Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Africa The Next Battlefront Of US And China: Is China Winning Africa?

China sees Trump’s trade war as an opportunity to boost ties with Africa Xi Jinping and Cyril Ramaphosa at The Council for Scientific and Industrial Reasearch (CSIR) in Pretoria on July 24, 2018 © Phill Magakoe / AFP
As China grows more powerful, it is slowly displacing a decades-old American preeminence in Asia and then Africa. The new trade war between the two global economy powerhouse outlines the rivalry that soon will define the future of African continent. Historically, the African natural resources have been plundered by the foreign powers, mainly but not exclusively European, who extracted easy-get resources available in a political vacuum resulting from the corrupted African elites.

Ludo De Witte, an author of a book called Lumumba’s murder the most terrible assassination of the 20th century. The killing that was carried out with the joint complicity of the American secret service and Belgian governments, which used Congolese accomplices and a Belgian execution squad. Since that assassination happened this forever changed the African continent’s political landscape and its economic and political prospects. The westerners tended to be very wicked and brutal in their approach when handling African domestic affairs. The amount of money the US invests in Africa appears to be waning, even under the Obama administration, who committed over $3.1 billion in a consecutive three-year period to an initiative programs that claimed to address African power shortages. In all honesty, Obama spent more money on drone-projects bombing the continent than any US President has ever spent.

China’s approach is different from that of the traditional colonial powers that ever seeking to plunder African resources through long term deceit. China too is also after resources, but its main interests in the African continent are twofold: Searching and exploiting oil and mineral resources, and creating new markets for Chinese goods. In addition, the Oriental nations spent billions investing or repairing infrastructure that provides jobs for Chinese nationals, the technicians and cheap laborers, mostly consist prison inmates who working on the pardoning-parlor of the Chinese government. However, unlike other big powers, China has shown relatively minimal interference in the domestic affairs of African countries, while at the same time providing generous aid and loan packages to African states for investment exchange. As Clifton Pannell, Director of the Center for Asian Studies at the University of Georgia said. While China's cooperation the continent has some mutual benefits that usher solidarity toward African states as opposed to colonialism and economic dependency created by unfriendly westerner's capitalistic stance.

Although, not every African is happy about China’s presence on the continent, there are strong sentiments that China employs few Africans in some of its economic endeavors, while many local factories, business entrepreneur and construction companies have been threaten and some already bolted out from the market since can't match up against China’s competition. China, however, has a steady policy of providing assistance and training in agricultural techniques and public health through state sponsored scholarship programs. During 2018 Beijing Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation which took place in Beijing,President Xi Jinping unveiled eight major initiatives which included purchasing more African goods and encouraging Chinese companies to expand investments to promote industrialization in Africa. Other major areas of cooperation are energy, information, transportation and use of water resources. To ensure the proper development of these initiatives, China will provide $60 billion in support for Africa’s development. Mr. Xi Jinping encouraged African countries to join in building the Belt and Road Initiative to achieve common developmental goals. In the financial area, China promised support through the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, the New Development Bank, and the Silk Road Fund. In addition, Xi Jinping pledged to provide 50,000 government-funded scholarships for African youngsters and invited 2,000 of them to visit China.

President Jix Jinping and Uhuru Kenyatta hold hands to deepen their cooperative partnership.
Medical aid: China’s medical aid to Africa started a long way in 1963 during African liberation struggle when the Red Army sent about 100 healthcare workers to Algeria after it gained independence from France, and has been steadily increasing its numbers since ever then. By 2014, China was spending about $150 million annually in medical aid to African countries, first African doctors were trained in China and Cuba. China now ranks among the top 10 bilateral global health donors to the continent. Although the exact number is unknown, China has dispatched several Chinese medical teams (CMT) to Africa and assisted in the construction of health facilities and training of African healthcare workers. It has also provided medical equipment and drugs. It is estimated that by 2014 China had helped build 30 hospitals and 30 malaria prevention and control centers, and trained over 3,000 healthcare workers from several African countries. Malaria is one of the main diseases the Chinese are trying to help prevent and control. China has donated over $26 million in anti-malarial drugs to 35 African countries. China also provided important aid to control the Ebola epidemic that killed more than 11,000 people between 2013 and 2016 and has helped in the prevention and control of HIV/AIDS and other infectious diseases. In its medical aid to Africa, China makes use of its own experience as a developing country, limitations and advantages included. At the same time, China uses its assistance in public health to strengthen its diplomatic relations with African governments.

