China-Africa in the news: Zimbabwe-China trade, railways in Tanzania, Transnet trains, South Africa’s clothes manufacturers

The relationship between Zimbabwe and China is often held up as a model of the wider China-Africa relations, according to a paper written by Zhang Chun and published by the South African Institute for International Affairs. This is because of… Continue Reading


China-Africa in the news: Risky loans, Queensway, Zimbabwe’s tobacco, Djibouti, Mswati’s Taiwan trip, Tiens Group

China is “growing less tolerant” of its “cheque book” diplomacy strategy. The strategy has seen China become the biggest lender to developing nations, a good number of them unstable or poorly governed (like Equatorial Guinea and Zimbabwe). China has lent billions of dollars to the developing world so it can “win friends and commercial advantage,” and also, ultimately, burnish its credentials as leader of the developing world. But the risks of the strategy might come to outweigh the benefits. Continue Reading


China-Africa in the news: Billion-dollar deals, Chinese football, Kenyan ivory, cheap cement exports

It was a week of billion-dollar deals. China Railway Construction Corp Ltd signed two deals in Nigeria and Zimbabwe worth a combined $5.5 billion. In Nigeria the Chinese-state owned corporation signed a $3.5 billion contract with the Ogun State government to… Continue Reading


On the trail of China’s dragon head companies in East Africa

At the outset, it is worth pointing out that the presence of Chinese companies in East Africa is too extensive, multi-layered and intricate to be covered comprehensively in one fell swoop. With over 1000 companies engaged in fields as diverse as mining, infrastructure, telecommunication, hospitality and manufacturing, any attempt at providing a holistic picture is over-ambitious and the best attempts can only offer snippets of understanding. Continue Reading


New Bagamoyo port benefits Tanzania and region

While in Tanzania Xi Jinping signed 16 agreements, one of which is an undertaking to develop a massive port at Bagamoyo, about 60 kilometres north of Dar es Salaam city. It is billed as the biggest port in Africa once complete, and will handle 20 times more cargo than Dar es Salaam port, which is currently Tanzania’s largest port. The port is expected to facilitate trade in the region by acting as a hub for raw materials coming in and out neighbouring landlocked countries, as well as bringing Chinese manufactured goods into the region. Continue Reading