This category contains 13 posts

How Chinese Traders Out-Compete in Africa

In the high-density suburbs of Lusaka, Zambia’s capital, local chicken sellers complain that Chinese traders are stealing their customers by getting up earlier each morning, successfully outcompeting the traditional indigenous vendors.  “They get to the markets too early,” they told me when I asked about Chinese petty merchants in Lusaka. “Their chickens are cheaper, too,” … Continue reading

Africa’s Massive Power Shortage Alleviated by China

When one flies over sub-Saharan Africa at night, there are only pinpricks of light, a stark comparison to what one sees flying over Asia, Europe, or Latin America. Sub-Saharan Africa remains the “dark continent,” seriously short of electrical energy generating capacity. Industrial development is hampered almost everywhere, even in South Africa, because of insufficiencies in … Continue reading

Curbing Ivory Trade Requires Curbing of Foreign Demand

Effectively reducing the killing of African elephants and rhinoceroses depends more on curbing the foreign demand for tusks and horn than on localized national endeavors to combat poachers. Although approaches from both angles are essential, it is the consumer appetite for elephant ivory and rhino horn that propels illegal attacks on innocent herbivorous mammals across … Continue reading

Southern Africa: Drought First, Famine Next

Warming waters in the east Pacific Ocean – the El Nino effect – is causing a massive drought in southern Africa, with famine to follow. Zimbabwe, in the centre of the southern third of the African continent, usually receives about 300 millimetres (12 inches) of rain by the middle of what is now the southern … Continue reading

China’s Economic Slowdown Threatens African Progress

Africa’s prosperity increasingly depends on China. Given recent signs of a slowdown in the world’s largest economy, Africa’s short- and long-term outlooks seem precarious. The latest sign arrived on October 23 when China cut two benchmark interest rates to spur growth. It was the sixth time since November that China’s central bank has lowered rates … Continue reading

Africa’s Growing Dependence on China

  Africa’s survival depends on China . At the very least, sub-Saharan Africa’s rapid GDP growth rates — an estimated 6 .3 percent this year and 5 .1 percent last — rely on continued strong demand from China (growing this year at about 7 .6 percent) for the vast commodity resources of the continent . … Continue reading

Slaughtering the Innocent: The Possible End of Elephants and Rhinoceroses

  Three hundred gentle rhinoceroses have been killed by poachers since the beginning of 2014 in South Africa alone.  About 15,000 unsuspecting elephants have similarly been gunned down by poachers so far this year throughout the whole of sub-Saharan Africa. Lions are dying out, too. Fabled Africa, with its profusion of big game, is now … Continue reading

China Slows, Africa Suffers

As China goes, so goes Africa. If the Chinese economy continues to cool, the raw material and commodity exporters of Africa will suffer correspondingly. Neither American nor European buyers will be able to replace Chinese purchases. Two surveys released in early April revealed that China’s manufacturers are struggling to maintain their accustomed high levels of … Continue reading

Chinese Trade with Africa Hits Record High

China’s enduring importance for Africa was strengthened again in 2013, when trade between the globe’s most populous country and its poorest continent soared to a record total of $200 billion. That included a 44 percent spurt in Chinese direct investment in Africa. U.S. trade with Africa, but only in goods, not services, totaled $85 billion … Continue reading

How Did So Much of Africa Become So Intolerant?

Men walk hand in hand with other men throughout village Africa, and even in cities. Almost everywhere affection and love between men and between women has been common, and generally accepted. None of this behaviour has heretofore been in the closet, but now it must be, given draconian punishments recently mandated by legislation in Nigeria, … Continue reading