Brazil in Africa07.05.2013 11:45
Seminar Deborah Brautigam24.05.2012 10:36
Cooperating with China in Africa24.05.2012 10:34
14 May 2013
What role can African civil society organisations play in shaping South-South Cooperation, and how to claim that role?
What lessons can North-South Cooperation take home from the South-South cooperation discourse?What role could Northern civil society organisations play in the relation between African civil society organisations and South-South Cooperation?
Emerging powers such as China, India, Brazil and South-Africa are challenging the global economic and political power balances. They are also scaling up their South-South cooperation, including with Africa. Is this the beginning of a new wave of colonization? Or a golden opportunity for development in Africa? A lively debate on the implications of South-South cooperation is taking place, but African civil society voices are missing from it.
How do African civil society organizations, experience and react to South-South cooperation between their countries and emerging powers? And what implications for their current partners do they see? The 11.11.11 Research Chair on Development Cooperation devoted its second research project to these questions. On May 30 we launch the research results and discuss them with three prominent speakers.
27 April 2013
Challenging Our Own Perspectives Seminar on May 13
Knowing Emerging Powers and EPA-network are pleased to announce our latest Challenging Our Own Perspectives seminar. This time we have the great honor of welcoming Lucia Nader, the Executive Director of Conectas Human Rights. Lucia will highlight the role of civil society in holding Brazil and other new emerging powers, accountable for their foreign policies’ decisions that affect human rights. In this field Conectas is working together with NGO’s from other key emerging democratic powers like India and South Africa. Lucia will focus on strengthening human rights in Brazil-Africa relations.
26 April 2013
During a recent visit to Brazil I was impressed by the lively debates in Brazilian civil society on South-South Cooperation. An increasing number of Brazilian civil society organisations is active in relation to Brazil's foreign policy and South-South cooperation.
The interesting working paper Africa-Brazil co-operation in social protection looks at the role of civil society in the transfer of Brazil's successful social protection policies to Africa.
22 March 2013
Future Agricultures recently published no less than seven new papers on how Brazil and China are changing agricultural development in Africa. Future Agricultures is an Africa-based alliance of research organisations seeking to provide timely, high-quality and independent information and advice to improve agricultural policy and practice in Africa.
Besides a working paper on South-South cooperation, there are two very interesting papers reviewing the narratives of Brazil-Africa and China-Africa Cooperation for Agricultural Development.
11 February 2013
The national newspaper Trouw recently published four articles - the South-South connection- on the silent revolution in thinking on development cooperation citing Knowing Emerging Powers as a major source of information. Each article (in Dutch) is dedicated to an emerging 'donor' China, India, Brazil and Turkey.
The first article highlights China's pragmatic approach to development cooperation: Pekings welcome pragmatism part 1 and Pekings welcome pragmatism part 2. The second article shows that India is not a new donor and that it has a long history of technical cooperation with other developing countries: India's human centred approach. Brazil's approach differs from its BRICS-companions because unlike China and India it is a net exporter of energy and agricultural products, Brazil doesn't need Africa. The last article focuses on Turkey's aid: Turkey aids its muslim brothers
23 January 2013
Oxfam India put out an interesting working paper Engaging BRICS. Challenges and opportuniies for civil society. Lysa John, the author of the working paper, argues that reactions to the rise of BRICS range from wary optimism to outright skepticism. There is hope and anticipation that the BRICS – building on their own lessons and initiatives – will play a progressive role on economic and social issues at regional and global levels. The critical view, on the other hand, is concerned that the economic agenda of BRICS could pose new challenges to human rights and development, particularly given the absence domestic frameworks for accountability on international engagements.
18 December 2012
Knowing Emerging powers is a founding member of Emerging Powers and Africa Network which was launched during the Africa Works! conference held on 29-30 October in the Netherlands.
The aim of this network is twofold, namely: (1) to bring together experts from business, public institutes, NGO’s and academia in the field of Emerging Powers and Africa in order to pool our expertise, and (2) to expand our knowledge by inviting prominent individuals from Emerging Powers or Africa present their perspectives on issues relating to national and international affairs.
19 November 2012
Former Brazilian president Lula da Silva with Tanzanian president Jakaya Kikwete in 2010.
Chatham House published an interesting briefing paper Brazil in Africa: Just Another BRICS Country Seeking Resources? During the last decade Brazil has actively forged closer relations with Africa and has become a major player on the continent, competing with China and India for influence and trade deals. Like its BRICS partners, its economic engagement has been predominantly concentrated in the resource and construction sector.
The dynamic growth of African economies despite the global economic and financial crisis has led Brazil to look to the continent as a promising market for its goods and services, especially manufactured or semimanufactured products, as it can offer ‘tropicalized technology’ to meet the demands of developing countries.
