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You are here:Home>>Displaying items by tag: africa
 
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AllAfrica News: Latest
All Africa, All the Time.

 

The world's first potential malaria vaccine proved only 30 percent effective in African babies in a crucial trial, calling into question whether it can be a useful weapon in the fight against the deadly disease.

 

The surprisingly poor result for the vaccine, which GlaxoSmithKline has been developing for three decades, leaves several years of work ahead before a protective malaria shot could be ready for countries that desperately need one.

 

Malaria, a mosquito-borne parasitic disease, kills hundreds of thousands a year, mainly babies in Africa, and scientists say an effective vaccine is key to hopes to eradicate it.

 

Philanthropist Bill Gates, who helped fund the GSK vaccine's development, said further research was now needed to see whether and how it might be used.

 

"The efficacy came back lower than we had hoped, but developing a vaccine against a parasite is a very hard thing to do," he said in a statement.

 

Results from the final-stage trial with 6,537 babies aged six to 12 weeks showed the vaccine provided "modest protection", reducing episodes of the disease by 30 percent compared to immunization with a control vaccine, researchers said on Friday.

 

That efficacy rate a year after vaccination is less than half the 65 percent in an earlier trial in babies which analyzed protection rates after six months. It is also a lot less than the 50 percent rate seen in five to 17 month-olds.

 

Vaccinating babies, rather than toddlers, is the preferred option, since the new vaccine could then be added to other routine infant immunizations. A separate program for older children would involve a lot of extra costs.

 

Eleanor Riley, a professor of immunology at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine said the results showed that GSK's vaccine, called RTS,S or Mosquirix, is potentially useful, but "not the complete solution".

 

"The slightly lower than expected efficacy will ... affect the cost-benefit analysis that health providers and funders will have to undertake before deciding whether the vaccine represents the best use of limited financial resources," she said.

 

NOT GIVING UP

 

Despite the setback, Britain's top drugmaker said it would push ahead with developing RTS,S and GSK Chief Executive Andrew Witty said it could be an important tool in fighting malaria.

 

"We've been at this for 30 years, and we're certainly not going to give up now," he told reporters on a conference call.

 

GSK does not expect to make any profit from the vaccine, which would only be sold in poor countries.

 

Witty reiterated a promise that if RTS,S is ultimately approved for market, it would be priced at cost of manufacture plus a 5 percent margin, and the margin would be reinvested by GSK in malaria research.

 

Given the target market, it is governments and international groups that will fund the vaccine's roll-out, and they now need more positive data before deciding whether it is worth buying.

 

"We will have to have more information to give us a clearer idea as to how useful this vaccine will be," said Seth Berkley, CEO of the GAVI Alliance, which funds bulk-buy vaccination programs for poorer nations.

 

In particular, Berkley told Reuters he wanted to see longer-term data, including the effect of booster shots, and an analysis of how the vaccine performed in different settings.

 

Details of the malaria trial, which is Africa's largest ever clinical trial involving almost 15,500 children in seven countries, were presented at a medical meeting in Cape Town and published online by the New England Journal of Medicine.

 

Witty said he would have liked to have seen efficacy rates of around 50 percent in infants, but stressed that more data would become available before the trial ends in 2014 which may throw more light on why rates of success are so variable.

 

"It may open up a more customized approach to how this potential vaccine gets used," he said.

 

Malaria is caused by a parasite carried in the saliva of mosquitoes. It is endemic in more than 100 countries worldwide and infected around 216 million people in 2010, killing around 655,000 of them, according to the World Health Organisation.

 

Control measures such as insecticide-treated bed nets, indoor spraying and anti-malaria drugs have helped cut cases and deaths significantly in recent years, but scientists say it will take an effective vaccine and many more years work to wipe out malaria.

 

Scientists around the world are working on other potential malaria vaccines but RTS,S is by far the furthest ahead in development.

 

(Editing by Mark Potter and Jon Hemming)

 

Friday, 09 November 2012 22:29

Africa and the Chinese Invasion

Africa and the Chinese Invasion: Some Nuts and Bolts in the Craft Sector

 

I began this blog post almost a year ago, and even today, I still have mixed feelings about the role of China in Africa. Africa needs help, I really believe Africans can do it themselves but after years of colonialism and independence, we are still in our infancy as Modern nations. Africa was transformed with western intervention; now the east is coming in with their version of transformation. I am still waiting for Africans to build their countries. I am traditional African that way but the global African sees the need for some help. The truth really is -- that the world is co-dependent, whether it is Africa and the West or Africa and the East.

 

I first noticed the Chinese invasion when I arrived in Nigeria on my way to Calabar in 2000. There was a large group of Chinese people -- almost twenty, on my flight and at the airport; they were unloading about 20 computers. To be frank, as an African, I stared at them. It is what we Africans bold-face do on the continent when we see strangers.

 

The next time, I saw more Chinese was when I went looking for furniture for my family home in Calabar. It was suggested I go the EPZ - The Calabar Export Processing Zone. There, I found a Chinese furniture company making products and training Nigerians. I bought some furniture and talked extensively with the Chinese owner who had opted to sleep in his office (in a room next to the office) as opposed to renting a "huge house". He looked at it this way: I will keep the $10,000 and send it home to my wife in China. I thought that was unusual as most westerners came to work and took all the amenities provided: a house, a driver and tickets for their family members who came to visit or lived in the country. I knew then that the Chinese were unusual business thinkers.

 

Almost ten years later, I went to the Falomo Shopping Center area in Lagos and discovered next to it was a building which was a stark reminder of the New York Jewelry wholesale district. There, I discovered that most shops were owned by Chinese people selling cheap jewelry, clothing and fake Nigerian fabrics. What had Nigeria come to? I wondered. China was deep in Lagos. How did this happen?

 

And just last month, I posted a series of articles on Facebook an article on Senegalese banning Chinese from some of their markets and in Kano, Nigeria - the same phenomena -- where the government arrested Chinese for illegal trading of textiles. I see ordinary Africans are fighting back in small measures.

 

China became another reminder when my friend Leslie-Ann Murray got a teaching position in Beijing and we spent the last of the summer realizing she would be a black woman in China who did not speak a word of Chinese and she wondered how she would get things done. What a reminder, indeed. So, as she begins her adventures, we are talking often and she is blogging on her experience here.

 

China's invasion of Africa is riddled with fear and concern from the west and less for African countries that are still recovering or have not recovered from the west's colonization. It is amazing to see the Chinese who came to Africa about 600 years ago to help build it as workers return as owners. That transformation is vital - to global Africans like me who are watching carefully, it is important to learn from them. There are lessons from this transformation. It is a lesson for Africa to understand that we have the ability to do this too. We just need a grand plan that we can execute. The Chinese have one.

 

The main issue for Africans however is the major problem: Africa's resources - water, oil, and diamonds, etc. are being sold to the Chinese. This sale is a bit different from the "reaping" of Africa during its colonial period with the West, but just because you pay for something does not mean it is not the same equivalency of the theft. The theft is of the resources that should be shared by Africans.

 

The minor problem for Africa in the Chinese invasion is one that most people are not paying attention to - its artisan sector. I see the reality as a business owner who tries to buy authentic African fabrics and clothing. I have to be more careful sourcing Africa textiles. The Chinese have invaded its entire textile sector and frankly, helped destroy it like the west. It is time for Africa to really fight back and require a 'Made in Africa' label which also lists the country of production. Europe already buried Africa's textiles with Dutch Wax fabric and Africans preference for it versus their local fabric helped create the breakdown of the textile industry.

