Issue #1

In 1889, a sign was put up: ‘mangeurs de cuivre’ — or eaters of copper, referring to the colonial mission in the DRC. As our cover image reveals, this feasting has changed strategy, but the logic remains intact.

  • Analysis: Nigeria’s Deepwaters Run Shallow

    , by Toyin Akinosho

    Oil is big business. In Nigeria, it is the life of the economy, blood as oil pumping through the veins of pipelines. But the Production Sharing Contracts (PSC) that replaced the Joint Venture (JV) agreements between the cash-strapped state hydrocarbon company (NNPC), and oil companies, have (...)

  • Chinese connections in African ivory — rhino horn markets

    , by Oxpeckers reporters

    China is responsible for an estimated 70% of the world trade in ivory, and research by the international wildlife trade monitoring organisation Traffic indicates that nearly 80% of the reported seizures of illegal rhino horns in Asia between 2009 and late last year happened in China.
    For the (...)

  • China’s growing appetite for rhino horn

    , by Oxpeckers reporters

    Experts warn that China is steadily becoming more prominent as a destination for illegal rhino horn shipments from Southern Africa.
    Given China’s historical tradition of using rhino horn for medicinal purposes, the huge number of potential consumers and their growing purchasing power, the (...)

  • We chat rhino horn

    , by Oxpeckers reporters

    “Western horns”, “black plastics” and “fat meat” are all fake names for rhino horns on Baidu Tieba, the largest Chinese online community. A special section named the Rhino Horn Bar has been created to host the countless online posts selling or buying rhino horns.
    As a strategy to avoid online (...)

  • Ivory and instability

    , by Oxpeckers reporters

    In northern Mozambique, rangers report that in the first six months of 2013 an average of three to four elephants were being poached each day for their ivory. As the Mozambican economy grows, Chinese businesses have been flooding into the country. Oxpeckers reporters visited the northern border (...)

  • Blood ivory funds election tensions?

    , by Oxpeckers reporters

    Was blood money from ivory trafficking used to fuel tensions in the run-up to elections in Mozambique?
    Municipal elections were held in late November 2013 and presidential, parliamentary and regional assembly elections will be held on October 15, 2014. Violent flare-ups between the ruling (...)

  • Twilight for Elephants?

    , by Estacio Valoi

    Award-winning Mozambican journalist Estacio Valoi conducted a three-month investigation, unpacking the systemic ties between Chinese and Mozambican poaching outfits. The following images were part of an exhibit that took place in Johannesburg, during October 2013.
    During the past three years, (...)

  • ‘Sweet grab, sweat labour’ — Malawi sugar plantation exploits

    , by Collins Mtika

    80 farmers displaced from land through exclusive negotiations between chiefs and corporate companies, for sugarcane; Forced to become ’tenants’ and work the land for a pittance, to grow sugarcane for Illovo; Illovo denies accountability, claiming sugarcane is farmed by third party outgrower; (...)

  • South Africa: Pembani Coal — Misdirected Benefit?

    , by Franz Fuls

    Mining company is destroying productive farmland
    Security of tenure of farm workers in jeopardy
    Village houses fell over due to blasting, mining company selectively compensating for damages
    Unemployment is rife since mining replaced commercial farming
    Traditional grazing land allocated (...)

  • Rich girl, poor girl: Contradictions of Zimbabwe’s land reform

    , by FAIR

    Over 70% of Zimbabweans are based in rural areas, primarily dependent on female farmers, owning small hectares of land.
    One decade after Fast Track Land Reform begins, just 12%-16% of women are beneficiaries
    Discrimination or invisibilisation in national laws, such as Land Reform and (...)

  • Who Owns the Lobito Corridor?

    , by John Grobler

    A small elite clique from the Angolan government at the highest level have and working in close partnership with Trafigura via the China International Fund, have:
    using Chinese state loans, repaid with Angolan oil, rebuilt the Angolan railway system for their own private but secret gain as (...)

  • Kings of oil

    , by John Grobler

    Trafigura is the third-largest commodity trader in the world after Vitol and Glencore Xstrata and Vitol. Like Vitol, it is registered in the Netherlands but operates from Switzerland (as does Glencore) because of the extremely advantageous local tax regime. Vitol (2012 revenue: $303 bn), (...)

  • The Congola Express

    , by John Grobler

    jpg/dsc_2745.jpg Economic lifeblood: With no formal service station yet operational in Luau, fuel is dispensed directly from the Sonangol tanker and sold by the 20 litter container only. Cheap Angolan fuel is the most sought-after commodity in neighbouring Katanga Province and underpins a (...)

  • Die Hard — Egypt’s deadly factory

    , by Nyira el Sheiref

    Dozens of workers suffering from pulmonary ossification due to exposure of silica dust;
    Health insurance company colludes with Factory management health conditions of workers
    Work Office engaged lawsuits No. 4917-4918 2012 before the Court of Edfu, against the arbitrary transfer of workers, (...)

  • Ways to Kill a Wetland

    , by Franz Fuls

    Exxaro illegally mining in a wetland, claiming it has required permissions but failing to provide satisfactory proof.
    Operations were halted by Department Water Affairs through a stop order directive.
    Minister of Water Affairs confirmed in the National Parliamentary Assembly that mining (...)

  • Boom Town: Kigali’s Chinese Investment

    , by Daniel Nzohabonimana

    Chinese investment in Africa has increased at an unprecedented level during the past two decades. Known as the ‘weapon of mass construction’ China’s footprint in Rwanda is no exception. Still recovering from the devastating 1994 genocide, the country urgently requires infrastructural investment to (...)

  • Lunching with Congolese rebel leader

    , by Richard Mgamba

    M23 leader reveals how the Kinshasa regime okayed a robbery to steal $5million from American gold smugglers
    It was seven days before Christmas eve, the period in which Christians all over the world are busy with shopping and planning for the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ. But to me (...)

  • African Sentinel

    Oxford Dictionary
    1 a soldier or guard whose job is to stand and keep watch: soldiers stood sentinel with their musket
    station a soldier or guard by (a place) to keep watch
    The African Sentinel is a pan-African quarterly publication founded by a vision of creating a (...)