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The News Feed is a curated selection of the most important China-Africa news edited by CAP’s editors in Asia and Africa.

The Seychelles Is the New Focal Point to Evaluate the Effectiveness of Chinese-Made Vaccines

A nurse holds a box of the first dose of the Chinese COVID-19 vaccine produced by Sinopharm at the Seychelles Hospital in Victoria, on January 10, 2021. Rassin VANNIER / AFP
A new wave of COVID-19 infections is sweeping across the tiny Indian Ocean island of The Seychelles. This wasn’t supposed to happen. With nearly 60% of its people vaccinated, The Seychelles has ...

Chinese State Propaganda’s Vaccine Messaging Has Become Noticeably More Aggressive After Receiving WHO Certification

Although Chinese domestic media was noticeably quiet last weekend about the news that Sinopharm had been granted emergency use approval by the World Health Organization, that’s definitely not the case with foreign facing ...

The New, Upgraded Chinese-Built Port in Lamu is Ready To Go

Construction at the port of Lamu in Kenya. Image via @WUPENG_MFACHINA.
Kenya’s National Treasury Cabinet Secretary Ukur Yatani personally inspected the new port facilities in Lamu and gave it his blessing ahead of the first ship that is scheduled to dock there on May 20th. 

South African Telco CEO Ralph Mupita is Looking to China For Both Ideas and Cash

MTN CEO Ralph Mupita. Image via MTN.
Ralph Mupita, head of the largest pan-African telecom group MTN, wants his South Africa-based telco to draw inspiration and attract more investment from China.  On the investment side, Mupita recently partnered with the Chinese state-back 

Kenya’s State-Run Broadcaster Looks More and More Like an Outlet For Chinese Propaganda

Chinese propaganda and highly partisan pro-Chinese columns are now being published with more regularity on the website of Kenya’s state-run broadcaster KBC. The articles adopt a stridently pro-Chinese stance, using much of the same language ...

Shenzhen-Based Transsion Targets South African Youth Market With New Low-Priced Offering

The Itel Vision1 Pro smartphone that will go on sale soon in South Africa. Image via Itel.
The Chinese-owned African mobile phone giant Transsion is targeting South Africa’s youth market with the launch of the Vision1 Pro smartphone from its Itel brand — a 6.5-inch waterproof device that costs around $120. Although ...

WHO’s Approval of Sinopharm Will be a Game Changer in the Global Vaccine Distribution Contest… Just Not Right Away

The World Health Organization endorsed the use of the COVID-19 vaccine from Sinopharm and cleared the way for the Chinese jab to significantly increase its distribution throughout the developing world. 

Kenya’s High Court Overturns Ban on Donkey Slaughter, Clearing the Way For More Skins to Be Sold to China

Kenya’s High Court on Friday overturned a February 2020 government directive that outlawed the slaughter of donkeys. The court’s ruling will now allow for slaughterhouses to re-open and the resumption of the ...

Lots of Concern This Weekend That Debris From an Out of Control Chinese Rocket Was Going to Land in Africa

There was palpable anxiety across a number of African countries this weekend that pieces of a Chinese rocket that hurtled back to earth were going to land somewhere in their countries. Newspapers in Ghana, Nigeria ...

With Infection Rates Rising, Chinese COVID Vaccines Will Face a Critical Test in Egypt

AFP
Egypt is entering a third wave of COVID-19 infections prompting the government to announce new lockdowns and other measures in an effort to contain the latest phase of the outbreak. The timing is especially dangerous, ...

The Mideast’s Travel and Hospitality Industry Has a Lot at Stake in the WHO’s Impending Ruling on Chinese Vaccines

Fabrice COFFRINI / AFP
Representatives from the Mideast’s travel industry are closely watching their news feeds for any updates on the World Health Organization’s impending decision as to whether or not to grant emergency use approval to Chinese-made COVID-19 ...

This Tweet Shows Why the U.S. Effort to Dislodge Huawei in Africa is Just Not Going to Work

Nigerian Foreign Minister Geoffrey Onyeama posted a tweet on Wednesday that showcased the depth of Huawei’s ties in Africa’s largest market and why it is going to be extremely difficult for the United ...

Kenyan State Media Features a Full-Throated Denunciation of Western Genocide Claims Against China’s Treatment of Uyghurs in Xinjiang

The state-owned Kenya Broadcasting Corporation published a stinging editorial on Wednesday by one of its own journalists, Eric Biegon, that slammed U.S., European and Australian accusations of genocide leveled against China for its ...

