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PostPosted: 27 Mar 2012 07:20 
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I think kenya and tanzania could be the next agricultural powers too. rich land, good climate, not too many people, relative order.


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PostPosted: 28 Mar 2012 03:14 
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that region is like a gold mine. They just need good leaders in power to spread the wwealth, unite the people and invest in development, that region will have everything - water, agriculture, oil and massive resources. Any one with spare $$ take a look at Africa oil corp for investment in the canadian market - do your own research though.

India, South Sudan in oil infra talks
Quote:
The investment comes amid a row between the South and Sudan over fees for the use of oil infrastructure
Utpal Bhaskar

New Delhi: Reinforcing India’s efforts to secure energy resources overseas, state-owned Oil and Natural Gas Corp. Ltd (ONGC) is in talks with South Sudan to help it build oil pipelines, crude oil stores and refineries in the newly formed African nation.

South Sudan, created in July 2011, owns 85% of undivided Sudan’s hydrocarbon resources, but the North, known only as Sudan, has all the refining infrastructure.

The proposed investment by ONGC, which may run into billions of dollars, assumes significance as the newly formed African nation stopped and capped crude oil production from all its 900 wells in January. This was done in protest after Sudan started drawing some oil as “dues in kind” to claim unpaid fees by South Sudan since its independence.

“We are in talks with South Sudan for developing their hydrocarbon infrastructure. This involves the entire value chain and even refining facilities,” a senior ONGC executive said, requesting anonymity.

ONGC Videsh Ltd (OVL), the overseas unit of ONGC, invested $2.5 billion (Rs. 12,825 crore today) in petroleum exploration and production in undivided Sudan as part of the Greater Nile Petroleum Operating Co., in which it owns a 25% stake. Its partners are China National Petroleum Corp. (40%), Petronas Carigali Overseas Sdn Bhd (30%) and Sudapet Co. Ltd (5%).

Watch Video

India’s ONGC is in talks to build refining infrastructure in South Sudan. But Mint’s Utpal Bhaskar says that with other countries also eyeing the opportunity, India will face stiff competition


Expanding ONGC’s operations in the undivided nation in May 2004, OVL acquired a 24.13% stake in Block 5A and a 23.5% stake in Block 5B operated by White Nile Petroleum Operating Co. Ltd from Austria’s OMV Aktiengesellschaft for $134 million.

Sudan has been demanding a fee of $36 per barrel for allowing South Sudan use of its infrastructure, which the latter says is unjustified.

“They (Sudan) want us to pay around $36 per barrel for using their infrastructure. Of this, around $6 per barrel has been asked as transit fees. This is criminal,” said a South Sudan official, who confirmed the development, but declined to be identified.

Oil accounts for about 98% of South Sudan’s revenue, with output of around 350,000 barrels per day. India on its part has made rapid strides in refining. The country has a refining capacity of 194 million tonnes per annum (mtpa), the fifth largest globally and accounting for 4% of the world’s total refining capacity. This is likely to reach 238 mtpa by 2013.

D.K. Sarraf, managing director of OVL, said he was unaware of the development. A government official confirmed the talks with South Sudan.

The Indian effort also comes at a time when South Sudan is revisiting all production-sharing contracts signed by the government of undivided Sudan.

With India importing more than 80% of its energy needs, state-owned firms have been scouting overseas for securing assets and have invested Rs. 64,832.35 crore in the effort. This push has pitted the country against China in a geopolitical race to sew up as much of the world’s resources as it can.

China and India will be the world’s largest and third largest economies and energy consumers by 2030, jointly accounting for about 35% of the global population, gross domestic product and energy demand, according to the BP Energy Outlook 2030.

OVL is the only company among Indian state-owned firms with producing assets overseas. It has a presence in 15 countries through participation in 33 projects and has proven balance of oil and gas reserves of 202.908 mt. The company produced 9 mt last fiscal, and plans to secure 20 mt equivalent of oil and gas by 2018, and 35 mt by 2030. But while its producing properties in Sudan have been affected by South Sudan’s decision to cap wells, the ones in Sakhalin and Syria are in decline.

India is the world’s fourth largest oil importer after the US, China and Japan. According to the oil ministry, India’s energy demand is expected to more than double by 2035, from less than 700 mt of oil equivalent today to around 1.5 billion tonnes.


This could be massive if India gets the pie. Sudan, Ethiopia and Kenya joined hands to build a massive $25billion dollar port, rail, road, oil and gas pipeline infrastructure to the kenyan coast. So looks like India is trying to get its hands on the pie and retain the old indian role during the british empire of building rail roads (many thousands of indians perished in this task RIP).


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PostPosted: 28 Mar 2012 07:20 
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At the moment the oil pipelines flow from South Sudan to the sea through North Sudan. That was the way North Sudan thought it can still keep control over South Sudan. But South Sudan has other possibilities.


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PostPosted: 28 Mar 2012 08:41 
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North sudan has access to red sea but not south sudan. It is land locked country. Reminds of TSP and Afghanisthan.
south sudan


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PostPosted: 06 Apr 2012 11:16 
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Kenya shares border with south sudan and has access to ports. India should pipe oil thru Kenya and transport by ship from there.


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PostPosted: 19 Apr 2012 03:01 
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This has been in the offing snce December. The recommendation was for $25 billion fund - focused particularly on africa. BARC chief is also going to run a similar fund to buy up uranium abroad - already scouting.

