Page 1

africa Q

U

A

R

T

E

R

L

Volume 47, No. 1 February-April 2007

Y

A F R I C A Q U A R T E R L Y

Indian Council for Cultural Relations Azad Bhavan Indraprastha Estate New Delhi-110 002 E-mail: africa.quarterly@gmail.com Registered with the Registrar of Newspapers of India Regd No. 14380/61

!

India’s energy safari in Africa

!

India and its peace-keeping missions

!

Ethiopia-India ties: Upward spiral

!

Globalisation and democracy in Africa

!

In Conversation: Wangari Maathai

!

Trade ties: India and Zambia

!

U.N. reforms: An African perspective

I

N D I A N

C

O U N C I L

F O R

C

U LT U R A L

R

E L A T I O N S


africa Q

U

A

R

T

E

R

L

Y

Indian Journal of African Affairs Volume 47 No. 1, February-April 2007

INDIAN COUNCIL FOR CULTURAL RELATIONS NEW DELHI


Q U A R T E R L Y

contents

A F R I C A

IN FOCUS: INDIA ETHIOPIA TIES ON UPWARD SPIRAL

12

K. Mathews traces India-Ethiopia relations down the centuries and envisages a robust economic partnership between the two countries with the rapid modernisation and growth of their economies.

46

OIL DIPLOMACY: INDIA’S ENERGY SAFARI IN AFRICA

Ruchita Beri argues for a more proactive Indian diplomacy to revitalise its ties with the oil-rich sub-Saharan Africa that may emerge as a crucial pillar of the country’s search for energy security.

22

U.N. REFORM: CHASING THE SECURITY COUNCIL DREAM

Yeshi Choedon traces the contours of various competing initiatives for reform of the U.N. Security Council and underlines the need for unity among African countries to translate this dream into reality.


A F R I C A

Q U A R T E R L Y

30

KEEPING THE PEACE: INDIAN TROOPS IN U.N. PEACE MISSIONS

Ranjit Kumar chronicles the contribution of Indian troops in U.N. peace-keeping operations in various conflict zones in Africa and evokes the rich harvest of goodwill they reap for themselves and their country.

A destroyed tank on the front between Ethiopia and Eritrea

40 AFRICAN SOLUTIONS: Globalisation and crisis of democracy in Africa

Jamal M. Moosa argues that democratic ethos is not alien to Africa and analyses the impact of globalisation on various experiments with democratic processes in the continent.

36 IN CONVERSATION: Wangari Muta Maathai

52

NEIGHBOURS: ETHIOPIA- ERITREA TIES: PAST, PRESENT, FUTURE

M. Venkataraman analyses the transformation of Eritrea-Ethiopia ties from one of harmony and mutual gains to hostility and conflict, and the prospects of resolving the border row between the two neighbours.

The iconic Kenyan environmentalist –– the first African woman to win the Nobel Prize for Peace –– speaks about her passion for a clean environment, the emerging breed of new leaders in Africa and her impression of India.

62 BILATERAL RELATIONS: India and Zambia: Growing trade ties

Kamini Krishna looks at the genesis of Indo-Zambian ties and the evolution of this relationship into one involving economic growth and development in the two countries.

70 BOOKS & IDEAS 74 DOCUMENTS INCREDIBLE INDIA: ENCHANTING NAGALAND

76

The state of Nagaland, in India’s northeast, is an unexplored paradise that offers breathtaking scenery, exotic flora and fauna, a “laid-back” environment and the inherent hospitality of the Naga people. It is a place where you can put the brakes on, recharge your energy, feel good about yourself, go back to basics and learn to appreciate life and Mother Nature.

78 CONTRIBUTORS


A F R I C A

Q U A R T E R L Y

Rates of Subscription Annual Three-year Subscription Subscription Rs. 100.00 Rs. 250.00 US $40.00 US $100.00 £16.0 £40.0 (Including airmail postage) Subscription rates as above payable in advance preferably by bank draft/MO in favour of Indian Council for Cultural Relations, New Delhi. Printed and Published by Pavan K. Varma Director-General Indian Council for Cultural Relations Azad Bhavan, Indraprastha Estate New Delhi - 110002 Editor: Manish Chand Cover Photo: Group of lion cubs, Kenya By Jonathan and Angela Getty Images

The Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR), founded in 1950 to strengthen cultural ties and promote understanding between India and other countries, functions under the Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India. As part of its effort, the Council publishes, apart from books, six periodicals in five languages –– English quarterlies (Indian Horizons and Africa Quarterly), Hindi Quarterly (Gagananchal), Arabic Quarterly (Thaqafat-ul-Hind), Spanish bi-annual (Papeles de la India) and French bi-annual (Recontre Avec l’Inde). Africa Quarterly (Indian Journal of African Affairs) is published every three months. The views expressed in the articles included in this journal are those of the contributors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the ICCR. All rights reserved. No part of this journal may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any from or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without the permission of the ICCR.

Editorial correspondence and manuscripts, including book reviews, should be addressed to: The Editor Africa Quarterly Indian Council for Cultural Relations Azad Bhavan Indraprastha Estate New Delhi-110 002 E-mail: africa.quarterly@gmail.com

ISBN 0001-9828

6

February-April 2007


A F R I C A

Q U A R T E R L Y

■ From the Editor’s Desk

India and Africa: Planting a New Future

I

ndia and Africa are in the throes of redefining an old relationship moored in the common historical experience of fighting against colonialism and injustice as they wake up to the full potential of their economies and the role they can play in shaping an evolving post-cold war world order. High principles and idealism that imbued them in the shared anti-colonial struggle have now transmuted into new synergies and shared interests in areas as diverse as information technology, peace-keeping and the creation of a more equitable and harmonious world that reflects contemporary realities and not outdated power equations. The new strategic equation finds expression in a common pursuit of the expansion of the U.N. Security Council, although their approach has so far tended to diverge in terms of specifics. Yeshi Choedon analyses initiatives by both sides to democratise the Security Council and finds that for all their enthusiasm for a more accountable and representative U.N., the two can’t agree on a common plan. The lack of unity among African nations has proved to be a crippling factor that has frozen chances of a restructured and rejuvenated council, at least for now. But all is not lost. Both sides have redoubled their efforts to find a common ground and achieve a two-third majority in the General Assembly, required as a first step towards reforming the council. Whatever may be the final outcome of these endeavours, the multi-faceted ties between India and Africa in other areas, be it business, technology, energy or culture, have acquired new strength and character in recent years. IndiaEthiopia ties spanning centuries, in many ways, form a microcosm not only of the larger India-Africa relationship, but could also be a model of South-South cooperation. Prof. K. Mathews, who has taught in Ethiopia for more than a decade, is in a unique position to give a privileged insight into what makes this special relationship tick. As he delves into the past, he comes upon rare discoveries that give a special emotional resonance to relations between two of the world’s oldest civilisations. Mathews goes back to a time when “Ethiopia in the Middle Ages as well as in ancient times was frequently called India and its inhabitants were often designated as the Indi or the Indians of Africa”, in the words of Afro-American historian William Leo Hansbury. Small wonder, when Ethiopia was colonised by Italy for a brief while nearly seven decades ago, it elicited outrage from Indian leaders like Mahatma Gandhi and S. Radhakrishnan and the poet Rabindranath Tagore. Mathews weaves these little-known nuggets about India-Ethiopia ties in a larger narrative about what the two countries can achieve in the economic sphere. Peace-keeping is another crucial area that illuminates India’s enduring commitment to stability and development of

the continent that has proved to be fertile ground for a hundred mutinies. Ranjit Kumar writes about the contribution of Indian troops in U.N. peacekeeping operations in various conflict zones in Africa like Sudan, Somalia and Sierra Leone, and evokes emotive connections Indian troops inspire among ordinary Africans. The popularity of Hindi films in Africa makes a difficult job slightly easier for Indian troops in dangerous conflict-like situations, says the author who had a chance to see the magic of Bollywood up close in Sierra Leone. “Africa has a special emotive resonance for Indian forces, who have won accolades from the local communities for promoting cooperative living among various tribal communities,” he writes. India’s growing energy needs sparked by its booming economy have also added another vital dimension to its ties with Africa. Ruchita Beri argues for a more proactive Indian diplomacy to revitalise its ties with the oil-rich sub-Saharan Africa with the entry of other players like China targeting the region for hydrocarbons. In her article ‘India’s Energy Safari in Africa’, Beri captures the ongoing battle for the control of equity oil in Africa that is bound to get fiercer in days to come. Besides the many hues of India-Africa relations, this issue of Africa Quarterly turns the spotlight on the state of democracy and governance in this continent that has seen many a corrupt and authoritarian regime come and go. In his article ‘Globalisation and Crisis of Democracy in Africa’, Jamal M. Moosa traces forms of democratic governance in pre-colonial Africa which were sadly replaced during the colonial period with authoritarian states. Moosa analyses the impact of globalisation on various experiments with democratic processes in the continent and points to a “long and difficult road” towards ending violence and achieving durable democratic systems in Africa. It’s easy to become pessimistic about Africa. But there is hope aplenty. And nobody epitomises this can-do spirit and mood of infectious optimism as Wangari Muta Maathai, the iconic Kenyan environmentalist who became the first African woman to win the Nobel Prize for Peace in 2004. In an interview with Africa Quarterly, Maathai speaks about a host of issues like her undying passion for the environment, her belief in a more equitable, clean and harmonious world and the emerging breed of new leaders in the continent who promise a break from the past. Today there is a new effort by the new African leadership to bring in more democratic and responsible governance in Africa and to protect the African people from the kind of tragedies that stalked her in the past, says the 67-year-old Maathai, her eyes radiating a serene hope in the future of Africa and of this planet called earth. Let a million seedlings sprout into lush trees and let as many green thoughts germinate while you read what she has to say. –– Manish Chand

February-April 2007

7


N E W S

&

E V E N T S

Uganda woos investors, says Indians are safe

U

ganda is a perfectly Uganda is doing very good.” peaceful country and “Ugandans of Asian origin (mostly wants Indian Indians) are playing a vital role in the entrepreneurs to economy... They are the single most invest there, an voracious investors there,” he said. Ugandan delegation on a recent visit to Stating that Uganda’s growth rate has India has said. The delegation, led by been around the 6 percent mark in past Uganda’s Internal Affairs Minister several years and inflation controlled at 7 Ruhakana Rugunda, sought to remove percent, he said, “Come to Uganda, you the idea that there is racial discrimination benefit, we benefit. Your investments will against Indians following the death of an create jobs for us.” Indian in April in a riot in Kampala. He said that investing in Uganda Devang Rawal, hailing from would also mean access to the whole of Ahmedabad and working with a private east and central African market. firm in Uganda, was stoned to death April Stating that Rawal’s death was a oneUganda’s Minister for Internal Affairs 12 by a mob that was protesting the move off incident, Sanjiv Patel of the Indian Ruhakana Rugunda by The Sugar Corporation of Uganda Association of Uganda, who was a memLtd. (SCOUL), part of the Indian-owned Mehta group, to ber of the delegation, said that Uganda has been peaceful for expand its sugar estates by clearing the Mabira rain forest –– the past 20 years and all communities –– Ugandans of Indian one of Uganda’s last remaining patches of natural forest. It has origin and indigenous Ugandans –– have been living harmobeen a nature reserve since 1932. Two others, both Ugandans, niously. were also killed in the riot. “Ever since President (Yoweri) Museveni and his NRM “Apart from building further the already excellent ties (National Resistance Movement) came to power in 1986, between India and Uganda, we are also here to personally con- Uganda has been completely peaceful. And Indians doing vey our condolences to the family of the victim,” the Minister business there have been very successful,” he said. “Look at all said. The Ugandan government has announced a compensa- the NRIs (non-resident Indians) who have come and flourtion of 18 million Ugandan shillings ($10,000) to Rawal’s fam- ished in Uganda,” added Patel, a third-generation Ugandan of ily. Indian origin. The delegation called on Minister for Overseas Indian Calling upon investors not to be swayed by the Rawal inciAffairs Vayalar Ravi to convey a message of condolence from dent, he said, “We are there to help you. You don’t have to be Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni on Rawal’s death. worried. The Indian Association is always there.” “(They assured me that) there is no racial discrimination Asians, mostly Indians, have been the most affected lot in against Indians. What happened was indeed very unfortunate the volatile politics of Uganda prior to Museveni’s ascent to but among the three people killed by the mob, two were from power. During Idi Amin’s despotic rule in the 1970s, 75,000 Uganda itself while one was Indian. So the delegation came Asians were expelled without being allowed to take their assets here to give the Indian government a re-assurance that what with them. After Idi Amin’s rule, the country has seen wars had happened was the work of a few bad elements of the soci- with neighbouring countries and military coups. ety,” Ravi said. Today, there are around 17,000 Indians and most of them Speaking at an interactive session for potential investors are NRIs who had gone there for work or business. Ugandans organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), of Indian origin number only around 2,500. ■ Rugunda said, “We are happy that the Asian community in –– Aroonim Bhuyan

T

he Ministry of External Affairs has formed a Crisis Management Group to prevent targeting of Indians in foreign countries as recently happened in Uganda where an Indian was killed in racial violence. “The Ministry has formed the group, which gets activated on the basis of inputs received from our missions abroad for providing assistance to Indians wherever they are targeted in large numbers,” External Affairs

8

Crisis group to tackle Uganda-like situation Minister Pranab Mukherjee said. The Minister said that the government took up the matter with the Ugandan authorities and also lodged an immediate request for providing protection to Indian nationals in Uganda. “President of Uganda met Asians in Uganda and assured them that the

February-April 2007

Government of Uganda will ensure that such incidents do not happen again,” the Minister said. Devang Rawal, a native of the western state of Gujarat, was stoned to death April 12 by a mob that was protesting the move by The Sugar Corporation of Uganda Limited (SCOUL), part of the Indian-owned Mehta group, to expand its sugar estates by clearing the Mabira rainforest –– described as one of Uganda’s last remaining patches of natural forest. ■


A F R I C A

Q U A R T E R L Y

For Uganda’s NRIs, a reminder of Amin’s days

T

he worst NRI nightmare is Idi Amin’s Uganda,” recalled Shanti Lakhani in Leicester, U.K. “A glimpse of the same horror was repeated last week.” No matter where they live, all non-resident Indians (NRIs) recoil at the brutal treatment by the Ugandan despot Amin. The recent violent demonstrations near Jinja and in the capital Kampala were a reminder of the dark days of the Amin era from 1971-1979 during which the dictator ordered all Indians to leave Uganda in 1972. This mass expulsion from their homes and businesses without taking any assets remains the ultimate disaster for all NRIs. Lakhani should know. He and his family came with just 50 pounds to Britain 35 years ago as “Ugandan Refugees”. Before he flew out, he buried his gold ornaments in a secret spot in his Ugandan dictator Idi Amin on a visit to Britain in 1971. home. Moving to Leicester where other Ugandan Indians were days later, the mob attack that saw Indians being dragged off converging, he started from scratch as a petrol station atten- motorbikes and beaten, their shops looted and a Hindu temdant. Working almost round the clock, he bought the business ple attacked, revived bitter memories of virulent anti-Indian a few years later with a bank loan. It took some more years to bashing by former Ugandan dictator Idi Amin who expelled repay this loan. By then, the new Uganda President Yoweri nearly 75,000 Asians in 1972,” wrote the Hindustan Times. Leading Ugandan newspaper New Vision editorialised: Museveni invited the Ugandan Indians back to Uganda “to re“The violence against the Asian community, resulting in one construct” their former homeland. Lakhani went back, but Asian killed, is unforgivable. It has only to dig up his ornaments from his led to the loss of life and the destruchome now taken over by Africans. COMMENTARY tion of property of innocent people. Other Indian traders, including the It has diverted a noble cause into a racial one.” two major Indian business groups, the Madhvanis and the After the Indian government expressed concern over the Mehtas, returned to restart operations and prospered again. safety of Indians in Uganda, the Ugandan government assured And now, 35 years after this exodus that grabbed world that no harm will be done to Indians in Uganda. President headlines, the anger against Indians in Uganda resurfaced in Museveni promised, “Such hooliganism will not be allowed all its ugliness when Indians were attacked, forced to close to happen again.” their shops and a young Indian was lynched to death. He added: “Ugandans need ‘foreigners’ to develop our It all started with a protest by environmentalists who wantcountry. They bring their savings here, their technology, their ed to save part of a forest that the government wanted to hand management skills and buy what we produce. Others come over to the Mehta Group for developing a sugarcane plantahere as tourists and bring money. How can anybody claim to tion. “Save the forest” protest by the opposition morphed into be pro-Uganda and be anti-foreigners, who are contributing an anti-Indian diatribe. From Jinja, trouble spread to Kampala. to our prosperity?” Indians hurriedly downed their shop shutters to save them But the incident shows how quickly the hatred against the from being ransacked. Indian banks also closed down. Some immigrants flares up when peaceful protestors become hysIndians sought refuge in a temple that was attacked. And an terical attackers. Indian, Devang Rawal, was stoned and beaten to death by a As a witness to the Amin era, I have observed all this at close vicious mob during a protest. A day after his death, oblivious quarters from Kenya and reported on the plight of Ugandan of what had happened in Kampala, Devang’s mother in refugees in Britain. Visiting Kampala a year after Amin took Ahmedabad was joyfully informing friends of her son’s return over, it was clear that the richly-endowed country was on a in May and his wedding preparations. When his body arrived steep slide into the poverty and anarchy that ensued. in Ahmedabad, his mother and family were inconsolable. –– Kul Bhushan “Although Indian shops in Kampala opened a couple of

February-April 2007

9


N E W S

&

E V E N T S

India calls for increased trade relations with Africa

I

ndian Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar has called for increased trade relations with African countries. Inaugurating the first ever India-Africa Agrifood Summit in New Delhi in March, Pawar stressed on the importance of sharing experiences for mutual benefit. He said the summit –– organised by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI), the Commerce and Agriculture Ministries and the World Bank –– should address resource management, mechanisation, backward and forward linkages, credit and markets. Pawar said that training and empowerment of human resources is India’s strength and a large number of experts from sub-Saharan Africa have received training in this country. He said there are opportunities for India-Africa collaboration in agricultural research, crop varieties that require less water, eco-friendly fertilisers, hightech agricultural and soil and water man-

Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar said that training and empowerment of human resources is India’s strength and a large number of experts from sub-Saharan Africa have received training in this country.

agement. India has always been a keen collaborator in development of technologies and scientific research and sharing them with other developing countries, the Minister said. World Bank Country-Director for India Rachid Benmessoud said that India can play an important role in the emergence of Africa in the 21st century and can help in developing its agriculture potential. He expressed satisfaction over the measures taken by India in encouraging self-help groups to play key roles in the field of agriculture. Africa can benefit from the experience of Andhra Pradesh, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Bihar and Jharkhand, which are reaping the benefit of investments in economic empowerment, he said. In his welcome address, FICCI president Habil Khorakiwala said that industry and the governments of both the countries should work together to increase bilateral trade and economic cooperation. ■

Exporters told to focus on Africa, the Caribbean

E

xporters must now prepare chambers, export promotion councils country-specific strategies to tap and senior officials from the government. the growing trade potential The Board of Trade –– set up in April among emerging markets, specially tar2005 with 39 members under the chairgeted at Africa, the Caribbean and the manship of industrialist Kumar Russian Federation, Commerce and Mangalam Birla –– advises the governIndustry Minister Kamal Nath has said. ment on India’s foreign trade policy and “If we do not occupy the space now, how to push the country’s exports to somebody else will,” the Minister told achieve the desired targets. the fourth meeting of the Board of Trade, At the meeting, representatives of the ahead of presenting the annual suppleFederation of Indian Chambers of ment for India’s trade policy in early Commerce and Industry called for April. greater focus on labour-intensive indusKamal Nath said India had managed tries and those that have large employto reach the target set in 2004 to double ment potential. its exports and corner a 1-percent share of Commerce & Industry Minister Kamal Nath They also wanted transaction costs on the global trade, but added that the need exports pruned. “A World Bank study of the hour was to target new, non-traditional markets. points out that the transaction cost per container is as high as “When in August 2004, the United Progressive Alliance $865 in India against $338 in China and $481 in Indonesia,” (UPA) government set the target of doubling India’s share of chamber president Habib Khorakiwala said. global merchandise trade in five years, many of you found it Exporters were critical of the imposition of services tax and to be too ambitious,” the Minister said. minimum alternate tax since it eroded the competitiveness of “Yet, these three years have proved us right,” he told the their exports and urged Kamal Nath to take up the issue with meeting, attended by the representatives of various industry the Finance Ministry. ■

10

February-April 2007


A F R I C A

Q U A R T E R L Y

India, S.Africa to collaborate in nanotechnology

S

cientists from India, Brazil and South Africa –– the socalled IBSA countries –– met in Tamil Nadu to discuss ways and means of collaborating in the field of nano-technology. The collaboration in science and technology between the IBSA nations began in April 2005. Indian scientists and experts had visited Brazil in November and South Africa in April 2006. From April 1, a dozen scientists from Brazil and South Africa have been tour-

ing India to identify common areas of research interest, strength and mutual weaknesses to be able to decide on specific collaboration projects. IGCAR Director Baldev Raj, India’s coordinator for the programme, explained, “The emphasis of this collaboration will be to use nano-science for technology delivery.” “Researchers from Indian universities and institutions, both private and government, will be beneficiaries of the tri-nation collaboration,” he added. He said, even scholars doing research in

small institutions will be able to work in South African and Brazilian institutions during their project period. Scholars from partner countries will be coming to work in Indian institutions of science and research. The areas identified by India for collaborative study are in advanced material studies, health (TB and HIV, malaria) and clean water and industrial water mechanisms, energy, drug delivery systems, agri-sensor and nano-sensor development and education in nanotechnology. ■

U.N. calls for joint efforts to tackle urban poverty

T

he U.N. Human Settlements Program (UNHABITAT) Governing Council kicked off its 21st session in Nairobi on April 16 with a call for improving quality of life to achieve sustainable urban development. UN-HABITAT Executive Director Anna Tibaijuka said unless the majority of households enjoyed some measure of welfare, which accrued from productive employment, sustainable urban development was likely to remain an illusion. She said the U.N. housing agency has unveiled a six-year strategic plan to stabilise the unplanned and chaotic aspects of urban growth and unleash the productive potential of the urban poor. Tibaijuka said sustainable urban development will also likely remain an illusion if the urban poor, who are the majority of the urban population in most developing countries, are excluded from decision-making and from being full urban citizens. “The proposed six-year Medium-term Strategic and Institutional Plan for 2008-2013 is pivotal to this vision. It

will maximize our collecting chances of success. It recognizes that sustainable urbanization requires a stakeholdersupported roadmap,” Tibaijuka told housing ministers and urban planners from 100 countries across the world. “The plan calls for ongoing and increasing alliance building with all those committed to making a difference. This implies first and foremost that we work with member states to develop effective policies and strategic to meeting the social, economic and environmental challenges of rapid urbanisation,” she said. Tibaijuka, who is also the director general of the United Nations Office in Nairobi (UNON), said the increase of slum dwellers would be caused by rural urban migration, increasing poverty and insufficient investment in new lowincome housing. “We must work together like never before to stabilise the chaotic aspects of rapid urbanization and begin to reverse the trend of the urbanization of poverty and slum formation, including slum prevention through participatory planning and land tenure reforms with a gender perspective,” she said.

Bollywood fashion extravaganza held in Mauritius

A

n Indian origin businessman and philanthropist in Durban, South Africa, was scheduled to stage a mammoth Bollywood fashion week in Mauritius. Sharan Haricharan invited top Bollywood stars for the show, the proceeds of which was to be donated to child welfare in Mauritius, according to the Post newspaper. “The idea behind the fundraiser came after I facilitated the involvement of my friend, fashion guru Haroun Hansrot, in the latest Durban-shoot of the film ‘Race’, which starred Saif

Ali Khan,” Haricharan said. “We were pleased when Sameera Reddy agreed to get involved. She will donate her services free of charge for the cause. We tried to get Bipasha Basu involved as well, but she said her assignments over the next few months would be gruelling,” the businessman said. Apart from Bollywood stars, Haricharan and Hansrot also plan to rope in two models from KwaZulu Natal and a few talents from Mauritius itself. The event was slated to take place at the plush seaside resort of Sugar Beach.

February-April 2007

11


I N

F O C U S

India-E Ethiopia Ties on UPWARD Spiral K. Mathews traces India-Ethiopia relations down the centuries and envisages a robust economic partnership between the two countries with the rapid modernisation and growth of their economies

T

here are multiple bonds that bind background to the development of Indo-Ethiopian relations India and Ethiopia together, encom- through the ages. passing civilisational, historical, cultural, commercial, economic, social, Historical Background political and diplomatic ties. Close cultural affinities and complementarBoth India and Ethiopia are ancient civilisations of at least ities of their economies provide the 5,000 and 3,000 years, respectively. India was the cradle of bedrock of socio-cultural and com- civilisation along with a galaxy of other great civilisations like mercial links between the two peo- Egypt, Sumeria, Babylonia, etc. Contacts between the Indian ples. With its own alphabet, calendar and clock, Ethiopia is a subcontinent and the Western countries, especially Egypt, unique ancient African country, one Greece, Syria, Mesopotamia and east Despite the divergence in of the oldest states in the world. It African lands, began during the days size, population and power, has a recorded history which stretchof the Mahabharata, which takes us es back to the biblical times. back to about 3000 years B.C. The India and Ethiopia have Throughout the centuries, Ethiopia Indian Ocean served as a connecting much in common. Their has always been the symbol of link between India, the Middle East ancient African civilisation and state- economies are complementary. and Africa. Traders, explorers and hood, one that can boast the most seafarers had in this great southern Both are multi-cultural, remarkable achievements and a gloocean a very useful phenomenon of multi-lingual, multi-ethnic, rious past from times immemorial. trade winds and our ancestors knew multi-religious and face Ethiopia is also the only country in how to make good use of this pheAfrica which has never been nomenon. identical problems and colonised by a European power and A number of scholars of ancient challenges of nation-building. thus it remains a symbol of indepenIndian history has noted that in Both are engaged in the dence and freedom in Africa. ancient times a large number of peoDespite the divergence in size, ple migrated from the west coast of struggle for democracy and population and power, India and India in search of new lands and setdevelopment. Ethiopia have much in common. tled in Egypt, Nubia (the Sudan) and Their economies are complemenEthiopia. In those days, the famous tary. Both are multi-cultural, multi-lingual, multi-ethnic, Nile Valley and Indus Valley civilisations interacted with each multi-religious and face identical problems and challenges of other. The Nile and the Red Sea provided well-known routes nation-building. Both are engaged in the struggle for democ- to Indian traders and visitors. The mass migration of the racy and development. While India is the largest democracy in Hamitic people from Asia to Ethiopia is generally believed to the world, Ethiopia is in the process of consolidating its demo- have reached its zenith around 3000 B.C. and the Semitic cratic institutions and practices since the overthrow of the migrations followed 2,000 years later, both arriving through detested Derg regime in 1991. With the adoption of the new the regions of Tigrai and Eritrea. These Hamitic people had a Constitution in 1994, Ethiopia, like India, has adopted a fed- long history of commercial links with the regions on both eral and democratic structure. There is a proud historical lega- sides of the Red Sea. It is believed that the arrival of Semitic cy and profound socio-cultural basis on which the diverse settlers from Asia to Ethiopia was only the last decisive phase bilateral cooperation arrangements could be strengthened and of the long intercourse between the Ethiopian region and the promoted. We may now start with providing a brief historical other side of the Red Sea.

