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The China-Africa Tech Roundup with Andile Masuku

When Shenzhen-based Transsion Holdings IPO'd last month no one predicted that it would surge a stunning 64% on its opening day of trading in Shanghai, pushing the company's valuation to around $7 billion. But ...

The Bitter Life for Chinese Migrant Workers in Ethiopia

The presence of Chinese workers who are helping to build the billions of dollars of infrastructure across Africa is one of the most contentious points in the China-Africa relationship. These workers are often seen as unwelcome guests doing jobs that could ...

Finding God on the Belt and Road. Kenyan Missionaries are Converting Chinese Migrant Workers.

Christian missionaries in Kenya are finding a new source of converts among the immigrant Chinese population that came to the country to build infrastructure. Kenyan evangelists, some of whom speak fluent Mandarin, are discovering even though their religion and cultural backgrounds ...

The Blurry Lines Between Chinese Aid and Investment in Africa

For most countries, aid and investment are two entirely different things. Not with the Chinese, though, where until recently the country's aid programs were actually managed through the Ministry of Commerce. Because the Chinese have ...

The Legend of Hambantota and China’s “Debt Trap” Diplomacy

China's critics, largely in the U.S., often hold up the Sri Lankan port in Hambantota as the cautionary tale of what purportedly can happen when a developing country fails to pay back its loans to Beijing. Because Sri Lanka fell behind ...

Analysis from Cobus van Staden

The Year of the Mobile Phone is Transforming China-Africa Relations

In the
history of China-Africa relations, 2019 may come to be known as the year of the
mobile phone. It was a year when phones took on an outsized commercial and
political importance. Selling its Tecno phones in Africa carried Transsion, a
relatively unknown Chinese company, to an IPO north of $4 billion. Mobile
phones dragged Africa into the fight between Huawei and the US ...

Chinese Vlogger Fyjo Molly Wants You to See Africa in a Different Way

Fyjo Molly uses an unusual way to phoneticize her English YouTube handle name. The Chinese characters for Africa, 非洲, are typically spelled “fei zhou” but writing it as “Fyjo” Molly put her own little twist on the name, much like her ...

Reflections on TICAD7 With Judd Devermont

In this episode, Eric & Cobus speak with Judd Devermont, Director of the Africa program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a prominent think tank in Washington, on his key takeaways from this year’s Tokyo International Conference on African ...

One Chinese Company’s Bold, Controversial Plan to Wipe Out Malaria in Kenya

Malaria is a global threat. In 2017, an estimated 20,000 people were killed in terrorist-related incidents. That same year, 435,000 people died from the mosquito-borne disease, predominantly in Africa, according to the World Health Organization.

The Unintended Religious Consequence of Chinese Investment in Africa

For many of the hundreds of thousands of Chinese who live and work in Africa, life is often is not easy. Low pay, long hours and extended assignments in unfamiliar cultures often lead to feelings of isolation and disillusionment. Connections with friends and family back home, largely using WeChat, are ...

Deborah Brautigam: No Evidence of Chinese Debt Traps in Africa

Johns Hopkins University professor and director of the China-Africa Research Initiative in Washington, D.C., Deborah Brautigam, joins Eric & Cobus this week to discuss accusations that China engages in so-called "debt trap diplomacy." The "debt trap" narrative, also commonly referred to as "predatory lending," states that China ...

U.S. Struggles to Keep up With China's Commercial Expansion in Africa

Atlantic Council Senior Fellow Aubrey Hurby joins Eric and Cobus to discuss her new report on how the United States can catch up, or "challenge," China's commercial expansion in Africa. The bottom line, Aubrey writes, is that the U.S. can no longer be 'all things to all people' and ...

China's Distant Fishing Fleet Is Decimating What's Left of Ghana's Fish Stocks

Over-fishing by illegally-run foreign trawlers is decimating what's left of Ghana's fish stocks. In fact, the situation is so severe, that experts believe as early as next year, entire categories of fish that once sustained the local Ghanian market will be gone.  This kind of illegal ...

Africa Aims to Avoid Becoming Collateral Damage in U.S.-China Trade War

Africa's commodity-dependent economies are extremely vulnerable to the current uncertainties roiling global markets, specifically the heightening trade tensions between the U.S. and China. With the tariffs taking their toll on China's slowing economy and the U.S. becoming even more assertive with other countries, African policymakers have good reason to be ...

What Lessons Can Africa Draw From China in Urban Transportation?

Africa is urbanizing faster than any region in the world. Today, an estimated 472 million Africans live in cities and that number is expected to double over the next 25 years, according to research by the Center for Strategic and International Studies. That means governments have to start to ...

"The Belt and Road Is a Chinese Plan to Build a New World Order"

China's hugely ambitious Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) is often described as being more of an idea than an actual policy. Depending on whom you speak with, BRI is characterized as an economic plan to outsource China's excess domestic industrial output. Other people, notably those in Washington, describe it in ...
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