India should explore buying fert mineral assets in 20 nations
Quote:
Amid depleting natural resources globally, a government group has suggested that India should look at buying fertiliser mineral assets in over 20 countries including Belarus and Canada to meet the domestic shortfall.

In view of risk and huge costs involved in acquisitions, the Group also suggested that the government should create a fund with an initial corpus of USD 5 billion.

India imports about six million tonnes each of potash and urea and seven million tonnes of Di-ammonium Phosphate (DAP) every year.

"The need to secure various input (fertiliser) assets to ensure manufacturing and growth of the economy becomes more urgent given the limited availability of such inputs and their control by a few countries," said the Working Group set up by the Planning Commission for the 12 Five Year Plan (2012-17).

The Group suggested to the government to facilitate the entry of Indian firms into countries that are not able to exploit their resources optimally to explore options of ownership and sourcing of basic raw-materials like gas, rock phosphate and potash.

It also identified at least 20 resource-rich countries including Belarus and Canada where India can explore strategic investments and secure long term supplies.

The Group recommended the government to ensure financial resources for raw material assets acquisition and creation of funds for the purpose.

To accelerate the pace of acquisition, PSUs can be allowed to entertain proposals from various routes directly or indirectly subject to feasibility, it said.

The Group emphasised that the acquisition of fertiliser mineral assets abroad is "very important" considering a global scenario of depleting natural resources both energy and minerals.

It also pointed out that rising global prices of raw materials and finished fertilisers is making the growing fertiliser subsidies unsustainable.

For example in Belarus, which has one billion tonne of proven deposit of potash, the Group suggested the government to explore buying stake in the state-controlled Belarus Kali, which enjoys complete monopoly on exploration.

India has been in talks with the Belarus government to buy stake in potash miner Belarus Kali for quite some time. However, no progress has been made yet.

In the case of Canada, it said, "One-fifth of Indian import of potash is from Canada. Possibility of setting up joint venture projects in mining and off take of potash to India should be explored."

India is estimated to consume 33.67 million tonne urea, 12.41 million tonne DAP, 4.79 million tonne potash and 11.42 million tonne of complex fertilisers by the end 2016-17 fiscal.


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PostPosted: 19 Apr 2012 14:54 
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A US citizen is made Mali PM

Quote:
Mali's new prime minister, Cheick Modibo Diarra, is an accomplished astrophysicist who worked on five NASA missions and became a US citizen, but said he never forgot the Malian town of his birth.

Quote:
Before joining Malian politics, Mr Diarra served as Microsoft's Africa chairman


So west has parachuted a leader on Mali. Anyone let us know how important is mali in africa or specifically west africa? Has any major oil/mineral resources has been discovered over there recently??


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PostPosted: 29 Apr 2012 03:14 
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India has been approached by the UAE first to play a role in Somalia to help train somali forces to destroy pirate sanctuaries. India said no. Now EU has asked us to do the same. Indian navy was in the negative. Indian ambassador in the UAE even met with Somali officials in Dubai about training, security topics but doesnt look like anything much was achieved. Looks like recently after the discovery of oil it looks like India is slowly changing its view on the subject.

India is concerned aobut piracy and Al Shabaab as they could mess up projects GoI is building in Africa therefore India will coordinate with Djibouti (I already mentioned about the new Indian investments there above).

Somalia could have 100 bllion barrels of oil and 100TCF of natural gas - Africa oil is drilling there and another canadian company Marauder East Coast resources and Range Resoures are the ones to watch here (if any of you are looking at investments).

India appointed a special envoy to the sudan to resolve disputes and also offer to totally build pipelines from South sudan to kenyan coast via ethiopia as well as refineries etc in order to steal a march on the PRC.
Idnia is heavily investing in connectivity between ethiopia and Djibouti and amongst other projects.


Dealings with the TFG in Somalia are through Indian embassy in Kenya. India is ramping up military support via training to ethiopia nd Kenya who are battling Al Shabaab. Now that Al shabaab is extremely weak and is being driven out with US air support. Somalia is being focused on by indian diplomats - pan africa e network prject - training Somalia national military. India is ramping up in Djibouti with investments.

India's moves there is also seen as a battle against islamists and threats to our interests in Comoros Mauritius and Maldives.

EU woos India for piracy battle
Quote:
- Bloc pursues political project
SUJAN DUTTA

Northwood Headquarters, UK, April 22: Trophies from a war waged 30 years back decorate the Falklands Room in the officers’ mess of this military establishment of the UK just outside London.

Thirty years after that war in the South Atlantic, Northwood Headquarters is directing another overseas military mission, this time for the European Union, in the Indian Ocean.

The European Union is asking India to put its navy on board a new “forward from the seas” policy.

The new policy authorises warships and aircraft to bomb suspected pirate bases on Somalia’s coast.

“We now have permission to isolate pirates’ logistics sites,” said Admiral Duncan L. Potts, commander of Operation Atalanta — the name for the EU naval mission in the Indian Ocean.

In Brussels, at the headquarters of the European Union, the chief of the EU Military Staff, Lt Gen. Ton Van Osch, said: “I now have the political mandate to engage India.”

The changed rules of engagement in the counter-piracy war, the political mandate to militaries and the outreach to India come at a time the eurozone crisis has made it difficult for western European nations to sustain and underwrite the costs of long-distance armed conflict, even if that is to be waged against desperadoes from one of the world’s poorest countries, Somalia.

