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China: The Scramble for Africa January 19, 2015

Posted by OromianEconomist in Africa, Africa and debt, Africa Rising, China and Africa, Colonizing Structure.
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China in Africa: One among many

The Economist, Jan 17th 2015

ACROSS Africa, radio call-in programmes are buzzing with tales of Africans, usually men, bemoaning the loss of their spouses and partners to rich Chinese men. “He looks short and ugly like a pygmy but I guess he has money,” complained one lovelorn man on a recent Kenyan show. True or imagined, such stories say much about the perceived economic power of Chinese businessmen in Africa, and of the growing backlash against them.

China has become by far Africa’s biggest trading partner, exchanging about $160 billion-worth of goods a year; more than 1m Chinese, most of them labourers and traders, have moved to the continent in the past decade. The mutual adoration between governments continues, with ever more African roads and mines built by Chinese firms. But the talk of Africa becoming Chinese—or “China’s second continent”, as the title of one American book puts it—is overdone.

The African boom, which China helped to stoke in recent years, is attracting many other investors. The non-Western ones compete especially fiercely. African trade with India is projected to reach $100 billion this year. It is growing at a faster rate than Chinese trade, and is likely to overtake trade with America. Brazil and Turkey are superseding many European countries. In terms of investment in Africa, though, China lags behind Britain, America and Italy (see charts).

If Chinese businessmen seem unfazed by the contest it is in part because they themselves are looking beyond the continent. “This is a good place for business but there are many others around the world,” says He Lingguo, a sunburnt Chinese construction manager in Kenya who hopes to move to Venezuela.

A decade ago Africa seemed an uncontested space and a training ground for foreign investment as China’s economy took off. But these days China’s ambitions are bigger than winning business, or seeking access to commodities, on the world’s poorest continent. The days when Chinese leaders make long state visits to countries like Tanzania are numbered. Instead, China’s president, Xi Jinping, has promised to invest $250 billion in Latin America over the coming decade (see article).

The growth in Chinese demand for commodities is slowing and prices of many raw materials are falling. That said, China’s hunger for agricultural goods, and perhaps for farm land, may grow as China’s population expands and the middle class becomes richer.

Yet Africans are increasingly suspicious of Chinese firms, worrying about unfair deals and environmental damage. Opposition is fuelled by Africa’s thriving civil society, which demands more transparency and an accounting for human rights. This can be an unfamiliar challenge for authoritarian China, whose foreign policy is heavily based on state-to-state relations, with little appreciation of the gulf between African rulers and their people. In Senegal residents’ organisations last year blocked a deal that would have handed a prime section of property in the centre of the capital, Dakar, to Chinese developers. In Tanzania labour unions criticised the government for letting in Chinese petty traders.

Some African officials are voicing criticism of China. Lamido Sanusi, Nigeria’s former central bank governor, says Africa is opening itself up to a “new form of imperialism”, in which China takes African primary goods and sells it manufactured ones, without transferring skills.

After years of bland talk about “win-win” partnerships, China seems belatedly aware of the problem. On a tour of the continent, the Chinese foreign minister, Wang Yi, said on January 12th that “we absolutely will not take the old path of Western colonists”. Last May the prime minister, Li Keqiang, acknowledged “growing pains” in the relationship.

China has few political ambitions in Africa. It co-operates with democracies as much as with authoritarian regimes. Its aid budget is puny. The few peacekeepers it sends stay out of harm’s way. China’s corporatist development model has attracted few followers beyond Ethiopia and Rwanda. Most fast-growing African nations hew closer to Western free-market ideas. In South Sudan, the one place where China has tried to flex its diplomatic muscle, it has achieved embarrassingly little. Attempts to stop a civil war that is endangering its oil supply failed miserably.

Chinese immigrants in Africa chuckle at the idea that they could lord it over the locals. Most congregate in second-tier countries like Zambia; they are less of a presence in hyper-competitive Nigeria. Unlike other expatriates, they often live in segregated camps. Some thought, after a decade of high-octane engagement, that China would dominate Africa. Instead it is likely to be just one more foreign investor jostling for advantage.

