23 April 2015: China and Brazil in African agriculture – news roundup

New SAIS-CARI papers on China and South-East Africa

The SAIS China Africa Research Initiative in Washington DC has published two new working papers on Chinese agricultural engagements in Africa. Tang Xiaoyang writes about ‘Assessing the Impact of Chinese Investment on Southeast Africa’s Cotton: Moving up the Value Chain?’ and Zhou Jinyan looks at ‘Neither “Friendship Farm” nor “Land Grab”: Chinese Agricultural Engagement in Angola.’

Assessing the Impact of Chinese Investment on Southeast Africa’s Cotton: Moving up the Value Chain? (pdf)

Neither “Friendship Farm” nor “Land Grab”: Chinese Agricultural Engagement in Angola (pdf)

Academic conference on China-Africa agricultural cooperation

A conference about China-Africa agricultural cooperation was held earlier this month in Dakar. It was attended by academics from Nanjing University’s African Studies department (in China), as well as counterparts and relevant actors from Senegal, Nigeria, Mali, Holland and the FAO. They discussed the potential for mutually beneficial investments, experience sharing and the need for improved agricultural technologies such as irrigation. Prof. Liu Chengfu said that “It is possible that China’s agricultural model does not acclimatise well to Africa. There is [therefore] a need for lots of discussion in the China-Africa cooperation framework, and when we send experts we should listen more carefully to the perspectives of the agricultural cooperation organisations [we work with], and not just the pronouncements of government officials.”

ADB cooperation hopes with the AIIB

The head of the African Development Bank has said publicly that they look forward to working with the China-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB). Donald Kaberuka of the bank also expressed the hope that the AIIB would help with the continent’s $50bil annual infrastructure funding gap and assured that environmental standards would be maintained.

For more analysis on what the AIIB might mean for African countries, and the geopolitics of its establishment, see this article in Rwanda’s ‘New Times’ newspaper: How will Africa benefit from the Chinese ‘World Bank’?
(New Times

‘West should cooperate with China in Africa, not carp and criticize’

China’s Global Times has published an English-language article calling on Western actors to stop criticising Chinese activities in Africa. It defends China’s record in promoting economic development on the continent and its efforts in security. The authors conclude that “Portraying China as a threat does not necessarily help improve the West’s position in Africa. If the West values strong economic relations with a stable, prosperous Africa, it should explore the potential of cooperation with China in a more serious way.”

Zimbabwe tobacco exports to China grow

Zimbabwe’s tobacco exports for the first quarter of 2015 have increased 117% compared to the same period last year owing to increased production of the crop and experience accrued by new farmers over the years. They exported 33.2mil kg of tobacco valued at US$218.1mil in the first three months of 2015 compared to 15.3mil kg valued at $55.9mil during the same period last year. China was responsible for importing 19, 5 million kg valued at $167, 7 million of this total.
(The Southern Times)

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

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