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Emerging powers in Africa Watch

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Latest edition: Emerging powers news roundup

2011-09-16, Issue 547

In this week's edition of the Emerging Powers News Round-Up, read a comprehensive list of news stories and opinion pieces related to China, India and other emerging powers...

As the BRICs go into Africa, where does South Africa stand?

Janet Szabo

2010-07-15, Issue 490

South African President Jacob Zuma hopes to take South Africa into the new international powerhouse of the BRIC nations (Brazil, Russia, India and China) by building on its flourishing relationship with Brazil, writes Janet Szabo. In this article, she explores the different characteristics and assets the country possesses that make it a bona fide member of this group of emerging powerhouses.

India's Africa policy: Can we do better?

Rajiv Bhatia

2010-07-15, Issue 490

Rajiv Bhatia provides a historical overview of India's foreign policy towards the African continent. Reflecting on the successes and failures of this policy thus far, he lays out the political and economic motivations for a policy change and provides suggestions as to how government, business and civil society can work together to raise the relationship to a new level.

Chinese investments in Gabon’s extractive industries

Johanna Jansson

2010-07-08, Issue 489

Gabon presents fertile ground for Chinese investment in extractive industries, though the development of this relationship is a lengthy process and is much diversified across Gabon and the economy’s main sectors of interest to China, writes Johanna Jansson. Jansson suggests the observer of yet another African economy to come within range of China’s investment radar should take note of the diversity also present within the ranks of Chinese corporate actors, whose level of responsible conduct presents no general trend.

The future of hydropower in Africa

Are dams necessarily a bad thing?

Saliem Fakir

2010-07-01, Issue 488

Ever since the World Commission on Dams report, there’s been some reluctance to use hydropower as a source of clean and cheap energy, writes Saliem Fakir. But as the demand for electricity surges across the continent, Fakir asks whether – in the absence of practical, clean alternatives – Africa should reconsider hydro projects to help power its development.

Ecological destruction? Chinese loan for Ethiopian dam draws controversy

Zhang Ke

2010-07-01, Issue 488

Campaign groups remain concerned about the environmental impacts of Ethiopia’s Gibe 3 dam, following the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China’s approval of a $400 million loan towards its construction. Zhang Ke puts the hydropower project in context.

Fahamu and Syracuse University host Africa and China Conference

Michael Otieno and Hayley Herman

2010-06-24, Issue 487

Fahamu and Syracuse University recently co-hosted an international conference ‘to assess and deliberate on the nature and future of the pre-eminent phase of Sino-African relations’. Micheal Otieno and Hayley Herman witnessed the discussions, which furthered the ‘important debate on the emerging role of China in global politics and international development’.

A new world order?

Shawn Hattingh

2010-06-17, Issue 486

China and India are emerging economic powers rather than the architects of a new world order, writes Shawn Hattingh; there is no overhaul of the existing capitalist order and class-based social divisions imminent. The global power balance is simply widening to include the new elite of China and India in partnership with their American and European counterparts, says Hattingh, but it is still the workers who are being exploited by the same heads of industry.

President Zuma’s Indian safari

Sanusha Naidu

2010-06-10, Issue 485

Following South African President Zuma’s first official visit to India last week, Sanusha Naidu investigates what kind of ‘strategic partnership’ was being forged between the two countries and who the partners were. Despite Gandhi’s vision for the commerce between India and Africa to be of ‘ideas and services’, this strategic partnership, says Naidu, is ‘really about the business of business is business’.

Africans in Yiwu, China’s largest commodities city

Adams Bodomo and Grace Ma

2010-06-03, Issue 484

In this paper, Adams Bodomo looks at how Africans are received in Yiwu and in Guangzhou, which contains the largest community of Africans in China. Bodomo argues that because of the relatively negative reception of Africans in Guangzhou compared to the more efficient and civil treatment of Africans in Yiwu, Yiwu is fast overtaking Guangzhou as the best place for Africans to thrive in China.

