Friday, April 29, 2016

Piracy Declines in Africa

The UN Department of Political Affairs recently reported in an article titled "Piracy on the Decline: Concerted Action Shows Results" that piracy and criminal activity has experienced a steady decline in both the Gulf of Guinea and Gulf of Aden although there are some worrisome links between illegal fishing and piracy.

US and China Approach to Africa

The China Quarterly of International Strategic Studies published in the spring of 2016 an article titled "Extended Ground for U.S.-China Competition? Comparing China's and the U.S.' Engagement in Africa" by David Shinn. It compares the interests, policy, tactics, and institutions of the two countries in Africa, suggests where each country has done especially well, and concludes with areas where China and the US compete and cooperate in Africa. Only an abstract of the article is available online.

Tourism, Illegal Wildlife Trade, Africa, and China

Traffic published on 3 March 2016 an article titled "Tourism Industry in China Says 'No' to Illegal Wildlife Trade." The article comments on the steady increase in Chinese tourism to Africa and the illegal wildlife trade, especially elephant ivory and rhino horn. The Chinese tourist industry has spoken out against the illegal trade, which continues to be a serious problem involving Chinese nationals.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Role of Somali Women in Politics

The Heritage Institute for Policy Studies published in April 2016 a policy brief titled "The Political and Civic Engagement of Somali Women." It emphasizes that Somali women are not passive bystanders and their contributions to society span many areas.

South Sudan: Can It Prevent Failed State Status?

International Business Times published on 28 April 2016 an article titled "South Sudan Begins 'New Chapter' with Rebel Leader as Vice President, But Conflict Persists" by Morgan Winsor.

The article evaluates the future of South Sudan now that Riek Machar has rejoined the new "unity government" as first vice president.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Somali Diaspora Investment Survey

The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) commissioned Shuraako (a project of the One Earth Future Foundation) to conduct the Somali Diaspora Investment Survey. They released a summary of their findings on 21 April 2016. The project gathered information about the preferences and behaviors of the Somali diaspora toward existing channels and opportunities for Somali-based investments, and provided policy recommendations to better facilitate investment.

Somali Foreign Minister: From Washington to Mogadishu

The Washington Post published on 26 April 2016 a story titled "He Once Tried to Fix Failing D.C. Schools. Now He's Trying to Fix Somalia" by Kevin Sieff.

The article looks at Abdusalam Omer, Somalia's foreign minister, who has a long history working in the government of Washington, D.C.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Comparing African and Chinese Traditional Medicine

The China-Africa Reporting Project at the University of Witwatersrand in Johannesburg reprinted a 12 February 2016 online posting titled "Qi Flows from Beijing to Gaborone" by Baboki Kayawe, a staffer at Mmegi Online. The reprint appears as Part I, Part II, and Part III.

This in-depth journalistic account looks at the history and development of traditional medicine in Africa and China, the relevance of Chinese traditional medicine to Africa, and the need to integrate modern Western medicine.

Islamic State Releases Video on Training Camp in Somalia

The Long War Journal published on 25 April 2016 a piece titled "Islamic State Highlights 'First Camp of the Caliphate in Somalia'" by Bill Roggio and Caleb Weiss.

It includes pictures from a video released by the Islamic State purporting to show just over a dozen fighters at a training camp in Somalia. The Islamic State is trying to develop a following in Somalia separate from the al-Qaeda-linked al-Shabaab terrorist organization.

China-Cameroon Public Health Cooperation

The China-Africa Reporting Project at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg published on 7 April 2016 an article titled "China's Role in Improving Public Health in Cameroon" by Manyanye Paul Ikome, communication and public relations manager at the Cameroon Development Corporation.

The article discusses China's engagement in the public health sector in Cameroon with a focus on pediatrics, malaria, traditional medicine, and China's "Brightness Action" campaign in Africa.

Monday, April 25, 2016

China-Africa Cooperation in Higher Education

Times Higher Education published on 21 April 2016 an article titled "What Chinese Investment Means for African Higher Education" by Ellie Bothwell.

The article discusses the current state of China-Africa cooperation in higher education and research. It concludes the relationship is largely positive.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

African Language Study in China

Beijing Review published on 31 March 2016 an article titled "Finding the Right Word" by Sudeshna Sarkar, an editorial consultant for ChinAfrica magazine.

The article offers a rare look at the teaching of African languages in China, especially at the Beijing Foreign Studies University.

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Africa: China, Turkey, India and More

On 20 April 2016 the China Africa Project put online a 30 minute podcast with me titled "As China and Other BRICS Slow Their Investments in Africa, Turkey Ramps Up."
The discussion compares China's engagement in Africa with that of India, Russia, Brazil, Turkey, and the Gulf States.

Friday, April 22, 2016

China's Loans to Africa

The SAIS China-Africa Research Initiative published in April 2016 a policy brief titled "How Chinese Money Is Transforming Africa: It's Not What you Think" by Jyhjong Hwang, Deborah Brautigam, and Janet Eom.

