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Published 1st November 2010

Vol 4 (AAC) No 1

Stalemate in Seoul

Image courtesy of Panos Pictures
Image courtesy of Panos Pictures

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The economic and currency quarrels of the big powers overshadowed President Lee’s efforts to commit the G-20 to stronger development policies

African countries, like most states at the Group of 20 summit in Seoul on 12-13 November, saw their core concerns about growing protectionism and investment flows overshadowed by the stand-off between China and the United States on trade imbalances and relative valuations of the US dollar and China’s renminbi. Given the growing economic ties with South Korea, African leaders had high hopes that President Lee Myung-bak’s pledge to make development issues the centre of G-20 concerns would mark a shift in international policy. The President has argued for a reorientation of aid and strategy. South African President Jacob Zuma, Malawi’s President Bingu wa Mutharika (Chairman of the African Union) and Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Meles Zenawi (New Programme for African Development Chairman) led Africa’s delegation to the summit.

Diplomatic wins and aid wobbles

Image courtesy of Panos Pictures

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The 12-13 November Group of 20 Summit in Seoul afforded a great opportunity for South Korea to boost its Africa diplomacy. This is based on a modest aid budget, multibillion doll...

The price of debt forgiveness

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Kinshasa may have to rethink its deals with China if it wants debt write-offs from Western creditors

European powers are blocking billions of dollars of debt relief to President Joseph Kabila’s government until it agrees to revise some of its trade and financing deals with China. ...

Bullets over Darfur

China has breached the United Nations arms embargo on Darfur by failing to ‘take the necessary measures to prevent the supply of arms and related materiel of all types’ from reachi...

Chinese trains for TGV

The latest deals mark the government’s biggest turn towards the East since the political crisis and subsequent reduction in international support

President Andry Rajoelina – nicknamed ‘TGV’ after France’s high-speed train – wants to leave a train service as his legacy when he steps down from power in 2011. On 6 November, he ...

TAZARA troubles

China’s flagship African railroad project continues to lose money, and Chinese management may be brought in to avoid throwing more good money after bad. Built in the 1970s, the Tan...

Doing the Charamba

One consortium gains, another loses: ministers will decide which lucky locals can partner with international investors in the indigenisation scheme

George Charamba is President Robert Mugabe’s official spokesman and information supremo. The job description is not well defined and Charamba feels free to ennunciate what he think...

Best laid plans

Critics of President John Atta Mills’s trade deals with China are claiming that two of the biggest financing arrangements are unlikely to go ahead as planned. These are a US$5 bill...


Wang Min

Deputy Permanent Representative to the United Nations

China’s Deputy Permanent Representative, Wang Min, puts South-South diplomacy into action at the United Nations. Even after surpassing Japan as the world’s second-largest economy, ...

Vital Kamerhe

Former Speaker, National Assembly

As first-round elections approach on 27 November 2011, Joseph Kabila’s former ally is emerging as a challenger to the President. Taking his cue from other parties in the region, Vi...

Andrew Mitchell

Secretary of State for International Development

Since May, Andrew Mitchell has been head of the Department for International Development in Britain’s new Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition government. Along with aid, DFID p...

Ravi Ruia

Co-founder and Vice-Chairman, Essar Group

The Essar Group’s overseas expansion is accelerating into Africa. In April, Ravi Ruia announced that his sojourn in London would become permanent. The city became his capital-raisi...