China is doubling down on its soft power initiatives in Africa as part of China's Grand Strategy to tap emerging markets, shape global governance norms, and expand its influence.
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China’s infrastructure deals are ubiquitous across Africa. The motivations behind these deals vary, however. This investigative report details how China leveraged the indebtedness of Sri Lanka to effectively force it to cede a port to China. The experience has implications for the debt trap many African countries face, especially with China, as well as for China's interest in acquiring strategic assets in Africa, military and intelligence interests in China’s commercial activity, oversight over major infrastructure and natural resource contracts including China’s Belt and Road Initiative on the continent, Chinese influence in foreign elections, and risks to African sovereignty.
Chinese demand for Nigerian rosewood has created a lucrative, yet illegal commercial logging sector in Nigeria’s eastern states. The Nigerian government has chosen profits over environmental protection or the rule of law. Corruption that ranges from bribery of forestry guards to misrepresentation of logging shipments bound for Chinese ports has created the conditions for illegal logging to continue—at least until resources run out and loggers move to the next state. The extensive environmental impacts of illegal logging include increased flooding, erosion, and the removal of animal and plant ecosystems, which leaves certain species facing extinction. Illegal logging also denies communities a source of food and livelihoods.
China’s expanding involvement in Africa is an integral piece in President Xi Jinping’s grand strategy to restore the country to its perceived rightful place of global prominence.
China and Russia (the P2), both permanent members of the UN Security Council, are playing increasing roles in the design and conduct of UN peace operations in Africa. This analysis of the P2’s voting patterns in the Security Council, reflects a shift from a pattern of abstentions to voting for the resolution. The analysis also shows a shift in China’s personnel contributions to these missions, the country has moved from not contributing personnel, to being the largest contributor of troops among the permanent members of the Council. Nonetheless, while the P2 provide strong rhetorical support for African voices to be heard, this does not translate to systematic on the ground support. China’s troop contributions are largely confined to South Sudan. Moreover, support for the resolutions highlights successful P2 efforts to limit the scope of the mandates in question. P2 interests on the continent will continue to align and be reflected in mission mandates and resources.
China’s growing military engagement in Africa is aimed at advancing Beijing’s economic and strategic interests.
Professional Development Symposium / Symposium sur le développement professionnel January 15–17 janvier 2019Addis Ababa, Ethiopia / Éthiopie Schedule / Guide pedagogique / Programa: English | Français | Português Syllabus / Programme / Program de Estudos: English | Français | Português Bios: English | Français | Português Overview / Aperçu Presented by / présenté par : Luka... Continue Reading
External actors have sought to expand their security partnerships in Africa in recent years. The Africa Center spoke with Judd Devermont, Director of the CSIS Africa Program, about the trends and complexities of these relationships.
October 16–18, 2018 Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti Read Ahead Program Schedule Bios Session 1 Ethnicity, Governance and Stability Presented by: Mvemba Dizolele (Slides) Session 2 Democracy and Governance Presented by: Mvemba Dizolele (Slides | Video: Congo’s Bloody Coltan) Session 3 Effectiveness of Counterterrorism Responses in the Horn of Africa Presented by: Amy Pate (Slides) Session 4... Continue Reading
João Lourenço’s first year in office has been marked by notable reforms and the consolidation of power. If ordinary Angolans are to benefit this momentum must continue, along with institutional checks that can curb the excesses of the past.
September 12–14, 2018 Washington, D.C. Syllabus | Program Schedule | Bios Africa Center Overview Presented by: Daniel Hampton (Slides) Plenary 1 Conflict in Africa: Current Trends and Emerging Challenges Presented by: Dr. Dorina Bekoe (Slides | Video) Recommended Reading: Julia Bello-Schünemann et al. 2017. “African Futures: Key Trends to 2035.” Institute for Security Studies, Policy... Continue Reading
The lifting of the age limits was the second time Uganda’s constitution has been amended to prolong President Museveni’s rule. Ongoing protests reveal public frustration over political retrenchment and the lack of a clear succession plan.