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Published 1st September 2012

Vol 5 (AAC) No 11


Careless communication costs lives

ZAMBIA: An elephant roams the dried grasslands of Bangweulu swamps. Kieran Dodds / Panos
ZAMBIA: An elephant roams the dried grasslands of Bangweulu swamps. Kieran Dodds / Panos

Image courtesy of Panos Pictures

Confusion about the new minimum wage law and tensions between workers and management lie behind the death of a Chinese mining boss in August

The killing of Wu Shenzai on 4 August and the wounding of his two compatriots by Zambian mine workers demanding the implementation of the newly revised minimum wage were widely condemned throughout Zambia. Wu, a 50-year-old manager at Collum Coal Mine, died after mine workers crushed him with a trolley as he tried to flee underground to escape a wage riot in one of the most dramatic clashes yet between Chinese managers and their local employees. Mine workers had organised a protest at what they saw as delays by Collum in adopting a new revised minimum wage. In fact, the new law, which came into force on 4 July, applies only to domestic, shop and general workers. Union members are not affected as their pay is negotiated by collective bargaining with employers.

Investment relations

Image courtesy of Panos Pictures

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Despite the travails in Zambia's relations with China and fears that changes in mining regulation and taxation would scare off Asian companies, the flow of investment continues. Of...

ADO brings back the billions

Image courtesy of Panos Pictures

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China’s interests in Côte d’Ivoire are growing and, for now, the focus is on infrastructure in a country recovering from ten years of political crisis

As soon as he touched down at Abidjan's Felix Houphouët-Boigny airport on his return from the 19-20 July fifth Forum on China-Africa Cooperation in Beijing, President Alassane Dram...

Rogue rosewood exporters

A series of scandals about illegal timber exports increases pressure on the government to seek international protection for the country’s forests

Proof continues to mount about the role of Chinese business interests in the illegal trade of rosewood from Madagascar. Rosewood is harvested from protected areas in Madagascar and...

Trader beware!

Chinese traders already feeling the heat from local competitors in Kenya, Malawi and Uganda now face new regulations and restrictions to their activities after protests by local bu...

Coal hard cash

Kenyan politicians are battling over the controversial award of a contract for a coal mine in Eastern Province by the Energy Ministry to a little-known Chinese company. Water Min...

Back on the Mainland

Mainland Mining, a subsidiary of China Geo Engineering Corporation, faces opposition as it tries to mend its ways and restart activities on its ilmenite (titanium-iron oxide) explo...

Construction fraud trio go free

A corruption trial involving managers of Chinese construction companies has fizzled out, at least for now. The three – erstwhile China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation G...

Getting the oil to flow again

Chinese oil companies have been involved in the talks between Juba and Khartoum but Beijing still prefers quiet, behind-the-scenes pressure

There is a surprising mood of optimism amongst politicians and oil company officials in Juba as South Sudan and Sudan enter the latest round of negotiations on oil and border issue...

Mixed messages

The Parti Démocratique Gabonais government is sending mixed messages to its Asian partners, to its people and to the regions hosting several major projects. Its representatives ha...


Welshman Ncube

Minister of Industry and Commerce, Zimbabwe

Industry and Commerce Minister Welshman Ncube appears to have cleared the hurdles blocking the rehabilitation of the Zimbabwe Iron and Steel Company. India's Essar Africa Holdings ...

Zanele Matlala

Chief Executive Officer, Merafe Resources Ltd.

Despite the fact that China has no chrome reserves of its own, it became the world's top producer of ferrochrome in the first half of 2012. It unseated South Africa, which has som...

Toshiyuki Kato

Parliamentary Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs, Japan

In late August, Toshiyuki Kato led a Japanese business delegation to Congo-Kinshasa and Zimbabwe to discuss an expansion of trade and investment. The group represented the autom...

Kuok Khoon Hong

Chairman and CEO, Wilmar International, Singapore

The head of Wilmar International, the world's largest palm oil producer, has pinned the future of his company on African growth. At an August results announcement, Kuok Khoon Hong,...