Friday, September 13, 2019

Japan Chases China in Africa

The South China Morning Post posted on 13 September 2019 an article titled "Chasing China, Japan Looks to Africa for Trade and Global Influence," by Jevans Nyabiage.

Japan, the world's third largest economy behind the United States and China, is ready to engage more actively in Africa and, where possible, to compete directly with China.

Long-term Solutions Needed for Drought IDPs in Ethiopia

Refugees International published in September 2019 a report titled "'Like a Drop of Water on a Fire': Inadequate Investment in Durable Solutions for Drought IDPs in Ethiopia," by Ann Hollingsworth.

More than 500,000 IDPs in Ethiopia have been displaced by drought and other climate-related causes, and almost 350,000 of them reside in Somali Region. The Ethiopian national government and the Somali regional government, as well as the international humanitarian and development communities, should rapidly shift their strategic planning and financial resources to supporting durable solutions, including local integration.

China's Huawei and Surveillance Technology in Africa

Deutsche Welle posted on 12 September 2019 a report titled "Huawei, Africa and the Global Reach of Surveillance Technology."

Huawei is just one of many private companies looking to sell potentially oppressive technology to authoritarian governments. Many of Huawei's biggest competitors and collaborators are based in the West. Recent accusations regarding Huawei's activity in both Zambia and Uganda demonstrate the murky and often opaque sale of surveillance technology. The UN's Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression states that "this is an out of control industry with grave implications, worldwide, for privacy and freedom of expression."

Policy Recommendations for Sudan

The Sentry and Enough Project published in September 2019 recommendations titled "A Modernized U.S. Policy for Sudan."

The recommendations are predicated in the belief that U.S. policy should aim to strengthen the hand of reformers in the civilial government while limiting the influence of the spoilers of reform and peace, principally those associated with the military and security services.

Thursday, September 12, 2019

Competition, Cooperation and Security in the Red Sea

The Institute for Security Studies published in August 2019 a study titled "Competition, Cooperation and Security in the Red Sea" by Omar S. Mahmood.

The report assesses current developments, covering ongoing rivalries in the Red Sea region and making recommendations for future collaboration.

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

African Union Mission in Somalia Fatalities

The IPI Global Observatory published on 10 September 2019 an analysis titled "An Update on How Many Fatalities AMISOM Has Suffered" by Paul D. Williams, George Washington University.

After reviewing all relevant data, the author concludes that between March 2007 and the end of December 2018, AMISOM fatalities in Somalia totaled between 1483 and 1824.

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Sudan: Can the Revolution Succeed?

Foreign Policy posted on 9 September 2019 a commentary titled "How to Make Sudan's Revolution Succeed" by Yasir Zaidan, National University of Sudan.

The author argues that if the military ultimately dismisses the political coalition with civilian organizations and tries to rule the nation alone, Sudan could return to the repression and corruption that haunted it for 30 years.

Somaliland Moving Forward

The Brenthurst Foundation has just published a report titled "Somaliland: New Ways of Doing Things in a Tough Neighborhood" by Greg Mills, Ray Hartley, and Marie-Noelle Nwokolo.

Still not recognized by any other country, Somaliland is attempting to forge ahead by modernizing its economy by establishing an ambitious new trade corridor with Ethiopia following a large investment in road and port development by the UAE and seeking investment in new industries that will soak up large numbers of unemployed youth.

Monday, September 9, 2019

Ethiopia and Zimbabwe: Two Different Outcomes

Foreign Policy posted on 6 September 2019 a commentary titled "Why Ethiopia Sailed While Zimbabwe Sank" by Hilary Matfess, Yale University, and Alexander Noyes, Rand Corporation.

The authors conclude that Robert Mugabe's brutal legacy lives on in Zimbabwe through the system he and Emmerson Mnangagwa created, while Ethiopia stands on the brink of real change.