 

Recently, African Growth Opportunity Act (AGOA) was extended by the US government and it includes the Third Country Bill which many are applauding but I am concerned about. It is because it makes African clothing not authentic to a particular country. According to the defenders of the bill: "By giving African manufacturers the freedom to purchase fabric from outside the continent to sew garments for export to the U.S. market, AGOA's Third Country Fabric provision will save approximately 300,000 textile and apparel-related jobs which support 10 million people. It also saves U.S. taxpayers $5 million." My take is that Africa needs to create for its population, build its industries and not just rely on export. Simply, we have people to feed, house and clothe.

 

Countries like Nigeria with 150 million people still need a focus on Nigerian-only made clothing because rebuilding the textile and clothing industries is imperative. African countries should maintain their authentic textiles - and this exception will create an inauthentic version of textiles and clothing. The focus on export maybe good for business but we really need to develop our economies focused on serving our people's needs. Most of the textile industries across the continent are dying or are not supported; this is a problem and further cannibalization of it by intermixing of fabrics and textiles loses authenticity of the fabric and design.

 

The Chinese invasion of Africa speaks volumes - in many ways, Africa needs China's help to develop but I am still a strong believer in Africans doing it themselves. We are a continent of grand bargains - the west divided us into countries and we got some of our independence from them and with the eastern invasion, we still have not had time to do it ourselves - and as nations that are about 50 years old, we are still too young to figure it out. In time, we will.

 

Atim Oton, blogger at Huffington Post is a Designer and Co-Founder of Black Design News Network

 

Saturday, 22 September 2012 13:34

Mitt Romney Policy on Africa Needs Specificity

 

Mitt Romney  Policy on Africa  Needs Specificity

Mitt Romney, Republican Presidential candidate erstwhile ago took a foreign trip to Britain, Israel and Poland to bolster his foreign policy credentials but there was no African visit.  Mitt Romney has an overview policy on his website on Africa. But Romney was less specifics on his African plan. According to Mitt’s Plan which was captioned, “Bolster Economic Ties and the Rule of Law,” it stated that:

 

“The United States must regard Africa not as a problem to be contained, but as an opportunity to be embraced by us and our partners on the continent. Recognizing that Africa’s road to stability and prosperity lies through a robust private sector economy, increased trade, and good governance, a Romney administration will encourage and assist African nations to adopt policies that create business-friendly environments and combat governmental corruption. Such policies will lift those nations and their people, boost economic ties to the United States, and provide greater certainty to U.S. and international investors. Greater market access across the continent for U.S. businesses will bolster job creation in Africa as well as in the United States.”

 

Mitt’s Plan as it was called was more of general outlook than a plan on Africa which was short on specifics; it reechoed, rehatched the issue of trade and commerce without giving the compass to its fulfillment. It may be good to travel to Africa to show his concern but a thoughtful and comprehensive plan is probably what Africans expected most in the Republican Presidential candidate.

 

President Barrack Obama laid down specifics on his policy on Africa during his 2008 presidential election.  Then Senator Obama took a trip to Africa before he became the president. Since being elected the president of United States, Obama has traveled to Ghana on official visit while Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has been to many African countries including her most recent trip to the continent. Africans have not been fully satisfied but they knew for sure that Africa matters to Obama’s United Sates.

 

President Bush 43rd was generous to Africa, he budgeted $15 Billion to fight AIDS/HIV and the result speaks for itself, and the death caused by the dreadful disease has been significantly curtailed.

 

With the financial state of global economy, Africa is willing to trade not ask for handout.  But for free trade to be possible there are still barriers that prevent Africa from fully participating in global trade and commerce. From subsidies that are dole out to Western farmers to high traffic on African agricultural products.

 

Africa Matters

The contemporary Africa is not your grandfather’s Africa.  Many countries in Africa including Nigeria, South Africa, Ghana, Kenya and others are now classified as emerging economies. While the rest of world are mired in recession and anemic economic growth, Africa economy has been growing over 5 percent and Africa’s  contribution to global trade is steadily increasing not shrinking as have been experienced by many countries in the global trade arena.

 

Nigeria an African frontline state has its economy growing over 6.5 percent for more than three years. The economies of West African countries are laying the foundation for a common market that will attract investments and capitals. This is the market that American investors and traders will need to expand American trade; thereby spurring and increasing demand for American goods and services.

An online magazine, This is Africa, a publication from the Financial Times, stated in its global Africa’s perspective that:

 

“A number of economies in West Africa are expected to exceed the 7 percent mark. Nigeria, the most important economy in the region, will grow at 6.6 percent. Ghana, Côte d'Ivoire and Liberia are expected to post growth of 7.3 percent, 8.5 percent and 9.4 percent respectively. Sierra Leone is forecast to grow by 51.4 percent in 2012 as major iron ore projects begin operations.

 

East Africa's dominant economy, Kenya, will grow by 6.1 percent. The same figure is forecast for Tanzania, with Rwanda set to be the fastest growing economy in the region at 6.8 percent. Ethiopia and Uganda are both predicted to post growth of 5.5 percent. The Southern African region is led by Angola, Africa's second largest oil producer, with growth of 10.8 percent, with Zambia and Mozambique forecast to grow at 6.7 and 7.5 percent respectively. South Africa, the regional giant, continues to struggle to breach the 4 percent growth mark, and is expected to hit 3.6 percent in 2012 “

 

With African population fast approaching one billion and with increasing middle class, Africa market is getting the attention of the world. That is not to say that poverty has been defeated but increasingly, poverty has been receiving a resourceful blow from women and men of Africa. African people are no longer waiting on their corrupt and inefficient governments but are pulling themselves up by their own bootstraps. Go to the major cities and towns of Africa including Lagos, Onitsha, Jonesburg, Accra and others the myriad and number of private businesses are overwhelming. Africans especially Nigerians have money to spend and they are spending it in Africa, London, Dubai etc.

 

Africa is natural resources-rich continent and can rightly be called the raw materials depository storage of the world. When it comes to African oil consumption, United States of America is importing more crude oil from sub-Sahara Africa than Saudi Arabia. At the moment United States gets its 16 percent of oil from sub-Sahara Africa and it is expected to reach up to 25 percent by 2015.

 

British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) stated that, “Sub-Saharan Africa has one of the fastest growing oil sectors in the world. Nigeria, Angola, Gabon, Equatorial Guinea and Congo Brazzaville are all expanding their output and Chad, Cameroon and Sudan are in the race to catch up. A US Government think-tank, the National Intelligence Council, has estimated that in just over a decade, West African oil exports to the US will constitute about 25% of US oil import requirements from the current level of 16%.”

 

With all the insecurity arising from Middle East, United States will have Africa to turn to for its oil needs. Moreover, in spite of the proximity of Africa’s oil to the American market, the oil coming from Bight of Guinea has the least sulfur content and therefore cheaper to refine.