12

February-April 2007


A F R I C A

Q U A R T E R L Y

The Harar Military Academy was set up with Indian help in 1958

Many historians have noted that ancient Indians came into direct touch with the Egyptians and Ethiopians through the mediation of the Iranian rulers and organisers of the great Persian empire from the 6th Century B.C. Some classical historians have also pointed out that Ethiopians were originally an Indian race. They also provide ethnological grounds which support the assumption that the ancient Ethiopians are of Indian origin. The physical similarities, both in colour and shape of the body, for instance, between South Indians and Ethiopians, are presented as an additional proof. Says well known Afro-American historian William Leo Hansbury: “Ethiopia in the Middle Ages as well as in ancient times was frequently called India and its inhabitants were often designated as the Indi or the Indians of Africa.” Furthermore, these historians have pointed out that it was on record that during the days of Marco Polo, Africa was called “Greater India” and Ethiopia was “Middle India”. There is a mass of evidence, both Indian and Ethiopian, with respect to exchange of commodities between the two countries in ancient times. During the Axumite Empire (1st to 6th century A.D.) in Ethiopia, Indian traders flocked to the ancient port of Adulis (now called Zula near Massawa) in the eastern part of Ethiopia for trade. The port of Adulis had become a meeting point for maritime trade and served as an outlet for Axum, itself a main collecting centre for ivory from various regions. The position of Axum in commerce was further evident in the minting of its own gold, silver and copper coins. The importance of India’s trade relations with the Axumite Empire was brought to light by the discovery of 103 Kushana gold coins around 230 A.D. in Axum. The Axumite period witnessed the expansion and intensification of trade contacts between the two countries and vividly showed that some of the products exported to India from Ethiopia were of high

value. Ethiopia was a great source of gold, ivory, rhinoceros horn and slaves, all of which were in great demand in India at the time. India, in turn, supplied cotton and silk, pepper and other spices, which were equally in great demand in Ethiopia. Indian spices greatly influenced Ethiopian cuisine. Another important dimension of the Indo-Ethiopian trade relations in the earlier periods was the slave trade. Axum at that time represented the global commercial significance of Ethiopia and its trade with India was a factor of supreme importance in the evolution of India-Ethiopia relations in the past. The strategic location of Axum at the heart of a series of trade routes made it suitable for international commerce and human settlement. The existence of flourishing trade and commercial intercourse at the time was further supported by archeological evidence. These evidences were mainly gold coins used for exchange of commodities between the two countries. These coins were later discovered in several parts of south-west India and northern Ethiopia. The Axumite trade with the East was an on-going affair in ancient times and it traded with India, Ceylon as well as Arabia and Persia. It is an established fact that the Indian maritime presence in the Red Sea had by the 6th century A.D. impressed Axumites sufficiently for Emperor Kaleb to commission nine Indian ships in his retaliatory expedition to South Arabia. That the Indian silk trade, as distinct from traditional cotton, was also highly prized in the region is evident from the records of Byzantine historian Procopious, who relates how the Roman Emperor Justinian tried to persuade the Ethiopians to directly purchase silk from India and sell it to the Romans in order to break the monopoly of Persians, their enemy. Adulis was destroyed in 710 A.D. when Islam spread along the trade routes to the Ethiopian interior. But Indo-Ethiopian economic relations survived the vicissitudes of history. There was continuing import of great variety

February-April 2007

13


I N

F O C U S

of Indian textiles, including silks and brocades. Many literary works of the early 14th century have revealed the deep Ethiopian interest in India. By this time Ibn Battuta, the great Moroccan traveler in Africa and Asia, was also making several references to the presence of “Habshis” in the slave trade during his visit to India (1333-1342)

Kozhikode), which also faced the African continent and traded with Ethiopia. Habshis were also reported in the interior of north India. Ibn Battuta recalls that at Alipur, north of Delhi, the governor was “the Abyssinian Badr…, a man whose bravery passed into a proverb”. He was “continually making raids on the infidels alone, and single-handed killing and taking captive, so that his fame spread far and wide and the infidels Ethiopians in India went in fear of them”. Later in the century a slave called Malik Sarwar, described as a Habshi, was appointed further north as The flourishing trade relations between India and Ethiopia governor of Jaunpur. that began during the ancient period continued in the subseNumerous Habshis and other foreign slaves were likewise quent centuries with the added dimension of the slave trade. politically very prominent in 15th century Bengal, which also According to historian Richard Pankhurst, the coming of enjoyed extensive trade with Ethiopia and other parts of Africa. Ethiopian and other East African slaves to India a millennium The then Bengali ruler, Sultan Rukun al-Din (1450-1474), or so later is abundantly documented in various historical reportedly had no less than 8,000 African slaves, some of whom records. Western India, from the 13th to the 17th century, wit- rose to positions of considerable importance. Such slaves were nessed massive forced migration of Ethiopians and other East particularly influential during the ensuing reign of Jalal al-Din African slaves. Such slaves were known mainly by three alter- Fath Shah (1481-1487). Habshis were in fact so powerful in native names: ‘Habshis’, ‘Sidis’ and ‘Kaffirs’. The term Habshi Bengal that a group of them conspired to overthrow Jalal alwas a corruption of Habbash, the Din Fath but were killed later. Thus The trade between India and Arabic name for Abyssinia (now from protectors of the dynasty, the Ethiopia). The word Habshi was Ethiopia that began during the Habshis became masters of the kinglater used more widely for all dom. There are many such stories of ancient period continued in the protectors becoming masters. The Africans. However, most slaves from subsequent centuries with the Africa to India would, for geographHabshis, who had shown themselves ical reasons, have originated on the so formidable in the bloody struggles added dimension of the slave eastern coast of the continent, parof the time, were subsequently bantrade. The coming of Ethiopian ished from Bengal. Many sought ticularly Abyssinia. The term ‘Sidi’ slaves to India a millennium or refuge further north, in Delhi and by contrast was a corruption of the Arabic word “Sayid” or ‘master’. The Jaunpur, after which they drifted to so later is documented in term ‘Kaffir’ was derived from the the Deccan in the south and Gujarat historical records. Western Arabic ‘Kaffir’, originally an infidel, in the west. India, from the 13th to the 17th or the ones who did not believe in The Deccan, in south-western Islam. The word tended to be used in India, was another area in which the century, witnessed massive India for any non-Muslim and was in Habshis gained prominence, and, as forced migration of Ethiopians many cases applied to African immielsewhere, became involved in many and other East African slaves. grants and their descendants. conflicts of the day. At the beginning “Habshis” (Ethiopian slaves) are of the 15th century, the local known to have arrived in India as early as the 13th century. Bahmani ruler, Sultan Firuz (1397-1422), had many Habshi Many of them subsequently rose to very high positions. The slaves as his personal attendants, as well as his bodyguards and first prominent “Habshi” of whom we have record was a slave harem. Indeed, many notable Habshis feature in the Deccan called Jamal al-Din Yaqut, a royal courtier in the kingdom of chronicles. Ethiopian and other African slaves were at this Delhi. A handsome and most likeable individual, he is report- time probably arriving in India in large numbers. Though ed to have won favour of then reigning sovereign Queen most Habshis came to India as slaves, their faithfulness, Razzia. This aroused much jealousy in court. He was eventu- courage and energy often raised them to positions of high trust ally murdered by his rivals. Habshis, it is evident from 14th in the Bahmani court, so much so that they were exalted to century records, were also prominent in several other parts of the highest positions in the state. Several Habshis became India. The largest concentration of slaves was apparently found prominent during the ensuing periods. The importance of in the north-west, facing Africa, in Gujarat, and immediately Habshis of this time is also evident from the fact that a hill outto the east, around the Gulf of Cambay. Both areas had long side the capital city of Bidar, where once they had their been in close commercial contact, across the Arabian and Red stronghold –– and where many of them were buried –– is to Sea, with Ethiopia and the Horn of Africa. Evidence of an this day known as “Habshi Kot”. Ethiopian slave presence in the Indian subcontinent is also proHabshis at this time were also prominent at several points vided by Battuta in the 14th century. These Ethiopian slaves along India’s western coast, particularly at the island fort of were also used as famous guarantors of safety on the Indian Janjira, and in the nearby creek of Danda-Rajpuri, where they Ocean against pirates and idolators. A sizeable number of were almost invariably referred to as Sidis. There are different Habshis were also found much further south, at Calicut (now stories as to how the Sidis established themselves strongly at

14

February-April 2007


A F R I C A

Q U A R T E R L Y

Janjira. The Sidis remained in effecAbyssinian”. It is said that there were A number of Indian film tive control of Janjira for the next 200 no less than 5,000 Habshis in festivals were also held in years. Further north at Daman, on Ahmedabad, and 1,500 in Baroda, in the coast of Ahmadnagar facing Ethiopia which proved extremely 1561-62. When the Mughal Emperor Africa, the governor at the time of the Akbar (1556-1605) subsequently popular. Indian films, both Portuguese occupation in 1530 was a entered Gujarat in 1572, there were documentaries and features, Habshi chief called Sayf al-Mullk likewise 700 Habshi horsemen on Miftah, who had a force of 4,000 felthe scene. The best known Habshi of are extremely popular in low Habshis. To the south meanthe early 17th century was said to be Ethiopia. Every young while, at Goa, Habshis were also Malik Ambar (1549-1626), an Ethiopian is familiar with the prominent. In 1493, the Bahmani “Abyssinian” slave purchased in admiral Sidi Yaqut is said to have Baghdad, who became chief minister names of leading Indian film been sent with a fleet of 20 vessels in the shrunken kingdom off stars and latest films. Indian against the Gujrat fort of Mahim near Ahmadnagar. He won renown in film music strikes an Bombay, and succeeded in capturing 1601 by defeating the Mughal forces it. Habshis likewise became promiin south-west Berar. Several other instant emotional nent at Calicut, the population of Habshis held important positions connection. which, according to the modern later in the century. It is said that Indian historian, K.M. Panikkar, conthere was at least one prominent tinued to include many people from Abyssinia. Habshi named Rahut Jung (died 1796) in the 18th century Cambay, to the north-west of the subcontinent, also had a Hyderabad in the interior of central India. considerable Habshi population. Some made their way into the Though the influence of the Habshis in India was on the interior, including Mandu, whose sultan, Shah Khalji (1469- whole declining in the later years, they continued to hold 1500), reportedly had 500 Abyssinian slave girls dressed in power in the island of Janjira, on the west coast, where they male attire. In the 15th and 16th centuries, with the advent of were almost invariably referred to as Sidis. The Sidis played a the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden region and the rise of the notable role in the struggle between Emperor Aurangzeb and Muslim state of Adal, in the East of what is now Ethiopia, bor- the Maratha leader Shivaji (1674-1680). It is said that no less dering the Gulf of Aden, and the increase in slave raiding in than three of the principal provinces of Bijapur were then conthe interiors of Ethiopia resulted in considerable expansion in trolled by Sidis. The Sidis were said to be at this time rich and the slave trade, and in particular the export of numerous reportedly gained as much from their trade as from a stipend Ethiopian slaves to Arabia, India and elsewhere. It is said that from Aurangzeb. Besides possessing many vessels of force, Ethiopian slaves, serving in India as soldiers, were “strong and the Sidis carried on considerable trade. The Habshi admirals valiant to such a degree that there was a proverb throughout of the Mughal Empire also enjoyed an influence far beyond India that good soldiers, or ascaris or servants must be Janjira. After the advent of the British in Bombay, in 1773, they

February-April 2007

15


I N

F O C U S

concluded an offensive and defensive inally as a slave and then rose in the Nehru and alliance with the Sidis. service of Sultan Muzaffar Ali, and Gandhi Indian trade with Ethiopia and the later became a big landlord. It is also Gulf of Aden continued to flourish in very much evident that Ethiopian the 17th century and beyond and was stone masons, craftsmen and archiaccompanied by many further shiptects had a hand in the building of ments of slaves. The importance of not only the famous Sidi Sa’id Habshis in Indian political affairs Mosque in Ahmedabad but also in diminished subsequently. It is noted the construction of the same kind in that slave exports from Ethiopia and other states in India, particularly the the Horn of Africa in the first twoDeccan, Gujarat, Khandesh, Oudh thirds of the 19th century was by no and Bengal. Ethiopian war prisoners means inconsiderable. Such exports of Ahmed Grangn (the left-handed), (which were destined for Arabia, who invaded Ethiopia in the 16th India and other places) were then century, were also sent to India as running at close to 10,000 a year, i.e. slaves, but were later educated to almost a 100,000 per decade, or nearbecome soldiers, palace guards and ly a million per century. These figtraders. The important role ures suggest there was a significant Ethiopians played in India in the Tagore Radhakrishnan influx of slaves from Ethiopia and the medieval times thus continued by Horn of Africa, and that they would their holding different positions of Nationalist leaders like Nehru have at least partially replenished the high rank close to Indian rulers. We ranks of the long-established Habshi may now turn to examine the role and Gandhi condemned the population in India. Habshis, or their Italian aggression and gave total that Indians played in Ethiopia. descendants, continued in various support to Ethiopia. President parts of India. Most of the Habshis Indians in Ethiopia largely lived a life of near anonymity Radhakrishnan, who was then a and scarcely feature in the records of As noted earlier, for centuries, professor at Oxford, said: the time. The first marriages of the Ethiopia served as a bridge between Habshis were said to be with natives “Events in Abyssinia constituted India, Mesopotamia, Arabia and of India, but later they largely married Egypt. An organised system of coma betrayal of moral values.” among their own families. This merce continued during the cenPoet, philosopher and Nobel helped them to preserve their nationturies between India and Ethiopia laureate Rabindranath Tagore ality and identity and formed a through the Indian, Arab, Moor and numerous community distinct in figArmenian traders. Later, after the vividly conveyed in his poetry ure, colour and character from all the the then friendly sentiments and defeat of Ahmad Grangn by Emperor other races of Mohammedans in Leba Dengel (1506-1546), with the sympathy that prevailed in India. support of the Portuguese military, India. The export of Ethiopian slaves to Indian technicians (commoners, India, apart from helping to sustain the long-standing trade ties builders, blacksmiths, carpenters, masons, shoe-makers and between the two countries, provided an opportunity to ancient other craftsmen) went to Ethiopia from Goa when Portuguese Ethiopians to contribute significantly to Indian history. They missionaries and travelers were shuttling between East Africa made contributions in many fields, particularly architecture and India in the 17th century. The contributions of Indians in and masonry, among others. Regarding the Ethiopian archi- Ethiopia were significant, especially in the fields of constructectural influence in India during the medieval period, in par- tion and craft. To quote the report of the Jesuit Priest Almeida ticular their ability in designing and construction in general, : “Some masons from India, brought by the patriarch, were I.M. Muthanna has noted that the Habshis who were the employed by the emperor to build a palace of stone and lime, chiefs of governments, army commanders and politicians, had a structure that was wonder in the country.” It is said that the an interest in the Muslim architecture and they continued to Indians played an innovative role, particularly in the building build great structures during the reign of the Bahmini Sultans of bridges and introduction of lime and mortar construction. and the Mughal chiefs in the north. The greatest Habshi con- By the 17th and 18th centuries, trade continued to dominate struction in India was that of an Abyssinian noble, Sheik Sa’id the relations between the two countries. Ethiopian products, Al Habshi, Sultan of Ahmadnagar, who got the Sidi Sa’id especially gold, continued to be exported to India to buy cloth Mosque built. This mosque is now a leading tourist attraction from India. Commercial contacts led to more visible contacts in Ahmedabad. The same writer has noted that little is known in the field of culture and arts. The impact of Indian influence, about this gifted Abyssinian master-mason who created this according to Richard Pankhurst, can also be seen from the 18th marvel of stone in perfect workmanship. He was in India orig- and 19th century Ethiopian Christian arts. In this regard,

16

February-April 2007


A F R I C A Pankhurst has stated: “Contacts with India, in this period, seem to have had interesting, though by no means, exclusive, influences on eighteenth and early nineteenth century Ethiopian Christian art… The Virgin Mary is thus occasionally depicted in an unmistakably Indian posture; guardian archangels in the interior of churches are often seen wearing Moghul-type clothes; some manuscript illustrations of buildings seem of Indian inspiration.” There are also many other areas where the Indian influence is clearly evident in Ethiopia. This includes all aspects of culture and calls for a separate, detailed study. I may mention only some aspects here. In 1868, for the first time, Indian soldiers, then under the British, came to Ethiopia under Robert Napier’s expedition against Emperor Tewodros of Ethiopia. The expedition at the time had 12,000 troops, out of which more than 8,000 were Indian soldiers from Bombay and Punjab Regiments and artillery from Bengal. Later, following the defeat of the Italians by Emperor Menelik in March 1896 at the famous battle of Adowa, the British attempted to win the friendship of the emperor by dispatching a mission. It is interesting to note that this mission, in addition to British officers, included Indians and an Ethiopian surgeon, Dr. Workneh, who studied in India. He had an important official post in India before he returned to Ethiopia to become later on a personal physician to the Emperor Tewdros. At the end of the 19th century, many Indians such as merchants, workers and artisans came to Ethiopia and some settled in the country by establishing business shops and trade firms. It is estimated that by 1909 there were about 150 Indian businessmen in Addis Ababa with established business enterprises. Leading trading houses, with headquarters in Bombay, exported coffee, pulses and wheat to Ethiopia while they imported items such as cotton, rayon, yarns, gunny bags, etc. Before Ethiopia was invaded by fascist Italy in 1935, the number of these business firms in Addis Ababa is said to have increased to 3,000. While discussing the role and influence of Indians in Ethiopia, it is also pertinent to take note of the Indian response to the Italian invasion of Ethiopia in 1935, as a revenge for their defeat at Adowa in 1896. When Ethiopia was invaded by fascist Italy, there was vast sympathy and solidarity from the people of India to Ethiopia. Indian nationalist leaders like Jawaharlal Nehru, Mahatma Gandhi, etc., vehemently condemned the aggression and gave total political and moral support to Ethiopia. Nehru declined to accept the invitation extended to him by the fascist leader Benito Mussolini to visit Rome while he was visiting Europe in 1936 because it “would inevitably have led to all manner of inferences and would be used for fascist Italy propaganda”. Besides, shortly after his return to India, the Indian National Congress organised a mass demonstration under the banner of “Ethiopia Day” to show India’s full solidarity with Ethiopia against Italian atrocities in the country. Mahatma Gandhi also expressed his deep sympathy to the Ethiopians and revulsion against this barbaric act. The total moral and political support extended to Ethiopia by a wide section of the Indian intelligentsia, including the press, was indeed striking and constant. The late Indian President Dr. S. Radhakrishnan, who was then a professor at

Q U A R T E R L Y

Oxford University, added his voice to the moral support Ethiopia enjoyed in India by saying that “events in Abyssinia constituted a betrayal of moral values”. The famous Indian poet, philosopher and Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore vividly conveyed in his poetry the then friendly sentiments and sympathy that prevailed in India in the following words: The savage greed of the civilised stripped naked its unashamed inhumanity. You wept and your cry was smothered, Your forest trails became muddy with tears and blood, while the nailed boots of the robbers left their indelible prints along the history of your indignity! Evidently, the colonial situation in which India found itself was a major contributing factor to the unanimous solidarity India felt towards Ethiopia. Both India and Ethiopia were waging their independence struggles against colonial rule and fascism, respectively. In that sense Ethiopia and India were covictims of colonial oppression. It was during this time of Italian occupation that the Indian troops, for the second time, after almost seven decades, came back to Ethiopia, again under the British flag, but for a different purpose, that is, to join the Allied armies to fight against Fascist Italy’s occupation forces. During World War II it is estimated 5,000 Indian soldiers lost their lives in the decisive battle of Karen alone, where in the famous fortress the Italian forces were entrenched. The Italians surrendered after five years of grim guerrilla warfare and the heroic liberation campaign of 1941. The short-lived Italian African Empire (including parts of Somalia) collapsed. Following the ignominious defeat of Fascist Italy and the re-entry of the late Emperor Haile Selassie into Ethiopia, the Ethiopian Emperor on several occasions expressed gratitude to Indian troops, who along with the Ethiopian patriots, fought hard against the aggression. India also supported Emperor Haile Selassie’s measures in integrating Eritrea with Ethiopia in a federal arrangement. Ethiopia and Independent India Ethiopia established formal diplomatic relations with independent India in July 1948. This led to the visit of an Indian goodwill mission led by Sardar Sant Singh to Ethiopia in September 1948, who became India’s first ambassador to Ethiopia in 1950. During the imperial period in Ethiopia, bilateral relations with India prospered, marked by an exchange of visits at the highest levels. Emperor Haile Selassie himself visited India twice — in 1956 and 1968. Agreements were signed in 1969 on trade, technical, economic and scientific cooperation. Bilateral cooperation found concrete expressions in the establishment of an Indo-Ethiopian textile factory and the Haile Selassie Military Academy in Harar in 1958 and the building of Gandhi Memorial Hospital in Addis Ababa in 1955. Large numbers of Indian teachers rendered pioneering service to the Ethiopian people in the field of primary and secondary education particularly. The then Indian President V.V. Giri visited Ethiopia in 1973.

February-April 2007

17


I N

F O C U S

Political changes in Ethiopia, triggered by the Popular conduct of techno-economic and feasibility studies. This conRevolution in 1974, however, have not in the least affected the tinued from 1965 under the Indian Technical and Economic warmth, goodwill and regard for India and Indians with whom Cooperation programme, known by its acronym ITEC. After Ethiopians had enjoyed close customary cultural, social and the visit of the then Ethiopian President Mengistu Haile business links. India is one of the few countries with which Mariam to India in December 1985, assistance under this prorelations are firmly based on grassroots support and even the gramme was expanded considerably. India also has cooperanormally xenophobic Ethiopian finds it the most natural thing tion arrangements with Ethiopia in the field of defence since to support good relations with India. India continued to extend the early 1960s, when it set up a Military Academy at Harar its cooperation to the Ethiopian people, significantly in areas for training officers. The Harar Military Academy, which was of technical cooperation and development of small-scale originally designed and established by the British, was later run industries. Indian universities and institutions of higher learn- by the Indian Army officers delegated by the Indian Military ing began to receive large numbers of Ethiopian students pur- Academy, Khadakhvasla, near Pune, India. suing professional and higher studies. After the 1974 revolution in Ethiopia, India was perhaps one of the few countries Trade and Bilateral Cooperation with which its relations were never hostile, unlike with most of the Western, Arab or even other Asian countries. India’s In 1982, India and Ethiopia signed a trade agreement and a support to Ethiopia during the Ethiopian-Somalia war of memorandum of understanding on commercial, technical 1977-78 over the Ogaden is remembered with gratitude. and scientific cooperation which identified a number of fields Ethiopia and India supported each other in the United such as agriculture, development, consultancy, handicrafts, Nations and the Non-Aligned small-scale industries, transportaA Joint Trade Committee (JTC) tion, manpower development, etc. In Movement (NAM). Ethiopia paid close attention to India’s policies and July 1987, the Ethiopian Handicraft was constituted which held a postures on disarmament, Northand Small Industry Development number of fruitful meetings South dialogue, South-South coopAgency and the National Small subsequently. The volume of eration, the Indian Ocean and Industries Corporation of India numerous other issues. President trade, though small, has grown signed an agreement for developing Mengistu Haile Mariam visited around 38 different types of machingradually and in 2001-2002 India in 1983 (NAM Summit) and ery for utilisation in setting up smallcrossed the $100 million mark in 1985. India’s sympathetic attitude scale industries in Ethiopia. towards the problems of economic with exports from India valued at Since 1991, with the coming into development of African countries power of the EPRDF regime in $90.4 million and imports from Ethiopia and liberalisation of both and their sensitivities has struck a Ethiopia at $18.4 million. chord with Ethiopia. Viewed against the Indian and the Ethiopian this background, it is, therefore, not economies, political and business ties Bilateral trade stood at mere surprising that there has been a between the two countries have $12.9 million a decade earlier, remarkable intensity of bilateral grown significantly. After liberalisain 1992-93. exchanges in diverse fields charaction, the Indian economy is now on terising the Indo-Ethiopian relations. the verge of sustained increase in Most of these exchanges are connected with the upgrading of domestic demand due to rising per capita GDP and the Ethiopian skills for which India has been identified as a pre- increasing globalisation of India’s capital markets. These, couferred source. Ethiopia considered India’s experience in grap- pled with the availability of low-cost, high-quality manpowpling with the problems of economic reconstruction after er, offer attractive opportunities for business in India. India is independence as more relevant in its present context and has one of the largest emerging market economies in the world, tried to pattern its development and institutions after India’s. with a GDP of over $1 trillion. Its improved macroeconomics, Ethiopia has been keen to study India’s experience in sugar trade and investment-friendly initiatives, and low-cost, hightechnology, textiles, small-scale industries, engineering indus- quality manpower base offer significant opportunities for busitries, agriculture, water resources management, and, more ness. By 2040, India is expected to emerge as the world’s thirdrecently, information technology and telemedicine. Ethiopian largest economy. Home to more that one billion people, India Prime Minister Meles Zenawi visited India in 1997. There accounts for one-sixth of the world’s population and in less were many other exchanges of high-level delegations between that 10 years, it is expected to be the world’s most populous the two countries in more recent years. nation. India has also been providing modest economic and techEthiopia also has introduced rapid political and economic nical assistance to Ethiopia. Such assistance has mainly been changes and reforms since 1991. From 1974 to 1991, the in the form of training facilities and scholarship to Ethiopian Ethiopian economy was run on the basis of a Central nationals in academic and technical institutions, deputation of Command System. After the collapse of the Derg regime in Indian experts, donations of food grains, medicines and hand- 1991, the new government of Ethiopia has endeavoured to looms, agricultural equipment, books and publications and the steer the economy from the Central Command System to a

18

February-April 2007


A F R I C A

Q U A R T E R L Y

decentralised market-oriented econment liberalisation measures initiatomy, by adopting a new economic ed in Ethiopia, the latter now propolicy both at the macro and the secvides many opportunities for toral levels. Ethiopia has been receivincreased Indian exports. It should ing considerable financial and techbe stressed that Indian products in nical assistance from multilateral and Ethiopia do not suffer from any disbilateral donors. criminatory barriers –– whether tarIndo-Ethiopian economic cooperiff or non-tariff. There has also not ation has also intensified. A new trade been any case of countervailing agreement between India and duties imposed on Indian goods as Ethiopia was signed on March 6, anti-dumping measures. 1997, in New Delhi during the visit There is vast scope for enhanced of Zenawi to India. It imparted a deftrade and bilateral cooperation inite content and dynamism to the between India and Ethiopia in such bilateral cooperation agenda, espeareas as agro-based industries, leather cially in the areas of human resource and leather-products, knowledgedevelopment and the sharing of based industries including pharmaappropriate technologies and experceuticals and drugs, information tise. Among others, a Joint Trade technology, etc. Other areas that Committee (JTC) was constituted have potential are iron and steel, In 2005, India set up an which held a number of fruitful engineering goods and machinery, meetings subsequently. The volume textiles and yarns, plastic and paper e-learning project for Africa of trade, though small, has grown products, etc. Potential areas of whose centre is in Ethiopia. gradually and in 2001-2002 crossed India-Ethiopia joint ventures are the This is the Pan-African the $100 million mark with exports garment industry, minerals and minfrom India valued at $90.4 million ing, tourism, machinery for light e-Network project, which is and imports from Ethiopia at $18.4 industry, foundry shops, processing the brain-child of Indian million. Bilateral trade stood at mere of oil seeds, commercial farming, President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam. $12.9 million a decade earlier, in processing and packaging of coffee, 1992-93. India is Ethiopia’s sixthassembly of tractors, among others. He presented it to the largest trading partner for merchanThere is also ample scope for coopPan-African Parliament in dise exports. The main items of eration in the production of solar 2004. India is in the process exports from India are iron and steel energy and supply of solar equip(about 50 percent), manufactures of ment. It is, however, important to of implementing it in metals, drugs and pharmaceuticals, point out here that the quantum of collaboration with the machinery and instruments, trade between the two countries still African Union (AU). paper/wood products, yarn and texleaves much to be desired. India’s tile fabrics, auto parts, plastic and share in Ethiopia’s global imports, linoleum products and food items. The main items of export except in iron and steel, remains largely insignificant. A glance from Ethiopia to India are pulses (41 percent), raw hides and at figures relating to India’s imports from Ethiopia and her skins, raw cotton and leather. Raw cotton and pulses are the exports to Ethiopia provide a dismal picture. This situation new items of exports to India. We notice that India’s trade with needs to be reversed. Ethiopia has virtually been a one-sided affair with the balance However, it is encouraging to note that India-Ethiopia of trade heavily in India’s favour. This situation could improve. cooperation, specially in the field of education, is making rapid The prospects of expansion of bilateral trade are huge. There strides. In 2005, India set up an e-learning project for Africa are very many areas in which new and mutually beneficial ini- whose centre is in Ethiopia. This is the Pan-African etiatives could be taken. The development of small-scale indus- Network project, which is the brain-child of Indian President tries is one of Ethiopia’s thrust areas and a major part of the A.P.J. Abdul Kalam. He presented it to the Pan-African purchase is left to private entrepreneurs. Ethiopia has also Parliament in 2004. India is in the process of implementing it introduced a New Investment Code in July 2003. The private in collaboration with the African Union (AU). The idea is that sector is encouraged to invest in most areas of the economy. India will help create in every African country an e-learning Even those economic areas reserved for the government –– centre and a tele-medicine centre which will be linked to enamely defence industries, hydropower generation, telecom- learning centres and medical institutions in India and provide munications –– are now open to private domestic and foreign services. The satellite hub for that is to be located in Senegal. investors. A foreign investor may team up with a domestic Most importantly, the pilot project is taking place in Ethiopia. investor for a joint investment. This offers India new oppor- There will be five or six post-graduate courses in Ethiopia by tunities. On account of a number of recent trade and invest- Indian universities.

