Emerging powers in Africa Watch
Latest edition: Emerging powers news roundup
2011-09-16, Issue 547
1. China in Africa
China offers $14 million worth of food to Zimbabwe
China announced Thursday that it will offer emergency food aid worth 90 million yuan (14 million U.S. dollars) to Zimbabwe, the Ministry of Commerce said.
NEPAD agency signs MoU with China ...agree to strengthen cooperation in agriculture and rural transformation
On Wednesday, the 7th of September 2011, the NEPAD Planning and Coordinating Agency (NEPAD Agency) and the Ministry of Agriculture of the People’s Republic of China (MoA) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that is aimed at providing a framework for cooperation and coordination between the two organisations. The agreement is intended to accelerate agricultural growth and productivity to reduce poverty and hunger, by eliminating underlying constraints in aspects of the African agricultural sector.
Africa’s friend China finances $9.3 billion of hydropower
When completed in 2013, Gibe III on Ethiopia’s Omo River will be Africa’s tallest dam, a $2.2 billion project that conservationists say will deprive birds and hippos of vital habitat. Some 600 miles (965 kilometers) to the north, Sudan is preparing to build the $705 million Kajbar dam on the Nile, which would inundate historic towns and tombs of the Nubian people, descendants of the pharaohs of ancient Egypt. The $729 million Bui project on the Black Volta River, to be finished in 2013, will boost Ghana’s hydropower capacity by a third -- and flood a quarter of Bui National Park while displacing 2,600 people.
China targets civil society in final onslaught on West’s hold in Africa
Speakers from civil society at the China-Africa people’s forum organised recently by the Kenya NGOs Coordinating Board and the Chinese NGOs for International Exchanges were wary of the rapprochement between the two governments, saying corruption and conflict did not seem to deter China in its hunger for oil and minerals. They said this resulted in it overlooking these factors when making investment decisions.
China leads the renewable energy investment in Africa
Africa is the poorest of all continents and it needs all the help it can get from other rich countries before being able to develop strong renewable energy sector. In the last few years the investments into African renewable energy sector have been primarily coming from China. China is now the Africa's biggest trading partner, accounting for close to 15% of Africa's total trade.
The rise and rise of China in Zambia
Although Zambia is nowhere near China's biggest African partner, the country's relationship with the Asian investor is growing rapidly. Trade exchanges rose from $100-million in 2000 to $1.45-billion in 2009, doubling last year to a whopping $2.8-billion. In July, China's Sinohydro began work on a $2-billion hydro plant, courtesy of financing from the China Development Bank. Last month the Lusaka branch of the Bank of China became the first in Africa to offer renminbi banking services, which means you can now make deposits in the Chinese 'people's currency' and even withdraw yuan (a unit of the renminbi) from the tellers.
Feature: Chinese-built demonstration center to revolutionise Zimbabwe's agriculture
China may have provided Zimbabwe with food aid in the past but that gesture appears to have ignited its interest to help Zimbabwe enhance food security. Under the framework of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC), China pledged to construct 14 agricultural technological demonstration centers in Africa and later increased the number of centers to 20. Zimbabwe was chosen among the beneficiaries.
2. India in Africa
India pledges $8 million to famine-stricken Horn of Africa
With a crippling famine ravaging the Horn of Africa, India Wednesday pledged $8 million to Somalia, Kenya and Djibouti and said it was considering assistance to Somalia for developing a counter-piracy strategy. 'India will provide humanitarian assistance of US$ 8 million to the countries afflicted with severe famine and drought in the Horn of Africa i.e. Somalia, Kenya and Djibouti,' the external affairs ministry said here. The assistance will be provided through the World Food Programme.
Indian firm secures Dar deal to construct power line to Zanzibar
KALPATARU POWER Transmission Ltd, an Indian engineering, firm will start construction of a single circuit 132 kilovolt overhead transmission line from the Tanzania mainland to Zanzibar under a $9 million project. Kalpataru will construct the overhead transmission line from Ubungo substation to Tegeta and Ras Kiromoni on the shores of the Indian Ocean off the Tanzania Mainland before it goes undersea to Ras Fumba in Zanzibar and is transmitted overhead to Mtoni substation in Zanzibar.
India talks tough on climate issues
After showing flexibility for over two years India has toughened its stand on climate issues, refusing any verification regime for voluntary climate actions and seeking a re-look at Cancun agreements to include equity as an 'essential' parameter for further talks and extension of Kyoto Protocol. Former environment minister Jairam Ramesh had shown flexibility but the new minister Jayanthi Natarajan abandoned the soft approach after her first meeting on climate change issues with 150 environment ministers in South Africa.
4. In Other Emerging Powers News
U.S. ‘not encouraged’ by India, South Africa, Brazil at UN
Splits between the so-called IBSA group of countries and the U.S. arose as protest movements swept the Middle East. India and Brazil, along with Russia, China and Germany, abstained from a UN resolution that formed the legal basis for military intervention in Libya. As Syria sent troops out to suppress protesters, Brazil, India and South Africa blocked UN moves to pressure the Assad regime and sent diplomats to Damascus last month to engage leaders there. All three countries are serving two-year temporary terms on the Security Council and aspire to permanent seats, a goal the U.S. may block.
5. Blogs, Opinions, Presentations and Publications
Brazil - emerging soft power of the world
In the words of Mr. Thomas A. Shannon, Jr., the US ambassador to Brazil, Brazil's emergence as an important global player is one of the most significant events in this century. Its ability to use democracy and markets to deliver economic development, address entrenched social inequalities, promote regional integration, and build consensus in support of a globalised trading system sends a profound and powerful message to countries facing similar challenges.
North African democracy looks to China for the aid it needs most
The West has proven a valuable source of democracy-building and development aid for Somaliland, a blink-and-you'll-miss-it republic in northern Africa. But it is China that has been willing to gamble big on the economic-development projects it needs most. 'When you talk about infrastructure development, China is one of the leading countries in the world,' said Somaliland Foreign Affairs Minister Mohamed Omar, who is in Washington this week. 'You cannot get roads built and bridges done, and ports done and airports, with humanitarian and development assistance.'