Analysis from Cobus van Staden

Commodity Supercycle Blues

The editorial board of Financial Times published an op-ed yesterday announcing a new commodities supercycle. They argued that the global pivot towards climate-friendlier technologies like electric vehicles is pushing demand for metals like cobalt, lithium and palladium (used in catalytic converters.) In addition, the Biden administration’s new commitments to building infrastructure at home (and possibly abroad) will further boost demand for steel, with iron ore futures hitting record prices in Singapore this week.Where FT ...

The Winding Road of the COVID Crisis

One of the pandemic’s many challenges is how it outflanks our attempts to impose narratives on it. Humans are storytelling creatures – we use narrative to make sense of chaos and to prioritize threats. Each new phase of the pandemic scrambles the stories we used to make sense of the previous phase. The current COVID inferno in India is one of these twists, as is the dawning realization that even the ...

When It Comes to Deforestation, There’s Plenty of Blame to Go Around

The NGO collective Forests and Finance released a new study today showing that investments by Chinese banks make it the world’s second-largest funder of projects linked to tropical deforestation.   Analyzing data from financial databases and company publications, the study found that between 2016 and 2020, Chinese banks extended about $15 billion in underwriting and loans to companies in fields like palm oil, pulp and paper, soy and beef farming, rubber, and timber ...

COVID and the Emerging Global Landscape

This week saw a small, but notable indicator in my corner of the global COVID landscape. South Africa announced that it will import 10 million doses each of China’s Sinopharm and Russia’s Sputnik V vaccines.South Africa is hardly the first country in the Global South to opt for Chinese and Russian vaccines, but its specific quirks make it an indicative one. Nothing in South Africa is simple – in many ...

Quad Queries

I’ve wondered in the past whether ‘the Quad’ – the alliance among the United States, Japan, Australia and India dedicated as a counterweight to China’s influence in the Indo-Pacific region – has taken on such prominence simply because the word is so fun to say. Quad quad quad – once you start you can’t stop.The name seems to signal solidity – four letters, four partners, four robust economies, four democracies. ...

What We’ve Lost in the Fire

This weekend was a rough one for South Africa. On Sunday, the country watched as fires around Table Mountain slowly started creeping downhill, towards the beautiful campus of the University of Cape Town (UCT). Soon it was confirmed that the university’s African Studies library, which housed a unique collection of African film, and one of the biggest repositories of historical documents related to Southern Africa, was on fire. Librarians are still trying ...

The Tesla-fication of Vaccines

175 former heads of state, Nobel Prize winners and other illustrious eminences added their support to the call for the U.S. government to mandate a relaxing of intellectual property laws to allow countries in the Global South to mass-produce vaccines without fear of being sued. One of the more revealing details in this discussion is that the mechanism for countries to use a health emergency to momentarily suspend intellectual property rights already exists ...

Unpacking African Agency

Today the South African Institute of International Affairs is holding a webinar featuring new work focusing on African agency in the face of Chinese power. How much power African actors have to shape their engagement with China is one of the field’s most fundamental questions. It touches not only how China’s growing power is felt on the continent, but also on how much agency Africa has in its other external relationships too. The ...

COVID Complaints and the Issue of Soft Power

As an outfit tracking the Africa-China aspect of COVID-19 since its outbreak, we were aware from early on that the pandemic has laid down a new track in a global geopolitical race. So it’s very interesting to see more commentators in the Global North slowly waking up to the reality that providing the world with vaccines and PPE has been a competition all along, and that China is winning. The resultant ...

What Will it Take to Realize Biden’s Vision of an Alternative BRI?

U.S. President Joe Biden’s commitment to rolling out infrastructure domestically and internationally is setting up a fascinating race with China. 

After years of withdrawing from multilateral cooperation and refusing to engage with the realities of climate change, the current push raises the possibility of virtuous competition: global powers chasing each other to provide more climate solutions and technological development, all in a race to prove themselves the bigger friend to ...

The DRC Wants to Renegotiate Some of Its Chinese Contracts. Hopefully, for Their Sake, They Read the Fine Print.

DR Congo President Félix Tshisekedi apparently wants to renegotiate some of the contracts that his predecessor, Joseph Kabila, signed with the Chinese, according to a report by Africa Intelligence.  Argentina too, like the ...

