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Published 1st October 2008

Vol 1 (AAC) No 12

Champions of commerce

Image courtesy of Panos Pictures
Image courtesy of Panos Pictures

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The latest figures rank China as the biggest lender and investor in African infrastructure – and the continent's second biggest trading partner

China’s trade with Africa is to reach US$117 billion this year, according to an internal report by Britain’s Department for International Development (DfID). China will also be the biggest lender to Africa and the biggest investor in Africa’s infrastructure this year, easily eclipsing the efforts of multilateral agencies such as the World Bank and the African Development Bank. The report says that China is also one of the largest sources of foreign direct investment in Africa and the continent’s second biggest trading partner after the oil-hungry United States.

Trade: Choosing China

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East African countries have voted to abandon the EU's latest trade deals

The European Union’s Africa policy is in a shambles after the diplomatic disaster of the Economic Partnership Agreements, the multilateral trade accords which so many African state...

Dam payment

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President Conté's ministers are the latest African team to negotiate a massive minerals-for-infrastructure countertrade deal

Officials from Guinea’s Ministry of Mines are due in Beijing to negotiate a US$21 billion countertrade deal to swap bauxite and iron ore concessions for investments in dams, roads,...

Smaller is beautiful

Faced with its own economic crisis, Seoul remains determined to expand its economic and political ties with Africa

Seoul’s Africa summit on 27-30 October is smaller than the grand Japan-Africa, China-Africa or India-Africa events of the last five years, but it demonstrates the importance of Afr...

Pirates of the Red Sea

India has ambitious plans to coordinate maritime security across the Indian Ocean

Asia’s navies are planning tougher action to combat the menace of piracy along Somalia’s coastline and in the Red Sea region. The well-organised pirates have targeted Asian ships b...

Contractor controversy

Local contractors' frustration with the Chinese success story is growing

After a spate of high-profile contract awards, local contractors are accusing their Chinese competitors of using political influence and state subsidies from Beijing to dominate Za...

Seoul's high-tech axis

IT cooperation centres for Cameroon and an internet backbone for Rwanda

Seoul is using its expertise in information and communications technologies (ICT) to break into Africa’s growing high-tech market. Korea Telecom has a US$38 million contract with t...

Permission to come on board?

The deployment against the pirates will entail an upgrade of India's fleet and the overcoming of legal obstacles

India’s navy hosted its first Indian Ocean Naval Symposium (IONS) in Delhi in February to promote cooperation amongst 26 states in the region. Its aim was to foster cooperation, es...

China returns to Africa

By Dan Large, Research Director, Africa-Asia Institute, School of Oriental and Africa Studies; Professor Chris Alden, London School of Economics; and Dr Ricardo Soares de Oliveira, St Peter’s College, Oxford. The three have jointly edited a volume of essays entitled ‘China Returns to Africa’ (Christopher Hurst & Co, London, August 2008).

Accelerating China-Africa trade and diplomatic relations are the dominant topic in the Africa-Asia nexus – even if India and Japan have taken the spotlight with grand African summi...

Reverse thrust

South Africa's MTN is eyeing India's Aircel with its 13 million subscribers in 10 of India's 12 telecom circles

South African companies are pushing into India’s markets. So far, the traffic has been one-way with Indian manufacturing companies such as Tata, Mahindra and Mahindra, and pharmac...


Xu Jianguo

China's Ambassador to Nigeria

Ambassador to Africa’s biggest oil producer, Xu Jianguo has presided over a rapid expansion of commercial and diplomatic ties since his posting to Abuja in September 2006. Chinese ...

Chin Dong-soo

President, Korea Eximbank (Kexim)

In Asia’s rush to develop relations with Africa, South Korea is trying to catch up with its East Asian rivals, Japan and China. Dignitaries attending the Korea-Africa Economic Coop...

Motoyoshi Noro

Japan's Ambassador to Malawi

Japan is increasing its diplomatic presence in southern Africa following the successful Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD) IV in May. Until this year, Ja...

Jairam Ramesh

Minister for Commerce and Power, India

Jairam Ramesh’s career has taken him to the top of government and politics in India. Now he has expanded his remit to economic relations with Africa. On 6-7 October, he led a busin...