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Angola, where a 27-year civil war ended in 2002, is rebuilding with the help of Chinese loans backed by oil output of more than 1.7 million barrels a day from offshore fields operated by companies such as Total SA (FP) and Chevron Corp. (CVX)

The government’s decision on Feb. 5 to cut the prices of bigger apartments to a maximum of $190,000 from $200,000 and smaller ones to $70,000 from $125,000 sparked a flood of applications. Before that about 30,000 units in five suburbs of Luanda, home to more than five million people, stood empty for more than a year because Angolans couldn’t afford them.

The government paid $3.54 billion for Beijing-based Citic Construction Co. Ltd. to build 115 apartment blocks in the first 900-hectare phase of Kilamba, 20 kilometers (12 miles) south of Luanda.

“Eleven years after the end of Angola’s civil war, we are seeing the beginnings of an emerging middle class in Luanda,” Lucy Corkin, a sovereign risk analyst at Rand Merchant Bank in Johannesburg, said March 7 in an e-mail. “The challenge is that Angola’s social and physical infrastructure is currently not yet properly equipped to deal with their demands in terms of goods and services.”

Luanda is plagued by power outages several times a day and almost constant traffic jams around dusty and garbage-strewn slums. The nation is trying to build up agriculture to reduce imports and feed a country that was the world’s fourth-largest coffee producer before independence in 1975.


Angola is the fifth-biggest diamond producer by value, and its per capita income of $5,681 ranks seventh in sub-Saharan Africa, ahead of countries such as Nigeria and Kenya, according to the International Monetary Fund. The United Nations said in 2011 that 54 percent of its people still live on less than $1.25 a day.

Angola forecasts 7.1 percent economic growth this year after 7.4 percent last year and an average expansion of 9.2 percent over the past five years, according to government budget documents. The country depends on oil for approximately 40 percent of its total output and 70 percent of government revenue, according to the IMF.


Luanda is Africa’s most expensive city for expatriates to live in and the second-costliest in the world, according to Mercer’s annual cost of living survey.

It cost $15,000 a month to rent a four-bedroom executive house in the city’s Miramar and Ingombata areas last year, according to London-based real estate broker Knight Frank LLP. In the Nigerian capital, Abuja, and Lagos, the main commercial hub, a prime property went for an average $10,000 a month.

Rent for an unfurnished, two bedroom apartment in Luanda was $6,500 a month, according to Mercer. That compares with $4,424 in London, $4,500 in New York and $4,848 in Tokyo.

FILM: “Applied Theories of Expanding Minds”

Experimental short sci-fi film set in set in a “future Kenya that has just freed itself from Chinese domination”.

Haven’t watched the film yet so can’t say anything about it at this stage but if you have time to view it, it’s 30 minutes long and does present an intriguing and socially relevant topic from a rather controversial angle, so it seems worth a watch.

Chinese scientific research ship Dayang Yihao, or Ocean One, has returned to east China harbour, almost four months after it completed a nine-day exploration of Nigeria’s waters with Nigerian and Chinese scientists.

The research team, with 15 Nigerians and 66 Chinese crew conducted research mainly on the western part of Nigerian waters, Captain Cao Yezheng.

Back in China, the team has flaunted some of the things found under Nigeria’s water.

Among them a rare crab specie and undersea rock, shown above.

It was the first time for a Chinese research team to lead an operation in an African country’s exclusive economic zone.

“It is a groundbreaking voyage in terms of boosting marine cooperation between the two countries,” said Li Bo, an official with the China Ocean Mineral Resources R&D Association, organizer of the expedition.

The mission will help both sides better understand the underwater landscape and fishery conditions in the area, Captain Cao Yezheng said.

The expedition started in April. After setting sail from Sanya in south China’s Hainan province, the ship sailed 38,000 nautical miles through the Atlantic Ocean, the Indian Ocean and the Gulf of Guinea.

The 245-day voyage allowed researchers to study biological diversity in hydrothermal areas in the Atlantic Ocean for the first time, which will provide valuable information for future biological and geological studies, chief expedition scientist Tao Chunhui said.

