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25 “Massive” Illegal Chinese Gold Mines Discovered in a Remote Region of Sierra Leone

A group of unknown Chinese entities has reportedly been operating a large-scale illegal gold mining operation in one of the poorest and most remote regions of eastern Sierra Leone, according to an investigative report published in Sunday's edition of the Sierra Leone Telegraph newspaper. ...

A Zambian Ambassador Issues Forceful Denial That Senior Lusaka Leaders Involved in Illegal Timber Racket

Ambassador to Ethiopia and Permanent Representative to the African Union, Emmanuel Mwamba, published a scathing rebuttal to allegations made by the London-based Environmental Investigation Agency that accused senior government leaders of running a "cartel" to illegally harvest and export endangered mukula timber, largely to China.

Investigation: High-Level Corruption in Zambia Fuels Illegal Timber Trade with China

The Environmental Investigation Agency published a damning report last week that alleged Zambian President Edgar Lungu, his daughter and several high-ranking ministers are all allegedly involved in the illicit trade of rare mukula wood. Mukula is a rare African tree and one of the rosewood species protected under ...

From Smuggling to “Made in Zambia”: Transformation of the Chinese Timber Business

“Policy is too unstable and is getting stricter, this business has no future”. Mr. Zhou, an experienced Chinese timber businessman said, thinking about what is next for his timber business. When it comes to the difficulties of doing timber business in Zambia, fickle policies which are getting ...

Gabon Takes Action Against Chinese Logging Company Following Damning Report

The Gabon government has suspended the logging license at two sites run by a large, privately-owned Chinese logging company that allegedly engaged in widespread illegal activities, according to a report by Agence France Presse. The Dejia Group was singled out last month in ...

Analysis from Cobus van Staden

The West’s Ignorance About What China’s Doing in Africa is a Feature Not a Bug

Those of us who concentrate on Africa-China relations have long warned that the current framing of the relationship as a zero-sum arena in a new cold war strips African states of agency.The problem isn’t only that it flattens the complex compromises African leaders have to make to meet development goals as financing options keep shrinking. It is also that it creates echo chambers in Washington, Beijing, and Brussels that make ...

How China's Insatiable Demand for Timber Threatens Congo's Rain Forests

A series of powerful forces, continents away from one another, are conspiring to devastate the vast rain forests that blanket the Democratic Republic of the Congo. There are trees in those forests whose wood is particularly celebrated in China for its color and durability. With ...

Cameroon's Illegal Timber Finds a Market in China

Cameroon's rainforests are rapidly vanishing due to widespread corruption, according to a new report from Greenpeace Africa. The environmental activist group alleges that much of the illegally-harvested timber from Cameroon ends up in China where customs authorities look ...

Why China Will Not Dominate FDI in Gabon

Gabon is that tiny country along the central west Africa that is often overlooked by its larger, more controversial and considerably more powerful neighbors.  With only 1.5 million people, Gabon is one of Africa’s smallest countries. Along with its modest population, Gabon also maintains a low-profile. Rarely does it make ...