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Perspectives on Emerging Powers in Africa: December 2011 newsletter

Deborah Brautigam provides an overview and description of China's development finance to Africa. "Looking at the nature of Chinese development aid - and non-aid - to Africa provides insights into China's strategic approach to outward investment and economic diplomacy, even if exact figures and strategies are not easily ascertained", she states as she describes China's provision of grants, zero-interest loans and concessional loans. Pambazuka Press recently released a publication titled India in Africa: Changing Geographies of Power, and Oliver Stuenkel provides his review of the book.
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Emerging powers news

Emerging powers news roundup

Sanusha Naidu

2010-10-14, Issue 500

http://pambazuka.org/en/category/emplayersnews/67811

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In the latest news involving Africa's engagement with China, India and other emerging powers: Asian giants extend assistance to Ghana; No prominent African politician congratulates Chinese human rights activist Liu Xiaobo; China keen on investing in Sudan; China urged to withdraw funding from Ethiopian dam; Exim Bank gets $150 mn to push India-Africa trade; Uganda seeks easier study visas, job permits in India; India’s total trade with COMESA rises more than three-fold; Russia's LUKOIL wants more oil from Ghana and Nigeria Approves $2.5 Billion Sale of Nitel to Dubai's Minerva.

Emerging Powers in Africa News Roundup: 15 October 2010

Compiled by Sanusha Naidu, Research Director, of the Emerging Powers in Africa Programme based with Fahamu, in South Africa

GENERAL
1. More bang for your buck if you invest in Africa
You are more likely to return a substantial investment if you invest in Africa. It’s a low risk, high reward place to return a good profit, especially since there isn’t a lot of competition. Africa is the place to go for the “frontier market investor” who is seeking a new investment venue with a high rate of return

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2. Africa To Review Economic Partnership With Emerging Powers

The African Union (AU) Commissioner for Trade and Industry, Mrs. Elisabeth Tankeu, on Tuesday, in Addis Ababa, said Africa was set to review its partnership with traditional partners. Tankeu, who made the assertion at the opening of the China-Africa Economic Relations (CAER) conference, said this had become imperative to enable the continent play its rightful role in the global economy.

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3. President Mills' Asian tour gives Better Ghana Agenda big boost

President John Evans Atta Mills' Better Ghana agenda received a major boost in the past few weeks when two Asian economic giants - China and Japan extended very generous assistance to Ghana. For close to two weeks, President Mills was in Asia for state visits to the two countries to conduct real business. The success of the trips would be the fruits that would inure to the benefit of Ghanaians, especially the ordinary people, for decades to come.

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4. Out of Africa, 'the land of golden opportunity'
Kelly Lai cannot help raise a wry grin when he looks at the latest gold prices, now well in excess of $1,200 an ounce compared with a little over $444 at one point in 2006. The biggest bet currently on the cards is a call option for $2,000 expiring in 2011. He also looks set to benefit from China's decision to open up its gold trade.

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5. Africa silent on Liu Xiaobo
No prominent African politician has made statements of support or congratulation to Chinese human rights activist Liu Xiaobo, who yesterday was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. Press reports are sober.

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6. Will the ANC congratulate the latest Nobel winner?
Once upon a time South Africa was the kind of country whose leaders were awarded Nobel Peace Prizes. Now we side with governments who crack down on those who get them.

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7. Consumers face tough times in the dollar¹s fall
The weakening of the US dollar against major world currencies is pointing to a looming shake-up of the pricing of imported goods and services for Kenyan consumers in the coming months, even as some market players welcome it as a positive development in the war against counterfeits. Besides, the appreciation of the Yuan is also seen to bear the risk of altering the value of trade and investment between Kenya and China. A significant rise in the cost of these products means consumers will have to dig deeper into their pockets to purchase the same amount of goods.

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CHINA IN AFRICA
1. China Keen On Investing in Southern Sudan

The Eastern Equatoria State Governor Brigadier General Louis Lobong Lojore returned home yesterday from a tour of China.Governor Lojore was part of a GoSS delegation that visited China for what was termed as ‘post-referendum development preparation’ visit. Also on the trip that was led by the GoSS Minister of Labour and Public Service Awut Deng were the State Governors of Warrap, Unity and Jonglei. The Governor told Gurtong that the visit was a study tour especially in the field of agriculture where Chinese authorities and investors shared with the team and expressed readiness to support South Sudan.

