Showing posts with label Africa. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Africa. Show all posts

23 April 2018

AFRICALosing The Battle: How China is Outperforming the USA in Sub-Saharan Africa

By Henry Hama

Under what conditions could the United States regain its position of strategic dominance in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) despite increasingly reduced economic support programs as well as a limited-to-no Foreign Military Financing (FMF) grants? With the expansion of China’s economic and military cooperation activities across SSA in the last decade, the United States is increasingly becoming unpopular to much of the region. It is imperative to comprehend that China did not emerge accidentally as a global economic contender. When the United States was engaged in the “Global War Against Terror (GWAT),” following the September 11, 2001 (9/11) terrorist attacks, much of its focus was in Southwest Asia and the Middle East. 

21 April 2018

U.S. politicians get China in Africa all wrong


By Deborah Bräutigam 

Loans from China helped Uganda build a speedy new road to its main airport. But critics say the country is now too deep in debt to Beijing. Deborah Bräutigam is the Bernard L. Schwartz Professor of International Political Economy and director of the China Africa Research Initiative at Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies. Her latest book is Will Africa Feed China? In Washington, Republicans and Democrats generally look at China as a new imperial power in Africa: bad news for Africans. But is this really the case? Just before his visit to Africa last month, former secretary of state Rex Tillerson accused China of using “predatory loan practices,” undermining growth and creating “few if any jobs” on the continent. In Ethiopia, Tillerson charged the Chinese with providing “opaque” project loans that boost debt without providing significant training. As secretary of state, Hillary Clinton sang the same tune, warning Africans to beware of this “new colonialism.” China, we are often told, is bringing in all its own workers or “grabbing” African land to grow food to send back to feed China. 

20 April 2018

Can China Realize Africa’s Dream of an East-West Transport Link?

By: Cobus van Staden

African development hinges on a maddening paradox: its greatest asset—the sheer size and diversity of its landscape—is also the greatest barrier to its development. Landlocked countries are cut off from ports, and the difficulty of moving goods from country to country weighs down intra-continental trade (only 15% of African trade is within Africa. (African Development Bank, 2017) African consumers bear the brunt of these difficulties. [1]. Costs are driven up by a host of factors: tariffs, border delays, corruption. But the biggest challenge is that no streamlined transport route exists between West and East Africa – only a decaying and underdeveloped road and rail system which pushes up costs and drags down efficiency.

7 April 2018

CHINA SAYS U.S. WANTS WORLD FOR ITSELF AND THAT'S WHY IT CAN'T ACCEPT BEIJING'S ROLE IN AFRICA

BY TOM O'CONNOR

China has defended its expanding role in Africa after lawmakers in Washington announced they would open an investigation into Beijing's push for economic and military influence in a number of countries there. House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes, a GOP representative from California, said on Fox News's Sunday Morning Futures with Maria Bartiromo that China was "a big problem" and that he and fellow Republican lawmakers were "running an investigation on many aspects of China," including allegations of intellectual property theft, currency manipulation and its "military footprint" in Africa. The following day, the Chinese Foreign Ministry denied charges of malpractice and called for cooperation rather than competition with the U.S.

6 April 2018

The Pentagon’s Secret, Permanent Wars


Two months after the lethal ambush in Niger that killed four American troops in October, U.S. forces were involved in another skirmish in the central African nation with militants linked to the Islamic State. If this story sounds unfamiliar, that’s because it was first reported last week, fully three months after the battle. Pressed for an explanation of the delay at a Defense Department briefing Thursday, chief Pentagon spokesperson Dana White offered a stunning justification: U.S. “troops are often in harm’s way, and there are tactical things that happen that we don’t put out a press release about,” she said. “We also don’t want to give a report card to our adversaries. They learn a great deal from information that we put out.”

5 April 2018

NIGERIA'S TROUBLING COUNTERINSURGENCY STRATEGY AGAINST BOKO HARAM

by Vanda Felbab

The kidnapping of 110 schoolgirls from Dapchi last month is the latest event to cast doubt on the Nigerian government’s claims that Boko Haram has been technically defeated. Unfortunately, the attack should have come as no surprise. Since 2015, the jihadist group has lost significant territorial control and no longer holds major cities. But as I saw during my fieldwork in Nigeria in January, the jihadist threat is far from gone, and counterinsurgency policies continue to be troubled and troubling.