The EU is seeking Indian involvement in aerial surveillance, and for Autonomous Vessel Protection Detachments (AVPDs, or armed guards on board ships) and replenishments. The outreach to India is part of an EU programme under its Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP).

“I know that in India the EU is seen as a trade bloc. But, in the end, the EU is a political project, not an economic project,” said David ’Sullivan, chief operations officer of the EU’s External Action Service, its foreign relations wing. The EU is also seeking deeper collaboration in counter-terrorism and cyber security.

But it is the naval mission on India’s western seaboard that the EU has prioritised for a military collaboration.

Operation Atalanta is being directed from Northwood Headquarters. In the 30 years since Operation Corporate — as the UK called its mission to free the Falkland Islands in the South Atlantic Ocean of Argentine occupation in 1982 — Northwood Headquarters itself has changed.

The base, used for overseas operations of the Royal Air Force, Royal Navy, Joint Staff, Nato and the European Union, now accommodates an international staff.

At the MSCHOA (Maritime Security Centre for the Horn of Africa), the naval team is peopled by naval personnel from countries across Europe — not all of them EU member-states — each with the flag of his/her country next to desktop computers that track ships and aircraft in the Indian Ocean in real-time from so many thousands of miles away.

The EU’s military staff say there is room for the Indian Tricolour.

Operationally, an Indian warship that has been escorting Indian convoys in the Gulf of Aden for four years now co-ordinates its movements with the EUNAVFOR (European Naval Force).

There is operational co-ordination between the Indian Navy and the Chinese navy, as there is with a Nato force.

The big difference in the EU’s invitation to India for closer co-operation now is in the changed rules of engagement (RoE) that it has given to its multinational naval deployment. So far restricted to escorting UN food programme vessels and deterring pirates at sea, the EU warships under Operation Atalanta were last month authorised to attack suspected pirate bases on Somalia’s coastline.

This they will do by firing from ships and from aircraft (likely to be ship-borne helicopters) but without putting “boots on the ground” — landing troops on the African country’s beaches.

The new RoE have not yet been in evidence. There is concern that they will lead to greater “collateral (civilian) damage”.

The new RoE are an extension of America’s concept for its navy in 21st-century warfare, summed up in a doctrine called “Forward... from the seas.”

“We have 2.4 million square miles of (the Indian) ocean to protect. The pirates attack at sea but piracy originates on land. These are sophisticated gangsters and criminals. We have permission to isolate logistics sites on shore. Our mission is intrinsically an ‘economy of effort’ operation,” said Adm. Potts, who commands Operation Atalanta.

He said that between January and March this year, India, China and Japan had shared intelligence with EUNAVFOR through an inter-agency outfit in the Seychelles.

In New Delhi, senior navy officers acknowledge the importance of deterring pirates on land. But they add that the new RoE for the EU warships are sensitive and fraught with consequences for civilians unless backed by sharp intelligence.

For more than a decade, Somalia has been without an effective centralised administration. The EU is supporting a transitional government militarily by training its soldiers in Uganda before sending them back home.

Indian officials worry about the impact of offensive military action in a continent where New Delhi has huge stakes and where it is competing with China for strategic space.

New Delhi is also sticking to its policy of deploying its military overseas only under the UN blue flag. The anti-piracy mission has a UN mandate but there is no UN force.

But Indian Navy officers admit that piracy originating in Somalia is getting dangerously close to home.

Indian defence sources are also sceptical of operations inside Somalia though they admit that piracy threatens to take a heavy toll on Indian lives and businesses.

In 1994, India sent about 4,500 soldiers into Somalia and a naval task force to patrol the waters off Mogadishu under UNOSOM II (United Nations Operations in Somalia). UNOSOM II was touted as a humanitarian mission with mostly US military escort.

It failed — its failure immortalised in the Hollywood film Black Hawk Down, based on an incident in which Somali militia shot down an American helicopter and dragged the bodies of the US soldiers through the streets of Mogadishu.

The Indian Army understood better than the Americans that the militia in Somalia operate on the basis of clans and tribes.


If India can takes a hands on approach with token arab diplomatic support, I think Somalia problem could be resolved (will take a lot of politics to solve but nothing that we can't do if the payoffs are massive) and we could have access to serious oil/gas reserves under Indian control which we have the capability to protect using our navy.


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PostPosted: 15 May 2012 22:39 
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I was speaking to an Ethiopian friend a few days back. He had spent a few years in Delhi for education, and has now migrated to the US. He had a friendly and familiar attitude towards Indians. But most interesting was his description of the massive Chinese involvement in Africa today, which is changing the landscape there in many ways. He said that earlier Indians were the main business drivers in some parts of Africa, but they didn't build much and did not intermarry with the local population. The Chinese today are head and shoulders above the rest in terms of their investment in Africa. They build at a frenetic pace and it is well advertized that this is Chinese partnership. There is a concerted drive for projecting soft-power there. Moreover, he said that 'thousands' of Chinese workers had intermarried with locals, and he saw many Afro-Chinese infants and children in towns there. He was positively gushing about the changes. I found it very interesting and admirable in some respects.


