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.
Brazilian development bank opens branch in Africa
The Brazilian development bank BNDES, has set up its first branch in Africa in Johannesburg, South Africa. This is its third branch internationally after London and Montevideo, and it has the intention of supporting Brazilian companies going into business in the continent. This includes loans for agricultural and biofuels projects, such as a $400 million joint venture currently between Odebrecht, Angola’s national oil company Sonangol and Demer.
Japanese Prime Minister visits Mozambique
11-13 Jan: Shinzo Abe visited Mozambique, and pledged 70 billion yen towards Mozambican development projects over the next five years. Part of this money has been earmarked for the ProSavana project. A memorandum of understanding was also signed for interchanges between the Mozambican Agricultural Research Institute (IIAM), and the Japan International Research Centre for Agricultural Sciences. This was the first time in history a Japanese Prime Minister has visited Mozambique.
In a critical response to news of the visit, the Lusophone group ‘Acção Académica para o Desenvolvimento das Comunidades Rurais’ (Academic Action for the Development of Rural Communities) issued a press release.
Chinese agricultural delegation visits Zimbabwe
A 15-person Chinese delegation visited Zimbabwe for a feasibility study on areas of agricultural cooperation. The delegation includes experts in grain crops, environment, agriculture produce processing and livestock among others from the Ministry of Agriculture in China and the private sector. This is said to include machinery and equipment that relates to mechanisation and irrigation development.
Chery Heavy Industry Stepped into African Market of Agricultural Machinery
At the 2013 China Commodities, Technology and Service Expo in Ethiopia, Chery H.I. signed a trading contract worth $16.37 million with dealers from African countries. A regional operation centre is also said to have been built on the continent. This company is one of China’s most successful, but appeared in the news mid-2013 for having complaints from Chinese farmers over defective machinery.
FARA describes its role in Africa-Britain-China project
The Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA) discusses its participation in the Africa-Britain-China (ABC) project being driven by the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID). FARA was on the steering committee to decide on proposals made to the Agricultural Technology Transfer (AgriTT) project that forms part of the ABC programme.
China-Africa Development Fund to raise $2bn in 2014
The China-Africa Development Fund is set to raise $2bn in 2014 that is said to be targeted at African steel and agriculture sectors. Agricultural projects already benefiting from the fund include a grain processing plant in Mozambique, a sisal project in Tanzania, cotton planting in Malawi, and grain planting and poultry projects in Zambia. The fund will also work with Shanxi Tianli Enterprise Group Corp to finance a $60 million cotton planting project in Madagascar next year.
Nigerian President calls for more Chinese investment in agriculture
In a speech for the outgoing Chinese ambassador to Nigeria, Goodluck Jonathan called for more Chinese investment into its agricultural sector.
Chatham House Africa Programme 2014
The UK-based Royal Institute of International Affairs has released its Africa programme for 2014. This includes looking forward to a series of publications on emerging powers’ engagements in Africa.
(Chatham House e-newsletter)