Articles reproduced on the TradeMark Southern Africa news aggregator — and forwarded to the China-in-Africa mailing list courtesy of Yoon Jung Park – report that Chinese road construction projects have been suspended in both Botswana and Tanzania because of delays in government payments. In Botswana, the suspension concerns a 115-km stretch being built by Sinohydro. In Tanzania, the Chinese Contractors Association asked the government to pay outstanding debt “so that they can complete the construction of 2,405.6 km trunk roads,” or about 66% of the total being built. ”Johnson Chii, the vice chairman of the Chinese Contractors Association (CCA), said the money is owed since 2009, and has affected their ability to proceed with the work.” I wonder if some of the contractors are private enterprises: road projects usually go to state enterprises as main contractors, but Chii’s Africanised name makes me curious about the situation in Tanzania.
Minjian International has circulated the announcement of a talk in Peking by Zhou Deyi 周德翼 on “The Economic and Social Conditions of Chinese-African Agricultural Development Cooperation” (中非农业发展与合作的经济及社会条件). The talk will be between 10—12 am at the following location: 北京朝阳区北辰西路69号院（路边两层灰色小楼内），亚丁湾商务酒店对面. It is organized by the Darwin Naturalist Society (达尔问自然求知社).
Zhou is a professor at Central China Agricultural University. He spent a year in Botswana between 2009 and 2010 as — according to the announcement — one of 100 high-level agriculture specialists dispatched by China to Africa as part of its aid programme.
What is interesting is that he received his PhD from Wageningen Agricultural University in the Netherlands and subsequently did research in Thailand on food security. So his profile doesn’t fit in the usual picture of Chinese specialists in Africa who are often seen as highly qualified but isolated from international networks and going about their job in isolation.