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Tag Archives: Ethiopia

[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] The honeymoon between China and Africa is over and that’s a good thing

It wasn’t that long ago when it was all smiles between the Chinese and Africans. Remember? The headlines were all about “win-win” development, China’s role in helping Africa to rise above its colonial past and investment, lots and lots of Chinese investment. Every year, trade between the two would surge to new, record highs. Those were indeed good days. Now, ... Read More »

[AUDIO] Industrialization in Africa: Ethiopia wants to become the new ‘Made in China’

There’s a pretty good chance that some of the clothes you’re wearing, the shoes on your feet and even the device you’re using to read this were made in China. Even as its economy slows, China remains the world’s factory, churning out billions of dollars every year of goods. The government, though, wants to change this which could be a ... 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] 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] 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] 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] U.S. not concerned about Chinese competition in Africa… but it probably should be

The difference between US and Chinese foreign policies in Africa was on stark display in July when president Barack Obama made his landmark visits to Kenya and Ethiopia. The president brought along with him a vast agenda that transcended trade, democracy, human rights, gay rights, women’s issues and on and on and on. Compare that to similar visits to both ... Read More »

[AUDIO] How the US and China struggle to balance interests & ideals in Ethiopia

In April, visiting US Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs, Wendy Sherman, showered her Ethiopian hosts in Addis Ababa with effusive praise about their country’s budding “democracy.” She expressed her hope that upcoming elections in May 2015 would be “free, fair and credible and open and inclusive.” Her comments were widely panned given Ethiopia’s dismal human rights record, yet ... Read More »

[AUDIO] Chinese cultural diplomacy in Africa

The Chinese government has spent billions of dollars in Africa on public diplomacy initiatives that are intended to improve the country’s image. Central to that strategy is the growing network of Confucius Institutes (CIs) spread across the continent that are designed to introduce Chinese language and culture to the African masses. Today there are over 40 CIs in Africa but ... Read More »