 

Writing in Slate On-Line Magazine, Dr. John Ghazvinian supported this assertion:”To begin with, one of the more attractive attributes of Africa's oil boom is the quality of the oil itself. The variety of crude found in the Gulf of Guinea is known in industry parlance as "light" and "sweet," meaning it is viscous and low in sulfur, and therefore easier and cheaper to refine than, say, Middle Eastern crude, which tends to be lacking in lower hydrocarbons and is therefore very "sticky." This is particularly appealing to American and European refineries, which have to contend with strict environmental regulations that make it difficult to refine heavier and sourer varieties of crude without running up costs that make the entire proposition worthless”

 

Africa can be called a reliable friend of America. But that is not the whole story, United States interest in Africa is beyond human rights, the trade ties between Africa and America have been growing tremendously since the end of cold war and inception of globalization. It is significant because Africa is fast becoming a landscape that is attractive to so many parts of the world.  China for instance is taking Africa very serious and has been steadily solidifying its trade ties with Africa by increasing its investments in the African emerging economies.

 

This is not to say that Africa existential problems have evaporated. Africa still has many challenges that she must defeated. The problem of religious intolerance manifested with violent eruptions in Nigeria, Sudan and Mali cannot be allowed to threaten the national unity of these respective nations while weakening their economies.

 

The embryonic democratic dispensation on African soil has not taken root. The Big man syndrome with weak democratic infrastructures has come to define Africa’s nascent democracy. It is essential that African leadership to be cautious about interference and meddling with democracy with regards to rigging of elections while truncating freedom of gathering and expression.

 

The problems of diseases, food shortages, global warming, poor governance, corruption and capital fight must be confronted head-on by the leadership and people of Africa. The good news coming from Africa is that Africans are no longer folding their hands and waiting for a hero on a shining horse to bail them out.

 

African people and in few cases the leadership are slowly but steadily rising to the occasion and doing things to mitigate those problems. This is not to say that African leadership has completely turned away from their bad ways of exploiting African resources for selfish gain.

 

This is where friends like America will come in and support the continent but not to do for Africa what she must do for herself. Africa must lead and that is exactly what she is struggling to do and a help from America will go a long way.

 

Mr. Emeka Chiakwelu  is the principal Policy Strategist at Afripol. Africa Political & Economic Strategic Center (AFRIPOL) is foremost a public policy center whose fundamental objective is to broaden the parameters of public policy debates in Africa. To advocate, promote and encourage free enterprise, democracy, sustainable green environment, human rights, conflict resolutions, transparency and probity in Africa. www.afripol.org   This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

 

 

Published in Emeka Chiakwelu
Wednesday, 19 September 2012 04:09

Nothing is impossible

"Over 10 million school-aged children are not attending primary school inNigeria– and this number has increased over the past three years."

 

The last decade has markedAfrica’s highest level of growth in history. Businesses have experienced increasing returns on their investments, proving that investing inAfricatoday can yield high returns compared to most regions around the world.

 

Although foreign investment is still low, a collective decision by Africans to take advantage of this opportunity can stimulate the push required to bring the region into the forefront of the global economy. We have the knowledge, skills, know-how and capital to build a new future forAfricaand by investing in our people, we can make large strides towards eradicating poverty and closing the development gap.

 

Creating a business climate that will attract investment also requires the creation of an environment where human capital can flourish. Businesses need people who are empowered, well-educated and can think critically in an environment that is stable, peaceful and values diversity. The continent needs healthy, curious children and youth who have the stimulation, education and training needed, starting at an early age, to become change agents and entrepreneurs capable of driving economic and social growth. For these reasons, I am a founding member of the Global Business Coalition for Education, which is focused on enabling businesses to support efforts to achieve education for all.

 

I first became interested in a career in business when I was still in primary school. I remember buying cartons of sugar and selling them to make a small profit. Even at that age, people told me I had a flair for business – but without the literacy, maths and interpersonal skills I learned in school, I would not have been able to tap into this talent. It is therefore sad to see so many young children in my country, Nigeria, who are not able to gain these basic skills at an early age.

 

The current statistics paint a gloomy picture. Over 10 million school-aged children are not attending primary school in Nigeria– and this number has increased over the past three years. The number of out-of-school children in Nigeria is approaching 20 percent of the world’s total and makes up over one-third of the 30 million children in sub-Saharan Africa who receive no education whatsoever. In Africa as a whole, another 21.6 million children are out of lower-secondary school.

 

While getting every child into school is vitally important, the quality of education they receive must also be addressed. In Nigeria, for example, we see children pass through school without learning the basic skills expected from primary level education. I recently read a study conducted in two states in northern Nigeria last year indicating that nearly 70 percent of Primary 3 students could not read a single word of simple text. This is yet another reminder that the potential of our country and region is in jeopardy if we fail to have every child in school and learning.

 

My company, Dangote Group, continues to address issues on education through our corporate social responsibility efforts and the Dangote Foundation. Dangote Academy, for example, has two programmes for vocational and management training. The vocational programme provides a one-year scholarship for technical and vocational skills training for students from polytechnics around Nigeria.

 

This year, we absorbed 87 percent of the students into our existing operations. But we know more needs to be done – singular efforts cannot change the trajectory of a nation, let alone a continent. Our governments need to make education and learning a priority. Educational budgets must exceed their current numbers. Civil society must continue to hold government accountable and as the private sector continues to drive growth, businesses need to support these efforts strongly. With the Global Business Coalition for Education, I am committed to bringing more national and global businesses together to support efforts to expand educational opportunities across Nigeria.

 

Without a global push to achieve universal education by 2015, supported by the Secretary-General and his newly-appointed Special Envoy, Gordon Brown, we will remain a continent that will fail to unlock our potential and instead continue to be bound to conflict, poverty and limited development. Repeating the growth of the previous decade will be impossible without ambitious investments in the people of Africa. Quality education is the right of every child and the obligation of every country. Businesses cannot be bystanders – we must do our part to be active, collaborative, and supportive participants.

 

On my desk I have a mounted quote that says, “Nothing is impossible”. That is how I feel about the future of the African continent. Nothing is impossible if we make sure every child – and adult – has the opportunity to unleash their potential through an inclusive, high-quality education that prepares each individual to succeed and propelAfricainto the league of global economic champions.

 

Aliko Dangote is President and CEO of  the Dangote Group

Momentum Rises to Lift Africa’s Resource Curse

Across Africa, oil, gas and minerals are being discovered more often than ever before. Nowhere is the global commodities boom being felt more acutely. Over the next decade, billions of dollars will flow into countries previously starved of financial capital.

Used wisely, these natural resource revenues could lead to sustainable economic growth, new jobs and investments in health, education and infrastructure. But sadly, history teaches us that a more destructive path is likely — conflict, spiraling inequality, corruption and environmental disasters are far more common consequences of resource bonanzas. The cliché remains true: striking oil is as much a curse as a blessing.

 

There are no easy answers to this problem. It can only be tackled with global cooperation among private sector leaders in the extractive industries, African leaders in government and civil society. The ultimate goal is a transparent and accountable sector-generating financial firepower that will enable countries that have previously lagged behind to accelerate rapidly toward the Millennium Development Goals.

 

The good news is that momentum is building behind this objective, and from an unlikely source. Financial regulators in the United States ruled on Aug. 22 that all U.S.-listed oil, gas and mining companies will have to publish all the payments they make to governments, broken down to the level of individual projects.

 

This historic implementation of the Cardin-Lugar amendment of the Dodd-Frank Act passed by Congress two years ago will open some of the world’s most opaque financial dealings to public scrutiny. The challenge now is to bring similar legislation to other jurisdictions, starting in the European Union, where policymakers will vote on new transparency laws next week. From there, African governments must pass their own reforms. The benefits will be huge.

