Africa is the richest continent in the world, in terms of natural resources, and as world powers continue tapping into it, China is not being left behind.In a bid to bolster their interests the Chinese are building a strong relationship with the Africa Union.
# “How the Chinese government handles their entrepreneurial class will be key to how they are respected on the African continent”
# “(On the new AU building)Its a very symbolic thing, the Chinese like symbols. The big symbol of Chinese,Sino-Africa cooperation and I think you can’t argue with a monstrous building infront of you, right? Its a very powerful message and I think thats what it was designed to do”
#”I think in part they are doing it to help us develop but also they do it , to make it more efficient for them to extract our resources. Now, you might say , they are coming here to just extract our resources but so is everybody else. What the difference is , with what the Chinese have done is increase the level of competition”
South Sudan emerged as an independent country on July 9th, 2011. While the new state of South Sudan is no longer subject to sanctions administered by the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), certain activities in or involving South Sudan continue to be prohibited absent authorization from OFAC, given the interdependence between certain sectors of the economies of South Sudan and Sudan. In order to encourage U.S. investment in South Sudan, on December 8, 2011, OFAC issued two general licenses that authorize: 1) activities and transactions relating to the petroleum and petrochemical industries in South Sudan and related financial transactions; and 2) the transshipment of goods, technology, and services through Sudan to and from South Sudan and related financial transactions. There may be certain other activities by U.S. persons in the Republic of South Sudan that continue to be prohibited. Additional guidance regarding activities in South Sudan can be found here.
The Embassy recommends that anyone interested in doing business in South Sudan consult the links below, which are intended to assist U.S. businesses with obtaining information on the investment climate, business regulations in Juba, and U.S. sanctions.
U.S. Special Envoy to Sudan and South Sudan Ambassador Donald Booth will be traveling to Juba, South Sudan on December 4, 2013 to attend the South Sudan Investment Conference and for meetings with the Government of South Sudan and other diplomatic partners.
U.S. State Department
The National Company for Financial Consultations was appointed as independent financial adviser to re-evaluate Suez Industrial Development and Orascom Construction with the aim of restructuring within the group. It will also prepare a study of fair value for shares of both companies
The Ministry of Supply will start to implement the butane gas coupon program January 2014, Al-Shorouk reported. This will ensure that butane gas cylinders reach civilians and at the official price of EGP8 per cylinder. Coupons will be distributed with the ration cards so individuals can take their coupons from the ration kiosk and obtain two subsidized cylinders per family during winter and one and a half during summer, said the Minister of Supply added.
The minister added anyone manipulating the system would incur a penalty, such as paying a fine between EGP70 and EGP80 and a reduction of 25% of the supplier’s share of butane gas cylinders. A court hearing, a fine between EGP15,000 and EGP20,000, as well as a prison sentence of at least six years will also be considered in some cases.
Army Powers Expanded in Egyptian Draft Constitution An Egyptian constitutional panel appointed by the military-backed government has come up with a draft charter overhauling Egypt’s constitution. The Muslim Brotherhood promptly rejected the revised constitution, which modified the document that the Islamist party had approved while its leader, Mohamed Morsi, was president of Egypt until he was deposed by the army in July. Praise from the panel’s members has been tempered with unease from human rights and secular critics who say that the amendments give the military an inordinate amount of power. One clause gives the military the ability to veto the government’s choice for defense minister for the next two presidential terms. In addition, civilians may still be tried in military courts. While the constitution is couched in Islamic law, political parties are banned from being based on religion. This has given rise to concerns that the military is maintaining its grip on power despite its pledges to create a roadmap back to democracy. The new constitution also includes an article that leaves the procedure for a vote on the draft vague. According to analysts, the choice of whether parliamentary or presidential elections are held first falls to interim President Adly Mansour. After a decision is made, “procedures” for the first election must begin within 30 days of the adoption of the constitution, while preparations for the “other election” must begin within six months. Egypt has been wrapped in turmoil since the ouster of Morsi in July, when the military engaged in the most severe crackdown on the Muslim Brotherhood in its history. Thousands of political leaders have been arrested, while daily protests by Islamists lead to clashes throughout Cairo, the capital. American aid to the strategic Middle Eastern country has been put on hold.