John Campbell

Africa in Transition

Campbell tracks political and security developments across sub-Saharan Africa.

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Showing posts for "China"

Closer Military Ties Between Nigeria and China?

by John Campbell
General view of the Nigerian National Assembly as Chinese President Hu Jintao gives his address in Abuja April 27, 2006. (Afolabi Sotunde/Courtesy Reuters) General view of the Nigerian National Assembly as Chinese President Hu Jintao gives his address in Abuja April 27, 2006. (Afolabi Sotunde/Courtesy Reuters)

Nigerian media is reporting that on September 18, China and Nigeria “pledged” closer military cooperation, especially with respect to terrorism and disaster response. The two nations appear to envisage exchanges between respective defense colleges. There will presumably be other interactions as well. Read more »

Tracking the Traffickers: Selling Out the Rhinos

by Guest Blogger for John Campbell
A White rhino walks after exiting a cage at Kenya's Nairobi National Park May 3, 2011. (Noor Khamis/Courtesy Reuters) A White rhino walks after exiting a cage at Kenya's Nairobi National Park May 3, 2011. (Noor Khamis/Courtesy Reuters)

This is a guest post by Emily Mellgard, research associate for the Council on Foreign Relations Africa Studies program.

There is a debate over whether a tightly regulated legal trade in rhino horn could help stem the tide of rhino poaching in southern Africa. Most rhino horn, like ivory, finds its way to the Far East. The largest consumer of ivory is China. Vietnam is the largest consumer of rhino horn. It’s ground into a powder and used in traditional and modern medicines to cure everything from cancer and the flu, to hangovers, and as an aphrodisiac among the nouveau riche. It is also carved into libation cups for use in temples. The use of rhino horn is a deep-rooted tradition, even though the horn is keratin (as are human fingernails and hair) and has no medicinal properties. Read more »

Disease Cannot Be Contained on One Continent

by John Campbell
A doctor works in a laboratory on collected samples of the Ebola virus at the Centre for Disease Control in Entebbe 02/08/2012. (Edward Echwalu/Courtesy Reuters) A doctor works in a laboratory on collected samples of the Ebola virus at the Centre for Disease Control in Entebbe 02/08/2012. (Edward Echwalu/Courtesy Reuters)

There is a yellow fever epidemic in Sudan, characterized by the press as the world’s worst in twenty years. The international community is assisting with vaccinations and laboratory support. With many Chinese nationals now working in Sudan, Beijing has ordered local health authorities to scan travelers arriving from Sudan for fevers, and is urging Chinese travelers en route to Sudan to be vaccinated. Read more »

President Obama and Sub-Saharan Africa: What’s Missing

by Guest Blogger for John Campbell
A man with a flag stuck to his forehead waits to catch a glimpse of U.S. President Barack Obama in Accra 11/07/2009. (Finbarr O'Reilly/Courtesy Reuters) A man with a flag stuck to his forehead waits to catch a glimpse of U.S. President Barack Obama in Accra 11/07/2009. (Finbarr O'Reilly/Courtesy Reuters)

Richard Joseph is the John Evans Professor of International History and Politics at Northwestern University and a Senior Fellow with the Program on Global Economy and  Development of The Brookings Institution.  He has been deeply engaged with American policy toward Africa for a generation.  In his guest post below, Dr. Joseph analyzes the Obama administration’s June 2012 policy paper on Africa and he provides specific policy recommendations for the President’s second term. Read more »

Guest Post: Poaching Threatens Central African Security

by Guest Blogger for John Campbell
Members of the Pilanesberg National Park Anti-Poaching Unit (APU) stand guard as conservationists and police investigate the scene of a rhino poaching incident April 19, 2012. (Mike Hutchings/Courtesy Reuters) Members of the Pilanesberg National Park Anti-Poaching Unit (APU) stand guard as conservationists and police investigate the scene of a rhino poaching incident April 19, 2012. (Mike Hutchings/Courtesy Reuters)

This is a guest post by Owen Cylke. Mr. Cylke is a development professional and a retired senior foreign service officer with USAID.

