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Glencore Calls Force Majeure on Cobalt Exports as Durban Flooding Worsens Chinese Shipping Crisis

Glencore, the world’s largest cobalt producer, announced that it can’t fulfill its delivery commitments for cobalt hydroxide out of the Democratic Republic of Congo, due to severe flooding in the South African port city of Durban. The majority of cobalt exports from the DRC depart the continent via Durban. ...

Durban Port is Now Functional After Flooding Shutdown

South Africa’s key port of Durban is functional again after operations were disrupted by deadly flooding last week. The port now has to deal with a backlog of between 8,000 and 9,000 shipping containers. South Africa’s Minister of Public Enterprises, Pravin Gordhan told reporters the pileup should be cleared in five ...

DRC Military Officials Are Learning Chinese

The Congolese Military Language Institute will set up a Confucius Institute classroom to help soldiers in the Democratic Republic of Congo to learn Chinese. This follows a recent announcement that the Sudanese army is also implementing the teaching of Mandarin. This will be the second ...

Chinese Lending Cut Makes Japan Kenya’s Largest New Lender

A sharp cut in Chinese lending to Kenya means that Japan now outpaces it in new lending to the East African country, according to new numbers released by the Kenyan Treasury. Compared to a height of $1.2 billion in 2016, Chinese lending to Kenya for the current fiscal ...

Report Debunking Kenya’s Mombasa Port Panic Leads to Debt Trap Reckoning from Press

African press outlets are reacting to a new report debunking the idea that China will seize Kenya’s Mombasa port in the event of a default on its Standard Gauge Railway loan. But the diversity of the reaction shows how snarled the issue of Chinese lending ...

Analysis from Cobus van Staden

Misadventures in the Skin Trade

This week I spent a few days in Cape Town, in time for a minor, if telling, crisis in international agricultural trade. A ship crammed with 19,000 (mostly still living) cows was stuck in Cape Town harbor, en route from Brazil to the Middle East.
As South African animal welfare authorities scrambled to inspect the horrors on board, the city was enveloped in a powerful farmyard funk. The entire episode can ...

Excitement Rising in Nairobi for Expressway Launch

Excitement is mounting in Nairobi in the runup to the formal commissioning of the Kenyan capital's new Chinese-built Nairobi Expressway. The online reaction ranges from praise for the highway as an expression of democracy, to angry refusals to participate in its automatic tolling system. ...

Nairobi Expressway Causes Controversies Amid Excitement

Even as Nairobi residents are buzzing with excitement about their new expressway, which will shave hours off cross-city commutes, the Chinese-built project is also raising popular jitters. Two recent controversies have highlighted the anxieties the project is raising about Chinese influence ...

APSONIC Is Another Chinese Company That You’ve Probably Never Heard but That’s Absolutely Crushing It in Africa

A Chinese maker of motorcycles is quietly cornering the African market. While Apsonic isn’t famous, the Guangzhou company has built up an impressive presence in West Africa, after setting up shop in Togo in 2003. Now its products are buzzing through ...

Is It Time for a New Non-Aligned Movement?

This week marks the 67th anniversary of the Bandung Conference in Indonesia which brought together 29 Asian and African countries at the height of the Cold War and marked the beginning of what would later become the Non-Aligned Movement. Back then, ...