dimanche 23 octobre 2011

China/Africa: A century Sino-African.


Do not be distracted by the events celebrating the power of yesterday, like the Francophone Summit that opens in Switzerland. As the Commonwealth Games, held from October 3 to 14, India, around the feast of the French language is only the continuation of another project obsolete, inspired by post-colonial. The future lies elsewhere: in the South!

         This is where the parts of the world, particularly Africa, have an interest in building alliances with strategic partners emerging, like China, Brazil and India. In his case, starting with China is common sense.

         "The destiny of China is linked to that of Africa",
asserts, unequivocally, Zhaou Changrui, principal analyst risk of Bank of China Export-Import (China Eximbank). He added: "The 21st century is the development of Africa."

         Held by one of the leaders of an institution whose financial capacity is not commensurate with what the Western countries can bring to the table, which has already pledged nearly two billion dollars over three years, from 2007, these weigh about heavy.

         Especially with foreign reserves estimated at 2.7 trillion dollars as well as its position as largest trading partner in Africa, China has the means of its ambitions in Africa. Would we then entered a century Sino-African? It is not impossible.

         If completed on terms consistent with the interests of the continent, this positive participation of the changeover of the current international order around the new emerging markets. In addition to China, Brazil, India, South Africa, Chile, South Korea, Malaysia, or Indonesia, to name but a few, are now taken seriously.

         It is in them that crucial alliances of the new century has already started to develop while facing most of them to budget deficits, financial and demographic countries was said to appear to lose the rich ... north. The South yesterday wretched of the earth, are bathed by an optimism that they had rarely known.

         "The most important part of global economic output will come from the emerging world in ten years,"
predicts serious magazine The Economist. Adding that the "awakening of the rest" as opposed to the West, is a remarkable achievement.

         So exit the old order! Its prevalence has been so long we might forget that its main actors, the United States and former Soviet Union, have avoided the confrontation that because of nuclear deterrence in their possession but because their common roots and associated the same Judeo-Christian heritage, as evidenced by the rapid reintegration of Russia into the circle of countries in 1991.

         However, far from having dedicated "end of history",
according to the prediction of belied academic Francis Fukuyama, namely the universal triumph of neo-liberal model, as opposed to the dream of Marxism, the end of the Cold War was only the beginning of a long disintegration of the omnipotence of the United Nations from the Treaty of Westphalia in 1648 but also the latest member of this great Club, starting with the United States of America. Their evanescence is done in style as they continue to show airs despite the declining slope they know.

         Two significant examples for the African continent to prove it. First that of Great Britain: time leading economic power, ruled the seas and ruling over an empire on which the sun never went to bed, and the origin of the first industrial revolution between 1840 and 1860, his ego does Imperial occurs only in festive events like the Olympics or the Commonwealth summit, its near financial bankruptcy being consumed!

         The sinking, and more great pomp, for another great colonizing country, so anxious to spread their language, related to France. On its stand represented by the French organization, it does not feel the Titanic syndrome which threatens. As the infamous boat, so close to the disaster, neither one nor the other appears to measure the danger that awaits around the corner.

         Later chroniclers may, however, that at the time of the wreck report, dozens of heads of state, journalists, guests of all persuasions and other state and non-state actors, many of which were carefully selected, in rules scented patronage, had held, unconscious, to be present at the francophone summit in the Helvetic Confederation.

         And ignoring the progress of an institution struggling to bring his claim in his actions democratic, including the appointment of its leadership, and to be modern and efficient, the French Club members go down in history as the witnessed the fall of a great dream. But despite the cakes, cocktails, amid rolling R, the poisonous atmosphere in which the Summit is being held could not escape the rare lucid.
France, leader of the French-speaking countries, lived it, could there be to say tomorrow, one of the most serious crises of his life? Fears and financial impotence, his social anxiety and blocks its pension reform, in short, to give his view havoc around the world ...

         The noise accompanying the fall of France and Great Britain barely conceals the collapse of two major incarnations of the Western world: first, Germany in a loss of identity markers, and on the other hand, United States of America, consumers of last resort but whose pockets are full of holes, about to fall into one of the worst manifestations of their desire to claim, return to isolationism that mid-term elections to Congress will spend, according to the predictions of many experts in a few days ...

         The ruins which are found in several European countries, along with the United States, stretches out of sight. From Ireland to Greece, we know the causes. They are deep: inability to adapt to a world longing for more equality, lack of visionary leadership, effective, capable at their head; inadequacy of private and state institutions disfigured by the ambivalence of policies that they pursue and their secretiveness, and people who have lost the sense of sacrifice and sharing war boom because of the Great Moderation, in the words of Ben Bernanke, everything seemed possible ...

