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PostPosted: 05 Jun 2011 06:08 
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Will Indian tiger roar in Africa?
Quote:
May 10, 2011 - Neena Gopal |

When Dr Manmohan Singh lands in Addis Ababa for the second India Africa Forum Summit that begins in two weeks in the Ethiopian capital, three years after the first tentative meet in Delhi, the marked difference between India’s “soft power” and China’s headlong rush into becoming the continent’s go-to country for infrastructure is

certain to excite debate again. Delhi’s scramble for a piece of the African pie has shown none of the urgency exhibited by Beijing, which has steadily expanded its footprint by building roads, bridges, airports, parliament buildings, and mammoth stadia deep inside Africa.
The gleaming new main road that runs through Kinshasa, capital of the Democratic Republic of Congo, from N’djili international airport, past an endless sea of shanty towns, riddled with refuse is needless to say,Chinese. It will be the platform that President Joseph Kabila will use to jump start his re-election campaign later this year.
India’s concerns over Chinese inroads into countries it considers its strategic partners in the African Indian Ocean rim, such as Mozambique, the Seychelles as well as Madagascar and Mauritius, with whom India has defence agreements are factored into its emerging Africa policy, linked as these sea-lanes are to India’s energy security. A radar surveillance station in Madagascar to monitor shipping was inaugurated in July 2007, underscoring the importance of the Indian Ocean to New Delhi’s backyard. Similarly, India wants to lease a Mauritian island that can monitor the shipping lanes of the Mozambique Channel, an important route for goods being transported between Africa and India.
India’s naval presence in the waters off Somalia and Gulf of Aden and the rescue of dozens of vessels hijacked by Somali pirates is clearly a projection of its military force beyond its immediate borders. Safeguarding the $50 billion worth of Indian imports and $60 billion of exports that pass through the Gulf of Aden is paramount.
Therefore, while China’s overshadowing of India may be a matter of choice or simply because India does not have the resources to even diplomatically counter the Chinese, the strategic objectives by the two countries widely seen as the colonial powers of the 21st century, are achieved differently. As Jairam Ramesh, Union minister for environment and forests said at the 2008 Delhi summit: “Unlike China, which goes all out and exploits resources, our strategy is to add value.”
India has no intention of repeating the uncomfortable publicity that foreshadowed the construction of a presidential complex in the Ghanaian capital, Accra which cost $50 million to build, and that some reports indicate remains unoccupied. It would rather send teachers to impart education in English to former colonies where Portuguese, French and Afrikaans is still the lingua franca. It’s focus remains SMEs rather than big ticket projects.
Its main Africa connect in fact comes from the two million strong Indian diaspora, who are of Indian origin but African in spirit, speaking the local languages and wired into the political system and society. In providing employment to hundreds and thousands of Africans in their many businesses – sadly, though only one India media house exists in Johannesburg, when there is room for so much more- they provide the strongest gateway into a continent where Mahatma Gandhi, the tried and tested mantra trotted out by successive friendly African governments is fast fading as the image that binds the two. Today’s agent provocateur for change is spelt out by the economist prime minister Dr Manmohan Singh whose armoury is reinforced by the entrepreneurial spirit of the Ambanis, Mittals and Kiran Mazumdar Shaws.


IN conducts regular patrols and arms the Mozambique defence forces. The Mauritian island they are refering to is Agalega Islands.


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PostPosted: 05 Jun 2011 06:29 
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In a way MMS is returning India-Africa ties to pre-colonial status.


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PostPosted: 05 Jun 2011 09:54 
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I met recently a WB official lady who is rom South Africa and who is ready to connect to any country in Africa. She started first by talking about Gandhi


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PostPosted: 05 Jun 2011 16:32 
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India will have a naval base in Mauitius or Seychelles probably. Its in the offing.


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PostPosted: 13 Jun 2011 03:45 
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Clinton warns Africa of ‘new colonialism’


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PostPosted: 17 Jun 2011 21:22 
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Clinton warning means America and West Europe are losing their ground in Africa. The BRICs have been making steady progress. Suddenly the 'traditional West' have seen their follies over centuries, turned over a new leaf and have started preaching the BRICs.

............LINK EDITED OUT.......
Quote:
The BRIC economies will also have to balance their economic objectives with moral responsibility. For BRIC nations to achieve their objective in their economic engagement with Africa, it is important that the populations in countries where they have investments are treated fairly. African governments will have to monitor the activities of its trading partners to prevent instances whereby local industries and employment are undermined.


Last edited by SwamyG on 18 Jun 2011 02:05, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: 17 Jun 2011 21:37 
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SwamyG ji,

When I went to the site, I even got a Malware Warning!

That is a very Chinese view from a Chinese newspaper. Chinese words were directed squarely at China and not BRICs as such. China is taking the cover of BRIC to make it a West vs. BRICs issue, which it isn't. It is only Everybody vs. China issue.


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PostPosted: 18 Jun 2011 02:04 
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^^^
Sorry....I will edit out the link. I received no such warning.
Anyways...that was written by someone from London. In my opinion it is London's perspective.


