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Subsidies and the False Promise of Fair Trade

Towards the end of our discussion last week with Walter Ruigu, managing director of the Beijing-based trading and logistics company CAMAL Group, on the China in Africa Podcast, he shared a fascinating insight that reveals why African commodity producers are condemned to remain at ...

The Long Journey to EurAfrica

Recently I've been trying to give my brain a break from marinading in China-Africa issues by reading the biologist Merlin Sheldrake's mind-bending new book Entangled Life: How Fungi Make Our Worlds, Change Our Minds & Shape Our Futures. He points out that scientists in ...

Developing Countries Have Had Enough of the U.S.-China Feud

The prevailing narrative among large swathes of the conservative media in the United States is that Washington and Beijing are now engaged in a new "Cold War." U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, in fact, suggests that the current confrontation with China is actually even ...

Rethinking China’s Participation in African Agricultural Development in the Post-COVID-19 Era

This article was co-authored by Duncan Chando, a Nairobi-based international development consultant Africa was already facing food insecurity and agricultural underdevelopment prior to COVID-19. In 2018 studies showed that Sub-Saharan Africa was the world’s most food-insecure region, hosting 239 million ...

China’s Surprisingly Durable Reputation in Africa

Donald Trump famously said that he could "stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody" and not "lose any voters." Despite all that's happened over the past 3.5 years of his presidency, the president's poll numbers have remained largely intact, proving that statement to be ...

Learning From South Sudan

We recently featured an article in our daily newsletter by South China Morning Post correspondent Jevans Nyabiage about the rapid decline of Africa's oil sales to China. In 2007, China bought about a third of its oil from African countries. Today, this share has shrunk to about ...

Is Debt-for-Equity Chinese for “Debt Trap?”

Tucked away in a remote corner of Southeast Asia, an important experiment is now underway that could have profound implications for how China manages its vast loan portfolio in Africa and in other developing regions. Last week, Laos's state-owned electric power ...

The Joy and Pain of Developing Kenya’s Specialty Tea Production

Tea farmers in Kenya’s central highlands say Chinese interest in their tea is improving their income, but the journey for Chinese tea enthusiast and founder of the Chinya Tea Development Company Lewis Gao has not been easy. He came to Kenya ...

Africa to G20 Members: Pay a Little Now or Pay a Lot Later

When things fall apart no one will be able to say they didn't see it coming. Last year, when we spoke with Ghananian conservationist Kofi Agbogah, executive director of the NGO Hεn Mpoano, for the ...

The New Era of High-Risk, High-Reward “Vaccine Diplomacy” is Here

Chinese President Xi Jinping reiterated his oft-stated promise that developing countries, specifically those in Africa, will receive priority access to a Chinese-produced COVID-19 vaccine when it's available for distribution. President Xi made the comments during a phone call yesterday with Morocco's ...
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