Quelle est l’influence de la Chine en Afrique?

Entrevue avec Serge Banyongen, politologue et chargé de cours à l’Université d’Ottawa.

Son dernier ouvrage intitulé «Rôle et responsabilité des acteurs africains dans les relations sino-africaines (Ethnographie et sociogenèse des stratégies de réceptivité)» a été publié aux Éditions l’Harmattan, Paris en Novembre 2013.

Advertisements

The anxieties about China’s rise in Africa

McGill Daily reports on the anxieties about China’s rise in Africa, as Malawi ditches Taiwan for a new allegiance

By Ben Travers

The Taiwanese Technical Mission in the Malawian capital of Lilongwe was a scene of mixed emotions and frantic activity last month, as diplomatic officials and aid workers reacted to sudden news: the Malawian government has given Taiwan 30 days to get out of the country.

read more

China looks for oil in Somalia/ La Chine cherche du pétrole en Somalie

(Liens en anglais/ links in english)

Selon Ocnus.net, la Chine a réussi à signer une entente avec la Somalie pour faire de la prospection pétrolière au Puntland. Il faut savoir que le président somalien, Abdullahi Yusuf, est originaire de cette région. Pourtant, le gouvernement de transition n’a pas encore élaboré de politique nationale concernant l’octroi des concessions d’exploration pétrolières.

According to Ocnus.net, China signed deals with Somalia oil exploration in the Puntland region:

China’s Oil Offensive Strikes: Horn of Africa and Beyond

By Andrew McGregor, China 8/8/07

Aug 9, 2007 – 11:46:49 AM

In its efforts to expel an Islamist government and capture a handful of inactive al-Qaeda suspects in Somalia, the United States has risked its political reputation in the region through a series of unpopular measures.

These include backing an unsuccessful attempt by warlords to take over the country, several ineffective air raids, and finally, the financing of an unpopular Ethiopian military intervention. As African Union peacekeepers struggle to restore stability in the capital of Mogadishu, China has stepped in to sign the first oil exploration deal negotiated by Somalia’s new government. The agreement is the first of its kind since the overthrow of the Siad Barre regime in 1991 began a long period of political chaos in the strategically important nation.

China’s four major oil corporations have unlimited government support, allowing them to edge out the smaller Western oil companies that traditionally take on high-risk exploration projects like Somalia. Latecomers to the global oil game, the Chinese companies and their exploration offshoots have focused on oil-bearing regions neglected by major Western operators because of political turmoil, insecurity, sanctions or embargoes. China once hoped to supply the bulk of its energy needs from deposits in its western province of Xinjiang, but disappointing reserve estimates and an exploding economy have given urgency to China’s drive to secure its energy future. Twenty-five percent of China’s crude oil imports now come from African sources.

The Somalia deal is part of a decades-long Chinese campaign to engage Africa through investment, development aid, “soft loans”, arms sales and technology transfers. The European Union recently warned China that it would not participate in any debt-relief projects involving China’s generous “soft-loans” in Africa (Reuters, July 30).

Global demand for oil is expected to rise over 50 percent in the next two decades even as prices rise and reserves decline. To meet this demand, China and other Asian countries offer massive infrastructure developments in exchange for oil rights. President Hu Jintao and other Chinese leaders are regular visitors to African capitals and Chinese direct investment in Africa totaled $50 billion last year.

Oil in Somalia?

Last month a deal was reached between Somali President Abdullahi Yusuf Ahmad, the China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC) and China International Oil and Gas (CIOG) to begin oil exploration in the Mudug region [see map]Mudug map of the semi-autonomous state of Puntland (northeast Somalia) (Financial Times, July 17). Somalia’s Transitional Federal Government (TFG), which has yet to secure its rule, is to receive 51 percent of the potential revenues under the deal.

Somali President Abdullahi Yusuf (a native of Puntland) appears to have negotiated the deal in concert with Puntland officials but without the knowledge of the Prime Minister, Ali Muhammad Gedi, who is still working on legislation governing the oil industry and production-sharing agreements. Gedi insists that “in order to protect the wealth of the country and the interests of the Somali people, we cannot operate without a regulatory body, without rules and regulations” (Financial Times, July 17). The agreement with China may become an important test of the authority of the transitional government. China has effectively preempted the return of Western oil interests to Somalia, though it is unclear how the Chinese project may be affected by the passage of a new national oil bill. Somali negotiators assured the Chinese firms that new legislation would have no impact on exploration work due to begin in September (Shabelle Media Network, July 17).

