China’s Involvement in Africa

October 30, 2012 (Ayyaantuu.com)A lot has been said about the fascist regime of Meles Zenawi of Ethiopia. There is a growing movement to dismantle his apartheid system and the movement is gaining momentum more than ever. As the prominent Oromo intellectual, Professor Asafa Jalata  puts it, “We have become Ambassadors for our country – Oromia.”  Oromummaa and Oromo communities are flourishing around the world.

Introducing Oromia, its people, and its culture to the world communities is going on in many parts of the world  – Africa, Australia, Canada, Europe, the Middle East and the United States. We are positively competing with one another and the recent accomplishments of Oromo Community Organization (OCO) – Metropolitan Washington area in diplomacy and human rights, OCO of Ireland and Australia in introducing and promoting Oromo culture to the world are worth mentioning and all of them deserve special thanks for their accomplishments.

We received the following e-mail message from the Carter Center:

Quote ”The Carter Center’s China Program recently launched a “China in Africa” website (http://www.sinoafrica.org) to feature original content from African contributors expressing their views on China’s impact in their respective communities. The project aims to bridge the gap of understanding between Chinese decision-makers and African communities about China’s impact on the African continent…

Why did the China Program launch the China-Africa project, what was the need?

China’s relations with African countries have witnessed several phases since the founding of the People’s Republic in 1949. Prior to the 1980s, China’s interest in building close ties with African countries was driven predominately by political and ideological goals. Such motives were illustrated by China’s generous aid to African countries, often in exchange for the recipient governments’ support to Beijing’s priorities in international politics. During the past decade, with its fast growing economy and increasing demand for raw materials, China has again emerged as a major stakeholder on the African continent, with a wide range of pragmatic economic and development interests in almost all African countries.

The growing economic and societal impact of China in Africa has spurred extensive debate within international policy circles and academic communities. Many experts agree that in making business and foreign policies, Chinese decision-makers largely rely on bilateral agreements with African governments, preferring the model of state-led development and often neglecting concerns from local citizens and communities. While the Chinese model of development assistance, known for its “no-strings-attached” nature, is acclaimed by many, it would further benefit African communities if Chinese decision-makers have an increased awareness and knowledge of the needs, concerns, and expectations of local stakeholders, such as civil society groups, opinion leaders, and individual citizens.

Why would someone visit the website? What would they find and learn there?

The bilingual (English and Chinese) “China in Africa” website is an information portal that provides readers with content written by African contributors who express their views on China’s impact in their respective communities. It is the only website that aggregates African voices on China-Africa relations and translates content into Chinese to raise awareness among Chinese stakeholders of the impact of their operations in Africa.

What is the China-Africa project hoping to accomplish by reaching out for original content from Africans and researchers for the website?

The goal in reaching out to African contributors and researchers is to amplify African voices and opinions in Chinese media and policy circles. The Carter Center is making the website more accessible in Africa, developing features that allow people without computer access to provide their input through mobile phone messages and working with Chinese universities to translate content into Chinese in a timely manner.

African communities will benefit from the increased awareness and knowledge of Chinese stakeholders of the needs, concerns, and expectations of local civil society groups, opinion leaders, and individual citizens.

How will this material affect the future direction of the project?

The Carter Center will explore opportunities to work with Chinese partners in specific countries and communities on particular issue-areas, based on the opinions and needs identified by African contributors through the website. Such knowledge also may enable the Center to bring African communities and Chinese stakeholders into dialogues for better mutual understanding.

Visit the website at www.sinoafrica.org.” Unquote

The West has effectively used the minority regime of Meles Zenawi to fight its own proxy war with Islamic extremists in Somalia at the expense of the people of the region. The devastating impact on the region has already been widely reported by human rights groups and journalists. This has made the Horn of Africa region one of the hottest conflict zones in the world. Zenawi once said, “I was pressured to go to Somalia.” He was forced to pull out of Somalia.

When the West has realized the crisis, the regime started to look East – to China. Can the West correct the devastating mistake it has made in Africa’s diplomatic capital – Finfinne/Addis Ababa?

Bereket Simon – Ethiopia’s real ruler is visiting China

Liu Yunshan (R), head of the Publicity Department of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC), shakes hands with Ethiopian Minister of Government Communication Office Bereket Simon at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China, Sept. 21, 2012. Liu met with a delegation of the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) on Friday. (Xinhua/Ma Zhancheng)

Liu Yunshan (R), head of the Publicity Department of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC), shakes hands with Ethiopian Minister of Government Communication Office Bereket Simon at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China, Sept. 21, 2012. Liu met with a delegation of the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) on Friday. (Xinhua/Ma Zhancheng)

BEIJING, Sept. 23 (Xinhua) — Senior officials from ruling parties of China and Ethiopia on Friday vowed to improve exchanges on country governance and cadre training, during a meeting in Beijing.

Liu Yunshan, head of the Publicity Department of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC), met with a delegation of the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) led by Minister of Government Communication Office Bereket Simon.

The CPC attaches great importance to relations with the EPRDF and is ready to increase exchanges on country governance experience and cadre training, Liu said.

China would also strengthen cooperation with Ethiopia in areas including press and culture, in order to contribute to a more solid development of the two countries’ traditional friendship, Liu said.

Bereket said the EPRDF will learn from the CPC’s experience and strengthen their cooperation on media, to promote development of the relationship between the two countries and two parties.

On China-Ethiopia relations, Liu said the two countries had witnessed a steady and sound development of ties since the establishment of the comprehensive strategic partnership of cooperation in 2003.

He said China would make joint efforts with Ethiopia to deepen cooperation in all areas and push forward the bilateral relationship.

U.S. Abandoning its Role as Champion of Human Rights”

Published on June 25, 2012 in the New York Times.

JIMMY CARTER, 39th President of the United States and 2002 Nobel Peace Laureate.

“THE United States is abandoning its role as the global champion of human rights. Revelations that top officials are targeting people to be assassinated abroad, including American citizens, are only the most recent, disturbing proof of how far our nation’s violation of human rights has extended. This development began after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, and has been sanctioned and escalated by bipartisan executive and legislative actions, without dissent from the general public. As a result, our country can no longer speak with moral authority on these critical issues”.

“While the country has made mistakes in the past, the widespread abuse of human rights over the last decade has been a dramatic change from the past. With leadership from the United States, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was adopted in 1948 as “the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world.” This was a bold and clear commitment that power would no longer serve as a cover to oppress or injure people, and it established equal rights of all people to life, liberty, security of person, equal protection of the law and freedom from torture, arbitrary detention or forced exile”.

“The declaration has been invoked by human rights activists and the international community to replace most of the world’s dictatorships with democracies and to promote the rule of law in domestic and global affairs. It is disturbing that, instead of strengthening these principles, our government’s counterterrorism policies are now clearly violating at least 10 of the declaration’s 30 articles, including the prohibition against “cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.”

A good evangelist observed that, “Human concepts, however cleverly conceived they are, always work against the whole”.

By integrating faith and reason and Gadaa and Jeffersonian Democracies, we managed to expose the far reaching implications of Revolutionary Democracy, an idea crafted by Meles Zenawi of Ethiopia to impose minority rule by the resources and technical assistance he was getting from the West. This has empowered the minority ethnic group of Meles Zenawi at the expense of the major ethnic groups such as the Oromos, the Sidamas, the Ogaden Somalis, Gambella, Afar, Omotic, Nilotic and other groups.

This arrangement will lead only to the destabilization of the region and the United States and China must listen to civil society organizations, human rights groups and the academia before getting involved in huge investments in the Horn of Africa in general and Ethiopia in particular.

Kallacha W. Kune