Monday, 2 June 2014

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

CBAAnewsThis 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
IESE evicted; Carlos Nuno Castel-Branco interviewed by officials
On Monday 12 May, the Instituto de Estudos Sociais e Economicos (IESE), our project partners in Mozambique, were handed an eviction notice. More recently Prof Carlos Castel-Branco was interviewed on 26 May by one of Maputo city’s attorney generals. He has not been arrested or charged.
(AllAfrica /
Brazil rules out aid for Zimbabwean programme
Brazil’s ambassador to Zimbabwe has ruled out financial support for an economic programme called the Zimbabwe Agenda for Sustainable Socio-Economic Transformation (ZimAsset). Marca Maro da Silva said that “As a rule, Brazil does not give any support to sovereign nations and we don’t give out hand-outs either.” Furthermore, she added that the country is too wealthy to be asking for help and what it needed most was investment. The article also quotes the outgoing Chinese ambassador on the issue of future loans being securitised against mineral resources.
(Zimbabwe Situtation)
China’s $2bn multilateral investment
China is investing $2bn into the African Development Bank to start the “Africa Growing Together Fund”. This fund intends to fund contracts from the most suitable bidders, irrelevant of whether they are from China or not which has been described as a departure from previous practice by the Financial Times. On her blog, Deborah Brautigam followed up on this story.
(Financial Times / Deborah Brautigam’s blog)
Lula’s Agricultural pledges in West Africa
May 8: In a meeting with Ghanaian and Beninois Presidents Mahama and Yayi, former Brazilian President Lula has pledged support for Ghana’s development infrastructure, including a focus on Agriculture. These meetings were conducted during his trip to the World Economic Forum for Africa held in Nigeria.
(Ghana Government website / Instituto Lula)
Li Keqiang’s visit to Africa
The Chinese Premier Li Keqiang visited Africa earlier this month, and announced that China would increase its credit lines from to Africa from $20bn to $30. He also announced an increase in investment to $10bn and a $2bn multilateral fund to be channelled through the African Development Bank. He also announced plans for a high-speed rail network and regional aviation network that China is developing with the African Union.
(World Stage)
Agriculture focus for the World Economic Forum for Africa
7-9 May: During the World Economic Forum for Africa held in Nigeria, agriculture was highlighted as a key area of focus by Nigerian Minister of Finance Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala and others. Ties with Chinese agribusiness were drawn attention to, and “the Forum’s Grow Africa Initiative partners doubled their commitments for agriculture and food security to $72 billion. So far, $970 million has been invested, resulting in 33,000 new jobs and support for 2.6 million small farmers.”
(Business Day)
UK and Brazil comparative workshop
A workshop on 30-31 May will address ‘Challenges to Emerging and Established Powers: Brazil and the United Kingdom in the Contemporary Global Order’. The workshop will aim to compare both powers’ engagements in the global order through issues such as climate change, development assistance, humanitarian intervention and international security.
(University of Birmingham – event page)
Oxford University China Africa Network conference, June 9-10
9-10 June: The Oxford University China Africa Network will be hosting its next event on the subject of ‘African Development, the China Model and the Politics of Industrialisation’. The event involves 4 panels including roughly 25 high-profile speakers such as the Foreign Minister for Burkina Faso, the Chinese government’s special representative on African Affairs, and a number of leading academics in this field.
Conference on China’s Agricultural Investment in Africa
May 16-17: Deborah Brautigam hosted a conference on the theme of ‘China’s Agricultural Investment in Africa: “Land Grabs” or “Friendship Farms”?’ CBAA project members Xu Xiuli, Sergio Chichava and Henry Tugendhat presented some of their research and Lila chaired a panel. All the presentations are available to watch through a link on this page.
(China Africa Research Initiative)
China and Brazil at the Global Partnership Meeting in Mexico
Last month the Global Partnership for Effective Development Cooperation met in Mexico to discuss progress since the previous meeting in Busan. In this interview by The Guardian, Alex Shankland argues that, going forward, aid effectiveness really depends on how prepared northern donors are to listen and engage with new powers of the development world.
(The Guardian)