7 November 2012
How will emerging powers like China, Brazil and Turkey change humanitarian aid? This will be discussed in the debate series 'Changing Humanitarian Aid' organised by six Dutch organisations in Humanity House on 8 November 2012.
6 November 2012
Dr. He Wenping, a leading expert on China-Africa relations gave the lecture New actors in international development: the case of China organised by the Society for International Development at the VU Auditorium, Amsterdam on November 5, 2012.
19 October 2012
The Society for International Development, Netherlands Chapter has commissioned a short paper on International cooperation in a multipolar world: the role of emerging powers. The policy paper looks into the challenges and opportunities for OECD donors that arise from the role of emerging powers in the developing world.
2 October 2012
Turkey's expanding relations with African countries have received little attention in the debate on emerging powers in Africa. All eyes are on China, India and Brazil. What drives Turkey's foreign policy in Africa and is it different from the other emerging powers? These questions and much more are addressed in Alessandro Paulo's MA-thesis 'Turkey's relations with African countries in the Post-bipolar world'
September 4, 2012
An interesting paper "What Can Africa Learn from China's Experience in Agricultural Development?" by Li Xiaoyun, Tang Lixia, Xu Xiuli, Qi Gubo and Wang Haimin from China Agricultural University highlights some of the key conditions that enabled China to achieve its success in agricultural development and poverty reduction and to relate these where possible to the African context.
23 June 2012
Book review: ‘Development Cooperation and Emerging Powers: New Partners or Old Patterns?’ edited by Sachin Chaturvedi, Thomas Fues and Elizabeth Sidiropoulos, Zed Books, London.
South-South cooperation has gained prominence in the debate on the future of development cooperation, as shown by the press release that accompanied the 2011 World Bank report ‘Bridging the Atlantic, Brazil and Sub-Saharan Africa: Partnering for Growth’. The press release quotes the World Bank’s Vice President for Africa, Obiageli Ezekwesili saying:
“Brazil and Africa are natural partners, with emerging economies playing a bigger role in the global agenda and new South-South arrangements becoming stronger, the traditional model of ‘development cooperation’ is being questioned. This model of aid based on the ‘developed North’ providing aid to the ‘developing South’ is no longer valid”.
The recent book ‘Development Cooperation and Emerging Powers: New Partners or Old Patterns?’ critically analysis South-South cooperation and is a timely contribution to the debate.
June 4, 2012
Book review: ‘Who’s afraid of China? The challenge of China’s soft power’ by Michael Barr (Zed Books Asian Arguments, 2011).
In October 2010 a television ad ‘Beijing 2030’ ran on major cable networks in the USA. The ad is spoken entirely in Mandarin Chinese, with English sub titles. A Chinese professor lectures a room full of students on the reason why great nations fail. In the case of the USA ‘it taxed and spent itself out of a recession with an enormous stimulus package, government takeovers and crushing debt’. The professor adds with an evil smile ‘Of course we owned most of the debt, so now they work for us’ and the students laugh. (see the ad ‘Beijing 2030’ on Youtube).
An American interest group Citizens Against Government Waste sponsored the ad. The ad was meant to scare Americans about their growing national debt and budget deficit. This could have easily been done without any reference to China but the ad deliberately taps into fear that the USA is losing the geopolitical struggle with rising power China. The political ad is a telling example of how China has become the favourite bogeyman in many political and cultural debates in the West.
22 May 2012
‘Money, Power & Sex: the paradox of unequal growth’ is the surprising and exiting title of a 3-day Open Forum on economic growth, democracy and gender inequality in Africa. The open forum is organised by the four Open Society Africa Foundations in Cape Town, South Africa. While African economies are booming inequality is deepening. While elections are spreading, there are few genuine democracies. While women’s rights are expanding on paper, a conservative backlash threatens the gains already made.
The Open Forum looks especially at the roles of emerging powers, China, India and Brazil as engines of economic growth, but also as increasingly important actors in political and social life on the continent.
17 March 2012
The Danish Institute for International Studies recently published the policy brief 'Cooperating with China in Africa'. The policy brief looks at early experiences of OECD donors of cooperating with China in Africa. There is quite some buzz about this so-called trilateral cooperation. The report however states that 'existing activities remain small-scale and largely bilateral, with little African ownership.
10 March 2012
Oxford University China-Africa Network (OUCAN)
with generous support from the China Centre presents an International Symposium on "China as a Development Aid Actor: Rethinking Development Assistance and its Implications for Africa and the West" hosted by the Department of Politics and International Relations, University of Oxford.
22 February 2012
What Can Western Donors learn from .....
On March 28, prof. Deborah Brautigam will give a lecture on what western donors can learn from China's approach in Africa. The
seminar is organised in cooperation with African Studies Centre in Leiden.
