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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.

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. Three Recommendations From This ...

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 ...

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 ...

Chinese Galamsey and the Illegal Lure of China’s Gold Rush

CRISTINA ALDEHUELA / AFP
Some 50,000 Chinese migrants are said to have flocked to Ghana to stake a claim in the country’s illegal gold mining rush, with dire environmental, economic and social consequences. Ghana’s tradition of artisanal gold ...

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 ...

Analysis from Cobus van Staden

The Long Arc of Chinese Lending to Africa

The biggest headline from November’s FOCAC meeting was China’s pivot away from infrastructure funding. But like many FOCAC headlines, it needs several asterisks. In the first place, the pivot might actually be away from a particular infrastructure model (massive projects funded with large bilateral Chinese policy bank loans and built by Chinese state-owned enterprises) rather than from infrastructure-building itself.

The larger question is what China is pivoting to. Instead of ...

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. 

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. The deal, still subject to ...

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 ...

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 ...

Florida Governor Calls China an “Adversary” Determined to Control Resources in Africa

Florida governor Rick Scott is by no means an important voice on foreign policy matters but he does offer some insight here on how a lot of senior US politicians now consider China to be an "adversary" who's determined to exert influence around the world.

It is interesting nonetheless to see how an issue like China's engagement in Africa is now making its way into the broader political discourse in the United States about China.

Read the transcript of Governor Rick Scott's full statement on China on the Florida Daily website.

Kenyan Borrowing From Japan Surges as Chinese Lending Slows

New data from the National Treasury in Nairobi revealed a dramatic surge in borrowing from Japan, up 162% to more than $1.3 billion during the period of June 2018 to June 2019. The increase in Japanese loans comes as China is slowing its lending to Kenya. "China’s bilateral loans to Kenya, which stood at $6.4 billion by June had only grown 16 percent from $5.5 billion in the same period last year," reported Kenya's Business Daily newspaper.

Read the full report here on Business Daily.

Sinohydro Stops Work on Zambia Hydroelectric Dam

Citing "difficulties beyond its control" (translation: they haven't been paid), China’s state-owned Sinohydro has stopped work building the 750mw Kafue Gorge hydroelectric dam in Zambia, dealing a major blow for the country's drive for energy self-sufficiency and the livelihoods of thousands of workers on the project.

The Kafue Gorge Lower Power Station (see graphic above) was among a number of Chinese-funded energy projects underway in Zambia. In this particular case, the Kafue plant is funded through a public-private partnership (PPP) between the Zambian government and the country's power company ZESCO and financed through a $2 billion loan from China's Exim Bank.

Read the full article on Afrik21.

The Kenyan Government is Forcing Transport Companies to Use the SGR

Cargo Transporters in Kenya oppose move by the government making it compulsory for cargo transported by the SGR #KTNBusiness #KTNBusinessToday pic.twitter.com/eHlSEaDf9K — ktn (@KTNKenya) September 23, 2019 ...

The Top 5 Things China and Africa Buy/Sell from One Another

In an article that recently appeared in the Paris-based magazine The Africa Report, Andrew McGregor, Managing Director of the independent research organization Who Owns Whom, and Marthinus Havenga, Director of Cathkin Consulting, provided some interesting data on the top five export and import categories that dominate the bulk of China-Africa trade.

In short, China sells heavy equipment and other machinery to African countries and in turn, buys a lot of natural resources. While that's not a tremendous surprise, it is interesting to note the volumes and how they've changed between 2001 and 2018.

Read the full article on The Africa Report website that includes a number of other compelling charts and data points.

Russia and China Are Motivated by Totally Different Incentives in Africa

Russia is stepping up its engagement in Africa with a new focus on trade. Although Russia does considerably less trade with Africa than China, less than a tenth the volume, in fact, it nonetheless remains an important actor on the continent. Although Russia and China are often put together as representatives of Africa's new trading partners, breaking the hold that the U.S. and European countries long had, they are different in one fundamental way.

Charles Robertson, Global Chief Economist at Renaissance Capital, explained that while China needs to buy Africa's resources, Russia does not. The Russians have sufficient supplies of oil, gas, and timber while lacking China's industrial capacity that depends on raw materials to build the phones, cars and countless other products we all buy from the Chinese.

Read the full article in today's Southern Times. You can also follow Charles Roberton on Twitter at @RencapMan.

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