Despite some progress on improving security in Central Africa, the continuing smuggling of weapons and the movement of refugees and internally displaced persons continue to threaten the integrity of countries across the region. Less noted, but no less important, is the role that wildlife poaching plays in this perilous circumstance. Read more »

Following the Money in Nigeria

by John Campbell
A money dealer counts the Nigerian naira on a machine in his office in the commercial capital of Lagos, January 13, 2009. (Akintunde Akinleye/Courtesy Reuters) A money dealer counts the Nigerian naira on a machine in his office in the commercial capital of Lagos, January 13, 2009. (Akintunde Akinleye/Courtesy Reuters)

On July 6 and July 9, Democracy in Africa published a must-read, comprehensive analysis of Nigeria’s current political economy. The anonymous author opens with a discussion of the replacement of National Security Advisor Andrew Azazi by Sambo Dasuki, which he sees as a gesture by President Goodluck Jonathan to reach out to the traditional Northern Islamic establishment and to former President Ibrahim Babangida, in response to the continued depredations of Boko Haram, the radical Islamic movement in the North. Read more »

Diamonds Are Forever in Zimbabwe

by John Campbell
An illegal diamond dealer from Zimbabwe displays diamonds for sale in Manica, near the border with Zimbabwe, September 19, 2010. (Goran Tomasevic/Courtesy Reuters) An illegal diamond dealer from Zimbabwe displays diamonds for sale in Manica, near the border with Zimbabwe, September 19, 2010. (Goran Tomasevic/Courtesy Reuters)

The Zimbabwean finance minister, Tendai Biti, has complained that that the Zimbabwean-Chinese joint venture diamond mining company Anjin failed to remit revenue to his ministry from its operations in the Marange fields during the first quarter of the year. He raised the possibility that there is a “parallel government” that is the recipient of the revenue. Read more »

Guest Post: Nigeria Hit by Domestic, Regional, and Global Headwinds

by Guest Blogger for John Campbell
A view of the trading floor at the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) at the end of trading hours in Lagos April 24, 2012. (Akintunde Akinleye/Courtesy Reuters) A view of the trading floor at the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) at the end of trading hours in Lagos April 24, 2012. (Akintunde Akinleye/Courtesy Reuters)

This is a guest post by Jim Sanders, a career, now retired, West Africa watcher for various federal agencies. The views expressed below are his personal views and do not reflect those of his former employers.

Last month at the World Economic Forum on Africa in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, the Africa Progress Panel’s 2012 Africa Progress Report highlighted the threat to Africa of “rising inequality and the marginalization of whole sections of societies.”  Experts warned that “inequality in sub-Saharan Africa could threaten political stability and growth after a decade of rapid economic expansion.” Read more »

South Sudan and the Chinese

by John Campbell
China's President Hu Jintao (R) shakes hands with Sudan's First Vice President Salva Kiir Mayardit in Beijing July 19, 2007. (China Daily/Courtesy Reuters) China's President Hu Jintao (R) shakes hands with Sudan's First Vice President Salva Kiir Mayardit in Beijing July 19, 2007. (China Daily/Courtesy Reuters)

The International Crisis Group (ICG) has just issued a must-read analysis of China’s new initiatives in South Sudan. “China’s New Courtship in South Sudan” is a cogent, credible analysis of the tightrope Beijing must walk between Khartoum and Juba in the aftermath of the Sudan split. Most of China’s oil investments in the former Sudan are in the south, and Chinese companies are also salivating over the possibility of participating in the the construction of South Sudan’s now almost absent infrastructure. The ICG reminds its readership that the number of Chinese in the South Sudan has spiked over the past year. But, China has been a close ally of Khartoum in the past, and the memory of that reality is a factor in Juba and likely a brake on Beijing’s ambitions. Read more »