For details and registration please visit the ASC website.
South-South cooperation is gaining prominence and was high on the agenda at the Busan conference on aid effectiveness.
All eyes were on China: would China be in or out? Ultimately China signed the Busan Declaration because it states that the nature, modalities and responsibilities of South-South cooperation are different from North-South cooperation and that the principles and commitments are only a voluntary reference for China.
Friday, 3 February 2012
"Rising Powers" and the Future
of Global Governance
16th-17th May 2012
University of Sussex, UK
Little more than a decade ago,the economic and financial crisis that swept across the non-Western world (the so called ‘Asian financial crisis’ of 1997-8) was ostensibly a harbinger of the end of ‘late development’ and a reassertion of the West’s political and economic dominance over the Global South.
Thursday, 19 January 2012
Brazil in Africa: bridging the divide? By: Oliver Stuenkel, Professor of International Relations at the Getulio Vargas Foundation in São Paulo, Brazil
On Wednesday I'll participate in a debate about Brazil's growing role in Africa at the 7th International Turkish - African Congress in Khartoum (Sudan). Turkey - another emerging power with growing interest in Africa - seems eager to study China's, India's and Brazil's activities there and learn from them.
January, 4, 2012
The future of international NGOs depends on what the post-western world will look like in ten years from now. The nature of the post-western world is likely to challenge the legitimacy, funding and effectiveness of INGOs generally and particularly of those from the West. Here I discuss a few of these challenges.
December 12, 2011
Hivos and the Broker have started an online discussion Future Calling on the future of international NGOs in a changing global world.
The debate is opened by Michael Edwards who challenges the international NGOs to change their ways of working. He argues that international NGOs offer the 'wrong' solutions to the complex problems of today. In his thinkpiece Development INGOs - retirement, replacement or rejuvenation? he formulates the leading questions for the discussion:
November 17, 2011
By Bert Helmsing, Professor of Local & Regional Development at the international Institute of Social Studies at the Erasmus University, the Netherlands.
In their African Economic Outlook 2011, the African Development Bank and the OECD together with its UN partners, the Economic Commission for Africa and the UNDP, argued that the growing presence of Emerging Partners is a welcome addition and Africa’sneeds and potentials are so large that there is room for everyone.
Moreover, Africa’s relationships with its Traditional Partners are still dominant in trade, foreign direct investment and in aid. There is no need or excuse for Traditional Partners to lower or change their relationships with Africa and the Emerging Partners and the Traditional Partners don’t bite each other. Emerging Partners do not bring down governance standards and do not worsen corruption, at least not visibly in national level surveys; there is no evidence that Emerging Partners are contributing to a renewed indebtment of African countries or to its de-industrialization.
Tuesday, November 8, 2011
On November 3-4 I participated in the workshop:'Beyond the resource curse, new dynamics in the management of natural resources: new actors and concepts' held in Paris.
Lecture: China in Africa: the future of development aid?
By: journalist and China expert Jan van der Putten
Date: October 27, 2011, 15.00 - 17.00 hours
Where: Cordaid, Lutherse Burgwal 10, Den Haag
Wednesday, 14 September 2011
Who was first to organise a China – Africa NGO-meeting: Fahamu or China’s NGO Network for International Exchange?
The China – Africa People’s Forum took place in Nairobi on August 29 and 30 this year. The
two-day meeting brought together 200 NGO representatives from 19 African countries and
China. The meeting was organised by the China’s NGO Network for International Exchange and
Kenya’s NGO Coordination Board. The forum adopted the Nairobi Declaration, which called
upon Chinese and African governments to support people-to-people exchanges and
enter into meaningful partnerships with NGO’s. The NGO-forum will be institutionalised and
a second meeting will be held in Beijing in 2012.
The forum was hailed as a historic event. For the first time in history, Chinese NGO’s
visited Africa, attended the forum and established relationships with their African colleagues.
The forum showed that China’s interest in Africa is more than trade, said Kenyan vice-president
Monday, September 12, 2011
Every now and then newspaper articles appear that highlight the geopolitical rivalry between the
U.S. and China and how it plays out in Africa. It is the story of a declining global power: the U.S.
and an emerging power: China. The U.S. criticizes China that it doesn’t play by the rules: Chinese
companies enjoy state-backing and easy financing and they do not adhere to international labor
and environmental standards.
Recently the Wall Street Journal published ‘In Africa, U.S. Watches China’s Rise’. According to
the author the US government is concerned about China’s rapid rise in influence in Africa. China’s model of development is popular among some African leaders. The article quotes a deputy prime minister from Zimbabwe saying: ‘China’s model is telling us you can be successful without following the Western example’.