The Ocean One is China’s only open-ocean vessel designated and equipped for deep sea research.

“We were able to understand the water chemistry, understand the sea channel, the fishery condition and some other areas that needed to be touched,” Cao had said at a brief reception in Lagos, attended by Dr. Liu Xianfa, consul general of China in Lagos.

Also speaking, Emmanuel A. Ajao, the acting executive director of Nigerian Institute of Oceanography and Marine Research (NIOMR) said the successful scientific joint research program will benefit both of the two countries and the world.

A group of 101 Chinese miners detained in Ghana last week on charges of illegal gold mining have been released on bail, officials said here on Friday.

The group, suspected of illegal gold mining were released on bail on Wednesday, China’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said.

Ghana has set up a team to investigate the issue, including the incident of the death of a Chinese national, Hong told reporters here.

The 101 miners were bailed after joint efforts by the Chinese foreign ministry and the Chinese embassy in the African nation, state-run Xinhua news agency reported.

The miners were detained and a 16-year-old Chinese national was shot dead during a joint action by Ghana’s police and immigration officials to investigate illegal gold mining by foreigners in the Ashanti region last week.

Hong said the Chinese embassy will deal with the follow-up issues of the incident.


Chinese shoe maker Huajian has built a factory outside Adis Ababa, Ethiopia, employing some 550 local and Chinese workers

(via Opinion: Could Africa be world’s next manufacturing hub? - CNN.com)

(note: CNN has suddenly appeared with a section on African business, msm notice indeed!)

(via prepaidafrica)

The ghost towns of China, Ireland and Spain - full of large empty house estates - may be a phenomenon that is on its way to Africa.

Built for people who never move in, they leave those who did with a worthless property they cannot sell.

Perched in an isolated spot some 30km (18 miles) outside Angola’s capital, Luanda, Nova Cidade de Kilamba is a brand-new mixed residential development of 750 eight-storey apartment buildings, a dozen schools and more than 100 retail units.

Designed to house up to half a million people when complete, Kilamba has been built by the state-owned China International Trust and Investment Corporation (CITIC) in under three years at a reported cost of $3.5bn (£2.2bn).

Spanning 5,000 hectares (12,355 acres), the development is the largest of several new “satellite cities” being constructed by Chinese firms around Angola, and it is believed to be one of the largest new-build projects on the continent.

The jewel in Angola’s post-war reconstruction crown, Kilamba is the star of glossy government promotional videos which show smiling families enjoying a new style of living away from the dust and confusion of central Luanda where millions live in sprawling slums.

But the people in these films are only actors, and despite all the hype, nearly a year since the first batch of 2,800 apartments went on sale, only 220 have been sold.

(read more)


The hypocrisy of western criticism is, she says, quite breathtaking. We accuse the Chinese government of meddling in free-market capitalism, clean forgetting that US farm subsidy programmes and Europe’s Common Agricultural Policy have condemned Africa’s farmers to poverty.

The US is perfectly happy to take China’s money – more than $1tn worth of government bonds – yet expects the emerging markets to say: “No, we don’t want Chinese money because there’s an issue of human rights.” We complain that the Chinese are paying too much for commodities, instead of wondering whether China might in fact have grasped their true value. And we have the nerve, she marvels, to accuse China of neocolonialism, failing to understand that “the rest of the world actually thinks what China is doing is pretty damn clever”.

It was the west which got rich by invading and plundering the rest of the world, whereas China is engaging with it on respectful, peaceful, generous terms.

“What the Chinese are trying to do – move a billion people out of poverty – is just an unheard-of thing in history. The fact that they have moved 300 million in 30 years is unheard of. It took Britain 156 years to double its per capita income. It took America 57 years, Germany 65 years. It’s taken the Chinese 12-and-a-half years.”

Moyo stresses more than once: “I’m an economist, not a political scientist,” and her writing is full of the maddeningly opaque jargon of commodity trading. 


(via thefemaletyrant)