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[AUDIO] South Africa’s inexplicable love affair with China

While the recent economic turmoil in China is prompting a number of African countries to reconsider their growing economic dependence on the PRC, not so in South Africa. Both the government and the ruling African National Congress (ANC) party have seemingly found their geopolitical soul mate in China. South Africa’s leadership speaks glowingly of China’s political system that fuses the ... Read More »

[AUDIO] The China economy: what lessons for Africa?

When African policy makers scan the globe in search of inspiration on how to structure their economies, that search often leads to Beijing. Not surprisingly, African leaders look at what China has done over the past 30 years where it went from being a poor, isolated agrarian country to a modern urban economy that is now the world’s second largest. ... Read More »

[AUDIO] Chinese investment in Africa: surprisingly small, but growing fast

It’s a widespread misconception that just because China is Africa’s top trading partner, it’s also the continent’s largest foreign investor. In fact, China’s ranks seventh overall in FDI, far behind the United States that has long been Africa’s largest source of foreign investment. That may soon change, though, due in part to China’s rapidly evolving economy. With production cost steadily ... Read More »

[AUDIO] China’s special economic zones in Africa: lots of hype, little hope

A decade ago China announced it would develop of a series of Special Economic Zones (SEZs) in Africa to boost trade and industrialization. Given the phenomenal success of China’s SEZs that helped to spark the PRC’s three-decades of history-making economic growth, not surprisingly, hopes ran high in Africa for similar results. Initially, there were plans for 50 such economic zones ... Read More »

[AUDIO] Should Africa follow Asia’s path to economic prosperity?

Author John Akhile, Sr. argues in his new book “Unleashed” that if the Asia’s so-called ‘Tiger economies’ did it, so can Africa. By leveraging the continent’s agricultural potential, minerals, raw materials and low cost labor, Akhile thinks that using these resources Africans can build a equally impressive economic miracle as what happened in Asia but within a decade. Even though ... Read More »

[AUDIO] The dark side of Chinese investment in Africa

Sam Pa is a mysterious man, largely unknown to the outside world. Yet Pa, who goes by at least 7 different aliases, represents the nefarious side of China’s engagement in Africa. Sam Pa and his associates in the Hong Kong-based consortium known as the 88 Queensway Group represent a new breed of predatory investors who work in the shadows to ... Read More »

[AUDIO] China, Africa and the PRC’s massive new development bank

57 countries including two from Africa, are among the founding members of China’s new development bank, the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB). While the new bank’s primary objective will be develop infrastructure projects in Asia, as its name suggests, there is widespread anticipation (mixed with some hope) the bank will expand its scope of work to eventually include Africa and ... Read More »

[AUDIO] China-Africa relations: a high school perspective

Annie Hou (侯艺筱) is a third year high school student at Sudan International School in Shanghai who recently spent several weeks in Kenya as part of a program with the Chinese corporate social responsibility NGO China House Kenya. While in Nairobi, Annie had the opportunity to do research on Chinese management and labor practices at construction projects and to learn ... Read More »

[AUDIO] Is Chinese corporate behavior improving in Africa?

The list of grievances against Chinese companies operating in Africa is long and varied, from violations of labor rights to environmental destruction to widespread allegations of corruption. Although it is hard to tell how many companies are truly guilty of poor corporate citizenship, the perception of bad behavior is nonetheless widespread. However, that may beginning to change says Witney Schneidman, ... Read More »

[AUDIO] From ‘Made in China’ to ‘Made in Africa’

A growing number of Chinese companies are looking to outsource production overseas in a bid to lower costs and meet Beijing’s increasingly stringent environmental laws. Ethiopia and South Africa are among the beneficiaries of this new trend as Chinese apparel, textile and even steel companies move their production offshore. However, the outsourcing of Chinese manufacturing to Africa presents both opportunities ... Read More »