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WEEK IN REVIEW: It’s Now Possible to Transport Cargo From Uganda to Kenya’s Port of Mombasa

The long-held dream of transporting goods between Uganda and the Port of Mombasa became a reality on Monday with the inauguration of a new rail line that connects Kenya's Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) with a newly refurbished meter gauge line in Uganda. This is a pared-down version of the ...

Unlike Many Other African Currencies, the Zambian Kwacha Had a Great 2021, Buoyed by Hope for a Debt Deal

While currencies like the Kenyan shilling and the Nigerian naira lost value in 2021, the Zambian kwacha enters the new year with some serious momentum. The kwacha surged 27% last year, mostly on the hope that President Hakainde Hichilema will turn around the economy ...

Zambia’s Bondholders Want More Info on IMF Deal, Renew Calls For All Creditors to be Treated the Same

Some of Zambia's bondholders are once again expressing impatience with the government's handling of its debt relief talks and they've gone public with their longstanding demands for greater transparency in the process and equal treatment for all creditors. "Inter-creditor equity should ...

WEEK IN REVIEW: Museveni Swats Aside Allegation Entebbe Airport Will be Forfeited to China

Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni issued his first public comments about the media reports that incorrectly alleged the Entebbe International Airport is at risk of being forfeited to China.  "I don't remember mortgaging the airport for anything," President Museveni told Reuters over the weekend. "There is no problem, they ...

Why the Era of Low-Cost Imports From China May be Coming to an End in Africa (At Least For Now)

The ongoing supply chain disruptions are having a profound impact on the types of goods that consumers in Africa and other Global South countries can access. It used to cost just $1,000 per container to ship low-cost socks, shoes, electronics, and other ...

Analysis from Cobus van Staden

The Big Chill

Over the last few years, we’ve seen increasing hand-wringing in Western capitals about how the money China is spending in the Global South translates into direct political influence. This week research was published that quantifies the issue.

A new report by Foreign Policy Research Institute tracked how increased Chinese spending (both loans and foreign direct investment) in African countries aligns with those countries’ voting in the United Nations General Assembly ...

With an IMF Deal in the Bag, the Big Question is How Will Hichilema Handle Zambia’s Chinese Debts?

Zambian President Haikainde Hichilema (photo) got the news he was hoping for on Friday when the International Monetary Fund announced that it had granted preliminary approval for a $1.4 billion, three-year credit facility to the economically beleaguered country. President Hichilema's government ...

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. ...

Chinese Vaccine Shipments to Africa Slow But More Deliveries Going to Sub-Saharan Countries

China shipped just a million doses of COVID vaccines last week to countries in Africa, according to the latest data from Bridge Consulting's Vaccine Tracker Report, a sizable drop from the usual 2-3 million jabs that go to countries across the continent. It's not ...

Week in Review: Xi Opens COP15, Zambia Takes Action Against a Chinese Mine & SA Busts Chinese Abalone Ring

The UN's biodiversity convention, known as COP15, opened on Tuesday in the southern Chinese city of Kunming. President Xi Jinping delivered the keynote address and announced that China will commit $230 million to help developing countries protect endangered plant and animal wildlife. Even as China is currently bingeing ...

African Borrowers Need to Wake Up to the Reality of Chinese Loans

Chinese lending to developing countries has come under sharp focus since the release of several reports that have reshaped the debate. Unsurprisingly, many news reports, like the BBC’s “China: Big spender or loan shark” are ringing the alarm bells. However, I’d argue that the reports should rather prompt new ...
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