China-Africa in the news: Zuma on China, Zambia’s arms deal, Mandarin in Zim schools, Chinese textiles in Nigeria, West Africa’s iron mines

President Jacob Zuma in Russia at the Victory Day celebrations. Photo: GCIS

The West still regards Africa as “the third world,” South Africa’s president Jacob Zuma told Russian television network RT, and sees its relationship to the continent as one of former master-former subject. The same perspective informs economic relations between the… Continue Reading


China-Africa in the news: Risky loans, Queensway, Zimbabwe’s tobacco, Djibouti, Mswati’s Taiwan trip, Tiens Group

The People's Bank of China. China is "growing less tolerant" of its "cheque book" diplomacy strategy because of default risks. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

China is “growing less tolerant” of its “cheque book” diplomacy strategy. The strategy has seen China become the biggest lender to developing nations, a good number of them unstable or poorly governed (like Equatorial Guinea and Zimbabwe). China has lent billions of dollars to the developing world so it can “win friends and commercial advantage,” and also, ultimately, burnish its credentials as leader of the developing world. But the risks of the strategy might come to outweigh the benefits. Continue Reading


China-Africa in the news: Billion-dollar deals, Chinese football, Kenyan ivory, cheap cement exports

Equatorial Guinea's Teodoro Obiang Nguema has a $2 billion reason to smile. Photo: Flickr

It was a week of billion-dollar deals. China Railway Construction Corp Ltd signed two deals in Nigeria and Zimbabwe worth a combined $5.5 billion. In Nigeria the Chinese-state owned corporation signed a $3.5 billion contract with the Ogun State government to… Continue Reading


Xenophobia in South Africa: Implications for Chinese communities

Key leaders from the coalition of faith based organisations, trade unions, NGOs and corporate South Africa speak out against xenophobia during a peoples march in Newtown. (Photo: GCIS)

The majority of South Africa’s Chinese community were not targeted during the xenophobic attacks as they are not directly in economic competition with the communities inciting the violence. The fact that those attacked were largely from the sub-Saharan African group is subsequent to the fact that they directly compete with locals, coupled with a frequently ambiguous legal status. Continue Reading


China-Africa in the news: Stadium diplomacy, contract troubles in Rwanda and Uganda, and the Mandarin bug

Tamale Stadium in Tamale, Ghana. The stadium, commissioned in 2008, was financed by Chinese aid and also built by a Chinese company. Picture: Wikimedia Commons.

By 2010, according to Elliot Ross’ ‘China’s Stadium Diplomacy in Africa’ (published by Roads and Kingdoms in 2014), there were 50 stadiums across Africa built with Chinese government support. “If you want to see the heart of China’s soft-power push into Africa,” Ross writes, “you’ll find it in the continent’s new soccer stadia.” China builds a stadium at a relatively low cost, local politicians present it as proof of their development efforts, and China (and Chinese businesses) is rewarded with access to political leaders. Continue Reading


China-Africa in the news: Xenophobia, fake Kente, Kenyan tea, AIIB founding members

Police Officers in South Africa. Security services in the country have struggled to contain attacks on foreign nationals which broke out two weeks ago. Wikimedia Common Photo.

The anti-foreigner attacks in South Africa have been described as Afrophobia on some forums. This is because the first attacks – about two weeks ago – were made on African immigrants, mainly those from Ethiopia, Somalia, the Democratic Republic of… Continue Reading


China-Africa in the news: Loan deals, a damning report, and peacekeepers for S. Sudan

Peacekeeping - UNAMID

The recent visits to China by the Zambia and Uganda Presidents resulted in a number of several deals that will see the Chinese government and companies investing in the two countries. Edward Lungu and Yoweri Museveni were in China for… Continue Reading