Ghanaian Rosewood is Showing Up in China But No One’s Really Sure How It’s Getting There

Ghana’s former Lands Minister, Inusah Fuseini, acknowledged that despite the ban on rosewood exports that he imposed when he was in office, large quantities of the precious timber are being smuggled to China, but he ...

China Tops the Agenda at G7 Foreign Ministers Meeting

G7 foreign ministers meet in London for their first face-to-face talks in more than two years. Stefan Rousseau / POOL / AFP
China topped the agenda at Tuesday’s G7 foreign ministers meeting in London, the first time envoys from the world’s seven wealthiest countries have met in person since the COVID-19 outbreak. The ministers spent two hours, 

Lull Continues in Chinese Vaccine Deliveries Around the World Ahead of Key Rulings From the WHO and EU

Fabrice COFFRINI / AFP
Although Chinese vaccine distributors did make a few deliveries on Tuesday, the quantities remain significantly lower than in previous weeks. It’s not entirely clear what’s behind the slowdown but it’s likely that it could be ...

As Zambia’s Presidential Election Campaign Heats Up, China Isn’t an Issue…Yet

Zambian opposition leader Hakainde Hichilema. AFP.
Zambia’s presidential election campaign is now shifting into high gear following last weekend’s nomination of President Edgar Lungu as the ruling Patriotic Front’s candidate. Meantime, the country’s main opposition leader, ...

A New Chinese-Built Road in Nigeria Highlights Why Infrastructure is So Important For Local People and, More Importantly, Politicians

Both truckers and workers are celebrating the opening of a new, modern road that leads to the Ogun-Guangdong Free Trade zone in western Nigeria. The recently opened road has dramatically improved transport times for cargo ...

Why This Chinese Factory Video is Causing Quite a Stir on Social Media in West Africa

A Chinese factory video where a young woman demonstrates how to convert raw cassava into fully processed gari has created quite a bit of buzz in Nigeria and Ghana where gari is a popular indigenous ...

CAP Expert Network

Li Chenmei

Project Research Specialist
Institute of New Structural Economics, Peking University

Henry Tugendhat

Senior Policy Analyst
US Institute of Peace

Kwaku Bonsu

Master of Economics Candidate
Capital University of Economics and Business

Huiling Zhao

Independent Vlogger
慧玲带你非

Abdul-Gafar Tobi Oshodi

Lecturer
Lagos State University

Cheng Cheng

Chief Economist
Made in Africa Initiative

Ulrich Rick Dedo

Business Director
Longi Solar

James Keeley

Research Director
Mobility for Africa

China’s Global Vaccine Distribution Drive Appears to Have Come to a Halt… At Least For Now

People line up to be vaccinated against the Covid-19 coronavirus, outside a residential compound in Beijing on April 8, 2021. LEO RAMIREZ / AFP
China’s once frenetic global vaccine distribution drive appears to have come to a grinding halt, at least temporarily, amid a push to gets jabs into the arms of its own people (photo). 

Most G7 Countries Really Do Want to Challenge China’s BRI, They Just Can’t Agree How

A Chinese worker carrying materials for the first rail line linking China to Laos, a key part of Beijing's Belt and Road Initiative across the Mekong, in Luang Prabang. Aidan JONES / AFP
It looks increasingly likely that infrastructure development in the Global South is going to be quite high on the agenda at the upcoming European Union and Group of 7 (G7) meetings in May and June. ...

China’s Embrace of Iran is Making Israel Very Nervous

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif (R) and his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi, pose for a picture after signing an agreement in the capital Tehran, on March 27, 2021. AFP
Israeli politicians and foreign policy analysts are becoming increasingly alarmed over China’s burgeoning ties with Iran, particularly after the signing of a 25-year Comprehensive Strategic Partnership agreement between Beijing and Tehran. But Israel’s in a ...

New Report Highlights China’s Indispensable Role in Building African Infrastructure

African infrastructure financing is in freefall, plummeting from $100 billion annually in 2014 to just $31 billion last year, according to a new report published by the global law firm Baker McKenzie. ...

As Nigeria’s Debt Steadily Grows, China’s Share Shrinks — Yet Somehow Lots of People Still Worried About “Debt Traps”

Nigeria’s Debt Management Office (DMO) announced late last week that the country’s external debts will increase to $83 billion due to $2.5 billion of new loans provided by the World Bank and the ...

