Saturday, September 20, 2014

New People to People Web Site

People to People (P2P) is a US-based, non-governmental, non-profit organization dedicated to improving health care and reducing the spread of disease in Africa, especially Ethiopia.  It has supporters throughout the Ethiopian diaspora and in Ethiopia.  It has recently created a new website at designed by Hermela Aregawi, a journalist with Aljazeera in New York. 

If you are interested in health care, check it out.

Friday, September 19, 2014

How Much Can China Offer in Africa's Ebola Crisis?

The Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) published on 18 September 2014 an analysis titled "How Much Can China Offer in Africa's Ebola Crisis?" by Yanzhong Huang, senior fellow for global health at the CFR.

After praising China for the recent assistance it provided to Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Guinea to combat Ebola, the author took China to task for claims it is making about its ability to defeat Ebola.  In August, China surprised the world by announcing that it had successfully developed its first drug for treating Ebola.  In September, China said it had "mastered" the Ebola virus antibody gene, along with diagnostic reagents for the virus.  The author argued that given the lack of basic research, it is highly doubtful that China's first Ebola drug can be effective. 

Thursday, September 18, 2014

China-US Cooperation on Counterterrorism in Africa?

Brookings in Washington published on 10 September 2014 a commentary titled "China and the Rising Terrorist Threats in Africa: Time for U.S.-China Cooperation?" by Yun Sun, visiting fellow at the Washington-based Africa Growth Initiative.

The author noted the two countries held in July 2014 a U.S.-China Counter-Terrorism Sub-Dialogue.  She concluded that China believes the U.S. war against terrorism gives Washington tremendous technical, intelligence, and operational advantages on counterterrorism issues that are increasingly relevant for China.  Consequently, China seeks U.S. cooperation for addressing Chinese security threats, but not necessarily those in Africa that are low on China's agenda.  The possibility for U.S.-China counterterrorism cooperation in Africa exists, but only under certain circumstances. 

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Lessons from the Hunt for Joesph Kony and the Lord's Resistance Army

The Joint Special Operations University at MacDill Air Force Base in Florida published in August 2014 a monograph titled "U.S. Military Deployments to Africa: Lessons from the Hunt for Joseph Kony and the Lord's Resistance Army" by James J.F. Forest, director of security studies program at the University of Massachusetts, Lowell.  The goal of the study is to contribute to the effectiveness of future U.S. military teams deploying to sub-Saharan Africa. 

China-Africa Agricultural Cooperation: Mutual Benefits or Self-Interest?

The Centre for Chinese Studies at Stellenbosch University published in September 2014 a study titled "China-Africa Agricultural Co-operation: Mutual Benefits or Self-interest?" by Rex Ukaejiofo.

The author concluded that China's investment strategies in Africa are not completely self-serving as some critics argue.  China's engagement with African agriculture represents an opportunity for African states to gain some form of partnership for development, an alternative that promises mutual benefit.  The author adds that Africa must do better in leveraging Chinese engagement for maximum benefit.  The challenge is to develop new models for doing business with China, establishing ethical codes, and elevating practices that are rooted in a commitment to implement the demands that meet the needs of Africa. 

Chinese Investments in Zimbabwe and Namibia

The Centre for Chinese Studies at Stellenbosch University published in September 2014 a study titled "Chinese Investments in Zimbabwe and Namibia: A Comparative Legal Analysis" by Clever Mapaure.

This study is a critical legal analysis of the law and practice related to Chinese investments in Namibia and Zimbabwe.  It concludes that China is playing a vital role in bringing much needed foreign direct investment to both Namibia and Zimbabwe while, at the same time, raising a number of valid and controversial questions about the conduct of Chinese investors. 

Monday, September 15, 2014

China-Zimbabwe Relations

The Centre for Chinese Studies at Stellenbosch University published a commentary on 2 September 2014 titled "Mugabe Visits China: Zimbabwe's 'Look East' Policy Reloaded" by Bob Wekesa, University of Witwatersrand. 

Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe recently completed his 16th visit to China since his first in 1980.  This is a record for African leaders.  The author concludes that China seems to have shown somewhat less enthusiasm in offering financial support to Zimbabwe during this last visit.  

China, South Africa and the Dalai Lama

The Centre for Chinese Studies at Stellenbosch University published on 8 September 2014 a commentary titled "China, South Africa and the Dalai Lama: Costs and Benefits" by Ross Anthony.  For the third time, the Dalai Lama cancelled his proposed trip to South Africa, reportedly because he could not obtain a visa from the government of South Africa. 

China's Engagement with African Regional Economic Communities

The Centre for Chinese Studies at Stellenbosch University published in September 2014 a summary titled "African Regional Communities' Engagement with China" by Daouda Cisse, Ross Anthony, Meryl Burgess, and Harrie Esterhuyse. 

The policy brief argued that the engagement has the potential to offer significant benefits to African countries by way of transnational free trade regions, single customs unions, single markets, single currencies, and other forms of political and economic integration that may strengthen both inter-regional and international trade as well as creating more robust solutions to issues of food, climate, health, and political security.  At the same time, implementation has proved a formidable challenge.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Al-Shabaab's Last Stand?

Foreign Affairs published on 11 September 2014 a commentary titled "Al-Shabab's Last Stand?" by Paul Hidalgo, an analyst on the Horn of Africa.  The article concludes that the death of Ahmed Abdi Godane provides a unique opportunity for allied forces to press the advantage against al-Shabaab and potentially deliver a decisive blow.  In the long run, however, it may increase the extremist threat in East Africa.

To access the entire article, you must subscribe to Foreign Affairs.

