Friday, August 16, 2019

Japan Competes with China in Africa

Nikkei Asian Review published on 12 August 2019 an article titled "Japan Extends Loans and Scholarships in Tug of War over Africa" by Hisao Kodachi and Koya Jibiki.

Japan will provide almost $3 billion in loans and scholarships to Africa in effort to step up competition with China.

Thursday, August 15, 2019

China-Africa Relations - A Bibliography

This is my bibliography of China-Africa material updated as of 15 August 2019. It now contains 287 pages.

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

China Makes Inroads in Africa's Media Markets

Foreign Policy posted on 13 August 2019 an article titled "In Africa, China Is the News" by Aubrey Hruby, Atlantic Council.

The article summarizes the dramatic expansion of Chinese companies in Africa's cell phone, television, and print media markets. It is also training African journalists.

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Eritrea: Is Anything Really Changing?

African Arguments published on 13 August 2019 a commentary titled "Eritrea: Is Political Change Really on the Horizon?" by Valerie Frank, academic researcher.

The author argues that Eritrea may have lost the excuse of Ethiopian hostility and UN sanctions to defend its actions, but it has seamlessly inserted new reasons to justify its repression and the population's ongoing hardship.

Monday, August 12, 2019

China Facing Debt Forgiveness in Africa

The South China Morning Post published on 11 August 2019 an article titled "Lender's Remorse? China Finds Africa Projects Require a Growing Wave of Debt Forgiveness" by Jevans Nyabiage.

The author makes the case that China, perhaps yielding to growing criticism over its lending practices in Africa, is writing off or restructuring debt for an increasing number of African countries in financial distress.

Friday, August 9, 2019

Taking Account of Past in Ethiopia-Eritrea Rapprochement

Ethiopia Insight published on 7 August 2019 a commentary titled "Ethiopia and Eritrea's Peace Must Be Rooted in Past" by Samuel Fikreselassie, Goethe University in Germany.

The author argues that a major challenge for long-term reconciliation between Ethiopia and Eritrea is to deal with historical issues and promote genuine peace between people with deep grievances and misperceptions.

Sharp Increase in Air Travel between Africa and China

Quartz Africa posted on 28 July 2019 an article titled "Air Traffic between China and Africa Has Jumped 630% in the Last Decade" by Youyou Zhou.

On an average day, eight direct flights operate between China and countries in Africa. In 2010, airlines averaged less than one flight a day. The airline fleets operating between China and Africa are capable of carrying about 850,000 passengers annually. Ethiopian Airlines operates almost half of the 2,616 annual flights.

Kenya and Somalia Maritime Dispute

Ventures Africa posted on 8 August 2019 an article titled "Kenya Is Employing Diplomatic Strategy in Maritime Dispute with Somalia" by Ajifowoke Michael Gbenga.

Kenya and Somalia are waiting for the commencement of hearings on 19 September concerning the Indian Ocean maritime border case filed by Somalia at the International Court of Justice. In the meantime, Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta has embarked on a diplomatic charm offensive in Africa, Europe and the Middle East to drum up support for Kenya's position in the dispute.

Targeted US Sanctions against South Sudanese

The Sentry, which is affiliated with the Enough Project, published in August 2019 a report titled "Consequences for Kleptocrats: Financial Pressures to Support Peace in South Sudan" by Joshua White.

The author argues that sanctions by the US Department of Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control against three individuals engaged in bribery and corruption in South Sudan is an effective way to encourage peace in the country. Going after the business holdings of the individuals being sanctioned is especially important.

Thursday, August 8, 2019

Sudan Needs Women at the Negotiating Table

The Institute for Security Studies published on 6 August 2019 a commentary titled "Sudan Needs Women at Its Negotiating Table" by Liezelle Kumalo and Cassie Roddy-Mullineaux.

Sudanese women played a major role in the pro-democracy movement that set Sudan on a possible path to a democratic transition. The authors argue that women should now be included in the negotiating process.

Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Sudan: Role of Foreign Powers

World Politics Review published on 6 August 2019 an analysis titled "From the Gulf to Egypt, Foreign Powers Are Playing with Fire in Sudan" by Richard Downie, Center for Strategic and International Studies.

The author concludes that foreign powers should recognize that their attempts to promote a stable future in Sudan could instead help tip the country into civil war.

Tuesday, August 6, 2019

China Trains Rwandan Troops

The South China Morning Post published on 7 July 2019 an article titled "Rwandan Troops Trained by Chinese Military Mark 25th Anniversary of Liberation" by Sarah Zheng.

The People's Liberation Army (PLA) trained about 2000 Rwandan troops in Rwanda earlier this year. The PLA is stepping up its training activities in Africa.

China, Rwanda, Debt, and Development

The Atlantic published on 3 August 2019 an article titled "China's Investment in Rwanda Raises Familiar Questions about Debt" by Stephen Paduano, London School of Economics.

The article describes a mixed picture of Chinese engagement in Rwanda but concludes that the United States and its Prosper Africa program is not doing much to respond to China.

