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It’s Time For a More Nuanced Discussion About China

Recently, I caught up by phone with a long-time Chinese friend. The conversation started off friendly enough but soon veered into a heated debate after he accused me of turning from pro-China to anti-China. I met my Chinese friend while I was working at the Chinese embassy’s ...

Analysis from Cobus van Staden

Ethiopia, China and the Future of African Conflict

Ethiopia is giving us a glimpse of a set of dynamics that could come to shape African life in complicated ways. Last week, the Biden administration announced new sanctions aimed at reducing violence in the Tigray region, where conflict between the forces of President Abiy Ahmed and the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) have caused massive human rights abuses affecting millions. The sanctions will target all sides of the conflict, including Ethiopia’s ...

Africa Should Negotiate Collectively with China at FOCAC. But That’s Not Going to Happen.

As the next Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) draws closer, the same sentiments and concerns over Africa’s relative position in the 20-year-old arrangement keep coming up. It is widely acknowledged that the continent generally gets the short end of the stick ...

Why Is the Kenyan Government Determined to Hide Its Chinese Loan Contracts?

A growing number of Kenyans are becoming increasingly incensed with Attorney General (AG) Kihara Kariuki for his determination to challenge activists’ demands in court for disclosure of the $3.2 billion Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) contract with China. The move didn’t go down well with ...

China Plans to Ramp Up Digital Engagement in Africa

The Chinese government announced new plans this week to increase engagement in Africa's tech sector by expanding partnerships in a number of areas including digital economy, smart cities, and 5G mobile communications.   “China will share the achievements of digital technology with Africa to ...

Don’t Blame Cheap Chinese Imports For Destroying Nigeria’s Textile Industry: It’s Our Fault, Say Industry Leaders

Nigeria's once-thriving textile sector is now fast disappearing due largely to competition from Chinese imports. But don't blame the Chinese, said Mansur Ahmed, president of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria, who puts a lot of the responsibility for the industry's demise squarely at the ...

Q&A: Why Banning Chinese Fish Imports Is Not a Good Idea in Kenya

Soon after reports emerged that Kenya’s Agriculture Committee in parliament proposed legislation that would restrict Chinese fish imports into the country, Safina Musa, a fisheries scientist at the Kenya Marine and Fisheries Research Institute, called for a reconsideration of the plan in a column she ...

G7’s Global Infrastructure Initiative Will Have to Contend With China’s Massive Lead in Africa

The recent announcement of an initiative to rival China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) has generated a lot of debate among scholars and policyholders trying to understand its feasibility, particularly in Africa. What is not in doubt is that the G7’s Build Back Better World (B3W) plan ...

Kenya’s Dream to Build a Modern Railway Is Turning Into an Economic Nightmare

Many Kenyans were excited about plans to build a modern railway across the country linking the port city of Mombasa and Malaba town on the Kenya-Uganda border. It was touted as a game-changer; the key to unlocking not just Kenya’s economic takeoff, but that of the entire ...