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[AUDIO] Is China a partner or predator in Africa (or both)?

Depending on who you speak with, China’s engagement in Africa is often described in extreme terms as either the best thing to happen to the continent in the post-colonial era or just the latest foreign predator coming to pillage Africa of its resources. With China’s presence in Africa now stretching across nearly all 54 countries where an estimated one million Chinese immigrants now live and hundreds of billions ... Read More »

[AUDIO] How China’s insatiable demand for timber threatens Congo’s rain forests

A series of powerful forces, continents away from one another, are conspiring to devastate the vast rain forests that blanket the Democratic Republic of the Congo. There are trees in those forests whose wood is particularly celebrated in China for its color and durability. With the Chinese middle class continuing to expand, the demand for higher quality products, such as furniture, is ... Read More »

[AUDIO] Chinese tourist arrivals in Africa are up, so why aren’t African travel companies more excited?

Africa is becoming an increasingly popular holiday destination among adventure-seeking Chinese tourists. The numbers of visitors who went to Africa in 2016 was up sharply due to looser visa restrictions and new direct flights between China and Ethiopia, Kenya and South Africa among other popular destinations. Chinese arrivals in South Africa alone were up 93% last year. You’d think this would be great news for Africa’s ... Read More »

[AUDIO] How Taiwan Became a Divisive Wedge Issue in South Africa

South Africa’s opposition party, the Democratic Alliance (DA), now sees the ruling African National Congress (ANC) party’s close ties to China as a vulnerability that the DA aims to exploit. Evidence of this new strategy came in December when the DA mayor of Pretoria, Solly Msimanga, made an independent trip to Taiwan, sparking immediate outrage from the Chinese government, the South African ... Read More »

[AUDIO] How Donald Trump could give China a real boost in Africa

The election of Donald Trump has introduced a new era of uncertainty in global politics, especially in Africa where the president-elect has said nothing about his foreign policy agenda for the continent. Not surprisingly, Trump’s unpredictable, provocative-style is sparking widespread concern across the continent as to whether the United States plans to remain engaged in Africa. China, by comparison, is moving in the opposite ... Read More »

[AUDIO] 2016 China-Africa Year in Review

After years of relatively trouble-free development, 2016 marked a turning point in the China-Africa amid turbulent changes in the global economic and political order. China increased its deployment of combat troops to the continent, suffering some its first casualties in South Sudan and Mali, while trade between the two regions decreased for the first time in years. Meantime, China dangled ... Read More »

[AUDIO] Does just one man in China control the fate of Africa’s elephants?

In the powerful new Netflix documentary “The Ivory Game,” Elephant Action League Executive Director Andrea Crosta ominously warned that the entire fate of Africa’s elephants is in the hands of a single man, Chinese president Xi Jinping. Only President Xi has the power, argued Crosta, to shut down China’s domestic ivory trade that drives so much of the killing of ... Read More »

[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] China’s controversial, out-sized role in Africa’s digital revolution

Africa is home to one of the fastest growing technology markets in the world. In fact, more African households own a mobile phone than have reliable electricity or even clean water. The combination of a young population, some of the fastest growing economies and steadily falling prices for both mobile handsets as well as internet access are all contributing to ... 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 »