20 March 2018

Africa, Latest Theater in America’s Endless War

Joe Penney 

Last October, four American soldiers, four Nigerien soldiers, and a Nigerien translator were killed in combat on Niger’s border with Mali while looking for the jihadi militant Doundoun Cheffou. For the most part, the fallout concentrated on President Trump’s mangled call with the widow of Sergeant La David Johnson. But the incident also called attention to a dangerous development at multiple levels of US politics. From a small village in rural Niger all the way to the White House, the US military has increasing influence over American foreign policy in Africa. 

26 February 2018

Understanding the BRI in Africa and the Middle East

By Isaac Kfir

This Strategic Insight aims to expand on Paul Dibb and Richard Brabin-Smith’s powerful, provocative paper, Australia’s management of strategic risk in the new era. Dibb and Brabin-Smith, two of Australia’s leading strategic thinkers, examined China’s growing assertiveness in our region. Here, I look beyond our region and beyond China’s One Belt, One Road Initiative (BRI) to highlight how China is expanding its influence in Africa and the Middle East. I examine some selected cases, such as Zimbabwe, Israel, Turkey and Iran. I also try to situate the BRI in President Xi Jinping’s grand strategy.

Isaac Kfir joined ASPI in August 2017 as the Director of the National Security program and Head of the Counter-terrorism Policy Centre. .PDF ( 0.66 MB )

22 February 2018

Jammu terror attack: Does India have a game plan to counter Pakistan's misadventures?

Raj Chengappa 

Pakistan is like the bounceback toys sold in subcontinental markets. Hit them hard enough and they appear to topple, only to rebound and, if you are not watchful, whack you. As he nears the end of his fourth year as prime minister, Narendra Modi must be both exasperated and frustrated with the way his efforts to deal with Pakistan have turned out. Whatever he has thrown at Pakistan to bring it around, it never seems to learn, and keeps coming back for more punishment.

19 February 2018

Jacob Zuma’s last stand South Africa’s ruling party v the president


NO ONE expected Jacob Zuma to go gracefully. But as South Africa’s ever-defiant president drags out his final days in office, even his allies in the ruling party have had enough. On February 13th the African National Congress (ANC) said that its national executive committee had “recalled” Mr Zuma as president “with urgency” (under the party’s rules, though not the country’s constitution, all government officials serve at the ANC’s pleasure). In response, Mr Zuma said he would leave office—in three to six months. He had already swatted away an appeal from the six most senior leaders in the party to resign a week earlier. This is in character: shameless and stubborn, he has, over the years, appeared unfazed by damning court decisions against him as well as mass demonstrations demanding that he go. A popular cartoon doing the rounds in South Africa shows a huge crowd of people outside his office. A party colleague says: “It’s the people. They’ve come to say goodbye.” An insouciant Zuma replies: “Where are they going?”

18 February 2018

Why South Africa matters to the world

Gideon Rachman

During the 1980s and 1990s, the struggle against apartheid made headlines all over the world. Nelson Mandela’s dignity, first as a prisoner and then as president, gave him the international status of a Gandhi. Events in post-apartheid, post-Mandela South Africa, were always likely to seem relatively humdrum.

16 February 2018

South Africa Moves Beyond Zuma


The new president of South Africa's ruling party, Cyril Ramaphosa, is set on ousting South African President Jacob Zuma.

Zuma's eventual removal will benefit the African National Congress in upcoming 2019 general elections, as it will strip the opposition of the ability to use the president's many corruption scandals as political fodder.

Ramaphosa wants to steer the party away from its recent history of corruption and mismanagement, but pulling it out of its long-term decline will be a challenge.

12 February 2018

How Djibouti Became China's Gateway To Africa

By Dietmar Pieper

Djibouti, one of Africa's smallest countries, has become China's "strategic partner." The Chinese have built a military base and a port, and is currently constructing a free trade zone, fast establishing it as Beijing's gateway to the continent.

A police car appears in a cloud of red dust on the dirt road between the boulders. A young man in uniform opens the window and starts grousing in French. The Chinese men he is rebuking don't understand any of it, but slowly realize where the anger is coming from. They had forgotten to register with the sentry guarding the entrance to the large construction site above the coast.

