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The East African : Nov 7th 2015
12 GEOPOLITICAL COMPETITION Race heats up for a stake in Africa China, EU, US, Japan a≥e leading in cultivating st≥onge≥ ties to the continent By TREVOR ANALO The EastAfrican A frica has been thrust into yet another episode of global geopolitical competition as world powers stake out their positions on the continent in a new scramble for Africa. The only thing that has changed since the Berlin Conference in 1884, which shared out the continent among European powers, is that African leaders now have a seat at the table. China, the European Union, the United States and Japan are the leading global powers that have set up international initiatives to cultivate stronger ties with Africa aimed at expanding their markets, securing supply of raw materials and seeking political support. Two weeks ago, India hosted the largest gathering of African leaders in New Delhi since the seventh summit of the Non-Aligned Movement in 1983. The summit, described by Indian officials as a reconnection of “old friends and family,” is New Delhi’s biggest push to reset its political and economic ties with an emerging Africa. More than 40 African leaders attended the summit, which was big on trade, terrorism and international politics. Previous India-Africa Forum Summits have been smaller events, attended by only 15 African leaders on average in 2008 in New Delhi and in 2011 in Addis Ababa. African leaders present included South Africa’s President Jacob Zuma, Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe, President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi of Egypt, Sudan’s President Omar al-Bashir and Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta. The impressive attendance by African leaders is a major statement by India on its ambitions of cementing its footprint on a continent projected to have a $29 trillion GDP by 2050 — which is in the same range as India’s projected $35 trillion economy in 35 years. India’s Prime Minister Nerandra Modi, who called Africa and India “two bright spots of hope,” an- “BRIGHT SPOTS” Delegates from African countries at the India-Africa Forum Summit in New Delhi on October 29. Picture: AFP nounced a $10 billion credit facility to African nations in addition to the $7.4 billion that his country has already pledged since 2008. The India-Africa summit is how- ever only one of four other similar international initiatives to cultivate stronger ties with African states. The European Union-Africa Summit was held in Brussels in April 2014, while in the same year, the United States inaugurated the US-Africa Leaders Summit in August, which was attended by all African leaders in Washington DC. Japan’s Tokyo International Con- ference on African Development (TICAD) is scheduled to take place in early 2016 in Nairobi, Kenya, while China, will hold its Forum on China Africa Co-operation (FOCAC) this December in South Africa. Each summit has previously tried to distinguish itself from China’s political and economic interests in Africa, painting theirs as more altruistic, while taking 40 A SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT The EastAfrican THE AFRICAN Wildlife Foundation (AWF) has announced the establishment of its first-ever national advisory council for Kenya (NAC). The council, whose members are drawn from the government, corporate, business and tourism sectors, will work closely with AWF to engage various stakeholders in talking about conservation in Kenya and protecting wildlife and ecosystems across the continent. Sudan, the only male white rhino. The council will work to protect wildlife. Picture: File swipes at Beijing as only being after the continent’s resources. Speaking to The EastAfrican in a telephone briefing, Peter Barlerin, the director of Africa economic and regional affairs at the US State Department, said that the US is more interested in a “peaceful and prosperous Africa.” “President Obama has repeatedly said having investments in Africa is a good thing because Africa desperately needs these investments,” said Mr Barlerin, adding, “However, what we essentially work for is ensuring that it is a win-win situation for both sides… what that means is adhering to basic international guidelines on environmental protection, human rights and governance.” Indian officials were no different. A spokesperson from the country’s Foreign Ministry, Vikas Swarup, said his country’s partnership is not focused on “an exploitative or extraction point of view, but… on Africa’s needs and India’s strengths.” India’s trade with Africa has More than 40 African leaders attended the summit; the previous ones were attended by an average 15 leaders grown tremendously over the past few years. India mainly exports electronics, telecoms, pharmaceuticals and consumer goods to Africa and it mainly imports cotton, crude oil, raw materials and precious met- Two weeks ago, India hosted the largest gathering of African leaders in New Delhi since the seventh summit of the NonAligned Movement in 1983. More than 40 African leaders attended the summit that addressed issues of trade, terrorism and international politics. Previous India-Africa Forum Summits have been smaller events attended by only 15 African leaders on average in 2008 in New Delhi and in 2011 in Addis Ababa. India has ambitions to cement its footprints on a continent projected to have a $29 trillion GDP by 2050. als. India’s forays into Africa come at a time when other emerging powers, such as Turkey, Brazil and Russia, are also seeking to expand their influence on the continent. The Africa-South America Sum- mit (ASA), a brainchild of Brazil’s former president Lula Da Silva, remains a low key event only held three times since its formation in 2006 but has potential to transform commercial ties between the two regions. Trade between Africa and South America has increased over the past decade from $7.2 billion in 2002 to $39.5 in 2011 consisting mostly of petroleum, grain, iron ore, coal, and sugar. AWF fo≥ms national adviso≥y council fo≥ Kenya The council comprises Darshan Chandaria, Leena Ghelot, Dorothy Ghetubba, Lisa Karanja, Yida Kemoli, Farzana Khubchandani, Peter Lengewa, Naisula Lesuuda, Laila Macharia, Isis Nyong’o and Wilbur Ottichillo. Daudi Sumba, AWF vice-president of govern- ment relations and programme design, said that Africa is at a crossroads in its social and economic development agenda. “The continent’s natural capital is an as- set that we need to nurture, and protecting it should always be part of the development agenda,” said Mr Sumba, adding, “The protection of wildlife should be owned by all Kenyans.” The EastAfrican NEWS NOVEMBER 7-13,2015 Jonathan to mediate Zanziba≥ poll c≥isis By ERICK KABENDERA The EastAfrican NIGERIA’S FORMER president Goodluck Jonathan is stepping in to help resolve the political deadlock in Zanzibar after the electoral commission annulled the October 25 election results. The EastAfrican has learnt that Mr Jonathan was picked to head a Commonwealth-led mediation team. But he is likely to have his work cut out referring the tug-ofwar between the ruling Chama cha Mapinduzi and the Zanzibar main opposition party, Civic United Front (CUF). CUF accuses CCM of rigging elections since 1995 and wants more autonomy from the mainland, while CCM accuses CUF of promoting radicalisation on the Isles. Sources say Mr Jonathan’s choice was also informed by his experience with Islamic radicalisation and extremist violence in Nigeria. Zanzibar Electoral Commis- sion (ZEC) chairman Jecha Salum Jecha nullified the election results following claims of irregularities. But international observers disputed the decision, saying both the voting and counting processes were held in an atmosphere of peace. A re-run The ZEC has announced a re- run after 90 days. The international community — including the United States and Britain — has criticised the decision, calling on ZEC to continue with the tallying process of the results and to indentify the areas where irregularities were reported. CUF secretary-general Seif Sharrif Hamad met several religious leaders and key political figures on the mainland. CCM’s central committee held a two-day closed door meeting last week to discuss ways to end the crisis but gave no statement after the meeting. However, sources told The Eas- tAfrican that another round of talks will be held next week under the chairmanship of Mr Jonathan who is expected to bring all the parties together to find a lasting solution. Mr Hamad has asked his sup- porters to remain calm as mediation efforts continue. Despite wide anticipation of violence and political tension, Zanzibar has remained calm although tour operators complained of reduced number of tourists visiting the islands. There are also reports of food shortages as transporters from the mainland reduce their trips.
Oct 31st 2015
Nov 14th 2015