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PostPosted: 27 Jun 2011 12:41 
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A very encouraging start in South Sudan and a Bangalore Prof helps at nation building:

Quote:
Four decades later, Shastri, now pro vice-chancellor at Bangalore's Jain University, is helping give South Sudan — which takes birth on July 9 — its first constitution.

Shastri, an international consultant with the Forum of Federations , a Canada-based think-tank , is the only Indian engaged in a series of public debates being held across the land-locked autonomous region of southern Sudan in the run-up to framing the constitution. A referendum for the independence of southern Sudan in January this year saw nearly 99% of the electorate opting for secession — a major step towards the creation of the independent nation of South Sudan.

"I participated in three public debates in Juba, Wau and Rumbeck in May this year. There's a lot of excitement among the people, and they want every aspect of the constitution to be discussed and debated. Although there is a lot of support from western countries, they are particularly keen on learning from newer democracies like India. There's abject poverty, but also a great sense of hope among the people," he says.

South Sudan is keen on adopting Article 356 too

"Just as India took three years to give itself a constitution, South Sudan too wants to take about three-five years to frame a constitution. The comprehensive peace agreement, agreed to by Sudan and South Sudan has become the transitory constitution for the young country. India too did the same by adopting the Government of India Act of 1935 as its interim constitution," he explains, anxious about the birth of the Republic of South Sudan on July 9.


http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city ... 995362.cms


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PostPosted: 30 Jun 2011 18:55 
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MEA convenes Africa Investment Meet
Quote:
Keen to step up Indian presence in Africa, the Union government has convened a meeting with at least 40 ministries and departments on Friday to discuss how to go about it. This is the first follow-up meeting after Manmohan Singh’s maiden visit to Africa as Prime Minister, where he announced a slew of schemes, terming the continent the new growth pole of the world.

Quote:
India is taking up new rail projects in Madagascar, Senegal, Benin, Botswana and Congo.

Apart from the railways, the meeting is likely to discuss setting up 21 institutions for capacity building in Africa, some for each of the regions.


Indian scholarship bearing fruits in Science & Technology
Quote:
“The scholarship opportunities being offered to African researchers would help boom the efforts to scale up agriculture, trade, industry and investment in the continent,” Nurelegn said on the occasion.

He said researchers who attended the fellowship in India are instrumental in improving standards in science and technology, ICT, water and health sectors.


In other news, US Census Bureau estimates puts Ethiopia as the 7th populous country in 2050, and is set to become the largest country( yes, really) in 2150. Well most of us will not be there to verify that :-)

Ugandan projects and investments
Quote:
A total of 337 projects were approved, capable of creating 130,732 jobs, compared with 340 projects with planned employment of 83,569 jobs in 2009-10, he said. Domestic investors accounted for 66 percent of proposals, while India was the leading foreign investor, with $149 million in spending plans


More info on the Indian-Uganadan institute MMS promised at the Summit.
Quote:
To be named India Africa Institute of Trade, it is slated to function through the aegis of the Indian Institute of Foreign Trade (IIFT) in the initial years. “The idea will be to develop trade capacities in Africa, for international and intra-Africa trade,” said K Rangarajan, head, IIFT, Kolkata.

Quote:
The trade institute is slated to begin operations by November this year and will initially be housed in Kampala University. In the beginning, the campus would house 100 students, to be expanded to 1,200 over the next five years, within which time the independent campus would become fully operational.

Besides the trade institute, slated to require $20 million of investment, an information technology institute and a logistics institute would also be established as part of the package.


Possibly this Indian engineer inspires some BRFites too
Quote:
Perhaps India's agricultural prowess inspired him. Prabhpreet Khinda, an engineer by training, arrived in Ghana in 2009 after he was devastated by the effects of the 2008 global financial meltdown. Twists and turns later, the 38-year-old from Punjab is today one of the big farmers in the West African country.


If Africa plays its card well, this could be Africa's century after-all. Asia will become a tool to lift Africans out of poverty and misery. Interesting flow of wealth and prosperity. So wealth moves from Asia to Europe/America in the 18th-19th century, in the late 20th century and early 21st century, it begins to move back to Asia, but then the wealth is going to trickle down or move to Africa.


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PostPosted: 11 Jul 2011 04:52 
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http://www.rediff.com/news/report/india ... 110710.htm
India extends diplomatic recognition to South Sudan
Quote:
India [ Images ] has become one of the first nations to accord diplomatic recognition to South Sudan, the world's youngest country, which split away from the Khartoum-ruled north after decades of a brutal war that claimed nearly 20 lakh lives. The recognition was accorded through a letter by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh [ Images ] to South Sudan's new President General Salva Kiir Mayardit, shortly after he assumed power at the Independence Day function in Juba on Saturday. On this historic occasion, the government of India extends formal recognition to the independent state of South Sudan," the prime minister's letter said.
The letter was handed over to General Mayardit by India's ambassador to Sudan A K Pandey, Secretary (East) in the Ministry of External Affairs Sanjay Singh told reporters.Officials accompanying Vice President Hamid Ansari, who attended South Sudan's Independence Day function, said that India would soon be appointing its ambassador in Juba. At present, India has a Consul General in Juba. A colourful ceremony, which marked the historic occasion -- the birth of a new nation -- was attended among others by Sudanese President Omar Al-Bashir and United Nations chief Ban Ki Moon [ Images ]. South Sudan would hence be the 193rd country to be recognised by the UN and the 54th member state from Africa. Earlier on Friday, Sudan extended official recognition to South Sudan, calling it an independent state.Before attending sIndependence Day celebrations in Juba on Saturday, Ansari held wide-ranging talks with Ugandan President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni.