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2. FG shuts firm over poor workers’ welfare

ABUJA—The Federal Government has ordered the closure of sections of the Chinese construction giant, Chinese Civil Engineering and Construction Company (CCECC) in Abuja over poor health safety regulations.

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3. China to encourage private investment in Africa

Zhong Manying, director of west Asian and Africa division under the Ministry of Commerce, said on Friday that China will continue to expand and deepen economic and trade cooperation with African countries based mutual respect, mutual benefit and win-win principles. Zhong said this during a special conference on the 10th anniversary of China-Africa Cooperation Forum held on Oct. 9. Oct. 10 marks the 10th anniversary of the forum.

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4. US$5m China loan to overhaul Tazara operations

The Tanzania Zambia Railway Authority has signed a contract with a Chinese company to manufacture and supply 90 container wagons worth 36 million Chinese Yuan (approximately US$5 million) to accelerate transportation of cargo including copper and other minerals. With the signing of the contract, the manufacturing of the wagons by CSR Meishan Company Limited of China for China Civil Engineering and Construction Company (CCECC) will commence immediately.

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5. Group says power project will increase poverty

China has been urged to withdraw the funding of the now controversial construction of Gibe III hydropower dam in Ethiopia. Through a petition by a group calling itself the Friends of Lake Turkana (FoLT) to the Chinese ambassador to Kenya, it is argued that once the project is implemented, the 240-metre high dam will compromise "a very fragile and unique ecosystem" which is identified as a protected area.

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6. UK seeks China aid partnership in Africa

BRITAIN is seeking a new partnership with China as a key to speeding up development and ending poverty in Africa. In recent years, China has become a formidable force in Africa, investing billions of dollars in exchange for trade and raw materials that China needs to fuel its own booming economy.

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7. China donates sh1b malaria drugs to Uganda

The Chinese government has donated anti-malaria drugs worth sh1.25b to Uganda. The drugs were officially handed over to health state minister Dr. Richard Nduhura. This is the fourth donation of anti-malarial drugs from the Chinese government at the request of Uganda in an attempt to cut down on the estimated 320 daily deaths caused by malaria.

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8. China pours more cash into Africa

China would encourage commercial banks to lend more to Africa, a trade official said on Saturday. Beijing pledged $10 billion (R69bn) in "preferential" loans to Africa last year, but Ministry of Commerce official Zhong Manying said that was not enough. "In view of Africa's demand for funds, the $10bn is too limited," Zhong told a news briefing.

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9. China Keen On Investing in Southern Sudan

The Eastern Equatoria State Governor Brigadier General Louis Lobong Lojore returned home from a tour of China. Governor Lojore was part of a GoSS delegation that visited China for what was termed as ‘post-referendum development preparation’ visit. Also on the trip that was led by the GoSS Minister of Labour and Public Service Awut Deng were the State Governors of Warrap, Unity and Jonglei. The Governor told Gurtong that the visit was a study tour especially in the field of agriculture where Chinese authorities and investors shared with the team and expressed readiness to support South Sudan.

Read More

10. FG shuts firm over poor workers’ welfare

The Federal Government has ordered the closure of sections of the Chinese construction giant, Chinese Civil Engineering and Construction Company (CCECC) in Abuja over poor health safety regulations. A statement by the Assistant Director of Press, Ministry of Labour and Productivity, Mr. Samuel Olowookere, said the closure was as a result of the Federal Government’s effort to ensure the safety and health protection of workers in the country.

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INDIA IN AFRICA

1. For-Profit Microfinance Matures, India and Africa Lead the Way

Microfinance is growing rapidly. We've recently reported on Habitat for Humanity's MicroBuild and Kiva's higher education loans. But the biggest growth is occurring in India and Africa among microfinance institutions (MFIs) that you've probably never heard of before. And a new report indicates that for-profit MFIs in India are performing exceptionally well.

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2. Exim Bank gets $150 mn to push India-Africa trade

India's Export-Import Bank has secured a $150 million international loan to help expand Indian exporters' access to finance, including for small and medium enterprises, and support their exports to Africa. IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, and the Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, Ltd have each provided a medium-term trade-finance loan of up to $75 million to Exim bank. The IFC announced the transaction as part of its strategy of promoting trade and investment among countries in emerging markets.

