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Assessing and promoting civil and minority rights in South Africa.

[Source: Daily Maverick by Greg Mills & Nicola Doyle.]

There is no doubt that China’s emergence as the world’s second-largest economy and, particularly, its role in Africa, has shaken up the established order. No longer is the African continent seen as a problem to be solved by Western charity, but rather a business opportunity. 

‘One Belt, One Road.’ Fortunately, it sounds more poetic in Chinese: Yi Dai Yi Lu.

Still, it’s a bit confusing, because OBR or Belt Road, as it’s become known, is not really a road at all, but rather a project that spans several land and maritime corridors, linking Asia to Europe, the Middle East and East Africa. First announced by President Xi Jinping in 2013, nearly 70 countries have since signed up.

The OBR promises to be the largest infrastructure initiative ever launched, some $900-billion, aiming to create what the Chinese call a “modern Silk Road” trading route involving two-thirds of the world’s population, much more ambitious than even the gold-standard post-war Marshall Plan, which provided $136-billion in today’s money to 17 countries in Western Europe.

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South Africa at a Glance
57 700 000 (mid 2018 estimate)
4.4% y/y in April 2019 (CPI) & +6.5 y/y in April 2019 (PPI)
-3.2% q/q (1st quarter of 2019)
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