Monday, 18 August 2014

Africa, an emerging ‘green revolution’?

This news roundup has been collected on behalf of the China and Brazil in African Agriculture (CBAA) project.

Lidia Cabral is consulted in this article on agricultural development programmes in Africa. She traces some of the key projects that have emerged over the past few years, and introduces some of the research she has been conducting on the ProSavana programme in Mozambique.
(Publico – in Portuguese)

China in Africa: How Sam Pa became the middle man

This op-ed in the Financial Times seeks to unravel a large network of business ventures and connections around a successful Chinese businessman in Africa called Sam Pa (???). The article looks at some of his dealings with government officials and international business colleagues, including his role in a deal he made between Sinopec and Angola’s state oil company Sonangol. It gives an interesting perspective on a high profile Chinese migrant to Africa and the role that brokers may play between the different state and business actors.
(Financial Times)

Brazil to support coffee and soybean projects in Angola

The Brazilian ambassador to Angola has committed Brazilian support to increased agricultural cooperation between the two countries. Embrapa already provides support in Angola’s agronomic and veterinary research institutes, and their mention in this article seems to suggest they would be part of further agricultural cooperation programmes.
(Macau Hub)

6th China-IFAD South-South Cooperation Conference

August 4: the Vice-Chairman of China’s Ministry of Finance took part in the 6th China-IFAD South-South Cooperation Conference in Maputo. It involved the participation of Mozambique, Burundi, Ethiopia, Egypt and 13 other African countries, along with representatives from over 70 organisations. The conference revolved around a “sharing of experience and deepening cooperation”, which looked at the construction of agricultural infrastructure, technology extension and rural reforms. 5-day conference finished with a visit to Mozambique’s ATDC and Wanbao farm.

Rice joint-venture in Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe’s Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Christopher Mutsvangwa, has signed a deal with Chinese hybrid rice company, Yuan Longping Hi-Tech to start a pilot hybrid rice production project. If the tests are successful, both sides have agreed to form a joint venture company to implement large scale hybrid rice production. This also aims to enhance food security and develop Zimbabwe’s domestic rice sector as it has become a staple food for many. Mutsvangwa “signed an MOU on behalf of his firm, Moncris Private Limited while Prof Longpin signed for the National Hybrid Rice Research and Development Center, under a deal which was approved by Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development Minister Joseph Made.”

US-Africa Summit

The US has announced $17bil in investment pledges in the conclusion of its US-Africa summit involving 50 African states. This summit appeared to bring the discussion more towards trade and investment, and away from the language of aid and donors. In a strong critique, Zainab Usman looks at the conference in the context of other regions’ recent engagements with Africa, in particular those of China. In this context she asks if the recent US summit was merely “too little, too late”.
Overview (Reuters)
Critique by Zainab Usman (Al Jazeera)

Will China be buying African Rice?

In this blog post, Deborah Brautigam disputes the idea that China has started importing African rice. She cites work from Adama Wade’s recent study on Chinese rice projects in Senegal.
(International Policy Digest)

This news roundup has been collected on behalf of the China and Brazil in African Agriculture (CBAA) project.

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by Henry Tugendhat, Research Officer, KNOTS