 

First, citizens will be empowered with the information they need to hold government and companies to account for the money made from natural resources. This is not an abstract concept, as some have suggested. A former World Bank vice president for Africa, Dr. Oby Ezekwesili, estimates that Nigeria has had at least $400 billion of its oil revenue stolen or misspent since independence in 1960. It is vital that countries with newly discovered oil reserves, like Ghana, Kenya and Uganda, do not suffer the same fate.

 

Putting more information into the public domain makes it harder for those with bad intentions to profit from secrecy. Those with nothing to hide are not afraid of greater scrutiny — which is why many resource-rich countries and companies have adopted the complementary voluntary standards of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative.

 

Greater transparency will also improve the business climate. The politics around natural resources tends to be fractious and debilitating. The recent violence at the Marikana mine in South Africa show what happens when trust is in short supply at the local level. The east of the Democratic Republic of the Congo is an example of a whole region affected by mineral-fueled insecurity. Concerned communities in Northern Kenya send a signal of caution to the developers of newly found oil and gas.

 

Of course, transparency alone cannot solve complex conflicts, but without it the hope of resolution is dramatically diminished. It is in the interests of companies to support an atmosphere in which political risk is minimized, rumors and innuendo around revenues are replaced with fact, and the most responsible companies are rewarded with the contracts they deserve.

 

U.S. leadership on this issue should be the start, not the end, of efforts to break the resource curse. Europe’s proposed new transparency legislation would require another swath of companies to publish what they pay — but if it is to be effective, a number of loopholes and exemptions should be tightened up before it makes the statute book.

 

Most seriously, the proposed European law includes an exemption for autocrats who pass laws to prevent financial disclosure. This logic was explicitly rejected by the U.S. regulator and should be removed in Europe. It is also essential to require disclosure at the level of individual projects, rather than the national level, which some European countries have suggested. Local communities have the right to know what the mines and oil wells in their neighborhoods are contributing to the economy.

 

Beyond Europe, the G20 should step up negotiations to ensure that companies from emerging economies are also required to disclose their payments. Given their rapidly growing presence in Africa, this is important to secure a truly global standard.

 

In the meantime, African governments should legislate at the national level so that all companies competing for their contracts have similar expectations — a requirement that is a central part of the Africa Mining Vision endorsed by the African Union in 2009. It is also necessary to step up support to civil society groups that aim to hold governments accountable, so they can use and interpret the data this transparency boom will release.

 

Some African countries have successfully used natural-resource revenue for the public good. Botswana now has middle-income status, and among countries with newly discovered oil, Ghana has made encouraging moves toward publishing all present and future oil contracts. But the resource curse remains hard to shake off. The new global transparency momentum gives African countries a genuine chance to escape it once and for all.

 

Kofi Annan is chairman of the Africa Progress Panel, former secretary general of the United Nations and Nobel Laureate.

Source: New York Times

Monday, 13 August 2012 19:33

The 5 Largest Economies In Africa

 

The 5 Largest Economies In Africa are:  South Africa, Egypt, Nigeria, Aligeria and Morocco. Nigeria could surpass South Africa as the continent’s largest economy as soon as 2014.

 

No African nation has yet joined the ranks of the developed nations in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), but there are some sizeable economies on the continent, and economies that are gradually increasing in size. Though South Africa is by far the continent’s wealthiest state in terms of GDP, accounting for 30 per cent of the continent’s GDP, economies such as Egypt and Nigeria are on the rise and could overtake South Africa in coming years. And with seven of the fastest ten growing economies in the world in Africa, there is plenty of scope to suggest that the list below may be an oft-changing one in years to come as Africa’s economic development continues apace.

 

South Africa

 

Africa’s biggest economy has an estimated GDP of $524 billion. The main contributor to GDP is the services sector at 66.7 per cent, followed by industry at 30.8 per cent. Agriculture is relatively unimportant compared to the rest of the continent, contributing just 2.5 per cent to GDP. All is not bright for the South African economy, however. Of the country’s 50 million people an estimated 25 per cent are out of work, with the World Bank concluding recently that rife inequality was a threat to economic growth. The richest 10 per cent of South Africans account for 58 percent of the nation’s income, while the bottom 10 per cent accounts for 0.5 per cent, the global Bank said. The bottom half earns less than 8 per cent of the nation’s income. Unemployment in the first quarter of 2012 rose to 25.2%, up from 23.9% in the previous quarter, and black people form the bulk of the jobless. Modest economic growth, which averaged 3.2% since 1995, had proved “insufficient to absorb the wave of new entrants to the labour market from dismantling apartheid’s barriers”, the report said.

 

Egypt

 

Egypt has a GDP estimated at $497.88 billion, primarily driven by the services and industrial sectors. Agriculture contributes 14 percent. Though unemployment is relatively low at 9.7 percent, the economy faces challenges after last year’s Arab Spring and the election of a new government. Rising debt and lower growth may threaten to derail Egypt’s revolution even more than grasping generals do. New president Mohammed Morsy’s political fate may depend on whether or not he can turn around a staggering Egyptian economy, which saw growth plunge from 5.1 percent in 2009/10 to 1.8 percent last year, according to the IMF. The IMF expects growth to be just 1.5 percent this year. Poor education and feeble governance have scared off the foreign investment and stifled the private entrepreneurship that drove the economic miracles in China, India and Indonesia. Unless Morsy manages to create more jobs and boost incomes, the disaffected and disappointed youth of the nation could turn on their elected leaders in a destabilising cycle of perpetual unrest.

 

Nigeria

 

Nigeria is Africa’s most populous nation but its GDP has traditionally been well below that of South Africa. Its GDP of $377.9 billion is provided by industry, agriculture and services. But this looks set to change, according to a Renaissance Capital report. This year, Nigeria will change the base year for its GDP to 2008 from 1990. This looks likely to revise the size of its economy dramatically upwards. Depending on the scale of the revision, Renaissance Capital says Nigeria could surpass South Africa as the continent’s largest economy as soon as 2014. When Ghana’s GDP was rebased in 2010, the size of its economy was found to be 60 percent bigger than previously recorded – $31 billion, compared to $18 billion. Nigeria is expected to rebase its GDP sometime this year, having missed an earlier January target because of nationwide fuel protests. Rebasing involves changing the weighting of sectors of the economy to reflect changes in economic activity over the past three decades. The new figures would, for instance, put more weighting on the country’s telecommunications industry, which has grown strongly over the past 10 years.

 

Algeria

 

The Algerian economy is expected to remain in relatively good condition in 2012 despite global economic uncertainties. It’s GDP of $251.1 billion, provided mostly by the industrial sector, is expected to grow by 3 to 3.5 percent. Economic growth remained strong in 2011 as oil prices strengthened the country’s foreign reserves and budget. “Public expenditure plans will keep growth in non-oil sectors at 5 percent and boost up GDP by 2.5 percent,” the IMF said. Increased food prices in international markets and the augmentation of public wages in Algeria was not reflected in inflation rates due to ongoing food subsidies, increased family savings, increasing demand for imports, and prudent monetary policy. “Budget deficit will likely remain at 4 percent of the total GDP as public expenditures as well as wage augmentation continue,” added the IMF.