Read at: http://www.economist.com/news/middle-east-and-africa/21639554-china-has-become-big-africa-now-backlash-one-among-many?fsrc=scn/tw/te/rfd/pe



The increased concentration of wealth: 80 rich people now have as much as 50% of the rest of humanity combined January 19, 2015

Posted by OromianEconomist in Economics.
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WIDENING GAP:80 rich people now have as much as 50% of the rest of humanity combined


Billionaires are getting richer, according to a new study from Oxfam. Gather together the wealth of the world’s richest people, and you now only need 80 of them before there’s enough in the pot to equal everything owned by the poorest 50% of the rest of the world combined. Back in 2010, you’d have needed 388 of the world’s richest to balance those scales.

The richest of the top 1%, the top billionaires on Forbes’ rich list, have seen their wealth accumulate faster over the last five years than even the rest of the super-rich, Oxfam said. In 2010, the richest 80 people in the world had a net wealth of $1.3 trillion. By last year, that was up to 1.9 trillion, an increase of $600 billion.

Together with the rest of the 1%, that group owned 48% of global wealth in 2014. That’s more uneven than in 2010, when they owned a little over 44%.

However, according to Oxfam’s data, we’ve been here before. Back in 2000, the 1% owned a higher percentage of global wealth than they do today. For a few years, the trend seemed to show that number falling, as the world’s poorest clawed some of it back. But in the past five years, that’s reversed.

Part of the problem, as identified by Oxfam, is that the rate of increase for the rich has speeded up, and it’s now so much higher than that for everyone else that it’s increasing the gap.

The 1% has entered parlance, but who’s included? And do they constitute a problem or an asset?

Who are these people? 

With a world population of 7.2 billion, there are around 72 million people in the top 1%—not all of whom are billionaires. In 2014, there were 1,645 people listed by Forbes as being billionaires, with Bill Gates back at the top after a year off. Of these, 90% are male, and 30% are American. And there’s evidence they’ve been running the show for a long, long time.

Is rising inequality inevitable?

Oxfam says not. In a campaign, the charity focuses on changes that could be made to the way global society is organized, including the eradication of extreme poverty and economic empowerment of women.

Why does it matter?

Economists like Dan Altman and Thomas Piketty argue that wealth inequality hampers growth and will only get worse in the future. Somehave argued that it could be a good thing. And many have blamed it for misery, hopelessness and, ultimately, violence.



Great Loss to the Human Rights Community as Legendary Dr. Martin Hill Passes On January 19, 2015

Posted by OromianEconomist in Dr. Martin John Dudley Hill.
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OMartin Hill - Amnesty Activist 2015 3

(Advocacy for Oromia) We are deeply saddened to hear the death of Dr. Martin Hill, a long time friend and voice for the voiceless oppressed peoples of the world including the Oromo. Dr. Martin Hill passed away on Friday 9 January 2015.

Dr. Hill worked at the Amnesty Secretariat office in London, as a researcher and a campaigner on the Horn of Africa in the human rights field for over 32 years.

I first met Dr. Hill in 1989 when he led the first Amnesty International delegation to Somalia during the period of military dictatorship. At sub-regional level where many human rights violations and suffering for the past three decades and lack of attention globally, Dr. Hill brought human rights issues and concerns in the limelight and earned the admiration and love of many people particularly Ethiopians, Eritreans and Somalis.

Dr. Hill was a friend to me and to my late uncle, Dr. Ismail Jumale Ossoble, (the only human rights lawyer who consistently defended prisoners of conscience in the dreaded national security court). Dr. Ossoble was a prisoner of conscience himself and was Amnesty International’s principle research contact in Somalia during the 80s and 90s. We subsequently established Dr. Ismail Jumale Human Rights Centre in 1996 and I co-directed the centre for 6 years starting in 1996 before I went into exile. During this period, I was the principle Somali contact for Amnesty International and I worked very closely with Dr. Hill.

Dr. Hill worked with us on the protection and promotion of human rights for Somalis including a sign up campaign during the 50th UDHR anniversary celebrations where Dr. Ismail Jumale Centre was able to garner over 1.5 million signatures including first signature by the founding first President, the late Aden Abdulle Osman at his farm in Shalambood District of lower Shabale region, former Prime Ministers, faction leaders, and civil society groups among others.

