In the shadows of official state-level Sino-African “cooperation” lies a vast swath of hidden quasi-official dealings, with multi-million bribes in the offing

The Financial Times report by Tom Burgis on the dealings of Sam Pa (one of his 7+ pseudonyms) is highly instructive and recommended to AAF’s readership.  Link to “China in Africa: how Sam Pa became the middleman” here.

For a decade, Sam Pa has opened doors for Beijing in Africa. But his story reveals a troubling side to China’s ambitions.  On his way home from Nelson Mandela’s memorial service in December, Ernest Bai Koroma, the president of Sierra Leone, stopped off in Angola to discuss an investment in his war-scarred nation. Fellow guests in the dining room of a golden skyscraper in the centre of Luanda, one of the towering edifices that an oil boom has raised above the slums of Angola’s capital, observed Koroma in rapt conversation with the Chinese man seated to his right.

The short 56-year-old had a receding hairline and a neat goatee beard. He wore a black suit, a red tie and rectangular spectacles. He goes by at least seven names and keeps a lower profile than the Chinese dignitaries who have visited African capitals to trumpet Beijing’s burgeoning alliance with a continent whose oil and minerals have helped feed China’s phenomenal economic growth. Most commonly, he is known as Sam Pa. …”

Read on at

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