundation for Investigative Journalism reported that the Nigerian government had also reached out to the Cyberspace Administration ...

The B3W’s Many ‘Shoulds’

Despite seemingly coming from the same naming tradition that gave us Melania Trump’s Be Best campaign, the Build Back Better World (B3W) initiative is firmly pointed away from the recent past. It seems driven by a new willingness to face the many barriers that shape our current ...

U.S. Leaders Now Seem to Think They’re Finally Well Positioned to Take on China’s Belt & Road

"The Build Back Better World Partnership Could Finally Break the Belt and Road" screamed the headline on the Foreign Policy website today, giving voice to the newfound sense of confidence in the DC policy universe that after years of flailing, the U.S. is finally in a space ...

Tanzania President Hassan is Talking to the Chinese Again About a Port Deal in Bagamoyo. But She Might Be Too Late.

Tanzanian President Samia Suluhu Hassan took everyone by surprise late last week when she announced that long-stalled talks with China about expanding the port of Bagamoyo are being resumed. Negotiations over a multi-billion dollar port deal with China Merchant Holdings (CMH) famously ...

The Impact of China’s Financing for Coal on Climate Change and Agriculture in Africa

Back in September 2020, President Xi Jinping announced China would aim for carbon neutrality by 2060, followed by setting more ambitious Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) for 2030. Such bold commitments appeared to reflect Beijing progressing towards adopting climate-friendly policies, premised on low-carbon and renewable technologies. ...
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