Military Assistance: Although in the past China mainly targeted economic trade and assistance to Africa, Beijing is increasingly developing policies aimed at strengthening military ties in order to gain a stronger geopolitical influence and expand weapons sales in the continent. In that regard, China has been extremely active in selling small arms and light weapons to several African countries. President Xi Jinping promised to provide $100 million of free military assistance to the African Union to support the establishment of the African Standby Force and the African Capacity for Immediate Response to Crisis. In addition, the Chinese government has invited thousands of African military officials to China for workshops and training courses. “The concern from a lot of partners is exactly what role China is going to be playing in the region and how it is going to exist with existing military organizations and security forums,” said Duncan Innes-Ker, Asia Regional Director at the Economist Intelligence Unit.

Trade War

Tensions between the US and China just keep rising to another level, which the global protectionism and double standard of America instills fears. Last week, for example, US vice president Mike Pence made a speech laying out the Trump administration’s case for an all-out economic confrontation with China, beyond its current tariffs on Chinese goods. But does the White House have the upper hand? Of course not! Imposing economic sanction on Chinese assets can't even bring a satisfactory effect to US let alone it will bring self harm. The only alternative is to target African states with economic sanctions those accepting Chinese aid, this is the only available solution for them to counter the grow of China on the continent.  In New York Times' column written by Andrew Ross Sorkin points out that China does have a “Nuclear option” in its arsenal: So, US will not choose to confront China militarily in a direct way, beside creation and sponsoring internal rebellions and terror factions in African countries to destabilize the peace in the continent.  

According to US Treasuries. This scenario would involve ”the Chinese, the biggest holder of United States foreign debt with more than $1 trillion, publicly taking a step back from buying United States Treasuries—or worse, dumping what they own in the open market.”

The notion of a Chinese “nuclear option” goes hand in hand with the idea China has lent the US money—or as Sorkin puts it, the idea that, in the US-China relationship, China is indeed the biggest foreign holder of US government debt, with nearly $1.2 trillion in US Treasuries.


The tempo of American involvement in Africa has increased since ever. In January 2007, the American AC130 gun-ships flew over the continent and in the next month, Pentagon announced the creation of a dedicated African Military Command, AFRICOM. This immediately raised the question: Will Africa become a platform for international terrorist activities and what is the mission of the United States to have a military base in every African state? Some security expert speculate that the creation of Africom that goes along with the secret funding of opposition movements and NGOs for regime change, has nothing but a manufacturer of continental terror outfits and regime change on the continent. Pentagon is well known with its unofficial operations in Indonesia conducted by the CIA that covertly arming insurgencies and radical movements while at the same time serve US government attempt to provide military solution to the same problem they have created in the first place. Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions (CAATSA) is a new federal law, promulgated in 2017 to counter any country with an economical sanctions.  The Act passed by US Congress last year. In simple word, if any country or any group active in that country tries to harm american interests or acts against america. As per the provisions in this act, the sanctions are already imposed on countries like Iran, DPRK, Russia and now then the US considering to add China and its trading partners. 

The recent upheavals in the Sahara - an upsurge in jihadist activity, a military coup in Mali and the French military’s action to counter terrorism in the deserts of Gao and Timbuktoo - have put the region in the international spotlight. As the 21st century begins, northwest Africa has become an important flash-point in the Global War on Terror as well as the fierce competition for the continent's valuable natural resources.

Malian gendarme stands guard after the arrival of a U.S. Air Force C-17 Globemaster III plane with French troops at the airport in Bamako.
Donald Trump’s trade war with China is becoming more problematic as China's relations with the African continent is growing. The United States has initiated trade war that affecting a broad range of countries and again faces a retaliatory threats from China, the European Union and among others. Our modelling suggests that if current trade policy threats are realized and business confidence falls as a result, global output could be about 0.5 percent below current projections by 2020,” the International Monetary Fund’s Maury Obstfeld said earlier this month. China, is Africa’s largest trading partner. Trade between Africa and China has grown from $765 million in 1978 to over $170 billion in 2017, and is soon expected to reach $400 billion. According to the United National Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) World Investment Report of 2018, China was the fourth largest foreign investor in Africa in 2016, spending about $40 billion.

China pledged to invest $14.7 billion in South Africa and grant loans to its state power utility and logistics company, instantly helping the South African rand to make some early gains. China is already South Africa’s biggest trading partner, and this does not seem set to change any time soon. South Africa is not the continent’s only nation looking to capitalise on the economic opportunities offered by China. Countries in West Africa, including Nigeria, Mauritania, and Ivory Coast (Cote d’Ivoire) have all expressed interest in joining China’s Belt and Road Initiative. Zimbabwe’s president, Emmerson Mnangagwa said earlier this year that the “Belt and Road Initiative is indeed a vision for the future.” Tanzania’s minister of foreign affairs, Augustine Mahiga, further described the Belt and Road Initiative as a “user-friendly globalization of the economy.”