Though Somalia has no proven reserves of oil, Range Resources, a small Australian oil company already active in Puntland, suggests that the area might yield 5 to 10 billion barrels (Shabelle Media Network, July 14). Somalia is also estimated to have 200 billion cubic feet of untapped natural gas reserves. Western petroleum corporations, however, conducted extensive exploration of potential oil-bearing sites in Somalia in the 1980s and found nothing worth developing.

Public unrest is already on the rise in Puntland as the local government grows increasingly authoritarian and the national treasury has mysteriously dried up. Discontent has accelerated as leaders of the one-party regime continue to sign resource development deals with Western and Arab companies without any form of public consultation. The new deal with China has the potential to ignite political unrest in one of the few areas of Somalia to have avoided the worst of the nation’s brutal political nightmare.

China’s Strategy in Africa

Last November, Beijing hosted an important summit meeting between Chinese leaders and representatives of 48 African countries. The African delegates gave unanimous support to a declaration endorsing a one-China policy and “China’s peaceful reunification” [1]. China in turn announced a $5 billion African development fund (administered by China’s Eximbank), with a promise of $15 billion more in aid and debt forgiveness to come. In exchange for secure energy supplies, China is also offering barrier-free access to Chinese markets, something Africans have been unable to obtain from the United States or the EU.

While China has had success in securing energy supplies in Africa, its oil offensive is by no means flawless. Chinese corporations working abroad provide little employment for local people and are remarkably tolerant of corruption and human rights abuses. Chinese overseas operations are also notorious for their disregard of environmental considerations. The latter is perhaps unsurprising, considering the environmental devastation afflicting China’s own industrial centers. Yet, the combination of all these factors tends to create unrest in nations where Chinese operations are seen as benefiting members of the ruling elite and few others. What is also notable is that of the five African countries where China is involved in major resource operations, only one, Angola, is not dealing with a major insurgency.

[…]

La Chine envoie des casques bleus au Soudan/ China sends U.N. peacekeepers in Sudan

(lien en anglais/ link in english)

Un dossier du Christian Science Monitor nous présente les enjeux de la présence chinoise en Afrique et met l’emphase sur l’envoi de 1809 casques bleus qui partiront pour le Soudan.

The Christian Science Monitor does a report on China’s presence in Africa. On of thearticle talks about the sending of 1809 chinese U.N. peacekeepers in Sudan:

It’s sending 1,809 UN peacekeepers and 300 volunteers in a new Chinese ‘peace corps’ program.

By Danna Harman | Correspondent of The Christian Science Monitor
She named her baby daughter Siwei Liu, which means “be aware of danger.” The young Chinese mother had just passed the United Nations exams and knew she would soon be leaving China’s Hubei Province for places unknown and dangerous.

Less than six months later, Fang Liu, a lawyer with the Chinese police forces, packed her suitcase, waved farewell to her husband and baby daughter – and set off for South Sudan. “It was,” she says solemnly, “a very long way away.”

Ms. Liu, today a UN police observer, was joined by 435 other ­engineers, medics, and transport specialists, ­all of them part of China’s contribution to the 10,000-strong UN force charged with monitoring the peace agreement here until 2011.

The Sudan mission is the longest-ever peacekeeping mission the Chinese have joined to date – but not their only one.

Playing a far more active role in UN peacekeeping than ever before, 1,809 Chinese troops, police, military observers, and others are deployed worldwide. The majority – 1,273 – are here in Africa, building roads, setting up clinics, patrolling troubled villages – and generally trying to show that China wants to be considered part of the international community when it comes to doing the right thing by this continent.

The number of Chinese peacekeepers worldwide is much smaller than the number that Pakistan supplies the UN – currently 10,173 according to UN statistics – or India, which has sent 9,471 of its nationals to participate in most of the UN’s 15 current missions worldwide.

But, it’s more than South Africa (1,188 blue helmets) or Brazil (1,277) have in the field – and far more than the US, which, unlike 118 other countries, puts no boots on the ground. (The US does, however, provide the largest chunk of the funding for these missions – 26 percent of the total. China, in turn, provides 3 percent.)

Some of the words that typically come to mind in association with the budding China-Africa relationship are “trade,” “raw materials,” and “cheap goods.” “Weapons,” sometimes pops up, “neocolonialism” has its takers, too.