February-April 2007

19


I N

F O C U S

Cultural Interaction

Emerging Trends and Prospects

There has been increasing cultural interaction between the two countries over the years. Among others, India and Ethiopia signed a Cultural Agreement in 1983 which provided for cooperation in art and culture, education, archeology, sports, public health, film, television, radio, press, etc. A twoyear cultural exchange programme was implemented subsequently. This included provision for training slots and scholarships, deputation of experts in planning, agriculture, archeology, academic cooperation and linkages between universities, exchange of books, publications, scientific journals, etc. Also, a memorandum of understanding in the field of information and mass media was signed in 1984 between the two countries. A number of Indian folk dance troupes gave performances in Ethiopia. A number of Indian film festivals were also held in Ethiopia which proved extremely popular. Indian films, both documentaries and features, are extremely popular in Ethiopia. Every young Ethiopian is familiar with the names of leading Indian film stars and latest films. Indian film music strikes an instant emotional connection. The presence of a strong Indian community in Ethiopia, particularly in Addis Ababa, possibly the largest foreign resident community in the country, is yet another indication of the strength of growing IndoEthiopian cultural relations. They numbered more than 9,000 at one point of time. During the communist Derg regime many Indians left Ethiopia and they numbered over 3,000 at the end of the 1980s, made up mostly of businessmen and teachers. The number of professionals and technical personnel has, however, been steadily on the increase in recent years. In 2003 alone the Ethiopian ministry of education recruited about 250 Indians for teaching at the University of Addis Ababa and other universities in Ethiopia, including the author of this article. Currently, there are some 400 Indian professors teaching in various Ethiopian universities. There are also a couple of schools run by the Indian community in Addis Ababa.

In short, relations between Ethiopia and India have always been good and have sometimes been described as a model for South-South Cooperation. As we have seen, India and Ethiopia share much in common in terms of history, culture, socio-economic characteristics and common political aspirations. If we look towards the past, it becomes evident that India and Africa have been part of a common struggle for freedom. It is clear that existing relations between India and Ethiopia, particularly in the economic field, do not reflect the full potential. It should be stressed that the economies of India and Ethiopia are quite complementary and, therefore, they stand to benefit from increased trade and greater economic cooperation in a variety of fields. India-Ethiopia relations could assume new directions and dimensions in building a more robust and substantial partnership. Indeed, the two countries need to rediscover each other’s true potential. Some key areas in which the two countries could greatly intensify collaboration to great mutual benefit are: information and communication technologies, human resource development, agriculture, dairy development, the development of small-scale industries and pharmaceuticals, among others. Thanks to the success of the Indian economy over the last decade and a gradual process of economic reform in the world’s most populous democracy, Indian companies are becoming internationally competitive and can set up more and more ventures in Ethiopia in a variety of sectors. For Ethiopia, like most other African countries, industrialization and modernization is the path ahead and not perpetuating the raw material economy. The consolidation and strengthening of India-Ethiopia economic linkages can go a long way to usher in a new era of meaningful and mutually beneficial South-South Cooperation. As a new world order is unfolding before us, it is incumbent on India and Ethiopia, who share ideals and ideas, culture and a convergent world view, to work together more closely to promote the collective interest of the developing nations in our common search for a more democratic and equitable world.

References Assefa, Endeshaw, ‘Ethiopia: Perspectives for Change and Renewal’, Singapore, 2002 Chatterjee, S.K., ‘India and Ethiopia from the Seventh Century B.C.’, Calcutta, 1968 Embassy of India, Addis Ababa, ‘India and Ethiopia’, Addis Ababa, October 2003 Harris,E., Joseph,(ed) ‘Pillars of African History’, Howard University Press, 1974 Kinfe, Abraham, ‘Ethiopia: From Empire to Nation’, Addis Ababa, 2001 Mathews, K., ‘Ethiopia: A Country-Profile’, Africa Quarterly, Vol. 41, No. 3, 2001 Merera, Gudina, ‘Ethiopia: Competing Ethnic Nationalisms

20

and the Quest for Democracy –– 1960-2000’, Addis Ababa, 2003 Muthanna, I.M., ‘Indo-Ethiopian Relations for Centuries’, James Waix, Vancouver, 1995 Negash, Kebret, ‘Ethiopia-India Relations: A Historical Perspective’, Africa Quarterly, Vol. 41, No. 3, 2001 Pankhurst, Richard, ‘Ethiopian Diaspora in India’, in his book (ed.) titled ‘African Diaspora in the Indian Ocean’, London, 2002 Panhurst, Silvia, ‘Ethiopia: A Cultural History’, London, 1955 Sadiq Ali, Shanti, ‘India and Africa Through the Ages’, National Book Trust of India, New Delhi, 1980

February-April 2007


A F R I C A

Q U A R T E R L Y

India desirous of bolstering trade, economic cooperation with Ethiopia, says Ambassador

I

ndia is keen to further enhance Holding a discussion with officials of economic cooperation with the Ethiopian Millennium National Ethiopia as of the coming Council Secretariat, Ambassador Singh Ethiopian Millennium, the said that the Embassy is ready to consult Indian Ambassador to Ethiopia with pertinent bodies to coordinate its has said. Ambassador Gurjit Singh said activities with national millennium celethe Ethiopian Millennium is a unique bration programmes. event that creates a firm foundation for The Ambassador said the Embassy has the development of the nation. been communicating with Indian culIn an exclusive interview with ENA, tural troupe to encourage them to stage the Ambassador said that the Indian shows in Ethiopia as part of the millenEmbassy is ready more than ever before nium celebration. to foster trade and economic cooperation The Embassy has also planned to between the two sisterly countries. showcase fashion designs of Ethiopia and There are plans to provide capacityIndia and to facilitate a demonstrative building training in collaboration with training on India’s textiles industry to the Ethiopian government on textile and Ethiopian experts in the field. leather manufacturing industries Ethiopian films would be screened According to the Indian with a view to improving the comin six major Indian cities and an Ambassador in Ethiopia, petitiveness of the country in the Indian film week would be held in Gurjit Singh, there are plans global market. Addis Ababa as part of the celebration A team of Indian experts would of the millennium to bolster Ethioto provide capacity-building come to Ethiopia to enhance capaciIndian cultural ties. training in collaboration ty-building activities in Ethiopia, The Ambassador also held discuswith the Ethiopian government sion with officials of the secretariat as especially in leather and leather products manufacturing industries. to how to erect a statue in Addis on textile and leather India commends and assists Ababa as a token of the Indian peomanufacturing industries with a ple to Ethiopian counterparts. Ethiopia’s efforts geared toward view to improving the ensuring sustainable development, Secretariat Director-General, the ambassador said. Seyoum Bereded on his part said the competitiveness of the country The Embassy planned to invite secretariat has a lot to learn from Indian investors to take part in the in the global market. India backs India about hosting such a grand fesEthiopia in its efforts to achieve tival. upcoming international trade fair to be held in Addis Ababa. While appreciating the initiative of sustainable development. The trade fair would enable the the Indian Embassy in connection Indian investors to have reliable and with the celebration of the Ethiopian up-to-date information on the trade and investment oppor- Millennium, Secretariat Deputy Director and Head of Events tunities in Ethiopia. Section Abebe Balcha expressed his belief that the cooperation The Indian Embassy also said it has been undertaking var- of the embassy would contribute a lot in colourfully celebratious preparations to join in celebrations of the upcoming ing the upcoming millennium. Ethiopian Millennium. –– The Ethiopian Herald

February-April 2007

21


U . N .

R E F O R M

Chasing the Security Council DREAM Yeshi Choedon traces the contours of various competing initiatives for reform of the U.N. Security Council and underlines the need for unity among African countries to translate this dream into reality

O

ne of the major issues that has This section also highlights the common proposal developed preoccupied member-states of by the African Union (AU). The last section focuses on the the United Nations in the post- attempts made to reach a common agreement between the Gcold war era is the question of 4 and AU to put up a joint proposal and examines reasons for reforming the U.N. Security the failure of these attempts. It concludes with an analysis of Council. This issue has come the lost opportunity, which is mainly due to the lack of unity to the forefront at a time when among developing countries. the U.N. Security Council is believed to be actually perform- (i) ing the tasks assigned to it by the U.N. Charter, i.e., managing peace and security issues. There has been a deepening and At no point of time in the history of the U.N. was a serious broadening of the task of the U.N. as it deals with not only demand made to increase the number of permanent members inter-state conflicts but also intratill the recent decade. The only time state conflicts, which amounts to a At no point of time in the history the Security Council was subjected to creative reinterpretation of the U.N. enlargement was in 1963 when the of the U.N. was a serious Charter provisions. In this reactivatnumber of non-permanent members demand made to increase the ed and expanded role of the U.N., was increased from six to ten on the the P-5 frequently met in closed- number of permanent members demand of the developing countries. door consultations and the trend till the recent decade. The only The demand was based on the recogtowards increasing unanimity among nition that the increase in membertime the Security Council was the P-5 set the stage for other counship of the U.N. from 51 to 112, tries to press for reform to make it a mainly as a result of decolonisation of subjected to enlargement was more representative and transparent Asian and African nations, should be in 1963 when the number of organ. In the course of time the issue reflected in the composition of the non-permanent members was of reforming the U.N. Security Security Council. The resolution to Council became so divisive that it give effect to the demand was adoptincreased from six to ten on proved to be one of the most acried notwithstanding considerable the demand of the developing monious debates at the U.N., leading opposition from four permanent countries. to street fights in some places. The members. The Soviet Union and sensitivity of member-states on the France voted against the resolution, issue is due to the fact that it touches and Britain and the United States the core of their concern, i.e., the status and power as a nation- abstained. It was ratified by all the permanent members withstate. in a short span of two years due to solidarity shown by the The purpose of the paper is to highlight Africa’s perspective developing countries.1 In the post-cold war period, a new threat to the international on the reform of the U.N. Security Council. The first section discusses various factors which led to the demand for reform security emerged from the ethnic, religious and other local of the Security Council. The second section examines Africa’s conflicts rather than inter-state conflicts. Increasing demand stand on various issues involved in the debate about U.N. has been made on the Security Council to handle these situSecurity Council reform. The third section deals with factors ations, which involved a creative interpretation of the U.N. that imparted a sense of urgency to the demand for reform and Charter provisions. These changed situations and the demands various reform proposals put forth by various groups of states. of the time led the Security Council to embark on a new era

22

February-April 2007


A F R I C A of activism along with a deepening and broadening of its scope. The permanent members increasingly used to reach unanimity through closed-door consultations among them and the non-permanent members had a marginal role in decisionmaking at the Security Council. Furthermore, most of the agenda of the council focused on developing countries, specifically the conflicts in Africa. As a result, the Security Council is now subjected to increased scrutiny for its acts of commissions and omissions. The demand for the reform of the Security Council became more vocal when developing countries felt that the council should reflect their priorities and to make it more representative to enable it to function with requisite legitimacy2, and to seek to restrain the U.S.3 Paradoxically, the demand gathered greater momentum when the U.S. showed interest in the inclusion of Germany and Japan as permanent members of the council, mainly for the purpose of burden-sharing as the U.N. peacekeeping operations became costly and burdensome. The inclusion of Germany and Japan was expected to lighten the financial burden of the P5 and also serve as recognition of their being the second- and third-largest contributors to the U.N. budget, so went the reasoning. Thus, most of the member-states desired restructuring of the U.N. Security Council, but the motivation behind such restructuring varied. Following a meeting of the Security Council at the level of heads of state and government in January 1992 and a summit meeting of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) in Jakarta in September 1992, a near-consensus emerged on bringing about major change in the U.N. system in the light of contemporary realities. The permanent members of the Security Council, who wanted to avoid a broad review of the council’s functioning and composition, were not able to contain the discussion anymore. It was at this stage that India took the initiative to take the issue forward. It resulted in a consensus resolution4 on the question of equitable representation and an increase in membership of the Security Council. On the basis of this resolution, the Secretary General ascertained the views of memberstates and 75 member states from all regions submitted written comments on the issue. On December 3, 1993, the General Assembly decided “to establish an Open-Ended Working Group (OEWG) to consider all aspects of the question of an increase in the membership of the Security Council and other matters related to the council”.5 OEWG facilitated a full and frank exchange of views and participation in it was open to all member-states. The group in its report to the session of the General Assembly in 1994 stated: “Although the debate was substantive and constructive, clarifying the position of member-states, no conclusions were drawn. While there was a convergence of views that the membership of the Security Council should be enlarged, there was also agreement that the scope and nature of such enlargement required further discussions.”6 The reports of the OEWG give an excellent overview of the total lack of agreement on almost every aspect of the issues involved. It is obvious that the question is no longer whether to enlarge the council membership, but on what basis and in

Q U A R T E R L Y

what form. The divergence in their stand revolved around four related issues. They are the future size of the Council, the categories of membership, the criteria of membership and the veto power. (II) The debate on the size of the future Security Council manifested the division along the line of North-South divide. The industrialised states of the northern hemisphere acknowledged that the increase in the general membership from 51 in 1945 to 191 in 2002 suggests that the number of council seats should again be increased, but they are in favour of limited increase in the overall membership of the council. This is because such expansion necessarily amounts to undermining their dominant position and restraint on their influence. Officially, they reasoned that a large expansion might impede the council’s ability to fulfill its mission speedily and effectively. The developing countries of the southern hemisphere, by contrast, tend to promote a larger increase in the membership in order to improve their representation on the council. The African continent, which suffered the worst form of slavery and colonial exploitation, was not in a position to play an effective role in the formation of U.N. Ethiopia, Liberia, Egypt and South Africa were four independent African states who participated in the San Francisco conference in 1945.7 It is one of the two regions in the world which do not have permanent membership at the U.N. Security Council and up till now it has had three non-permanent seats in it. Due to the process of decolonisation, the number of African states increased to 53, the second-largest group of states after Asia. So, in the discussion in the OEWG, the African states, along with other developing countries, preferred a larger increase in size of the Security Council. In the course of the discussions, there emerged a certain convergence of positions about the size of the council of the lowest and highest figures around 20 to 30. The second major issue of discussion at the OEWG is in regard to the existing or new categories of the council’s membership. As regards the existing categories, much of the attention is focused on the permanent member category. Most of the members pointed out the anomalous situation of permanent membership remaining unchanged while the power position of the states has undergone great change since the founding of the U.N. To correct the outdated composition of the council’s permanent membership, suggestions have been made for the inclusion of five or six additional permanent members. The views here again are varied among governments. Initially Belgium and the U.S. preferred the addition of only two permanent members (obviously favouring Germany and Japan), but after the 2003 event relating to the use of force in Iraq, the U.S. prefers Japan and one or so members. France would like the addition of Germany, Japan and a developing country. India, Colombia, Mauritius and Nigeria desire six or seven more additions. Russia and China’s statements on the subject till recent years remained fairly muted with only general and vague suggestions. On the other extreme, Argentina, Malaysia, Mexico and Pakistan want no

February-April 2007

23


U . N .

R E F O R M

more permanent members. Others seek their support for obtaining and like South Korea and Sweden prokeeping this seat. African states, on pose a reform process in stages, the the other hand, are mostly in favour first stage being an enlargement limof rotating seats.15 8 Views were similarly divided on ited to non-permanent members. The African states stake claim for how, if there was to be an expansion both permanent and non-permanent in permanent membership, such categories to rectify the historical members should be selected. Some injustice done to them. The demand of the countries favoured a global for seats at the high table was also approach whereby the General based on the fact that Africa is the secAssembly would choose the new ond-largest and second-most popupermanent members, possibly on the lous continent after Asia; and also one basis of an agreed formula for regionthe largest groups of states in the al distribution. Others believed that U.N. In fact, it was felt in the OEWG primary responsibility for selection that “Africa, which consists of 1/3 of should lie with regional groups, with the world population, has the right to the possible need for endorsement a permanent seat with veto in the by the General Assembly.16 India also is against the selection of permaSecurity Council. In line with the An attempt was made at the nent members by the regional groups principle of geographical and equiturn of the century to bring and wanted it to be done globally. table representation, Africa is entitled about a radical change in the African states are in favour of selecto an appropriate representation of no less than two permanent seats on composition of the U.N. Security tion by regional groups. The third major issue is the critethe Security Council”.9 In addition, Council. A new wave of activities ria for enlarging the composition of there is also the demand to increase started when the U.N. faced a the non-permanent seats in proporthe Security Council. The suggestion tion to an increase in permanent seats serious political crisis following has been made that the Charter’s and they should be allotted to regions two-part criteria in Article 23, which the divisive debate over the use is currently applicable to the election that are under-represented, includof force in Iraq in 2003. The ing Africa.10 Furthermore, 60 perof non-permanent members, should cent of the agenda of the Security Secretary General appointed the be amplified and applied to all cateCouncil is relating to African states gories of members. The two existing High-Level Panel to examine the criteria are the contribution to the and therefore the need for greater whole gamut of U.N. reforms. African representation “in the inner maintenance of international peace chambers of the Security Council and security and equitable geographwill ensure that greater prominence ical distribution. It is pointed out that is given to African issues”.11 They also felt that they are enti- the U.N. principle of equitable geographical representation has tled to have a part in the decision-making processes of the not been adhered to in the case of the composition of the council to make it effective and democratic.12 Security Council. In 1945, while the European region was Proposals have also been made for the creation of a new cat- given three seats, Latin America and Africa were not providegory of membership: Semi/quasi and/or rotational permanent ed representation in this privileged category, and the huge membership. This third category is proposed by “midsized” Asian continent was given only one seat. Therefore, it is argued states who realise that their chances of becoming permanent the two unrepresented geographical regions, along with the members are minimal. They see the third category as a possi- underrepresented region of Asia, must get their due share, at bility of being represented more often on the council. For least one for each region. Within each region, consideration instance, Italy suggests the creation of 10 permanent seats must be given to factors like population, relative regional influwhich rotate among a group of countries. Some of them envis- ence/stature, size of the economy and future potential. These age the sharing of seats by groups of states (“permanent region- are the arguments made by countries like Brazil, India and al rotating seats”) and these seats should rotate among mem- Nigeria chiefly to project their own candidatures. As a matter bers of the respective regional group, according to criteria of elaboration of the second part of the Charter criteria, India, established by the region. A number of delegations stressed that Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, Pakistan suggest criteria of adher“if rotation was applied within a group, it should be ensured ence to the U.N. purposes and resolutions, contribution to the that no country in that group was excluded”.13 India has gone peacekeeping operations, track record of timely payment of on the record opposing the regional rotation schemes as dis- assessed contributions, including to voluntary funds and procriminatory because only developing countries would be sub- grammes.17 Lately, India has also projected itself as a “responjected to this procedure.14 India is not inclined to share the seat, sible” nuclear-weapon state to justify its claim for a permanent to which it feels entitled, with other states of the region or to seat in the U.N. Security Council. Germany and Japan under-

24

February-April 2007


A F R I C A lined the importance of economic strength and the financial contribution of Security Council hopefuls to the U.N. activities. The U.S. insists that the capacity of a permanent member cannot be restricted to a region and the candidate should have “constructive global influence and sustenance of global responsibilities”.18 The African states tend to highlight the criteria of geographical and population size, and the contribution to the U.N. peacekeeping activities. The fourth and final issue relating to the restructuring is the veto provision. A large number of the countries regarded the veto as anachronistic and sought its eventual abolition. They argued that the mere existence of the veto constituted a constant threat to the decision-making process in the Security Council. Opponents of the veto asserted that it was intrinsically undemocratic, and that it’s existence is contrary to the principle of the sovereign equality of all member-states. The radical proposal for a total removal of the right of veto from the Charter was suggested in some quarters, whereas more cautious members suggest certain modifications and limitations of the veto power. None of the existing holders of veto power gave the slightest indication of considering any such proposal. Supporters of the veto asserted that it was never intended to be democratic, but rather had been a useful device which had helped to preserve unanimity among the permanent members, and had ensured the continued participation of the major powers in the organisation.19 A group of states emphasised that any new permanent members of the Security Council should not be awarded the rights of veto. Such extension is regarded as furthering an inherently undemocratic privilege that should actually be restricted and eventually abolished in the post-cold war period. Those who supported the granting of the veto to new permanent members argued against the creation of a new category of second-class permanent members. Some of the countries argued that since all permanent members would have the same obligations, they should be entitled to the same privileges. Aspirants for the permanent membership like India and African states would like to have all the privileges, including veto, at par with the other permanent members. (III) After a decade of informal discussion, an earnest attempt was made at the turn of the century to bring about a radical change

Q U A R T E R L Y

in the composition of the U.N. Security Council. A new wave of activities started when the U.N. faced a serious political crisis following the divisive debate over the use of force in Iraq in 2003. The Secretary General appointed the High-Level Panel (HLP) to examine the whole gamut of U.N. reforms. The panel reached the conclusion that a decision on the enlargement of the Security Council was a necessity, but in view of the divergent opinions among the member-states, the panel proposed two options for reform, both involving distribution of seats between four major regions –– Africa, Asia and Pacific, Europe and the Americas. Model A suggested adding six new permanent seats without veto power and three new two-year term non-permanent seats, divided among major regional areas (See chart). Model B suggested no new permanent seats but creates a new category of eight four-year renewable-term seats and one new two-year non-permanent and non-renewable seat, divided among the major regional areas (See chart). The panel also suggested that there should be a review of the composition of the Security Council in 2020 from the point of view of the council’s effectiveness in taking collective action to prevent and remove new and old threats to international peace and security.20 On the basis of the panel’s report, the Secretary General put forward his reform proposal of March 2005 and endorsed the two models. He had urged the members to consider the two options and take a decision on this important issue before the U.N. General Assembly Summit of the Heads of State in September 2005.21 He wanted to dovetail the expansion of the Security Council with the review of the Millennium Development Goals at the summit. In response to the High-Level Panel, African countries established an Open-Ended Committee of Fifteen to “…consider all aspects of the recommendations contained in the HLP-Report, particularly the reform of the U.N. Security Council with a view to agreeing on an African Common Position…”22 The committee met in Ezulwini, Swaziland, from February 20-22, 2005, and adopted a common position in which came to be known as the Ezulwini Consensus. Among other things, the Ezulwini Consensus, which was endorsed at an extraordinary session of the Executive Council of the African Union in Addis Ababa in March 2005, stated: “Africa’s goal is to be fully represented in all the decisionmaking organs of the U.N., particularly in the Security

Model A Regional Area

Number of States

Permanent seats (Continuing)

Proposed new permanent seats

Proposed two year seats (Non-renewable)

Total

Africa Asia and Pacific Europe Americas

53 56 47 35

0 1 3 1

2 2 1 1

4 3 2 4

6 6 6 6

Total

191

5

6

13

24

February-April 2007

25


U . N .