 

Morocco

 

These are not good times for Morocco, Africa’s fifth biggest economy, where in April the new Islamist government finally passed its 2012 budget, four months late. This saw protests outside parliament, previously unheard of in the stable and relatively prosperous North African country. Its budget is overstretched, its farm fields drought-stricken, its credit rating is wobbly, and economic crisis is hobbling its closest trading partners in Europe, even as protests by disgruntled Moroccans are on the rise. Abdelilah Benkirane’s government came in with a five-year plan predicting 5.5 percent growth, which it then had to revise downward at the beginning of the year to 4.2 percent. Then at the end of March, the central bank, noting the crisis in Europe and impending drought, cut its own predictions to less than 3 percent.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is in the midst of an 11-day trip across sub-Saharan Africa. Speaking on 1 August on the topic “Remarks on Building Sustainable Partnerships in Africa,” Clinton at the University of Cheikh Anta Diop in Dakar, Senegal, Clinton told her audience, “The Obama Administration’s comprehensive strategy on Sub-Saharan Africa is based on four pillars: first, to promote opportunity and development; second, to spur economic growth, trade, and investment; third, to advance peace and security; and fourth, to strengthen democratic institutions.”

 

Warming to her themes, Clinton continued, “We’re also working with resource-rich nations to help make sure that their mineral and energy wealth actually improves the lives of their citizens. The days of having outsiders come and extract the wealth of Africa for themselves leaving nothing or very little behind should be over in the 21st century.”

 

While Clinton did not specify the “outsiders,” in Beijing it was taken as a direct criticism of Chinese African policies and the country was quick to reply. Xinhua news agency stated that Clinton's Africa trip was a "plot to sow discord between China (and) Africa" and continued, Whether Clinton was ignorant of the facts on the ground or chose to disregard them, her implication that China has been extracting Africa's wealth for itself is utterly wide of the truth."

 

Leaving no rhetorical stone unturned, China, which suffered colonial depredations at the hands of European powers in the 19th century, saw the editorial continue, "Ironically, it was the Western colonial powers that were exactly the so-called outsiders, which, in Clinton's words, came and extracted the wealth of Africa for themselves, leaving nothing or very little behind."

What is the overall picture then?

In 2011 Africa-China bilateral trade reached $166 billion in 2011, an increase of 300 percent over 2006 figures and China's direct investments in Africa are now nearly $15 billion.

 

The Government of China is estimated to maintain over 150 commercial attachés and associated staff at its embassies in 48 African countries, while “according to a recent report produced by the Brooking Institution’s Africa Growth Initiative, there are currently just five U.S. Commerce Department Foreign Commercial Service Officers in Africa and one is set to leave from the embassy in Ghana this summer.” Furthermore, Chinese President Hu Jintao has made seven trips to Africa, five as head of state and has visited 17 countries.

 

U.S. exports to sub-Saharan Africa during 2011 were $21.1 billion, up 23 percent compared to 2010 and U.S. imports from sub-Saharan Africa during 2011 were $74.2 billion, up 14 percent compared to 2010 for a total of $95.3 billion, according to the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR). The figure represents just 57 percent of China’s bilateral trade figures.

 

But Washington is obviously looking to improve its “bottom line” – as the USTR's Office of African Affairs notes, “Sub-Saharan Africa presents many opportunities for U.S. businesses as an emerging market for American exports. Between 2000 and 2010, six of the ten fastest-growing economies in the world were in sub-Saharan Africa.”

But what about energy?

In 2011, about 62 percent of African exports to China consisted of crude oil, with over $24.7 billion coming from Angola, now the source of over 9 percent of China’s oil imports. And the U.S.? Over the past decade, petroleum products accounted for roughly 89 percent of U.S. imports from Africa, with no less than 40 percent of Nigeria’s oil exports head westwards to the U.S., with Nigeria now the fifth largest source of oil imports to the U.S. and Angola the eighth. Companies operating in Nigeria include the U.S. companies Exxon-Mobil, Chevron and ConocoPhillips and… the Chinese National Offshore Oil Corporation. International oil companies operating in Angola include U.S. companies Chevron, ExxonMobil and Occidental Petroleum and… Sinopec.

 

And U.S. interest in African petroleum is only going to increase. The U.S. National Intelligence Council forecasts that U.S. oil imports from Africa will rise to 25 percent within three years, primarily from Gulf of Guinea countries, Nigeria and Angola.

 

So, in the shadow war between Beijing and Washington for influence on the “Dark Continent,” the latter should take note of the results of Beijing hosting the Fifth Forum on China-Africa Cooperation on 19-20 July, where it promised a) $20 billion in assistance to the continent, double the amount pledged three years ago in Sharm el Sheikh, Egypt, in 2009; b) an “African Talents Program” to train 30,000 people in various sectors and set up vocational training centers, 18,000 government scholarships and the dispatch of 1,500 Chinese medical personnel to Africa; c) to build infrastructure partnerships; d) people-to-people exchanges and finally, security pledges, led by the Initiative on China-Africa Cooperative Partnership for Peace and Security.

 

Seems a bit more than Hillary’s hectoring lectures on human rights. Of course, any African nation that wants to host the Pentagon’s AFRICOM headquarters will also be most welcome in Washington.

 

For the moment though, African leaders are more likely to be interested in $20 billion aid, training for 30,000 people 18,000 government scholarships and 1,500 medical personnel, whatever the source.

 

And, eyes on the prize, such largesse will probably pay off in energy concessions.


Dr. John C.K. Daly is the chief analyst for Oilprice.com, Dr. Daly received his Ph.D. in 1986 from the School of Slavonic and East European Studies, University of London. While at the Central Asia-Caucasus Institute at Johns Hopkins University's Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies, where he is currently a non-resident scholar, in 199 he founded The Cyber-Caravan, which continues today under the title, The Central Asia-Caucasus Analyst. He subsequently served as Director of Programs at the Middle East Institute in Washington DC before joining UPI as International Correspondent.

 

If you have not heard, Hillary Clinton, United States Secretary of States was in Senegal on her official 11-day African trip that will take her to Uganda, South Sudan, Kenya, Malawi, South Africa and Ghana. In capital city of Dakar she addressed Senegalese policy makers, scholars, politicians and bureaucrats at University of Cheikh Anta Diop Dakar. When she gets to Ghana she will attend the burial ceremony of late Ghanaian President Atta Mills.

From what we were gathering from the media she will be laying greater emphasis on the sustaining of democracy and on China strong influence in Africa. I will return to China later.

Therefore it is not a leisure nor safari driven trip but policy orientated. But why is it necessary to fly to Africa to remind Africans that democracy is important? America has made the spread of democracy the centerpiece of its foreign policy and Africa is no stranger to democratic doctrine of United States of America. Many African countries have accepted democracy in principle but not in practice. With weak democratic institutions and strong men the promise of true democracy is still a mirage in Africa.

Africa is endowed with natural resources and it is potentially rich but the reality is that it is underdeveloped with inferior, shanty and dilapidated infrastructures; struggling with many earthly problems including food shortage, poor governance, poverty and diseases.

As a U.S. Secretary of State, Clinton is the principal facilitator of America’s foreign policy and visibly the face of Obama’s foreign policy. President Obama is almost completing his first term in office and his policy has not changed from his predecessors who are also emphasizing democracy and peace in Africa.

The much difference is unlike former presidents of America, President Obama is not doling out cash to Africa neither he has a special project that is ongoing in the continent that requires funds infusion.

Former President George Bush (43) made available $15 Billion to fight AIDS/HIV in Africa and the result was affirmatively overwhelming, cutting down the numbers of Africans dying of the dreadful disease. It was one of the most successful programs in Africa financed by United States. Africa is thankful to former President George Bush for his humanitarian gesture to the continent.

