February 18, 2014

AFRICA: China Pillages Africa Like Old Colonialists Says Jane Goodall. EXACTLY! Top 5 African Infrastructural Projects In 2013; China Takes Control Of Zimbabwe's Economy

Yahoo news
written by AFP staff
Tuesday February 18, 2014

Johannesburg - China is exploiting Africa's resources just like European colonisers did, with disastrous effects for the environment, acclaimed primatologist Jane Goodall has told AFP.
On the eve of her 80th birthday, the fiery British wildlife crusader is whizzing across the world giving a series of lectures on the threats to our planet.

And the rising world power's involvement on the continent especially raises alarms when it comes to her beloved chimpanzees and wildlife habitats.

During the last decade China has been investing heavily in African natural resources, developing mines, oil wells and running related construction companies.

Activists accuse Chinese firms of paying little attention to the environmental impact of their race for resources.

"In Africa, China is merely doing what the colonialist did. They want raw materials for their economic growth, just as the colonialists were going into Africa and taking the natural resources, leaving people poorer," she told AFP in an interview in Johannesburg.

The stakes for the environment may even be larger this time round, she warns.

"China is bigger, and the technology has improved... It is a disaster."

Other than massive investment in Africa's mines, China is also a big market for elephant tusks and rhino horn, which has driven poaching of these animals to alarming heights.

But Goodall, who rose to fame through her ground-breaking research on chimpanzees in Tanzania, is optimistic.

"I do believe China is changing," she said, citing as one example Beijing's recent destruction of illegal ivory stockpiles.

"I think 10 years ago, even with international pressure, we would never have had an ivory crush. But they have," she added.

"I think 10 years ago the government would never have banned shark fin soup on official occasions. But they have."

- 'Small window of time' -

Her organisation Roots and Shoots, founded over two decades ago to instil conservation values in children, has also become involved in China.

"We work with hundreds of Chinese children, and they are not different from children we work with here. They all love nature, they love animals, they want to help, there's no difference because they're Chinese," she said.

Young people's enthusiasm to change the world is a major reason to hope, for this lady with seemingly inexhaustible energy who can still keep an auditorium hanging on her words for more than an hour.

"These young people will become the next parents, the next teachers, the next lawyers, the next business people and the next politicians, some of them."

"The biggest problem is that people understand but don't know what to do," she said.

"If you have one thousand, one million or eventually several million people all making the right choice, all thinking about the consequence of their behaviour, then we're going to see big change."

Another glimmer of hope is "this amazing resilience of nature," she continued, citing as an example the China's Loess Plateau on the Yellow River bouncing back after massive soil erosion.

"It was set to be the biggest totally destroyed ecosystem in the world," she said.

A $400-million project funded by the Chinese government and international donors introduced better farming methods in the area, which greatly reduced erosion and lifted 2.5 million people out of poverty, according to the World Bank.

"That took a lot of money, but if you look at it now, it's all green, lush and farmland, and children have come back from the cities. It's even got a whole area for wildlife," said Goodall.

"We still have a small window of time to change things."

Naija247 news
written by Staff
December 30, 2013

The Influx of greater Foreign Direct Investment in Africa, coupled with the rising demand of state-of-the-art infrastructures has ushered in a new dawn of monumental edifices, gradually changing the landscape across Africa. In 2012, we saw the flag off of billion dollar projects including the $6 billion Eko Atlantic mega city, Tanzania’s Oyster Bay, and South Africa’s SKA project. 2013 has continued in the same vein, with landmark projects, which will rival international structures in the coming years, springing up as Africa’s economic resurgence continues.

In this piece, Ventures Africa lists 5 infrastructures billion-dollar infrastructural projects – set to have a positive impact, economically – across Africa.

Great Inga Dam ($80 billion) - With a 40,000MW production capacity, the Democratic Republic of Congo’s Great Inga is the largest dam in the world, doubling production of China’s Three Gorges Dam, the current largest.

Earlier this year, the government announced the commencement of the first phase, expected to provide over 4,500MW of electricity with a cost of $12 billion. Though reservations over the sourcing of funds have been clearly highlighted, a complete Inga will reportedly provide over 500 million African with energy, boosting industrial activities across the continent.

Konza City ($14.5 billion) - Located in Makueni County, Southeast of Nairobi, Kenya “African Silicon Savannah” is Kenya’s answer to the United States’ Silicon Valley. The technology and financial mega city, expected to be completed in early 2018, will include a business district, a science park, residential apartments, hotels and malls, and a university.

It is expected to attract over 100,000 jobs, with funding sourced through a public/private partnership.

Mombasa-Kigali Rail Project ($13.5 billion) - the East African grand project will seek to link 3 Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda, covering an estimated 3,000 kilometers, further shrinking barriers to regional trade.

It is expected to boost multi sector business for the landlocked nations and reduce export cost significantly, with a more convenient means of transportation for travelers/workers expected to increase human capital mobility, as well as easier movement of goods and services.

Ethiopia Renaissance Dam ($4.8 billion) - Despite controversy that has irked the Egyptian government and sparked political tension between Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan over the use of the Nile, the dam will generate 6,000MW of energy and will provide neighbors Egypt and Sudan with electricity.

The dam is being assembled by Salini Costruttori, an Italian engineering company and will create over 12,000 direct and indirect jobs. It is expected to be completed in 2017.

Eko Light Rail Project ($1.2 billion) - Built By Chinese construction giant CECEE, the rail project aims to decongest traffic in Nigeria’s commercial hub. The “Metro Blue Line” will move commuters from Marina – a densely populated business district – to Okokomaiko, with 13 stops in-between, providing workers with an easier alternative to the hectic traffic faced daily on roads.

Eko Rail, the Nigerian company given a 25-year license to manage the rail, also recently agreed to purchase 255 trains from Canadian Toronto Transit Commission’s Subway vehicles for use in the Blue Line.


The New Zimbabwe
March 11, 2013

UNDER the iron grip of President Robert Mugabe, Zimbabwe's economy lies in ruins with allegations of rampant human rights abuses.

Yet, the country once known as Africa's "bread basket" is attracting Chinese firms in ever-growing numbers.

Western companies left Zimbabwe long ago, unable to tolerate the policies of the now 89-year-old Mugabe, who has been in power since 1980.

China is keen to exploit the country’s vast mineral resources and restore its ability to be a leading producer of crops.

Mugabe is no darling of the West. But his administration welcomes the growing Chinese interest, even though ordinary citizens are clearly wary.

The farming town of Chinhoyi is located roughly 100 kilometres northwest of Harare. Fields operated by local farmers flank the main road. The harvest is finished, the dry season has begun and the grass is withered and flattened.

Suddenly, a vast tract of verdant farmland comes into view. Countless automatic sprinklers shower the fields with water. The sight is reminiscent of the days when Zimbabwe was a model of agricultural ingenuity for the rest of Africa.

But it is the red flag of China that flies over this land these days. Smartly attired Chinese in suits come and go.

The land was a white-owned farm that was seized by the Mugabe administration. A Chinese company has operated it for around three years under a contract with the Zimbabwean government.

Seeking minerals

Chinese companies are also significantly expanding operations in businesses related to Zimbabwe's vast mineral wealth, such as gold, diamonds and chromium.

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