26 March 2015: China and Brazil in African agriculture – news roundup

China to help Ghana build a $1bn solar plant

China’s Hanergy Group is investing one billion USD to construct a 400-megawatt (MW) solar power plant in Ghana. Hanergy is currently the world’s largest solar power company by market cap and its owner, Li Hejun, is China’s 5th richest man. Current media reports imply that this is fully funded by the company but this is not explicitly stated. Other Chinese natural resource projects in Ghana include the western corridor gas infrastructure development project, construction of the 400MW Bui Dam, and the Kpong Water Supply Expansion Project.
(People’s Daily)

Youth activists condemn land given to Chinese company

A group of youth activists in Namibia recently condemned the government’s intention to approve the lease of 10,000ha of fertile land to a Chinese company wanting to grow tobacco for export. They argued that this deal in the country’s northeastern Zambezi region would harm Namibia’s food security ambitions. The company is called ‘Namibia Oriental Tobacco’, believed to be a subsidiary of the Hongyun Honghe Tobacco Group which is itself is the Yunnanese branch of the China National Tobacco Corporation.

‘The Great Land Giveaway in Mozambique’

This article suggest that the ProSAVANA project will not be as successful as Brazil’s cerrado developments, primarily because Mozambique by comparison to Brazil then, now enjoys “a democratic government forged in an independence movement rooted in peasant farmers’ struggle for land rights.” This looks at the role of the Peasant’s Union (UNAC) and the government’s focus on agricultural modernisation.
(Farmlandgrab.org – in Portuguese / Triplecrisis – in English)

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

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