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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.

Ghana Conservation Activists Fight Against China-backed Bauxite Mine in Rainforest

The Atwea rainforest. Photo via Ghana News Agency.
The Awaso bauxite mine is emerging as a critical flashpoint in China-Africa environmental ties and highlights tensions common to many countries between the need for African countries to best exploit its natural resources and the use ...

Africa Becoming Important Source of Support for China’s Contentious International Battles

MARK RALSTON / AFP
The Daily Nation’s Senior Foreign Affairs Writer Aggrey Mutambo reports on how the Chinese government is now trying to rally support among Africa media for its controversial policies in Xinjiang where Beijing ...

Kenya Rushes to Get $4 Billion of Infrastructure Loans Approved for the “Big Four” Projects

President Uhuru Kenyatta at State House, Nairobi, in September 2019. Image: PSCU
The government is in a race against time to secure new loans amounting to $4.1 billion to fund President Uhuru Kenyatta’s ambitious “Big Four” projects that include food security, manufacturing, affordable housing, and affordable healthcare.  ...

Insiders Dismiss Rumored Cell C-China Mobile Deal

Cell C is an unlisted mobile telecommunications company in South Africa that has 17.2 million subscribers, according to Blue Label.
“Well-placed sources” are refuting last week’s reports that South Africa’s embattled #3 mobile carrier is in late-stage talks to be acquired by China Mobile. ...

Museveni is Now China’s Most Forceful Advocate in Africa

Uganda President Yoweri Museveni this week strongly defended his government’s decision to take large Chinese loans, pushing back against his critics by claiming that his government really doesn’t have any other choice but to turn ...

Zimbabwe Expected to Lean on Chinese Expertise and Technology to Enforce New Cyber Crime Law

The Cyber Crime, Cyber Security and Data Protection Bill of 2019 was passed by president Emerson Mnangagwa’s cabinet this week, an important step towards it becoming law. It still has to be debated and approved ...

Can a Phone “Made in Rwanda” Compete with Those “Made in China”? We’re About to Find Out.

Photo via Mara Phones.
The first truly African-made smartphone is now available for sale. And when they say “African made” they aren’t kidding. While other phones have been assembled in Africa with components imported from Asia, the Mara Phone ...

China Mobile Reportedly in Talks to Buy One of South Africa’s Largest Mobile Operators

Cell C is an unlisted mobile telecommunications company in South Africa that has 17.2 million subscribers, according to Blue Label.
Cell C has been in distress for quite some time and now there are reports that state-owned China Mobile is considering buying the embattled South African mobile operator. South African tech ...

2019 Oxford Economics Africa Risk-Reward Index

The 2019 Oxford Economics Risk Reward Index: The position of each country is defined by its risk and reward score; the size of its bubble represents the size of the country’s GDP. The individual scores for each country for risk and reward are shown in the table opposite. Further details on the methodology for calculating each country’s scores are provided in detail in the annex.
Oxford Economics’ annual African investment risk assessment report is a useful companion with the EY Attractiveness report to evaluate foreign investment trends in Africa, albeit not specifically focused on China. ...

Dr. Enga Kameni: Africa Needs to Come Together if it Wants Better Trade Deals with China

Dr. Enga Kameni, Legal Services Manager Afreximbank & Visiting Lecturer at the Harvard Law School. Photo via the Global Development Policy Center at Boston University.
Dr. Enga Kameni, Manager of Legal Services of the African ExportImport Bank (Afreximbank) delivered an interesting presentation at Boston University’s Global Development Policy Center last week where he spoke about the importance of the broader China-Africa ...

While the U.S. and Japan Talk About Private Sector Engagement in Africa, Chinese Companies are Already Doing Multibillion-Dollar IPOs Based on African-based Businesses

Advertisement for Transsion Holdings, parent of the popular Tecno line of phones in Africa, music service Boomplay that is a joint venture with fellow Chinese company Netease and is now the most popular streaming music service in Africa. Photo via Transsion Holdings
Boston Consulting Group senior partner Grant Freeland issued a plea to American businesses to take Africa more seriously and to get in the game or risk “ceding the market to China.” He didn’t ...

Transsion IPO Proves the Promise of the African Market

Nigerian Afrobeats superstar, Davido posing for ad campaign for Transsion's Tecno line of popular phones. Photo via Tecno.
This week’s stunning stock debut of the Chinese company that dominates the African mobile phone market is definitive proof in the promise of the African market. Shenzhen-based Transsion Holdings started trading this week on ...