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PostPosted: 11 Jul 2011 06:20 
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Indian air cargo to Africa increasing
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Almost 55 percent of the air cargo is flown by Africa-owned air companies while the rest is transported by Middle East and European airlines, with the export consignments transiting through a third country while on their onward journey to Africa, according to trade sources.

In earlier years, Indian air exports mainly went to South Africa and the East African region, India's traditional trading partners. But in recent years as exports have increased, Indian products have penetrated new markets in central and western Africa.

Time to focus, and cut out the European and Middle-East carriers out.

In other news, TATA Motors is slated to build a commercial vehicle assembly plant in South Africa.


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PostPosted: 12 Jul 2011 21:39 
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Bollywood poster exhibition in S Africa hopes to revive magic of Indian cinema
Quote:
Starting July 21, posters of Bollywood hits from the year 1940 onwards will be put up at various malls across South Africa. “Each poster will be accompanied by details of the movie, director, writer and actors, along with an elaborate description of the period in which the movie was produced,” says Rakesh Gupta, founder member of the NGO, Route2Roots, that has organised the display.

Titled ‘Magic of Indian Cinema’, the exhibition will encompass the silent, golden and contemporary era of Indian cinema. The 1,000-plus collection will include a black-and-white poster of Dilip Kumar and Meena Kumari from the 1958 film Yahudi, a coloured poster of Amitabh Bachchan’s Coolie and posters of recent films like Lagaan and Jodha Akbar. “These posters depict the manner in which our country has grown, its culture, people, fashion and progress,” says Gupta, who has been working on the project since 1985. Apart from the exhibition, he has also arranged for audio-visual presentations in which actors like Shah Rukh Khan and Juhi Chawla, art directors Sanjay Dhawade and Ganesh Acharaya, and music director Uttam Singh, will talk about the journey of Indian cinema. “We also have a Kathak performance by the disciples of Pandit Birju Maharaj, who will take the audience through the journey of dance in India,” says Gupta.Organised in association with the Government of India, the festival will be on till July 31 and will move to Durban and Cape Town, after Johannesburg.


Kenya And India See Increased Trade Ties
Quote:
According to the ministry of Tourism, India has become the primary source market for Kenya in the Asian region, with arrivals reaching 47,611 in 2010, 32 per cent growth from four years ago.

In 2010 the goods trade between the two amounted to $1.5 billion (Sh135 billion), where Kenya exported commodities worth Sh9.64 billion to India while importing Sh117 billion and improvement from 2007 when exports to India were worth Sh5 billion compared to Sh56.85 billion imports.

Main goods exports to India are soda ash, lentils, and cashewnuts from Kenya. "We would love to import more from Kenya, agriculture is one area where there is great potential, Kenyan businesspeople should visit our market of over 1.2 billion consumers and identify opportunities," said the envoy.

There is still high interest in the other service sectors with over 30 Indian companies in Kenya, spread across various sectors like ICT, banking, insurance, engineering, and agriculture.


Congo, India to Build Hydro Plant
Quote:
The deal calls for India to cover about 60 percent of the plant's $280 million cost, with the DRC picking up the rest.


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PostPosted: 18 Aug 2011 15:44 
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Kenyans singing Indian National Anthem



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PostPosted: 18 Aug 2011 16:21 
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Fantastic... Thanks for posting.


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PostPosted: 31 Aug 2011 07:22 
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Africa Roundup

1. India is confident of reaching the trade target of $15b, by 2014, between India and South Africa. An India-South Africa joint CEO forums just concluded.
2. An Indian NASSCOM delegation is set to visit Nigeria, Ghana and Kenya. NASSCOM is looking for a long term partnership with some of the African countries, and considers Kenyan government as being very supportive. Ghana is considered as the Gateway to West Africa and as the best in terms of investment in the region.
3. Rotary Club Chandigarh has been instrumental in providing free surgeries for some children from Malawi. Talking about Malawi, its President Bingu wa Mutharika is an alumni of Sri Ram College of Commerce. He studied economics in India, and calls himself 'Dilliwalla". There are many Africans who fondly recollect India's help. For example the Namibian High Commissioner said:
Quote:
"India never forgets Africa's development. There is a very special bond between Africa and India and it should continue with the younger generations to really fulfill our dream. Like Mutharika, India also made us proud by recognizing our efforts every time,"