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PostPosted: 16 May 2012 03:00 
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Carl wrote:
I was speaking to an Ethiopian friend a few days back. He had spent a few years in Delhi for education, and has now migrated to the US. He had a friendly and familiar attitude towards Indians. But most interesting was his description of the massive Chinese involvement in Africa today, which is changing the landscape there in many ways. He said that earlier Indians were the main business drivers in some parts of Africa, but they didn't build much and did not intermarry with the local population. The Chinese today are head and shoulders above the rest in terms of their investment in Africa. They build at a frenetic pace and it is well advertized that this is Chinese partnership. There is a concerted drive for projecting soft-power there. Moreover, he said that 'thousands' of Chinese workers had intermarried with locals, and he saw many Afro-Chinese infants and children in towns there. He was positively gushing about the changes. I found it very interesting and admirable in some respects.

Very interesting and I got the same information.

The Chinese moves looks like are really the moves to counter Indians and Indian history world wide.

People I talked to who are in Africa say that Chinese cannot eb trusted and Chinese are considered less than honest by the locals. Indians are still considered trustworthy and respectful


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PostPosted: 16 May 2012 12:51 
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As per African Development Bank (AfDB) staff, there is a huge problem of fraud/corruption with the Chinese firms. Unfortunately, it is not openly discussed in the Bank as it is "politically incorrect" to discuss the same. With Chinese firms performing 40% of the AfDB contracts, its a huge business. The Chinese firms take assistance of their local embassies to put pressure on the local departments/government to win contracts.


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PostPosted: 16 May 2012 13:07 
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In the post
http://forums.bharat-rakshak.com/viewtopic.php?p=1275742#p1275742
talks of EU-India co-operation over piracy around african horn was discussed. Now it seems EU is going ahead on it's own.
EU forces attack Somali pirates on land for first time
Quote:
The European force, which is trying to stamp out piracy off the coasts of lawless Somalia, is made up of around 1,400 military personnel, nine warships and five maritime surveillance aircraft, according to NAVFOR's website.

Quote:
Seaborne gangs have raked in an estimated $150 million in ransoms in what has become a highly organized, international criminal enterprise, security analysts say.


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PostPosted: 16 May 2012 14:47 
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Gunjur wrote:
A US citizen is made Mali PM

Quote:
Mali's new prime minister, Cheick Modibo Diarra, is an accomplished astrophysicist who worked on five NASA missions and became a US citizen, but said he never forgot the Malian town of his birth.

Quote:
Before joining Malian politics, Mr Diarra served as Microsoft's Africa chairman


So west has parachuted a leader on Mali. Anyone let us know how important is mali in africa or specifically west africa? Has any major oil/mineral resources has been discovered over there recently??


Large amount of Oil was discovered in the North, which was recently overrun by Tourag rebels.


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PostPosted: 16 May 2012 17:25 
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" The Chinese moves looks like are really the moves to counter Indians and Indian history world wide."

The Chinese put on these airs and pretenses of not being concerned at all with India or competing with India. But their actions speak otherwise. Also, except for nuclear bombs and missiles, has there been a *single* area of activity, in science, industry, services or sports/entertainment, where India entered after China in the modern age? This is something that Indians in different fora fail to point out. I suppose when Indians speak of trying to 'catch up' with China, they are essentially talking about numbers. Building more roads/highways, more power stations, increasing exports etc to reach China levels. Not the actual technology in the vast majority of cases.

In Africa, India has to build its own narrative and stick with it. Of creating unity of spirit and sharing technology and know how where possible. While increasing its exports and investment and not alarming/offending Africans in the process.


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PostPosted: 16 May 2012 20:41 
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Varoon Shekhar wrote:
" The Chinese moves looks like are really the moves to counter Indians and Indian history world wide."

The Chinese put on these airs and pretenses of not being concerned at all with India or competing with India. But their actions speak otherwise.
In Africa, India has to build its own narrative and stick with it. Of creating unity of spirit and sharing technology and know how where possible. While increasing its exports and investment and not alarming/offending Africans in the process.

There is discussion which has been going on how Indians will take over the world.
To 'prevent' this from happening Chinese are moving to all the places and this is also encouraged by Uncle.


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PostPosted: 16 May 2012 21:41 
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Acharya wrote:
There is discussion which has been going on how Indians will take over the world.
To 'prevent' this from happening Chinese are moving to all the places and this is also encouraged by Uncle.

Acharya ji, may I know where this discussion has been going on? I find it a little ridiculous. I think China's Africa strategy has many objectives, and India is only one part of that.

Varoon Shekhar wrote:
I suppose when Indians speak of trying to 'catch up' with China, they are essentially talking about numbers. Building more roads/highways, more power stations, increasing exports etc to reach China levels. Not the actual technology in the vast majority of cases.

But what's the point? South Korea's shipbuilding industry is bigger than India's, though many Indian marine enggs are working there, not here. So even if we have some technology at home, and many skilled knowledge workers, what's the point if we cna't pull it all together? China is way ahead in that respect. They are doers not talkers, even if it is an ugra-karmic display of hypertrophic 'development'.


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PostPosted: 17 May 2012 02:32 
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Just to confirm my earlier post and added perception on India's position on Somalia.

IMO India should jump at this opportunity.

And now, an offer of oil from Puntland
Quote:
Sandeep Dikshit


With virtually the entire east coast of Africa is found to contain hydrocarbon deposits, the tiny Puntland, which is a nation and yet not a nation, is no exception. Its President Abdirahman Mohamed Mohamud Farolez on Wednesday held talks in New Delhi on the recent find in Puntland of large quantity of oil.