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3. Uganda seeks easier study visas, job permits in India
With over 800 Ugandan students in India, which has emerged as a preferred destination for higher studies among African nations, Kampala is keen to sign a pact with New Delhi to make it easier for study visas and short-term job permits.

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4. Apollo's Reddy bets big on Africa, health tourism
Asia's largest healthcare chain, is betting big on Africa, not just to expand operations there but to also attract what is called health tourism from the vast continent. Apollo Group chairman Prathap C. Reddy, who pioneered corporate healthcare in India, is particularly upbeat on Mauritius, where the hospital chain already has a presence for the past four years, as well as Nigeria and Uganda.

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5. India-EU dispute on drug seizure resolved
India on Thursday said it has resolved a dispute with the European Union over seizure of Indian generic drugs by some European countries. It will soon withdraw a complaint filed before the WTO on the matter. India insisted that the drugs, which were being shipped to Latin American and African countries, were off- patent and there was no violation of any international law.

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6. India’s total trade with COMESA rises more than three-fold
India’s total trade with the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) region rose more than three fold and presents opportunities to enhance the bilateral commercial relations, a study conducted by Export and Import Bank of India (EXIM) has said. During 2009-10, the COMESA which comprises 19 countries in Eastern and Southern Africa, accounted for 38.2 per cent of India’s total exports to Africa, while the region’s share in the country’s total imports from Africa stood at 13.1 per cent.
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7. India competes with China, Europe for growing African market
With the help of the government, Indian industry is implementing a strategy to compete with China and European countries for capturing markets in growing African economies, particularly in East Africa. As part of the game plan, Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma will be leaving for Nairobi tonight, leading a business delegation of the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry. Senior officials from 187 Indian companies would be participating in the 'Namaskar Africa' and 'India-East Africa Business Forum' events at Nairobi, opening on October 14.

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8. India to share poverty reduction strategies with Africa
Setting the tone for the second summit with African countries next year, India on Tuesday offered to share developmental experiences and poverty reduction strategies with the African continent. "Our relationship has transformed in recent decades and years. We have now become developmental partners, looking out for each other's interests and well being," External Affairs Minister SM Krishna said in an interaction with visiting African journalists.

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9. India, Kenya to discuss bilateral trade and investment
India and Kenya would evolve new ways and means of strengthening bilateral trade, investment and economic cooperation this week. The sixth India-Kenya Joint Trade Committee (JTC) will meet in the Kenyan capital Nairobi. Commerce Minister Anand Sharma would address the meeting. The two countries are expected to sign the Agreed Minutes after the deliberations. The JTC was set up at ministerial level in 1983 as a follow-up to the India-Kenya Trade Agreement signed in 1981, under which both countries accorded the most favoured nation (MFN) status to each other.

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10. India reach out to Africa, says it is ready to share developmental experiences

External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna has expressed India's readiness to share expertise and resources with Africa. During his interaction with a group of eminent African Journalists here today, Krishna said: "We have accumulated a host of developmental experiences, which are perhaps more relevant to fellow developing countries. We are privileged not only to share them, but also to share our limited resources with friends in Africa." A group of over 19 African Journalists from resource rich South Africa, Nigeria, Egypt, Mozambique, Sudan, Botswana, Namibia, Ethiopia Tanzania, and Ghana are presently touring India and being hosted by Ministry of External Affairs.

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IN OTHER EMERGING NEWS

1. Nigeria Approves $2.5 Billion Sale of Nitel to Dubai's Minerva After Delay
Nigeria’s government approved the sale of the state telecommunications company to Dubai’s Minerva Group and its partners, eight months after they bid $2.5 billion for the company at an auction.The group will pay an initial $750 million, followed by the remaining $1.75 billion within 60 days, the Abuja-based Bureau of Public Enterprises said in an e-mailed statement today. The government will sell a bond to pay outstanding wages owed to Nitel’s workers, the bureau said.

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2. Russia's LUKOIL wants more oil from Ghana
Russia's No. 2 oil producer, LUKOIL said its offshore oil exploration project in Ghana will almost certainly lead to commercial exploitation, the vice president of LUKOIL Overseas. LUKOIL leads an oil joint-venture with Vanco and Ghana's National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) for exploration and production at the West African country's offshore Cape Three Points Deep Water.

