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Donald Trump’s Spectacular Failure in Africa

At the sunset of the Trump administration, it's worth reflecting on all that went wrong with its Africa policy and specifically the oft-stated effort to contain China's rise on the continent. There's really no other way to describe it other than to say that it was a ...

The Huawei Fuss and Implications For Africa’s Cyber Security

The last decade has seen unprecedented advances in technology, from machine learning used to forecast patient health outcomes to renewable energy and biofuels adopted across a range of advanced, emerging, and developing market economies. While there is much bluster about machine learning, robotics, and data science, 5G ...

How Will Biden Shake Up Africa Relations? Let’s Watch

Tomorrow, the whole world’s eyes will be on the inauguration of Joe Biden. Stepping into a moment of unprecedented domestic crisis, he will probably have relatively little bandwidth for Africa. Indications are that the Biden administration plans to steer away from the Trump era’s unilateralism. While ...

Death of the Chinese Debt Trap Narrative

Critics of China's lending practices in Africa and much of the developing world have gone suspiciously quiet over the past 6-7 months. A year or so ago, Kenyans were up in arms over erroneous reports that China was going to seize the Port of ...

China’s Vaccine Push in Developing Countries Suffers Setback After Brazillian Tests Reveal Sinovac’s Shot Only 50% Effective

China's ambitious global drive to provide developing countries with affordable COVID-19 vaccines suffered a major setback on Tuesday following new test results from Brazil that revealed Sinovac's CoronaVac vaccine to be only 50% effective. The findings from the ...

Analysis from Cobus van Staden

How Will Biden Shake Up Africa Relations? Let’s Watch

Tomorrow, the whole world’s eyes will be on the inauguration of Joe Biden. Stepping into a moment of unprecedented domestic crisis, he will probably have relatively little bandwidth for Africa. Indications are that the Biden administration plans to steer away from the Trump era’s unilateralism. While the incoming Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs hasn’t been confirmed yet, many State Department appointments have been filled by veterans from the Obama era. ...

Unpacking the Chinese Government’s New Development Vision

This weekend the Chinese government released a new white paper on development. It comes in unassuming guise – it’s basically a MS Word Doc with the workaday title of China’s International Development Cooperation in the New Era. But in its own way it’s eye-popping. If (like ...

Wang Yi Gets To Enjoy the Luxury of Staying on Message

Wang Yi is on the road again after his week-long visit to Africa wrapped up on Saturday in The Seychelles. The Chinese foreign minister flew back to Beijing from the tiny island state in the Indian Ocean, only to embark the next day on yet another week-long ...

China’a Confusing, Contradictory Environmental Agenda

While scrolling today I came across this great piece by the China expert and former Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, laying out the wider implications of China's much-discussed commitment to achieving carbon neutrality by 2060. Rudd points out that ...

What It Was Like to Watch the Insurrection in the U.S. From South Africa

Lordeee…I went to bed early on Wednesday night, only to wake up to a full screen of notifications from the New York Times, and pictures of horned men storming the US Capitol. On the edge of the world in Johannesburg, I’m struck by the ...

Safaricom’s Decision to Suspend Its Huawei-Powered 5G Network is Just a Business Story

It's going to be very tempting for a lot of people in Washington, D.C. to read the news that Kenya's leading telco, Safaricom, suspended the rollout of its new Huawei-powered 5G network as evidence that the company finally came to its senses about the dangers of using ...

Jack Ma’s Disappearance Is a Setback For Chinese Soft Power in Africa

China's Foreign Minister Wang Yi is in Africa at the moment. It has become a multi-decade tradition that the FM's first foreign trip of the year is always to Africa. These trips are arguably less important for what they achieve (although announcements of new deals frequently follow) ...

The China-Mediterranean Observer: How Will a New/Old Biden Mideast Policy Impact China’s Ambitions in the Region?

The killing of the Iranian nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, the future of American foreign policy toward the Middle East under President Biden, and the tensions between France and the Muslim world are the three key topics of recent Chinese commentaries. The ...

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi Begins 5-Nation Africa Tour

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi will begin a five-nation African tour on Monday in Nigeria in what's now a 30-year old custom of Beijing's top diplomat always starting the year with a visit to the continent. After Nigeria, Wang will fly ...

Why Agricultural Cooperation Needs To Be High on the Agenda at Next Year’s China-Africa Summit

In less than a year, the 8th Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) Summit will take place in Senegal. Ever since the first FOCAC Ministerial Conference held in Beijing in 2000, this triennial Summit has been gradually institutionalized as a platform for bilateral and multilateral dialogues to shape ...

10 Issues That Will Shape China-Africa Relations in 2021

1. VACCINES: With the U.S., EU on the Sidelines, China's Vaccine Distribution in Africa Could Produce Huge Geopolitical Dividends China is building a COVID-19 vaccine distribution pipeline in Africa including a cold-chain air bridge from Shenzhen, a distribution hub in ...
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