Al-Shabaab Under New Leadership

The Washington-based Institute for Defense Analysis published in its 11 September 2014 edition of Africa Watch an article titled "Al-Shabaab under New Leadership" by Ashley Neese Bybee.   It concludes that the death of Ahmed Abdi Godane will not cause al-Shabaab to crumble. 

Thursday, September 11, 2014

China's Draft Measures for the Administration of Foreign Aid

China's Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) has published a draft in Chinese titled "Measures for the Administration of Foreign Aid."  Marina Rudyak, a Sinologist and development practitioner, has translated the document into English and kindly shared it on her blog. 

Africa-Russia Trade Stalled

Pambazuka News published on 11 September 2014 an article titled "Trade between Russia and Africa Below Expectation" by Kester Kenn Klomegah.  He comments that Russian-African trade remains small and Russia has few manufactured goods that compete successfully with products from the West and China.  Africa sells little that interests Russia and African exporters are hampered by an inadequate knowledge of Russian trade procedures, rules, regulations and existing market conditions.  Most Russian exports to Africa consist of military equipment. 

China, India, Russia, Brazil and the Two Sudans

The South African Institute of International Affairs published in July 2014 a paper titled "Riding the Sudanese Storm: China, India, Russia, Brazil and the Two Sudans" by Daniel Large, Central European University, and Luke Patey, Danish Institute for International Studies.

The paper offers a thematic analysis of the Chinese, Indian, Russian, and Brazilian engagements in Sudan after 2005, with a focus on the changing nature and trajectory of these relationships after the establishment of South Sudan in 2011.  The authors conclude that the aspirational normative rhetoric of South-South cooperation promoted by China and India is not congruent with the primarily extractive and infrastructure-based economic engagements that have conformed to the violent and unbalanced political economy of Sudan. 

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Forum on China-Africa Cooperation vs US-Africa Summit

China-US Focus published on 10 September 2014 a piece I wrote titled "Forum on China-Africa Cooperation vs US-Africa Summit."  My main point was that these are different kinds of events and they do not portend increasing China-US competition in Africa except for the winning of commercial deals. 

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Human Rights Watch on AMISOM Abuses

Human Rights Watch published in September 2014 a 71-page report titled "The Power These Men Have Over Us: Sexual Exploitation and Abuse by African Union Forces in Somalia."  Drawing on interviews with 21 women and girls, the report documents sexual exploitation and abuse of Somalis at two AMISOM bases in Mogadishu, where Ugandan and Burundian soldiers are present.  The report acknowledges that AMISOM has taken some measures to address sexual and gender-based violence. 

US Attack on Former Al-Shabaab Leader

Arise America TV asked me to comment on 6 September 2014 on the US attack against al-Shabaab leader Ahmed Abdi Godane.  This six minute interview took place before there had been a confirmation of Godane's death.

Somali Refugees in Kenya

Refugees International published on 9 September 2014 a report titled "Between a Rock and a Hard Place: Somali Refugees in Kenya" by Mark Yarnell and Alice Thomas.  The authors conclude that two Kenyan policies have led to increased levels of abuse, extortion, and harassment of refugees by the Kenyan police.  One is the requirement that all urban refugees must report to refugee camps and the other is the security operation aimed at rooting out alleged members of the al-Shabaab terrorist organization from the Eastleigh neighborhood of Nairobi. 

Monday, September 8, 2014

Al-Shabaab Names New Leader and Reaffirms Allegiance to Al-Qaeda

The Long War Journal published on 6 September 2014 an article titled "Shabaab Names New Emir, Reaffirms Allegiance to Al-Qaeda" by Thomas Joscelyn.  The replacement for Ahmed Abdi Godane is Sheikh Ahmad Umar, also known as Abu Ubaidah.  Al-Shabaab reaffirmed its allegiance to al-Qaeda.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Comments on Death of Al-Shabaab Leader

BBC World News television asked me to comment on 5 September 2014 on the death, now confirmed by the United States, of Ahmed Abdi Godane and what it means for the future of al-Shabaab.  You can view the three minute clip here.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Al-Shabaab after Godane

Foreign Policy published on 5 September 2014 a brief analysis titled "Will Al-Shabab's New Leader Be as Dangerous as Its Old One?" by Gordon Lubold and Kate Brannen.  It speculates on the future of al-Shabaab following the confirmation from the United States that Ahmed Abdi Godane died in the drone strike that took place earlier in the week. 

Zimbabwe's Mugabe Goes to China

China US Focus published on 4 September 2014 an article titled "Mugabe Goes to China" by Robert Rotberg, fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center.  He concludes that Mugabe obtained a lifeline from China but underscores the parlous nature of Zimbabwe's economy. 

Chinese Analysis of US-Africa Summit

China US Focus published on 29 August 2014 an analysis titled "Does the US-Africa Leaders Summit Reflect a Shift in America's Strategic Thinking?" by Dong Chunling and Wang Lei, both assistant researchers at the China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations, a government think tank. 

The authors concluded there has been a shift in America's strategic thinking towards Africa for two reasons.  First, Africa's economy is growing so fast.  Second, emerging powers have entered Africa in such force that it is resulting in a decline of American influence. 

Chad and Chinese Oil Company in Dispute

This Is Africa published in September 2014 an article titled "China and Chad Rifts Deepen over Oil Licenses, Spill Allegations" by Celeste Hicks.  Chad cancelled five of the Chinese National Petroleum Corporation's exploration licenses and has complained about unacceptable practices such as land-filling polluted sites without cleaning them. 

Thursday, September 4, 2014

China and the US in Africa

Pambazuka News published on 4 September 2014 a brief commentary titled "China and America's Renewed Interest in Africa" by Seifudein Adem, Binghamton University.  The author compares Chinese and American interests in Africa.