He invited Indian companies to participate in the exploration and sought New Delhi's cooperation for charting out exploration blocks and training Somalis in the petroleum sector.

The Puntland region is unique — it seeks unity of the Somali people and adheres to a federal system of government unlike the secessionist region of Somaliland to its west. Puntland is not trying to obtain international recognition as a separate nation.

The visit was not due to normal diplomatic exertions. During Minister of State for External Affairs E. Ahamed's participation in the international conference on Somalia in London in February, he met the Transitional Federal Government leadership, Presidents of Puntland and Gulmudug and representatives of other groups. During the meeting, Mr. Farolez expressed his desire to visit India. An invitation was duly extended. Mr. Farolez's official engagements included calls on Mr. Ahamed and Minister of State for Petroleum and Natural Gas R.P.N. Singh, during which he was told that India would favourably consider the proposal for gas exploration and training.

With Mr. Ahamed, the President also sought Indian assistance to train his people in the fisheries sector, education, training, small and medium-scale enterprises and issues related to piracy.

Facing the twin scourges of piracy and terrorism, Puntland has been able to eradicate piracy activities from key coastal towns, including the former piracy hub of Eyl. The government has deployed anti-piracy forces (the Puntland Maritime Police Force) at Eyl and plans to send the force to other coastal towns. In 2010, Puntland Parliament passed Somalia's first-ever anti-piracy law. Speaking at a public engagement on Tuesday, Mr. Farolez said the Indian assistance was vital to ensure alternative likelihood for coastal communities affected by piracy and illegal fishing and reviving fishing activity that had been disrupted. “ We believe assistance and working partnership between Puntland institutions and the international community, particularly the Indian Ocean region, will be an efficient option to finally defeat piracy.”


Somali leader backs Indian action against pirates

Quote:
Wednesday, May 16, 2012 - 10:15
NEW DELHI : Against the backdrop of Somali pirates currently holding over 60 Indian sailors as hostages, the African country's Puntland state has backed military operations to rescue them and to fight piracy, even as its President Abdirahman Mohammed Mohamud Farole is in India to work out a naval capacity building agreement.

"I always support the military operations to fight piracy," Farole told reporters on the sidelines of an event he ­dressed at the Indian Council for World Affairs (ICWA) at Sapru House here.

He was responding to queries if the Puntland government will support Indian military action to rescue its sailors held hostage by Somali pirates all along Somalia's 3,300-km coast, of which 1,300 km fall in Puntland's jurisdiction.

However, the feasibility of operations depended on the assessment of those forces wanting to take action. "If they ask for our support on the land, we can assist them," he added.

Puntland is a semi-autonomous state in north-eastern Somalia, which is now witnessing credible governance under Farole after two decades of internal conflict.

However, Farole, a leading anti-piracy advocate, had a word of caution on the fight against the sea brigands. "If you don't stop the option of ransom payment, you won't stop piracy. That (ransom) encourages new recruits and that (piracy) never ends," he said.

The other option to deter the pirates, according to the Puntland president, was to fight indirectly through other means such as denying access to the seas for the pirates and ensuring economic growth on the Somali coast that could offer youths alternative employment opportunities.

Though there were no ship held hostage in Puntland as of now, Farole admitted that pirates did escape into their territory "sometimes" from neighbouring areas when the government forces fight them on land.

"We are fighting them on the land, but we do not have support from the sea. We do not have the means to reach them in the sea. International forces off the shore do not want to hurt them because they are afraid the hostage may be hurt and that doesn't work (in the anti-piracy fight)," he said.

The Puntland chief, who is scheduled to meet Indian political leadership, including Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Wednesday, said he will discuss a military agreement with India, particularly in capacity building of its forces to fight piracy both on land and at sea.

"Yes, definitely. Training...mainly to support training," he said to queries if a military agreement would be discussed with the Indian leaders.However, he said his government does not allow any foreign military base in Puntland.


On the endstate he wished to achieve in both the fight against piracy and governance in Somalia that has been torn apart due to two decades of internal strife, he said: "Ten years from now, I expect Somalia to be united and prosperous, and become a honourable part of the comity of nations."

Earlier, addressing a gathering of diplomats, former ambassadors and strategic affairs experts, Farole said his government is committed to do its utmost to safely release hostages held by pirates in the region, although most pirates had relocated outside Puntland.

"Puntland government strongly and consistently rejects ransom payments as the primary factor fuelling piracy attacks. We believe that expensive naval patrols off the coast of Somalia cannot eradicate piracy alone, as long as the world continues to neglect the domestic conditions that produce piracy."

He also noted that the costs and legal ramifications of piracy prosecutions in foreign countries is another obstacle. "These are problems that could be overcome by pursuing a new comprehensive approach to tackling piracy in full partnership with the Somali people and their institutions," he added.
(IANS)


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PostPosted: 18 May 2012 11:59 
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Crosspost India to Help Boost Nigeria’s Air Defences


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PostPosted: 18 May 2012 22:34 
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Carl wrote:
I was speaking to an Ethiopian friend a few days back. He had spent a few years in Delhi for education, and has now migrated to the US. He had a friendly and familiar attitude towards Indians. But most interesting was his description of the massive Chinese involvement in Africa today, which is changing the landscape there in many ways. He said that earlier Indians were the main business drivers in some parts of Africa, but they didn't build much and did not intermarry with the local population. The Chinese today are head and shoulders above the rest in terms of their investment in Africa. They build at a frenetic pace and it is well advertized that this is Chinese partnership. There is a concerted drive for projecting soft-power there. Moreover, he said that 'thousands' of Chinese workers had intermarried with locals, and he saw many Afro-Chinese infants and children in towns there. He was positively gushing about the changes. I found it very interesting and admirable in some respects.

