Abuja: The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) hosted the 2nd Trilateral Conference of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) and the Trade Union Congress, Ghana (TUC-Ghana) from Wednesday 13th Novembers to Friday 15th November 2013, at the Rockview Hotel, Abuja. The Conference with the theme: Working Class Solidarity for Poverty Eradication: The Imperative of Re-Industrialisation and Decent Job in Africa, was attended by official delegations from Nigeria Labour Congress, Congress of South African Congress of Trade Unions, and Trade Union Congress of Ghana. Unions, as well as officials of Embassies and High Commissions of Ghana, South Africa and representative of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, who graced the opening session.
Beijing: Passengers leaving the airport in Johannesburg, one of Africa's busiest hubs, can see a long billboard near the baggage-claim area: "New choice, new life. Haier-inspired living." Haier, a widely known Chinese brand of home electronics and appliances, has entered Africa as part of a long-range strategy to compete with other international manufacturers in the global marketplace. Comment about China's engagement with Africa, now a subject of international attention, has in the past tended to focus on the country's involvement in infrastructure — the construction of roads, bridges, dams, stadiums and harbors. Claims have circulated, as well, that China's interest in Africa is mainly about access to the continent's natural resources.
Addis Ababa: One important consideration in China-Africa relations is the fact that a resurgent China in global affairs is only an emerging one in Africa. China’s relationship with Africa in the modern days was limited to material and ideological support to African Liberation Movements in the beginning of the second half of the twentieth century. It is only after opening up its economy and the end of the cold war that China’s presence without any ideological mission started to surface in Africa. This ‘newness’ in the modern-day beginnings of China-Africa cooperation means that China knows little of African realities and experiences on the ground and vice versa.
Johannesburg: In the mid-1990s, our country threw open the doors of international trade by acceding to the World Trade Organisation (the successor to the General Agreement on Trade and Tariffs). We were lauded for lowering trade barriers – both tariff and non-tariff – much faster than our peers in the developing world, and in the protectionist north. Perversely, this action also marked the start of the steep decline, and at times death, of some of our industries such as the clothing and textile as well as the footwear sectors. It was during this period that we were told by the champions of this strategy that we must “face the chilly winds of globalisation”.
Nairobi: India has extended by Sh30 billion the gap between it and China as the biggest source of Kenya’s imports in the first eight months of the year, latest official trade data shows. The Kenya National Bureau of Statistics import figures for up to August show that Kenya bought goods worth Sh144.1 billion from India, compared to purchases worth Sh114.9 billion from China. During a comparative period in 2012, India exported goods worth Sh122.1 billion to Kenya, with imports from China worth Sh113.3 billion in the same period.
Luanda: Angola may scrap a planned strategic partnership with Portugal in favour of closer ties to China and other emerging powers if Lisbon does not show greater respect for the oil-rich African nation, Angola's foreign minister warned on Wednesday. Angolan President Jose Eduardo Dos Santos said last week that relations with Portugal were not well, reflecting tensions in the planned partnership between Africa's number two oil producer and its former colonial ruler. Portugal is Angola's main source of imports and Portuguese companies are active in banking and construction in the vast southwestern African country. In turn, Angolan investors have snapped up large stakes in top Lisbon-listed companies.
Beijing: China hopes to upgrade ties with South Africa during the coming visit by its Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe, a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman said on Monday. Spokeswoman Hua Chunying told a daily news briefing that Motlanthe will visit China from October 27-30 at the invitation of Chinese Vice President Li Yuanchao and will co-chair the fifth plenary session of the China-South Africa Bi-National Commission with Li.
Nairobi: China has overtaken France as the second largest lender to Kenya after Japan, reflecting Beijing’s increasing importance as a source of development funds for the country. Data from the Central Bank of Kenya shows that Kenya’s debt to Beijing rose by 50 per cent to about $750 million in the year ended June 2013, compared with $500 million in fiscal year 2011-2012.
Johannesburg: Last year BRICS-Africa trade reached USD301 billion (bn), up 3.8% from USD290bn in 2011. While still impressive, seen in the context of the general rise in BRICS-Africa trade since 2003, last year’s lift is fairly modest. And, with the exception of the generalised trade retreat in 2009, is the lowest annual increase in BRICS-Africa trade since 2000. Thus far in 2013, a renewed and dramatic annual rise in BRICS-Africa trade seems unlikely: in the first six months of this year BRICS-Africa trade amounted to USD172bn, up modestly from USD165bn at the same point in 2012.