“African leaders should not turn the continent into a giant collector of donations and loans from wealthy nations—they must find other plausible means to help established their economic security so as to minimize poverty. This incoherent blunder on the mainland must be scrutinized.” – Duop Chak Wuol
As The 2018 Beijing Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) is scheduled to happen on the 2nd and 3rd December 2018, there is time to remember how the Chinese is operating on the African Continent. The Chinese isn’t coming with empty giving hands of donations or even charity. They come with intent of interests and needs of resources from the continent, by offering loans, serving and building through state owned enterprises (SOE) in various of countries, whether it is roads, ports or railroads are built by Chinese Companies, by Chinese Workers and often on Chinese loans. Therefore, they might end up as Chinese owned enterprises, whose vital for transportation and export of needed minerals and whatnot from the continent.
Instead of coming with loans and direct-aid with strings like Western Powers has done over the last few decades, the Chinese are coming with friendly loans, but the Heads of State should know that the Chinese doesn’t play. They want value for money and expect a return, if it doesn’t they might snatch the new crown-jewel or anticipate to get perks from the state. If that is some sort of trade-off or licenses to extract mineral resources or even minor taxation like toll-roads, where the piece of cash will be sent to Beijing and not the capitol of the country where the road is built. That is how these people operate. They are not in it to play or be giving, but gain advantage and have the upper-hand.
This can be shown by what the State Media in China writes in Xinhua Net wrote today and what a CARI report on the same funds are saying. The Chinese portray the funding as investments on the Continent, as the funds are most likely pushed as loans, which burdens the states and that they have to repay. Loans are not given, but issued because of lack of direct funds to build those infrastructure and investments done. So, what I am saying isn’t mere speculation, but a narrative that has to sink in.
“China’s investments into Africa surged by more than 100 times from 2000 to 2017. In the past three years, annual Chinese direct investment into Africa was about 3 billion dollars on average. By the end of 2017, China’s investments of all kinds into Africa totaled 100 billion dollars, covering almost every country on the continent” (Li Xia – ‘Facts & Figures: China-Africa ties: cooperation for shared future’ 02.09.2018 link: http://www.xinhuanet.com/english/2018-09/02/c_137438845.htm).
“From 2000 to 2017, the Chinese government, banks and contractors extended US $136 billion in loans to African governments and their state-owned enterprises (SOEs). Angola is the top recipient of Chinese loans, with $42.2 billion disbursed over 17 years. Chinese loan finance is varied. Some government loans qualify as “official development aid.” But other Chinese loans are export credits, suppliers’ credits, or commercial, not concessional in nature. China is not Africa’s largest “donor”” (China Africa Research Initiative – ‘DATA: CHINESE LOANS TO AFRICA’ Version 1.1 August 2018).
They might try to conceal the reality, just like make-up is used on the face to fade the age or even marks that shows stress or pimples. However, the Chinese cannot be able to lie about their intent. They would not offer these sums of cash, without expecting a turnover or even profits. The Chinese wouldn’t allow all these billions of US Dollars spent on these nations to be spoiled and lost on the streets of Lome, Harare, Addis Ababa or Nairobi. They anticipate a return on the loans, either straight cash or getting pieces of the built infrastructure to advance the value of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).
That the Heads of State in Africa should be concerned as they are getting in debt traps, instead of being in cycle of positive growth, they are getting new loans to pay the old ones. They are using the same creditor to secure new loans on top of the old-debt. That is how it will continue, until a point where they cannot pay the defaulted debt and the Chinese would then come to snatch something of value to recoup the failing debt. Because they don’t want to write-off the big money without having anything in return. That is what the Chinese has done in Sri Lanka and might start elsewhere. There might be soon more control of port in Djibouti or railroad of Kenya, even the Ethiopia-Djibouti railway line too. As they want their value of money.
They might be all smiles and photo-ops in Beijing these days, the smiles and added loans to dozens of countries. The added “investments” and deals struck, but the Chinese will not do so without getting something in return. To think otherwise, is to be naive and think they don’t have an agenda by doing it.
There is nothing like a free-lunch and the people will learn that, the Heads of State will not directly pay the debt, but the states will do so. Maybe not in this decade or next 5 years, but sooner or later. The bill for the coffee and biscuit will come. Than it is all eaten, but tab still has to be cleared. Peace.
“The basic confrontation which seemed to be colonialism versus anti-colonialism, indeed capitalism versus socialism, is already losing its importance. What matters today, the issue which blocks the horizon, is the need for a redistribution of wealth. Humanity will have to address this question, no matter how devastating the consequences may be.” – Frantz Fanon
The true value and who runs it is proven when the former head of the Commonwealth for decades has been Queen Elisabeth II, which of yesterday put the mantle of leadership to her son Prince Charles of Wales. The Statement from ‘ Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting 2018 – Leaders’ Statement’ said: “We recognise the role of The Queen in championing the Commonwealth and its peoples. The next Head of the Commonwealth shall be His Royal Highness Prince Charles, The Prince of Wales” (Commonwealth, 20.04.2018).