India ranks first, ahead of China, for Malawi's imports.However, Chinese immigrants into Malawi is high owing to their merchants and investments. India for its part, is second to China, and has extended $180 million in credit lines.
4. Kenya is expecting 20% increase in tourists in 2011, courtesy Indian and Chinese tourists.
5. Indian agribusiness is planning to spend $2.5 for leasing, renting or buying land in Ethiopia, Tanzania and Uganda. As expected, UK and USA are not very comfortable in such "land grabs"; yet the West continues to invest or buy lands and other properties through out Latin America and Africa. Karturi the Rose Moghul from India, is looking for more land in Tanzania; and is planning to invest $500 million. His company currently owns lands in Ethiopia and Kenya. He wants to grow rice, wheat, sugarcane, palm for oil and flowers. It will help Tanzanian unemployment and poverty & food shortage. Ethiopia is concerned about Tanzania and Uganda gaining importance in the eyes of Indian investors. The Uganda President Yoweri Museveni is said to have personally shown interest in some of the projects. The three countries want to increase their export share to India; and have been wooing Indian investors. East Africa has 120 million hectares of arable land - India has almost the same size of arable land.
6. One one side we have SA and India cozying up, on another side China continues to wield the stick. Desmond Tutu invited Dalai Lama, for Tutu's 80th birthday celebrations. SA government refused visa to DL. No prizes for any guess that Panda was hovering around when the visa was rejected.
7. The Western hypocrisy continues. While tremendous pressure is applied on the Surat traders for their role in 'blood diamonds'; the West shows no interest in reducing the sales of arms and ammunition. It is said that out of every 11 diamonds that is cut and polished, 10 of them flow through Surat. As a tangent, if not for the Surat craftsmen, the Australian diamonds would have remained do kaudi diamonds onlee.
8. The tiny country Rwanda is gaining in all the investment flows from India. Avignam Group will soon start operations, it planning to bring in Indian investors in the areas of agribusiness, mining, logistics and packaging.


Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni
Image

My read is that Africans are plenty pissed off at the Chinese immigration. China has been working in Africa for a long time now. India is playing catch-up. Many African leaders have a favorable opinion of India - past connections and shared history. Africans generally do not view Indians with the same animosity; however many farmers are pissed off by the "land-grab" of Indian companies. There is definitely some takleef. Africa stands to benefit and lose some. Cheaper good quality generic drugs from India, but cheaper goods from China and India throw local industries into problems, investments in infrastructure and capacity, better usage of arable lands, mining, energy ityadi. Here is an interesting comment, hopefully I am not copy+pasting an Indian or BRFite's comment:
Quote:
But US and British aid have not brought sustainable economic development to Malawi. What Malawi needs is infrastructure and trading partners, which India and China are providing. Western aid will keep us trapped where we are and very little of that aid actually trickles down to the villages. People in villages have remained a pathetic lot and yet we have received british and US aid 50 years. What Malawi needs is to be able to stand on her own feet and move its people out of poverty. What the US and British aid agencies don't tell you is that they need the aid industry to continue because it gives them jobs. Without aid the UN, IMF, WB and others will become almost useless. Always look at two sides of the coin.

Read more: http://www.maravipost.com/business-and- ... z1WZIHJJEO



People do take notice of what is happening: http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/ar ... a5e6527.91
Quote:
"Imagine if there were no China and India or Brazil at a time when Europe and the US are in difficulty. It would be a big recession because China and India and Brazil are picking up the slack.


However, it is not to say China and India have pushed away Europe and America. No way, the former Colonial and current Super Power continue to exert pressure and influence on Africa, it is just that China and India are making some hay when the Sun is shining. I would say good going. Nobody should dream that Europe and American influence can be thwarted overnight. Also, the World is big and the big powers - including India - can all have a piece of the giant masala dosai. India needs to stick to the basics - be humble never get arrogant; respect the local people and be fair as much as possible. In the long term true soft power comes from integrity, honesty, humbleness and being kind - be Dharmic. Humans are the same everywhere, they will remember the people who helped them when they sought help (unless an ideology prohibits them to express innate human emotions)

1. http://www.rttnews.com/Content/AllEcono ... 02386&SM=1
2. http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/tec ... 796107.cms
3. http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.c ... E1DF73.DTL
4. http://www.guardian.co.uk/global-develo ... ast-africa
5. http://www.english.rfi.fr/asia-pacific/ ... d-diamonds
6. http://www.menafn.com/qn_news_story.asp?storyid={597f15c9-c4d8-4f5a-8d59-41753ba5cfb9}
7. http://www.menafn.com/qn_news_story.asp?storyid={c8a61d26-c412-4b0e-897f-0564c70224c2}
8. http://allafrica.com/stories/201108301141.html
9. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-08-1 ... ction.html
10. http://www.daijiworld.com/news/news_dis ... _id=111620
11. http://www.maravipost.com/business-and- ... -afdb.html
12. Many more....


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PostPosted: 28 Sep 2011 23:19 
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India – Africa Relations In The 21st Century – Analysis

http://www.eurasiareview.com/19092011-i ... -analysis/


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PostPosted: 04 Oct 2011 21:10 
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X-post from Tibet thread:

I guess PRC's footprint in Africa is already big enough to dictate foreign policy -
Dalai Lama cancels South Africa trip over visa
Quote:
The Dalai Lama on Tuesday cancelled a trip to South Africa after Pretoria failed to grant him a visa, fuelling criticism that President Jacob Zuma's administration is appeasing China.

Anti-apartheid leader Desmond Tutu had invited the Tibetan spiritual leader, a fellow Nobel Peace Prize winner and longtime friend, to give an inaugural peace lecture as part of celebrations for Tutu's 80th birthday.

