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Vol 6 (AAC) No 5

Published 1st March 2013

Negotiating African risk

After underestimating the challenges facing their African investments, Chinese companies are looking for new ways to protect their projects and personnel

'China wholeheartedly welcomed by Africa,’ crowed the state-owned China Daily on 5 March. Yet China’s ever-growing relations with the continent face a complex environment of political and economic risk. The latest example was Zambia’s cancellation in February of the licences awarded to a private Chinese company for the controversial Collum Coal Mine (see Zambia Feature, Collum Coal Mine takeover). Competitors complain that Chinese enterprises do not operate within the same frameworks of profitability and risk management as other companies. However, the upheaval in North Africa in 2011, persistently high levels of kidnapping in the Niger Delta and attacks on Chinese infrastructure works in Sudan have all left their mark.

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