Can you ask your friend how many Chinese women marry Africans? If that number is 0, then it can be said that Chinese men are just legally screwing African women while they are there. Once they feel that nothing much to be made in that country, they will simply dump those women and children and go back to their home country.


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PostPosted: 19 May 2012 04:04 
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It's not zero... Not close to it. Personal observation.


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PostPosted: 19 May 2012 22:26 
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JE Menon wrote:
It's not zero... Not close to it. Personal observation.


JEM-saar, now that you seem to be back from the wanderings, any travelogues/snippets peppered with your trademark humor, that we can expect? 8)

Africa has been a rather under reported place, since Indian independence. My family had some strong ties with the places there, but no more. Most of those elders (who used to get honorary pensions from the African states) has passed away. The only snippets we hear are from official or western sources. Yesterday, I heard thatKenyan airlines is starting a service to Trivandrum, along with other cities. I hope that service thrives!


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PostPosted: 20 May 2012 03:33 
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Quote:
Can you ask your friend how many Chinese women marry Africans? If that number is 0, then it can be said that Chinese men are just legally screwing African women while they are there. Once they feel that nothing much to be made in that country, they will simply dump those women and children and go back to their home country.


I visit W.Africa every month and have not seen a lot of Chinese married to Africans. I do have an Indian friend who is married to an African Girl and has a child. Guinea has started deporting/canceling visas of Pakistanis. I did meet a couple of characters who are married and also have a family bak in Pakistan.

The chinese are moving to west africa in large numbers and are taking over the lowliest of jobs. In a market in Bamako, Mali, I saw a chinese vendor selling boiled eggs. His entire inventory was less than 10 eggs.

Rumor in West Africa is that China is giving convicts back home an option to move to these places (and not return) or face long prison sentences back home. The Chinese have a long term strategy....


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PostPosted: 20 May 2012 12:41 
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Location: Embarrassed by fresh-off-the-boat Indians
http://www.dnaindia.com/india/report_in ... rs_1691123
Indian Workers in Angola being denied rights
Quote:
Seeking the Centre's immediate intervention into alleged harassment of Odisha workers in Angola, the Odisha government today urged Union External Affairs Minister SM Krishna to take steps to ensure their return to the country safely.

"I would request your immediate intervention into the matter for taking it up with the Angolan government for justice to these workers and ensuring payment of their wages and other workmen benefits ," Patnaik wrote to Krishna. .

Quoting media reports, Patnaik said that some workers had been implicated on false criminal charges and arrested. Of about 1200 Indian workers, 130 hailed from Odisha's Khurda and Kendrapara districts.


Video
http://www.dnaindia.com/videos/1687670


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PostPosted: 21 May 2012 00:28 
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Shankas wrote:

I visit W.Africa every month and have not seen a lot of Chinese married to Africans. I do have an Indian friend who is married to an African Girl and has a child. Guinea has started deporting/canceling visas of Pakistanis. I did meet a couple of characters who are married and also have a family bak in Pakistan.

The chinese are moving to west africa in large numbers and are taking over the lowliest of jobs. In a market in Bamako, Mali, I saw a chinese vendor selling boiled eggs. His entire inventory was less than 10 eggs.

Rumor in West Africa is that China is giving convicts back home an option to move to these places (and not return) or face long prison sentences back home. The Chinese have a long term strategy....

Why west africa and why not east africa. What is reason for the region choice.
Why not south Africa or central africa


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PostPosted: 21 May 2012 00:46 
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Acharya wrote:
Why west africa and why not east africa. What is reason for the region choice.
Why not south Africa or central africa

When Soviet Union was a world power, it had a presence everywhere, in Atlantic, Pacific and Indian Oceans. A superpower needs to exert all round supremacy or at least presence.

China needs a foothold in Atlantic for a claim of superpowerdom.


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PostPosted: 21 May 2012 01:04 
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Hnair,

Boss am not back from wanderings. Will be wandering in this part of the world for a few years. I like it enough that I might stay even. Will be in interior tanzania in next few weeks, after an entertainment break in the Kenyan bush (no pun intended - the odds are worse than Russian roulette apparently) in late May ...

Things here are about to get interesting... It might be a total clusterfu(k or this place will boom, and not in the Pakistani sense :D will comment shortly in more detail with whatever humor I can muster under the circumstances....


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PostPosted: 21 May 2012 20:22 
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OK, to dispense with the Chinese-African marriages thing, my own observation is that it's happening but not in large numbers. Couples are visible, but not to the point of becoming an issue to be commented upon. Whether these couples are married etc, is hard to say, but they seem to be "together". Of course, the other issue is whether the Chinese half is actually "Chinese" or Korean/Japanese/etc. To my not unpracticed eye, they look Chinese.

The situation in Eastern Africa is interesting. Like I said, it appears to be poised on a cusp where it can go the way of prosperity and peace and wealth, or bloodshed and chaos. My bet is the latter, for the most part. Kenya, for instance, is a hub of bustling commerce and the people are as entrepreneurial as anywhere else, although there are tribal differences in terms of the inclination for commerce. More or less the same applies to Uganda, which is less brash and ambitious, but better organised - and all on a smaller scale.