We can also know the perspective the Great Britain has for the organization, as Boris Johnson wrote so clearly in March 2018: “The good news is that when we leave the EU, we will regain the power to sign free trade agreements with our Commonwealth friends, allowing the UK to make the most of thriving markets. Brexit will give us the ability to open a new era of friendship with countries across the world. A key theme of the London summit will be how to boost trade within the Commonwealth. We’ll also discuss how to improve security co-operation and take joint action to protect the world’s oceans, bearing in mind that the Commonwealth includes island states in the Pacific, the Indian Ocean and the Caribbean” (Boris Johnson – ‘Commonwealth has key role to play in the bright future for Britain: article by Boris Johnson’ 12.03.2018, Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO)).
It shows that the United Kingdom own problems and issues is key for the Summit. The others are more a circus that the old empire can play into it. That happen and the Commonwealth Declaration on the 20th April 2018 named ‘Declaration on the Commonwealth Connectivity Agenda for Trade and Investment’ part of it says: “We, the Heads of Government representing member countries of the Commonwealth and one third of the world’s population recognise international trade and investment
as an engine for generating inclusive and participative economic growth and a means to deliver the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development” (…) “In particular, we recognise the importance of the multilateral trading system in ensuring the integration of small, vulnerable and least developed countries and countries in sub-Saharan Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific into the world economy, and welcome initiatives which will support greater and more effective participation of these countries in international trade” (…) “To promote the realisation of these goals, we hereby launch the Commonwealth Connectivity Agenda for Trade and Investment. This Agenda will be guided by the principles that: co-operation should be pragmatic and practical, leading to credible results; take into account regional integration initiatives; take into account the needs of small and vulnerable economies and least developed countries; avoid duplication with initiatives where other organisations are already working; add value in areas of engagement; and adopt a progressive approach towards a long term vision for closer trade and investment ties. It should also recognise the vital role of the private sector in delivering the 2030 Agenda and facilitating the promotion of the blue and green economy” (Commonwealth – ‘Declaration on the Commonwealth Connectivity Agenda for Trade and Investment’ 20.04.2018).
We can see that Boris Johnson’s goals for the Commonwealth Head of Government Meeting (CHOGM) appeared on the last day, yesterday, as this declaration is to anticipate the Commonwealth secretariat and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) will work on this now. To make sure the former Colonies are more connected. Not only to themselves through trade, but also to the United Kingdom. This is to give the United Kingdom bigger trade and partners through the use of the former colonies. To look at it differently, is to be naive. The other agreements is to make the public perception positive, but this here was to grease the wheels of United Kingdom, who are soon losing the trade-agreements through the membership of European Union, because of their silly decision to leave the Union.
We can see that the Commonwealth all benefits the United Kingdom and the others just has a place multi-nationally to be represented, though a loose organization, that isn’t to formal. But is a place to make them look better and get exposure through the perspective of their former colonial master. That is why they still has the inter-connected ministry FCO. It is a reason why even Zimbabwean Non-Governmental Organization was petitions the Department for International Development (DFID), so the former colony could have funds to hold Presidential Candidate National Television Debate before the General Election later in the year.
Well, that was a sidetrack, but very fitting. Because, the Commonwealth, still seems like a UK based organization, where it is all because of the mercy of the UK. The Commonwealth communiques, declarations and the meetings is because of UK leaders. Not because of the Kenyan President wanted it or the Indian one wanted some. We know there are someone even questioning it, the Bangladesh PM has been stating this today:
“LONDON, April 21, 2018 (BSS)- Seeking inclusion of representative from Asia in the High Level Group to review the Commonwealth Secretariat’s Governance, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday suggested making the Group more representative with inclusion of member states of different regions. “We value the knowledge and expertise of the Secretariat for furthering work of the Commonwealth. However, we believe that views of the member states through appropriate representation, is equally important,” she said” (Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha – ‘PM suggests making CW high-level group more representative’ 21.04.2018).
This is what I started it, and it is made like this because the Commonwealth are made for the needs of United Kingdom, then the second interests. That is why the head of the Commonwealth has to be the Royalty of the UK. Now it is the Prince of Wales, which was nudged in by the Queen. The same happen to Prince Harry, who was appointed by the Queen to become the Commonwealth Youth Ambassador. We can see that the Commonwealth is a UK enterprise. The view can be seen that way, the way the Royal family has key roles and that the FCO is involved. Therefore, the meetings and statements coming from Boris Johnson with everyone he could. Making photo-ups with anyone he could during the CHOGM.