Africa becoming low cost manufacturing hub for Chinese investments

Sanusha Naidu

2010-05-27, Issue 483

Chinese investments across Africa require ‘more than just a superficial understanding that China and other actors are going to be panaceas for Africa’s development or merely that they represent the next set of neo-imperialists’, writes Sanusha Naidu. Naidu explores the extent of these investments and suggests that a realistic assessment of where the practical benefits lie for Africa is needed to determine whether such a relationship is in the continent’s advantage.

Pushing the African agenda at the Shanghai Expo

Sanusha Naidu

2010-05-20, Issue 482

The Shanghai Expo, which opened on 30 April, was not only a chance to showcase China's soft power, but also to catapult the country as a global trendsetter and strengthen the world’s fastest growing economy through design, tourism and cultural diplomacy by moving further up the global value chain. Sanusha Naidu explores what African countries seek to get out of their engagement with China within the context of the expo and beyond.

Liberia's mining sector: Stimulating post-war reconstruction?

Patrick Wrokpoh

2010-05-13, Issue 481

Following a new agreement to enable China Union to mine in Liberia's central region, many Liberians are hopeful that the revitalisation of the country's mining sector will lead to new employment opportunities. This may well be the case, writes Patrick Wrokpoh, provided the Johnson-Sirleaf government shows the same willingness to pursue favourable terms that it has shown in dealing with another mining company, ArcelorMittal.

Deepening Africa-China engagement: The African Journalist Study Tour

Hayley Herman and Sanusha Naidu

2010-05-06, Issue 480

Four African journalists have taken part in a study tour to Beijing, initiated and conducted by Fahamu’s Emerging Powers in Africa Programme. Hayley Herman and Sanusha Naidu report back on the visit, and invite readers to contribute their voices to a forthcoming newsletter that will provide African perspectives on the emerging powers in Africa.

Rethinking the idea of the South: A new class division and rivalry is in the making

Saliem Fakir

2010-04-29, Issue 479

They go by different names: IBSA (India, Brazil and South Africa), BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India, and China) and BASIC (Brazil, South Africa, India and China). These formations all amount to more or less the same thing: The new 'emerging economies' seeking to redefine relations between themselves and the rest of the world. They are widely seen as new symbols of power in the global arena, writes Saliem Fakier.

Men, mahjong and money: Chinese migrants in Khartoum

Owen Grafham

2010-04-22, Issue 478

Accompanied by Nomie, a Chinese female translator, Owen Grafham describes interacting with Chinese migrant workers in the Sudanese capital of Khartoum.

A new battleground: Chinese culture in Sudan

Owen Grafham

2010-04-22, Issue 478

While the greatest foreign influences on Sudanese youth culture have been predominantly American in recent years, there are signs that the Chinese government is beginning to get in on the act, writes Owen Grafham.

Boosting FOCAC’s intellectual capacity

The launch of the China-Africa Joint Research and Exchange Program

Sanusha Naidu

2010-04-15, Issue 477

Sanusha Naidu writes about the China-Africa joint research and exchange program that was launched at the end of March by the follow-up committee of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC), in partnership with the Institute of West Asian and African Studies (IWAAS) of the Chinese Academy of Social Science (CASS).

China: Not the rogue dam builder after all?

Peter Bosshard

2010-04-01, Issue 476

A few years ago, Chinese dam builders and financiers appeared on the global hydropower market with a bang. China Exim Bank and companies such as Sinohydro started to take on large, destructive projects in countries like Sudan and Burma, which had been shunned by the international community. Their emergence threatened to roll back progress regarding human rights and the environment which civil society had achieved over many years. But new evidence suggests that Chinese dam builders and financiers are trying to become good corporate citizens rather than rogue players on the global market, writes Peter Bossard.

