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Published 1st April 2012

Vol 5 (AAC) No 6


Guinea

Condé wants quick results

Conakry: Child selling detergent in marketplace.
Conakry: Child selling detergent in market place. Giacomo Pirozzi/Panos

Image courtesy of Panos Pictures

Five-year plans, inspired and financed by China, are winning support in Conakry as pressure mounts on the government

Officials from the China Development Bank (CDB) are offering to finance a substantial part of the Conakry government’s US$8.6 billion overhaul of mining and industrial infratructure, according to a source close to negotiations. Chinese mining companies are looking at Guinea’s world-class reserves of iron ore and bauxite, and many of the proposed road, rail and electric power projects would be financed through countertrade for mineral exports. Since President Alpha Condé came to power in November 2010, his government has made little progress in unscrambling the many opaque mining and infrastructure contracts set up by successive military governments. There are fears that more countertrade agreements with Beijing could further complicate Conakry’s obligations.


Wary of pipeline politics

Political and technical worries are holding back progress on the ambitious plans for a national gas industry

Planning and construction work on Ghana’s US$850 million gas pipeline is slowing down because the lead contractor – China’s Sinopec – fears that national elections in December coul...


The three billion dollar question

The government’s decision to borrow US$3 billion from the China Development Bank (CDB) has become a key election issue, much to the irritation of the authorities in Beijing, who pr...


Think-tanks and policy-makers

China’s rocketing trade and political engagement with Africa are driving the growth in think-tanks and policy fora on Asia-Africa relations

A new report from the United States’ Social Sciences Research Council highlights the links between research and China-Africa trade and diplomacy. A Preliminary Mapping of China-Af...


Ma goes to Africa

On 7-18 April, President Ma Ying-jeou will make a state visit to three of Taiwan’s four African allies – Burkina Faso, Gambia and Swaziland. It will be the first visit by a Taiwane...


Air Tanzania soars no more

The former Chief Executive Officer of troubled Air Tanzania Corporation Limited, David Mattaka, and two others appeared in court on 21 March to answer charges of abuse of office an...


Africa studying China

The numbers of African institutions studying China are far fewer than those of Chinese institutions studying Africa. Regional studies programmes are often poorly financed, but join...


Competition for clusters

The African Union will determine which African countries will host India’s two new industrial clusters, which will be backed by billions of dollars in investment from the New Delhi...


China studying Africa

Public universities and government-backed think-tanks dominate Chinese research on Africa. Most ministries host official research institutions, which have limited independence.



Pointers

Saad-Eddine Al Othmani

Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, Morocco

Morocco is rolling out the welcome mat to Asian investors. Foreign Affairs Minister Saad-Eddine Al Othmani hosted its first Morocco-Asia Business Forum in Rabat on 15-16 March.


Zainul Abidin Rasheed

Deputy Chairman, OM Holdings, Singapore

The Singapore Business Federation’s African overtures continue. A delegation from SBF’s Africa Business Group was in Congo-Kinshasa and Congo-Brazzaville from 26 February to 4 Marc...


Masami Iijima

CEO and President, Mitsui & Co., Japan

Mitsui & Co., Japan’s second-largest trading company, is launching a global hunt for copper and coal assets with a war chest of US$17 billion.


Vilasrao Deshmukh

Science and Technology Minister, India

On 1-2 March, the first India-Africa Science and Technology Ministerial Conference was held in Delhi. The host was Vilasrao Deshmukh, who unveiled an array of new fellowships, exch...