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Kenyan Regulators Approve a Chinese Herbal Treatment Linked to COVID-19 Even Before They Fully Tested It

Kenya'snational drug regulator, the Pharmacy and Poisons Board (PPB), granted certification to a Chinese herbal product that it hasn't fully tested and that the company insinuates, without proof, can be used to help protect against COVID-19. “We have gotten feedback from people ...

Unpacking African Agency

Today the South African Institute of International Affairs is holding a webinar featuring new work focusing on African agency in the face of Chinese power. How much power African actors have to shape their engagement with China is one of the field’s most ...

Disclose the Debt!

If you’re into curling up with a cup of coffee and an 85-page report on Chinese lending, you can’t go wrong with AidData’s How China Lends: A Rare Look into 100 Debt Contracts with Foreign Governments (PDF). One of the most striking findings in ...

Why the Debt Trap Narrative Won’t Die Soon (or Ever)

Recent reports of the debt trap’s death might have been exaggerated. Like a vampire that just won’t die, we keep burying it, but it keeps rising from the coffin. This week we saw reports that Kenyan politicians had to clarify again that the Mombasa port itself ...

3 Tips for African Negotiators Doing Deals with China

Two of the world's leading experts in China-Africa negotiations, Hervé Lado, Guinea country manager at the Natural Resource Governance Institute (NRGI) and Folashadé Soulé, a senior research associate at the University of Oxford, led a workshop last October in Cotonou, Benin with 15 negotiators from West and Central ...

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 ...

Landry Signé: The U.S. Can Catch Up to China in Africa…But It Has to Move Fast

A robust discussion is underway in Washington, D.C.'s think tank and policymaking circles over what the Biden administration's future Africa policy should look like. Although there's been no formal announcement of any new initiative, there does seem to be an emerging consensus that the disproportionate focus on ...

Paul Kagame: “I Don’t Think China Has Forced Any Country in Africa To Take Their Money”

President Paul Kagame joined former U.S. National Security Advisor for what has become a trademark for the Rwandan leader to be brutally frank with U.S. and European interlocutors about sensitive political issues in Africa, including China's presence on the continent. President ...

Joe Biden’s Getting a Lot of Advice on How To Reset U.S. Foreign Policy in Africa and It All Calls for Less Focus on China

Scholars, analysts, and commentators in the U.S. and Africa are all offering lots of advice for what Joe Biden should to do to revitalize foreign policy in Africa. Seemingly without exception, the experts agree that Washington urgently needs to shift the focus away from China and towards ...

What To Do About the Lack of Chinese Loan Transparency in Africa?

One of the central issues in the current Zambian debt crisis is a lack of transparency that makes it largely impossible for investors, policymakers, and constituents on all sides to know what's really going on. The Chinese government and creditors are among the worst in this regard. ...

CCP “Training Class” With Congo’s Ruling Party Highlights Deepening Chinese Party-to-Party Engagement in Africa

The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) is steadily making inroads with Africa's ruling parties by convening seminars like the one held earlier this month with the Republic of Congo's incumbent Party of Labor. In this virtual session, or a "training class" according to the CCP, some ...
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