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China, Iran Aim to Boost Trade Through New Railway

A new railway cargo line connecting the southwestern Chinese province of Ningxia with the northern Iranian port city of Anzali is now operational.  The new 8,500-kilometer route is supposedly twice as fast as other overland transport routes and even speedier than an earlier rail link. ...

China’s Top Diplomat for Sub-Saharan Africa Visits Tanzania

Wu Peng, the Director-General for Sub-Saharan Africa in China's Foreign Ministry, continued his African tour with a visit to Tanzania. He tweeted that he met with Tanzania’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and East African Cooperation Liberata Mulamula but didn't specify what they discussed. (@WUPENG_MFA) ...

Kenyan Parliament to Investigate Debunked SGR Rumors

A Kenyan parliamentary oversight committee wants to review the controversial contract for the Chinese-built Standard Gauge Railway. But rather than addressing the contract’s opacity, it will again focus on the rumor that it puts up Mombasa port as collateral - a rumor that has been debunked ...

The Chinese-Built Standard Gauge Railway Turned Five This Week

This week marked the five-year anniversary of the Chinese-financed and built Standard Gauge Railway that officially launched on May 31, 2017. The milestone was largely ignored by the Kenyan press but was noted with some enthusiasm in the Chinese media. (AFRICA DIRECT -- Chinese) ...

Sorry South Africa, China’s Not Going to Finance a New Joburg-Durban High-Speed Railway

Chen Xiaodong, China’s ambassador to South Africa, recently caused a small flurry of press coverage by seeming to imply that China could be moving towards funding a high-speed rail link between SA’s economic heartland, Gauteng, and Durban, its most important harbor.  ...

Analysis from Cobus van Staden

The G7’s New Infrastructure Initiative Could Strengthen China’s Global South Game: Experts

The G7’s new Partnership for Global Infrastructure Investment (PGII), a $600 billion plan to build infrastructure across the Global South and counter China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), could have the effect of improving how Chinese companies do business and could end up improving the BRI itself, according to development experts. 

Some acknowledged that the BRI has been controversial for its environmental and debt impacts. But they also pointed out ...

With Access to South Africa’s Main Port Still Hampered, The Rush Is on To Build Alternate Trade Routes for DRC Resources

With road and rail access to South Africa's main port in Durban still blocked by the damage from the past week of record floods, there's a new urgency to develop alternate trade routes for the vast quantities of natural resources that flow ...

Namibia is the Latest African Country That Wants to Build a Railway to the Southern DRC’s Cobalt Mining Zone

Namibia is the latest in a growing number of African countries that wants to become the gateway for Congolese cobalt and other resources. The Namibian transport ministry just completed a feasibility study for a 770km railway that will connect the southern DRC mining hub of ...

Fears that China Will Seize Mombasa Port Unfounded: Upcoming Report

Throughout the last two years, Kenya has been rattled by reports that its debt to China for the troubled Standard Gauge Railway could lead to the seizure of the Port of Mombasa. Since then this story and the other ‘debt trap’ narratives like it have ...

China’s Minmetals Doubles Down on DRC Cobalt

The lure of greater access to the DR Congo's vast copper and cobalt reserves is drawing more Chinese mining companies to expand their investments in the country. Mining giant Minmetals Resources on Monday announced a $600 million deal to expand copper and cobalt extraction from its Kinsevere ...

Comparing Chinese Rail Projects in Kenya and Indonesia

China is building rail lines all over the Global South. But how does Africa's experience with Chinese contractors compare with that of Southeast Asian countries?  The South African Institute of International Affairs recently published a paper comparing the environmental, ...
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