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Published 1st March 2013

Vol 6 (AAC) No 5

Negotiating African risk

Image courtesy of Panos Pictures
Image courtesy of Panos Pictures

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After underestimating the challenges facing their African investments, Chinese companies are looking for new ways to protect their projects and personnel

'China wholeheartedly welcomed by Africa,’ crowed the state-owned China Daily on 5 March. Yet China’s ever-growing relations with the continent face a complex environment of political and economic risk. The latest example was Zambia’s cancellation in February of the licences awarded to a private Chinese company for the controversial Collum Coal Mine (see Zambia Feature, Collum Coal Mine takeover). Competitors complain that Chinese enterprises do not operate within the same frameworks of profitability and risk management as other companies. However, the upheaval in North Africa in 2011, persistently high levels of kidnapping in the Niger Delta and attacks on Chinese infrastructure works in Sudan have all left their mark.

Collum Coal Mine takeover

Image courtesy of Panos Pictures

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The government finally takes action on the problems besetting the Chinese-owned mine – just after announcing Sata’s first official visit to Beijing

After declining previous invitations, on 15 February President Michael Chilufya Sata announced his maiden trip to China would finally take place in April. China has invited the Pre...

Red carpets and yellow cake

Uranium-rich Namibia is still rolling out the red carpet for Chinese mining and exploration firms. Back in January, it was announced that Zhonghe Resources (Namibia) Development ha...

Khama talks tough

Chinese construction companies may lose out on future government contracts after problems at the Morupule B power plant

In the last few years, Chinese builders have won contracts for more than 18 government-funded infrastructure projects for roads, stadiums‚ schools‚ hospitals‚ airports and public b...

Private companies under the radar

Official Chinese statistics vastly underestimate the number and value of private Chinese investments in Africa, according to a recent World Bank report. Private Chinese Investment ...

Murky glass houses

President Ian Khama has been slow to stamp out shadowy deals between Chinese investors and government institutions, in particular the murky business of the 500 million pula (US$62 ...


Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono

President of Indonesia

President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono (SBY) was on a mission to strengthen trade and diplomatic ties in late January and early February. His eight-day tour took in Liberia, Nigeria an...

Lee Suk-chae

CEO, KT Corp, South Korea

In early February, Lee Suk-chae, Chief Executive of South Korean telecommunications firm KT (formerly Korea Telecom), indicated that he would be bidding for the 53% stake in Maroc ...

Prasun Kumar Mukherjee

Managing Director, Sesa Goa, India

Prasun Kumar Mukherjee, Managing Director of Sesa Goa, India’s largest private iron-ore exporter, has announced that his firm will invest US$2.6 billion in the development of three...

Gao Jianke

CEO, Wesizwe Platinum, South Africa

Gao Jianke revealed in late January that Wesizwe Platinum had received a US$650 million loan from the China Development Bank for the expansion of the Bakubung mining project, near ...