"His Holiness was to depart for South Africa on October 6, 2011 but visas have not been granted yet," said a statement from the Dalai Lama's office in India.

[...]

South African foreign ministry spokesman Clayson Monyela insisted that normal visa procedures were being followed and that no decision had been taken when the Dalai Lama decided to cancel the trip.

"Unfortunately he's decided to pull out of the trip, which is his decision, and we have noted that decision," Monyela said.

South Africa had previously denied the Dalai Lama a visa in 2009 and openly admitted it was acting out of deference to Beijing, which views the Tibetan leader as a "splittist".

[...]

South African Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe last week made a four-day visit to China, where he signed a series of trade deals but made no mention of the visa issue.


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PostPosted: 05 Oct 2011 09:41 
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^^^

A continuation of the HH DL Visa row, Worse than apartheid govt: angry Tutu over Dalai visa row

Reminds of an old saying

Evil doesn't thrives because it is strong, it thrives because too many good people do nothing to oppose it. At least one good man has voiced his opposition to the treatment received by HHDL at the hands of SA government.


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PostPosted: 07 Oct 2011 11:13 
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Liberian president Ellen Johnson Sirleaf tipped to win Peace Nobel.

Quote:
If an actor in the Arab Spring uprising were nonetheless to be honoured, Esraa Abdel Fattah and Ahmed Maher of Egypt, who founded the April 6th youth Movement, were seen as top picks.

Google executive Wael Ghonim, also a central inspiration to the protests on Tahrir Square in Cairo, is another observer favourite, as is Tunisian blogger Lina Ben Mhenni, who chronicled the revolution in her country on the Internet.

Among other names that have been circulating are Sima Samar, an Afghan doctor and women's rights activist, and Russian activist Svetlana Gannushkina and her human rights group Memorial.

Yet others tipped for the prestigious prize are the Al Jazeera satellite news channel, Liberian pacifist Leymah Gbowee, Cuban dissident Osvaldo Paya Sardinas and former German chancellor Helmut Kohl.


Although going by Thorbjoern Jagland's statements, its increasingly likely that the award would go the EU, some solace given to the bloc by their Norwegian brethren.


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PostPosted: 07 Oct 2011 14:01 
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Ellen Johnson Sirleaf (LIBERIA) shares Noble Award 2011 for Peace with Tawakkul Karwan (yemen) and Leymah Gbowee


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PostPosted: 07 Oct 2011 14:08 
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^^^ Well I'll be the first to admit that the current results show fairness of the process. Although the cynic in me was sceptical of the whole affair since POTUS bagged the award in recent years and that's just one reason.


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PostPosted: 02 Nov 2011 07:18 
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Indian Company to Harvest Cotton in Ethiopia

Bharti Airtel launches 3G network in Congo


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PostPosted: 02 Nov 2011 15:39 
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Airtel is already one of the biggest operators in Kenya, if not the biggest. A call to India/US/UK (and maybe Canada/Australia IIRC) if you are an Airtel subscriber in Kenya is charged as a local call...


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PostPosted: 17 Nov 2011 02:09 
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Trade pact with South Africa Customs Union by next year.

India is expected to sign the much-awaited preferential trade agreement (PTA) with South Africa Customs Union (SACU) by the first quarter of 2012, as both sides are currently engaged in active negotiations on seeking greater access of each others’ markets and easier movement of professionals.

SACU consists of Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia, South Africa and Swaziland. Since 2007, negotiations have been on over having a PTA with the grouping. So far, around eight rounds of negotiations have taken place.

“When you negotiate, there is always the aspect of give and take,” said South African Deputy Minister for Trade and Industry Elizabeth Thabethe. “It has to be mutually beneficial for both the sides, taking care of sensitivities on each side. Every country within the union has its own set of demands. We are discussing that. We hope to reach an agreement by the first quarter of 2012 or the second quarter,” she told Business Standard.

Thabethe, who is in India to take part in the India International Trade Fair that began here on November 14, also said the next round of negotiations would take place soon. The progress, so far, has been “considerable”. However, she highlighted that the PTA should yield a win-win situation for both sides and boost bilateral trade and investment.

Under a PTA, the negotiating countries reduce their tariffs on a particular number of products from the level they maintain with countries that are not parties to the pact. Unlike free trade agreements (FTAs), a PTA does not slash or eliminate duties from a large number of tariff lines.

Earlier this year, Minister for Commerce and Industry and Textiles Anand Sharma had indicated that the PTA would initially result in tariff cuts on a specific number of products.

It could be expanded into an free trade agreement (FTA) depending on the progress of the PTA, he had indicated during the visit of South Africa’s Trade Minister Rob Davies. Since then, both sides are also discussing a bilateral investment promotion and protection agreement.Thabethe is to hold a bilateral meeting with Jyotiraditya Scindia, minister of state for commerce and industry.

Both countries have earlier set the target of achieving $15 billion worth of bilateral trade by 2014 from around the present $11.12 billion. Thabethe said this target was “attainable” with greater cooperation in the small and medium sector, information technology, infrastructure, rural development and handicrafts.


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PostPosted: 10 Dec 2011 02:34 
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Map of africa natural resources


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South Sudanese forces tackle tribal violence in Pibor.