R E F O R M

Model B Regional Area

Number of States

Permanent seats (Continuing)

Proposed four-year renewable seats

Proposed two year seats (Non-renewable)

Total

Africa Asia and Pacific Europe Americas

53 56 47 35

0 1 3 1

2 2 2 2

4 3 1 3

6 6 6 6

Total

191

5

8

11

24

Council. Full representation of Africa in the Security Council means: ! Not less than two permanent seats with all the prerogatives and privileges of permanent membership, including the right of veto; ! Five non-permanent seats. “Even though Africa is opposed in principle to the veto, so long as it exists, and as a matter of common justice, it should be open to all permanent members of the Security Council. “The African Union should be responsible for the selection of Africa’s representatives in the Security Council; and “The question of the criteria for the selection of African members of the Security Council should be a matter for the AU to determine, taking into consideration the representative nature and capacity of those chosen.”23 It is clear from the above that AU has rejected both the models presented by the High-level Panel. Instead, it has formulated its own set of demands. Those demands were further reaffirmed in the Sirte Declaration in July 2005.24 Based on their common position, it submitted a draft resolution to the U.N. General Assembly on reform of the Security Council.25 They clarified their position via document A/59/876 dated July 18, 2005, stressing that the African continent is the only continent which does not enjoy permanent membership in the Security Council. They also further stated, “…any permanent seat or seats that may be obtained will be for the African Union and for the benefit of the continent and as such, will put an end to all competition for such seats”.26 It means that the permanent African seats be reserved for the African Union rather than for specific countries. Nigeria introduced the African Union’s draft resolution and spoke on behalf of the African states at the U.N. General Assembly’s debate on July 18, 2005. The Nigerian representative spoke of “the need for the council to be more representative of the entire United Nations membership; and the fact that the council would be better placed to perform its primary responsibility when it was more inclusive”.27 He also sated that Africa was open to negotiations, but to be productive, the interlocutors must have certain fundamentals in mind, such as the fact that Africa had no permanent presence on the council. The Egyptian representative stated that no other group had managed to address the issue in a regional context based on the principles of cooperation and solidarity, which were essential to strengthening the democratic foundation upon

26

which each region would select its own representatives for the Security Council. Africa alone had addressed the regional dimension of council expansion, with a view to strengthening the ties between the performance of new African members and the continent’s core issues.28 The Algerian representative stated that without the right to veto, new permanent members would not have an impact on the process of events or modify the relationship of force, which would remain dominated by the five permanent members.29 The representative of South Africa stated that a decisive phase had been reached in the decades-long debate on council reform, and member-states now had an unprecedented opportunity to modernise the council and make it more representative and responsive to the needs of all peoples. It was time to begin redressing historical injustices in global governance and to give a voice to the billions of people in the developing world who were now excluded from the council’s decision-making processes.30 The AU was confounded as to which of its member-states to endorse and was yet to establish the criteria to be used for selecting African countries to the reformed Security Council. Apart from the African Union’s common position and a draft resolution, there emerged two groups fiercely contending against each other’s position. Japan, India, Brazil and Germany formed a Group of Four (G-4), pulling all their resources and votes together in their bid to secure permanent membership for themselves and two for the African states. This has the effect of their regional opponents forming collective opposition, which informally came to be known as Coffee Club. Later they were known as “Uniting for Consensus”. Initially, the members of G-4 favoured permanent membership with veto power. India had been very adamant about demanding a permanent seat with the veto power. India’s former External Affairs Minister K. Natwar Singh had been quoted several times in the media saying that India wanted a vetowielding power. India’s Ambassador to the United Nations Nirupam Sen said at the General Assembly: “A new category of permanent members without veto would not balance the weight of existing permanent members. That is precisely why new permanent members should have the veto under guidelines that would act as an example to other permanent members.”31 However, many states view the veto power as inconsistent with the concept of democracy and sovereign equality in the United Nations. While the G-4 countries, including

February-April 2007


A F R I C A

Q U A R T E R L Y

India, still feels strongly about the veto power, they have realised (one each from Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe, and Latin that in order to get wider support at the current time, they American and Caribbean States). The total number on the would have to forego their claim to veto power. The G-4 Council would be 25. revised their resolution and called for new permanent seats ■ Uniting for Consensus, proposed by Argentina, Canada, without veto power, and proposed a revisiting of the veto ques- Costa Rica, Colombia, Malta, Mexico, Pakistan, Republic of tion in 15 years. The Brazilian representative formally intro- Korea, San Marino, Spain and Turkey. There would be no duced their draft resolution at the General Assembly on July change to the number of permanent members. The existing 11, 2005. 10 non-permanent members will be replaced by 20, to be In unusually strong comments that reflect his country’s elected for two years, but the prohibition on immediate rerivalry with India, Pakistan’s U.N. Ambassador Munir Akram election in Article 23 of the U.N. Charter would be lifted by accused a small group of nations of seeking new and unequal the General Assembly. The total number on the Council privileges for themselves by portraying self-interest as altru- would be 25, with a voting majority of 15. ism. He said, “…the seekers of special privileges and power ■ African Union, as agreed at the African Union Summit in masquerade as the champions of the weak and disadvantaged”. Sirte, Libya, in July 2005. There would be six new permanent He further added that the G-4 proposal would leave six win- members, with veto power: Brazil, Germany, India, Japan, ners but 180 losers. “We will not choose to anoint six states and two from Africa. There would be five additional non-perwith special privileges and stamp ourselves as second-class manent members (two from Africa, one from Asia, one from members in this organisation,” he said.32 Eastern Europe, and one from Latin American and Caribbean Their regional rivals –– Uniting for Consensus –– tried to States). The total number on the Council would be 26. derail the G-4 proposal. Italy has Thus three different proposals repeatedly voiced its opposition to (iv) Germany’s bid for a permanent seat for reforming the United on the Security Council. At the same The differences between the Nations Security Council are time, Mexico and Pakistan opposed African Union and the G-4 proposvying for acceptance. The the bids of Brazil and India, respecals are not that great and overall they tively. Argentina, which also belongs are quite similar. Basically, the G-4 debate that followed to the group, said that G-4 proposal proposes the Security Council be displayed “some of the would create “discrimination and expanded to 25, whereas the African nastiest and most destructive artificial hegemonies throughout the Union proposes 26 with just one regions, which will be detrimental for more additional non-permanent public and private exchanges the work of the Security Council”.33 member for Africa. Also the African among member-states — They drafted a resolution calling for Union wants veto rights for new perwhether in closed meeting the addition of 10 non-permanent manent members immediately, seats and no new permanent memwhile the G-4 decided to wait for 15 halls, in capitals, or on bers. It also called for the Article 23 years before they get the veto. Their the streets of China’s cities — of the U.N. Charter should be lifted resolutions amount to a demand for since the height of so that all 20 non-permanent meman amendment to the U.N. Charter. bers could be eligible for immediate To amend any provision of the U.N. the cold war”. re-election. Charter, Article 108 states that the Thus three different proposals for proposed change has to be passed by reforming the U.N. Security Council are vying for accep- a two-third majority in the General Assembly and ratified by tance. The debate that followed displayed “some of the nasti- two-third of the member-states, including all the permanent est and most destructive public and private exchanges among members of the Security Council. None of their resolutions member-states — whether in closed meeting halls, in capitals, has the prospect of being passed in the General Assembly as or on the streets of China’s cities — since the height of the cold they are not in a position to muster the support of 128 memwar”.34 bers, out of total members of 191 members of the U.N. A summary of the three main proposals for Security Council General Assembly, needed for adoption of their proposed Expansion is as under: reform. ■ The G4, an initiative of Brazil, Germany, India and Japan. The only viable way forward was to seek cooperation (But also co-sponsored by Belgium, Bhutan, the Czech between them and, in an attempt to move towards this direcRepublic, Denmark, Fiji, France, Georgia, Greece, Haiti, tion, the G-4 countries met in London for a “make-or-break” Honduras, Iceland, Kiribati, Latvia, Lithuania, Maldives, meeting with representatives of the African Union on July 15, Marshall Islands, Nauru, Palau, Paraguay, Poland, Portugal, 2005. Before the talks began in London, a German diplomat Solomon Islands, Tuvalu, and Ukraine.) stated, “We need a concrete result to come out of these negoThere would be six new permanent members, without veto tiations. Otherwise our (G-4) resolution will lose momentum. power: Brazil, Germany, India, Japan, and two from Africa. Anything less than a solid result will be a major setback as time There would be four additional non-permanent members is running out.”35

February-April 2007

27


U . N .

R E F O R M

There were numerous meeting between G-4 foreign min- and Zambia effectively derailed the attempt. Afraid that their isters and their counterparts from Nigeria, Egypt, South rivals would be seated as permanent member of the U.N. Africa, Libya, Algeria, Ghana as well as several African U.N. Security Council, some African states insisted on veto powambassadors. It gave a sense that the two groups appeared to ers, which, in turn, killed the prospects of a deal with G-4. have finally agreed to work towards a joint draft resolution. Some of them continued to insist on rotation of the seats, Nigerian foreign Minister Oluyemi Adeniji, whose country which would enable every African country to serve on the was holding presidency of the African Union, tried to sound Security Council, notwithstanding their relative place in world upbeat. He told a reporter, “We have both come to the con- politics and capacities.39 They overlooked the obvious conclusion that unless we work together in producing one draft tradiction in rotating seats that are supposed to be permanent. In fact, the whole debate of the Security Council seems to resolution, the reform of the United Nations will not go forward.”36 It appeared that a no-binding accord had been have opened up old historical wounds and heightened regionreached at this meeting. It required further consultation al rivalries. The debate turned out to be long, nasty and bruamong the members of the African Union and an extraordi- tal. Many feared that the African Union would break up on nary summit of AU was called to look at this accord. Adeniji the issue. However, they could maintain their unity and decidtold reporters, “We have agreed not to press for a veto”, while ed to stick to their demand for veto-wielding permanent seats. German foreign Minister Joschka Fischer indicated that the They refused to endorse the London understanding.40 This G-4 would agree to an additional non-permanent seat as decision meant that both the AU as well as G-4 resolutions demanded by the AU. He said, “If this could lead to an agree- would not be getting the necessary 128 votes required to pass ment it would be an important step forward.” His Japanese muster in the U.N. General Assembly. The majority of existing vetocounterpart Machimura added, “The The refusal of the AU to wielding powers prefer the existing G-4 would agree to the African structure. The failure of African Union plan to expand the number of forge a common front with the nations to forge a common front with new non-permanent members by G-4 led to a failure to reach other groups provided the alibi for five instead of four.”37 The G4-AU an agreement on reform of the their position that the elite club of deal would have brightened the prospect of a common resolution veto-wielders should not be expandU.N. Security Council in getting the 128 votes to get it passed September that year. Thus the ed. In fact, a day before the decision in the U.N. General Assembly. of the extraordinary summit, the high hope of reaching a Nigeria and South Africa were United States and China had seen to be willing to compromise announced jointly that they would decision on expansion of the with the G-4, but their stance had block a G-4 plan to all six new perU.N. Security Council in the elicited fierce criticism from others. manent members to the Security Nine African countries –– Nigeria, 60th anniversary of the founding Council. The Chinese Ambassador South Africa, Egypt, Senegal, Kenya, to the United Nations, Wang of the United Nations was Libya, Algeria, the Gambia and Guangya, told the media in New shattered mainly due to a Botswana — were jockeying for the York that the United States and divergence of interests among China would be working in “parallel” permanent seat. There were also very serious tensions between the three and not together because they had the developing countries. main AU contenders, Nigeria, South “different friends in different parts of Africa and Egypt for the two prothe world”. Wang made it clear that posed permanent seats for Africa. Many of their rivals within the immediate objective of the two countries was to “oppose the African region were not in favour of letting two of them the G-4 to make sure that they did not have sufficient votes to getting the permanent seat and, therefore, they strongly take the risk to divide the house”. (12, p.1, search for the f.n.) opposed any understanding with the G-4. So the internal The Chinese government had used its considerable diplomatrivalry among the AU members made the negotiation process ic leverage in Africa to arrest the diplomatic momentum the with the G-4 more difficult than it appeared on the surface. G-4 had gained. On the other hand, the then Indian Foreign Presenting the outcome of the London Consultation meet- Minister Natwar Singh made an impassioned plea to the ing to the extraordinary AU summit in Addis Ababa on August Africans not to let this historic opportunity to win representa4, 2005, the AU Chairman, Nigerian President Obasanjo, tion for their continent on the Security Council pass by.41 The refusal of the AU to forge a common front with the pleaded for compromise by stressing the need for the AU to negotiate with other groups “…unless our objective is to pre- G-4 led to a failure to reach an agreement on reform of the vent any decision. If that happens, let us be under no illusion: U.N. Security Council in September that year. Thus the high Africa stands to lose more than any other region…”38 The hope of reaching a decision on expansion of the U.N. Security closed session of this summit witnessed sharp and serious Council in the 60th anniversary of the founding of the United debates on the issue. Although Nigeria and some of the Nations was shattered mainly due to a divergence of interests African countries tried to push for acceptance of the compro- among the developing countries. Had they been united as mise, many other states such as Algeria, Libya, Egypt, Kenya they were in 1963, they could have got the G-4-AU resolu-

28

February-April 2007


A F R I C A tion passed by two thirds majority in the U.N. General Assembly. In theory, because of the need to get ratification by two thirds of the U.N. members, including by all the five permanent members of the Security Council, the amendment process is ultimately subject to a veto by any of them, including a pocket veto in which one or more of them simply fail to act. In practice, however, this step can be invoked only after at least a two-third majority of the member-states have expressed support for the amendment through their votes in the assembly and possibly through their national ratification processes. So in terms of the politics of the United Nations,

Q U A R T E R L Y

the costs of vetoing a proposed charter amendment can be quite high and this has never been done before. They could have surmounted the danger of being blocked by the five permanent members of the Security Council if only they had shown the unity of purpose. It would take a very long time before a similar kind of global pressure could be built up for reform of this vital institution that man ages peace in the world. The only major outcome of the recent exercise is that the developing countries could firmly place the issue of restructuring of the United Nations Security Council on the international agenda.

Endnotes 1. For brief overview of the development leading to the adoption of this resolution, see ‘Yearbook of the United Nations 1963’ (1966), pp.80-87 2. Niel Blokker, ‘Towards a Second Enlargement of the Security Council? A Comparative Perspective’, in Niel Blokker and Nico Schrijver, ed., ‘The Security Council and the Use of Force’ (Leiden; Martinus Nijhoff Publishers, 2005), p.254 3. Thomas G. Weiss, ‘The Illusion of U.N. Security Council Reform’, The Washington Quarterly, vol.26, no.4 (Autumn), 2003, p.152 4. U.N. Doc. GA Res. 47/62 of 11 December 1992 5. U.N. Doc. GA Res. 48/26 of 3 December 1993 6. U.N. Doc. A/49/47. 7. Mazrui, Ali A., ‘Africa’s International Relations: The Diplomacy of Dependency and Change’ (Boulder, Westview Press, 1977), pp.195-197 8. C.S.R. Murthy, ‘Making the U.N. Security Council More Representative: India’s Prospects’, in C.S.R. Murthy, ed., ‘India in Tomorrow’s United Nations’ (New Delhi: India International Centre, 1995), p.24 9. ‘Question of Equitable Representation on and Increase in the Membership of the Security Council and Related Matters’, in Joachim Muller, ed., ‘Reforming the United Nations: New Initiatives and Past Efforts Vol.III’, (The Hague: Kluwer Law International, 1997), p.III.45/23 10. Ibid, p. III.45/25 11. Ambassador Femi George, Nigerian High Commissioner to Canada, ‘National Perspectives on the Reform of the United Nations Security Council: The Position of Nigeria’, http://www.nigeriahcottawa.com/political/Position%20of%20 Nigeria.htm 12. ‘Question of Equitable Representation on and Increase in the Membership of the Security Council and Related Matters’, in Joachim Muller ed., n.9, p.III.45/9 13. ‘Report of the Open-ended Working Group on the Question of Equitable Representation on and Increase in the Membership of the Security Council and Other Matters related to the Security Council’, U.N. Doc. A/58/47, p.23 14. Bardo Fassbender, ‘Pressure for Security Council Reform’, in David M. Malone, ed., ‘The U.N. Security Council: From the Cold War to the 21st Century’ (London: Lynne Reinner Publishers, 2004), 350

15. U.N. Doc. A/9825, 16 November 2000 16. ‘Question of Equitable Representation on and Increase in the Membership of the Security Council and Related Matters’, in Joachim Muller, ed., n.9, p.III.45/8 17. C.S.R. Murthy, ‘Making the U.N. Security Council More Representative: India’s Prospects’, n. 8, p.25 18. Cited in Ibid, p. 25 19. ‘Question of Equitable Representation on and Increase in the Membership of the Security Council and Related Matters’, in Joachim Muller, ed., n.9, p.10 20. ‘A More Secure World: Our Shared Responsibility’, report of the High-Level Panel on Threats, Challenges and Changes, (UN: 2004), p.80 21. U.N. Doc. A/59/2005, 21 March 2005 22. Ambassador Femi George, n. 11, pp.4-5 23. The Common African Position on the Proposed Reform of the United Nations Endorsed at Seventh Extraordinary Session of the Executive Council of AU on 7-8 March 2005 at Addis Ababa. (Ext/EX.CLl/2(VII)) 24. African Union Assembly Declaration, Assembly/AU/Del.2 (V) 25. U.N. Doc.,A/59/L.67 26. U.N. Doc., A/59/876, 18 July 2005 27. U.N. General Assembly Press Release, GA/10370, 18 July 2005 28. Ibid 29. Ibid 30. Ibid 31. http:www//un.int/India/2005/ind/2005/ind1083.pdf 32. http://www.realinstitutoelcano.org/analisis/799.asp 33. Ibid. 34. Edward C. Luck, ‘How Not to Reform the United Nations’, Global Governance Vol.11, no.4 (OctoberDecember), 2005, p. 411 35. http://www.glocom.org/special_topics/social_trend/ 20050727_trends_s123/index.html 36. Ibid 37. Ibid 38. The Punch Newspaper, Lagos, Nigeria, 5 August 2005 39. Ambassador Femi George, n. 11, p.11 40. African Union Document, Ext.Assembly/AU/Dec.1 (IV). 41. http://www.hindu.com/2005/07/29/stories/200507291 6571200.htm

February-April 2007

29


K E E P I N G

T H E

P E A C E

Indian Troops in U.N. Peace Missions Ranjit Kumar chronicles the contribution of Indian troops in U.N. peace-keeping operations in various conflict zones in Africa and evokes the rich harvest of goodwill they reap for themselves and their country

A

frica continues to be one of the most conflict-ridden places in the world, swarming with a hundred mutinies at any given time. Over the last nearly five decades, the international community has been deploying military and financial muscle to bring order and peace among various warring tribes in the African continent, but this unfortunate part of the earth continues to defy the logic of peaceful living for a harmonious and prosperous society. From the early 1950s, and especially since the end of the cold war, an increasing number of conflicts, arising from ethnic and religious rivalries, have tended to result in the mass exodus of refugees. Their plight not only constitutes a humanitarian issue but is also a threat to international peace, undermining the stability of the region concerned. Consequently, international humanitarian assistance operations for victims of conflicts and persons displaced by internecine war between various ethnic and tribal groups have become increasingly important in international affairs. Under the United Nations’ umbrella, peace-keeping operations have been playing a major role in these conflicts by fostering political will for peace, maintaining a cease-fire and peaceful environment for post-conflict nation-building in such areas as well as helping with rehabilitation and reconstruction. Moreover, peace-keeping operations have also played an important role in providing a deterrent in protecting humanitarian assistance operations, offering logistical support and coordinating with various aid organisations. No doubt the international community under the aegis of the U.N. has been able to bring stability in some parts of Africa, but a major portion of the continent continues to be ridden with conflicts. India has taken a keen interest by contributing its troops under the banner of the U.N. immediately after joining the comity of nations as a free country. In fact, when the U.N. started its peace-keeping operations, India was one of the first countries to volunteer its forces in Congo in 1960–– the first experiment in peace-keeping by the U.N. Earlier, the U.N. police action in South Korea was mandated by the U.N. Security Council in 1950 but was administered by the U.S.

30

The U.N. operations in Congo invited military contributions from 10 nations, including India, and this time also the U.S. extended its financial and logistical support. However, it was called the first U.N. show as the command and control rested with the U.N. headquarters. After India’s successful participation in the peace mission in Congo, it has never looked back and multiplied its contributions in maintaining peace and security in Africa and other parts of the world. Not only the Indian Army, but the Indian Navy has also taken part in peace-keeping operations when its naval ships were deployed for the first time along the African coast to aid the Indian Army in Somalia. The Indian Air Force’s (IAF) long history of participation in U.N. peace-keeping operations began in 1962 when the IAF sent a flight of Canberra bomber aircraft as part of the U.N. operations in Congo. Thereafter, the IAF contributed helicopter elements in Somalia in 1993 and in Sierra Leone in the year 1999. In 2004, the U.N. approached India to contribute an air element for its peace-keeping operations in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Consequently, the IAF operated two aviation contingents at Goma and Bukavu in Congo and an Indian Airfield Services Unit at Kindu in the same country. Interestingly, when the U.N. once again landed in Congo after a gap of 33 years India dispatched its forces mostly in the form of air force contingents accompanied with gunship helicopters, though they were asked not to engage in any combat operations. The U.N. rules of engagement clearly state that no peace-keeping force can mount an offensive operation. It is only when they face a danger can they fire, but not to kill. Last February, India also dispatched a Border Security Force (BSF) contingent of 125 personnel, including 10 women, to the Democratic Republic of Congo –– the largest peace-keeping U.N. mission to extend humanitarian assistance to the strife-hit Central African nation. The BSF has long experience in maintaining internal security in the country, which helps it perform this task with comfort. The Indian forces are contributing in the establishment of a democratic regime and restoration of law and order. This Central African nation of 58 million people is among the most dangerous places in the world for U.N. peace-keepers and civilian staffers. The U.N. mission set up once again in Congo in 1999, known as

February-April 2007


A F R I C A

Q U A R T E R L Y

Troops of the 13 Kumaon Infantry Battalion Group meeting with Deputy Chief of Army Staff Lt. Gen. J.B.S. Yadava before leaving to join the United Nations peace-keeping mission in Ethiopia-Eritrea.

MONUC, has helped maintain peace in this vast mineral-rich country, which is the size of western Europe, following a devastating war that drew in half a dozen neighbouring countries. In 2006, the country had successful U.N.-monitored Presidential and National Assembly elections, the first democratic polls in four decades, electing Joseph Kabila as President. No doubt India has extensively participated in peace-keeping operations the world over, but Africa has a special emotive resonance for Indian forces, who have won accolades from the local communities for promoting cooperative living among various tribal communities. India’s pluralistic ethos and its cultural, religious and linguistic diversity have helped Indian forces to deal effectively with African societies comprising different tribes. This is why wherever Indian forces are deployed they are the most sought-after peace-keepers among all the nations as they are well-positioned to understand the psyche and behaviour of the locals as opposed to the forces of Western nations. Indian forces not only try to maintain peace by mixing with the local population but also provide relief and succour to the warring communities by making provisions for basic amenities like water, looking after health needs by setting up medical camps and arranging community kitchens, etc. Since Indian films are extremely popular among African masses, Indian forces also use the country’s soft power to win the confidence of the people by organising film shows. Though Indians rarely visit countries like Sierra Leone in West Africa, they are identified with Bollywood actors and actresses whose films are being seen avidly by local residents. When the Indian Army and IAF personnel were deployed in Sierra Leone in 2000, this writer had the opportunity to visit some of the conflict-prone areas where it was a very pleasant experience to see

children and youth calling me by the name of Amitabh Bachchan or Shahrukh Khan –– celebrity actors from India. Perhaps the popularity of Indian films and stars give added psychological strength to the Indian forces when they deal with rebel youths in the conflict zones. The U.N. peace-keeping forces are presently deployed in Cote d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of Congo, Liberia, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Sudan and Western Sahara. However, the U.N. peace-keeping forces have also served in Angola, Somalia, Sierra Leone, etc. As India has also been in the forefront of the world community in the struggle against colonialism, it was natural for it to take part in restoration of peace and harmony in Africa. In fact, the independence of India itself played the role of a catalyst in removing the vestiges of colonialism in other parts of the developing world, particularly in Africa. India was also the first country to raise the question of racial discrimination in South Africa in 1946. It was at India’s initiative that the AFRICA (Action for Resistance to Invasion, Colonialism and Apartheid) Fund was set up at the 8th Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) Summit in Harare in 1986. India was the chairman of the AFRICA Fund Committee, which wound up in 1993. It is with this thinking, tradition and background that Indian forces take part in peace-keeping efforts under the U.N. umbrella. As a founder-member of the U.N., India has been firmly committed to the purposes and principles of the global body. India has been a participant in all the U.N. peace-keeping operations, including those in Korea, Egypt and Congo in earlier years, and in Somalia, Angola and Rwanda in recent years.