It wasn’t all too long ago that President Trump openly calling African nations “shithole countries” – a remark that left a chilling void that China can quickly fill up. From 12-16 January 2018 the Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi visited four African countries: Rwanda, Angola, Gabon, and São Tomé and Príncipe resulting the US announcing to impose sanction against African nations who trying to be against trading policy.  The major point of difference between China and the US is that while Donald Trump openly insults Africa, China has made a point of including anyone and almost everyone in its plans to develop Africa.Chinese president from visiting these three nations recently in an attempt to portray China as a partner for Africa’s industrialization. Whereas the US makes a point of targeting and showing interest in countries only when they have resources that can be extracted to benefit a select few, China may in fact be demonstrating it can listen closely to Africa’s aspirations instead of US.

The Trump administration rolled out a new strategy for Africa on Thursday, but it was really all about China. John R. Bolton, President Trump’s national security adviser, said the United States would lavish money and greater attention on the African continent, casting it as a crucial battleground in the global economic contest between the United States and China. But Mr. Bolton conceded that the United States had limited resources to compete with the tens of billions of dollars China is pouring into Africa. He also threatened to withdraw American aid for some United Nations peacekeeping missions, which he labeled ineffective, as well as for certain African countries like South Sudan that he said were corrupt or ungrateful. Mr. Bolton’s speech, at the Heritage Foundation, was his latest effort to flesh out what Mr. Trump’s “America First” foreign policy means for particular regions. In Africa, he said, the greatest threat came from Chinese expansionist, as well as Russia. “They are deliberately and aggressively targeting US investments in the region to gain a competitive advantage over the United States,” Mr. Bolton said. “China uses bribes, opaque agreements and the strategic use of debt to hold states in Africa captive to Beijing’s wishes and demands.”

Mr. Bolton announced a new program, “Prosper Africa,” to support American investment across Africa. Without attaching a dollar figure, he said the United States would facilitate alternatives to the large, state-directed public works projects pushed by the Chinese. Those projects, he said, were turning some African countries into economic vassals of China. Zambia, for example, owes Beijing $6 billion to $10 billion, according to Mr. Bolton, and is at risk of having the Chinese take over its national power company. China built a military base in another indebted African country, Djibouti, a few miles from where the United States has a base for counter terrorism operations.

Earlier this year, Mr. Bolton said the Chinese fired military-grade laser beams at American aircraft, injuring two pilots. Experts welcomed the focus on Africa, which has often been neglected by both Republican and Democratic administrations. But some noted the contradiction between Mr. Bolton’s promise of increased investment and a rollback of American engagement in other areas.

Grant T. Harris, a former adviser on Africa to President Barack Obama. “Washington needs to understand that China is investing in relationships, not just infrastructure.” Mr. Trump famously asked why the United States should accept African immigrants, belittling their countries with an epithet. The first lady, Melania Trump, made a four-country tour of the continent in October, which drew more attention for her wardrobe — particularly a colonial-style pith helmet on a safari in Kenya — than for her encounters with Africans.

Mr. Bolton traced his interest in Africa to his first job in government, working at the United States Agency for International Development during the Reagan administration. Yet he made clear that he viewed much of the American aid sent to Africa as wasted or misspent. “From now on,” he said, “the United States will not tolerate this longstanding pattern of aid without effect.” South Sudan, where rival leaders recently agreed to end a ruinous civil war, is among those at risk of losing aid. Mr. Bolton said the country was still being led by “the same morally bankrupt leaders” who prolong “horrific violence and immense human suffering.” In the 2017 fiscal year, foreign assistance to Africa from the State Department and the Agency for International Development amounted to $8.7 billion. From 2014 to 2018, the United States provided some $3.8 billion in humanitarian aid to South Sudan and its neighbors. American businesses invested $50 billion in Africa in 2017, according to the State Department. The flow of money from China to Africa has been substantial, but much of it is not what experts consider aid. From 2000 to 2014, Chinese financing to Africa totaled $121.6 billion, according to an analysis by AidData, a research center based at the College of William & Mary in Virginia.

The US already enacted sanctions on Rwanda’s earlier this year, when Rwanda ceased to use clothing and shoes from America in order to try and boost its own local manufacturing. Soon African nations that cooperate with China will blacked listed in terms of Section 231 CAATSA. 