Quote:
The government and the UN - which has warned the violence could lead to a "major tragedy" - were beefing up their forces in Pibor as a column of 6000 armed youths from the Lou Nuer tribe marched on the town pursuing a rival tribe.

Parthesarathy Rajendran, head of mission at Doctors Without Borders said staff at its hospital in Pibor and two outreach clinics in the area have for the most part fled into the bush.

"What we are hearing is that our clinic has been damaged and a lot of things looted," he said.

"Since the start of the fighting one week before, the whole population has started displacing and running into the bush," he said, adding that Doctors Without Borders is the sole provider of health care in Pibor county.



Quote:
A group calling itself the Nuer Youth White Army issued a statement on December 26 vowing to "wipe out the entire Murle tribe ... as the only solution to guarantee long-term security of Nuer cattle".

The group accuses the Murle of raiding Nuer cattle and killing members of their tribe since 2005, when a peace agreement ended two decades of civil war and led to South Sudan's independence this year.

Neither the United Nations nor South Sudan's former rebel army the SPLA have protected the Nuer, the group claimed.


Its more than a fight for cattle and the antecedents of these factions in the neighboring region will have to be traced.

Also, Medecins sans Frontieres doesnt exactly have a clean record in other African nations such as Kenya.


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PostPosted: 02 Jan 2012 08:01 
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Importance of Africa for Indian agro-business
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Africa is better in terms of productivity, costs, taxes, duty-free access to European markets because of their least developed country status, and lower transportation costs owing to the geographical proximity to our main markets in Europe.

A rose from India, when it lands in Europe, will cost about 14 euro cents and it will be about 30% less from East Africa.

What about the political risks in Africa?

We invest only in countries that have a bilateral investment treaty with India. Also the country must be a signatory to World Bank's Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA). We buy MIGA insurance which protects us from political risks. We are also working closely with the government to build a healthy relationship with India. I am currently the honorary consul-general for Ethiopia in Bangalore.

We read about civil strife and mafias in some of these African countries. Isn't the environment difficult to operate in?

Riots happen everywhere, including in India. You have to find a way around them. Three months after our biggest acquisition in December 2007, Ethiopia was on fire. But we were working round the clock, harvesting and shipping flowers. Police and guards protected our farms. We stocked up food and water, essentials and blankets. Maybe the Cauvery and Rajkumar riots taught us how to survive such things. I remember then having gone to the Bangalore police commissioner, representing a small flower organization. He told me between 12 midnight and 3am, most people sleep. Since then, I have been shipping flowers in that window, when temperature and traffic are low. As for the mafia, they prefer to hijack trucks carrying copper. Copper is $10,000 a tonne, while food is only $200 a tonne.


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PostPosted: 12 Jan 2012 20:37 
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The war is with China, the battleground Africa
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The obvious intent of the United States' stated focus on the Asia-Pacific is to remind the rising China that America is still the big dog; the gaze is not that region at all, it is towards Africa.
- Dieter Neumann

Quote:
By 2009 Chinese trade with Africa surpassed America’s for the first time.

Quote:
The Libya uprising provided America and its North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) allies the first opportunity to turn back Chinese influence in Africa. Chinese companies had an estimated US$20 billion in projects underway and had courted Muammar Gaddafi for many years.

As the NATO-enabled rebel tide overwhelmed the Gaddafi forces, 36,000 Chinese engineers, tradesmen, and technicians fled the country. Chinese infrastructure projects and its involvement in Libya’s oil sector lay in disarray.

The years ahead will be rife with African proxy wars between the US and China. The escalating violence in South Sudan is but the latest manifestation of this. Obama and Panetta correctly claimed the Asia Pacific as their next focus after having, in their terms, stabilized the middle east.

But while the focus may be on the Asia-Pacific region, it is in Africa that the bullets will fly and the bombs will drop.


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PostPosted: 21 Jan 2012 07:31 
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Boko Haram strikes in Nigeria:

Nigeria's Kano rocked by multiple explosions
Quote:
The Nigerian authorities have imposed a 24-hour curfew in Kano after at least seven people were killed in co-ordinated bomb attacks in the northern Nigerian city.

Police stations and the regional police HQ were among the targets. Gunfire was also heard in several locations.

The militant Islamist group Boko Haram says it carried out the attacks.

The group has been behind a recent campaign of violence in the mainly Muslim north.

[...]

Another doctor told the BBC that some of the wounded included foreigners from an area near the SSS headquarters, where many expatriates - particularly Lebanese and Indians - live.


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PostPosted: 05 Feb 2012 01:53 
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http://www.thehindu.com/opinion/lead/ar ... epage=true

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Let India unleash its soft power
Prem Shankar Jha


The economic and moral decline of the West has created a hegemonic vacuum that presents both a challenge and an opportunity to emerging powers.

Wars kill in more ways than one, and the longer they go on the more do the ways multiply. The first war that proved this dictum was the Thirty Years' War of 1618-48 in Europe. Through rape, murder, pillage, disease and famine, it reduced the civilian population of southern Germany and the Lowlands by 25- 40 per cent. The economic devastation it wrought took a hundred years to repair. The American Civil war may have been the second for it killed 600,000 people (out of a population of 32 million) and so devastated the South that it took a hundred years to recover. And had it not been for the Marshall Plan, a similar fate would almost certainly have befallen Western Europe after the Second World War.

