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Published 1st November 2008

Vol 2 (AAC) No 1


Nigeria

The honeymoon is over

Image courtesy of Panos Pictures
Image courtesy of Panos Pictures

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The once thriving Abuja-Beijing relationship has hit problems

The catastrophic failure in November of Nigeria’s US$340 million, Chinese-built satellite NIGCOMSAT-1, launched only a year ago, is the latest, most visible indication of increasing difficulties between Beijing and its most sought-after and elusive partner in sub-Saharan Africa. The communications satellite project had symbolised China’s success in doing business with the region’s largest oil producer, offering technology and capital either unforthcoming from established partners or with fewer political strings. But the failure of the satellite’s power unit after a short time – and criticism of the project’s cost and implementation – suggests serious problems. The satellite fiasco came amid growing tensions over private and state contracts. On 20 November, Tanimu Yakubu, Chief Economic Advisor to Nigeria’s President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua, announced the government may cancel an $8.3 billion railway modernisation contract agreed in 2006 with China Civil Engineering and Construction Company.


Seoul search in Africa

Despite the global slowdown, South Korea used its Africa summit to strike more deals and expand its diplomatic reach

International financial realities did not deter the 21 African delegations to the second Korea-Africa Economic Cooperation Conference (KOAFEC), held in Seoul on 27-30 October. At...


New forces in the arms bazaar

Fast-growing economies in Asia are challenging Western dominance of the war business in Africa

Asian states buy, sell and invest in Africa and their military dealings are growing too. The global arms trade is dominated by the United States, Western Europe and Russia, but s...


Diplomacy still has dollars for some

Taiwanese President Ma Ying-jeou’s desire to put an end to ‘dollar diplomacy’ has been put to the test by his counterparts in Burkina Faso and Gambia.

Taiwanese President Ma Ying-jeou’s desire to put an end to ‘dollar diplomacy’ (AAC Vol 1 No 11) has been put to the test by his counterparts in Burkina Faso and Gambia. On a diplom...


Washington wants the details

The International Monetary Fund has given Kinshasa a stark choice: the Bretton Woods financial institutions or the Chinese.

The International Monetary Fund has given Kinshasa a stark choice: the Bretton Woods financial institutions or the Chinese. On a visit in September, an IMF delegation led by Africa...



Pointers

Wu Bangguo

Chairman, National People’s Congress of China

Second in command of China’s Communist Party Wu Bangguo has just completed a tour of Algeria, Gabon, Ethiopia, Madagascar and Seychelles from 3-14 November. He visited the ...


Kang Man-soo

Strategy and Finance Minister, South Korea

South Korea has been hit hard by the financial crisis and Finance Minister Kang Man-soo has organised a US$11 billion stimulus package. He is maintaining the commitments he made ...


Kamal Nath

Commerce and Industry Minister, India

Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak wants more trade with India. During his 16-19 November trip to New Delhi, he marketed Egypt as a gateway to Africa and an attractive investment i...


Uwe Wissenbach

Coordinator for Africa-China Relations, European Commission

Many European Union diplomats believe their continent’s influence is being sidelined as China boosts its investments and profile in Africa. One man in the European Commiss...