We will clearly see the Commonwealth Secretariat work on the Declaration, especially now that the UK is gearing up for the Brexit and leaving the Union. They need new secure trading partners and what better, than using the informal body of Commonwealth to get trade with. That is what even Johnson has been writing and proves his ideas. That is why he has been so diplomatic and kind with words. Because some of the nations and state leaders he has meet these days, he has written in the past ill-words of their republics and their kind. Therefore, we know he has sudden swift change of interests. That interests being the benefit of London and not of the former colonies.
The Commonwealth seems more like a savior and needed trade-partners right now, because of the problems coming with the loss of the EU membership. FCO and Commonwealth member-states with this declaration are opening for negotiations. Something that Johnson has been hoping for all along. Since he wanted that and hoped that CHOGM would deliver. However, it did that in some respect with the Declaration.
Seemingly again the Commonwealth is made for the benefit of the UK and their needed gains. If it was otherwise, than the Bangladesh PM wouldn’t asked for what she did after the CHOGM. That proves the problems within the Commonwealth Secretariat and with the Declaration itself. Since in that one in question isn’t mentioned even directly in the declaration.
Hope I am wrong, but as long the British Royalty is running it and is the heads of it. Their interests will be in line of London, not being for all the members of the Commonwealth. To think otherwise to be naive. Peace.
The Secretary-General reaffirmed the United Nations’ full support in the humanitarian, security and the human rights areas.
NEW YORK, United States of America, September 25, 2017 – The Secretary-General met with H.E. Mr. Hassan Ali Khayre, Prime Minister of the Federal Republic of Somalia.
The Secretary-General commended Somalia for the progress made in advancing state-building. The Secretary-General and the Prime Minister also discussed efforts related to security sector reform and revenue generation.
The Secretary-General reaffirmed the United Nations’ full support in the humanitarian, security and the human rights areas, as well as in the implementation of Somalia’s development plans. The Secretary-General also reiterated support to AMISOM and to the creation of Somali institutions.
The Chairperson of the Commission appeals for calm, restraint and stresses that the AU is fully seized with the matter.
ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia, June 19, 2017 – The Chairperson of the Commission, Moussa Faki Mahamat, is following the recent developments between the Republic of Djibouti and the State of Eritrea in the aftermath of Qatar’s decision to withdraw its peacekeeping troops at the Djibouti- Eritrea border.
The Chairperson of the Commission appeals for calm, restraint and stresses that the AU is fully seized with the matter. He highlighted that the AU Commission, in close consultations with the authorities in Djibouti and Eritrea, is in the process of deploying a fact-finding mission to the Djibouti-Eritrea border.
The Chairperson of the Commission stands ready to assist Djibouti and Eritrea to normalize their relations and promote good neighborliness within the framework of relevant AU instruments.
“In times of war, the law falls silent.
Silent enim leges inter arma” – Marcus Tullius Cicero
The Merriam Webster defines the Snowball effect like this: “a situation in which one action or event causes many other similar actions or events” (Merriam Webster). At this moment and time, the Qatar diplomatic crisis has hit another level. A level that is unbelievable. To fellow Republics on the Horn of Africa are already in a military dispute over a territory, which they have fought over twice. Last time these nations fought over it was back in 2008.
These Republics are Eritrea and Djibouti. Who are two different states and with different approach to alliances and matters in general. Eritrea has in this crisis hold itself neutral to either Saudi Arabia and the GCC, while not doing anything with it’s affiliation to Qatar. Therefore, the Djibouti did earlier cut their ties with Qatar and with that the Qatari Peacekeepers in the area has left the nation. That Djibouti is important to Ethiopia and their trade is natural as the port and railway goes from Ethiopia to Djibouti. So if Eritrea want to hit two birds with two stones, they go and bang on Djibouti.
So the sudden cutting off Qatar has lead to change of powers and also of military stronghold between Djibouti and Eritrea. As the Eritrean has reacted to and sent the army closer to the disputed area. Both nations has claims to this area. Similar to activity on the Ethiopian border, which has been disputed since the independence of Eritrea. The same seem to be the case on the Djiboutian border and land.
That is why it isn’t surprising that the Eritrean government sends army and attack when the peacekeepers who has secured the territory since the last war in 2008. Certainly, the Asmara government want to take advantage, even if it costly, as the Djibouti sends their reports straight to the African Union and the United Nations Security Council to clear the air of the vicious attack from Eritrea. So the state can be seem as warlords and criminal in their acts on international scale. This is the own making of Eritrea, as they have done in recent years. Gone into war with neighbors without winning and neither getting recognition for their military operations.
