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Tag Archives: South Africa

[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 »

[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 »

China’s Plan To Ban Ivory Sales Will Not Save Africa’s Elephants

Hooray! The Chinese government finally came to its senses and announced that after 2017 it will no longer be legal to sell or trade ivory. Today’s announcement was long overdue and highly anticipated, particularly among Western wildlife conservationists pegged a Chinese ivory ban as the last best hope to save what’s left of Africa’s rapidly shrinking elephant population. China is by far the world’s ... Read More »