         By the equalization of opportunities it provides, globalization has given the coup de grace, through the race to the bottom sometimes and relocations often advantageous to developing countries, as illustrated by the wonderful book by Thomas Friedman, in the title "The world is flat".

         Of course, bury and ignore their ability to start could be dangerous but, obviously, the world's emerging non-polar, diagnosed by the university Bertrand Badie, their main asset is hanging by their capacity for harm. By their military superiority and control over the multilateral institutions of the post World War II, they can still delay the realization of the transition to a new international order or make violent.

         But it would be a futile last stand. Hence the need to look beyond examining the prospects associated with the continent's relationship with the emerging countries of the South. One downside: it can not be safely as misunderstandings abound. Especially in connection with China, because of the criticism surrounding it. Including the temptation to hold on the continent's natural resources, non-compliance with environmental standards and work by many Chinese enterprises, the centrality of states in this dialogue, the differences of view on issues or the democratic meager benefits of the intervention from Beijing to the African people.

         Sometimes the racism of some Chinese, the draconian conditions of their African employees, the contempt with respect to local rules, the mistreatment of African immigrants on Chinese soil or breach of contractual obligations are also obstacles in the way of a true Sino-African rapprochement.

         Yet it is precisely because there is a clear conscience, the African side, the existence of these gaps, but also the potential contained in the will of China to the African continent as a strategic partner that Africa must able to build the solid with it.

         No African can not see
seriously what China has achieved over the past three years on the road to economic recovery without thinking that Africa can not draw useful lessons. Moreover, many players parasitic as the World Bank, IMF, and European countries, understand that demonstrate their willingness to want to pose as ''advisers'' in Sino-African dialogue.

         They will sign up in the wake of its leadership by taking conceptual ideas it puts forward, including infrastructure funding, innovative financing (troc!), or the structuring of the dialogue on meetings at the top left, with regard to the European Union, to put it under a bushel opposition to the participation of some African leaders, like Mugabe, it organizes meetings with Africa.

         But their activism is not innocent. In doing so, they try to object to engage Africans a direct relationship with China to understand how it managed its national revolution against the foreign forces, including West but also Japanese, before committing to reform its economy long under the yoke with the help of their local, the famous comprador.

         Of course, it is no philanthropist that China proclaims its willingness to enter into a strategic relationship with Africa. Because she knows that in the absence of natural resources in his basement, but inflationary risks and currency appreciation related to increased domestic demand, to curb the obstacles to its strategy export which was long the engine of his double-digit growth, it needs an ally could give him what he lacks. Market of a billion people, area population dynamics, and one of the last bastions of arable land, Africa may be its complement or his accomplice, a company co-development.

         Therefore, she takes it seriously and that its strategy towards it is so well structured. In addition to a White Paper, published in January 2006, it revolves around the Forum on China-Africa, massive investment, invitation to state and non-state, start dialogue with the intellectuals of the continent, establishment of an exhibition center commercial products African Yiwou, near Shanghai, and the list is far from complete.

         As a country that is a decent living for 1.3 billion people, now its high respectability, especially economically, Africa can learn a lot. It would then follow that the eyes of other players in the world, starting with the United States, who now know that the center of gravity of international action can be found here.

         It is not without reason that calls for a reassessment of the Chinese currency, the Remnimbi, multiply, as before that of Japan was forced to do so when the Plaza Hotel Agreements in 1985 that the Nobel Peace Prize is awarded this year was a dissident Chinese around her form alliances promoted by the United States to contain it, or finally that voices from all over to beg her to further support international demand, secondarily tandem with other new players in international development, including Africa, not this time around, taken lightly.

         The story transitions between declining and emerging powers has never been easy. One that sees China move to the front line will not be easy. But already, Africa can not wait any longer to adopt a credible response to not end up with the part congruent with what Beijing calls a win-win partnership. For beyond China, a whole new doctrine African international relations that are available to view: it is to head to the South, warm and sunny, the future of the world!
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         Article of Adama Gaye, appeared in Oueastaf.com (October 22, 2010.)
          Senegalese journalist and consultant, he is the author of "China-Africa: The Dragon and the Ostrich (Le Dragon et l’Autriche),
L’Harmattan, Paris 2006." Former auditor of St Anthony's College Oxford University, he is a graduate degree in political science from the Sorbonne. He founded NEWFORCE Africa, a public relations firm and investment advisor and has been Africa's bid for Olympic Games, London 2012. Currently, he is a visiting researcher at the University of Beijing.

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