February-April 2007

31


K E E P I N G

T H E

P E A C E

The international community has been concerned with ment by the U.N. Out of 42 countries, India is contributing chronic instability in the African continent, particularly in the substantial military and police personnel to these peace-keepGreat Lakes Region. Several countries, including the United ing missions. Out of total sanctioned strength of 10,000 milKingdom and France, took initiatives to develop concrete mea- itary personnel India contributed about 2,385 soldiers who sures for conflict-prevention and peace-keeping in the region. belong to two infantry battalions and a helicopter squadron. U.N. Secretary General Boutros-Boutros Ghali, in response Keeping in view the strong Indian economic presence in to this movement, issued a report on this subject in November Sudan the deployment of Indian peace-keepers in Sudan has 1995, in which he proposed, among other items, an enhanced added significance. The Indian oil firm Oil and Natural Gas exchange of personnel between the U.N. and Organisation of Corporation (ONGC) has a 25 percent stake in the Greater African Unity (OAU). The ensuing proposal made by the Nile Oil Project in Sudan and has stakes in two exploration U.S. to establish an African Crisis Response Force (ACRF) in blocks. In February 2006, ONGC was awarded a contract to the autumn of 1996 spurred discussions on this important build a $1.2-billion oil refinery in Sudan, which borders the issue. The basic idea of ACRF was a stand-by force with some Red Sea. Sudan has also mandated ONGC to build a $200 mil5,000 personnel composed of officers of African nations. While lion multi-product export pipeline from the Khartoum refinsome African states responded positively to this scheme, other ery to Port Sudan on the Red Sea, about 740 kilometres (460 countries, especially France, were sceptical. However, India miles) away. remained indifferent to this proposal as it always believes in peace-keeping under U.N. auspices. Cote d’Ivoire Addressing the sixth Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses Asian Security Conference At present Cote d’Ivoire (formerIndia has taken a keen interest ly Ivory Coast) is the only African in New Delhi in 2004, the United Nations Deputy Secretary General by contributing its troops under country where Indian peace-keepers Louise Frechette acknowledged, “I have a very nominal presence in the the banner of the U.N. after would be sorely remiss if I did not form of some military and police perjoining the comity of nations as sonnel, where the Security Council, here acknowledge the role of India –– which, along with Pakistan and a free country. In fact, when the by its Resolution 1528 of February Bangladesh, now provides the bulk 27, 2004, decided to establish the U.N. started its peace-keeping U.N. mission with a mandate to of non-African peacekeepers deployed in Africa, and is thus one of operations, India was one of the facilitate the implementation by the the few hold-outs against a trend Ivorian parties of the peace agreefirst countries to volunteer its towards the regionalisation of peacement signed by them in January forces in Congo –– the first keeping. The nations of this region 2003. have played critical roles in many dif- experiment in peace-keeping by Cote d’Ivoire, by West African ficult and dangerous U.N. missions the U.N. Earlier, the police action standards, is a very resource-rich –– and their ongoing commitment country. If the rebellion gets in South Korea was mandated to peace-keeping is something the embroiled in the cocoa/coffee/timber Secretary General deeply values, and by the U.N. Security Council but regions of the south, natural that our organisation sorely needs.” resources alone can keep the conflict was administered by the U.S. going for a decade. As in Liberia, Sudan politically-marginalised intellectuals in the Ivory Coast are jumping onto the bandwagon of the India is at present contributing its forces to the United rebellion, that clearly lacks any vision for transforming the Nations Mission in Sudan, which was established after the country beyond asking for the resignation of the government. Security Council Resolution 1590 of March 24, 2005, to support implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement Egypt signed by the Government of Sudan and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement Army on January 9, 2005, and to perWhen the Anglo-French forces launched a combined operform certain functions relating to humanitarian assistance, and ation against Egypt in October 1956, they took control of Port the protection and promotion of human rights. On August 31, Said and Port Faud in the Suez Canal Zone. Along with this, 2006, the council, by its Resolution 1706, expanded the man- the Israeli forces also captured most of the Sinai Peninsula and date of UNMIS to include its deployment to Darfur to sup- a 43-km-long Egyptian territory known as the Gaza Strip. port an early and effective implementation of the Darfur Peace Several thousand soldiers from Egypt were taken prisoner. Agreement. Indian Army officials had the honour of heading The U.N. then intervened and arranged a ceasefire in U.N. peace missions and Sudan is not an exception. At pre- November 1956 and established a peace-keeping force called sent General Jasbir Singh Lidder, a very senior Indian Army the United Nations Emergency Force which also included official, is the force commander of UNMIS. General Lidder contingents from India and seven other countries. The Indian is the latest Indian general to be given this important assign- contingent consisted of a headquarters, an infantry battalion,

32

February-April 2007


A F R I C A a platoon from the Army Service Corps, detachments from the Corps of Signals, Ordinance, medical, military police and Army Postal service. The U.N. troops in Gaza had a very difficult task to perform. The Israelis did not allow the UNEF forces to operate from their side of the demarcation line and the peace-keeping force had to confine itself to the Egyptian side. In the Indian sector several posts were set up to watch the boundary line and rifle companies took turns to man them. The performance of the Indian contingent was appreciated by Indian and foreign dignitaries who visited them, particularly by Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru in 1960. In January 1960 the command of the UNEF was for the first time taken over by an India Major General, P.S. Gyani. Later, Brigadier I.J. Rikhye, who had previously been the Indian contingent commander and then Chief of Staff of the UNEF, was appointed as commander. The UNEF continued to function as a buffer between the opposing sides till May 1967, when it was wound up at the request of President Gamal Abdel Nasser of Egypt.

Q U A R T E R L Y ignate in 1980 and played a key role in the preparations for the UNTAG operations. The total strength of the military component was about 4,500. India was represented by 15 military observers, police monitors and electoral supervisors. Much of the credit in success in Namibia goes to Gen. Prem Chand who cleverly handled a very intricate political situation. Mozambique

Civil war raged in Mozambique for 14 years and ended only after the U.N.’s intervention in October 1992. A peace agreement was signed between the government and Mozambican National Resistance. To ensure its implementation, a The Indian battalion in Rwanda U.N. mission in Mozambique (ONUMOZ) was set up in (pictured above) helped in December 1993. ONUMOZ implemoving 70,000 internally mented the ceasefire, verified the displaced persons to safer demobilisation of warring groups and supervised humanitarian aid. In 1994, places. About 7,000 prisoners it monitored multi-party elections were also moved to other areas. after which a new government was Indian soldiers also managed installed. ONUMUZ was disbandeight orphanages, looked after ed after it achieved its aims, in January 1995. Under ONUMUZ, several schools and extended India was asked to send two engineer medical relief to the people. The companies, a headquarter company, Namibia a logistics company, staff officers and UNAMIR Force Commander military observers. The contribution Major General G.C. Tousignant of Indian troops was lauded by the Namibia, formerly Swaziland, was of Canada paid rich tributes to then U.N. Secretary General handed over to South Africa in the early 1920s by the League of Nations Boutros Boutros Ghali. “The Indian the Indian contingent. as war reparations and to administer troops, by virtue of their superior the territory on behalf of the League. training and high standard of disciIn 1945, the U.N. requested South Africa to return Swaziland pline and sense of responsibility, have had a significant conto the U.N. as one of their decolonisation measures, but the tribution in ensuring the early return of peace in white South African regime declined. After a long struggle, Mozambique,” he said. Namibia gained independence on March 21, 1990. To manage its transition of independence, the U.N. had established Somalia the United Nations Transition Assistance Group in Namibia (UNTAG). The basic mandate of the UNTAG was to ensure After the civil war broke out in 1991 in Somalia, resulting that free and fair elections were held in Namibia. The task in the deaths of more than 300,000 and millions others left at given to UNTAG was not traditional peace-keeping –– it had the mercy of drought and hunger, the U.N. stepped in to stop to monitor the ceasefire, ensure rapid reduction and eventual large-scale killings and to prevent starvation deaths. To conwithdrawal of the South African military presence from duct humanitarian assistance, many U.N. agencies, NGOs, Namibia, hold elections and assist in its subsequent transition the International Committee of the Red Cross started their to an independent state. The UNTAG consisted of a diverse operations. The U.N. established operations in Somalia in group of international military personnel and civilians. The April 1992, followed in December by the United Task Force force commander of the military component was India’s (UNITAF) led by the U.S. All these international efforts Lieutenant Gen. Dewan Prem Chand of Congo and Cyprus resulted in decreased violence and the situation of starvation fame. Before that he was appointed as force commander des- and malnutrition improved a lot. In 1993, a new U.N. oper-

February-April 2007

33


K E E P I N G

T H E

P E A C E

ation (UNOSOM - II) replaced the manding the U.N. peace-keeping UNITAF. UNOSOM-II tried to force. Differences between the restore order, promote reconciliation Indian Commander of the U.N. and help build Somalia’s civil goverforce and troops from African counnance and economy. However, its tries came to a head when 222 Indian mandate ended in March 1995. peace-keepers were taken hostage by For UNITAF, India had conthe Revolutionary United Front tributed a naval task force which con(RUF). Indian diplomacy took a back sisted of three Indian Naval Ships –– seat and General Jetley found his INS Deepak, INS Kuthar and INS hands tied militarily because of the Cheetah. The Indian naval force British, Nigerian and U.S. attitude of assisted in carrying out relief and non-cooperation in the matter of humanitarian aid to the famine- and resolving the hostage crisis. Then war-stricken people of Somalia. For U.N. Secretary General Kofi UNOSOM-II, the Indian Army Annan’s stand on the modalities for deployed 66 (independent) infantry ending the crisis too contributed to brigade group under the command the lowering of the morale of the of Brigadier M.P. Bhagat. As part of Indian troops on duty in a foreign the Indian contingent a flight of land. General Jetley was told to Cheetah Missile helicopters of the restrict himself to performing only For the first time in U.N. IAF was also included. peace-keeping duties even when the The Somalia operation by the security of his troops was involved. peace-keeping history, India Indian peace-keepers was lauded by After deployment in late 1999, Indian deployed an all-women police the international community for its troops had to be phased out in contingent of 125 personnel outstanding capability to deal with January 2001. the military aspect of conflict man- from the Central Reserve Police It was for the first time in the hisagement besides its skills in assisting tory of Indian peace-keeping that solForce (CRPF) in Liberia the local community in restoring vildiers were taken hostage by the local (pictured above). The U.N. lage-level organisations, provision of guerillas and held for 75 days. medical aid, restoring school educaThe situation had become precardescribed this move by tion, water supply, livestock care and ious. The U.N. force commander, in India as unprecedented. so many other societal needs. In the consultation with his sector comThe U.N. police advisor Mark successful conduct of all this, the mander, took the military option. Indian Army lost seven soldiers The IAF contingent was tasked to Krocker said, “We applaud it when a patrol of 5 Mahar while execute the extraction with a host of and think it is extremely timely escorting a humanitarian relief conrestraints placed on them. This misand relevant to the policing voy was ambushed by a Somali milision, called Operation Khukhri, was tia. The aviation units of the Indian brilliantly accomplished along with needs in the years ahead.” forces were also given the responsiUNIOSIL forces, which consisted bility of scouting, convoy protection, largely of Indian peacekeepers. casualty evacuation and communication flights. Angola Sierra Leone To supervise the withdrawal of foreign troops and monitor Sierra Leone has come a long way since the arrival of the first elections, the U.N. Angola Verification Mission (UNAVEM) U.N. peace-keepers in 1999. A sustained peace, however, has was set on December 20, 1988. India made a significant conyet to produce tangible economic dividends and social bene- tribution throughout its operation. The U.N. once again honfits for the majority of the population of Sierra Leone. To help oured V.K. Saxena, an Indian brigadier, by giving him the meet these challenges, the U.N. Security Council established responsibility of deputy force commander. The tasks pera new mission –– the United Nations Integrated Office in formed by the Indian contingent included patrolling, securiSierra Leone (UNIOSIL) –– to help consolidate peace in the ty duties, preparation of demobilisation camps, supervision of country, enhance development and ensure human rights. demobilisation and rendering of humanitarian assistance. The India was one of the principal contributors in efforts to onerous duty of reopening a 200 km-long road axis strewn restore peace in this war-ravaged country. Out of 13,000- with unexploded munitions and mines was given to Indian member force under UNIOSIL, India contributed a 3,059- sappers of 417 Field Company. Angola was one of the most strong contingent, but had to pull out prematurely –– though long-drawn and challenging missions of the U.N. and the Major General V.K. Jetley was given the honour of com- Indians performed admirably and lived up to their reputation.

34

February-April 2007


A F R I C A Liberia Liberia witnessed a bloody civil war in the early 1990s. More than 200,000 civilians were killed and more than one million refugees crossed the border to neighbouring countries. This catastrophic humanitarian situation attracted worldwide attention and sympathy. The Economic Community of Western African States (ECOWAS) was persuaded to take an initiative at the regional level to resolve the crisis but could not succeed. Consequently, the U.N. Observer Mission in Liberia (UNOMIL) was deployed in September 1993 with a clear mandate to look into ceasefire violations, manage humanitarian assistance, supervise the demobilisation of the warring factions and assist in the holding of elections. After a request from the U.N., the Indian Army contributed 20 military observers who were deployed in September 1993. Some of the observers had a harrowing experience as they were taken hostage but they showed patience and rendered exemplary service to the U.N. in restoring peace and stability in this unfortunate part of the world. For the first time in U.N. peace-keeping history, India deployed an all-women police contingent of 125 personnel from the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF). The U.N. described this move by India as unprecedented. The U.N. police advisor Mark Krocker said, “We applaud it and think it is extremely timely and relevant to the policing needs in the years ahead.” Commented Commissioner of Police Mohammed Al Hasan: “We hope that the presence of this allfemale contingent will serve as an incentive and an attraction to encourage young Liberian women to join the Liberian National Police.” The U.N. has set up a special education programme to help women join the police force. Rwanda As the Hutu and Tutsi tribes continued their violent clashes, resulting in mass scale displacement of people, the U.N. intervened to bring order by setting up the U.N. Assistance Mission in Rwanda (UNAMIR) in October 1993. The mandate of this mission was to monitor the security environment, investigate revenge killings, resettle the refugees and coordinate all humanitarian relief works. India sent a battalion group, a signal company, an engineer company, and military observers. The task assigned to the unit were to safeguard U.N. installations, guard 23 security posts, patrol the area of responsibility, provide escorts and to guard the capital Kigali from rebels and armed bandits. The Indian battalion helped in moving 70,000 internally displaced persons to safer places. About 7,000 prisoners were also moved to other areas. Indian soldiers also managed eight orphanages, looked after several schools and also extended medical relief to the people. The UNAMIR Force Commander Major General G.C. Tousignant of Canada paid rich tributes to the Indian contingent. “You brought to UNAMIR, to the United Nations to Rwanda a sense of pride… You came in and you demonstrated what it is to be a good soldier and you brought respectability to the mission. You brought also a sense of professional-

Q U A R T E R L Y

ism in everything that we have to do for the Rwandese. I say this without any reservation, you are probably one of the best soldiers in the world at this time.” Horn of Africa: Ethiopia and Eritrea After two years of bloody war over their border row, Ethiopia and Eritrea signed a cessation of hostilities agreement following proximity talks led by Algeria and the OAU. In July 2000, the U.N. Security Council set up the United Nations Mission in Ethiopia and Eritrea (UNMEE) to maintain liaison with the parties and establish a mechanism for verifying the ceasefire. In September 2000, the council authorised the deployment within UNMEE of 4,200 military personnel to monitor the cessation of hostilities and to help ensure the implementation of security commitments. In 2001, India decided to send 1,197 troops after a request from the U.N. headquarters. The Indian contingent is the largest, which includes 879 personnel from the Infantry Battalion, a construction engineering company of 153 personnel and a force reserve company of 165. Besides normal security duties of the Indian peace-keepers, one of the notable contributions of the Indian construction engineering companies was the construction of a check dam in the area. The local people are extremely appreciative of this and freely acknowledge the humanitarian duties of the Indian soldiers. Africa is endowed with rich mineral and energy resources which will remain a major source of oil imports for the international community. If peace returns to Africa and an environment of all-round development emerges, Africa can realise its vast, untapped economic potential and emerge as a vibrant market and economic bloc. It is quite evident that India has invested considerable efforts in promoting peace and stability in the African continent. It is said that India has now enough goodwill accumulated over the last six decades to get help and support from African countries in international fora, but some say that India is not tapping it to its advantage. When India was seeking support from African countries for permanent membership of the U.N. Security Council, India could only muster the support of 35 out of 53 member-countries of the African Union, successor of the OAU. Indian officials claim that Indian peace-keeping activities were not managed with a selfish motive. However, realising India’s cordial relations with the African leadership India has started the ‘Focus Africa’ programme since 2002-03 to intensify economic ties and to equip the African countries with the wherewithal to be self-dependent with training programmes under the Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation programme, popularly called ITEC, which is managed by the Indian Ministry of External Affairs. These assistance programmes for the African countries will supplement the Indian peace-keeping efforts in Africa and bring the two sides closer in a new economic and strategic partnership that has the potential to reconfigure power equations in the world.

February-April 2007

35


I N

C O N V E R S A T I O N

‘Get ready for new African LEADERS’

W

angari Muta Maathai, the iconic Kenyan environmentalist –– who became the first African woman to win the Nobel Prize for Peace in 2004 –– speaks in simple, direct sentences that brim with an inner fire and conviction that comes from long years of struggle. The results are there for all to see: The Green Belt Movement she founded in the mid-1970s has enriched the earth with 31 million trees. Maathai is an elected member of the Kenyan Parliament and also served as Assistant Minister for Environment and Natural Resources between January 2003 and November 2005. A pioneering academic and a leading human rights campaigner, she became “a source of inspiration for everyone in Africa fighting for sustainable development, democracy and peace”, in the words of the Nobel Committee that recognised her outstanding work three years back. India has honoured the 67-yearold environmentalist with the prestigious Jawaharlal Nehru Award for International Understanding. The award was presented to Maathai by President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam at an elegant ceremony at Rashtrapati Bhavan (the presidential palace in New Delhi) in March that was attended by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his senior Cabinet ministers. “Her mission has to spread to all parts of the planet. The award is in recognition of her persistent and courageous struggle for democracy, human rights and environmental conservation,” President Kalam said. In this conversation with Manish Chand, Maathai speaks about her unquenchable passion for a clean environment, the emerging breed of new leaders in Africa, her impression of India and what India and Africa can do together to create a more equitable, clean and harmonious world. Excerpts from the interview:

36

Q. Your passion for the environment and your lifelong commitment to the green cause has earned accolades all over the world. How did it all start? A. I grew up in the Kenyan countryside. That experience in the countryside when the environment was pristine has stayed with me since then. In those days, there were no cash crops, no coffee, no tea. I grew up seeing shorgum, palm trees, sweet potatoes –– which were all very economical food crops. The rivers were so clean that we could drink water straight from them. There were no agro-chemicals. That’s the background I knew as a child and that’s what influenced me a lot. Later on, I saw the land degrading. We could no longer drink water straight from the rivers. The rivers were full of silt because forests upstream were cleared. That’s the time I thought I must do something about it. If we really understand the role environment plays in our life and environmental education becomes part of school curricula, then a lot of people would be concerned about the environment and would encourage others to do something about it. Q. How do you see the impact of globalisation on the environment? A. To a very large extent, globalisation is a threat to the environment in countries that are poor and underdeveloped. Underdeveloped, poor countries are looking to developed countries and corporations to get them out of poverty. It’s very easy for these corporations to exploit the resources and not to share it with the poor locals. There should be a code of ethics to ensure that they do business on the basis of justice and fairplay. Unless you can appreciate that the planet is very small and resources limited, globalisation will do a lot of damage to poor and developing countries. Q. You have been in politics for long and have often criticised corruption in governance. What do you think of the quality of leadership in Africa? Do you see a new breed of leadership emerging in Africa? A. Now, we are seeing a new breed of leadership, especially since the collapse of the Soviet Union. A lot of wars fought in Africa were proxy wars that were waged by superpowers

February-April 2007


A F R I C A for influence over the continent. Unfortunately, Africans allowed themselves to fight wars which were not their wars. But today there is a new effort by the new African leadership to bring in more democratic and responsible governance in Africa and to protect the African people from the kind of tragedies which you have described. As a response to that, African leaders introduced a new organisation, the African Union (AU), instead of the old Organisation of African Unity. It’s an effort by Africans to look at themselves and the way they govern themselves and try to improve governance. I have been asked by the AU to join the Economic and Social Council (ECOSC) –– an advisory organ which primarily comprises civil society. It’s one of the indicators to me that a new African leadership is emerging because the African leadership in the past didn’t have anything to do with civil society. They regarded civil society as an enemy of the country. Which is part of the reason I was persecuted. That the African Heads of State are inviting civil society to be an advisory organ is an indication that there is a new willingness to embrace the African people and give them better leadership. Q. Some say Africa holds the key to the U.N. reforms, especially the expansion of the U.N. Security Council. Do you think attempts to reform the U.N. will succeed? A. From the viewpoint of the U.N. reforms, they are looking at Africa as a bloc. And they are visualising two seats for Africa in an expanded Security Council. But the problem is that Africa has 53 countries and it is so fragmented. Africa has to work towards reducing this fragmentation because that’s been part of its weakness. Maybe for some it was easier to deal with a fragmented Africa. Now, the AU is aware of it and has been holding discussions towards a more united Africa. And that’s a positive sign. A united Africa would have a much stronger voice in the U.N. than a fragmented Africa.

Q U A R T E R L Y

tinue to live in poverty in India. The government is trying to raise the quality of living of people. How do you do it? Sometimes, the government’s choice is very difficult. It’s very important for the governments to open up to civil society and to dialogue with citizens. But then that usually is the problem. The governments don’t want to consult their citizens and engage in dialogue with them. And that can be very frustrating to civil society organisations that are trying to protect the environment. When there is a dialogue, the governments can explain themselves to the people and the tension is reduced. I have been in the government, so I know sometimes the government has to make very painful choices. But it’s also a responsibility of civil society organisations to continue egging their governments to be responsible and make choices that do not jeopardise the livelihood of people.

Q. This is your first visit to India. What are your impressions of this country and its people? A. It’s an extraordinary country. I have come as a guest of the state; so I have received extraordinary Governments don’t want to hospitality. I have seen the wonderful leadership of India which I hold consult their citizens and in very high esteem. A country that engage in dialogue with them. has good leadership moves forward. And that can be very frustrating India, from the very beginning, from to civil society organisations that the time of Mahatma Gandhi to Nehru to Indira Gandhi and now the are trying to protect the current leadership, has been very environment. When there is a lucky in the kind of leadership it has dialogue, the governments can had. The leadership that has been responsible to people –– the kind of explain themselves to the leadership Africa can only hope for. people and tension is reduced. I Also, talking of impressions, I have have been in government, so I been very impressed by Delhi. I have never seen a city that is so green. The know sometimes the streets are wide and lined with trees. government has to make very I would like to appeal to all cities to emulate Delhi. It’s very beautiful. painful choices. But it’s also a

responsibility of civil society organisations to continue egging their governments to be responsible.

Q. How do you see the controversy in India over Special Economic Zones? You also have an environment versus development debate in Africa… A. We do have some of these special economic areas. They appear to be good ideas as they create employment. However, some people complain that they exploit people and pay very little to them. The governments have to make choice. Good and responsible governments will make a choice, which is good for the common good, which is good not just for the current government, but good in the long term. The governments are often confronted with the problems of poverty and unemployment. In India, for instance, we are quite impressed with the rate of development. But there are still millions who con-

Q. What kind of relationship do you envisage between a new India and a new Africa? A. Africa and India have been in a long-term relationship. Indian leaders like Gandhi and Nehru have been a source of inspiration to Africa. India was ruled by the British and so were we. We were therefore very inspired by the struggle and success of India. There are other vital connections. Mahatma Gandhi started his campaign for justice in South Africa. There is a very strong linkage between the Indian government and the African Union. I can only hope we shall continue to act together and with the new leadership in Africa, we shall benefit from the experience of India. India is a very dynamic, democratic society. It’s also a very diverse society so many religions, so many languages and so many cultures. This diversity could have sparked divisions in the society, but on the contrary this has only strengthened India.

February-April 2007

37


D O C U M E N T

‘We can all make a DIFFERENCE’

F

By Wangari Maathai

or a long time I have wanted to respond to the many warm invitations to come to India but until now, events beyond our control prevented me from coming here and share with you some thoughts on the environment. I am especially happy to be here today therefore, and to join you in remembering and honouring the memories of the great son of India that is Rajiv Gandhi. Your Excellency, the legendary leadership of the Gandhi family has been a great inspiration to the people of the world for many years and it is indeed a privilege to be associated with it at this lecture. In 1972 the world met in Stockholm, Sweden, and discussed the human environment under the auspices of the United Nations. At that meeting it was Indira Gandhi who drew attention to the fact that poverty was one of the great pollutants in the world. Since then, the world may not have done much to reduce poverty everywhere, but it has understood that poor people tend to overuse their environment and, subsequently, a degraded environment is unable to support livelihoods and pushes people into even greater poverty. Understanding that linkage between poverty and the environment is crucial to sustainable development. It took the next three decades before the Norwegian Nobel Committee would draw the world’s attention to the fact that there is strong linkage between the environment, governance and peace. The committee called upon the world to expand the definition of peace and security to include to that definition, responsible and accountable management of the limited resources on the planet earth, as well as a more equitable distribution of those resources. In order for humankind to manage and share resources in a just and equitable way, there is need for a governance system that is more responsive and inclusive; one in which most people feel that they belong, and one in which the voice of the minority is listened to even if the majority will have their way; one that respects human rights, the rule of law and deliberately and consciously promotes equity. Indeed, many of the conflicts and wars in the world are over access, control and distribution of resources like water, wood fuel, grazing ground, minerals and land.