While Ghana’s Governing Elites Call For Deeper Economic Engagement With China, Civil Society Groups Fume

The Majority Chief Whip in the Ghanaian parliament, Frank Annoh Dompreh, meeting with Zhu Jing, China's deputy head of mission in Accra. Image via GhanaWeb.
The yawning gap between China’s successful courtship of ruling elites in Africa and Beijing’s difficulties in soothing concerns about debt, environmental sustainability, trade, immigration, and other contentious issues among civil society stakeholders has been on ...

STUDENT xCHANGE

China House Student Fellows,

Various Schools, China

By China House Fellows Geng Xingshuo, 19, University of Rochester; Yang Zimo, 16, Lee Academy Shanghai; Cheng Yin 16 Tianjin Foreign Language School

China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) is a program which initiatives are creating fresh waves of road, rail, port, and energy investment in countries around the world, ...

China House Student Fellows,

Various Schools, China

By China House Fellows Zang Yiming, 15, Beijing National Day School; Fan Xia, 17, Yao Hua High School and Yu Kaidi, 17, Nanjing Foreign Language School Xianlin Campus

Since March 13, Kenya discovered its first COVID-19 case in Nairobi. Up till March 11, 2021, the cumulative number of confirmed cases ...

Lauren Ashmore,

27, Leiden University, Netherlands

Paraguay, a landlocked country in South America, rarely makes global news headlines. However, images of protesters on the streets of the capital Asunción quickly circulated in international news this month. Protestors were pictured waving their national tricolour flag and holding anti-government posters with slogans such as ‘We are coming for ...

China House Student Fellows,

Various Schools, China

By China House Student Fellows Qinnan He, Larrissa Leung, Linyi Xia and Xuewen Zhang (Authors listed alphabetically, this research article has been authored equally).

“I’ll share you a girl’s story. She’s 35 now with 9 children after being forced to marry at 14. Her mom and dad died when she ...

China House Student Fellows,

Various Schools, China

Almost 15 years ago, allegations were beginning to emerge that China influences African elections. The case in point was Zambia. China became a hot campaign issue in Zambia’s 2005 elections. The opposition, led by Michael ‘King Cobra’ Sata, never missed an opportunity to lash out at then incumbent, Patrick Mwanawasa, over ...

China House Student Fellows,

Various Schools, China

By China House Student Fellows He Ye, 17, Shenzhen College of International Education Ruining Liu, 17, Capital Normal University High School, Liangjing Yi, 17, Shude High School Dujiangyan Foreign Language Experimental School and Xia Zhao, 18, Northfield Mount Hermon School

In the 2020 Global Gender Gap Report released by the ...

By China House Fellows Jinhao Bai, Yi Cheng, Jiasui Xie, Ruoyu Yan

“If we want to confront the issue of racism, everyone needs to take their share of responsibility. This ‘everyone’ includes you, me, and all the other individuals living in this planet.“

                                                                                         –A Guinean Student in Guangzhou

Across ...

China House Student Fellows,

Various Schools, China

By China House Fellows Andy Zhang, Jie Cang, Ziyu Lin and Yirong Xu

“We don’t want gifts and apologies: We want our dignity…We have fractured this world.” – Kevin, student

“But I thought racism doesn’t exist in China…it wasn’t embarrassing, it was dehumanizing.” – Iris, teacher

Born and raised in ...

China House Student Fellows,

Various Schools, China

By China House Student Fellows Xinjian Lyu, Chenxing Ji, Yuncheng Chi, Shizhen Gu

Guangzhou, one of the most developed cities in China, has become a popular place among foreign immigrants. The majority of immigrants here in Guangzhou are Africans who seek better business opportunities.

According to the data on we-medias, ...

Production Constraints Limit Chinese Vaccine Exports Abroad Ahead of Critical Decision From the WHO

Chinese pharmaceutical companies are struggling to keep pace with surging demand at home and abroad for COVID-19 vaccines. “The problem is that it currently does not have enough production capacity to satisfy both domestic and ...

Kenyan Regulators Approve a Chinese Herbal Treatment Linked to COVID-19 Even Before They Fully Tested It

Kenya’snational drug regulator, the Pharmacy and Poisons Board (PPB), granted certification to a Chinese herbal product that it hasn’t fully tested and that the company insinuates, without proof, can be used to help protect against COVID-19. ...
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