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3. Russia, Egypt In $6.6 Billion Telecom Deal
In what could become the world’s fifth-largest telecommunications carrier, Russian and Egyptian telecom giants have agreed to a $6.6 billion deal to merge their assets. The agreement, which will see 174 million customers worldwide, has been signed between Russian telecom giant Vimpelcom and Weather Investments, and Egyptian telecom tycoon Naguib Sawiris’ Orascom Telecom.

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4. Wal-Mart bid brings African allure

US retail giant Wal-Mart's R32 billion bid for Massmart could make South Africa the gateway to Africa for foreign investors seeking growth opportunity outside of developed countries. The tide has gradually turned for Africa a continent long shrouded in scepticism and tension by international bidders.

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5. SA banks capture African market
Africa’s reputation as a viable and profitable investment destination has grown in leaps and bounds and, importantly, its population presents a new market for many products and services. Although it is sometimes narrow minded and naïve to consider the African economy as one entity or one whole, it can also be useful to consider the continent as an evolving organism, with many lessons learnt in one country, providing useful information for evaluating and doing business in another country. The ability to learn these lessons and adapt new strategies to new markets has been one of the greatest strengths of the major South African banks in expanding their operations into other African countries.

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6. India is tipped to emerge from China's shadow
If there were a popularity contest for emerging markets, India would struggle to win a medal. As the Commonwealth Games host has had difficulty enticing crowds to the sporting event, so too have investors shunned its economy in favour of India's bigger neighbour, China. British fund investors have put £4bn more into China than into India, according to Morningstar, the analyst – China has attracted £15bn from UK-registered unit trusts, compared with £11bn for India.

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7. Much of Asia Silent on Nobel Peace Prize Winner
In the wake of Chinese pro-democracy activist Liu Xiaobo's Nobel Peace Prize win, congratulations -- and some criticisms -- have poured in from governments the world over. But in Asia, the silence has been deafening. The muted response reflects China's growing regional influence, Asia's authoritarian tendencies and a lack of regional leadership on human rights, says one activist.

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8. Nigeria Approves $2.5 Billion Sale of Nitel to Dubai's Minerva After Delay
Nigeria’s government approved the sale of the state telecommunications company to Dubai’s Minerva Group and its partners, eight months after they bid $2.5 billion for the company at an auction.The group will pay an initial $750 million, followed by the remaining $1.75 billion within 60 days, the Abuja-based Bureau of Public Enterprises said in an e-mailed statement today. The government will sell a bond to pay outstanding wages owed to Nitel’s workers, the bureau said.

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9. BASIC members urge developed countries to meet obligations
The BASIC countries - China, India, Brazil and South Africa - a block of four large developing countries, urged developed nations Monday to fulfill their obligations to help developing countries combat global warming. In a joint statement, the four countries called on developed nations to commit to more ambitious emission reduction targets for the second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol, after the 5th BASIC Ministerial Meeting on Climate Change ended here Monday.

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OPINIONS AND VIEWPOINTS

1. Brazil’s radical policy shift embraces Africa
Brazil, a Latin American country, is vigorously establishing trading partners, viable sources of investment and a route to strengthen its policy options in Africa. It has so far engaged 25 African countries and is geared towards strengthening diplomatic relations in those countries. Brazil in the last ten years has made diplomatic inroads in the 15-nation Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), laying emphasis on South-South relations.

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2. Mutual benefits advance China-Africa bond
Sunday marks the 10th anniversary of the establishment of the Forum on China-African Cooperation, the regular political dialogue mechanism between China and Africa. According to the statistics revealed by the Ministry of Commerce, China, with $ 91 billion in trade, surpassed the US in 2009 to become Africa's biggest trade partner in terms of volume. The intensified trade relations allow both sides to better understand each other and share their achievements in economic development.

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3. ANC's 'Made in China' future, coming soon to your neighbourhood

It’s now pretty obvious China is on its way to global supremacy in the not so distant future. So as the news of tighter, deeper collaboration between Chinese communists and SA’s rulers seeps into the open, it is easy to be worried, but difficult to be surprised. China is also playing a crucial role in the political formation of ANC members. The ANC’s secretary general told the party’s national general council in August they planned to send the entire ANC national executive committee to China for political schooling.

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