Sunday, September 8, 2019

University Diplomacy: China-Taiwan Competition in Africa

Asia Dialogue posted on 23 August 2019 a commentary titled "Beijing's Rise and Taiwan's Decline in Africa: What Does the African University Tell Us?" by Abdul-Gafar Tobi Oshodi, Lagos State University.

The author cites the increase in China's collaboration with African universities and the reduction of Taiwan's collaboration to make the point that Taiwan's influence in the continent continues to decline.

Saturday, September 7, 2019

Cease Fire Monitoring in South Sudan

The US Institute of Peace (USIP) published in August 2019 an analysis titled "Ceasefire Monitoring in South Sudan 2014-2019: 'A Very Ugly Mission'," by Aly Verjee, USIP.

Drawing on more than 90 interviews and written responses from ceasefire monitors, combatants, politicians, civil society representatives, diplomats, peacekeepers, and analysts, this report reviews internationally led ceasefire monitoring in South Sudan from January 2014 to January 2019. It offers recommendations for donors supporting future monitoring processes in South Sudan and elsewhere.

Friday, September 6, 2019

China International Development Cooperation Agency

The Carnegie-Tsinghua Center for Global Policy published in September 2019 an analysis titled "The Ins and Outs of China's International Development Agency" by Marina Rudyak, Heidelberg University.

Established in 2018, the China International Development Cooperation Agency (CIDCA) combined into one agency most of China's foreign aid program. The author concluded that the CIDCA's highly ambitious agenda is a clear sign that, after years of considerable growth in China's development finance, the underlying bureaucratic system is now beginning to mature. The changes that accompanied the creation of the CIDCA show that development aid is at the forefront of Chinese policymakers agenda, but it remains to be seen how much of this promise the agency can make good on in the forseeable future.

Anti-African Sentiment in China

Asia Dialogue posted on 30 August 2019 a commentary titled "As the Sino-African Relationship Flourishes, Increasing Anti-African Sentiment in China is Alarming" by Kwizela Aristide Basebya, Communication University of China in Beijing.

The author argues that as more Africans migrate to China, there is rising social and economic tension with Chinese. Among the problems is a sharp increase in racist and hate comments against Africans by Chinese internet users.

Uganda's External Debt: China's Role

Uganda's Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development issued a report on public debt dated March 2019 that documents Uganda's external debt as of the end of 2018. The table on page 11 details Uganda's external debt stock by source. Multilateral creditors account for 65 percent of the external debt stock, bilateral creditors 34 percent, and private banks 1 percent. Of the bilateral creditors, China holds 25 percent of Uganda's total external debt stock as of the end of 2018.

Nigeria's External Debt: China's Role

Nigeria's External Debt Office released a report on Nigeria's external debt stock as of 31 March 2019.

Nigeria's total external debt of $26 billion consists primarily of debt held by international financial institutions such as the World Bank Group and African Development Bank Group at 44 percent of the total and commercial debt at 44 percent of the total. Bilaterial debt accounts for about 12 percent of the total and China holds just under 10 percent of all bilateral debt.

Wednesday, September 4, 2019

Security Implications of China's Belt and Road Initiative

The National Bureau of Asian Research published in September 2019 a special study titled "Securing the Belt and Road Initiative: China's Evolving Military Engagement Along the Silk Roads" edited by Nadege Rolland, National Bureau of Asian Research.

The seven essays in this study offer a comprehensive look at current Chinese thinking on how to respond to the security risks associated with the global expansion of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), including into Africa. These contributions present a view of the set of options that are under consideration to enhance the security of China's interests along the BRI routes. Common to all seven essays is the idea that the expansion of China's overseas interests naturally creates the need for military protection.

Monday, September 2, 2019

Customary Authority in South Sudan

The Rift Valley Institute published in 2019 a study titled "Making Order Out of Disorder: Customary Authority in South Sudan" by Cherry Leonardi, Durham University.

South Sudan's customary authorities--mostly, but not exclusively, termed as chiefs--played a key role as brokers between the rebels and local populations during conflict between the government of Sudan and southern rebels. Chiefs remain an important institution within local government and the justice system but the capacity of chiefs to enforce court decisions and resolve local conflicts is limited without government support. Chiefs continue to play a leading role in defining custom.

