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Published 1st February 2011

Vol 4 (AAC) No 4


Madagascar

Election funds? Try Hong Kong

Image courtesy of Panos Pictures
Image courtesy of Panos Pictures

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Antananarivo is looking for resource deals with Asian financiers to raise cash for an election campaign for interim leader Andry Rajoelina

The transitional regime led by Andry Rajoelina is threatening to cancel oil exploration licences held by Western investors and hand them to the Hong Kong-based China International Fund. Rajoelina, who seized power with army support in March 2009, needs money to fight presidential elections due in mid-year, which are shaping up to be a bitter confrontation with desposed President Marc Ravalomanana and several other candidates. Refusing to recognise Rajoelina’s legitimacy after the putsch that brought him to power, the Southern African Development Community, the African Union and the European Union are demanding strict conditions for a return to constitional rule in Madgascar. However, Rajoelina has been able to build up a strong local political support base and win finance on natural resource deals from Indian, Chinese and Pakistani companies (see box).The immediate targets for the Rajoelina regime are the four licences held by London-listed Madagascar Oil, whose operations at the Tsimororo oil field are now subject to a state audit. If the audits find that Madagascar Oil has breached local regulations, the state will press its claims to buy back the licences.


Minding the mines

President Condé called off mining contract reviews but will move to take a one-third share of all mining projects

Mining investors are bracing for a long battle. On 24 January, new President Alpha Condé backtracked on promises to review mining contracts, saying that the government would instea...


Can’t pay, won’t pay

Friendly rhetoric and big promises between Beijing and Abuja do not deliver as payment problems strain ties

Big deals between the Nigerian government and Chinese companies have fallen through, providing yet another chapter to the up-and-down drama between Beijing and Abuja. On 10 Februa...


The Great Dyke anomaly

Platinum output for 2011 is projected, in the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe’s recent mid-term review, to have almost doubled in volume to 12 tonnes since 2009. The RBZ says that its exp...


The island scandal calls home

Scandals continue to bring Indian investigators to Mauritius’s fine shores. After last year’s cricket financing scandal (AAC Vol 3 No 7), India’s biggest-ever corruption case – lin...


Who can you call?

Another attempt at privatising fixed-line operator Nigerian Telecommunications Ltd. (Nitel) and mobile operator Mtel has failed.


It’s mine

Asian mining companies, from India’s state-owned giants to the opaque China International Fund, are taking up their positions for Mozambique’s great mining rush. The Indian governm...


What’s mine is mine

In November 2010, India’s Essar group (through its Mauritian subsidiary) announced it would take a 54% stake from the government of Zimbabwe in its long-troubled iron and steel wor...


Platinum-bottomed deals

Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi wants strengthened relations with China’s ‘good brother’ Zimbabwe but conditions on the latest deals are tougher

Beijing is offering its biggest financial deal yet in Zimbabwe but the cash-strapped,power-sharing government may yet turn down the investment. For all President Robert Mugabe’s en...


Opening the tent

A formal study group at the Organisation of Economic Cooperation and Development is exploring ways to take lessons from China’s development path and apply them to the fight against...



Pointers

Mthuli Ncube

Chief Economist, African Development Bank

At the World Economic Forum meeting in Davos from 25-29 January, Mthuli Ncube welcomed Chinese investment but cautioned that Chinese and African governments should ensure local par...


Takeaki Matsumoto

State Secretary for Foreign Affairs

In his 27 January address at the African Union Summit in Addis Ababa, Takeaki Matsumoto outlined three pillars of Japan’s African diplomacy: peace and stability; expanding assistan...


Christina Tan

Vice-Chairperson of the Africa Business Group, Singapore Business Federation

President Paul Kagame‘s moves to turn Rwanda into ‘the Singapore of Africa’, a financial and information technology hub, have captured the city-state’s attention. Businesswoman Chr...


Chung Joon-yang

Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, POSCO

POSCO, a former parastatal that was privatised in 2000, is the world’s third-largest steelmaker and a key supplier to South Korea’s lucrative shipbuilding and automotive industrie...