Analysis from Cobus van Staden

Chinese Companies’ “Eat Bitter” Management Style Just Doesn’t Work in Africa

Forget debt traps, Huawei ‘back-doors’ and vaccine diplomacy. They might be the disputes that define our current polarized moment. But I’m willing to bet they won’t have the staying power of the one – the original – dispute that has haunted Chinese engagement with Africa since the late 1990s: labor.

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Climate Suffering and Its Complications

This week, the climate crisis became a lot more concrete. Heatwaves and fire across North America overlapped with massive floods in Germany and China. I say ‘concrete’ but of course climate change has been pretty concrete for millions of climate refugees across the Global South for a while now. Rather, in the words of the New York Times, this week made clear that “Climate change comes for rich countries.” Of course, it does ...

Reading the Smoke

As things slowly settle down in South Africa after the last ruinous week, the debates about who’s really to blame are catching fire. It’s now being called an insurrection attempt, and President Ramaphosa has referred to those responsible for fueling the protests as ‘enemies of democracy.’ One of the problems underlying the current crisis is that he’s both right and wrong. South Africa is indeed, as Ramaphosa called it, a ‘hard-fought-for democracy.’ ...

The Fire Next Door

So…How have you been? Since we last spoke, my country exploded.

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The B3W’s Many ‘Shoulds’

Despite seemingly coming from the same naming tradition that gave us Melania Trump’s Be Best campaign, the Build Back Better World (B3W) initiative is firmly pointed away from the recent past. It seems driven by a new willingness to face the many barriers that shape our current system.As articulated by Gregory W. Meeks, chair of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, the B3W is a flurry of good intentions, littered with ‘should’ ...

Why the Neocolonialism Story Will Never Die

The revelation of what appears to be massive illegal Chinese gold mining and logging operations in rural Sierra Leone could open a contentious new front in Africa-China conversations. Or more accurately, it could revivify one of the ur-themes underlying the whole relationship: the idea that China is a neocolonial force in Africa.This blast from the past came at a moment when the larger relationship seemed to be opening new frontiers. A recent paper by ...

B3W and the Democracy Issue

One of the interesting divisions emerging from the Biden administration’s campaign to re-energize the G7 and NATO against China is its attempt to divide the world into ‘democracies’ and ‘autocracies,’ and to insist that the two groups are squaring off against each other as if they’re in a superfriends-versus-the-empire-of-evil cartoon from the 80s.In order for this division to make sense, one needs to ignore many inconvenient details. These include the fact ...

Sanctions and Anti-Sanctions

For those tracking the development (and high-level normalization) of ‘the new cold war,’ this week has been a doozy. U.S. President Joe Biden departed for the G7 summit in Cornwall with a rare bipartisan win in his pocket. His U.S. Innovation and Competition Act, a $250 billion bill aimed at countering Chinese competition in a number of hi-tech areas like semiconductors and robotics, passed with a 68-32 majority. Some predict that it could ...

Can the G7 Imagine a Different Relationship With the World?

This week, the prominent Financial Times commentator Gideon Rachman argued that the upcoming G7 summit in Cornwall could be ‘the west’s last chance to lead.’He acknowledged that the seven rich democracies that make up the group (the U.S., U.K., France, Italy, Germany, Japan, and Canada) have seen a rapid loss in global economic influence. When they first met in 1975, the seven made up 80% of the world’s GDP. That share has ...

Biden’s Chinese Tech Dilemma

This week the Biden administration announced an expansion of a Trump-era ban on U.S. investment in 59 Chinese companies seen as having ties to the Chinese military and surveillance sectors.The announcement is another confirmation of how ex-president Trump’s vision of a U.S.-China rivalry has set the terms of subsequent interactions between the two sides (and set ‘the two sides’ as a defining paradigm for the rest of the world.)The measure unsurprisingly targets ...

Japan the EU Sign an Ambitious Deal to Build Infrastructure in the Developing World With an Eye on Countering China

JOHN THYS / AFP
Japan and the European Union signed a so-called “connectivity partnership” to build infrastructure and set development standards in joint projects around the world. While neither the agreement nor the leaders from either side mentioned ...

World Bank: China Sinks Further Into Debt While Investors Seem to Love Buying African Sovereign Bonds

On average, the external debt burden of low and middle-income countries remains moderate. The ratio of external debt to GNI averaged 26 percent at the end of 2018, unchanged from the prior year average, and ...

