Friday, 31 May 2013

30 May: China and Brazil in African Agriculture - news roundup

By Henry Tugendhat

This news roundup has been collected on behalf of the China and Brazil in African Agriculture (CBAA) project. For regular updates from the project, sign up to the CBAA newsletter.

New Chinese loans and grants for Zimbabwe
Chinese Vice Premier Wang Yang concluded his trip to Zimbabwe last Friday where he met Robert Mugabe and signed an interest free-loan agreement of $16million USD, payable over 5 years. A $16million grant was also signed off on by Deputy Commerce Minister Li Jinzao with Zimbabwe’s finance ministry for developmental projects. Lastly another $18million grant was said to be signed off for geological explorations related to mining interests. Other sources appear to contradict these reports: other articles (including from the same newspaper cited here) reported that China extended $36million in loans during this visit. No Chinese media sources that discussed the loans or grants could be found.
New Chinese Ginnery in Mozambique
China-Africa Cotton Mozambique Ltd. (CACM) has begun construction of a ginnery in Sofala Province, Mozambique. It is said to cost USD $6 million and will have an initial capacity to process 30,000 tonnes of raw cotton. CACM is one of the three largest planting and processing enterprises in Mozambique.

Brazil signs four cooperation agreements with Ethiopia
Four co-operation agreements have been signed by Brazil and Ethiopian counterparts (including the Minister of Agriculture), covering the areas of Agriculture, Education, Science & Technology, and Aviation. Copies of the memorandums from Brazil’s foreign ministry are below in Portuguese and English.
WFP signs $1.6m deal with Chinese food-company in Ghana
The World Food Programme has signed a $1.6 million deal with Chinese company HNA to provide school meals for children in Ghana. This is part of the government initiated Ghana School Feeding Programme which has a long term goal of reducing poverty and enhancing food security. The programme aims to provide meals on school days to children in public nursery and primary schools.

Brazil to cancel or restructure $900m of African debt
Dilma Rousseff announced at the African Union summit in Ethiopia that $900 million of 12 African countries’ debt with Brazil would be restructured or cancelled. A spokesman for Brazil’s foreign ministry told Efe News that the debt restructuring for some countries would consist of more favourable interest rates and longer repayment terms. The countries involved were: Congo-Brazzaville, Tanzania, Zambia, Ivory Coast, Gabon, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Mauritania, Democratic Republic of Congo, Sao Tome and Principe, Senegal, and Sudan.

Ugandan Coffee Exports to China
As the rate of coffee drinkers in China is said to be growing by 10-15% a year, Uganda’s sales to the country have been increasing. Although Ethiopian and Kenyan brands are more widely consumed in China, these are usually packaged and sold to China through established Western brands. Uganda, however, is currently the continent’s leader in selling Arabica and Robusta coffee directly to China and Chinese producers.
(China Daily / Uganda Monitor)

Chatham House Rising Powers Journal
The Royal Institute of International Affairs (Chatham House) has focused this month’s journal on the rising powers. It includes an article looking specifically at ‘Africa and the rising powers: bargaining for the "marginalized many"’.
(Chatham House)

OUCAN-APN Conference on Emerging Powers in Africa
June 22: The Oxford University China Africa Network has partnered with the Alpha Professional Network to look at the “New Opportunities for Investment and Development”. Speakers include Vale’s Head of Africa Operations, a number of Chinese and African business leaders and the Head of UNCTAD’s Investment and Enterprise Division is yet to confirm. OUCAN is also hosting a workshop this Thursday (May 30) looking at emerging themes in China-Africa studies; this will include a presentation on ‘China’s new engagement in African agriculture’ by Lu Jiang at the LSE.
China-Africa Development Fund in South Africa
Based on interviews for a research paper, a post on the ‘China in Africa: the real story’ blog presents a detailed table of CADFund’s projects in South Africa to date. One project involves investments into Tractor production. In total CADFund currently manages about 60 projects in 30 countries and more information on its operations is given.
(China in Africa: the real story)

IBSAC cohesion in the WTO
A new paper by the South African Foreign Policy Initiative discusses how cohesive India, Brazil, South Africa and China (IBSAC) can be in WTO negotiations. They conclude that while for the time interests are too diverse to make for any powerful cohesion, their increased levels of interaction through trade and political interests could lead to greater homogeneity in the future.