Africa in spite of her natural resources needs fund to develop these resources and at this point in time United States, a credible and reliable friend of Africa is not in the position to dole out cash to Africa.

United States at this time has its share of problems – the slow growth of the economy, mind blowing deficits and $15 trillion debt. America cannot afford to be giving out foreign aids as it does in the past. Americans are asking their government to look inward and solve their internal pressing needs that requires lots of money.

China has come to aid of the continent and has been financing many projects in Africa without asking questions about misrule and poor human rights record in Africa. China does not run a charity based enterprise and Chinese are not in Africa for zero-sum game.

 

Clinton speaking at of Cheikh Anta Diop Dakar University


China has a massive industrial empire that needs natural resources to administer. China recognized quite well that her growth will not continues without finding new markets to trade with. China has a mammoth population of over 1.2 billion living and breathing citizens that must be feed and cloth. Chinese capitalists and investors are now investing in farming and farm lands in Africa. Food produced from those farming places in Africa can be exported to China.

Clinton may not succeed in convincing Africans to be at lookout in their relationship with China. It is becoming clear, if not self-evident that Africa and China are beginning to understand each other interest. Initially, the relationship may be little rough but with time and frequent interactions the rough edges will be made less frictional.

Africa and China are having reciprocal venture and mutual relationship: Africa has natural resources and China has cash to dole out. As each of them keeps their eyes on their respective interest, the economic and commercial ties become manageable and sustainable.

 

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton (L) Senegali President Macky Sall, at the Presidential Palace in Dakar, Senegal, Wednesday, Aug. 1, 2012. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin, Pool)

 

But what does Africa really need from United States and West?

Encouragement and Empowerment to foster Freedom and Liberty: Africans must live in the system of government that encourages freedom and justice. The respect for fundamental human rights must be instituted and adhered to; an environment that provides self-help, self-improvement and self-innovation must be encouraged. Only freedom can make these things possible and make free enterprise a reality, so that free people can create wealth and advance human dignity.

The United States should encourage and support governance that accommodates checks and balances in Africa. This will in turn provide accountability and respect for the populace. What Africa needs mostly include elimination of dictators and socialist regimes, establishment of virile/free political platform and economy, rule of law and respect for individual rights. All these things do border on fundamental issues which foreign aid alone cannot redress. Until these issues are properly put right, the story of the optimum utilization of these billions of dollars from foreign aid will always remain a mirage.

Anti-corruption legislation: The responsibility of fighting corruption is too complex and gigantic to be left for one party. Both Africa and West must partake in the fight against corruption. The West must enact banking laws that will fish out bankers that accept laundered money and tainted wealth from corrupt African leaders and bureaucrats. Ill-gotten wealth must be returned to Africa without much ado, while the culprits must be exposed and prosecuted.

The West must work together with African governments on the war against corruption and bribery. Corporations and Transnational companies operating in Africa must not induce politicians and bureaucrats by bribes in their quest for contracts.

“African Union estimates that the continent loses as much as $148 billion a year to corruption. This money is rarely invested in Africa but finds its way into the international banking system and often into western banks. The proceeds of corrupt practices in Africa, (which the African experts group recommended in 2002 should be classified as a 'crime against humanity' because of its impact on ordinary people), are often laundered and made respectable by some of the most well known banks in the City of London or the discreet personal bankers of Geneva and Zurich."

Elimination of wars and Promotion of Peace and conflict resolutions: The West can work with African union in finding solutions to the cessation of conflicts and wars.

Wars (especially internal strife) are ubiquitous in the continent. Some African governments and warmongers commit their resources to executing endless wars. The West must frown upon the sale of arms to these parties by checkmating their natives’ arms industries.

Fair and Balance Trade: The West must encourage fair and equitable trade with Africa. The giving of aid must not be the only means to defeat poverty and alleviate quality of life in Africa.

The promotion of trade can be possible when concessions are made to infant industries in Africa. The West can improve technological developments by investing in areas of science and technology that can sharpen the technical-know-how in the continent.

The West must stand for fair trade at the World trade organization by conscientiously removing agricultural subsidies given to their own agricultural sectors that adversely affect the traffic of commodities from Africa. Only trade can be the panacea to poverty in Africa, this wills by and large booster a higher GDP and a decent standard of living.

Finally, Clinton trip is perhaps a goodwill tour that probably will not bring any substantial impact to the continent but Clinton should be commended for having Africa in her mind.

 


Emeka Chiakwelu, Analyst and Principal Policy Strategist at Afripol Organization. Africa Political and Economic Strategic Center (Afripol) is foremost a public policy center whose fundamental objective is to broaden the parameters of public policy debates in Africa. To advocate, promote and encourage free enterprise, democracy, sustainable green environment, human rights, conflict resolutions, transparency and probity in Africa. http://afripol.org. This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


 

 

Published in Emeka Chiakwelu

If you have not heard, Hillary Clinton, United States Secretary of States was in Senegal on her official 11-day African trip that will take her to Uganda, South Sudan, Kenya, Malawi, South Africa and Ghana. In capital city of Dakar she addressed Senegalese policy makers, scholars, politicians and bureaucrats at University of Cheikh Anta Diop Dakar. When she gets to Ghana she will attend the burial ceremony of late Ghanaian President Atta Mills.

From what we were gathering from the media she will be laying greater emphasis on the sustaining of democracy and on China strong influence in Africa. I will return to China later.

Therefore it is not a leisure nor safari driven trip but policy orientated. But why is it necessary to fly to Africa to remind Africans that democracy is important? America has made the spread of democracy the centerpiece of its foreign policy and Africa is no stranger to democratic doctrine of United States of America. Many African countries have accepted democracy in principle but not in practice. With weak democratic institutions and strong men the promise of true democracy is still a mirage in Africa.

Africa is endowed with natural resources and it is potentially rich but the reality is that it is underdeveloped with inferior, shanty and dilapidated infrastructures; struggling with many earthly problems including food shortage, poor governance, poverty and diseases.

As a U.S. Secretary of State, Clinton is the principal facilitator of America’s foreign policy and visibly the face of Obama’s foreign policy. President Obama is almost completing his first term in office and his policy has not changed from his predecessors who are also emphasizing democracy and peace in Africa.

The much difference is unlike former presidents of America, President Obama is not doling out cash to Africa neither he has a special project that is ongoing in the continent that requires funds infusion.

Former President George Bush (43) made available $15 Billion to fight AIDS/HIV in Africa and the result was affirmatively overwhelming, cutting down the numbers of Africans dying of the dreadful disease. It was one of the most successful programs in Africa financed by United States. Africa is thankful to former President George Bush for his humanitarian gesture to the continent.

Africa in spite of her natural resources needs fund to develop these resources and at this point in time United States, a credible and reliable friend of Africa is not in the position to dole out cash to Africa.

United States at this time has its share of problems – the slow growth of the economy, mind blowing deficits and $15 trillion debt. America cannot afford to be giving out foreign aids as it does in the past. Americans are asking their government to look inward and solve their internal pressing needs that requires lots of money.

China has come to aid of the continent and has been financing many projects in Africa without asking questions about misrule and poor human rights record in Africa. China does not run a charity based enterprise and Chinese are not in Africa for zero-sum game.

