Africa Links: Compaore Wins in Burkina, Senegal 2012 Elections Set, China-Africa Trade, and More

Burkina Faso: President Blaise Compaore has won re-election with some 80% of the vote.

Senegal: The country’s next elections will take place on February 26, 2012.

[Incumbent President Abdoulaye] Wade has not officially announced his candidacy in the election. In a September 2009 interview, the 84-year-old former lawyer told Voice of America that he would run for a third consecutive seven-year term, “God willing.”

Senegal/Chad: former Chadian President Hissene Habré will face trial in Senegal.

Sudan: AFP: “Observers from the Carter Centre who have been monitoring preparations for a historic vote on independence for south Sudan are warning that a war of words between northern and southern leaders is creating a climate of fear.”

IRIN writes about how to achieve peace in Sudan.

China/Africa: As Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping visited Southern Africa this week, observers note that trade between China and the continent is becoming more diverse.

Increasingly important is trade in sectors besides resources. Chinese consumer goods are making huge inroads in African markets, and more and more Chinese firms are exploring manufacturing deals.

“The key trend going forward here is that we’re seeing hundreds of thousands, literally, of micro Chinese entrepreneurs, procuring from China and selling at the grassroots to African consumers,” said Martyn Davies, chief executive of Frontier Advisory in Johannesburg.

“At the higher end, in more formalised retail … maybe three quarters of their procurement, non-food, is from China,” he said.

While China sees Africa as a prime source for the oil and minerals that its hungry economy needs, the continent is also a promising market for everything from tiny hair decorations to automobiles churned out by China’s fiercely competitive manufacturers.

“There are a lot of complementarities between the Chinese and African economies,” said Xue Lan, dean of public policy at Tsinghua University in Beijing.

Education: Last but not least, the BBC looks at the potential impact of Britain’s cuts for foreign visas on higher education in Africa.

The UK Migration Advisory Committee says the number of overseas students will need to be more than halved if the government is to meet its immigration target – a move that  will affect thousands of students from Africa with dreams of getting a British  university degree.

But is this an opportunity for universities in Africa? If studying abroad is out of reach for many, will students now decided to take degrees in their home countries. Indeed, should African universities now be trying to attract students from elsewhere in the world?

Consider this an open thread.


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