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Tag Archives: Congo

[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] 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] There are a lot more Chinese soldiers in Africa today… and likely more to come

Over the past five years the Chinese military presence in Africa has undergone a profound change. Until 2012, the Chinese were happy to play a low-key support role in multinational peacekeeping operations on the continent, preferring to send military engineers and medical staff rather than deploy combat forces. Today, that is no longer the case. China is in fact the ... Read More »

[AUDIO] China’s expanding military presence in Africa

China is steadily expanding its military footprint in Africa, highlighted by the recent deployment of 700 combat-ready troops to join a multinational peacekeeping operation in South Sudan. In all, the People’s Liberation Army and Navy now have an estimated 2,700 soldiers, sailors, engineers and medical staff stationed across the continent. The number of troops deployed in Africa is extremely small, ... Read More »

[AUDIO] Flash of anti-Chinese xenophobia in the DR Congo

Anti-government protestors filled the streets of the DRC capital Kinshasa on January 19 and 20 to protest against a new election law making its way through the National Assembly. The new law calls for a national census before another presidential election is held which could lead to an unconstitutional extension in office by incumbent president Joseph Kabila. Rioters turned their ... Read More »

[AUDIO] Cameroon’s illegal timber finds market in China

Cameroon’s rain forests are rapidly vanishing due to widespread corruption, according to a new report from Greenpeace Africa. The environmental activist group alleges that much of the illegally-harvested timber from Cameroon ends up in China where customs authorities look the other way against suspicious timber imports. In fact, the Chinese do not have any laws against illegal timber imports and ... Read More »

[AUDIO] China’s massive mining deal in DRC is back on track

The controversial Sino-Congolese mining deal Sicomines has been revived thanks to new financing from China’s Exim Bank. This is one of Beijing’s biggest natural resources-for-infrastructure deals in Africa. If successful, the deal would net millions of tons in iron ore and cobalt for the Chinese while providing the Congolese with desperately needed infrastructure. Johanna Jansson is widely regarded as the leading ... Read More »

3Qi: China’s landmark Sicomines deal in the DRC

The controversial 2007 Sicomines infrastructure-for-natural resources deal between China and the Democratic Republic of the Congo is a milestone in Sino-Africa ties as it’s one of the largest agreements of its kind on record.  Originally valued at 9 billion dollars (it has seen been reduced), the deal stunned many in the West, particularly at the International Monetary Fund, as it was widely interpreted ... Read More »

The West’s Tragic Blindspot in Africa

I have been living in Kinshasa for almost three weeks now and since I landed here I’ve been asked countless times what I find the most interesting/bizarre/unusual about life in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. For me, the answer is clear. It’s not the vibrancy of Congolese culture, how incredibly warm most people are, or even the tragedy of ... Read More »