China Daily newspaper launches Africa edition

China Daily

China Daily, China’s largest English-language newspaper, has launched an African edition of the paper based in Nairobi, Kenya following the launch of CCTV Africa earlier this year. CNC World, Xinhua’s English-language start-up, was setup on eutelsat communication satellites in January 2011 while China Radio International, offering Mandarin instruction as well as news stories of Chinese-African cooperation, began back in 2006.

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How China’s Advance in Africa is Underestimated and Africa’s Potential Underappreciated

The explosive growth of China’s economic interests in Africa—bilateral trade rocketed from $1 billion in 1990 to $150 billion in 2011—may be the most important trend in the continent’s foreign relations since the end of the Cold War. In 2010, China surpassed the United States as Africa’s top trading partner; its quest to build a strategic partnership with Africa on own its terms through tied aid, trade, and development finance is also part of Beijing’s broader aspirations to surpass the United States as the world’s preeminent superpower. Africa and other emerging economies have become attractive partners for China not only for natural resources, but as growing markets. Africa’s rapid growth since 2000 has not just occurred because of higher commodity prices, but more importantly due to other factors including improved governance, economic reforms, and an expanding labor force. China’s rapid and successful expansion in Africa is due to multiple factors, including economic diplomacy that is clearly superior to that of the United States. China’s “no strings attached” approach to development, however, risks undoing decades of Western efforts to promote good governance. Consequently, this monograph examines China’s oil diplomacy, equity investments in strategic minerals, and food policy toward Africa. The official U.S. rhetoric is that China’s rise in Africa should not be seen as a zero-sum game, but areas where real U.S.-China cooperation can help Africa remain elusive, mainly because of Beijing’s hyper-mistrust of Washington. The United States could help itself, and Africa, by improving its own economic diplomacy and adequately funding its own soft-power efforts.

A free pdf version of the document is available here.

India’s Military Modernization: Plans and Strategy

If you’ve been following Indian news for the last couple of years, then the points made by Gurmeet Kanwal, in the National Bureau of Asian Affairs latest Q&A series are not new for you. However, if you’ve recently started to follow India, Gurmeet’s article does a great job of going over what you’ve missed out on in regards to India’s  Military Modernization. In looking at all three branches, Gurmeet discusses various upgrades and acquisitions in progress and outlines India’s strategic doctrine. In doing so, he attempts to suggest that increased military capability will lead to India taking greater responsibility on the world stage and possibly, referring to a recent Shiv Shankar Menon speech, some risk-taking. However, he rightfully describes India’s cautious approach with foreign powers as it seeks to maintain greater autonomy–although with India’s slow moving modernization efforts–possibly at its own peril.

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India in Africa: Implications of an Emerging Power for AFRICOM

This monograph examines India’s rapidly expanding network of influence in Africa. The author analyzes the country’s burgeoning public and private investments in the region as well as its policies vis-à-vis African regional organizations and individual states, especially in the security sector. After reviewing the historic role that India has played in Africa, the author looks at the principal motivations for India’s approach to Africa—including the former’s quests for the resources, business opportunities, diplomatic influence, and security—and Africans’ responses to it. In the context of the broader U.S.-India strategic partnership, as well as American political and security interests in Africa, India’s willingness to make significant contributions to African peacekeeping and to extend its maritime security cover to the continent’s eastern littoral ought to be welcomed, not least because of the potential positive impact on regional stability and development. Consequently, the author believes the opportunity thus presented in Africa for greater engagement between the United States and India ought to be seized upon.

The Free PDF version is available here.

NSIC to Set Up Incubation Centres in Africa

The National Small Industries Corporation Limited (NSIC), a public sector undertaking under the Ministry of Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises, is setting up incubation centers in ten African Countries including Botswana, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Egypt, Libya, Burkina Faso, Rwanda, Ethiopia, Burundi, and Mozambique. The Incubation project is funded through the MEA and was initially laid out during the discussions of the India African Forum summit held in 2008.

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India and Mozambique Sign Bilateral Security Agreement

India and Mozambique have signed an Agreement on Security Co-operation between the two countries. The Minister of State for Home Affairs, Shri Mullappally Ramachandran signed the Agreement with Mr. Jose Mandra, Minister of Interior, Govt of Mozambique at Maputo, Mozambique on 14JUL12.

Earlier, he called on the Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation of Mozambique, Henrique Banze. The two leaders also discussed cooperation between the two countries and to develop these relations further in various fields for mutual benefit of the two countries.

The Minister also interacted with the Indian Diaspora in Mozambique at the reception held by the High Commissioner of India to Mozambique Dr. Ashok K. Amrohi last evening.

Shri Mullappally Ramachandran is on a three day visit to Mozambique.

India is Mozambique’s fourth largest trading partner after the Netherlands, South Africa, and China.

According to some estimates, there are about 25,000 people of Indian origin who have  been living in Mozambique for generations. However, according to India’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, there are approximately 1,500 persons of Indian nationality and about 20,000 persons of Indian origin, holding Mozambican and Portuguese nationalities. A good number of the persons of Indian origin are reportedly engaged in  wholesale and retail trade, hailing originally from Gujarat, Goa, Daman and Diu. Some of the big business houses and multinational companies have engaged professional Indian expatriates/NRIs at senior management levels.

Mutiny in Madagascar

A Police officer takes cover during a mutiny by troops at a military camp near Madagascar’s main airport in Antananarivo on 22JUL12.

A group of mutinous soldiers in Madagascar took over a military camp near the Indian Ocean island’s main airport on Sunday and shot an army officer sent in to negotiate their surrender, the Defence Ministry said.

Government soldiers surrounded the base and launched an attack on the mutineers the afternoon of 22JUL12 after attempts to negotiate failed, the military said. It was not immediately clear how many mutinous soldiers were holed up inside the base.

The Defence Ministry said the mutiny is led by Koto Mainty, a bodyguard of former Defence Minister Noel Rakotonandrasana, who was jailed after taking part in a 2010 mutiny.

Madagascar has been shaken by political turmoil and violence since opposition leader Andry Rajoelina ousted President Marc Ravalomanana in 2009, who now lives in exile in South Africa. Mr. Rajoelina currently leads a unity government charged with preparing for elections next year.