 

Clinton speaking at of Cheikh Anta Diop Dakar University


China has a massive industrial empire that needs natural resources to administer. China recognized quite well that her growth will not continues without finding new markets to trade with. China has a mammoth population of over 1.2 billion living and breathing citizens that must be feed and cloth. Chinese capitalists and investors are now investing in farming and farm lands in Africa. Food produced from those farming places in Africa can be exported to China.

Clinton may not succeed in convincing Africans to be at lookout in their relationship with China. It is becoming clear, if not self-evident that Africa and China are beginning to understand each other interest. Initially, the relationship may be little rough but with time and frequent interactions the rough edges will be made less frictional.

Africa and China are having reciprocal venture and mutual relationship: Africa has natural resources and China has cash to dole out. As each of them keeps their eyes on their respective interest, the economic and commercial ties become manageable and sustainable.

 

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton (L) Senegali President Macky Sall, at the Presidential Palace in Dakar, Senegal, Wednesday, Aug. 1, 2012. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin, Pool)

 

But what does Africa really need from United States and West?

Encouragement and Empowerment to foster Freedom and Liberty: Africans must live in the system of government that encourages freedom and justice. The respect for fundamental human rights must be instituted and adhered to; an environment that provides self-help, self-improvement and self-innovation must be encouraged. Only freedom can make these things possible and make free enterprise a reality, so that free people can create wealth and advance human dignity.

The United States should encourage and support governance that accommodates checks and balances in Africa. This will in turn provide accountability and respect for the populace. What Africa needs mostly include elimination of dictators and socialist regimes, establishment of virile/free political platform and economy, rule of law and respect for individual rights. All these things do border on fundamental issues which foreign aid alone cannot redress. Until these issues are properly put right, the story of the optimum utilization of these billions of dollars from foreign aid will always remain a mirage.

Anti-corruption legislation: The responsibility of fighting corruption is too complex and gigantic to be left for one party. Both Africa and West must partake in the fight against corruption. The West must enact banking laws that will fish out bankers that accept laundered money and tainted wealth from corrupt African leaders and bureaucrats. Ill-gotten wealth must be returned to Africa without much ado, while the culprits must be exposed and prosecuted.

The West must work together with African governments on the war against corruption and bribery. Corporations and Transnational companies operating in Africa must not induce politicians and bureaucrats by bribes in their quest for contracts.

“African Union estimates that the continent loses as much as $148 billion a year to corruption. This money is rarely invested in Africa but finds its way into the international banking system and often into western banks. The proceeds of corrupt practices in Africa, (which the African experts group recommended in 2002 should be classified as a 'crime against humanity' because of its impact on ordinary people), are often laundered and made respectable by some of the most well known banks in the City of London or the discreet personal bankers of Geneva and Zurich."

Elimination of wars and Promotion of Peace and conflict resolutions: The West can work with African union in finding solutions to the cessation of conflicts and wars.

Wars (especially internal strife) are ubiquitous in the continent. Some African governments and warmongers commit their resources to executing endless wars. The West must frown upon the sale of arms to these parties by checkmating their natives’ arms industries.

Fair and Balance Trade: The West must encourage fair and equitable trade with Africa. The giving of aid must not be the only means to defeat poverty and alleviate quality of life in Africa.

The promotion of trade can be possible when concessions are made to infant industries in Africa. The West can improve technological developments by investing in areas of science and technology that can sharpen the technical-know-how in the continent.

The West must stand for fair trade at the World trade organization by conscientiously removing agricultural subsidies given to their own agricultural sectors that adversely affect the traffic of commodities from Africa. Only trade can be the panacea to poverty in Africa, this wills by and large booster a higher GDP and a decent standard of living.

Finally, Clinton trip is perhaps a goodwill tour that probably will not bring any substantial impact to the continent but Clinton should be commended for having Africa in her mind.

 


Emeka Chiakwelu, Analyst and Principal Policy Strategist at Afripol Organization. Africa Political and Economic Strategic Center (Afripol) is foremost a public policy center whose fundamental objective is to broaden the parameters of public policy debates in Africa. To advocate, promote and encourage free enterprise, democracy, sustainable green environment, human rights, conflict resolutions, transparency and probity in Africa. http://afripol.org. This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


 

 

Published in Emeka Chiakwelu

"Many African countries including   Nigeria, Somalia, Congo, Sudan and others made the list of 2012 Failed States complied by The Fund for Peace (TFP).  Nigeria was ranked among the top 10 failed states in Africa and 14th in the global index of  Failed states." - AFRIPOL

Somalia ranked most troubled state for 5th straight year; Finland remains at best position; Libya, Japan and Syria Tumble.

The Fund for Peace today released the eighth edition of its annual Failed States Index (FSI), highlighting global political, economic and social pressures experienced by states.

The 2012 FSI ranks Somalia as number one for the fifth consecutive year, citing widespread lawlessness, ineffective government, terrorism, insurgency, crime, and well-publicized pirate attacks against foreign vessels.

Meanwhile, Finland has remained in the best position, with its Scandinavian neighbors Sweden and Denmark rounding out the best three rankings. All three nations benefit from strong social and economic indicators, paired with excellent provision of public services and respect for human rights and the rule of law.

The FSI ranks 178 countries using 12 social, economic, and political indicators of pressure on the state, along with over 100 sub-indicators. These include such issues as Uneven Development, State Legitimacy, Group Grievance, and Human Rights. Each indicator is rated on a scale of 1-10, based on the analysis of millions of publicly available documents, other quantitative data, and assessments by analysts. A high score indicates high pressure on the state, and therefore a higher risk of instability.

Other notable changes this year include countries affected by the Arab Spring. Bahrain, Egypt, Libya, Syria and Tunisia all ranked significantly worse than the previous year. Libya’s decline was the most remarkable, with the country registering the worst year-on-year worsening in the history of the FSI as a result of civil war, a NATO-led campaign of airstrikes and the toppling of the Qaddhafi regime. Similarly, Syria registered the fourth-greatest year-on-year worsening in the history of the FSI as the campaign of violence by the Assad government took hold.

In the wake of the massive earthquake and resultant nuclear crisis, Japan also worsened significantly. Though Japan continues to rank among the best seven percent of countries, Japan’s near-record worsening on the FSI demonstrates how susceptible even the most stable of nations are to sudden shocks.

Greece continued to decline as the economic crisis has gripped the country. A loss of confidence in the state, coinciding with the state’s lessened capacity to provide public services, have led to growing social pressures.

The Fund for Peace assessed South Sudan this year for the first time after the new nation gained its independence in the second half of 2011. Though the FSI does not formally rank South Sudan due to an incomplete year of data, the young nation nevertheless would have ranked approximately fourth, immediately behind its northern neighbor, Sudan. South Sudan’s fragile infrastructure, severe poverty, weak government, fraught relations with Sudan and heavy reliance on oil continue to be of concern.

Kyrgyzstan is the most improved nation, rebounding from a marked fall the previous year that was precipitated by the mid-2010 revolution that led to significant political reforms and ultimately a stable transition of power.

Krista Hendry, the Executive Director of The Fund for Peace, said the value of the FSI is in its application on the ground by governments, media, civil society and others to consider and work to improve the underlying conditions of conflict.

“We assess 178 countries because we recognize that all countries have pressures upon them that need to be managed. The difference between livelihoods within the countries is largely a product of the capacity of the state and society. This year we will develop a capacity index to test our assumption that states manage pressures better when they have open societies with strong state institutions based on the rule of law and democracy,” Ms. Hendry said.

