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[AUDIO] How Rwanda attracts Chinese money and migrants without the lure of natural resources

 It is a widely-held perception that Chinese investment in Africa is guided by a strategic foreign policy agenda focused on securing vast amount of natural resources. This narrative fits nicely with an outdated Western colonial stereotype of how foreign countries engage Africa. However, in the case of the Chinese, this narrative is only partially correct. Earlier this year, the China-Africa ... Read More »

[AUDIO] IMF missteps over huge China deal in the Congo proves costly

In 2007 when China’s Exim Bank unveiled a massive $6 billion mining deal in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, it completely rocked the normally-staid world of international development finance. The agreement, known as “The China Deal” or Sicomines, was among the first of these huge Chineese infrastructure-for-resources deals that are now commonplace across Africa. Ten years ago, though, the ... Read More »

[AUDIO] The complicated role Chinese business plays in Kenyan corruption

One of the many simple, widely-believed narratives about the Chinese in Africa is that PRC businesses fuel corruption across the continent. That caricature, although overly-simplistic, is amplified by China’s insistence there be little to no transparency in most of its government and corporate transactions in Africa. So the combination of a Chinese veil over its business dealings with the prevalence of corruption that already exists ... Read More »

[AUDIO] Africa confronts tough choices as economies falter, instability rises

Faced with slumping economies, restive populations and, in many areas, the surging threat of sectarian violence, a growing number of African countries stand at a critical juncture where they must decide who to turn to for help: to their new friends in Beijing or to those ‘lenders of last resort’ in Washington, London and Brussels. Now that the days of ... Read More »

[AUDIO] The danger of too much Chinese debt in Africa

The financial implosion in Venezuela is prompting growing concern in Beijing that China may have been too ambitious in its drive to loan billions of dollars to high-risk countries throughout the global south. Persistently low oil prices combined with corrupt, incompetent leadership in Caracas have pushed the country to the brink of economic collapse. The dire situation in Venezuela raises ... Read More »

[AUDIO] Why more Chinese companies in Africa are choosing to be good neighbors

Chinese companies around the world, particularly in Africa, have a well-earned reputation for being bad corporate citizens. There are countless stories of labor rights violations, disregard of environmental policies and lack of engagement with local communities among many other allegations. While all of these examples highlight a serious problem in China’s overseas corporate governance, it doesn’t tell the whole story. ... Read More »

[AUDIO] China’s growing appetite for African real estate

Amid a prolonged economic downturn and a weakening yuan, Chinese investors have steadily turned their focus to buying overseas assets. While there are a number of complicated reasons behind the massive capital outflows over the past 18 months, the fact remains that both individual and corporate investors are looking abroad for growth opportunities and hedges against currency fluctuations at home. ... Read More »

[AUDIO] Is Africa screwed for being too financially dependent on China?

Chinese government officials have been on all-out PR offensive across Africa lately to reassure increasingly nervous political and business leaders that even though China’s economy may be slowing it will not affect the PRC’s investment plans in Africa. Africans, for their part, have reason to be worried. Chinese trade with the continent has fallen sharply, 40% by some estimates, in ... Read More »

[AUDIO] Africa feels the chill of China’s cooling economy

It hasn’t even been a month since Chinese president Xi Jinping was in South Africa for the triennial FOCAC confab where he unveiled a massive $60 billion financial package. Oh how those were innocent, halcyon days. There was a still a prevailing sense of optimism that everything would be OK. In just a few short weeks, so much has changed. ... Read More »