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Published 1st July 2011

Vol 4 (AAC) No 9


Libya

Castles made of sand

Image courtesy of Panos Pictures
Image courtesy of Panos Pictures

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Instability in the Middle East and North Africa has put pressure on China’s non-interference principle, pushing it into more pragmatic territory

Beijing signalled the biggest change in its Africa policy when it decided to accept the National Transitional Council as a negotiating partner in the peace talks between Colonel Moammar el Gadaffi and Libya’s rebel groups. China had been reluctant to give a new rebel group in Africa the time of day, worried that North American or European leaders would adopt a similar stance toward the Dalai Lama, Uyghur separatists in western China or a Taiwanese president – all players in disputes that China considers its internal affairs.


Progress noted

In late June, the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced its support for the constitutional changes that will allow King Mohammed VI to maintain power while giving more aut...


Polish to a shine

Beijing frets over the image of Chinese companies as the Zimbabwean opposition rails against more loans and Chinese diamond miners

Unionists and civil society members point to the close ties between the ruling parties of China and Zimbabwe to explain the lack of oversight of Chinese companies operating in the ...


Trucking trials

The trial of Jack Hsieh (Hsieh Ping-sung) and his four truckers, accused of defrauding powerful Zimbabwean interests, rumbles on. Hsieh, who is from Taiwan and has South African na...


Shifting foundation

The terms of the mines-for-infrastructure contract are flexible, which is good because they’re up for negotiation again

The Congolese authorities have signalled yet another revision to the historic US$6 billion mines-for-infrastructure deal between the government and a Chinese consortium. China Rail...


You can pick your friends

The India-Japan joint Africa summit highlights an evolving network of new partnerships seeking to strengthen development, trade and political ties with African countries. Countries...


Slow movers

The opposition and ruling parties grow anxious as the STX housing deal shows no progress on its first anniversary

A year after it was first proposed, the US$1.5 billion housing deal between a South Korean company, STX, and the Ghanaian government is no nearer completion. The contract to build ...


Squatters, pipes and rails

After only two years in office, the National Democratic Congress government has increased Ghana’s total debt from US$8.1 billion at the end of 2008 to $13.4 bn. in May 2011. That g...


Smart partnerships

Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Tun Abdul Razak inaugurated a coordinated attempt to strengthen economic ties with Africa by hosting the first Malaysia-Africa Business Forum on 18 J...



Pointers

Sellapan Ramanathan

President

Sellapan Ramanathan, more frequently known as S.R. Nathan, will step down at the end of his second six-year term on 1 September. The 87-year-old was still spry enough for a round o...


Hillary Rodham Clinton

Secretary of State

On her June trip to the United Arab Emirates, Zambia, Tanzania and Ethiopia, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton highlighted two issues: the international coalition’s inability to s...


Sumio Kusaka

Director General for African Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs

In June, Sumio Kusaka led a delegation to New Delhi for the second India-Japan Dialogue on Africa. With his counterpart Gurjit Singh, Additional Secretary at India’s Ministry of Ex...