 

THE RANKING LIST

1 Somalia 114.9

2 Congo (D. R.) 111.2

3 Sudan 109.4

n/r South Sudan* 108.4

4 Chad 107.6

5 Zimbabwe 106.3

6 Afghanistan 106.0

7 Haiti 104.9

8 Yemen 104.8

9 Iraq 104.3

10 Central African Republic 103.8

11 Cote d'Ivoire 103.6

12 Guinea 101.9

13 Pakistan 101.6

14 Nigeria 101.1

15 Guinea Bissau 99.2

16 Kenya 98.4

17 Ethiopia 97.9

18 Burundi 97.5

18 Niger 96.9

20 Uganda 96.5

21 Myanmar 96.2

22 North Korea 95.5

23 Eritrea 94.5

23 Syria 94.5

25 Liberia 93.3

26 Cameroon 93.1

27 Nepal 93.0

28 Timor-Leste 92.7

29 Bangladesh 92.2

29 Sri Lanka 92.2

31 Sierra Leone 90.4

31 Egypt 90.4

33 Congo (Republic) 90.1

34 Iran 89.6

35 Rwanda 89.3

36 Malawi 88.8

37 Cambodia 88.7

38 Mauritania 87.6

39 Togo 87.5

39 Uzbekistan 87.5

41 Burkina Faso 87.4

41 Kyrgyzstan 87.4

43 Equatorial Guinea 86.3

44 Zambia 85.9

45 Lebanon 85.8

46 Tajikistan 85.7

47 Solomon Islands 85.6

48 Laos 85.5

48 Angola 85.1

50 Libya 84.9

51 Georgia 84.8

52 Colombia 84.4

53 Dijbouti 83.8

54 Papua New Guinea 83.7

55 Swaziland 83.5

56 Philippines 83.2

57 Comoros 83.0

58 Madagascar 82.5

59 Mozambique 82.4

59 Bhutan 82.4

61 Israel/West Bank 82.2

62 Bolivia 82.1

63 Indonesia 80.6

63 Gambia 80.6

65 Fiji 80.5

66 Tanzania 80.4

67 Ecuador 80.1

68 Azerbaijan 79.8

69 Nicaragua 79.8

70 Guatemala 79.8

71 Senegal 79.8

72 Lesotho 79.8

73 Moldova 79.8

74 Benin 79.8

75 Honduras 79.8

76 China 79.8

77 Algeria 79.8

78 India 79.8

79 Mali 79.8

79 Bosnia and Herzegovina 79.8

81 Turkmenistan 79.8

82 Venezuela 79.8

83 Russia 79.8

84 Thailand 79.8

85 Turkey 79.8

85 Belarus 79.8

87 Morocco 79.8

88 Maldives 79.8

89 Serbia 79.8

90 Jordan 79.8

91 Cape Verde 79.8

92 Gabon 79.8

93 El Salvador 79.8

94 Tunisia 79.8

95 Dominican Republic 79.8

96 Vietnam 79.8

97 Sao Tome 79.8

98 Mexico 79.8

99 Peru 79.8

100 Saudi Arabia 79.8

101 Cuba 79.8

102 Armenia 79.8

103 Micronesia 79.8

104 Guyana 79.8

105 Suriname 79.8

106 Namibia 79.8

107 Paraguay 79.8

107 Kazakhstan 79.8

109 Macedonia 69.1

110 Samoa 68.5

110 Malaysia 68.5

112 Ghana 67.5

113 Ukraine 67.2

113 Belize 67.2

115 South Africa 66.8

115 Cyprus 66.8

117 Botswana 66.5

118 Albania 66.1

119 Jamaica 65.8

120 Seychelles 65.1

121 Grenada 65.0

122 Trinidad 64.4

123 Brazil 64.1

123 Brunei 64.1

125 Bahrain 62.2

126 Romania 59.5

127 Antigua & Barbuda 58.9

128 Kuwait 58.8

129 Mongolia 58.7

130 Bulgaria 56.3

130 Croatia 56.3

132 Panama 56.1

133 Montenegro 55.5

134 Bahamas 55.1

135 Barbados 52.0

136 Latvia 51.9

137 Oman 51.7

138 Greece 50.4

139 Costa Rica 49.7

140 United Arab Emirates 48.9

141 Hungary 48.3

142 Qatar 48.0

143 Estonia 47.5

144 Slovakia 47.4

145 Argentina 46.5

145 Italy 45.8

147 Mauritius 44.7

148 Poland 44.3

149 Lithuania 44.2

150 Malta 43.8

151 Chile 43.5

151 Japan 43.5

153 Spain 42.8

154 Uruguay 40.5

155 Czech Republic 39.5

156 South Korea 37.6

157 Singapore 35.6

158 United Kingdom 35.3

159 United States 34.8

160 Portugal 34.2

161 Slovenia 34.0

162 France 33.6

163 Belgium 33.5

164 Germany 31.7

165 Australia 29.2

166 Iceland 29.1

167 Netherlands 28.1

168 Austria 27.5

169 Canada 26.8

170 Ireland 26.5

171 New Zealand 25.6

172 Luxembourg 25.5

173 Norway 23.9

174 Switzerland 23.3

175 Denmark 23.0

176 Sweden 21.3

177 Finland 20.0

About FFP

The Fund for Peace (FFP) is an independent, nonpartisan, non-profit research and educational organization that works to prevent violent conflict and promote sustainable security. FFP promote sustainable security through research, training and education, engagement of civil society, building bridges across diverse sectors, and developing innovative technologies and tools for policy makers.

FFP is a leader in the conflict assessment and early warning field, the Fund for Peace focuses on the problems of weak and failing states. Our objective is to create practical tools and approaches for conflict mitigation that are useful to decision-makers.

 

 

 

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    By the grace of God, President of the United States of America.



    As the United States of America opens a new chapter today, many around the world, myself inclusive, are optimistic that the success you have achieved in your career as one of the world's foremost entrepreneurs will be translated to your life as a public servant and custodian of the trust of the American people.

  • Naira is falling to nearly N500 to $1 Naira is falling to nearly N500 to $1
    Macroeconomic dislocation and the distressed pressure brought to bear on naira is triggering the precipitously freefall of the value of the Nigeria’s currency.  This is now beyond the pale, a disastrous saturation point and if it continues unchecked the naira as we know it will become a worthless currency just like the Zimbabwe currency.

    Since the official devaluation of naira coupled with negative growth of the economy, things are...
  • Britain’s Theresa May on Israel: When a leader speaks from both sides of her mouth Britain’s Theresa May on Israel: When a leader speaks from both sides of her mouth

    The British Prime Minister, Therese May is trying too hard to become the next Iron lady of conservative party in the reminiscent and mode of the late Margaret Thatcher.  But is she the real deal?  Is she willing to do what it takes to deserve the title of the iron lady? When Thatcher took over the helms of affairs, she instituted numerous reforms that brought Britain towards the path to true capitalistic society. She was also loyal to her...
  • RePrint Of Hitler’s ‘Mein Kampf’  Selling like a Hot cake in Germany RePrint Of Hitler’s ‘Mein Kampf’ Selling like a Hot cake in Germany

    Sales of Adolf Hitler’s “Mein Kampf” have soared since a special edition of the Nazi leader’s political treatise went on sale in Germany a year ago, the German publisher has said.



    The book outlines Hitler’s ideology that formed the basis for Nazism and sets out his hatred of Jews, which led to the Holocaust.



    The new edition is the first reprint since World War Two, released last January...
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