38

Conflicts and wars are born out of a feeling of injustice, exclusion and oppression. When people feel that they are not receiving justice and equity, that they are marginalised or discriminated against, they seek justice and equity, using whichever means available to them. By managing resources better, by recognising the link between sustainable management of limited resources and conflicts, we are more likely to pre-empt the root causes of many conflicts and wars and create a more peaceful and secure world. That is the link between environment and peace. An appreciation that a degraded environment leads to conflicts as communities scramble for the available limited resources is what partly inspired the establishment of the Green Belt Movement ( GBM), some 30 years ago in Kenya. Initially the activity was devoted to planting trees and meet the felt needs of communities. But in the course of time, the need for good governance, respect for human rights and promotion of equity became important ingredients for a more secure and peaceful society. Therefore, the GBM embraced a struggle for better governance even while working for a cleaner and healthier environment. During that period an approach was developed that was intended to empower citizens to take action to improve especially their immediate environment, understand how good governance is necessary for responsible and accountable management of resources, and embrace the challenge of being part of the solution. The GBM has shared this approach with many other countries, especially in Africa, where the continent is threatened by especially desertification processes, a majority of people still practice subsistence agriculture and depend on fuel energy. We share information and opportunities to have experiential learning by doing. The involvement of citizens is essential. Therefore, informing, practicing, getting rid of inertia and moving to take action is very important in this campaign... The largest numbers of participants in the GBM are women and they have made tree-planting an income-generating activity, where GBM gives a financial compensation (10 cents) to women for every tree seedling that is planted and survives... The GBM was initiated in 1977 at the occasion of World Environment Day and seven trees were planted. Today, more than 40 million (and counting) trees have been planted in Kenya alone. These figures are shared to partly emphasise that

February-April 2007


A F R I C A the many environmental problems present in our communities and regions should not be a source of disempowerment and despair. Rather, it is reason for ordinary citizens to empower themselves to take action and encourage others to do the same. Individually and collectively, we can all make a difference. It is also for that reason that recently, with UNEP, the GBM and ICRAF, we jointly initiated a campaign to plant a billion trees worldwide. This campaign serves to raise awareness on the need to inform ourselves about climate change, commit to doable action and especially plant trees, which would eventually sequester carbon... As we all know, the environment degrades slowly and may not be noticed by the majority of people. If they are poor, selfish or greedy they will be more concerned about survival or satisfying their immediate needs and wishes than worrying about the consequences of their actions. Unfortunately, the generation that destroys the environment may not be the one that pays the price. It is the future generations that will confront the consequences of today’s destructive activities of the current generation... The responsibility to address the problems in good time for the common good of all calls for visionary political will on the part of governments and corporate social responsibility on the part of the corporate world. One of the issues on hand today is the climate change and we are all called to take some action. From where I sit, I call for the planting of trees and the protection of standing forests. It is for this reason that, in 2005, I accepted the role of Goodwill Ambassador of the Congo Forest Ecosystem. It came about because 10 governments in the Central Africa region decided to work together to conserve the forest, but also to encourage the international community to play a role in the conservation of this ecosystem. This is because the Congo Forest Ecosystem is the secondlargest forest ecosystem in the world, only second to the Amazon Basin Forest Ecosystem. Along with the South Asia Forest Ecosystem the three are considered the “three lungs” of the planet. Recently, I visited the heart of Borneo in Brunei in South East Asia, and was impressed by the commitments of the government to work closely with neighbouring countries to save that forest ecosystem, which is also threatened especially by both legal and illegal logging... Indigenous forests in particular are also important because of the role they play to support livelihoods. For example forested mountains are catchment areas for water, which would otherwise flow downstream as flash floods that carry with them soils and nutrients needed for agriculture. Floods are also devastating to settlements and farms downstream. Human settlements need forests to support livelihoods, which cannot be sustainable without the services they get from forests, sometimes long distances from their settlements. The UNEP recommends that each country should have at least 10 percent of its land covered with forests. Many countries in the world that have their own land covered with forests and vegetation conserve their biodiversity and enjoy a healthy and clean environment. However, some are nevertheless engaged in destructive logging and harvesting of

Q U A R T E R L Y

biodiversity in forests far away from their native lands. That is why there is need to see the world as one and to endeavour to protect not only the local but also the global environment... But there is constant pressure to sacrifice forests for human settlements, agriculture and industry. Whatever options we must make, it is always better to be guided by the common good, not only of present generation, but also of generations to come. Politically, it is more expedient to sacrifice the longterm common good and the intergenerational responsibility for the convenience and opportunities of today. But, morally, we are required to make the better options for the common good of all. We have a responsibility to protect the rights of generations which cannot speak for themselves today... Governments and corporations can do a lot to assist societies adapt and adopt lifestyles that are less dependent on fossil fuels and resources that are limited. Some of the doable initiatives to deal with climate change include consuming less energy and other limited resources, planting trees, protecting those that are standing, investing in research and development of other sources of energy like wind, solar and hydropower... But there are many options we can turn to. Recently during a visit to Japan, I learnt about a Buddhist concept called mottainai, which calls for respect for resources, gratitude, and calls not to waste resources. The next time I visited Japan, the Minister for Environment (Koike) had initiated a production of furoshikis, which were made from recycled materials like plastic. Furoshikis are used to wrap gifts and encouraged people to use the same furoshikis many times over (re-use)... I wish to emphasize the fact that protecting the environment and promoting cultures of peace takes patience, commitment and persistence. It has to become a conscious and deliberate struggle to change our mindset about peace and security. It will not happen overnight... In conclusion, let me share with you a short story that reminds me about that need to take action, the need for patience, commitment and persistence. It is a story of hummingbird. Well, there was this huge forest that caught fire and all the animals in the forest decided to leave the forest and save themselves. They came to the edge of the forest and watched the fire from a distance: Overwhelmed and disempowered by the raging fire. Except this hummingbird, which said, “I am going to do something about the fire!” And so it flew to the nearest stream and brought a drop of water in its beak and put it on the raging fire! It flew fast back and forth, every time bringing a drop of water in its beak and putting it on the fire. In the meantime the other animals were watching in dismay as the fire raged “What can you do, the other animals wondered aloud?” You are too small, you cannot put off such a fire!! Come and join us and watch the fire!! Unmoved, the hummingbird kept its focus, maintained its commitment, remained focused and responded without losing patience or speed, “I am doing the best I can!” And that is what we are all called to do: The best we can! (Excerpts from the speech delivered by Wangari Maathai at a reception held in her honour by the Indian Council of Cultural Relations and Rajiv Gandhi Foundation in New Delhi March 22, 2007)

February-April 2007

39


A F R I C A N

S O L U T I O N S

Globalisation, CRISIS of Democracy in Africa Jamal M. Moosa argues that democratic ethos is not alien to Africa and analyses the impact of globalisation on various experiments with democratic processes in the continent

D Introduction

ifferences of interests and goals are a core reality of human existence. Conflicts in different hues are an inherent and recurrent feature of different societies. These conflicts in society at times escalate to violent conflicts.1 The challenge to philosophers, thinkers and leaders has always been how to evolve institutions in the society that either mitigate conflicts or manage them in an effective and sustainable manner. This is essential as violent conflict inflicts deep wounds and scars on the society that endures it. Apart from the deaths and destruction it causes, it fragments the social structure and fabric. There is deprivation and displacement. Growth and development of the society is stunted and the impact on the economy is enormous. Some societies are so severely destabilised by violence that they take many generations to recover from the trauma.1 The establishment of the state and the privileges it is permitted to possess are for, among other things, ensuring order and providing security to its residents. Those scholars who consider the state to be a crucial institution have always debated over how it should function and, more importantly, who shall run it, what should be the method of their selection and what should be the priorities of the state. A democratic means of choosing those who have the reins of power is not only considered to be an effective but also an ethical means of selecting leaders. It also helps in defining and deciding the priorities that the state must undertake and espouse. Moreover, it provides a safety valve through which the violence and conflict that the human living creates are played out and released. However, states do not exist and function in a vacuum but are integral parts of the larger international system. Any change in the larger system has a bearing on different aspects of the state, including its democratic processes. The contemporary era is witnessing enormous socio-economic and political transformation and changes and integration that are collectively

40

termed as globalisation. This paper seeks to explore how this is being translated into reality and assess the viability of democratic changes in Africa. Evolution of Globalisation Before dwelling further on this relationship, a brief discussion on the historical emergence of globalisation is essential to comprehend the implications and potential crisis it portends. Globalisation, or the profound transformation and restructuring of world capitalism due to the high level of integration of economies and finance, is thought to have started in the early 1970s when the U.S. dollar was de-linked from the gold standard. However, Robinson contends that “globalisation is not a new process, but the near culmination of the centuries-long process of the spread of capitalist production relations around the world and its displacement of all pre-capitalist relations”.2 Capitalism’s extensive enlargement started with the wave of colonisation and culminated in the 1990s with the incorporation of the Soviet bloc and remaining Third World countries. There is globally the ascendance or the supremacy of the capitalist mode of production. There is a lag between the economic and political reorganisation of capitalism and the ushering of new social relations. Along with the changes in the material basis of society there are commensurate changes in the institutional structures. There occurs “the supersession of the nation-state as the organising principle of capitalism, and with it, of the interstate system as the institutional framework of capitalist development… between international and transnational (or global)”.3 Space or territory does not become irrelevant, but its social configuration is changing with the territoriality of state beginning to lose its primacy. As capitalism developed, those who faced the brunt of this at some point resisted and took recourse to violence in case their demands and needs were not taken care of. The ensuing social upheaval resulted in some form of social regulation and curtailed capitalism. This was possible due to territorial and institutional limits posed by the nation-state system that allowed the state to place constraints on capital. This forced it to allow the state to mediate a historic compromise with the

February-April 2007


A F R I C A

Q U A R T E R L Y

masses. Masses could place demands for redistribution on the Vice President of the World Bank, critiques the globalisation state and force it to extract from the capital. The ability to redi- policies being pushed by the IMF. He considers the causes for rect surpluses through social intervention was vital for creat- the street protests in Seattle, Geneva, Prague, Washington, ing conducive conditions. The outcome of all this was the D.C., to be many. These include the neo-imperial and antiKeynesian or New Deal states. It resulted in Fordist produc- democratic policies of the IMF along with the neo-liberal ecotion at the core and developmental and populist states in the nomic theory. periphery. There are “mistakes in sequencing and pacing, and the failHowever, globalisation makes it structurally impossible for ure to be sensitive to the broader social context… forcing libindividual nations to sustain independent and autonomous eralisation before safety nets were put in place, before there was economies, political systems, and social structures. This liber- an adequate regulatory framework, before the countries could ates capital from the constraints and commitments arising out withstand the adverse consequences of the sudden changes in of the pressure from internal social forces. Thus there is dra- market sentiment that are part and parcel of modern capitalmatic altering of the balance of forces among classes and social ism; forcing policies that led to job destruction before the groups in a state to the advantage of the trans-national capital- essentials for job creation were in place; forcing privatisation ist and their vast network of facilitators. before there were adequate competition and regulatory frameConsequently, there is a commensurate declining ability of works”.6 He concludes: “Today, the system of capitalism is at a crossthe state to intervene and extract from the process of capital accumulation. It also becomes less capable of determining roads just as it was during the Great Depression. In the 1930s, economic policies and priorities. Different groups contest for Keynes, who thought of policies to create jobs and rescue, saved capitalism those suffering from state power but the real power is The state also becomes less the collapse of the global economy. shifting to the trans-national level Now, millions of people around the beyond the control of any state. Even capable of determining when disadvantaged sections or other economic policies and priorities. world are waiting to see whether globalisation can be reformed so that dominant groups take over the state, the policy changes are limited to Different groups contest for state its benefits can be more widely shared”.7 superficial and cosmetic ones while power but the real power is Globalisation is leading to a crisis the core linkages remain intact. shifting to the transnational of the state as well as of democracy. Governments are undertaking level beyond the control of any The contemporary state in the globrestructuring and serve the needs of transnational capital not because they state. Even when disadvantaged al era has a tendency of concentration of power and domination over are powerless, but “because a particsections or other dominant the polity and society. This would ular historical constellation of social groups take over the state, lead to the domination and marginalforces now exists that presents an isation of many social groups, which organic social base for this global the policy changes are limited will increase the level of violence in restructuring of capitalism”.4 to superficial and cosmetic society in the absence of democratic ones while the core linkages Reaction to Globalisation institutions.

remain intact.

This growth and power of globalisation has not been smooth and unchallenged. A host of individuals, groups and institutions have always resisted the onslaught of globalisation employing various means. The enormous differences that are created due to globalisation have been criticised even by its proponents. The fear is that due to the quest for accumulation, deprivation will become widespread, this then would lead to resistance and violence will increase. Another fear is that globalisation and its potential for economic crisis and downturns will result in an authoritarian backlash. A stable and prosperous international economy requires strong and stable political foundations to support the system. Gilpin writes, “to prevent problems from escalating into crises like the post-1997 financial crisis… the international rules (regimes) governing international economic affairs cannot succeed unless they are supported by a strong political base”.5 Similarly, Stiglitz, who was the former Chief Economist and

Globalisation and Democracy

Another facet of globalisation is the shrinking of democratic space –– though in the rhetoric of the justification and promotion of the policies of globalisation, liberal democratisation is one of the key arguments. The leaderships of different groups use the fault lines that exist in a society to make demands on the state and try to change its composition. Philip Cerny says that though there is the apparent development and spread of liberal democratic state forms across in the world in the 1980s and 1990s, however “the possibilities for genuine and effective democratic governance are actually declining. …The reasons, I will suggest, are all too simple”.8 Liberal democracy emerged as a major mode of governance by the process of consolidation of the nation-state. This process gathered strength as it was felt that there was a need to stabilise and control the complex manifest and latent conflicts inherent in modern society. Some of its main features include public accountability and responsiveness of governance.

February-April 2007

41


A F R I C A N

S O L U T I O N S

Appearing to uphold these values is essential for legitimacy and complexity of various transnational entities that use difboth at the local and at the international levels. ferent means to bring about desired changes. “Globalisation is leading to a world in which crosscutting There is a tendency of the states becoming reluctant to perand overlapping governance structures and processes increas- form certain tasks that are essential for its democratic characingly take private, oligarchic forms; where hegemonic neolib- ter, like responsiveness, accountability and effectiveness. This eral norms… are delegitimising democratic governance”.9 leads to the decrease in the redistribution, regulation and the This undermines the democratic state both from above as well delivery of public services. However, state capacity and efficaas from below or what he calls a “durable disorder” of over- cy is being enhances in certain other spheres. Its effectiveness lapping and competing institutions. in tasks like controlling labour and peoples rights may be reinAmong the features of the state in a liberal democracy is the forced and expanded. ability of those in control of the state to distribute and a comThe international system is “characterised by what…is called mensurate capacity of the population to demand and appro- neomedievalism”.12 The characteristics of which include (a) priate the redistribution of values and benefits. People have to competing institutions with overlapping jurisdictions; (b) be both inspired and satiated or else the state will come under more fluid territorial boundaries; (c) contested property rights tremendous public pressure. In certain circumstances it may and legal boundaries; (d) a growing alienation between cities not be able to cope with these demands and resort to coercion. and disfavoured, and fragmented hinterlands; (e) increased If in the eventuality of coercion means failing the state may inequalities and isolation of the underclass; (f) multiple and atrophy and become a failed state. This occurs when, “the fragmented loyalties; and (g) the spread of ‘zones grises’, where tasks, roles and activities of the state are ‘unbundled’ or ‘disar- the rule of law does not run. ticulated’; and when its capacity to In this new chaotic world, Understanding Violence make side-payments is seriously constrained or even undermined”.10 the state no longer holds an The effectiveness of democratic Before proceeding, a discussion on effective monopoly of governance and the confidence and understanding conflicts, especially legitimate violence and it trust of the people is lost. In other violent conflicts, is essential. The earwords, the legitimacy that is needed lier generation of scholars theorised is unable to provide physical to successfully convince people of the that violence was a social pathology security and protection. This value and utility of democratic instithat needed treatment and deterrent further reduces the state’s tutions and mobilise them to particpunishment. This understanding has ipate in them becomes difficult. been discarded as most scholars now legitimacy and a vicious Another facet linked to this is the “think of group violence as more or cycle ensues. As a erosion of the capacity to ensure less predictable congruence of real consequence of this, the physical security or order. “Violence grievances over underlying social, today is less and less the province of economic and political issues”.13 level of societal violence It has been argued by some that national governments and more and spirals and states begin the animalistic instinct in human more the domain of ethnic groups, to lose their democratic beings is responsible for aggressive drugs cartels and mafias, mercenaries behaviour and violent conflict. Brute and private armies linked to firms moorings. force, like in animals, determined the and other sub-state or crossnational ownership in early communities. organisations. This is true not only in the Second and Third Worlds, but in the First World too.”11 With the passage of time intellect began to replace brute force, In this new chaotic world, the state no longer holds an effec- but the purpose of violence remains to constrain the opponents tive monopoly of legitimate violence and it is unable to pro- and force them to rescind their claims. This efficacious use of vide physical security and protection. This further reduces the violence continues to play a significant role in our every-day state’s legitimacy and a vicious cycle ensues. As a consequence life. of this, the level of societal violence spirals and states begin to Theorists like John Burton14 reject the charge that individual malevolence is responsible for violence. They argue that lose their democratic moorings. Thus there is no credibility to the claim that the there is humans have certain needs and requirements that are fundagoing to be an expansion of democratic values both at the mental and non-malleable. These needs must be satisfied for national and international levels due to globalisation. Even as an individual’s development and result in conforming social democratic processes are ostensibly being extended in the behaviour. If such needs are left unfulfilled they lead to viostates of Latin America, Asia and Africa, their capacity is being lent and non-conforming behaviour. Similarly, Johan hollowed and transformed to suit the need of globalisation. Galtung15 argues that violence rather than being random is Rather there is a threat that due to the brewing crisis and emer- structured and conditioned by external circumstances. These gence of newer forms of resistance and violence, autocratic and conditions can be manipulated to provoke or solve violence. authoritarian forms of governance may be promoted and There are different forms of violence. Apart from direct physexpanded. This expansion may well be with the connivance ical violence there is violence incorporated into the societal

42

February-April 2007


A F R I C A structures. This indirect societal violence requires attention for any lasting solution to conflicts.15 In addition to the above, violence as social action is unique in comparison to other social actions. The very use of violence is highly visible and effective. The use of violence to an even moderate degree of effectiveness requires relatively little resource. Thus, it is the simultaneous combination of inequality, opportunity and justification that causes violent conflict. However, there are many other factors –– like the cultural ethos and moorings of the society, the international environment and power equation –– that also influence the emergence of conflict. Violence begets violence. Once an act of violence is perpetrated, a vicious cycle of offence and revenge ensues, leading to a heightening of violent activities. It has severe repercussions on the people and the society, profoundly impacting the society, fragmenting and polarising it. There is a breakdown of communications between different segments of society, increasing widespread disenchantment, and often resulting in increased flows of refugee and internally-displaced people. The African Experience Throughout Africa, according to Bradley16, during the precolonial period, the political systems were essentially democratic. There is extensive anthropological evidence of democratic governance in indigenous African states. They can be considered democratic as they exhibited the characteristics of consent of the people and checks and balance on power to prevent the abuse of authority. These pre-colonial African systems can be divided into two categories — decentralised and centralised systems. The decentralised democratic systems or segmented political systems were marked by the diffusion of political power. “There is no central political authority to which the members of a particular community or territory owe fealty… Decentralised systems did not have centralised governance systems, administrative bureaucracy, centralised judicial systems, or sharp divisions in rank or status”.17 And the pre-colonial centralised systems were characterised by a central authority with administrative machinery and judicial institutions. These political systems had hierarchical and concentric governance at the national, regional, state and local levels. However, the process of globalisation undermines the democratic institutions and processes and generates violence. This is amply clear in the light of African colonial and postcolonial experience. These periods were marked by a high degree of integration between the European colonial powers and Africa. Most African countries adopted multiparty democratic systems but soon the authoritarian underpinnings of the colonial state broke through this facade. The fragile democratic institutions soon gave way, as they could not cater to the growing aspirations and demands placed on them. After the postwar economic boom and high prices of primary commodities, a steep fall forced the curtailed states’ capacity to fund social intervention. This mismatch between the state’s capacity and people’s aspirations resulted in enormous amounts of societal

Q U A R T E R L Y

violence and conflict. This has led to untold suffering, disruption and deprivation across the entire continent and many generations have been lost. However, the turn of the millennium and the eventual formation of the African Union saw a flurry of new initiatives and efforts — both internal and external — to solve violence in Africa and to bring about democratic rule. It is essential to understand the larger context to place these efforts in proper perspective. Paradoxically, the success of the free market has sown the seeds of Africa re-engaging with the world from an assertive position. The fall of the Soviet Union unleashed many changes spanning across the globe in almost every possible public sphere. However, the speed and the magnitude of the change in Europe took many western European countries by surprise. The unification of Germany after the fall of the Berlin Wall, the eastward expansion of the European Union and NATO were ideas that were not conceivable even a short while before they eventually became a reality. Another consequence of these changes was that many European states and their institutions of governance were severely stressed. While some countries felt the consequences of this strain less, for others it was enormous. Few like Yugoslavia encountered such centrifugal force that they imploded or descended into extreme violent civil strife. It descended into chaos and this unleashed enormous violence and instability in the region. The impact of these events at such close quarters shook European countries and their policy priorities. Apart from this, the economic costs of reconstruction and integration of these countries into the west European economy too was enormous. A consequence of this preoccupation of Europe with its internal problems was the significant diminishing of its interests in Africa. This diminishing interest towards Africa of European powers like France, which has close military and financial ties with almost half the countries of the continent, also coincided with an adverse reaction in the United States to intervening abroad. The grand design of ushering in a New World Order with the United State acting as the global watchdog suffered severe reaction as a consequence of the humiliation in Somalia. The humiliation it suffered in Somalia forced a new policy approach towards Africa. The U.S. resisted in the U.N. and other such fora, any direct action and intervention in violent situations in Africa. This disengagement coincided with looming crises and violent conflicts in many African countries. The period of the early 1990s saw many flare-ups along with their consequent repercussions like human losses and destruction of economic infrastructure. Most of these conflicts also caused large refugee outflows. The human tragedy and cost due to these conflicts did not bring about any serious international concern; rather it only increased the disengagement. This crisis peaked in 1994 when most Francophone countries experienced political and economic crisis and refugee outflows. In the same year, the genocide in Rwanda occurred and there was complete international indifference towards it. The enormous loss of life accompanying human suffering and the

February-April 2007

43


A F R I C A N

S O L U T I O N S

security crisis in the Great Lake Region has not yet been fully resolved. This growing instability and violence has been festering and resulting in many other countries too being engulfed by it. All these factors acted as the fertile ground for galvanising new efforts and actions to promote peace and stability and sustainable development. New ideas were explored and experimented with, and the absence of external powers and their disinclination helped sprout new thinking and fresh ideas. The emergence of Asian economic powers too had an impact. On the one hand, it was a psychological boost that former colonial countries too could create niche areas of opportunities and prosper, while on the other hand it gave Africans an alternative to balance the European monopoly.

dance. All that was needed was to mobilise these resources and to use them effectively. But more essentially, it also declared that Africans will determine their own destiny and called on the rest of the world to complement their efforts. A vicious cycle of economic decline, reduced capacity and poor governance reinforced each other and confined Africa to the periphery and made it a marginal continent. Peace, security, democracy, good governance, human rights and sound economic management are essential conditions for sustainable development. Thus to promote these principles various actions are envisaged; one amongst them is the creation of African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM). The United Nations Economic Commission for Africa originally developed the APRM19 in response to a request by the NEPAD. The APRM’s mandate is to ensure that the policies and practices of participating states conform to the politNew Initiatives in Africa ical, economic and corporate governance codes and standards Amongst the new ideas that have their genesis in this peri- contained in the Declaration on Democracy, Political, od of crisis is the formation of the African Union as the suc- Economic and Corporate Governance that was approved by the African Union in July 2002. cessor institution to Organisation of A vicious cycle of economic The APRM is a voluntary and African Unity (OAU). Unlike the mutually agreed instrument for selfOAU, the African Union undertook decline and poor governance monitoring by member-states of the upon itself a far larger and broader confined Africa to the periphery African Union. The APRM has four mandate. It envisages that it is essenand made it a marginal distinct components and five stages. tial for sustainable peace and develThe first component is the opment to embark on far more continent. Peace, security, Committee of Participating Heads of proactive actions. democracy, human rights and State and Government or the APR The Heads of State and sound economic management Heads of State Forum. The next Government of the African Union component is the Panel of Eminent have stated that the “continued are essential conditions for Persons (APR Panel). This is an prevalence of armed conflicts in sustainable development. Thus independent body that would overAfrica and the fact that no single to promote these principles see the day-to-day functioning of the internal factor has contributed more to socio-economic decline of the various actions are envisaged; peer review process. The other components are the APR Secretariat and Continent and the suffering of the one amongst them is the APR Teams. Currently, about half of civilian population than the scourge creation of African Peer Review the continent’s countries are particiof conflicts within and between pating members. states.”18 Mechanism (APRM). This was followed by the enactAlong with this, there are many ment of Protocol Relating to the other experiments with different Establishment of the Peace and Security Council of the African forms of democratic governance taking place within the conUnion in July 2002. African Union is envisaged to play a cen- tinent. Proponents of African-style democracy argue that the tral role in bringing peace, security and stability on the conti- core democratic principles are accepted by most such experinent and to establish an operational structure for the effective mentation. Popular participation, consent and accountability implementation of conflict prevention, peace-making, peace are not alien to African historical experience. Furthermore, support operations and intervention, and peace-building and they “point to an ongoing system of broad-based, inclusive and post-conflict reconstruction. nonpartisan frameworks that occur without competing politWhile these efforts are underway, the continent is also try- ical parties. That is, competing candidates seek votes as indiing to engage the rest of the world to become a partner in its viduals, not as party-label candidates”.20 However, Ake’s comments are insightful. He says: efforts to attain sustainable peace and development. The New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD), which was “Democratisation in Africa can only occur if the economic announced at Abuja, Nigeria, in October 2001, was the cul- dependency of African economies is taken seriously by African mination of a long process towards this end. It is a vision state- and world leaders. In effect, the main characteristics of the ment by the African leaders that they want to extricate them- colonial state in Africa, absolutism and arbitrariness, have carselves from the malaise of underdevelopment and exclusion. ried over into the postcolonial state and encouraged a develThey considered that an historic opportunity was there to opment paradigm based on modernisation theory. But there end the scourge and that resources were available in abun- are at least two major limitations to modernisation theory: It

44

February-April 2007


A F R I C A ignores both the historical and the cultural specificity of African countries.”21 Conclusion As is clear from the above that the process of globalisation is not a new process, rather it is the maturing and ascendance of the capitalist mode of production over many centuries. The state is being transformed in a manner due to various processes that accompany globalisation with respect to both internal and external policies as well as in all spheres of a state’s activity. Also, the reorganisation of production and manufacturing –– and the mobility of capital –– limits the state’s capacity to extract from the capital. This curtails and diminishes the state’s capacity to divert what it has extracted from the capital for social intervention and distribution. This makes it difficult for the state to cater to the needs of the masses in an effective manner. The result is growing social pressure on the state. There may be situations where in the state may atrophy due to such intense pressure. But in most cases the state tries to constrict democratic space so as to cater to the needs of globalisation. In such an eventuality, and with a shrinking pie, many different social formations –– aggregated on the bases of ethnicity, race, class, religion, etc. –– apply different forms of pressure on the state. Such moves are invariably resisted. At some point these challenging groups will take recourse to violence and this only adds to more violence from the state. A vicious cycle of violence is started. The implications of such a trajectory are clearly obvious with many examples of such violence. Such

Q U A R T E R L Y

tragedies are unfortunately accompanied with enormous human costs and sufferings. In the context of Africa, the pre-colonial period had many forms of democratic governance. These were replaced during the colonial period with authoritarian states, whose aim was to cater to the needs of the colonial masters. Even though African states attained political independence, their economic ties with the former colonial countries remained very strong. For example, almost half of the continent’s countries became part of the Francophone zone. However, as it is clear from the experience of many of these countries, without a strong capacity to extract economic surplus for social intervention, the states were under tremendous pressure. In some extreme cases they have atrophied. Paradoxically, the success of many Asian countries meant that there was not only an alternative in terms of markets but also in terms of models and the manner in which to engage with the global system. Thus there are both opportunities and dangers that globalisation provides. It has many pitfalls, but as experience has shown there are many opportunities it has thrown up as well. There is thus a need to use these opportunities to create more favourable terms of exchange and use this surplus for social reproduction. This can be done by focusing social intervention on appropriate spheres to foster holistic development and alleviate deprivation. However, the bottom line is that African countries have to assert themselves externally while setting their own houses in order. Towards this end many of the nascent moves are but a beginning of long and difficult road towards ending violence and achieving durable democratic systems.

