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Tag Archives: South Africa

[AUDIO] China and the Rise of Africa’s New Autocrats

Anzetse Were is a Nairobi-based international development economist and newspaper columnist who is increasingly worried about a resurgence of autocratic rule in Africa. Buoyed by the United States’ apparent receding interest in promoting democratic and civil society values around the world, Africa’s authoritarian leaders are now seemingly taking comfort in their countries’ deepening ties with China. Beijing, for its part, makes a ... Read More »

[AUDIO] China’s appetite for abalone spurs organized crime in South Africa

The demand for abalone is so extreme that it is commonly-referred to as “white gold” and is now the world’s most valuable shellfish. Much of that demand comes from Asia, especially China, where consumers can’t seem to get enough of the fleshy snails in restaurants and supermarkets. South Africa is home to one of the most prized species of abalone, ... Read More »

[AUDIO] North Korea’s diplomats in Africa are making big money selling ivory to Chinese

The tightening of international sanctions against North Korea is helping to fuel the illicit ivory trade in Africa as the increasingly isolated country searches for new ways to generate revenue, according to a new report from the Global Initiative against Transnational Organized Crime. Much of that ivory, according to the report, is destined for the black market in China. Although ... Read More »

[PODCAST] Africa needs infrastructure, China wants to build it. So what’s the problem?

Africa faces a severe infrastructure crisis. Roads, ports, airports, hospitals and telecommunications are all needed to generate the economic growth necessary to support a population that is expected to double by 2050. But that kind of investment doesn’t come cheap. It’s estimated that over the next ten years Africa will need to spend around $100 billion a year — an unattainably high figure for ... Read More »

[AUDIO] Here’s How China Is Changing Africa’s Future

Amid a surge of European and U.S. inward-looking nativist populism, the West’s longstanding influence in Africa is in retreat. At the same time, China appears to be doubling-down on globalism with a trillion dollar bet called “One Belt, One Road” or OBOR. OBOR is China’s hugely ambitious global mercantile agenda that aims to connect the PRC to trade routes across the ... Read More »

[PODCAST] Does it make sense for Africans to learn to speak Chinese?

Nairobi-based journalist Mark Kapchanga contends that it is time for Africans to learn to speak Chinese. In a provocative column published last month in the Chinese newspaper Global Times, Kapchanga warned that Africans are at risk of being on the losing end of an “information asymmetry” unless they begin to learn Mandarin in order to better negotiate with the continent’s largest trading partner ... Read More »

[PODCAST] Can the U.S. Under Donald Trump Compete with the Chinese in Africa?

With United States foreign policy in turmoil amid countless White House scandals and a demoralized State Department, Africa’s role in the current U.S. foreign policy agenda remains a mystery. Not once since he took office has President Donald Trump even mentioned Africa, much less provided a detailed overview of America’s security, aid and investment strategies on the continent. With the president’s attention focused ... Read More »

[AUDIO] Donkey hide is the new ivory for the Chinese in Africa

It will likely not come as a surprise to many that once again Chinese consumer demand is responsible for another animal crisis in Africa. Chinese companies don’t want these donkeys for their meat, just the hides that are used as an ingredient in a traditional Chinese medicine known as ejiao (阿胶) which is used to treat a number of different ailments from ... Read More »

[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] 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 »