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Published 1st April 2011

Vol 4 (AAC) No 6


Trading partners

Image courtesy of Panos Pictures
Image courtesy of Panos Pictures

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New indigenisation rules mean that European mining companies are on the way out while Asian companies are protected by their allies in Harare

Robert Mugabe’s pet policies are souring the milk of friendship he shares with China. Chinese Deputy Premier Wang Qishan visited Harare in late March with a basket of financial support. However, he also called for Chinese investment to be protected from the Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front’s indigenisation policy, a scheme the President uses to dispense political patronage. China has for some time skilfully exploited the opportunity presented by Mugabe. Chinese Ambassador Xin Shunkang is a suave operator who senses precisely how to flatter Mugabe’s ego with high level visits by Beijing officials including Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi and Deputy Premier Wang Qishan. Each visit trumpets Chinese loans and assistance, but often there is a confusing double count as the same facilities may have been announced by a previous delegation.


Image courtesy of Panos Pictures

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As the world's third-largest economy grapples with disaster, economies around the globe brace for aftershocks

A month after the 9.0 magnitude earthquake and subsequent tsunami that devastated its northeast coast, Japan faces a humanitarian tragedy, a drawn-out nuclear crisis and an exp...

Pitchers required

The World Bank’s African team dispatched a delegation to Tokyo in mid-March to boost its Japanese personnel, as part of Bank President Robert Zoellick’s ongoing reform of the i...

Building relationships

Energy is at the centre of South Korea’s strategic agenda and the Seoul government wants to improve the country’s position in the African energy market. To that end, Seoul disp...

Station to station

Asian rail builders are changing Africa's economic geography but concerns about transparency and corruption are paramount

Africa’s second railway boom is under way. The first was driven by Europe’s colonial powers, who needed to tranport ore, tea, coffee and other goods from the interior to the po...

Riding the rails

Asian-backed railway projects in Africa are linking economic zones and population centres to transform the continent's economy. Africa-Asia Confidential maps out the infrastructure boom.

Old debts and new deals

Hong Kong’s Court of Final Appeal will decide this month whether FG Hemisphere, a United States-based vulture fund, is entitled to seize US$100 million from payments due to the...


Kim Sung-hwan

Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, South Korea

Seoul’s African diplomacy continues its vigorous new pace. Foreign Minister Kim Sung-hwan completed his second trip of the year to the continent, visiting Gabon, Congo-Kinshasa...

Tarah Shaanika

Chief Executive Officer, Namibia Chamber of Commerce and Industry (NCCI)

In late March, a Metal and Allied Namibian Workers Union branch went on strike at New Era Investments, a Chinese construction company, over wages and benefits. Namibia’s high u...

Wang Tianpu

President, China Petrochemical Corporation (Sinopec)

When Sinopec Chairman Su Shulin stepped down this month, President Wang Tianpu was the favourite to take over China’s second-largest oil company, but his rise may be stymied. I...