References 1. Montegue cites evidence of 41,500 wars during the last 5,600 years of recorded history, i.e. only 10 of the 185 generations were fortunate to enjoy uninterrupted peace. R. Paul Shaw and Yuwa Wong, ‘Genetic Seeds of Warfare: Evolution, Nationalism, Patriotism’, Boston, Unwin Hyman, 1989. p.3 2. William I. Robinson, ‘Social Theory and Globalisation: The Rise of a Transnational State, Theory and Society’, (Vol. 30) 2001, pp. 157-200. p.158 3. ibid p.160 4. ibid p.173 5. Quoted in Gil Gunderson, Review Essay: ‘Democratic Government in the Age of Globalisation? Public Organisation Review: A Global Journal’, (Vol. 3) 2003, pp. 421-429. p.21 6. Joseph E. Stiglitz, ‘Globalisation and its Discontents’, New York, W.W. Norton & Company, 2003, p.288 7. ibid. p. 249 8. Philip G. Cerny, ‘Globalisation and the Erosion of Democracy’, European Journal of Political Research, (Vol. 36) 1999, pp.1-26 9. ibid. p.2 10. ibid. p.10 11. ibid. p.18

12. ibid. p.21 13. Ted Gurr (ed.), ‘Violence in America: Protest, Rebellion, Reform’, New Delhi, Sage Publications, 1989 p.13 14. John Burton, ‘Conflict: Resolution and Prevention’, New York, St. Martin Press, 1990, p.4 15. Johan Galtung, ‘Peace by Peaceful Means: Peace and Conflict, Development and Civilisation’, London, Sage Publication, 1996 16. Matthew Todd Bradley, ‘“The Other’’: Precursory African Conceptions of Democracy, International Studies Review’, (Vol. 7) 2005, pp. 407-431. 17. Fortes and Evans-Pritchard quoted in ibid. p.414 18. African Union, ‘Protocol Relating to the Establishment of the Peace and Security Council of the African Union’, 10 July 2002, http://www.african-union.org. 19. Kempe Ronald Hope, Sr., ‘Practitioner Perspective Toward Good Governance and Sustainable Development: The African Peer Review Mechanism Governance: An International Journal of Policy, Administration, and Institutions’, (Vol. 18, No. 2) April 2005 pp. 283-311. 20. Bradley, op cit. p.414. 21. Claude Ake quoted in ibid. p.414

February-April 2007

45


O I L

D I P L O M A C Y

India’s ENERGY Safari in Africa Ruchita Beri argues for a more proactive Indian diplomacy to revitalise its ties with the oil-rich Sub-Saharan Africa that may emerge as a crucial pillar of the country’s search for energy security

T

raditionally, our relations with SubSaharan Africa were based on our recognition and sustained support for the anti-imperialist, anti- colonial and the anti-apartheid struggles. We also shared a common platform with them on peace, disarmament, nonalignment and developmental issues. However, with the end of the cold war and the emergence of a new South Africa, the rallying points between the two regions, i.e. support to liberation struggles and the anti-apartheid struggle, have come to end. Issues such as disarmament and nonalignment that had brought the two together have taken a back seat in this era of globalisation. In the post-cold war era it appears that India’s foreign policy is driven to a large extent by economic issues, energy security being one of the important facets. Energy security may be the biggest challenge to Indian policymaking in the coming decades. Our country’s consumption of energy has started to rise rapidly in recent years. Today, India is one of the largest consumers of energy in Asia. With indigenous production dwindling, it is estimated that by the end of the decade, we will be importing 90 percent of our crude oil and natural gas requirements. In recent years, India has been trying to reduce its dependence on the Persian Gulf and has started looking at Africa as an alternate source of energy. It is estimated that SubSahara Africa holds 7 percent of world oil reserves and accounts for 11 percent of world oil production. In the first part, the paper will examine India’s rising energy security concerns. In the second part of the paper, the extent of India’s involvement in Sub-Saharan Africa’s energy sector will be analysed. Finally, the challenges India is facing in this endeavour will be examined. India’s Energy Security Concerns India is a facing the critical challenge of meeting a rapidly increasing demand for energy. With over a billion people, a fifth of the world population, India ranks sixth in the world in terms of energy demand. Its economy is projected to grow at 7-8 percent over the next two decades, and in its wake will

46

come a substantial increase in the demand for oil to fuel land, sea and air transportation. For more than a decade, India’s energy consumption has grown at a faster pace than its economy and it appears this trend will continue. A recent study indicates that India’s energy consumption will increase at the rate of 5 percent every year up to 2010-11. However, this is a conservative estimate and the real consumption is likely to grow at a faster pace. As is true of most countries around the world, India’s industrial sector is the largest consumer of energy, followed by the transport sector. The industrial sector is mainly dependent on coal and natural gas and accounts for 99 percent of coal and natural gas consumption. On the other hand, the transport sector is the largest consumer of oil and accounts for nearly 50 percent of the total oil consumption.1 At present, coal accounts for a predominant share in India’s energy consumption basket (56.2 percent), followed by oil (32.4 percent), natural gas (9 percent), hydroelectricity (2.1 percent) and nuclear energy (less than 2 percent). Nevertheless, the share of oil and gas will increase, primarily due to two factors. First, with the modernisation and urbanisation of the Indian economy there has been an exponential growth in motorised transport. These millions of cars, trucks, buses, scooters, etc., are mainly run on liquid fuels. Second is the steady rise of the use of Combined Cycle Gas Turbines (CCGT) in power generation.2 This technological process employs either liquid fuels or gas in power generation. According to the estimates of the Energy Information Administration (EIA) of the United States, India’s oil consumption will be twice the current levels by 2010. While India has significant reserves of coal, it is relatively poor in oil and gas resources. Its oil reserves amount to 5.9 billion barrels (0.5 percent of global reserves) with total proven, probable and possible reserves of close to 11 billion barrels. The majority of India’s oil reserves are located in fields offshore Mumbai and onshore in Assam. The problem is, the country has no spectacular oilfields. And, despite 56 years of efforts –– since the country gained independence from British rule –– as well as the much-hyped new oil strikes (in Rajasthan) in recent years, India does not produce more than 30 percent of its oil needs from the oilfields within its territorial boundaries. The domestic production has been stagnating at around 32

February-April 2007


A F R I C A

Q U A R T E R L Y

million tonnes a year This document outlines the (642,000 barrels a day). It road map for meeting our appears that the proportion energy requirements in the of crude demand being met long-term perspective –– as from indigenous producwell as the short-term polition presently is likely to cy –– as they relate to the decline further.3 Estimates hydrocarbon sector. suggest that by 2020, only Concerned with its growabout 25 percent of the ing reliance on Persian Gulf total demand will be met oil, India is following in the internally. At present, footsteps of other major oilIndia’s domestic crude importing economies, and consumption is around 113 is diversifying its sources. In million tonnes (2.2 million addition, it is also investing barrels per day) of which in acquiring equity oil 1.5 million barrels per day abroad. Indian firms’ investare imported. It is estimatment in overseas oilfields is ed that India’s fuel conmore than $4.5 billion. sumption will rise to 3.2 ONGC Videsh Ltd. officials celebrate the setting up of the Base Camp of the Greater Nile Petroleum Operating Company (GNPOC) at Heglig in million barrels per day by India and African Oil Sudan on May 18, 2003. 2010. In the process, India will emerge as the fourth-largest conFaced with a grim scenario on the ONGC Videsh Ltd., or OVL, sumer after the United States, China oil production front and the rising and Japan. This accelerated demand consumption of energy, India has invested $750 million to makes it imperative that we garner diversified its sources across the acquire the 25 percent equity abundant and continuous supply of world. Africa has appeared to be one held by the Talisman group in energy and ensure its security in the of the major attractions for Indian oil future. Every oil shock in the past has GNOP. In June 2004, the Union companies in recent years. Currently, had a negative impact on the Indian roughly one fourth of India’s crude Cabinet of the Indian economy. oil imports come from Sub-Saharan government approved a Due to stagnating domestic crude Africa. This is mainly from Nigeria. production, India imports approxiIndia has also decided to invest in $200 million project to lay a mately 70 percent of its oil. Its depenpipeline from Khartoum to Port equity oil in Africa. India’s interest in dence is growing rapidly. The World African oil is spurred by a number of Sudan on the Red sea. As of Energy Outlook, published by the factors. First, the oil from Africa, parInternational Energy Agency (IEA), ticularly the Gulf of Guinea, is of now, India gets 3.23 million projects that India’s dependence on tonnes of equity oil from GNOP high quality, being low in sulphur. oil imports will grow to 91.6 percent Second, the bulk of the new discovin Sudan. by the year 2020. However, more eries are found offshore, away from alarming is the fact that the country potential conflicts on shore. Third, buys much of the oil it needs from the Middle East countries. Africa’s oil markets are open to foreign participation unlike This makes India terribly vulnerable to any event that causes those of Saudi Arabia and some other countries in the Gulf. instability in the Middle East. In many ways, the Iraq and Fourth, only Nigeria is an OPEC member, which sets limits Afghanistan wars have shown the government that it needs to on member-countries’ output levels. Finally, India has centie-up alternate sources soon. In 2004-05 India, with 23.9 mil- turies-old ties with African countries. India has fought togethlion tonnes of purchases, was the largest importer of crude oil er against colonialism and apartheid in the continent. India and from Saudi Arabia. Imports from Nigeria, at15 million tonnes, Africa have been partners in peace and development. The peowas next, followed by the United Arab Emirates and Iran with ple of Indian origin who reached African shores in the mid9 and 6.4 million tonnes, respectively. Cumulatively, India 19th century also bind us together. Also, we have shared simimported 64.6 million metric tonnes of crude from West Asia ilar experiences in nation-building. Thus we have a certain and 31.2 million metric tonnes from other regions during the bonding with the African countries that would be helpful in year, official sources said. Clearly, India has to ensure “that the forging energy ties. The countries that India has focused so far people and industry do not suffer for want of oil and gas”. are Sudan, Angola, Ivory Coast and Ghana. The other counThese and related concerns have led to a serious debate on tries of interest are in the Gulf of Guinea region in West Africa energy security issues in the country. Recognising these con- are Equatorial Guinea, Chad and Mauritania. cerns, the Indian government had set up a special Group of Nigeria: In a bid to diversify its import sources India is Cabinet Ministers that spelt out the Hydrocarbon Vision 2025. increasingly looking towards African countries, Nigeria in par-

February-April 2007

47


O I L

D I P L O M A C Y

From Left, Aditya Mittal, Vice Chairman and CFO of Mittal Steel and Director of OMEL and OMESL; Lakshmi Mittal, Chairman and CEO of Mittal Steel and Director of OMEL & OMESL; M.S. Srinivasan, Secretary, Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas; R.S. Sharma, Chairman, ONGC; and R.S. Butola, Managing Director of OVL at a press conference to speak about the ONGC-Mittal Steel tie-up OMEL for oil exploration, in Mumbai on July 7, 2006.

ticular. Nigeria is a major oil prorailways, and the establishment of a In May 2006, ONGC-Mittal ducing country and its reserves are thermal power plant and a refinery. In Energy Ltd. (OMEL) won currently around 30 billion barrels the downstream sector, IOC is disand are estimated to rise to 40 billion cussing setting up a refinery in the two prospective oil and gas barrels by 2010. Comparatively, Edo state. Private sector oil companies blocks. The acquisition of Nigeria’s production ranks only like Essar are also involved in refinery these blocks would give India behind Saudi Arabia, Venezuela, Iran projects in Nigeria. and United Arab Emirates. Further, Sudan: In recent years, Sudan has a presence in the highly it has a daily production rate of entered the ranks of oil exporting prospective deepwater Gulf of around 2.63 million barrels per day. countries in a big way. It seems Guinea region. Earlier, in India’s interest in Nigeria’s oil sector Sudan’s reserves are very high, sechas three components –– import of ond only to those of Saudi Arabia. As November 2005, an MOU crude oil, participation in the of January 2004, its estimated proven was signed between OMEL upstream sector and, finally, the reserves of crude oil stood at around and the Nigerian government downstream sector, particularly 5 billion barrels. Its recoverable refineries. reserves are estimated at greater than for a $6 billion oil-forAmong the African countries, 800 million barrels and its natural gas infrastructure deal. Nigeria is the major crude supplier to reserves are close to three trillion India, mostly bought on the spot cubic feet. As of June 2004, crude oil market. In May 2005, Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) and the production was averaging about 345,000 barrels per day and is Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) agreed expected to surpass 500,000 barrels per day by the end of 2005.4 on a contract for NNPC to supply 40,000 barrels per day to Petroleum exploration in Sudan began in the early 1960s. The IOC. Nigeria is one of the few producers of the sweet vari- activity was originally concentrated offshore in the Red Sea. eties needed by Indian refineries and, therefore, the demand The only significant discovery was Chevron’s Suakin gas disfor Nigerian crude would remain substantial in the near future. covery in 1976. Chevron’s explorations in the 1960s and 1970s In the upstream sector, in May 2005, ONGC Videsh (OVL) led to several oil finds in southern Sudan. However, the won a 15 percent stake in Block II of the Joint Development increasing internal unrest and intensification of conflict Zone (JDZ) of Nigeria and Sao Tome Principe. In May 2006, between the Sudanese government and the southern rebels ONGC-Mittal Energy Ltd. (OMEL) won two prospective oil and the consequent deterioration of the security situation at and gas blocks. The acquisition of these blocks would give the oilfields led most of the oil majors to suspend their activIndia a presence in the highly prospective deepwater Gulf of ities in the mid-1980s. Chevron in particular abandoned its Guinea region. Earlier, in November 2005, an MOU was concessions. France’s total also suspended its onshore explosigned between OMEL and the Nigerian government for a $6 ration activities but retained its rights to its concessions. Since the early 1990s, foreign oil companies have began to billion oil-for-infrastructure deal. That entailed sourcing of 450,000 barrels per day of equity oil and 200,000 barrels per day return. In December 1996, the Greater Nile Petroleum of equity gas per year for over 25 years. In return, the Indian Company (GNPOC) was formed comprising China National government promised to assist in the upgradation of Nigeria’s Petroleum Corporation, Petronas, Sudapet and Araxis. In

48

February-April 2007


A F R I C A November 1997, the U.S. imposed sanctions against Sudan on the charge that profits from oil were being used to fuel civil war. The pressure of sanctions had kept most of the American and Western oil companies out of Sudan, except for a Canadian firm, Talisman energy. Talisman had acquired Araxis’ share in the GNPOC. India entered the Sudanese oil sector when Talisman decided to withdraw from the consortium after sustained pressure from the U.S. and the human rights groups. OVL invested $750 million to acquire the 25 percent equity held by the Talisman group in GNOP. The CNPC has 40 percent of the equity, Petronas has 30 percent and 5 percent of the equity is held by Sudapet. In June 2004, the Union Cabinet approved a $200 million project to lay a pipeline from Khartoum to Port Sudan on the Red Sea.5 As of now, India gets 3.23 million tonnes of equity oil from GNOP in Sudan. In 2004, China outbid India in its attempt to pick up 11 percent stake in the Block 3 oil field in Sudan. The field was generating 400,000 barrels per day. However, the government’s delay in decision-making cost us the deal, with China walking away with the spoils.6 They offered 17 percent more than what India was bidding and signed up immediately. Subsequently, in 2005, ONGC acquired participation in two more blocks — 5A and 5B. Angola: Angola is regarded as one of the oil industry’s hotspots. It has reserves of over seven billion barrels, reputed to be larger than those of Kuwait. Further, it apparently is one of the most successful non- OPEC countries in the world of oil exploration: Its reserves increased four-fold in the 1990s alone. More than 40 percent of the oil is exported to the U.S. market and production is projected to increase to 2 barrels per day by 2008. Chevron Texaco, Angola’s largest oil producer, is currently pumping more than 500,000 barrels per day and Total, Exxon Mobil and BP are also heavily invested. Sonangol, the national oil company, regulates the oil industry and is also involved in product distribution, industry support services, banks, businesses, the Luanda refinery and a host of non-commercial activities. India has been trying to acquire equity in some Angolan oil fields. In April 2004, OVL announced that it had reached an agreement with the Royal Dutch/Shell group to buy 50 percent stake in an offshore oil field in Angola for $ 600 million. OVL was buying out Shell’s entire stake in Block 18, a deepwater exploration block along with the Greater Plutonio development. This deal was important because it is a discovered field. We will not be wasting time and money in exploration. The 50 percent stake in the block implies an annual yield of five million tonnes of oil right away. However, the completion of the transaction was subject to approvals by the government of Angola and pre-emption rights of BP Plc and Sonangol SA. But, the deal did not materialise. Sonangol exercised its first right of refusal with Shell, pre-empting its bid to sell its 50 percent of the offshore Block 18 to OVL. The Indian government tried to persuade the Angolans, but to no avail. Why did the Angolans change their mind? It seems mainly due to Chinese pressure. China has been actively lobbying for acquiring the stake in this particular oilfield. Suspicions are that Sonangol tilted towards China because of a $2 billion aid pack-

Q U A R T E R L Y

age. India had also offered an economic package earlier, that included economic assistance of $200 million spread over two years, manpower training and a railway rehabilitation project. But obviously it was outweighed by the more attractive Chinese offer. Hopefully, there will be chances of India investing in another block in the country. India has gone ahead with its economic assistance programme, particularly the $40 million railway rehabilitation project. Ivory Coast: Ivory Coast is a small but significant oil producer in West Africa. OVL has reached an agreement with Vanco Energy Company to acquire 30 percent participating interest in an offshore exploratory block. This is the first acquisition by OVL in the West African region. The block is spread over an area of 4,156 sq. km in San Pedro Basin. The hydrocarbon resource potential in the block is estimated to be in excess of one billion barrels. OVL has negotiated the acquisition of 40 percent stake in Block C1-112. It offered 10 percent participating interest in OIL, retaining 30 percent with it. Ghana: In October 2004, OVL entered into an agreement with Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) to study prospects of oil exploration in the West African nation. The two companies have entered into an MOU. The agreement has mutual benefits. While India will gain a foothold in oil exploration in the country, Ghana hopes to learn from OVL’s significant competence and know-how in exploration and production activities. The cooperation could be extended to training of GNPC staff in India. Charting a New Course The foundations of India’s policy towards Africa were laid during the premiership of Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru. They were to a large extent driven by the country’s search for an international role. One was the rhetorical role embodied in India’s determination to act as a voice of the downtrodden and the subjugated. India took a number of initiatives and representations against colonialism and racism. It was also driven by the realisation that India’s freedom struggle was part of the larger struggle against colonialism in Africa and Asia. Another component was the emulative role: India was one of the three leading nations that conceived and designed the nonaligned policy framework. India’s nonaligned foreign policy framework was quite attractive to most African countries. In the post-Nehru era, few other components were added. They were development and peace. On the development front, India has identified with the development concerns of the African countries and worked for strengthening South-South linkages through transfer of intermediate technologies and providing training to manpower in different areas, from agriculture to defence. Finally, India has always striven for peace in Africa. Our commitment to this agenda is reflected in our substantial contribution to the U.N. peace keeping and monitoring operations in Africa. In the post-cold war era, with the decolonisation of Namibia and the end of apartheid rule in South Africa, one of the important components of our foreign policy towards Africa –– that of solidarity and support against decolonisation and institu-

February-April 2007

49


O I L

D I P L O M A C Y

tionalised racialism –– does not exist any more. The shared ideologies of nonalignment, and disarmament are no longer the rallying points of interaction. In such a scenario, India’s search for energy security has added a new dimension to its relationship with the Africa. So far our ties with the Africans have been based on moral and idealistic issues. They have also been driven by the desire of carving out a leadership role for India in the developing world to some extent. Energy issues have brought Africa into India’s strategic map. India’s ties to Africa are for the first time being determined by its national interest. After all, fulfilling our energy needs is a matter of national security concern. As discussed earlier, our energy requirements are growing at a faster pace than the economy. Access to abundant energy sources is essential for maintaining the current rate of economic growth. Realising the importance of Africa, the Indian government has launched a number of initiatives. Indian Initiatives

centage of total Indian exports fell from being 4.93 percent in 2000-2001 to 4.69 percent. However the imports to SSA as a percentage of total Indian imports rose from 4.11 percent to 4.71 percent. Further, imports from SSA showed secondhighest growth rate(36.3) as compared to other geographical regions of the world. In April 2003, this programme was extended to several other countries, i.e., Angola, Botswana, Ivory Coast, Madagascar, Mozambique, Senegal, Seychelles, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Egypt, Libya, Tunisia, Sudan, Morocco and Algeria. Firms exporting to these markets were given “export house” status on exports of Rs. 50 million.7 Supporting NEPAD: The Indian government has given complete support to the New Economic Partnership for African Development (NEPAD) initiative launched by the African countries. It is unique, for it is an initiative of the African governments themselves and has not been imposed upon them by outside powers. This plan calls for investments in Africa with the promise that African governments would deliver good governance in return. It has extended the credit lines of around $200 million in supAfrica in search port of the NEPAD projects.

Team 9 Initiative: The most sigAs India enters nificant of these is the Team 9 Initiative. West Africa has remained a of equity oil, it is increasingly Challenges Ahead relatively neglected area in India’s forfacing the Chinese challenge. eign policy, perhaps due to fewer peoChina’s voracious demand for India’s energy security concerns ple of Indian origin to eastern and are pushing them closer to the southern Africa, or due the language energy to feed its booming Africans. However, there are number barrier. Therefore, the Technoeconomy has led it to seek of challenges that India faces. Economic Approach for Africa-India oil supplies from African Instability and Conflict: Many Movement or Team 9, is a welcome of the countries with which India is move. It envisages special cooperation countries including Sudan and dealing are known for severe violaamong the eight West African Nigeria. In the battle for tions of human rights, sponsorship Countries, viz., Burkina Faso, Chad, control of equity oil in Africa, of terrorist activities, debilitating conCote D’Ivoire, Equatorial Guinea, flicts and general misuse of oil revGhana, Guinea Bissau, Mali, Senegal, the Chinese have already enues. In the case of Sudan, internaland India. The first ministerial meetoutbid India twice — in Sudan ly, the country has gone through a ing of Team 9 countries in New and Angola. devastating conflict through the last Delhi in March 2004 helped in clari35 years. This conflict has generated fying issues of common concern and the logistics of cooperation. While India and the West African some four million displaced people during the course of the countries share similar developmental challenges, the particu- war between the central government located in the north and lar developmental needs of the region were not known. Apart the southern rebels. According to an estimate, over two milfrom Senegal and Ghana, with whom we have a long history lion Sudanese people may have died because of fighting and of political and economic cooperation, the rest are unfamiliar. related starvation and disease.8 While the end of this longThe meeting ended with an agreement to identify and imple- drawn conflict is in sight, a new conflict in Dafur in the last ment priority projects and corporate schemes. India has extend- couple of years has displaced around 1.6 million and has left around 70,000 dead.9 It appears that discovery of oil in southed credit facilities of $500 million for these projects. Focus Africa: The Focus Africa programme was launched ern Sudan has greatly helped the government in the north as a part of the EXIM policy 2002-2003. The main object was both politically and militarily to appropriate and control the to enhance the trade with Africa. It seeks to enhance bilateral region for expanded production of oil. At the same time, it has interactions between the two regions by identifying the areas marginalised the area’s traditional inhabitants.10 Nigeria’s political economy has earned around $340 billion of trade and investment. The first phase of Focus Africa concentrated on seven countries, viz., Nigeria, South Africa, over the past 40 years. The country’s dependence on oil revKenya, Mauritius, Ethiopia, Tanzania and Ghana. These coun- enues is immense. It accounts for 90-95 percent of export revtries constituted 69 percent of India-Africa trade during the enues, over 90 percent of foreign exchange earnings and 80 peryear 2000-2001. It has put aside an amount of Rs. 20 million cent of government revenue.11 Yet, instead of turning Nigeria for trade promotion-related activity. The point to note is that into the most prosperous state in Africa these natural resources in the first year of the Focus Africa the exports to SSA as a per- have enriched only a minority while a vast majority has become

50

February-April 2007


A F R I C A increasingly impoverished. Successive governments have mismanaged the monies earned through the oil. The degree of mismanagement is so high that Nigeria has become virtually synonymous with corruption. Along with this is the instability of the government. And the governments have most often been authoritarian and repressive. This has given rise to militancy, most prominently in the oil rich Niger delta. Thus India has to tread carefully on enhancement of energy ties with countries like Sudan and Nigeria. Rising vulnerabilities, especially in the context of the security of India’s investments and stability of the supplies in future, need to be factored in. Chinese Challenge: As India enters Africa in search of equity oil, it is increasingly facing the Chinese challenge. China’s voracious demand for energy to feed its booming economy has led it to seek oil supplies from African countries including Sudan, Chad, Nigeria, Angola, Algeria, Gabon and Equatorial Guinea. In the battle for control of equity oil in Africa, the Chinese have already outbid India twice — in Sudan and Angola. China has been hunting for equity oil for a longer period than us. A quick look at the numbers will show how far we are lagging behind. Till date, OVL has invested $4.5 billion globally and $1 billion in Sudan. The Chinese have invested $15 billion in Sudan alone. Their total investment in equity oil projects around the world today tops $50 billion.12 With an eye on Africa’s oil potential, China is resorting to aggressive diplomacy in the continent. The visit by the Chinese foreign minister to the continent is now an annual feature. In January 2007 the Chinese President Hu Jin Tao launched a 12-day tour of Africa covering eight countries that included Cameroon, Namibia, Mozambique, the Seychelles, Sudan, South Africa, Zambia and Liberia. This is Hu’s second trip to Africa in less than a year. In April 2006 he visited Morocco, Nigeria and Kenya. The Chinese had declared 2006

Q U A R T E R L Y

as the “Year of Africa” and the year ended with first ever China- Africa summit in November 2006. U.S. Interest: In the post-cold war era Africa did not exist on the U.S. strategic map. Policymakers at Washington placed Africa low on the priority list. This outlook changed with the coming of the Republican administration in 2001. In fact, never before have so many African Heads of State visited the White House as during President George Bush’s first term in office. The reason for this crucial policy change is the growing American interest in African oil. “African oil is of strategic national interest to us,” declared Assistant Secretary of State Walter Kasteiner during a visit to Nigeria in July 2002. Why is it so? Over the years, the U.S. has started relying on African oil. Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defence for African Affairs had noted in April 2002 that, “15 percent of U.S.’s oil supply comes from Sub-Saharan Africa”.13 This policy change was influenced by Vice President Richard Cheney’s report on the National Energy Policy.14 The Cheney report suggested the administration diversify its oil supplies, primarily to reduce dependence on any single area –– namely, the Persian Gulf. Hence, India is not alone in wooing the Africans –– others like the Chinese and the Americans have renewed their interest in Africa. India’s involvement in Africa’s energy sector has reinvigorated its relations with this continent. Nevertheless, Indian involvement in Africa is minuscule in comparison with the American, European and Chinese involvement. There is no doubt that Africans are eager to take the relationship with India to a higher level. They recognise India’s status as an emerging power and are keen to emulate the Indian pattern of development and style of governance. Their interest is visible in the number of visits made by African Heads of States, ministerial, and business delegations to India in recent years. This calls for a more proactive role by India in development and conflict-resolution in Africa.