6 February 2018

THE COMING WARS The strait at the center of the world

Link


The waters between Djibouti and Yemen are one of the few places where refugees flow both ways.
By BRUNO MAÇÃES , 1/29/18,

BAB EL-MANDEB STRAIT, Djibouti — They call it the gate of grief.
Bab-el-Mandeb was named — according to an old legend — after those who drowned when the strait cracked opened as an earthquake tore apart the continents of Africa and Asia. All non-African people alive today are thought to derive from the small group — some scientists say no more than 200 intrepid souls — who crossed from Africa here, before spreading to the four corners of the world. The first migrants, the original sparkle.
I ask the boat’s pilot to stop right on the line traced between the mountainous Ras Siyyan peninsula in Djibouti and Perim island in Yemen. On the left, the Indian Ocean. On the right, the Red Sea. Time stands still, not a living creature nor the slightest noise to disturb the precious sense of being at the exact point where humanity left Africa to conquer the globe.

The Bab-el-Mandeb you read about is made up of lines and dots on a nautical chart: a strategic chokepoint through which passes almost all of the maritime trade between Europe and Asia: every year, about $700 billion in goods, some 25,000 ships, nearly 2 billion barrels of oil. Then there is an underground world, a secret current underneath, populated by pirates and rebels, fishermen, migrants, wild-hearted divers, sailors and everything in between.

4 February 2018

Seven Priorities for the African Union in 2018


Vital institutional and financial reform will likely be at the top of the AU’s agenda in 2018. However, the ICG contends that the organization must ensure that this priority does not draw attention away from conflict prevention and resolution. Indeed, the AU must also give priority to limiting the disruption friction between Morocco and the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic’s (SADR) could cause the organization; helping to resolve or avert election-related crises in the DRC, Cameroon, Mali and Zimbabwe; and managing conflicts in the Central African Republic, Somalia and South

3 February 2018

Size Doesn’t Matter for Spies Anymore

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BY MARK GALEOTTI

From the Brits to the Australians, everyone wants to say they were the ones to tip off the Americans about Russian hacking. Now, the Dutch say their hackers hacked the hackers of Russia’s Cozy Bear network. Such claims are impossible to corroborate, and it’s only fair that they be greeted, at least in part, with skepticism.

But this competition to claim credit does reveal a new reality in this era of cyberespionage: Size no longer matters in the intelligence world

29 January 2018

Foresight Africa: Top priorities for the continent in 2018



In this year’s Foresight Africa, AGI scholars and invited experts delve deeply into six overarching themes that highlight areas in which African countries and their citizens are taking the lead to achieve inclusive growth. In a world where China and other emerging economies are ascendant, where cooperation on global governance is under challenge, and where free trade faces headwinds, Africa needs its own institutions to play a more assertive role in advancing the continent’s agenda. The potential for a more unified Africa to create never-before-seen opportunities for trade and economic prosperity is gaining traction. Through our exploration, we hope to emphasize that Africa’s future lies in its own hands and that it already has the power to reach its goals.

22 January 2018

Climate-driven Migration in Africa

By Stefano Torelli

Europe is underestimating the primary cause of migration from sub-Saharan Africa: climate change. Environmental changes have a particularly pronounced impact on migration from Africa for at least four reasons: the continent is highly dependent on natural resources and agriculture, which are the first assets to be undermined by climate change; it has poor infrastructure, such as flood defences; its states are often characterized by weak institutions, which are less able to adapt to climate change; and its high poverty rate undermines the resilience of local populations to climate shocks.

16 January 2018

Africa is changing China as much as China is changing Africa

Lily Kuo

Eight years ago I watched the movie “2012,” named after the year the Mayan calendar supposedly ends. In the film an American geologist learns that a solar flare is heating the core of the earth and causing its tectonic plates to shift drastically. Before long, mass earthquakes and tsunamis are annihilating mankind. Los Angeles slips into the Pacific Ocean. The White House gets wiped out by a giant wave, with the president still inside. Soon, most of the earth is submerged in water.

1 January 2018

Africa in 2018: China Flexes Muscles & Leaders Shuffle Decks


For this last week of 2017, we asked our experts to look ahead at key national security issues. CIA veteran and Africa hand Frank Archibald offers some thoughts on where the continent is headed.

Changes in 2017:

It really is a year of big men moving on. In Angola, President José Eduardo Dos Santos ended his 37 years in power, and President Yahya Jammeh left power in the Gambia after 22 years.