Happy New Year 2019

Saturday, November 10, 2018

International Monetary Fund (IMF) Express Concern With Namibia’s Low GDP Growth

 IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde holds News Conference on World Economy.
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) projects concern that Namibia’s GDP will contract in 2018, and pushing out its forecast for growth to next year when it sees support from strong mining production and a rebound in construction activities. Namibia’s economy has a forecast that contracts with 0.2 percent this year, down from a previous forecast of 1 percent growth, due to a weak performance in the manufacturing and construction sectors, the finance ministry has said. The diamond and uranium producer’s economy contracted by 0.9 percent in the last year 2017.

Geremia Palomba, who led the IMF team, said growth would gradually recover. “After years of robust growth, the economy has entered a recession phase...IMF staff anticipates that the economy will recover gradually,” Palomba said in a statement He said growth would strengthen at a long-term rate of about 3 percent, but gave no specific time frame. He added that growth would be below the average recorded in recent years, held back by low productivity growth and stagnant competitiveness.

Namibia’s GDP has averaged 4.29 percent since independence in 1990, Palomba added that the downside risks to the IMF’s outlook included lower-than-expected revenue from the Southern Africa Customs Union (SACU), slower growth recovery, and fiscal slippage.

Both IMF and World Bank really don't care with human suffering nor either share solidarity towards African countries, what they care is the country to repay back the debt, no matter in which way. The Austerity Measures is a political-economic tool for coercing world governments to reduce budget deficits through spending cuts, tax increases, privatization state economy in the hands of foreigners (investors) in order to pay the debts. But at the end, it is the government that loses all.

Thursday, October 18, 2018

A Dramatic Event At Hosea International Airport Almost Turned Disastrous On Sunday

Airbus A319-112 V5-ANM and Namibian Airports Company services at the Runway.
 Airport was the scene of high drama when strong winds sent a runaway train of luggage trolleys hurtling towards a stationary plane at high speed - and the dramatic incident was caught on video. Namibia Airport narrowly avoided a serious accident when a train of four luggage trolleys was sent flying at high speed towards a stationary plane. A viral video of the dramatic incident shows airport workers at Hosea Kutako International Airport desperately trying to run after the trolleys and stop them crashing into the aircraft. The train’s material covers can be seen flapping in the strong winds as the official attempts to push against the first trolley.

A dramatic video shows runway crash is narrowly avoided in heart-stopping video
But the strength of the high winds proves too strong and the trolleys continue to hurtle down the runway, despite the worker’s brave attempts. Three other airport workers then madly dash towards their colleague to help as the train nears the stationary plane. A car also zooms forwards, apparently with the aim of obstructing the path of the runaway trolleys. Meanwhile, the plane’s pilots appear to realize the impending danger and begin to taxi away. However, the driver of the car appears to take no action during all of this and the trolleys simply whip past as the vehicle comes to a halt. The airport workers continue to run after the train but the trolleys appear to come to a stop. The final scene of the drama is unfortunately not captured in the video. Local media, The Namibian reported: “Strong winds at the Hosea Kutako International Airport triggered a spectacle in which four officials chased after a train of four runaway luggage trolleys which were heading towards a stationary plane at full speed.”

A Namibian Airports Company (NAC) spokesperson, Dan Kamati, confirmed the incident occurred on Sunday. "No injuries or damage to persons or property was reported and investigations continue,” he told the daily newspaper. According to a Facebook post of the video by The Namibian, authorities “are trying to establish whether the Air Namibia plane was parked, or planning to take off, and whether the plane had just landed, or if it had moved to avoid a collision with the trolleys.” Kamati did not reveal what had caused the trolleys to be let loose but said it would be investigated.

Thursday, March 8, 2018

US-Africa New Order

AU Commission Chairman Moussa Faki and U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson at African Union headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia 3/8/2018./Jonathan Ernst. 
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson arrived in Ethiopia, Africa’s second most populous nation, on Wednesday and visited the African Union headquarters on Thursday. This is a week-long trip that comes amid of blasphemy statement by President Trump’s administration referring African nations as “shithole countries” in January.  Many African leaders were incensed by reports that Trump used a derogatory term to refer to African countries in a private White House meeting. He may also just came to smooth relations between the continent and US. Tillerson visit Ethiopia and then later Djibouti, Kenya, Chad and Nigeria.  