“Socially responsible,” however, does not typically make the Top 10 list.

But increasingly, China is both expanding and honing its aid to the continent, and also trying to draw more attention to its social commitment to the people of Africa.

Since 2000 China has canceled more than $10 billion in debt for 31 African countries and has given $5.5 billion in development aid, with a promise of a further $2.6 billion in 2007-08, according to estimates by the Economist Intelligence Unit.

Beijing has overtaken the World Bank in lending to Africa: In 2005, China committed $8 billion in lending to Nigeria, Angola, and Mozambique alone – the same year the World Bank spent $2.3 billion in all of Africa.

In 2006, lending by China’s Exim Bank was $12.5 billion – and is set to rise by more than $5 billion in 2007, according to the EIU estimates.

The loans China offered Africa in 2006 were three times the total development aid given by rich countries in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), and nearly 25 times the total stock of loans and export credits approved by the US Export-Import Bank for sub-Saharan Africa, points out Greg Mills, director of the Brenthurst Foundation, an economic think tank in Johannesburg, South Africa.

Not content with only making big gestures, China has also gotten involved with dozens upon dozens of smaller projects across the continent, touching the lives of everyday people.

During his February tour of the continent, Chinese President Hu Jintao opened a Chinese-built hospital in Cameroon, inaugurated a Chinese-funded malaria research and prevention center in Liberia, and launched a Chinese-language after-school program in Namibia, among others.

And in April, after a five-day visit to Sudan, Liu Guijin, the newly appointed Chinese special representative for Darfur, announced that his country was going to boost its humanitarian aid to Sudan, donating some $10 million worth of aid to the troubled region and sending in close to 300 Chinese military engineers to help strengthen the overtaxed African Union peacekeeping force in Darfur.

Western donors, concerned that China is throwing around aid, investment, and business with no strings attached, have been calling on Beijing to abide by global standards when it comes to human rights and the environment. Last month, the World Bank and the Export-Import Bank of China signed a memorandum of understanding to improve cooperation on aid and investment.

“China has real interests there [in Africa] and will, of course, be engaged on the continent, as is the United States,” Deputy Assistant Secretary of African Affairs James Swan said in a February speech at Columbia University in New York. “US policy is not to curtail China’s involvement in Africa, but to seek cooperation where possible and continue efforts to nudge China toward becoming a responsible international stakeholder.”

Whether or not this largess has ulterior economic and strategic motives behind it, or whether it is propelled by nothing more than a desire to boost China’s international image, the bottom line is that it is welcome by many on the continent.

“The Chinese interest in Africa … their coming into our markets is the best thing that could have happened to us,” says small-business contractor Amare Kifle, during a recent meeting with a Chinese investor in Ethiopia’s capital, Addis Ababa. “We are tired of the condescending American style. True, the American government and American companies have done and do a lot here, but I always feel like they think they are doing us a favor … telling us how to do things and punishing us when we do it our own way.

“These Chinese are different,” he says. “They are about the bottom line and allow us to sort out our side of the business as we see fit. I want to have a business partner and do business. I don’t want to have a philosophical debate about Africa’s future.”

Indeed, China’s commitment to a hands-off approach is in stark contrast to the West, and some experts say the lengths to which China goes to be seen as a benevolent partner with Africa is unprecedented.

“China is the most self-conscious rising power in history and is desperate to be seen as a benign force as well as to learn from the mistakes of the existing major powers and previous rising powers,” says Andrew Small, a Brussels-based China expert at the German Marshall Fund, a public policy think tank. “It sees its modern national story as anticolonial – about surpassing the “century of humiliation” at the hands of the colonial powers – and still thinks of itself, in many ways, as a part of the developing world.”

Liu, who is in charge of the UN police force’s administrative personnel work, spends her days in a trailer office with four other peacekeepers keeping track of personnel sick days, home leaves, and other special requests.

Previous to this mission, Liu only left her home province once – to go on her honeymoon to Hong Kong.

Today, she shares a small apartment in Wau, Sudan, with six other UN personnel. They have no running water and no electricity.

She does her shopping in the market (the store owners know her and yell out ni hao ma – “How are you?” – when she passes by) and reads at night with the help of a Chinese government-issued rechargeable lamp.

She calls her husband and daughter once a week for three minutes and tries to also communicate throughe-mail, but it’s complicated, as her UN-issued computer keyboard does not have Chinese characters.