Tragedy in Libya

A similar tragedy is unfolding in and around Libya. Unsurprisingly, it has been hidden behind a veil of media inattention. But nothing stays hidden forever. The shroud of silence was torn momentarily on January 18 by a BBC World News telecast which reported that after three consecutive droughts, Niger was being tipped over into famine by the return of 100,000 of its nationals as refugees from Libya.

If help did not come soon, people would begin to die. The commentator grossly underestimated the impending tragedy, for on September 28, The New York Times reported that 200,000 Nigerois, earning $600 a month or more in Libya, had fled through the harsh Sahara to seek shelter in their home country.

Niger is only one of a ring of perennially drought-prone countries that had come to depend on the remittances from more than a million foreign workers, who had found work in Libya. The other main beneficiaries were Chad, Sudan, Eritrea and Somalia. Very few of these workers left voluntarily: in fact ‘pro-democracy peaceful protesters' “induced” them to go, by accusing hundreds of their fellow countrymen of being African mercenaries, recruited by Muammar Qadhafi to kill civilians, and hanging, burning or shooting them in full view of YouTube's enthusiastic cineastes.

Today there are no jobs to return to, for Libya's economy lies in ruins. The bulk of its urban infrastructure is damaged or destroyed; its oil production is under half of the pre-war level. Since oil accounted for 75 per cent of the state's revenue, the new government is no longer able to fund the massive social security and subsidised food schemes that kept inflation below one per cent in Qadhafi's Libya. Inflation, destitution, starvation and a possible failed state stare many Libyans in the face.

The appeal from Niger is not the first of its kind. Other appeals have been made in the past on behalf of Darfur, South Sudan, Somalia, and Eritrea. India has so far believed that its responsibility ends with making modest contributions to the World Food Programme. But as the already fragile Saharan and sub-Saharan world disintegrates, it will be shirking its duty to humanity if it does not do more — a lot more.

Need to do more

India needs to do more not only because with the former hegemonic powers turning into predators a vacuum is developing from Pakistan to the Maghreb. It has a duty to do more also because it can do more. India is sitting on a food mountain, a part of which is rotting even as I write. At the beginning of this month, the Food Corporation of India held 54.8 million tonnes of food grains, This is 30 million tonnes more than its buffer-plus-strategic reserve requires it to hold. With a second year of bumper harvests in the offing, this can only rise further.

A single tonne of wheat will fully meet the needs of three families of five for an entire year. A tonne of rotted wheat donated as cattle feed will keep their cattle alive for the same length of time. Are we so mean-spirited that we cannot spare a hundred thousand tonnes of wheat to save the people of Niger? And why only Niger? Can India not set up a permanent, half-million tonne wheat bank to be drawn upon by any sub-Saharan country in distress?

And why stop at food grains? In drought-struck regions, contaminated water kills much faster than hunger and takes the very young and the very old first. The Indian pharmaceuticals industry is the envy of the world, because it produces and sells medicines at a tenth to a thirtieth of the retail prices abroad. Can Delhi not buttress its food aid with medicines and vitamins? This will give an entirely new meaning to the concept of Soft Power for, unlike the West in its present incarnation, it would be seeking to build influence by protecting and preserving, not destroying; by expanding peoples' futures instead of ending them in darkness.

We have been relatively slow to realise our full potential for the exercise of soft power. This could be because of our too-ready acceptance of a concept that was created by an American to address American foreign policy concerns. In Joseph Nye's original definition, soft power originated in the capacity to attract others to your country's culture, values and institutions. Indian policymakers have taken this to heart and relied mainly upon India's open society, democratic institutions, lack of aggressive intent and willingness to share the burden of U.N. peacekeeping and policing the global commons, to garner respect and support in the international community.

It is only in the last half-decade, as the Westphalian international order crumbled and India's neighbourhood became increasingly unstable, that New Delhi has begun to explore the economic dimensions of ‘soft power' seriously. Afghanistan has been the focus of its initial efforts, and its success is attested to by the threat (irrational though it is) that Pakistan feels from it.

Since then, India has reached out with increasing confidence to Bangladesh, Nepal and Africa. In January 2010, India created a line of credit for Bangladesh of $1 billion, giving it valuable leeway for managing its external account. Later in the year, Pranab Mukherjee announced a doubling of aid to Nepal from Rs.1,600 crore to Rs. 3,200 crore. At Addis Ababa in May last year, India added $5 billion to the $5.4 billion dollar line of credit it extended to African countries in 2008 to “help them reach their development goals.” All in all, India is soon going to be disbursing more than $3 billion in aid every year. This is around the same amount as Brazil.

These are significant initiatives. If they have not been sufficiently appreciated so far it could be because soft power is far more difficult to exercise than ‘hard' military power. Its success depends less on the amounts of assistance that a country is willing to render than on its timing, the attention it is able to capture, and its palpable effectiveness. On all three counts, India still has a good deal to learn.

India was the first to help Bangladesh after the 1997 cyclone that claimed 150,000 lives, but so poor was the projection of its aid that western and U.N. aid captured the world headlines. India's contribution to the post-tsunami rescue in Sri Lanka and Indonesia got a little more notice, but only a little.

