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: 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


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


China-Africa in the news: South Africa’s visa rules, apples, and more debt concerns


The manager of the Chinese restaurant at the center of a racism row in Nairobi, Kenya, was released on bail this week. Esther Yang is charged with operating the restaurant without a license. She is also accused of working without… Continue Reading


China-Africa in the news: ‘Racist’ Nairobi restaurant, China’s defence minister in Zimbabwe and Namibia, Museveni and Lungu in Beijing, Kenya’s growing debt

A Chinese man in Ghana. The influx of Chinese people to Africa is bound to offend cultural sensitivities, as the Kenya restaurant incident shows.  Photo: oneVillage Initiative (Wikimedia Commons)

“The time for Africans is over,” a guard told a couple of prospective patrons. Only, these were not just any other patrons but journalists. African journalists, in Kenya – an African country – turned away by an African guard at… Continue Reading