DAKAR – France is wrestling with a burden of debts and public deficits that led Standard & Poor’s recently to downgrade its credit rating. Even as the risk of recession looms, the country has been forced to implement a drastic austerity program. But France’s woes are also being felt far beyond its borders, sparking rumors of a possible devaluation of the CFA … [Read more...] about Decolonizing the Franc Zone
The Senegalese people are extremely disillusioned. In 2000, they enthusiastically went to the polls to elect Abdoulaye Wade as their president. Wade had campaigned as an agent of change, but change never came to Senegal throughout his decade in power. Now the only change he wants to make is to the constitution, so that he can retain his hold on power. Wade turned out to be … [Read more...] about Senegal’s Day Of Reckoning : It’s The Economy Stupid !
DAKAR – Senegal’s people are deeply disenchanted. In 2000, they enthusiastically went to the polls to elect Abdoulaye Wade as their president. Wade had campaigned as an agent of change, but change never came to Senegal throughout his decade in power. Now the only change he wants to make is to the constitution, so that he can retain his hold on … [Read more...] about Can Senegal Succeed ?
DAKAR – How did Ivory Coast come to this? After gaining independence from France in 1960 with Felix Houphouet-Boigny as President, the country became the world’s largest exporter of cocoa beans and a significant exporter of coffee and palm oil. Throughout the 1960’s and 1970’s, sizeable export earnings, combined with easy access to credit, fueled an economic surge dubbed the … [Read more...] about Africa’s Winds of Change Return
Oxford University China-Africa Network The Oxford University China-Africa Network (OUCAN) with the support of the Economic & Social Research Council (ESRC) present The Conference on "Chinese Investment and African Agency" hosted by the Department of Politics and International Relations, University of Oxford 11-12 March 2011 Regulating China-Africa cooperation … [Read more...] about Regulating China-Africa cooperation imbalances
DAKAR – China’s sacred text is not a holy book like the Torah, the Bible, or the Koran. Instead, it is The Art of War by Sun-Tzu. Sun’s core belief is that the “ultimate excellence lies not in winning every battle but in defeating the enemy without ever fighting.” So it is no surprise that cunning and deception form an essential part of Chinese diplomatic and corporate … [Read more...] about China’s African Front
China-Africa Civil Society Dialogue : Development Challenges in Africa and the Chinese Development Experience Beijing, P.R. China, October 18th -19th , 2010 For most of the past five decades African countries were locked out of international capital markets. As a result, they have largely been spared the twin woes of the 2008 financial turmoil and subsequent world economic … [Read more...] about CHINA-AFRICA COOPERATION – THE STAKES
DAKAR – Sub-Saharan African is in the grip of currency-union mania. Regional groups of countries in eastern, southern, and western Africa are all giving priority to the idea of creating a monetary union. But haven’t we heard this all before in Africa? Indeed, today’s enthusiasm for currency unions ignores the poor track record of previous attempts on the continent to … [Read more...] about Africa’s Misplaced Monetary Ambitions
DAKAR – The slump in prices for Africa’s natural resources, which led to chronic deficits in the past, has been reversed. Consumption, fueled by huge Asian demand for African commodities, is on the rise across the continent. For much of Africa, this turn of events should mark a decisive break with endemic poverty. But, unless African leaders change their ways, it will … [Read more...] about The Slave Ethos and the African Economy
DAKAR – The world economic downturn and financial-market tremors have strained budgets across Africa. With the exception of Ghana, and a few other states, in 2009 most African countries’ fiscal balances deteriorated. But, thanks to prudent management of public finances during previous periods of robust growth, a significant number of African countries have endured the current … [Read more...] about Africa’s Economic House Divided
DAKAR – This month, Africa’s Francophone countries will mark the 50th anniversary of their independence, and of the ties they maintain with France. But is there much to celebrate? Even before French President Charles de Gaulle took office in 1958, he foresaw the wave of revolutionary nationalism that would soon sweep across Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East. … [Read more...] about Françafrique at 50
DAKAR – There is something dismally familiar about the tide of news reports concerning Africa’s increased suffering – more poverty, malnutrition, civil strife, and death – in the face of the recent global financial crisis. Almost everywhere, the media translates academic conclusions into graphic illustrations of brutality and despair in places such as Guinea and the Democratic … [Read more...] about Africa’s Diaspora to the Rescue
The Heinrich Böll Foundation (HBF) Regional Office for East & Horn of Africa, Nairobi, and Fahamu Kenya brought together Chinese experts on Africa and representatives of African civil society organizations, providing a platform to exchange views and perceptions, and discuss areas of concerns to both sides, based on various country and thematic case studies. I. CHINA’S … [Read more...] about CHINA – AFRICA : Matching China’s activities with Africa’s needs
The former sub-Saharan French colonies did not have to fight for their independence. De Gaulle, then President of France, granted it to them. These countries undertook immediately to dismantle the federal structure in which they were operating and erected trade barriers between them. Paradoxically, they kept the CFA as their common currency. They surrendered the management … [Read more...] about CFA Franc: a Colonial relic
FROM THE LATE seventies to the present, Senegal has been going through a major political and economic change designed to generate economic growth and development. An appraisal of the results generated by these changes would show a picture of contrasting achievements. On the political front, the agreement between the government and two opposition parties to form a coalition … [Read more...] about Senegal: Contrasting achievements in political and economic changes