SADC: Tomorrow: U.S. Competitiveness in Africa w/ Members of Congress
On Tuesday there will be a ton of interesting events, I hope to see you at some of them!
I hope you all had a Happy Father's Day! I sure did, as I participated in Andy's Google+ Hangout, along with Jemila, which was was quite successful! Here is the edited video and summary (we ran into some technical errors), and while we could not get the original panel of guests, Shuang and Andy found a wonderful substitute in Hongxiang Huang. I thought it went really well, though my wife pointed out some of the ways I could have improved my performance (I said "umm" way too much, sadly... next time I will do better, honey!). This week there should be a lot of interesting events going on in the DC area, I hope to meet some of you on Tuesday for the congressional discussion about US competitiveness in Africa as well as the remarks by theHonorable Raila A. Odinga, who will talk about Sino-African relations and Africa as a whole.
Jemila, along withBlogging Ghana, is putting together her own Hangout on Thursday, June 20. The panelists are still being worked out, but there are going to be a lot of them and a few of our members should be participating. And, in the same vein of Andy's Hangout, the participants will all be Chinese or African except for myself (I somehow keep representing the United States in all of these events...). Be sure to check it out!
Africa: The China-Africa Convergence: Can America Catch Up? - A balanced, nuanced look at how American involvement in Africa is trailing that of the Chinese, why it matters, and what must be done about it. Howard French is also awesome, so always read his stuff. Anonymous ‘Baba Jukwa’ Facebook Dishes Dirt on Zimbabwe Politics - Baba Jukwa, an anonymous Facebook poster writing about Zimbabwe politics from an insider's perspective, tells one story (out of many) about a Chinese contractor whose project was built to support the Zimbabwe government rather than its people. It is not the fault of the Chinese though, they are just doing their job and the author's ire is directed towards the Zim government Chinese investors look to broaden their African portfolios - If one can get over the "China is the best" tone of the article, there are some really great quotes and anecdotes to be found. From Gold Mine to Land Mine – The Chinese in Ghana - This fantastic essay gathers social media sources and scholarly monographs and articles to talk about the situation in Ghana, and locates the tension within the context of different labor cultures. The story about Chinese racism and their handling of Ghanaian maids is quite chilling. Leave Chinese alone - Prostitutes cry out - “'The galamsey [small-scale miners] operators don’t even ask for reduction for our services; they accept whatever prices we give them,' Victoria said. 'The Chinese galamseyers pay well unlike the ordinary Ghanaian who would ask for reduction,' she added." Who says the Chinese do not create jobs in Africa? Lifan sees Africa as doorway to world - This interview with Yin Minshan, President of the automaker Chongqing Lifan group, talks about his companies plans to expand in Africa. A few of my buddies in China had Lifan motorcycles but I do not really know the company. Over there: China ponders sending more combat troops on UN peacekeeping missions - A fascinating analysis of what China has to think about as it sends over 500 troops to Mali, some which might be actual soldiers rather than the usual engineers, medical workers, or transport staff. SA is riding the Chinese dragon into a tempest - A look at how China's economic growth and contractions affect the South African economy. I am not sure the housing market situation in China is as dire as the author contends, though. As someone who predicted a Chinese housing crash back in 2009 for 2012-2013 (and planned to buy property in that crash), I learned to NEVER make predictions about the Chinese housing market, because you will always be wrong. Save elephants from Chinese ivory trade or we lose them, says researcher - This piece joins the growing chorus of people who track the ivory poaching issue as saying China should do more about it. Soft Power? China Has Plenty - An interesting overview of Chinese soft-power in Africa through the lens of aid and education, citing both Prof. Brautigam and Prof. Kenneth King. I think that the author oversells the point, and I could have done without the $74 billion aid figure cited, but worth a read regardless. Taskforce dared to arrest chiefs benefiting from illegal mining - While much of the focus over last week's row over Chinese mining in Africa was directed at illegal Chinese miners, this piece talks about some of the actors who facilitated their actions: local chiefs.