It is less exciting than she had hoped, she admits. The insecurity, heat, food, bug bites, and loneliness test her. And above all, she misses her baby Siwei, she says, showing off a picture of her now 2-year-old child.

But Liu nonetheless has a clear sense of why she is here.

“Peace is giving [the South Sudanese] a chance for development. I believe the future of Wau will be brighter,” she says, untangling her long dark hair, knotted by the hot afternoon wind. “We Chinese come from a different country, far away­, but we are in harmony with Africa.”

Maj. Mutacho Shadrock, a Kenyan commanding officer with the UN forces in Wau, says the Chinese peacekeepers “keep to themselves and the vast majority doesn’t speak English, even the commanding officers.” But, he adds, “They are good workers. They have repaired bridges and roads and are doing good work. And that is what is important.”

“I am hardly an apologist for China,” says Harry Broadman, an economic advisor on Africa at the World Bank. “But people tend to forget that China itself is a developing country that has had global leadership thrust upon it.

“People ascribe a lot of power and knowledge to them without understanding that they are climbing the learning curve themselves,” he says, adding that China wants to be seen as a force for good on the continent. “They want to give Africa a fair deal. I believe that.”

Liu is finishing her day in the office and going out to join some of the other Chinese peacekeepers for a table-tennis tournament at the engineering corps camp.

She is a terrific player, she says, and will probably win. “But it’s not just about winning, of course,” she says. “It’s about playing the game with – with …” Liu searches for the word in English, and then smiles, “with dignity.”

That, she says, is the way things are done in China.

How China aids Africa

Aid

• Last fall, China pledged to double its aid to Africa and provide $5 billion in loans and credits by 2009.

• China will also build 30 hospitals and 30 clinics as part of its $37.5 million package to help Africa fight malaria.

Development programs

• More than 11,000 professionals from Africa have received training in China since 2004.

• Last fall, China announced it would set up a $5 billion China-Africa development fund to encourage Chinese companies to invest in Africa.

• China also pledged to train 15,000 African professionals, double the number of Chinese government scholarships given annually to Africans to 4,000, and send 100 senior agricultural experts and 300 youth volunteers to Africa.

Debt relief

• From 2000-05, China waived $10 billion in bilateral debt owed by 31 African countries and extended zero-tariff treatment to selected imports.

• In January, China signed debt relief and aid agreements with Benin, Equatorial Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Chad, and the Central African Republic.

SOURCES: Reuters, AP, BBC, Xinhua, Council on Foreign Relations 

China in Africa, NGOs talk about it/ La Chine en Afrique, les ONG en parlent

(Lien en anglais/ link in english)

Néocolonialisme ou collaboration Sud-Sud? La presse occidentale décrit la présence des investisseurs chinois sur le continent africains de la première façon, mais Pékin de la deuxième. En marge du sommet de la Banque Africaine de Développement qui s’est tenu il y a quelques semaines à Pékin, des ONG des quatre coins du monde se sont penchées sur la question de la présence chinoise sur le continent. Les choses ne sont pas aussi tranchées qu’il n’y paraît (voir plus bas en anglais). Pambazuka news nous indique que la voix des populations africaines est un élément clef de l’analyse.

Neocolonialism or South-South ccopertation? For the western press, the presence of chinese investments belong to the first interpretation. For Beijing, the second prevails. Pambazuka presents an article detailing this issue.

Pambazuka:

Heads of State, foreign ministers and central bank governors from seventy seven African nations met in Shanghai, China, last week for the African Development Bank’s (AfDB) annual meetings. The location of the meetings was pertinently and historically chosen in light of growing Sino-African relations, which, at the governmental level, have reached soaring heights and dimensions. Yet to be foreseen, however, are the implications for the people of Africa and China. It is to this uncertainty that a discussion was held on the peripheries of the AfDB fanfare between African and Chinese non-governmental actors in a meeting convened by China Development Brief, Fahamu, Focus on the Global South and the Transnational Institute.

 

The historic meeting of Chinese, African and other Southern non-governmental actors allowed for contemplative discussion and debate among academics, researchers and civil society organisations through open and critical dialogue. Participants included representatives from: China, Kenya, Egypt, Sudan, Zimbabwe, Benin, South Africa, Mozambique, Burma, the Philippines, the Netherlands, UK, USA, Brazil, India and Australia.