DRC: Chinese investment in Katanga

Johanna Jansson

2010-04-01, Issue 476

Johanna Jansson looks at the implications of Chinese market-driven engagement for the DRC, with a focus on investment in Katanga’s mining sector. Contrary to popular perception, says Jansson, there are no direct links between Chinese government-led engagement with the DRC and the market-seeking activities of private Chinese entrepreneurs in the country. If Chinese investments are to have a positive impact on development in the area, says Jansson, adherence to regulatory frameworks has to be radically improved, both by investors and by Katangese civil servants.

India stepping up the ante in African relations

Sanusha Naidu

2010-03-25, Issue 475

'How is India’s relationship with Africa different?', asks Sanusha Naidu. She demonstrates that the latest conclave on the India-Africa Project Partnership – during which India emphasised its focus in Africa to be on capacity building, training and private sector development – revealed that African delegates felt that India is more a stakeholder than a shareholder on the continent. But Naidu suggests that Africa needs to critically examine India’s involvement. She concludes that: ‘For there to be an effective partnership, developing a dialogue between civil society, government and business would be a valuable platform to make this engagement different from the others.’

Iran’s economic ties with Africa: Responding to Western media analysis

S.H. Razavipour

2010-03-18, Issue 474

Responding to an Economist article on a perceived battle between Israel and Iran for friends on the African continent, S.H. Razavipour stresses that suspicion around Iran's motives merely highlights Western hypocrisy.

Trilateral cooperation or bilateral collusion?

Africa–China–US tripartite meetings

Adams Bodomo

2010-03-11, Issue 473

Following the convening of a tripartite meeting between Africa, China and the US in Monrovia, Liberia, Adams Bodomo writes of his scepticism around the value of meetings premised on the notion that others should speak for Africa. It is grossly misplaced, Bodomo maintains, to expect 'investment technocrats' from two competing global powers to operate altruistically with Africa's social and economic development foremost in their minds.

South Africa aiming for ‘BRICS’ during recent China visit

Hayley Herman

2010-03-04, Issue 472

Less than a year after the formal establishment of BRIC, South Africa has started to flex its muscle in its bid for inclusion in this group of global emerging powers, writes Hayley Herman.

Blogging on a 'hot topic'

Hayley Herman

2010-03-04, Issue 472

Hayley Herman reviews a blog entitled 'China in Africa: The Real Story', by Professor Deborah Bräutigam, author of the highly acclaimed book, 'The Dragon’s Gift'. This blog deals with the myths and realities of Chinese aid and economic engagement in Africa.

Bharti and China Unicom look for African expansion

Caroline Gabriel

2010-02-25, Issue 471

Bharti has entered exclusive talks with Kuwait based Zain, in a deal that would give Bharti a presence in 15 other African countries.

China’s global role

Brij Tankha

2010-02-25, Issue 471

The handling of Tibetan and Uighur protests, as well as concerns over environmental damage, and curbs on information and opposition have dented China’s image, raising questions about its role as a global power and how this will affect Asia and the world.

Beijing Consensus: No strings attached?

Khadija Sharife

2010-02-18, Issue 470

Africa’s bargaining power has been increased, as Chinese interests open up alternatives to US and European investment in the continent, writes Khadija Sharife. But while China is free from colonial stigma and approaches resource-rich countries through the ethos of brothers-in-arms, a closer look at Beijing’s approach suggests that the benefits it brings to Africa do not include ‘justice and real development’.

Tanzanian president sees bright future for relations with Turkey

2010-02-18, Issue 470

Speaking to Turkish journalists ahead of a four-day official visit to Turkey, Tanzanian President Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete has highlighted hopes that his trip will result in increased commercial and cultural ties.

Zoellick on his Africa tour

2010-02-18, Issue 470

The World Bank president Robert B. Zoellick just ended an African tour that took him to Sierra Leone, Cote d’Ivoire, and Ethiopia. He told the African Union meeting in Addis Ababa that an estimated 64 million people worldwide will fall into extreme poverty because of the global financial meltdown crisis and some 30,000-50,000 babies may die in Sub- Sahara Africa in 2010. He later addressed African journalists via video conference, which was attended by The Independent's Patrick Kagenda.

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