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With an Eye on China, Japanese Foreign Minister Promises More Vaccines and Infrastructure Development in Africa

The Japanese government will play a more prominent role in delivering badly-needed aid and infrastructure, according to Foreign Minister Motegi Toshimitsu (photo). Motegi addressed the issue on Tuesday following a lunch with fellow G20 foreign ministers in Italy. He added that Tokyo ...

Letter to the Editor: Contrasting Japanese vs. Chinese Investment in Africa

Dear Eric, As the Representative in Africa for JETRO (Japan External Trade Organization), I would like to comment regarding your column on September 24th, "What It Takes To Compete Against the Chinese in Africa," where you mentioned that ...

Japanese PM Abe Was a Big Proponent of Engagement With Africa, What Happens Now That He’s Stepping Down?

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who announced last week that he will step down for health reasons, was an enthusiastic proponent of a robust African engagement strategy. In particular, the prime minister advocated for a trade-led foreign policy with Africa that was highlighted ...

Transsion IPO Proves the Promise of the African Market

This week's stunning stock debut of the Chinese company that dominates the African mobile phone market is definitive proof in the promise of the African market. Shenzhen-based Transsion Holdings started trading this week on the NASDAQ-style Star exchange in Shanghai where its stock immediately shot up ...

Japan the EU Sign an Ambitious Deal to Build Infrastructure in the Developing World With an Eye on Countering China

Japan and the European Union signed a so-called "connectivity partnership" to build infrastructure and set development standards in joint projects around the world. While neither the agreement nor the leaders from either side mentioned China by name, it's widely believed that this deal is intended, in ...

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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Kenyan Borrowing From Japan Surges as Chinese Lending Slows

New data from the National Treasury in Nairobi revealed a dramatic surge in borrowing from Japan, up 162% to more than $1.3 billion during the period of June 2018 to June 2019. The increase in Japanese loans comes as China is slowing its lending to Kenya. "China’s ...

Japan Summit Provides Wake-up Call for China to Change Its Approach in Africa

An editorial today in one of South Africa's leading financial news publications, Business Daily, enthusiastically welcomed the outcome of last week's Japan-Africa summit in Yokohama. The summit, known as TICAD7, focused a lot of attention on directing Japan's vast private ...

At TICAD7, China is Invisible, but Ever-Present

There’s a real disconnect at TICAD7 this year. This gap isn’t between Japan and Africa. Rather it’s between the experience of being inside TICAD and how it’s represented in the media. The dominant outside narrative is that TICAD is all about China – in

Reflections on TICAD7 With Judd Devermont

In this episode, Eric & Cobus speak with Judd Devermont, Director of the Africa program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a prominent think tank in Washington, on his key takeaways from this year’s Tokyo International Conference on African ...

Why Using a Zero-Sum Analysis to Compare Japan and China in Africa “doesn’t work”

With the Tokyo International Conference on African Development or TICAD, summit coming up this week in Yokohama, there is often a temptation to compare Tokyo's engagement strategy in Africa with that of Beijing's. Furthermore, there are often references to how the Sino-Japanese rivalry in Asia also tends ...
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