Aubrey Hruby: Africa Already is a Battleground in the U.S.-China Trade War

Atlantic Council Africa Center senior fellow Aubrey Hruby explained in a recent interview at the Concordia Summit in New York that Africa is a new front in the ongoing U.S.-China trade war but nonetheless remains ...

Lingan University in Hong Kong to Offer Graduate Degree in China-Africa Studies

Lingan University in Hong Kong will offer one of the world’s first graduate degrees in China-Africa studies. This one year program starts in the 2020 academic year and will be embedded within the international relations ...

Export, Employment, or Productivity? Chinese Investments in Ethiopia’s Leather and Leather Product Sectors

ZACHARIAS ABUBEKER / AFP
In a new working paper published on the China-Africa Research Initiative at Johns Hopkins University, prominent China-Africa professor Tang Xiaoyang from Tsinghua University in Beijing highlights the role of Chinese investments ...

Understanding China’s Belt and Road Infrastructure Projects in Africa

AFP / Yasuyoshi CHIBA
David Dollar, senior fellow in the John L. Thornton China Center at the Brookings Institution, challenges a number of the prevailing themes common in US and European capitals about China’s Belt and Road Initiative. 

CAP Expert Network

Kwaku Bonsu

Master of Economics Candidate
Capital University of Economics and Business

Fyjo Molly

South Africa-based YouTuber

Alessandro Arduino

Co-Director
The Security & Crisis Management International Centre at the Shanghai Academy of Social Science

Leah Lynch

Deputy Director
Development Reimagined

Ulrich Rick Dedo

Business Director
Longi Solar

Jacob Kushner

Writer/reporter
Freelance

Henry Tugendhat

Senior Policy Analyst
US Institute of Peace

Yunong Wu

Student
Fudan University

We Focus a Lot of Attention on African Countries Involved in China’s BRI, But What About Those Who Aren’t?

40 out of 55 African countries are members of China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) club, affording some of them preferential access to Chinese credit lines and infrastructure development spending. And for the most part, ...

Huawei Cancels Mate 30 Pro Launch in South Africa

The latest indication that U.S. sanctions against Chinese telecom giant Huawei are having impact comes today from South Africa where the company announced that it will postpone the launch of one of its new flagship ...

Survey: Favorable Views of China Fall in U.S., Europe and Canada but Rises in Africa & Middle East

It’s probably not a surprise to most that public opinion of China fell sharply in North America and Western Europe due largely to trade disputes and the ongoing saga over the legal fate of Huawei ...

AfDB President: “Africa Has Absolutely No Debt Crisis”

ISSOUF SANOGO / AFP
The Chinese are often accused of fueling a debt crisis in Africa due to excessive lending. While are certainly worrisome levels of debt in some countries, particularly Djibouti, Zambia and Kenya among others, the ...

U.S. Army Panel Discussion Explores Cultural and ‘Soft Power’ ‘Influences’ of China, Russia, and France in Africa

“Cultural and ‘Soft Power’ ‘Influences’ of China, Russia, and France in Africa” was the topic of the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College’s Cultural and Area Studies Office (CASO) first presentation of the school ...

Chinese Company Bids to Buy One of East Africa’s Largest Cement Companies

Chinese building materials manufacturer Huaxin Cement Company is bidding to buy ARM Cement’s Tanzania subsidiary, Maweni Limestone Ltd., for $116 million, according to a report in Construction Kenya.

Financing the Future of the Belt and Road Initiative in Africa

The London-based think tank Overseas Development Institute convened a panel discussion this week to explore how China plans to finance future development along its Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). This discussion is particularly timely ...

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, ...

China Remains Top Troop Contributor to UN Peacekeeping Ops in Africa Among Permanent Five Security Council Members

Some new data is now available regarding Chinese military and police forces who now operate under UN command in African peacekeeping operations.

China is also the second-largest contributor to UN's peacekeeping budget, accounting for 15.22% of the $7 billion 2019 budget, up from 10.28% in 2018.

Read the full China Daily article here.

The Chinese Mobile Phone Company That Dominates in Africa is Now Worth $4 billion

The Shenzhen-based parent company of the hugely popular Tecno brand of phones in Africa went public this week and raised $395 million dollars in an initial public offering on Shanghai’s brand new NASDAQ-like tech-focused stock ...
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