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With Chinese Loans Coming Due, Ethio-Djibouti Railway Suffers Heavy Losses Due to Theft, Vandalism

The Chinese-financed and constructed Ethiopia-Djibouti standard gauge railway is bleeding money due to rampant theft and vandalism, according to a report in the Addis Standard newspaper. The situation is now so bad, say company officials, that the trains have been forced to reduce their speed ...

Allianz Research: Africa, Americas Had Better Brace for a “China-Less Recovery”

China is turning inwards and will slow its economic engagement in emerging markets in Africa and Latin America in the post-COVID-19-era, according to new analysis from the research arm of the German financial services giant Allianz. The report ...

Weaponizing China’s Belt and Road Initiative

Since its inception in 2013, Chinese government officials have insisted that the Belt and Road is solely an economic initiative and does not have any military motivations. But the BRI's civil-military distinction is no longer as clear cut as it used ...

Port Competition Along Africa’s East Coast Intensifies With China as a Central Player

After the Dubai-based ports operator DP World was effectively pushed out of Djibouti by China Merchants Port Holdings (CMPH), the Emiratis packed up and headed a few hundred kilometers down the coast to set up shop at the Port of Berbera in the self-declared ...

Deciphering China’s Belt & Road Initiative

The Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) is a central theme of China's foreign policy, particularly in developing regions like Africa where it's linked to billions of dollars of infrastructure development. But when you ask Chinese officials "what exactly is the BRI?" ...

Analysis from Cobus van Staden

How Will Biden Shake Up Africa Relations? Let’s Watch

Tomorrow, the whole world’s eyes will be on the inauguration of Joe Biden. Stepping into a moment of unprecedented domestic crisis, he will probably have relatively little bandwidth for Africa. Indications are that the Biden administration plans to steer away from the Trump era’s unilateralism. While the incoming Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs hasn’t been confirmed yet, many State Department appointments have been filled by veterans from the Obama era. ...

Chinese Port-building Along the BRI: “There’s a Lot More Than Meets the Eye”

Daniel R. Russel and Blake Berger, two scholars at the New York-based Asia Society Policy Institute, have published a new report that looks at the broad security implications of China's Belt and Road Initiative.  Although Chinese officials have long maintained that ...

The Complicated Geopolitics Behind the G20’s Debt Suspension Program

Africa economist Mark Bohlund made an interesting observation yesterday following the news that both Djibouti and Zambia had been approved by the G20 to take part in the Debt Service Suspension Initiative. The fact that both countries owe little to nothing to one of China's ...

Djibouti’s Chinese Debt

On July 15, 2019, Ilyas Moussa Dawaleh, Djibouti's Minister of Economy and Finance, tweeted to announce that the restructuring of China's ExIm Bank loan for the construction of the Djiboutian section of the Djibouti-Addis Ababa railway line would be completed even though "a few small details" ...

Reminder: Africa Doesn’t Have a Chinese Debt Problem, About 10 African Countries Do

The South China Morning Post's Inkstone team published a brief analysis today showcasing data from the China-Africa Research Initiative (CARI) at Johns Hopkins University. It provides a fresh reminder that the Chinese debt crisis in Africa is confined to a relatively small number of countries. ...

U.S.-China Rivalry in the Red Sea

The Red Sea is emerging as a key theater of contention in the emerging duel between the United States and China. Both countries have military outposts in the tiny country of Djibouti and expanding geopolitical interests in one of the world's ...
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