Contesting For African Resources

The African Union Headquarter was funded and built by Chinese and in the eyes of the Americans is seen as a symbol of Beijing’s thrust for influence and access to the continent’s natural resources. Ethiopia is already a home to some of Beijing’s biggest investments and physical infrastructures. Earlier this week, Tillerson criticized heavily “China’s approach” to Africa which he said encouraged dependency through “opaque contracts” and “predatory loan practices”.  Tillerson told a news conference in the Ethiopian capital, that “We are not in any way attempting to keep Chinese dollars from Africa,”  “It is important that African countries carefully consider the terms of those agreements and not forfeit their sovereignty.” The United States is the leading aid donor to Africa but China surpassed it as a trade partner in 2009. Beijing has pumped billions into infrastructure projects, though critics say the use of Chinese firms and labor undermines their value.

Tillerson said Chinese investments “do not bring significant job creation locally” and criticized how Beijing structures loans to African government. If a government accepts a Chinese loan and “gets into trouble”, he said, it can “lose control of its own infrastructure or its own resources through default.” He did not give examples. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, visiting Zimbabwe on Thursday, told reporters it was inappropriate for Tillerson to criticize China’s relationship with African countries.  

He elaborate further that many African governments enjoy close ties with both Washington and Beijing. Kenya, for example, inaugurated a $3.2 billion railway funded by China last year. For the last three years, Kenya has received more than $100 million annually in U.S. security assistance. Asked about Tillerson’s criticism of China’s approach on the continent, Kenya’s foreign affairs minister Monica Juma said: “This country is engaging with partners from across the world driven by our own interests and for our own value.”

Tillerson reiterated previous calls for African states to cut ties with North Korea. North Korea has more than a dozen embassies on the continent. The Trump administration has said that Pyongyang earns hard currency from arms deals with African government and the trafficking of wildlife parts from Africa. Tillerson is due to fly to Djibouti, host to military bases owned by the U.S., China, Japan, France, and Italy. He will then visit Kenya, a key U.S. ally in the fight against al Shabaab Islamist militants in Somalia, before traveling to Chad and Nigeria, which are also battling to contain Islamist insurgents. 

Analysts say Trump has focused mainly on security concerns in Africa at a time when China, Turkey and other nations are ramping up diplomatic and business links. “When you look at the set of countries that are being visited I think it kind of reinforces the perception that security, indeed, is the overwhelming focus,” said Brahima Coulibaly, the director of the Africa Growth Initiative at Brookings Institution. 

Understand that American monopoly is to restrict African resources and control them: America came up with many strategies but failed. The master plan of African Command (FRICOM) that was introduced by President George W. Bush in early 2007 to militarized the whole continent so that Africans may used as mercenaries to fight their own proxy wars. Thanks to people who like peace like (Edward Snowden) for giving early warning to African leaders about the deception of US-AFRICOM. Almost 98% African states rejected such order to host US military bases in their territories. Now again, US being overshadowed by Russians and Chinese, so they have crafted another order known as the Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA), a kind of economical measure that will compel all developing countries especially African nations to abide to the new monopolies of US that command them what should they own,consume,produce or buy. 

US already secured advantage over African countries when ordered the "shitholes" all at once to stop trading with North Korea just in one night. Some of Africa countries have risked a lot in compliance with United States' demand. Multi-billion construction projects like in security sector and education was being constructed with the help of Pyongyang, but now are just white elephants and nestling places for bats and owls; imagining billion of dollars from taxpayers spent on those constructions and projects which was abide by official contracts before US-UN economic sanction has commenced imposing penalty on Kim Jung-uns regime.  

Today everything include resources that budgeted for several years have now went into drainage and we have a huge pile of rumbles looking at us, which was suppose to be a state of art skyscrapers and defence complex. Question: Who will compensate this? Why US only know how to stop the constructions but never know how to provide alternative solution that substitute the Asians or refund the loss? Instead African leaders unilaterally demanding their construction projects for completion under the supervision of United Nation if is the case and then after let go off North Koreans, this was not happened in Africa, But yet China,Russia and India are doing business with North Koreans and US is smearing the request from these countries to ceasing their business trades through some preparatory steps.

The hidden agenda under the Department of Treasury was signed officially on 02 August 2017 with the main objective to thwart and disrupt the competitive international markets from fiery adversaries like North Korea,Iran,Russia,Cuba,China and others. Under this so-called new international law your country will be threatened from nationalize land,water or purchasing Russian made products especially military equipment like AK-47s and other military gears example Chengdu F-7, the military aircraft that made from China and owned by most African Airforces. Under the order of CAATSA your country is required to adopt NATO's doctrine and make use of western manufactured materials or otherwise suffer from economical isolation and sectoral sanctions for supporting United States' adversaries.

Reported by Kumerra Gemechu in Addis Ababa and Omar Mohammed in Nairobi;and narrated by Nambili Samuel



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