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General Stephen Townsend’s Comments on China Are Not Helping the U.S. Cause in Africa

The top commander for U.S. forces in Africa (AFRICOM), General Stephen Townsend, thought it would be a good idea to re-surface the old trope that China is looking to build a new military outpost in Africa, this time on the West Coast.

Why the New China-Iran Agreement Isn’t a Big Deal

Depending on who you speak with, the 25-year Comprehensive Strategic Partnership (CSP) agreement between China and Iran either marks the emergence of a new "axis of evil" that's going to overturn the balance of power in the Middle East or it's ...

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 ...

The Seychelles Is the New Focal Point to Evaluate the Effectiveness of Chinese-Made Vaccines

A new wave of COVID-19 infections is sweeping across the tiny Indian Ocean island of The Seychelles. This wasn't supposed to happen. With nearly 60% of its people vaccinated, The Seychelles has a higher inoculation rate than any other country and was widely presumed ...

Chinese State Propaganda’s Vaccine Messaging Has Become Noticeably More Aggressive After Receiving WHO Certification

Although Chinese domestic media was noticeably quiet last weekend about the news that Sinopharm had been granted emergency use approval by the World Health Organization, that's definitely not the case with foreign facing propaganda. The nationalistic tabloid outlet Global ...

The New, Upgraded Chinese-Built Port in Lamu is Ready To Go

Kenya's National Treasury Cabinet Secretary Ukur Yatani personally inspected the new port facilities in Lamu and gave it his blessing ahead of the first ship that is scheduled to dock there on May 20th. 

South African Telco CEO Ralph Mupita is Looking to China For Both Ideas and Cash

Ralph Mupita, head of the largest pan-African telecom group MTN, wants his South Africa-based telco to draw inspiration and attract more investment from China.  On the investment side, Mupita recently partnered with the Chinese state-back Silk Road Fund that funnels ...

Kenya’s State-Run Broadcaster Looks More and More Like an Outlet For Chinese Propaganda

Chinese propaganda and highly partisan pro-Chinese columns are now being published with more regularity on the website of Kenya's state-run broadcaster KBC. The articles adopt a stridently pro-Chinese stance, using much of the same language as official propaganda in China would ...

The Chinese Embassy in Uganda Engages in Some Unusual Social Media Marketing

If you happen to know your Communist Chinese history, specifically how long the "War to Resist the U.S. Aggression and Aid Korea lasted for" then you could win a prize from the Chinese embassy in Uganda.

Shenzhen-Based Transsion Targets South African Youth Market With New Low-Priced Offering

The Chinese-owned African mobile phone giant Transsion is targeting South Africa's youth market with the launch of the Vision1 Pro smartphone from its Itel brand -- a 6.5-inch waterproof device that costs around $120. Although Transsion's suite of brands dominates the ...

WHO’s Approval of Sinopharm Will be a Game Changer in the Global Vaccine Distribution Contest… Just Not Right Away

The World Health Organization endorsed the use of the COVID-19 vaccine from Sinopharm and cleared the way for the Chinese jab to significantly increase its distribution throughout the developing world. The WHO on Friday approved the vaccine for emergency use which means that ...

Kenya’s High Court Overturns Ban on Donkey Slaughter, Clearing the Way For More Skins to Be Sold to China

Kenya's High Court on Friday overturned a February 2020 government directive that outlawed the slaughter of donkeys. The court's ruling will now allow for slaughterhouses to re-open and the resumption of the animal's meat trade. 

Lots of Concern This Weekend That Debris From an Out of Control Chinese Rocket Was Going to Land in Africa

There was palpable anxiety across a number of African countries this weekend that pieces of a Chinese rocket that hurtled back to earth were going to land somewhere in their countries. Newspapers in Ghana, Nigeria and Namibia, among others, fretted about the prospect of falling rocket shrapnel. ...
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