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China-Africa 101: China’s Role in Africa’s Debt

One of the most talked-about issues in Africa-China relations today is debt. Africa is borrowing heavily from China and many observers worry that African governments do not have the capability to pay it back. The Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), China’s trillion-dollar effort to connect Asia, Europe, ...

Buying a Train Ticket on Ethiopia’s New SGR Is Not as Easy You Might Imagine

Journalist Ismail Einashe tried to buy a ticket on the new Chinese-funded/built standard gauge railway (SGR) in Ethiopia to travel from Addis Ababa to Dire Dawa. In nearby Kenya, buying on their SGR is a pretty straightforward transaction, as it should be. Not in Ethiopia, though, according ...

Kenya’s Appetite for Chinese Loans May Finally be Starting to Wane

During a meeting last week with Yang Jiechi, Chinese president Xi Jinping's special envoy for Africa and one of Beijing's most senior foreign policy officials, Kenyan president Uhuru Kenyatta gave one of the first indications that the mounting pressure over his country's rising debt levels may ...

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 ...

Podcast Transcript: Will China Come to the Rescue of South Africa’s Ailing Energy Giant Eskom?

Eric: Hello and welcome to another edition of the China in Africa podcast. I'm Eric Olander and as always I'm joined by Cobus Van Staden, senior China Africa Researcher at the South African Institute of International Affairs in Johannesburg, South Africa. ...

Will China Come to the Rescue of South Africa’s Ailing Energy Giant Eskom?

South Africa's state-owned power utility Eskom is in dire straits. The electric power company now has more than $30 billion of debt and its current revenue no longer provides enough money to cover daily operational costs. Now, as a result of ...

Deborah Brautigam: No Evidence of Chinese Debt Traps in Africa

Johns Hopkins University professor and director of the China-Africa Research Initiative in Washington, D.C., Deborah Brautigam, joins Eric & Cobus this week to discuss accusations that China engages in so-called "debt trap diplomacy." The "debt trap" narrative, also commonly referred to as ...

Africa’s Role in the Ongoing Chinese Debt Crisis Debate

Amid the ongoing discussion over surging debt in Africa, some familiar narratives have emerged about the different actors: Africa is once again being victimized by foreign powers. The West is ...

A Chinese Perspective on the African “Debt Trap” Debate

Aside from the politicians who attended the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation summit in Beijing earlier this, seemingly few others were pleased to hear that China is providing Africa with another massive $60 billion package of loans and grants.
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