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The Colonial Connection to Chinese Labor Disputes in Africa

The last year or so has seen a constant drip-drip-drip of social media videos showing Chinese managers abusing African workers. The trend has understandably cast a harsh light on Africa-China labor relations. To my mind, the resultant framing of Chinese labor practices in Africa as neo-colonial is ...

Erdogan Tours Africa Sounding a Lot Like a Chinese President

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan arrived in Nigeria on Tuesday, the second leg of his three-nation, four-day tour of Africa. While the primary focus of his visit to Nigeria will be to foster closer commercial ties with Ankara's largest trading partner on the continent, the ...

The Messy Politics of Building a Railway in Kenya With Chinese Money

Kenya's Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) is the showcase in Africa for China's debt-led infrastructure development drive. While critics accuse China of saddling Nairobi with unsustainable levels of debt to build the rail line that goes from the port of Mombasa to ...

Analysis from Cobus van Staden

China’s Climate Role in the Global South

I don’t know about you, but I’m suffering from COP26 stress. There’s so much riding on the global climate summit happening in Glasgow at the end of the month that it’s sometimes difficult to remember we face a few other pressing issues too. 

To this point, Foreign Affairs this week published a poll asking a stellar group of experts whether American foreign policy is too hostile to China. Not surprisingly they got ...

We Now Know More About Zambia’s Debt… And It’s Not Good

The Zambian government owes creditors close to $27 billion, according to new data released by the Finance Ministry on Wednesday. The majority of those debts, $16.86 billion, are owed to foreign creditors and also include half a billion dollars of penalties for late payments. ...

Ghana Points to Difficulties Ahead For African Governments’ Access to Capital

The premiums that investors are charging Ghana to buy its debt have surged six-fold to the highest levels since the beginning of the pandemic, making it a lot more expensive for the country to borrow money from global capital markets. The ...

Leading China-Africa Experts Preview the Key Themes That Will Likely Dominate This Year’s FOCAC Summit

The eighth iteration of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation in Senegal reflects the broadening of the relationship to include economic, cultural, security, technological, and health cooperation at a time when Africa becomes more diplomatically important for a post-COVID China. While any ...

African Iron Ore Exporters Keep a Wary Eye on China’s Falling Steel Output

Iron ore prices are holding steady... for now... but investors are becoming increasingly worried about the impact that the real estate crisis and China's slowing economy overall may have on-demand later in the year.  Plus, Chinese officials have tried to limit ...

It Looks Like the U.S. and Europe Are Now More Worried About China’s Growing Influence in LatAm Than Africa

The Daily Mail's sensationalist headline today ("China's take-over in America's back yard") speaks to the mounting concern in U.S. and European capitals about China's growing presence in Latin America and the Caribbean. This latest wave of anxiety, ...

New Nigerian Chinese-Built Railways Generating Enough Revenue to Pay Off the Loans, Says Transport Minister

Nigeria's new Chinese-financed Standard Gauge Railways are already generating enough revenue to repay the loans needed to build them, said Transportation Minister Rotimi Amaechi. Passenger usage of the Lagos to Ibadan line has been quite ...

How the Biden Administration’s New Africa Policy is Perceived in China

Chinese policymakers and analysts have been closely studying U.S. foreign policy in Africa to determine how much is actually new and what is a holdover from previous administrations, namely during the Trump period. He Jian (贺鉴), a ...

African Countries At Risk From China’s Economic Deceleration

The South African rand has long served as a sort of early warning system for investors to gauge the impact of Chinese economic news. And yesterday, the alarms sounded as the value of the South African currency fell 1.1% in response to worse-than-expected third-quarter data ...

Sicomines Wanted a Dialogue With Congolese Labor Advocates… And They Sure Got an Earful

The management at the embattled Sino-Congolese mining company Sicomines reached out to local labor activists for a dialogue about the working conditions at the Chinese-run joint venture.  They got an earful last week, particularly from labor advocate Don ...

China Could Factor Into the U.S. Debate Over Duty-Free Trade with Ethiopia

A lively debate is underway in the United States now over whether Trade Representative Katherine Tai should remove Ethiopia's duty-free access to the U.S. market as part of the African Growth and Opportunity Act or AGOA. The White House is threatening ...
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