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Cobalt: Why This Chart Can Spark Both Fear and Happiness

If you're the Chief Financial Officer of an automaker like the Ford Motor Company that loses money on every single electric vehicle it sells, the fact that this chart lists the price of cobalt at around $17 will make you smile. ...

Graph of the Day: Where Does China’s Coal Come From?

Finland's Center for Research on Energy and Clean Air recently published a fascinating report on recent fluctuations in China's coal imports.  Imports have spiked due to politics-inflected resumptions of imports from Indonesia and Australia, as well as because of moves to ...

More Evidence of China’s Diminishing Appetite for African Oil

It wasn't that long ago when China sourced a third of its imported oil from three African suppliers that included Angola. Today that figure is down to just 10% and appears to be steadily declining as Chinese buyers shift to sourcing crude from Russia, Persian Gulf countries ...

Poll: African Publics Rate U.S. Leadership Higher Than China’s But Not By Much

For the most part, African publics in 27 countries across the continent have similar views of U.S. and Chinese global leadership, according to data from the international polling agency Gallup. U.S. favorability is ahead of China's by just ...

Why the Persian Gulf is China’s “New Africa”

Fifteen years ago, Africa supplied a third of China's imported oil and was a key recipient of foreign investment beyond its near abroad in east Asia. Today, a large portion of that energy procurement has shifted to countries in the Persian ...

Analysis from Cobus van Staden

Zimbabwe Agreement Could Signal China’s Return to African Rail

TransTech, a subsidiary of China Railway Group, reportedly signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the state-owned National Railways of Zimbabwe (NRZ) that could lead to a recapitalization of the country’s railway network.
Bloomberg reports that the agreement is currently limited to studying the project and producing a feasibility report by the end of June. Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube said: “It is our expectation that in the upcoming Forum for China and Africa taking place ...

The China-Shaped Hole in Natural Gas Financing

The role of natural gas in African green transitions has become a flashpoint as Europe tries to maximize its own access to African natural gas while also discouraging African countries from factoring it into their own development plans. New research from Boston University’s Global ...

Chinese State Media Tries to Put a Positive Spin on Trade Ties With Tanzania

The Communist Party-run tabloid Global Times is trying its very best to send a positive message about the state of China's trade with Tanzania. On Tuesday, the newspaper featured an interview with Chinese ambassador Chen Mingjian who touted the recent announcement to remove tariffs on ...

These Charts Explain Why China is Cutting Back on Spending For BRI Projects

There's been a lot of discussion in recent months about the sharp curtailment of Chinese spending for Belt and Road projects. New data released on Tuesday by the Ministry of Finance might provide some insight as to why. ...

Contrary to Public Perception, China is Actually Just a Bit Player in the African Mining Sector

While China is a major player in the DR Congo's mining sector, that is not the case elsewhere on the continent, according to a new report by the African Climate Foundation. In fact, China's share of the continent's ...

Infographic: Africa’s Shifting Trade Ties From France to China

The German consumer data service Statista published an interesting map on Tuesday that visualizes Africa's two-decade-long transition from relying on imports from France and other European countries (possibly even the U.S.) to China. While the visualization is intriguing, the use of ...