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Tag Archives: trade

[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] Africa feels the chill of China’s cooling economy

It hasn’t even been a month since Chinese president Xi Jinping was in South Africa for the triennial FOCAC confab where he unveiled a massive $60 billion financial package. Oh how those were innocent, halcyon days. There was a still a prevailing sense of optimism that everything would be OK. In just a few short weeks, so much has changed. ... Read More »

FOCAC 6: China at a crossroads in Africa

The 6th Forum on China Africa Cooperation is coming at a crossroads in the China-Africa relationship. China’s shift from a manufacturing to a consumption economy means that it is importing fewer African commodities. On the African side, this shift has led to fears about repaying Chinese debt, and a general downsizing of African growth expectations. Coupled with a reported plunge ... Read More »

[AUDIO] Challenging the myth of Chinese land grabs in Africa

Among the most durable myths surrounding the China-Africa relationship is the fear that the Chinese government and private enterprises are buying vast tracts of African farm land and have plans to transplant millions of Chinese peasants to live and work on the continent. Over the years, these rumors have been fueled by prominent news publications in the West, politicians and, ... Read More »

[AUDIO] How China’s economic slowdown will impact Africa

The tremors in China’s faltering economy are being felt across Africa. Now that China has replaced Europe and the United States as most African countries’ largest trading partner, there is understandable concern that slowing demand in the PRC will be felt in Africa’s commodity export dominated economies. The fear is real. Already, some Chinese-owned copper mines in Zambia have announced ... 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] 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-Africa trade may be booming, but big problems loom

Trade between China and Africa will break another new record this year as it’s expected to top $200 billion. As trade continues to grow, officials from both regions frequently point to these figures as evidence of steadily improving ties. However, Beijing-based attorney Kai Xue warns that while the trade stats are indeed impressive, they also mask emerging difficulties in the ... Read More »

[AUDIO] China looms over the US-Africa Leaders Summit

For the first time an American president is convening a summit of almost every African head of state. The stated goal of Barack Obama’s US-Africa Leaders Summit is to focus on US trade and investment, while publicly stating that the event in no way should be seen as a competition with China’s surging investment on the continent. Yeah, well, no ... Read More »

The Chinese-African honeymoon is over

There is a growing sense among Africans and Chinese alike that their once heady romance is now entering a new, more pragmatic phase. Across Africa, people and politicians are becoming visibly more concerned about the surging trade deficits, massive loan debts, persistent labor rights violations and a changing immigrant demography that may be beyond their control. China, for its part, ... Read More »