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WEEK IN REVIEW: Iran Is the Second Country This Week, After Argentina, to Submit an Application to Join the BRICS Club

Iran is the second country this week, after Argentina, to submit an application to join the BRICS club. The BRICS group is increasingly seen by both Beijing and Moscow as a potential alternative to the Western-led international economic order. Although the BRICS states have agreed to expand their ...

China Kicks Off HoA Conference With Offer to Mediate Regional Conflicts

China's Special Envoy to the Horn of Africa (HoA), Xue Bing, opened a two-day peace conference in Addis Ababa on Monday with an unexpected offer that he would personally make himself available to mediate some of the conflicts currently roiling the region. ...

Transsion’s Nearly Two-Year Run of Uninterrupted Growth in Africa Comes to an End

Two years of the pandemic, supply chain disruptions and slowing economies in Africa finally caught up with Shenzhen-based African mobile phone giant Transsion. The company released its first-quarter results earlier this month that revealed drops in revenues (1.8%), profits (7.6%), and smartphone sales (7%) compared to the ...

Mobile Phone Giant Tecno Wants a Piece of Kenya’s Booming Mobile Money Market

Transsion's Tecno brand is expanding its new mobile money service to Kenya this week. “The wallet has pilot launched in Nigeria in May, and roll-out to Kenya in middle of June," the company said in a statement. A mobile payment option from ...

Africa’s Position Amidst China’s Dominance of the Continent’s Mobile Phone Sector

By Pamela Adwoa Carslake The mobile handset industry is said to be a top 5 industry in the world, accruing US$522 billion in sales revenue and annual sales of over 6 billion mobile devices according to a document by the Pakistan ...

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 ...

Kenyan Election Campaign Targets Chinese Loans

Chinese loans are looming large as Kenya gears up for its presidential election. Aden Duale, an MP for the opposition leader William Ruto’s Kwanza Coalition, singled out loans as a cause of corruption at an election rally during the weekend. 

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 Politics of Chinese-financed Infrastructure Development in East Africa

How African governments negotiate infrastructure deals with Chinese lenders and construction companies is far more complex than many assume. While most focus on the role of the head of state, the reality is that the leader is just one of many ...

China’s Tecno Brand Dominates Kenyan Mobile Phone Market

Kenya's mobile phone market shrank by 9% in the first quarter of the year, according to new data from technology consultancy IDC, but even a drop that large didn't budge Transsion's Tecno brand from the top spot in the market.

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) ...
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