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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 ...

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 ...

When It Comes To Mining, Africa and Australia Are the Primary Sources of Key Minerals and Metals for China

China may be trying to transition to a services-led high technology economy that doesn't rely as much on manufacturing but that shift will take years. In the meantime, Chinese factories still need to rely on vast amounts of minerals, metals, and other mining products to bolster their ...

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. ...

As Much as China Probably Wants to Shift Its Iron Ore Buys From Australia to Africa, It Won’t Happen Soon

There's been a lot of discussion over the past year about China's desire to eliminate its dependence on Australian iron ore in favour of supplies from countries like Guinea, Algeria, South Africa and Brazil among others. China has been steadily trying ...

Analysis from Cobus van Staden

Chinese Companies’ “Eat Bitter” Management Style Just Doesn’t Work in Africa

Forget debt traps, Huawei ‘back-doors’ and vaccine diplomacy. They might be the disputes that define our current polarized moment. But I’m willing to bet they won’t have the staying power of the one – the original – dispute that has haunted Chinese engagement with Africa since the late 1990s: labor.

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The Powerful Head of Ghana’s Cocoa Industry Tells Farmers Not to Worry About China’s Entrance in the Market

Joseph Boahen Aidoo (photo) is working hard to allay fears among Ghanaian farmers that China's (still very small) emergence as a cocoa exporter is not a threat to their livelihoods.  The CEO of the Ghanaian Cocoa Board, a group that represents ...

How Can African Countries Export More Agriculture to China?

I was recently out shopping in Hangzhou to buy a bottle of wine as a birthday gift for a friend. Now, I’m no wine connoisseur, so admittedly I struggled to pick one. But while scanning the shelves, I spotted a bottle from South Africa. It struck me ...

Booming Chinese Demand for African Metals and Minerals Pushes Prices to Record Highs

These are good days for Africa's metals and mineral exporters, who are seeing record prices thanks to strong demand, in part, from China and international automakers that produce new energy vehicles. The timing for this latest "commodity supercycle," ...

3 Reasons Why Ghana Should be Anxious About China’s Entry Into The Cocoa Market

Months after news broke that China had entered into the global cocoa market with an initial delivery of 500 kilograms of beans shipped to Belgium from the southern island of Hainan, Ghanaians are still trying to figure out whether they have reason to be ...

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 ...
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