 

A new and nuanced perspective was illuminated that was neither merely rejectionist nor unquestionably accepting. The meetings began with reflections on the nature of Sino-African relations exploring the charges of neo-colonialism versus the expressions of South-South cooperation and mutual aid.

 

At the outset of the debates, Prof. Yan Hirong of the Department of Sociology at the University of Hong Kong challenged the vilification of Chinese relations in Africa in western media. She noted the importance of putting these trade and investment relations in the perspective of global trends where China is still a small player in Africa. However, Daniel Ribeiro from Justiça Ambiental in Mozambique observed that the impact of deforestation or the removal of livelihood on a community is itself colossal regardless of the size of Chinese investments in the particular nation. It is this impact that creates popular perceptions of Sino-African relations. Indeed, journalist Wang Yongcheng suggested that Chinese people view China to be helping Africa and are disconcerted by the apparent criticism and lack of appreciation. She said that little is heard in China about any negative effects of China’s involvement in the Continent. Ali Askouri, Piankhi Institute, provided an example of where Chinese corporations have been involved in projects that have a negative impact on communities in Africa. The Merowe Dam Project in Sudan is the largest hydropower project currently under construction in Africa. It is being implemented by two Chinese contractors and funded largely by China Export Import Bank. The construction of the dam will however cause the displacement, and affect the very survival, of some seventy thousand people living along the riverbanks. In Mr. Askouri’s view, it is unconstructive to debate whether Chinese actions are worse or better than those of western States as all actors should be held to the highest standards of accountability. Rather, he turned to his Chinese counterparts to find out how affected communities can effect change in the practice of Chinese corporations in Africa.

 

China’s government espouses the tenets of non-interference and non- conditionality in Africa as demonstrating recognition of self- determination in contrast to the neo-colonialist conditionality of western donors. Professor Xu Weizhong from the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences considered hypocritical the cant advanced by western nations that perpetuates the perception of Africa as an economic burden rather than the prop from which industrialisation of the north was achieved and continues to be upheld. And in the same vein noted that “in the end Africans must be the deciders of their own destiny and must have the right to say whether their relationship with China is good for them or not.”

 

The non-interference and no-conditionality policy has many critics charging China with failing to encourage good governance. But yet African participants like Ali Askouri were not asking China to not invest in Africa, in fact he noted that the affected communities along the Nile River basin of Sudan are not, per se, against the dam project, but sought avenues to constructively bring the voices of Africa’s people to the table and wondered what role Chinese civil society could play in holding their government accountable.

 

While Chinese civil society is growing, it is still testing its position relative to the government and the people of China. Organizations are primarily focused nationally and have little experience or knowledge of China’s actions internationally despite parallel issues of concern. Their relations with the government tend to be cooperative rather than antagonist given that influence is most effectively leveraged in China through negotiation rather than the “naming and shaming” style of western NGOs. African civil society tends to be experienced and mature in their advocacy nationally and regionally but have little understanding and exposure to Chinese political waters and processes for change. The meeting began a much- needed open dialogue that needs to be continued and increased to enhance the opportunities of Sino-Chinese relations for communities in Africa and China.

La Banque Africaine de Développement ouvre son meeting annuel à Shanghai/ The African Development Bank opens it’s annual meeting in Shanghai

L’influence chinoise sur le continent africain se confirme, ou plutôt se consolide, avec l’ouverture du sommet annuel de la B.A.D. à Shanghai en Chine. C’est la deuxième fois qu’un tel sommet se tient en dehors du continent africain et la première fois en Asie.

Selon la Banque:

Le premier ministre chinois, M. Wen Jiabao [voir photo plus bas, Xingua] a présidé la session d’ouverture à laquelle ont assisté les présidents Pedro Pires (Cap-Vert), Marc Ravalomanana (Madagascar) et Paul Kagame (Rwanda) aux côtés de MM. Zhou Xiaochuan, président du conseil des gouverneurs du Groupe de la Banque africaine de développement, et Donald Kaberuka, président du groupe de la Bad.

M. Wen a passé en revue les relations de longue date qui lient la Chine et l’Afrique, soulignant que les assemblées annuelles impulseront sans aucun doute un souffle nouveau à ces relations de même qu’elles stimuleront les activités globales du groupe de la Banque et sa capacité à développer les partenariats pour le développement des pays africains.

Il a souligné que les défis auxquels l’Afrique est confrontée sont le résultat de la mondialisation et a assuré que le gouvernement et le peuple chinois se sont engagés à apporter leur soutien aux pays africains dans la résolution de ces défis.