There are reports that on Monday the 19th June 2017, the UNSC will take the dispute behind closed doors before finding out solution to the stalemate and current crisis between the nations. This is a long for conflict for the territory and not the first time Eritrea does this. Certainly, the GCC should intervene and help Djibouti, especially since the Republic sided with them. If it wasn’t just play for the gallery and needed display for the GCC. So that they have enough cards in the deck to hopefully get Qatar to give-in. Instead, there isn’t any indication of acts from KSA, Bahrain or United Arab Emirates, as the soldiers and territory is supposed to be ceased.
The GCC and allies have been in communication with neighboring Federation of Somalia to get them to cut ties with Qatar, without any luck, but Djibouti did so and even sent the Qatari peacekeepers home. Therefore, their proof of loyalty deserves to be repaid and that in full. That is if there are any honor in the GCC and their diplomacy in their sphere. So the Eritrean forces are now in the Dumera mountains and Dumera island, which violates the border territory of Djibouti.
Just to make matter worse, this report has also come out recently:
“Not trusting his army, Ismael Omar Guelleh sent a request for military support to Ethiopia and China. He wants Ethiopia and China to send military men and equipment to the border with eritrea to impress the latter. On the other side asmara concerned the movements of Ethiopian troops to the conjunction between the three countries, Djibouti, Eritrea and Ethiopia, sent three military miles to its southern border or the region” (Hassan Cher Hared, HCH24.com, 12.06.2017)
And this one which is more on the nerves of Eritrea:
“The statement by the retired Ethiopian general is so nerve wracking to all levels of the regime even the aging Eritrean president has wrote a letter to selected world leaders. “Washington feverishly worked at the time, through the State Department, to drive a wedge between the two peoples who have deep historical and strategic ties in order to foment a crisis and micro-manage the affairs of the Horn of Africa,” he is quoted by Eritrean state media to have said” (…) “Isais Afwerki always says it is not Ethiopia that is working against him, but the government of the United States of America. He says this to make himself bigger than life by antagonizing the world super power unsteady of another third world country which happens to be 20 times his tine country. “The ‘border dispute’ was a simple ruse as the boundary between the two countries was defined and determined without any ambiguity in colonial times. But Washington feverishly worked at the time, through the State Department, to drive a wedge between the two peoples who have deep historical and strategic ties in order to foment a crisis and micromanage the affairs of the Horn of Africa,” said the Eritrean president in the letter, according to the Eritrean ministry of information website” (Tigrai Online – ‘The Eritrean regime is nervous about an Ethiopian retired general’ 16.06.2017 link: http://www.tigraionline.com/articles/fear-nervousness-eritrea.html).
Clearly, if these allegations are true, this would give reasons not only for the GCC issues and the interference in the Horn of Africa, that the KSA, Bahrain and UAE have in the region. As they got the Djibouti government to cut ties and make sure they loyalty would be rewarded. While that is happening, the Eritrean have not taken sides, but takes advantage of the Qatari battalions leaving Djibouti. This gave way for a demilitarized zone, which they could come and takeover. This is what happening, but if the state of Eritrea are using the media this way and swaying the public as the reports are. Than it is sick and twisted, but not surprising with the massive overload of the regime of Asmara has on its citizens.
Well, the situation between Djibouti and Eritrea isn’t over, if Djibouti will get help from either their close ally Ethiopia or China, even the GCC, time will tell. Because they should see it is their time to help out, since they we’re taken by surprise, and has now also the advantage that the international community, the African Union and the United Nations Security Council will react to the hostile act of Eritrea. This is not a good look on the matter.
How news and media company describes the recent history!
“9TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE CONFLICT RAS DOUMEIRA
There are feelings that even words will never translate. Feelings that we only feel in front of these heroes… Doumeira. In front of these men who face the enemy night and day. Depends on their lives. With only one currency: Homeland or death. Yesterday, no one was insensitive. ” Military, police, gendarmes, Republican Guards, whatever your rank, we all join in your pain to have lost some of your brothers in arms, some of which are still in an unknown position. In this moment of celebration, I fully associate myself with the sorrow felt by their families. We have lost soldiers who have become heroes that neither the history nor the republic of Djibouti will ever forget” (Djib-Live, 09.06.2017).
Let’s end it on a Djiboutian note:
“Mahamoud Ali Youssouf statement about the withdrawal of the Qatari troops from Ras Doumeira, the Eritrean troops have move back into the area. “All options are on our table whether its diplomatic or military,” said the Djiboutian Foreign Minister” (Djiboutian, 16.06.2017).
Hopefully it will be sorted out diplomatically and not with arms, even if the Eritrean answered the other one with invasion of border territory. Clearly a violation and a breach of trust between neighbor states. That the Djibouti republic have a good case and also the upper-hand is evident, but if the Eritrean forces will back-down and go back without a fight. That is only a matter of their will retaliate if the Djibouti army returns to their expected territory. Peace.