In Sierra Leone in 1999, an undermanned Indian contingent of troops did the initial peacekeeping under constraints imposed for reasons of political correctness that no army commander would, or should, have accepted. But all it received were jeers, while the credit for subjugating the rebels went to a British contingent despatched in May 2000 that made its own rules of combat.

Contrast with China

The contrast with China's methods of exercising soft power is instructive. Beijing is frequently criticised, and occasionally resented, for insisting on using its own enterprises, managers and workers, and “transfer(ring) nothing to the country by way of knowhow.” But Chinese aid is more effective than any that the world has seen so far. Projects get completed in record time, at record low costs and, most of the time, to stringent specifications. The locals may earn little directly, but no local politician, crony contractor, or middleman gets a bite of the cherry. Some of the results are mind-boggling: In Kenya, for instance, China has completed 1000 km of motorways and 500 km of regular roads in three years to European standards and transformed the lives and the economy of its people.

Brazil seems to have taken a leaf from China's book. It has the largest official programme of aid to Haiti, amounting to $3.3 billion. And the private charity that brought by far the most aid to Haiti after the earthquake was a Libyan Trust run by Seif-ul-Islam-al-Gaddafi!

The economic and moral decline of the West has created a hegemonic vacuum that presents both a challenge and an opportunity to emerging powers. China and Brazil are already beginning to fill some of it. India cannot afford to be left behind.



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PostPosted: 10 Feb 2012 11:13 
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Mauritanian Islamic clerics debate dissent and revolution


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PostPosted: 11 Feb 2012 10:54 
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Gunmen kill Boko Harem (sic) critic
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Gunmen in Nigeria's flashpoint city of Kano on Thursday shot dead a man known for publicly criticising Boko Haram Islamists, blamed for a series of recent attacks in the area, residents said.

Alhaji Muhammadu, 60, was shot by two men riding on motorcycles as he left a mosque in the Hoton Fulani area of the mainly Muslim northern city. He died in hospital.

[...]

“They were from all indication members of Boko Haram because after shooting him they said, 'let's see how you are going to be critical of us. Let's see what your boasting can achieve,” said Danlami, who witnessed the shooting.


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PostPosted: 14 Feb 2012 03:14 
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Northern Nigeria: Muslim Persecution of Christians: January 2012
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The beginning of the New Year saw only an increase in the oppression of Christians under Islam, from Nigeria, where an all-out jihad has been declared in an effort to eradicate the Muslim north of all Christians, to Europe, where Muslim converts to Christianity are still hounded and attacked as apostates. According to the Chairman of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom, “The flight of Christians out of the region is unprecedented and it’s increasing year by year”; in our life time alone, he predicts “Christians might disappear altogether from Iraq, Afghanistan, and Egypt.”


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PostPosted: 25 Feb 2012 12:13 
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For oil and peace, India must stand up in the two Sudans

South Sudan's oil shutdown dealt a major blow to the overseas oil ambitions of India's leading national oil company ONGC Videsh Ltd.

India was the first Asian country to open a consulate in South Sudan's capital Juba in October 2007. Indian diplomats speak fondly of President Fakruddin Ali Ahmed's December 1975 visit where the whole town showed up to see him. Yet first-mover advantage is useless if India does not make an effort to exploit it. New Delhi has done little to protect its economic interests in Sudan and South Sudan, or foster peace between the two sides. But there is still a golden opportunity for New Delhi to enhance its role and play peacemaker.


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PostPosted: 25 Feb 2012 16:10 
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^^ He is dead right. But the situation will improve in a few years. So its not a total write off. Special Envoy to Africa is a good move.

India has tremendous assets in the region as it does in the middle east. India needs to exploit and utilise those assets. I mean, in the kenyan unrests a few years ago, it was Indians who brokered the political deal!


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PostPosted: 05 Mar 2012 11:21 
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206 killed in Republic of Congo blasts

Quote:
After a weapons’ depot caught fire, blasts flattened many buildings in the northern part of Brazzaville and sent more than 2,000 fleeing their homes.


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PostPosted: 11 Mar 2012 17:10 
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Hostage tragedy: Nigeria is in danger of turning into a blood-soaked African Pakistan


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PostPosted: 13 Mar 2012 10:55 
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Apologies if posted before. Folks check out how the west is the root cause of the mess in congo. This is a must watch.

EDIT: NSFW. GRAPHIC IMAGES

http://congojustice.org/



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PostPosted: 26 Mar 2012 22:46 
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East Africa is going to be the next oil boom place after Kurdistan. Get your tickets now! Somalia could be the next Kuwait - everyone knows Black Hawk Down was about Oil. Al Shabaab is getting cleared out with US air support from Djibouti. Oil has been discovered based on local sources - the word onthe street is that it is in the region of 4 billion barrels and there are still more assets in the region. In the piracy infested waters, underneath there is a prize of 100 billion barrels! We are trying to stabilise the region and kick piracy and terror in the nuts before majors enter. In neighbouring Djibouti, desi's are getting in early with major tourism projects.

ONGC launched a bid for a company called Cove energy recently which operates in the region.

Today they just found more oil in Kenya!


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