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China’s Bumbling Debt Communications Hurts Africa

Even though China is a central actor in the burgeoning African debt crisis, it's often hard to tell. Chinese stakeholders in this unfolding drama are notoriously silent when it comes to communicating their positions and signaling to the markets and other governments as to what their intentions ...

Twenty Years of FOCAC

It was mostly overshadowed by the debt crisis in places like Zambia, but last week saw a major milestone in China-Africa relations. It was the twentieth anniversary of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC). In some ways, FOCAC kicked off a sea change in Africa’s position in ...

Q&A: Liberia’s Decision to Deny Fishing Permits to 6 Chinese Super Trawlers “Sends a Powerful Message”

After months of deliberations, Liberia's National Fisheries and Aquaculture Authority (NaFAA) announced last week that it would deny permits to six Chinese super-trawlers to fish in its territorial waters. The trawlers arrived earlier this year and immediately sparked widespread concern that their ability to catch 12,000 metric ...

The New U.S. Plan to Challenge Huawei is Dead on Arrival in Africa

The United States is stepping up its efforts to try and contain Chinese tech companies like Huawei with a new development financing program that aims to persuade countries in places like Africa to avoid using equipment made by the telecom giant. ...

Can China Help Build Africa’s Nascent Pharmaceutical Sector?

As COVID-19 continues its rampage across most of the planet, including in Africa, the vulnerabilities of Africa’s reliance on imported medical and pharmaceutical products are being exposed, and attention is increasingly focused on the need to strengthen local and regional manufacturing capabilities and supply chains.

African Women Shine in the Chinese Super League

For the second year in a row, the Women's Chinese Super League (WCSL), China's professional soccer league, awarded its top prize to an African player. 20-year old Zambian forward Barbara Banda took home the Golden Boot this week thanks to an impressive 18-goal season with ...

Zambia’s Debt Demand Shows Limits of China’s Checkbook Diplomacy

Zambia’s request for blanket debt-service suspension from creditors edges the country closer to default and highlights the limitations of China’s debt diplomacy. The government has decided to ask all external creditors to agree to debt service suspension on the same terms, ...

The Collectivity Question

Is unrelenting grimness more palatable if it is also instructive? Africa's current debt crisis will soon provide an answer. The continent's slide into debt distress due to the COVID-19 pandemic has been very revealing of Africa's position in the world. Despite ...

African Debt: At Some Point, the Hole Becomes Just Too Big to Fill

The rapidly deteriorating financial crisis in Lebanon provides a grim preview to other developing countries of what happens when the bottom falls out of an economy. After the government defaulted on its debt last spring, conditions spiraled downwards to the point where 

China, Climate Change and COVID-19 Will Force Africa to Re-Think Its Development Strategy

This week, different groups of experts weighed in on how China will handle its many distressed loans to Africa. They seem to agree that the process of renegotiating this debt will be long and messy, and that Chinese actors probably won't seize ...
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