From 2000 to 2014, the Chinese government, banks, and contractors extended about $87 billion in loans to African governments and SOEs. The China Export-Import Bank and China Development Bank provided most of the loans. Only 56 percent of the loans actually materialized and are being used. The rest turned out to be mistakes, hopes, rumors, cancelled or real loans but not from China. The top recipients were Angola (23 percent), Ethiopia (14 percent), Sudan and Kenya (6 percent each), and the DRC (5 percent).

The Resilience of Al-Shabaab

The CTC Sentinel published on 22 April 2016 an analysis titled "The Resilience of Al-Shabaab" by Christopher Anzalone.

The author concluded that al-Shabaab has proven remarkably resilient thanks to pragmatic decision-making and skilled tactical maneuvering. The group's senior leadership continues to maintain overall unity and to ward off a strong challenge from Islamic State sympathizers.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

China's First Aircraft Carrier Goes into Service

The Washington-based Center for Strategic and International Studies has just opened a new website called China Power. The first entry is a lengthy piece titled "How Does China's First Aircraft Carrier Stack Up?" It evaluates the capabilities and likely use of the Liaoning, which was originally built for the Soviet Navy but was extensively modernized and commissioned by the PLAN in 2012 as a training ship. It will be several years before it is fully integrated into the PLAN.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Ethiopia: Security Problem in Gambela Region

The Sudan Tribune published on 18 April 2016 an article titled "Ethiopia Launches Military Action against S. Sudan's Murle Group" by Tesfa-Alem Tekle. The Guardian published on 20 April 2016 an article titled "'Unbridled Violence' in Gambella Leaves Ethiopia Searching for Answers" by William Davison.

Both articles provide good back ground information on the unprovoked attack by Murle tribesmen from South Sudan against predominantly Nuer living in Gambela Region of Ethiopia. Ethiopia has said it is prepared to take military action against the Murle.

China's Mediterranean Odyssey

The Diplomat published on 19 April 2016 a commentary titled "China's Mediterranean Odyssey" by Elodie Sellier. The focus of the article is the purchase by China Ocean Shipping Company of the Greek port of Piraeus. The deal has implications for the Maritime Silk Road initiative, the Suez Canal, and North Africa.

Russia Considering Help to Somalia to Combat Terrorism

The International Business Times published on 19 April 2016 an article titled "Somalia Seeks Russia's Help in Fighting Al-Shabab Terrorists, Strengthening Economy" by Morgan Winsor.

Somali Prime Minister Omar Abdirashid Ali Sharmarke met in Moscow with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov where the Somali prime minister asked Russia to help equip its armed forces to fight al-Shabaab terrorism in Somalia. Lavrov replied Russia is prepared "to consider" military cooperation with Somalia.

Impact of China's Economic Downturn on Migrants in Africa

This is Africa published on 30 March 2016 an article titled "Despite Slowdown, China's Migrants Rooted in Africa" by Hangwei Li and Jacqueline Muna Musiitwa.

The article makes the argument that while China's economic slowdown is reducing China's trade and investment in Africa, it is not likely to have a long-term impact on the million plus Chinese migrants living and working in Africa.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Ethiopians Big Winners at Boston Marathon

The Washington Post reported on 19 April 2016 the results of the Boston Marathon. Ethiopian Lemi Berhanu Hayle won the men's marathon and Atsede Baysa won the women's. Ethiopians took all three top positions in the men's marathon. Usually strong Kenya won only a third place in the women's marathon.

Monday, April 18, 2016

Sino-Arab Relations

The Centre for Chinese Studies (CCS) at Stellenbosch University published on 4 April 2016 an analysis titled "Sino-Arab, Sino Egyptian Relations: 60 Years On!" by Emma Scott, CCS affiliate.

The author concludes that China-Arab relations are beginning a process of institutionalization built on energy, infrastructure, and trade deals as well as on cultural agreements.

China, Africa, and UN Voting Patterns

The Economist published on 16 April 2016 an article titled "China and Africa: A Despot's Guide to Foreign Aid."  The article concludes that by and large countries that vote the same way as China in the UN receive more Chinese aid.  The article suggests that the same may be true for countries that vote in the UN as the US votes. 

From Greater Somalia to Lesser Somalia

The Center for Policy Analysis and Research published on 12 April 2016 a commentary titled "The Zombie Nation in the Lion's Den" by Abdiwahid Abdullah, a legal scholar. 

The author offers an analysis of Somalia's efforts to achieve a Greater Somalia in the 1960s to the situation today, which might be described as a Lesser Somalia. 

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Djibouti: Are the People Benefiting from Foreign Largesse?

Chatham House published on 15 April 2016 a commentary titled "Djibouti's People Have Yet to Benefit from Its Growing Importance" by Ahmed Soliman, Chatham House, and David Styan, University of London. 

The authors conclude that Djibouti's regional ambition and activism is yet to be matched by either internal political reforms or domestic employment policies.