The climate for growth is just right. General public is educated, and almost everyone speaks English. I daresay that education levels among general public may even be better than in India believe it or not. Even casual labourers speak passable English. Infrastructure is beyond horrible. Small businesses are literally exploding. Locals have cottoned on to how to con foreigners, always a good sign.

There are a number of topics to be discussed in this part of the world: the Chinese presence, the NGO mafia, the Indian reality, democracy, the nouveau racism, and so on... Will do so bite by bite.


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PostPosted: 22 May 2012 21:45 
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thx. Shall wait for your writeups, whenever you find time.


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PostPosted: 20 Jun 2012 02:53 
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Just got a notification from CNN

Quote:
Egypt's state news agency MENA reports former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak is "clinically dead."


I hope this is the right place to post.


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PostPosted: 21 Jun 2012 03:46 
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Please post in West Asia thread as Egypt is discussed there.


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PostPosted: 06 Jul 2012 08:09 
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Something to think about as to how Congo collapsed....


Dancing in the Glory of Monsters: The Collapse of the Congo and the Great War of Africa By Jason Stearns

2011 | 400 Pages | ISBN: 1586489291

Quote:

At the heart of Africa is Congo, a country the size of Western Europe, bordering nine other nations, that since 1996 has been wracked by a brutal and unstaunchable war in which millions have died. And yet, despite its epic proportions, it has received little sustained media attention.
In this deeply reported book, Jason Stearns vividly tells the story of this misunderstood conflict through the experiences of those who engineered and perpetrated it. He depicts village pastors who survived massacres, the child soldier assassin of President Kabila, a female Hutu activist who relives the hunting and methodical extermination of fellow refugees, and key architects of the war that became as great a disaster as--and was a direct consequence of--the genocide in neighboring Rwanda. Through their stories, he tries to understand why such mass violence made sense, and why stability has been so elusive.
Through their voices, and an astonishing wealth of knowledge and research, Stearns chronicles the political, social, and moral decay of the Congolese State.





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PostPosted: 06 Jul 2012 20:06 
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Mauritius offers India 2 islands in effort to preserve tax treaty.

How far will a country go to secure a favourable deal for itself? Pretty far, it seems. Mauritius has offered a couple of sun-drenched islands to India as part of a trade and investment deal. While the offer has been talked about for a while, Mauritius has revived it - at a time when it's very keen on persevering with the 1983 double-taxation avoidance treaty with India.

Mauritius foreign affairs and trade minister Arvin Boolell said that it was up to India to use the islands to its advantage. He said the "blue economy" had great potential. India could use North and South Agalega Islands (which are located 1,100 km north of Mauritius and have an official total area of 70 sq km) for setting up hotels and tourist resorts, for trade, marine studies, or for building a strategic presence in the Indian Ocean, official sources told TOI. North Agalega Island also has an airstrip.

In November 2006, TOI had first reported about preliminary discussions between the two countries for handover of Agalega Islands - which is closer to India than the African country -for development as a tourism and trade hub.

"There is no problem on the issue," minister Boolell said when asked if the islands could be handed over to India as part of an economic package. Pressed further, Boolell said, "We want investment to flow into Mauritius. India can use Mauritius as a springboard for investment (to Africa) and locally. Now we want India to respond positively and take advantage - and it is true for other friendly countries - of the tremendous potential of the Blue Economy, which is the ocean economy."

Interestingly, the offer of the islands has been renewed at a time when investment flows into India via Mauritius were threatening to dry up following the proposal to introduce GAAR (General Anti-Avoidance Rules) that aimed at plugging loopholes in the double-taxation avoidance treaty by making disclosure of the source of funds mandatory. Mauritius has maintained that GAAR was creating a lot of uncertainty among investors.

"We want to develop as an ocean basket and ocean market," said the minister. "The potential is tremendous. We work very closely with India. We should not forget that India has helped us in marking our territories, has helped us in conducting hydrographic studies and in two years we will acquire an offshore vessel from India under the line of credit that India has offered. We are doing several projects together."

While Boolell indicated that the island nation was open to amendments in the double-taxation avoidance treaty, he denied that there was any misuse.

In 2006, when the offer of the Agalega Islands was first discussed, India was exerting pressure on Mauritius to amend the treaty and sign a Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement. Subsequently, New Delhi relented amidst suggestions that India had a long link with the African country, with a sizeable population of people with Indian-origin.

The discussions between the two countries on the two islands -- which may give India strategic depth in the Indian Ocean, especially in its fight against piracy - had then focused on the development of hotels and resorts and upgrading an existing airstrip in the island into an airport.

In 2006, sources had told TOI that there was also an option to develop a port on one of the two islands. There were, however, no discussions on how the arrangement would be structured. At the time when it was first reported by TOI, there were also some protests in Mauritius against handing over the islands to India.


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PostPosted: 06 Jul 2012 21:25 
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India should try to take these Mauritius islands on a 99 year lease.


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PostPosted: 07 Jul 2012 02:10 
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Or may be 999 year lease or accept offers in perpetuity considering that 99 years is too short a time for Africa to reach and sustain its goals after reaching full potentials.


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PostPosted: 25 Jul 2012 03:34 
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|Major offnsive in Somalia soon to tke kismayo port backed by west.