Le Financial Times en parle (voir plus bas) ainsi que la presse chinoise (Xinhua)

En terminant, Grioo.com nous indique que des discussion se tiennent pendant le sommet pour que la B.A.D. retourne à son siège social d’Abidjan (Côte d’Ivoire) :

Le retour de la Banque africaine de développement (BAD) à son siège social d’Abidjan pourrait être évoqué lors des assemblées générales de l’institution qui s’ouvrent mercredi à Shanghai, en Chine, a déclaré mardi à la PANA le chef du service de la communication à la BAD, le Camerounais Eric Chinje.

“Cette question sera sans doute évoquée lors de ces Assemblées générales qui constituent l’instance suprême de décision de la BAD”, a-t-il dit, justifiant de ce retour probable par l’apaisement de la situation politico-militaire en Côte d’Ivoire.

“Des progrès ont été accomplis sur le chemin de la paix surtout depuis l’accord inter-ivoirien signé le 4 mars à Ouagadougou. Il reste maintenant à savoir si cela suffira à convaincre les gouverneurs de prendre une décision”, a ajouté M. Chinje.

La BAD avait quitté son siège social d’Abidjan en 2003 à cause de l’insécurité née de la crise politico-militaire après le déclenchement, en septembre 2002, d’une rébellion dans le nord du pays.

The Chinese influence on the African continent consolidates itself with the opening of the annual meeting of the A.D.B (link in french). in Shanghai, China. It’s the second time such a summit happens outside Africa and it’s the first time in Asia. Chinese papers talk about it (Xinhua) and the Financial Times wrote an article on it. In french, Grioo.com says that talks occured during the summit regarding a possible return of the A.B.D. to it’s Abidjan offices in Côte d’Ivoire:

Financial Times:

“Wen Jiabao [picture below, from Xinhua], China’s premier, on Wednesday called on developed nations to deliver on promises of aid and market access for Africa and pledged Chinese help in speeding economic and social development on the continent.Wen Jiabao

Mr Wen used the opening of the African Development Bank’s (AfDB) annual meeting in Shanghai to issue a gentle rebuke to those who have criticised China’s expanding ties with Africa but have often fallen short on their own commitments.
Advertisement

“We call on the international community, and the developed countries in particular, to deliver on pledged aid to Africa, to cancel debt and to enhance trade,” said Mr Wen.

Ultimately, Africa needed to rely on itself to sustain development, he said, but added: “International support and assistance is still indispensable.”

By hosting the bank’s annual meeting in Shanghai, only the second time it has taken place outside Africa, China has created a potent symbol of its strengthening ties with the continent.

Trade with the continent has risen more than tenfold in a decade to $55bn (€41bn, £27.7bn)). Chinese demand for energy and mineral resources to fuel its booming domestic economy has helped drive up commodity prices on world markets, and contributed to the longest period of sustained growth in Africa since the 1970s.

Providing cheaper and often faster delivery on projects than foreign rivals, Chinese construction companies have proliferated across Africa, winning more than 50 per cent of market share according to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.

But there are growing concerns both in Africa and further afield that in return for short-term credit some governments are tying up resources on a long-term basis in contracts that will prove disadvantageous.

It is a pattern that draws comparisons with Africa’s past relationship with European colonial powers, which exploited the continent’s natural resources but failed to encourage more labour-intensive industry.

Defending China’s intentions, Mr Wen said it had cancelled Rmb10.9bn (€1bn) of African debt and would cancel a further Rmb10bn.

The country planned to meet its commitment to double aid by 2009 and to set up a $5bn development fund for Africa, and would continue to reduce tariffs on selected African imports. “We will fully deliver on our statement and we are working with African countries to implement these measures,” he said.

Mr Wen said the Chinese government was “ready to strengthen co-operation with other countries and international institutions, including the AfDB group in a joint effort” on the continent.

That message will be noted by AfDB and other donor officials who hoped that the meeting would encourage China to adopt a more transparent and collaborative approach to Africa’s problems.”

Le trafic d’ivoire continue/ Ivory traffic continues

Un trafic international d’ivoire lie l’Afrique au continent asiatique (voir Topix.net – en anglais, aussi Traffic.org). En effet, La Chine, le Japon et la Thailande sont des “destinations de choix” de l’ivoire congolais (RDC), nigérian et camerounais. L’ivoire transige par Hong-Kong, Taïwan, et Macao pour se retrouver en Chine. Les Philippines servent de transit pour les marchés japonais et thaïlandais.

