Monday, September 29, 2014

Egypt, Ethiopia, and the Nile

The Chicago Journal of International Law published in its Summer 2014 edition an article titled "Egypt, Ethiopia, and the Nile: The Economics of International Water Law" by Daniel Abebe, University of Chicago Law School. 

The article argues that an economics approach focusing on state preferences and incentives for compliance with international law in a world without a central enforcement mechanism will better illuminate the obstacles that Egypt and Ethiopia face and the likelihood of legal resolution of the conflict. 

Ethiopia's Grand Renaissance Dam

The Washington Quarterly, which is now published by George Washington University, Summer 2014 edition contained an article titled "Ethiopia's Grand Renaissance Dam: Ending Africa's Oldest Geopolitical Rivalry?" by Goitom Gebreluel, International Law and Policy Institute in Oslo.  The author argues that Ethiopian and Egyptian rivalry is centered on a dispute over Nile waters and constitutes the longest rivalry in the region. 

China, Africa, and Democratization

Conflict Trends published in 2014 an article titled "Has the Rise of China in Africa Made Democratisation Less Likely?" by Akin Iwilade, Obafemi Awolowo University in Nigeria.  The article argues that Chinese impact on democratization in Africa is highly varied and context specific. 

The Life and Death of Al-Shabaab Leader Ahmed Godane

The CTC Sentinel published in September 2014 an article titled "The Life and Death of Al-Shabab Leader Ahmed Godane" by Christopher Anzalone, a PhD candidate at McGill University in Canada.  The author concludes that despite his seeming brilliance in outplaying his opponents, in the end Godane's tenure as undisputed amir of al-Shabaab was short.   

Zambia and the Chinese Timber Trade

International Forestry Review recently published an article titled "Rural Livelihoods and the Chinese Timber Trade in Zambia's Western Province" by P. Asanzi, L. Putzel, D. Gumbo and M. Mupeta.  It concluded that both Chinese and non-Chinese logging companies bring limited benefits to rural communities.  Non-Chinese logging companies provided more local employment opportunities but Chinese logging companies outbid their non-Chinese counterparts in the local timber market, providing greater opportunities to small-scale loggers.   

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Security and Justice in Mogadishu

The Mogadishu-based Heritage Institute for Policy Studies published in September 2014 a briefing titled "Perceptions of Security and Justice in Mogadishu." 

It concludes that the residents of Mogadishu generally feel safer due to a decline in conflicts between clans and other groups.  But despite notable improvement in the general security environment, new sources of insecurity have arisen.  Suicide attacks, hand-grenade attacks, targeted killings, and land disputes are now among the leading causes of concern.  Residents question the capacity of formal security services and the integrity of the judiciary, often relying instead on traditional elders to resolve disputes.

Friday, September 26, 2014

South Sudan Factions Committed to Military Solution

The Enough Project published in September 2014 a report titled "Spoils of War, Spoilers of Peace: Changing the Calculus of South Sudan's Deadly Conflict" by Justine Fleischner.  The author concludes that South Sudan's warring elites remain committed to a military solution.  Any agreement that fails to address the economics of violence or end cycles of impunity risks a return to conflict. 

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Kenya and the Challenge of Al-Shabaab

The International Crisis Group (ICG) published on 25 September 2014 a briefing titled "Kenya: Al-Shabaab--Closer to Home."  It reports that al-Shabaab has become more entrenched and active in Kenya following the attack on Westgate Mall a year ago.  The country's immediate post-Westgate  unity has broken down in the face of increasing attacks.  The political elites, security services, and ethnic and faith communities are beset by mutual suspicion and recriminations. 

Rise of Extremism in Kenya

The Institute for Security Studies published on 23 September 2014 a brief analysis titled "Think Again: Portrait of a Kenyan Radical" by Simon Allison.  Drawing on an earlier study by Anneli Botha published on this blog, Allison concludes that the primary reason why Kenyans join al-Shabaab and the Mombasa Republican Council is perceived injustice at the hands of Kenyan security forces, especially "collective punishment."  According to Allison, this is the most relevant lesson for policy makers in Kenya who are trying to contain the threat of extremism. 

Security of Internally Displaced Persons in South Sudan

The Washington-based Stimson Center published in September 2014 a study titled "Perceptions of Security among Internally Displaced Persons in Juba, South Sudan" by Aditi Gorur.  The Stimson Center  conducted seven focus groups among internally displaced persons (IDPs) at a UN shelter inhabited by members of the Nuer tribe in the capital city of Juba.  The study concluded that these IDPs believe it will be a long and difficult process to change security conditions in the country to the point where they feel they can return home safely. 

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

China in Africa: African Perceptions

The Journal of Contemporary China published online in April 2014 an article titled "China in Africa: Presence, Perceptions and Prospects" by Fei-Ling Wang, Georgia Institute of Technology, and Esi A. Elliot, Suffolk University.  The article reports and analyzes China's presence in Africa with an emphasis on how it has been perceived by Africans.  The authors conclude that China has acquired substantial goodwill in Africa but is developing deep issues and facing uncertain challenges and growing obstacles. 

Monday, September 22, 2014

Analysis of Al-Shabaab after Godane

The Center for Policy Analysis and Research (CfPAR) published on 19 September 2014 an analysis titled "The Demise of Al-Shabaab Leader: End of the Game?" by Abukar Sanei, director of CfPAR.  He concludes that the death of Ahmed Abdi Godane will not be the end of the game for al-Shabaab in Somalia because the organization is a group based on ideology, not individuals.  

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 www.p2pbridge.org 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.