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PostPosted: 26 Jul 2012 06:10 
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Shyamd, You need to think a little bit more about the SEA papers stolen by the spy who got away.


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PostPosted: 26 Jul 2012 22:36 
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Reports of 2 Indians killed in Nigeria by Boko Haram. This is a first- and hope a last.


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PostPosted: 26 Jul 2012 22:47 
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Some info from India Abroad News Service( IANS):

The attack on Indians has upset and surprised New Delhi as over 30,000 Indians have been living peacefully in Nigeria, Africa's top oil producer, and have contributed significantly to Nigeria's socio-economic development.

"Specifically, the three Indians victims named above were working with a concern engaged since 2007 in processing and export of gum arabic, gainfully employing up to 100 Nigerian nationals," said the Indian high commission.

"Regardless of their motives, such wanton attacks on innocent Indians do not serve the cause of peace and socio-economic development as well as the friendly ties between peoples of Nigeria and India," it said.

The news of the killings of Indians has sent shockwaves among the Indian community and the Indian companies based in Nigeria. Over 100 Indian companies, including Bharti AirTel, Tata, Bajaj Auto, Birla Group, Kirloskar, Mahindra, Ashok Leyland, NIIT, ApTech, New India Assurance, Bhushan Steel, KEC and Skipper Electricals have set up their base in Africa's most populous nation and one of its largest economies.

Nigeria is India's top oil supplier in Africa. Bilateral trade has exceeded $14 billion.


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PostPosted: 28 Jul 2012 20:27 
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My school classmate has made it big in Nigeria in pharma.


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PostPosted: 30 Jul 2012 07:58 
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'Africa needs India for education'
http://in.news.yahoo.com/africa-needs-i ... 46684.html

Quote:
ddis Ababa, July 29 (IANS) "The Chinese will come and build roads, stadiums and infrastructure.... They will build labs, but who will run the labs?," asks Jean-Pierre Ezin, the AU's chief pointsperson for education. He pauses for a while, and then replies: "Africa needs India for developing its most precious resource: human capital."

Sitting barely a few metres away from the new Chinese-built towering building of the African Union in his office in the old building, Ezin resists being drawn into the much-touted India-China comparison, but agrees that there is a world of difference between the engagement of India and China in Africa.

"The Chinese are good at building, but we need skilled people to run these establishments. They are not really interested in what we really need - the transfer of knowledge," said Ezin, AU's Commissioner for human resource and science and technology, in an interview to IANS.

India, one the other hand, Ezin points out, is strong in training and skill-building and has some of the finest educational institutions. "We need to develop skills in Africa. India is building 10 vocational educational centres at the rate of two per region. We need an acceleration of India's efforts in this direction," he said.

India is a critical partner in developing Africa's human capital, he stressed, adding that Africa is looking to India to set up higher education institutes in the continent.

Ezin, who has a doctorate in mathematical science from a French university and has held key posts in international scientific research centers, is a firm believer that the so-called African renaissance or resurgence can only happen through transforming the continent's educational landscape.

"The authorities in the continent are not aware of the fact that the biggest need of Africa is human capital. They need infrastructure, roads and airports, but above all, without robust human capital, we can't move ahead."

It is in this sphere of education and capacity building that India can make a big difference, he said, while pointing to over 100 training institutes India has pledged to build all over the continent at the last two India-Africa Forum summits held in New Delhi and Addis Ababa.

These institutions encompass a wide array of areas ranging from agriculture, rural development and food processing to information technology, vocational training, English language centres, and entrepreneurial development institutes.

The four institutions India has offered at the Pan-African level include the Institute of Information Technology will be established in Ghana, the Institute of Foreign Trade in Uganda, India Africa Diamond Institute in Botswana and the Institute for Education Planning and Administration in Burundi.

These training institutes, India hopes, will help build the industrial and managerial base of the continent by spawning a new generation of entrepreneurs and an educated middle class that will shepherd African resurgence in the day to come.

India's trade with Africa at $50 billion is nearly one third of that of China with the continent, but New Delhi has carved a niche for itself in capacity building. The training institutes distinguish India's development-centric approach from that of China's focus on massive infrastructure projects, hydrocarbons and mineral resources.

These training institutes, together with vocational centres, Africa hopes, will help alleviate the problem of massive youth unemployment. The African youth make up 40 per cent of Africa's population, but they account for 60 per cent of the unemployed. Around 95 million young people in sub-Saharan Africa are illiterate and are either unemployed or in low-paid jobs.

Ezin is also all praise for the India-aided Pan-Africa e-network that seeks to bring tele-education and tele-medicine to African people as a sign of India's empowering engagement with the continent.

The 68-year-old mathematician is upbeat about the AU's pet dream project: the Pan-African University, which is shaping under his guidance.

Pan-African University is a network of five regional thematic institutes which will be based in five regions of Africa: 1) Institute of Water, Energy and Climate Change - Algeria (North Africa), supported by Germany II) Institute of Humanities and Social Sciences - Yaounde, Cameroon, supported by Sweden III) Institute of Life and Earth Sciences, Nigeria, supported by India IV) Institute of Basic Sciences, Technology and Innovation, Kenya, supported by Japan V) Institute of Space Sciences in southern Africa (location to be identified).

(Manish Chand can be contacted at manish.c@ians.in)


the Pan-African e-Network
http://www.scribd.com/doc/101435500/Pan ... for-Africa


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