I particularly remember the first human rights defenders training for Somalis that Dr. Hill organized in 1997 in Kenya and I was part of that training. He was instrumental in organizing sub-regional networks consultation meetings to the run up of the All Africa Human Rights Defenders Conference I 1998 and subsequently the global human rights summit in Paris in December 1998.

He also supported our research initiative during our initial mission, Africa Human Rights Defenders Project in the East and Horn of Africa while I was at York University. Dr. Hill was present as founding member of East and Horn of Africa Human Rights Defenders Network in 2005 in Entebbe, Uganda.

Dr. Hill will be remembered for his ardent support to human rights in the Horn of Africa. He inspired and mentored so many human rights activists who are now working with prominent human rights organizations around the world. He contributed to the fight against human rights violations and ending the culture of impunity in the sub-region.

Our thoughts, and those of the wider human rights community, are with his family and many friends around the world. The East and Horn of Africa Human Rights Defenders Project staff, East and Horn of Africa Human Rights Defenders Network and the Pan Africa Human Rights Defenders Network, extend our sincerest condolences to his wife, Dawn Hill and children.


Martin Hill Funeral Annoucement (1)

Sirna Awwaalcha Dr. Martin Hill

Hawaasota Oromoo UK fi biyya adda addaa keessa jirtan maraaf!

Fira ummata cunqurfame addunyaa fi warri sagalee hinqabne sagaleen isaanii akka dhagahamu godhaa kan turani Dr. Martin Hill biyya lafaa kana irraa lubbuun dabruu isaanii gadda guddaan ibsina. Ummatoota cunqurfamanii fi miidhaan irra gahe keessaa ummatni Oromoo tokko yommu ta’u Dr. Martin bara dhibba kudha sagalii fi saddeettamootaa fi sagaltamoota keessa rakkoo Oromoo irra gahaa ture ifa baassuu fi saaxiluun Oromoon akka gargaaramu godhaa nama turani dha.Yeroo dheeraaf adunyaa irratti mirga dhala namaaf ka falmu dhaaba ‘Amnesty International’ jedhamu geggeessaa ka turan Dr. Martin Hill biyya lafaa kana irraa ka dabran Jimaata dabre Amajji 16, 2015 yommuu ta’u sirni awwaalcha isaanii Jimaata dhufu Amajjii 23, 2015 ganama sa’a 11:00 irratti London keessatti waldaa teessoon isaa kanaa gadi kaa’ametti raawwata. ‘Amnesty International’ dhuma bara 2014 keessas akkuma rakkoo ummatoota addunyaa cunqunrfaman saaxile ka Oromoo irra gahes “Because I am Oromo” jechuun biyyi lafaa akka sirriitti hubatu godhe. Kanaaf Oromoo dabalatee fira ummata cunqunrfamtoota biyya lafaa kan turani sirna awwaalcha Dr. Martin Hill irratti akka argamtan gaafanna.

Guyyaan: Amajjii 23, 2015
Sa’a: 11:00

Holy Trinity Church & Saint Matthias Centre
Trinity Rise, Tuise Hill
London, SW2 2QP

Brixton irraa
Otobusiin: 2, 415, 432 (Stop F)
Bakka kana irraa daqiiqaa 10 deemsisa

Hawaasa Oromoo UK


To all members of Oromo Communities in the UK and around the world!

We are deeply saddened to hear the death of Dr. Martin Hill, a long time friend and voice for the voiceless oppressed peoples of the world, including the Oromo. The funeral service of Dr. Martin Hill, who was the director of the Amnesty International for a long time, will be held on Friday, 23rd January 2015 at the following address and time.

Date: 23rd January 2015
Time: 11:00 AM
Place: Holy Trinity Church and Saint Matthias Centre, Trinity Rise, Tulse Hill, London SW2 2QP

Transport from Brixton station to the Church,
Buses: 2, 415, 432, (Stop F)
10 minutes from the stop.

Oromo Community UK