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  • Author: Fantu Cheru, Cyril Obi
  • Publication Date: 05-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of International Affairs
  • Institution: School of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University
  • Abstract: This article explores the strategies used by China and India, two emerging global economies, to build a strong relationship with Africa. It analyzes China and India's competing interests and strategies around four broad issues: access to Africa's potentially vast markets, development cooperation, diplomatic influence and energy security. Several questions are raised based on the nature, similarities, differences and impacts of Chinese and Indian strategies. Will these create a new dynamism in South-South relations, or lead to a new form of asymmetrical relations between Africa and its Asian giant friends? What are the likely implications of closer Sino- and Indo-African ties for the continent's relations with the West, Africa's traditional trading partner, with which it has long-established relations, economic and strategic interests? In seeking explanations or answers, we caution that the differences between Chinese and Indian strategies of engagement are more of form than intent, underscoring the primacy of the competing national interests that do not completely foreclose mutually reinforcing strategies. We note that India's strategies presently swing between playing “catch up” with China—which has clearly made greater inroads—and pragmatically accommodating Chinese and other interests in Africa. There are even instances, as in the case of the Sudanese oil industry, in which Chinese and Indian oil companies are cooperating as partners in an oil producing consortium, despite competing in other African countries. While the emerging scenario is one of competition that is moderated to some extent by accommodation, we conclude, based on certain conditions, that in the medium to long term, India may turn out to be more competitive than China in its engagement strategies with Africa.
  • Topic: Security
  • Political Geography: Africa, China, India
  • Author: Robert I. Rotberg
  • Publication Date: 06-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of International Affairs
  • Institution: School of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University
  • Abstract: Governance is performance—the delivery of high quality political goods to citizens by governments of all kinds. In Africa, as everywhere else, those political goods are security and safety, rule of law, participation and human rights, sustainable economic opportunity and human development. The Ibrahim Index of African Governance, created at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government, evaluates forty-eight sub-Saharan African countries according to fifty-seven variables. The results of this massive measurement exercise produce overall rankings of governance attainment, plus rankings for each of the five categories of political goods and each of the fifty-seven variables. Yet, the purpose of this Index is not to rate, but to diagnose. The Index is a diagnostic tool for civil society, donors and governments so that performance can be enhanced and the lives and outcomes of Africans can be strengthened. Improving African governance is the goal.
  • Topic: Security
  • Political Geography: Africa