Le présence chinoise sur le continent africain a ses effets pervers. Les plus grande saisies d’ivoire ont impliqué ce trafic vers l’Asie et ce sont des réseaux mafieux chinois implantés en Afrique qui en sont responsables.

On peut rajouter que le trafic d’ivoire dure depuis longtemps et que, selon le journal français Le Figaro, 23000 éléphants ont été tué par ce trafic en 2006.
Topix.net brings a report on ivory traffic involving chinese mafia rings:

Chinese-run smuggling rings based in Africa are responsible for illegal ivory imports nearly doubling in the past decade, according to a report published Thursday.

The Cambridge-based wildlife trade monitoring watchdog Traffic International appealed to the Chinese government to help control the problem.

‘It is imperative that China reaches out to the growing Chinese communities in Africa with a clear message that involvement in illegal ivory trade will not be tolerated,’ said Tom Milliken, director of Traffic’s Africa program.

Worldwide, there are an average of 92 ivory seizures a month _ or three per day, the report said. Thirty-two seizures of 1.1 tons or more of ivory were recorded between 1998 and 2006, up from 17 between 1989 and 1997, according to an analysis by the watchdog of international elephant product seizure records.

Markets in China are driving the demand for illicit ivory, which arrives either directly or through Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan. Japan and Thailand are also important final destinations, and the Philippines is a key transit country.

These seven countries and territories account for 62 percent of the ivory recovered in the 49 largest recorded seizure cases, the report said.

The study identified the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Cameroon and Nigeria as major sources of illegal ivory.

‘With myriad conflict zones, Central Africa is currently hemorrhaging ivory, and these three countries are major conduits for trafficking illicit ivory from the region to international markets, particularly in Asia,’ Milliken said.

Ivory trading threatens elephant populations by creating commercial incentives for poachers. The ivory is used mostly to make decorations or luxury items.

‘This demonstrates greater sophistication, organization and finance behind the illegal movement of ever larger volumes of ivory from Africa to Asia,’ said Susan Lieberman, director of the World Wildlife Fund’s Global Species Program. ‘This is clearly a negative consequence of the ongoing globalization of African markets and economies.’

Traffic International monitors trade in endangered animals across Europe for the CITES Secretariat in Geneva.

Copyright 2007 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

We can add, that, according to the french paper Le Figaro, 23000 elephants where killed for their ivory in Africa in 2006.

Des africains à Shanghai/ Africans in Shanghai

Visitez Afroshanghai, le blog des africains de Shanghai. Des points de vue sont exprimés sur la relation économique entre la Chine et le continent africain. La vision peut différer de celle que nous avons pu exprimer ici, mais elle contribue au débat complexe suscité par la présence d’un nouvel actor de poids sur le continent.

Visit Afroshanghai, the blog from Africans living in Shanghai. Point of views are expressed regarding the economic relations between Africa and China. The vision is different compared to what we have expressed here, but it contributes to the complex debate raised by the presence of a new heavyweight actor on the continent.

In Foreign Policy in Focus: China in Africa/ Dans “Foreign Policy in Focus”: La Chine en Afrique.

(Liens en anglais/ links in english)

La présence chinoise en Afrique est de plus en plus préoccupante. D’ici 2010, les investissements chinois dépasseront ceux des États-Unis sur le continent pour de venir son partenaire économique le plus important. Une révolution lorsqu’on sait qu’il y a à peine dix ans, “l’Empire du milieu” était à peine présent en Afrique. Mais, cet exploit a des conséquences nombreuses et pas toujours heureuses pour l’Afrique. Voici une brillante analyse d’Akwe Amosu dans la Revue Foreign Policy in Focus. Mr. Amosu est analyste senior au “Washington Office of the Open Society Institute“.

The Chinese presence in Africa is preoccupying. In 2010, chinese investments on the continent will pass the ones coming from the United States and make China the number one economic partner of Africa. It’s a revolution when we compare to ten years ago; “the Middle kingdom” was barely present in Africa. This feat has several consequences that aren’t always happy for the continent. Here is a brilliant analysis by Akwe Amosu in Foreign Policy in Focus. Mr. Amosu is a senior policy analyst for Africa at the Washington Office of the Open Society Institute.