Friday, 19 September 2014

16 September 2014: China and Brazil in African Agriculture - news roundup

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

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Book Review of ‘Agricultural Development and Food Security in Africa’
A book review by LĂ­dia Cabral has been published in the Journal of Agrarian Change. It covers the book ‘Agricultural Development and Food Security in Africa: The Impact of Chinese, Indian and Brazilian Investments, edited by Fantu Cheru and Renu Modi. London: Zed Books. 2013’
(Journal of Agrarian Change)

Brazil’s strategy in Africa: business, security and defence
CEBRI, a Brazilian think-tank, has released a Special Edition discussing Brazilian strategy in Africa. This Edition is composed of five articles. Two articles analyse the role of Brazilian companies, while the others look at security and defence. (CEBRI – in Portuguese)

China formalises foreign aid law – and consults public
In April, 2014, China’s Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) published a draft of its ‘Measures for the Administration of Foreign Aid’. Marina Rudyak is a PhD student from the University of Heidelberg and has done a translation of the document with a short blog analysing the draft: “Consisting of 51 articles, the Measures are the first comprehensive legal document with the character of a law to regulate Chinese government's foreign aid. Interestingly, following a practice already applied in preparation to the last Five Year Plan, MOFCOM was seeking comments and suggestions from the Chinese public.”
(China Aid Blog)

‘Brazil risks its image in Africa with neo-colonial practices’
This article looks at how Brazilian multinationals have become the main actors within Brazil-Africa relations. It argues that despite Brazilian government narratives of justice and equality, Brazil’s multinationals are now driving an extractive relationship, reflected by the fact that in 2012, 90% of Brazil’s imports from Africa were natural resources. He draws similarities with China, but argues that while China is trying to change this image of neo-colonialism, the debate in Brazil is paralysed.
(Folha de S. Paulo – in Portuguese)

Brazil-North African plans
The Arab Brazilian Chamber of Commerce plans to send a trend mission to North Africa in the first half of 2015. The trip would cover Egypt, Algeria and Morocco. The CEO and government relations manager of the Chamber has also recently held meetings with representatives from the FAO and EMBRAPA regarding Brazilian projects with small-scale farmers and the Bolsa Familia.
(Brazil Arab News Agency)

Small-scale African farmers under threat from climate change
A new report by AGRA shows that many small-scale farmers across Africa face threat from failed seasons this year, putting many communities’ and countries’ food security at risk. The report suggests that such small-scale food producers face a risk of being overwhelmed by the pace and severity of climate change.

Zimbabwean economist criticises Sino-Zim relations
A Harare-based economist and columnist, Vince Musewe, was interviewed for the China-Africa podcast. In it he says that “Beijing is 'bleeding Zimbabwe dry' through loans and Musewe says enough is enough. He is calling on Robert Mugabe's government to come clean and reveal the secret deals between the two governments, otherwise Musewe warns Zimbabwe will only sink further in to economic desperation.”
(China-Africa podcast)

Africa’s Regional Economic Communities and China
A new report on Chinese engagement with African Regional Economic Communities concludes that the regional communities should develop stronger frameworks to attract investment. It highlights the role of regional banks in facilitating engagements with China. The report, by the Centre for Chinese Studies at Stellenbosch University, focuses on the ECOWAS, SADC and EAC regions of Africa.
(Centre for Chinese Studies)

By Henry Tugendhat