Monday, August 5, 2019

Africa Eases Visa Requirement for Chinese Nationals

The Migration Policy Institute posted on 1 August 2019 an analysis titled "African Countries Relax Short-Term Visa Policies for China in Sign of Increased Openness to China" by Loksan Harley.

Chinese nationals can now arrive in 27 African countries without previously applying for a visa, although many countries limit the Chinese visitors to tourism and exclude employment. There is a general trend of relaxing visa requirements across Africa for Chinese nationals.

US Ethiopia Relations from Roosevelt to Trump

The International Journal of Ethiopian Studies has just released its 2018 special edition, which contains my article titled "US Ethiopian Relations from Roosevelt to Trump." It is a survey of the evolving relationship between the US and Ethiopia from World War II until 2018.

Saturday, August 3, 2019

Kenya and South Africa Opt for Huawei's 5G Technology

The South China Morning Post published on 25 July 2019 an article titled "Kenya Says It Supports Chinese Tech Giant Huawei Regardless of US Policy" by Jevans Nyabiage.

Kenya and South Africa have selected Huawei's 5G technology in spite of US security concerns about possible cyber security implications.

Afro-Chinese Identity Issues

The Diplomat published on 31 July 2019 a commentary titled "The Evolution of Afro-Chinese Identity" by Layne Vandenberg.

The growing Chinese diaspora in Africa and African diaspora in China is resulting in larger numbers of Afro-Chinese children. China does not recognize dual citizenship, forcing Afro-Chinese parents to make hard choices.

How Long Will Gulf States Support Sudan Financially?

African Arguments posted on 1 August 2019 a commentary titled "Cash and Contradictions: On the Limits of Middle Eastern Influence in Sudan" by Alex de Waal.

Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates continue to support Sudan's Transitional Military Council financially but the amounts required could exceed their willingness to continue the funding.

Podcast on Ethiopia's Democratic Renewal

Global Dispatches Podcast ran a half hour interview on 1 August 2019 by Mark Leon Goldberg with William Davidson, senior Ethiopia analyst with the International Crisis Group titled "Ethiopia Is in the Midst of a Rapid Democratic Renewal. Can It Succeed?"

The discussion is a review of events leading up to the election of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and thoughts on where Ethiopia is heading.

Friday, August 2, 2019

China's New Defense White Paper and Africa

China's State Council published on 24 July 2019 its first defense white paper since 2015. The most recent one is titled "National Defense in the New Era."

There are few references to Africa in the white paper and no surprises. There is mention of China's "support base" in Djibouti, a euphemism for its military base. The paper continues to commit China to support of UN peacekeeping operations in Africa and the anti-piracy operation in the Gulf of Aden. There is reference to the first meeting in 2018 of the China-Africa Defense and Security Forum and China's military contribution to combating Ebola in West Africa in 2014.

China and Africa's Maghreb

The Diplomat published on 26 July 2019 an article titled "China Has Quietly Carved Out a Foothold in North Africa" by Karim Mezran and Daniel J. Samet, both at the Atlantic Council.

The article reviews recent Chinese activity in Algeria, Morocco, Libya, and Tunisia.

Ethiopia: A Good News Reforestation Story

The World Economic Forum posted on 31 July 2019 an article on reforestation in Ethiopia by Johnny Wood.

Ethiopia planted more than 350 million seedlings in 12 hours, claiming a world record for that period of time. The goal is to plant 4 billion seedlings by October and to reverse deforestation. My question is who is going to water these seedlings during the dry season?

China's Overseas Lending

The Kiel Institute for the World Economy published a working paper in June 2019 titled "China's Overseas Lending" by Sebastian Horn and Christoph Trebesch of the Kiel Institute and Carmen Reinhart of Harvard University.

Although the report discusses China's global lending, there are numerous references to countries in Africa. It offers a comprehensive picture of China's official credit flows and looks particularly at "hidden debt" to China by countries such as Zimbabwe. Hidden debt is debt that neither the World Bank nor the International Monetary Fund has any data on as a result of China's lack of transparency.

China's Response to Debt Trap Diplomacy

Panda Paw Dragon Claw blog, which is run by a team "to tell a better story about China's involvement beyond its borders," ran a lengthy analysis on 17 July 2019 titled "Assessing China's Most Comprehensive Response to the 'Debt Trap': The Belt and Road 'Debt Trap Sustainability Framework'" by Xinyue Ma, project leader of the Global Development Policy Center at Boston University.

It provides links to many recent studies and reports that deal with China's debt issues globally. It looks at countries that have signed Belt and Road agreements with China (40 in Africa) and are debt distressed (6 in Africa) or at high risk of debt distress (11 in Africa).

Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Sudan's Uncertain Transition

The Congressional Research Service published on 17 July 2019 a report titled "Sudan's Uncertain Transition."

The report suggests that Sudan could end up as the latest example of the Arab spring or become a failed transition that leads to civil war or state collapse.