Sunday, September 1, 2019

China's Relations with Middle East and North Africa

The China Institute at the University of Alberta published in January 2019 a study titled "A New Great Power Engages with the Middle East: China's MIddle East Balancing Approach" by Gordon Houlden and Noureddin M. Zaamout.

The focus of the study is trade and investment. It surveys countries in the Middle East and North Africa, including Egypt, Sudan, Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia, and Libya.

Saturday, August 31, 2019

South Sudan Stalled Peace Agreement

World Politics Review posted on 30 August 2019 a commentary titled "One Year On, South Sudan's Stalled Peace Deal Is Proving Its Skeptics Right" by Julian Hattem.

One year later, South Sudan's cease fire has largely held, but it is a fragile peace. Key provisions of the peace agreement about demobilizing fighters and redrawing internal political lines remain unfulfilled. There are mounting fears that the deal's eventual breakdown could lead to a return to large-scale violence in South Sudan.

Al-Shabaab's Tax Racket in Somalia

The Washington Post published on 30 August 2019 an article titled "'If I Don't Pay, They Kill Me': Al-Shabaab Tightens Grip on Somalia with Growing Tax Racket" by Omar Faruk and Max Bearak.

The al-Shabaab terrorist organization in Somalia finances much of its activity by extorting money from Somali business persons. The authors state that the growth of al-Shabaab's tax revenue stands at odds with the federal government's claims that the insurgency is on it back foot--and in sharp contrast to the U.S. military's claims that its operations in Somalia are weakening the insurgency.

Africa and The Safe Cities Index

The Economist Intelligence Unit released in August 2019 The Safe Cities Index 2019 that ranks 60 large cities across 57 indicators covering digital security, health security, infrastructure security, and personal security.

The highest ranked city was Tokyo. The study includes only 4 cities in Africa, all of them ranking low: Johannesburg (44), Casablanca (54), Cairo (55), and Lagos (60).

China-Africa Science and Technology Cooperation

The Conversation posted on 29 August 2019 an article titled "What Patents and Publications Reveal about China-Africa Science Collaboration" by Swapan Kumar Patra and Mammo Muchie, both at Tshwane University of Technology.

Between 1975 and 2017, China and Africa collaborated in 12,700 publications and patents. In 2007, there were only 263 collaborative research papers; by 2017, the number had reached 3,211. Morocco, Egypt, and South Africa dominated the publication and patent collaboration with China.

Friday, August 30, 2019

China-Mozambique Relations

Macro Polo published on 27 August 2019 a report titled "Bridging Perceptions: China in Mozambique" by Lauren Baker, summer associate at Macro Polo.


The Mozambican government has a symbiotic relationship with China. It actively encourages Chinese projects and enjoys the diplomatic spotlight that Beijing gives the country. Non-government elites in Mozambique are, however, more skeptical. Beijing's high-level ties to the notoriously corrupt Mozambican government lead the non-government elites to assume that a capitalist conspiracy or backroom deals are the norm.

The Ethiopia-Eritrea Peace Deal a Year Later

The United States Institute of Peace (USIP) published on 29 August 2019 a discussion between USIP staffers Susan Stigant and Michael Phelan titled "A Year After the Ethiopia-Eritrea Peace Deal, What Is the Impact?"

While the authors conclude that the Ethiopia-Eritrea peace deal has had a stabilizing impact on the Horn of Africa, it has not resulted in an end of Eritrea's restrictive security state.

How the China Model Plays in Africa

Asia Dialogue published on 27 August 2019 a commentary titled "The Chinese Model in Africa and Its Wider Challenge" by Tom Harper, University of Surrey.

The author argues that the principal advocates of the Chinese model in Africa are not Chinese elites but leaders in Africa such as South Africa's President Cyril Ramaphosa. He adds that the Chinese model comes with both a vision for economic development and financial resources to back it up.