Notes 1. Shebonti Ray Dadwal, ‘Rethinking Energy Security in India’ (New Delhi: Knowledge World, 2002) p.110-11 2. Sudha Mahalingam, ‘Energy and Security in a Changing World’ Strategic Analysis vol.28, no.2 April- June 2004 3. Government of India, 2000, Report of the Group on India Hydrocarbon Vision - 2025 4. ‘Sudan estimation of crude oil’, Sudan Tribune, August 6, 2004 5. ‘India clears ONGC contract in Sudan’; Webindia123.com June 24, 2004 @ http:// www.webindia 123.com/news/showdetails.asp?id=41494&cat=Business 6. Anup Jayaram, ‘Face- Off’; Business World, August 16, 2004. 7. For detail see Focus Africa at http://commin.nic.in/ doc/focus_africa.htm 8. J. Prendergast and others, ‘God, Oil and Country: Changing the Logic of War in Sudan’, International Crisis Group, London, 2002, p.29 9. These are U.N. figures. See Joyce Mulamaya, ‘Politics–– Sudan a final peace accord within grasp’ @ http//allafrica.

com/stories/ 200501010026.html, accessed on January 1, 2005 10. Paul Goldsmith, Lydia A. Abura and Jason Switzer, ‘Oil and Water in Sudan’ in Jeremy Lind and Kathryn Sturman, Eds. ‘Scarcity and Surfeit: The Ecology of Africa’s Conflicts’; Pretoria: Institute for Security Studies, 2002 pp. 220-29 11. U.S. Government, Department of Energy, Energy Information Administration, Country Analyses briefs: Nigeria August 2004@ http://www.eia.doe.gov/emeu/ cabs/nigeria.html accessed on March 29, 2005 see also @ http://www.nigerianoil-gas.com/industryprofile/index.htm accessed on March 29, 2005 12. Jayaram, n.6 13. Kevin J. Kelly, ‘U.S. moves to protect interest in Africa’; The East African (Nairobi) September 16, 2002 @ http:// www.allafrica.com accessed on September 18, 2002 14. Michael T. Klare and Daniel Volman, ‘Africa’s Oil and American National Security’; Current History; May 2004 p.226

February-April 2007

51


N E I G H B O U R S

Ethiopia-E Eritrea Ties: Past, Present, FUTURE M. Venkataraman analyses the transformation of Eritrea-Ethiopia ties from one of harmony and mutual gains to hostility and conflict, and the prospects of resolving the border row between the two neighbours

T

he Horn of Africa has witnessed turmoil during the past decade. Endless conflicts –– both inter-regional and intra-regional –– have been the hallmark of the countries situated in this important region. Nevertheless, when viewed in terms of the much talked about “globalisation” trying to encompass the whole world, it would not be an exaggeration to state that the Horn of Africa has not invited much attention nor been given the much needed impetus to harness the “benefits” of globalisation. This is primarily due to the fact that countries in the Horn have been locked in constant struggles –– both internally and externally driven –– making their prospects for development bleak. This article unravels the situation by taking the case of Eritro-Ethiopian relations since Eritrea’s de-facto independence in 1991. “Any Ethiopian of this or future generations will be able to forget the disadvantages that our country suffered in the days that we didn’t have access to the sea. It has been for a long time the desire of Ethiopia to be returned their ports to the native mother...situated in the renowned strait of Bab al-Mandeb, through which more ships pass than in any other strait of the globe ...Ethiopia will be a sentry to help and to attend the great number of ships that caters to the world trade.”1This statement by Haile Selassie makes one ponder over the current claim on Assab by the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) government in Ethiopia and the present stalemate over the Badme issue, which has lately gained prominence in their bilateral relationship in spite of it having little geographical or strategic value. The Frontiers The frontier that Eritrea shares with Ethiopia is 1,000 kms long and it was negotiated by means of diverse treaties signed between Italy and Ethiopia between the years 1890 and 1908. Of these the most important is the treaty of May 15, 1902, signed in Addis Ababa. Its first article says: “The frontier treaty among Ethiopia and Eritrea previously certain for the line Tomat-Todluc will be mutually modified in the following

52

way: Beginning the union of the Khor Um Hagar with the Setit, the new frontier follows this river until the union with the Maieteb, following this river in such a way that the mount Ala Tacura is on the side of Eritrea until finding the Mareb and its fork with Mai Ambessa.”2 These frontiers were ratified in the constitution given to Eritrea on September 11, 1952, at the time of its federation with Ethiopia. Article 1 of this constitution says: The territory of Eritrea, including the islands, is that of the Italian former colony of Eritrea.3 The long frontier that both of them share and the growing amalgamation due to the annexation of Eritrea with Ethiopia for almost 50 years is a complex and conflicting issue for two important reasons: Firstly, the population living in the province of Tigray on the Ethiopian side has a lot to share with the population of Tigrinya on the Eritrean side in terms of language, culture, religion and common history and secondly, Eritrean independence has left Ethiopia without access to the sea making Ethiopia look for the possibility of acquiring the port of Assab.4 What is noteworthy is that the frontier is an open one that separates densely populated areas in both countries. The Eritrean highland extends into the territory of Ethiopia until it reaches Addis Ababa. In times of peace, it can be a frontier that could amalgamate the two populations and a strong economic/commercial exchange can be developed as it did in the initial years of Eritrea’s independence. But, in a state of war, it is a frontier that presents strong vulnerabilities for Eritrea and is extremely expensive to defend militarily. And obviously, aspirations to have access to sea according to the geo-political law by Ethiopia would be a factor determining their bilateral relationship. Hence, outlet to the sea would be an important aspect of Ethiopia’s foreign policy. Period of Initial Cordiality Eritrean independence was achieved by efforts of the Eritrean People’s Liberation Front (EPLF) and the TPLF who, in union with other political forces, overthrew the leftist dictatorship of Mengistu Haile Mariam. In fact, in both Eritrea and in Ethiopia, there were changes in government.

February-April 2007


A F R I C A

Q U A R T E R L Y

Both the guerrilla mote free trade, to coorganisations –– EPRDF ordinate their monetary and the EPLF, now PFDJ policies, and to work to –– were transformed into harmonise their relatransitional governments tionships in the fields of whose leaders presided the agriculture, transover the two countries’ port and natural post-war political and ecoresources and to nomic reconstruction. It advance gradually was this friendly relations toward a combined ecobetween the leaders of the nomic unit.”7 The relationship two organisations that between both the counfacilitated the emergence tries during these years of an interdependent relacan be termed as one of tionship between both the friendship and cordialicountries during the inity, which was unparaltial years. leled. With the achievement Leaders of the two of de-facto independence countries consulted in 1991, from the Dergue each other regularly to regime of Mengistu Haile make decisions. Mariam, the Provisional Frequent bilateral visits Government of Eritrea at the top level were also (PGE) went in for reconmade. The very first struction of the state appavisit made to Asmara ratus and looked for interwas by the Ethiopian Prime Minister national recognition of its indepenOn April 21 and 23, 1993, a Meles Zenawi. dence. On April 21 and 23, 1993, a 5 This was reciprocated with a visit referendum was conducted under referendum was conducted the auspices of the United Nations by Eritrean President Isaias Afewerki. under the auspices of the U.N. along with monitors from the OAU, Besides, ministers of both governalong with monitors from the the Arab League and Nonments undertook many visits and Alignment Movement to decide the regular consultations on many OAU, the Arab League and legitimacy of independence. The refaspects of mutual interest. Non-Alignment Movement to erendum included not only the When the conflict over ownership decide the legitimacy of Eritreans living on the territory but of the Hanish-Zuquar archipelago also the Eritrean Diaspora in Sudan, exploded between Yemen and independence. With the the Middle East, Europe and the U.S. Eritrea, the first country to offer referendum, 30 years of war The referendum resulted in 99.8 per mediation in order to resolve the ended and left the country with problem peacefully was the cent votes in favour of independence. Recognition was granted almost enormous reconstruction tasks. Ethiopian prime minister.8 In February 1997, the Ethiopian immediately by the U.S., Sudan, President Negasso Guidada declared: Ethiopia and Italy. A little later, Eritrea was incorporated into the U.N. as the 182nd member “The existing relationship between Eritrea and Ethiopia is of great importance for the promotion of peace and economic and 52nd member of OAU. With the referendum, 30 years of war ended and left the des- development in the region (of the Horn of Africa) and of olated country with enormous reconstruction tasks. According Africa in its entirety.”9 The Treaty of Friendship and Cooperation that was signed to World Bank estimates, the per capita income at the time of in July 1993 included the following provisions: independence was between $70-150 per year. Earlier, the relationship between Eritrea and Ethiopia was ! Continuation of the free movement of goods, capital and limited to economic, political and cultural areas. In September people that existed before Eritrea attained independence. 1993, soon after a referendum was conducted, the possibility ! Continuous free access of Ethiopia to the Eritrean ports. of an agreement in the area of military security was studied and ! Cooperation in the political area and use of the Ethiopian currency Birr in both countries, until Eritrea issues its own was reached in April 1994.6 A Joint Declaration was issued in the following month, currency. which read as follows: “Ethiopia and Eritrea express their ! Harmonisation of political areas. determination in enlarging the economic cooperation, to pro- ! Cooperation and consultations in foreign policy.10

February-April 2007

53


N E I G H B O U R S Immediate Background to the Conflict Though the agreement was implemented with lots of difficulties, it also resulted in conflict. The immediate cause of the conflict has been documented by many and widely published. The real causes of the conflict are varied since there are diverse views that exist in this respect which see them as both economic and political. According to Ruth Iyob, the roots of the conflict can be traced to the period of partnership that the EPLF and TPLF had developed since 1975 onwards and the dynamics of the contradictory roles Eritrea and Ethiopia came to play with each other: “the one Eritrea as a diasporic state, the other, Ethiopia that of regional hegemon”.11 She tries to argue that developing an identity unique to the struggle that Eritreans fought for their political, social, and economic right was not compatible with the hegemonic role played by Ethiopia and hence the cordiality of the initial years began to fade soon. In other words, inconsistency over the way both of them emerged in the 1990s was the central problem, which led to hostilities. The border problem was just an excuse to start a war. Lack of institutionalisation of relations through legal means whilst depending on mutual trust and understanding could not work and did not work. Whatever may be the reasons, difficulties primarily stemmed from the economic and financial point of view. Signs of incompatibility started soon due to certain provisions in the agreements relating to trade and investment.12 Actually, one cannot blame Eritrea or Ethiopia for lack of implementation of the agreements since it is obvious that such problems arose due to different approaches to political and economic development that the two countries were pursuing. Overcoming such a situation would require strong political will, which was probably lacking. Economic reasons that contributed towards the conflict can be traced to the issue of Eritrean currency –– the Nakfa –– in November 1997 that was similar to that of the Ethiopian Birr. The separate paths to economic development that each country followed and Eritrea’s subsequent affirmation of economic sovereignty by way of introducing its own currency added fuel to fire. The protocol agreement that was signed on September 1993 called for harmonisation of macro-economic policies of the two countries. However, both sides failed to implement the agreement. Not only did they fail to harmonise their exchange rate policies and interest rate strictures but also, as stated above, could not reconcile their economic policies. This was bound to take place considering the fact that Eritrea did not have its own currency and had to depend upon the Ethiopian Birr. Even though Eritrea introduced its own currency in view of the non-viability of the Ethiopian Birr, the new currency brought about problems in trade between both the countries. Eritrean exports to the Ethiopian market amounted for 60 percent of the total trade. The initial agreement decreed that trade between both countries would be made on the basis of Letter of Credit denominated in U.S. dollars.13 Eritrea, however, demanded payment of the port services in terms of U.S. dollars. This ensured that Ethiopia was dependent upon the port facility of Djibouti.

54

A brief look into the statistical figures of Eritrea’s trade with Ethiopia would give us an understanding of the extent of economic interaction during the said period. The following table illustrates that.

Eritrea's trade with Ethiopia (in Ethiopian Birr) Year

Imports

1993 63,968,197 1994 90,796,808 1995 146,820,200 112,880,000 1996 261,781,354 1997 274,600,000

Exports

Balance

123,579,747 181,491,011 259,700,000

59,611,550 90,694,203

273,400,000 218,200,000

11,618,646 -56,400,000

Source: Eritrean Studies Review, vol.3, no.2, 1999, p.101

From the above table, one can see an increase in Eritrean exports between 1993 and 1996 and a decline in 1997. As far as imports are concerned, it has been steadily increasing during the same period. Alemseged Tesfai points out that the favorable balance of trade for Eritrea that is quite apparent between 1993 and 1996 is deceptive if one considers the mode of payment that was used. The products that Eritrea exported, according to Alemseged, have been mainly of industrial nature, in which chemicals and materials were paid for in hard currency reserves but sold to Ethiopia in Birr. He adds that with the use of free port facility and transport services, and non-payment of Eritrean indirect tax and intermediate payments by Ethiopian traders, Ethiopia clearly stood to gain.14 It would be quite apparent that after the start of the conflict, trade has declined even more to the detriment of Eritrea. In political terms, besides the issue of nationality, the central point of conflict has been over border demarcation. The protocol agreement of 1993 provided for free movement of people and establishment of residence in both Eritrea and Ethiopia. It was agreed that visas would not be required for nationals of both countries to enter or leave Eritrea and Ethiopia. Problems erupted soon on this account due to divergent citizenship policies. The issue of Ethiopians of Eritrean origin opened another area of differences and dispute.15 Differences also surfaced over the possession of a village called Badme. Like other towns of the frontier, Badme has the same ethnic composition. The crisis developed due to Ethiopian control of towns

February-April 2007


A F R I C A

Q U A R T E R L Y

along the Eritrean fronEritrean soldiers were tier. In July 1997, the killed. Eritrea respondEthiopian army went ed to this incident into the town of Badme immediately by sending and dismantled the civil in mechanised units, administration –– an act which managed to diswhich Eritreans protestlodge the local ed and consequently the Ethiopian administrasurrounding areas of tion. In May the same Badme was mined.16 In year, the Ethiopian parfact, starting from 1991, liament declared a state boundary-related probof war against Eritrea. lems surfaced. Eritreans There were diverse living in border areas causes of conflict. The were penalized for vioissuing of the new lating Ethiopian law. Eritrean currency that Asmara ignored this finally gave a sense of issue as a “product of the more independence to eccentric whims of provincial authorthe country; the accumulated and On May 6, 1998, the Tigrayan ities” and took this view as part of its unresolved commercial problems confidence in its status as an ally of the police ordered an Eritrean patrol that aggravated even more after the FDRE in Addis Ababa.17 The extent issue of the new currency; the issue unit in the Badme area to of friendly relations can also be seen of nationality; and the publication of disarm. The Eritreans refused, over the issue of TPLF’s occupation official maps in Mekele (capital of arguing that they were on of Addi Murug, which is well within the province of Tigray) where Eritrean territory. Asmara granted Badme appeared inside the state sovereign Eritrean soil. The permission to the TPLF forces when frontiers had a cumulative impact heated debate over it resulted in upon the erstwhile bonhomie and they requested to pursue the remnants of AFAR inside Eritrean terri- an exchange of gunfire in which friendly ties between the two govtory and they subsequently occupied four Eritrean soldiers were killed. ernments. it. Surprisingly, this was very mildly What is important to note is that Eritrea responded to this protested by Asmara in view of the factors such as external forces cordial nature of their relationship. In incident immediately by sending fuelling the conflict, serious ethnic an informal letter addressed to the problems or religious differences and in mechanised units. Ethiopian prime minister, the personal rivalries among the respecEritrean leader said: “We know the tive political leaderships were not boundaries (between us) by custom; we cannot say that the responsible for the state of affairs that developed during that lines are precisely delineated….the demarcation of borders time. has not been a priority….nevertheless the action taken by your However, something that is necessary to underline as a posarmed forces in Addi Murug is truly saddening…I appeal to sible cause is that in the struggle for secession during the midyou to take the necessary measures to prevent the unnecessary 1970s and early 1980s, the EPLF convinced the TPLF about escalation of friction due to the unjustifiable (military) mea- the need to take over power in Addis Ababa by overthrowing sure.”18 the Mengistu regime and not seceding from Ethiopia. The To the above letter, the Ethiopian prime minister respond- EPLF, in other words, did not want to support any secessioned in a friendly manner. “I, too, have heard that the situation ist movement in Ethiopia since such an action could invite a in the Bada area is not good. We did not think that there would backlash. As John Young puts it, the TPLF had a categorical be reason for friction because the area that our comrades are claim, which was re-emphasized in 1986 that the right to indeoccupying was never disputed before…Maybe, it is time that pendence proclaimed by Tigrayans and other Ethiopian preparations are made by both of us to demarcate and resolve nationalities also applied to the peoples of Eritrea. “If the future the border issue once and for all.”19 of Eritrea is to be truly democratic, it will have to respect the right of nations and nationalities up to, and including secesThe Period of Conflict sion”.20 The TPLF went to say that ruling out the possibility of such a step would be to contradict the EPLF’s own demoOn May 6, 1998, the Tigrayan police ordered an Eritrean cratic principles.21 Understandably, this position of the TPLF patrol unit in the Badme area to disarm. The Eritreans refused, was not conducive to the EPLF, which was very reluctant to arguing that they were on sovereign Eritrean soil. The heated accept this in principle given the fact that Eritrea possessed at debate over it resulted in an exchange of gunfire in which four least nine different ethnic communities while Tigray had an

February-April 2007

55


N E I G H B O U R S ethnically homogenous society. all the credit for the state of relations Besides the above, the issue of that exist with Eritrea. The governresisting the Soviet Union also ment of Meles Zenawi, although a cropped up between the two. While coalition of major ethnic groups in the Soviet Union supported the the country, is dominated by Dergue regime due to its ideological Tigrayans who represent just about 5 affiliation, it also recognised the per cent of the total population of Eritrean independence movement Ethiopia. The government has been simultaneously and provided materifacing a deluge of problems from the al support to it through the Cubans armed opposition of the Oromos and other allies in the Middle East.22 who constitute a majority of the For the EPLF, Soviet support was Ethiopian population and are essential, while the TPLF was fightdemanding more power and autoning against the Dergue, which was omy from the government, and supported by the Soviet Union. strong pressures from the Amharas Differences over this issue between who have for a long period monopthe EPLF and the TPLF became olized power. It should be mentioned The EPLF and TPLF overcame quite acute. By 1985, the relations here that the Amharas, being an their differences over strategy, imperial power with imperial ambibetween TPLF and EPLF were broken. tions, have not reconciled to the fact policy and method soon since These differences over strategy, that Eritrea has been given indepenthey were dependent on each policy and method were primarily dence. The strong and big power staother in overthrowing the responsible in the division of opinion tus of Ethiopia under the rule of the between the TPLF and the EPLF. Amharas has been weakened due to Mengistu regime from power. However, both overcame their difthe granting of independence to The origin of the war can be ferences soon since they were depenEritrea, it is believed.24 On the surtraced to the differences face, the ruling Ethiopian People’s dent on each other in fighting and overthrowing the Mengistu regime between the Eritrean leadership Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) seems to incorporate all from power. By 1988, reconciliation and Ethiopian leadership that the three major ethnic groups, viz, between the two organisations was emerged in the 1980s. the Oromo People’s Democratic based on the need and realisation to Organisation (OPDO) and the fight and overthrow the Mengistu Ethiopian Popular Democratic regime. In fact, as Patrick Gilkes and Martin Plaut write, the origin of the war can be traced to the Movement (EPDM) but actually it is not the case. The two differences between the Eritrean leadership and Ethiopian predominant parties, OPDO and EPDM do not actually repleadership that emerged in the 1980s. According to them, resent the Oromos or the Amharas but were creations of the “although both drew support from the same ethnic group, TPLF. Till date, the Oromos continue to fight against the from similar peasant societies, and from Marxist ideology, they TPLF-dominated government as well as the All Amhara differed in their objectives that while the EPLF was deter- People’s Organisation of the Amharas and other minor politmined that Eritrea would be liberated from Ethiopian rule as ical parties. The new constitution of Ethiopia formed towards a single, united state, despite its being composed of nine lin- the end of 1994 is aimed at avoiding the fragmentation of guistic groups and two major religions –– Islam and Ethiopia by decentralising into eleven federal states, each domChristianity –– the TPLF in contrast, fought for the rights of inated by one ethnic group rather than a centralised system, the Tigrayan people and its first manifesto called for an inde- which was followed until then. This type of political structure pendent Tigrayan state”.23 As explained above, it was with inevitably faced opposition from neighboring Eritrea, which reluctance that the TPLF was persuaded to fight for the over- follows a tightly connected centralised system with no role for throw of the Mengistu regime. Since the TPLF captured ethnic identities in politics. power at the centre, the secessionist tendency that powered it Therefore, the internal political squabble over ethnic nationearlier has been lying dormant. A negative impact of this has alism, which the Ethiopian constitution allows25 and the strugbeen that nationalism has been “reinforced” by the taking over gle for control of power between the different ethnic groups of power in Addis Ababa, from where considerable resources has accentuated the fragile political relationship with Eritrea. have been channelled toward the development of the province. The EPRDF government has had to relent to pressures to On the other hand, Eritrea, which enjoys a strong nationalism grant self-determination, even secession, due to its realisation and is proud of its recently acquired independence after years that all the opposition groups were responsible in one way or of enormous sacrifices, is equally sensitive to any intention of other in overthrowing the Dergue regime from power and giving no role to each ethnic group in government formation modification of its frontiers. The internal political structure of Ethiopia, therefore, bears would be meaningless and futile. In fact, the OLF support to

56

February-April 2007


A F R I C A

Q U A R T E R L Y

Relations between Eritrea and Sudan were broken in the mid-1990s due to the start of a guerrilla war in South Sudan. In the second round of conflict, Ethiopia occupied Badme and tried to occupy Assab port at a huge material and human cost. the transitional government of Ethiopia hinged on the fact that political recognition and self-government for ethnic groups would be granted.26 Meles Zenawi’s government, therefore, has been looked at with suspicion by the Amharas and is accused of being too close and too soft with Eritrea by allowing it to re-export products acquired from Ethiopia at low prices in Birr; by allowing it to re-export a great number of imports to the Ethiopian market; and by allowing it to collect discharge rates for refined petroleum in Assab and for the use of ports. Mention should also be made of the Oromo factor in their bilateral relations. During its war of liberation, the EPLF tried to enter into an alliance with the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) to counter the TPLF. This was particularly the case when the relations between the TPLF and the EPLF started souring as mentioned above. In fact, close contacts were initiated between the OLF and the EPLF as early as 1980 when some Oromo fighters were admitted to the training center in the Northern region called Sahel. They also signed cooperation agreements. Based on the EPLF-OLF accord of 1986/87, the OLF was allowed to recruit Oromos from among the prisoners of war.27 Interestingly, according to Medhane, the major aim was to deny the TPLF a hegemonic position in Ethiopian politics, to prepare a hostile political force in a bid to incapacitate its potential to advance independent or hostile political principles with regard to Eritrea.28 And this strategy was used because the Oromo was a crucial factor as a power base in Ethiopia. This role of Oromos in Ethiopian politics, therefore, plays a central part in the Eritrea-Ethiopia bilateral relations even today and hence cannot be neglected. In other words, all these factors had a cumulative effect upon the relations and resulted in the war. To put it in proper perspective, the government in Ethiopia needed an external threat that allowed it to unify the fractured Ethiopian society around the political leadership. For this, Eritrea provided a suitable reason so that Meles Zenawi could demonstrate his commitment to different sections of the society.

Developments During the War The war had the following developments. When it started in 1998, it led to mediatory efforts by Rwanda and the U.S., which did not succeed. Eritrea rejected the peace plan since the plan called for unilateral Eritrean withdrawal from the disputed territory of Badme and the restoration of Ethiopian administration in the area.29 When the war resumed in 1999, the Russians were involved by way of selling airplanes and providing pilots to both the countries. Sudan, which was isolated due to its alliance with Iran, took the opportunity to mend fences with both Ethiopia and Eritrea by agreeing to eliminate the bases which it had provided to the guerrilla fighters who were fighting against the Ethiopian government and by negotiating the reestablishment of a diplomatic relationship with Asmara.30 The bilateral relationship between Eritrea and Sudan was broken in mid-1990s due to the start of the internal guerrilla war in South Sudan which was accused of deriving support from the Eritrean government. In the second round of conflict, Ethiopia occupied the town of Badme and tried in vain to occupy the port of Assab at an enormous material and human cost. The war also had disastrous consequences for the people of the two countries. It was accompanied by the deportation of almost 100,000 Ethiopians of Eritrean origin in that country. The possessions of these people have been appropriated by the Ethiopian government and the same was true the other way. International efforts to solve the problem came up soon after the first round of hostilities. Even though the U.S.Rwanda peace plan failed, OAU, as a multi-purpose regional organisation, got involved and took the initiative of solving the problem. In fact, the OAU initiative was in no way new as it was modelled along the U.S.-Rwanda peace plan and was supportive of the Ethiopian position. It ignored the fact that the border problem is historically rooted due to non-delimitation of the borders between the two countries and proceeded to conclude its opinion based on the events that took place on the ground between May 6 and 12, 1998, calling for a unilateral withdrawal by Eritrea from Badme and its environs

February-April 2007

57


N E I G H B O U R S and the restoration of Ethiopian the Eritrean frontier 2) respecting the civilian administration in the area sanctity of the colonial frontiers and with the assistance of a third party 3) international arbitration for the military observer group. Due to the delimitation of the frontier. controversy that trailed the wording In accordance with the agreement, of the OAU proposal, particularly a U.N. peace-keeping force was the phrase “Badme and its environs”, deployed in the region and a special which was understood by both the commission known as the Eritreancountries differently, a stalemate perEthiopian Boundary Commission sisted over its clarification. (EEBC) was set up by the The second round of war comInternational Court of Justice to menced in the middle of 1999 in study the case. The EEBC gave its which Ethiopia regained Badme and verdict after hearing from both the its environs. Although the parties on April 13, 2002. The verdict Ethiopians were gaining in the batby the commission was a failure in tlefront this time, they did not conthe sense that Ethiopia did not accept tinue it or rather could not continue the verdict in full although the The second round of war it. The fighting stopped in July 1999 Algiers agreement had specifically partly due to the weather. It was the mentioned the final and binding commenced in the middle of rainy season and more importantly nature of the agreement, which both 1999 in which Ethiopia regained the parties had signed. In fact, the sufficient economic support for a Badme and its environs. prolonged war was lacking not only Boundary Commission had a for Eritrea but also for Ethiopia. detailed hearing on the matter taking Although the Ethiopians were Taking advantage of the temporary into consideration the arguments put gaining in the battlefront this halt of fighting, the OAU endorsed forward by the parties as well as by time, they did not continue it. a new document and presented it to the colonial treaties that had been both sides on July 12. Surprisingly, signed during the Italian colonial The fighting stopped in July both Eritrea and Ethiopia initially rule. 1999 partly due to the weather. It accepted the OAU sponsored agreeBased on this, some areas of the was the rainy season and a ment but later Ethiopia indirectly territory were given to Ethiopia while stated its rejection of the Technical some were awarded to Eritrea, prolonged war called for Arrangements, which aimed at notably the disputed and much consufficient economic support. implementing the framework agreetested territory village of Badme.34 The award of the territory of Badme ment and modalities on December 14 through its deputy minister who maintained that it is abso- to Eritrea has resulted in disagreements on the part of Ethiopia lutely difficult for Ethiopia to accept the technical arrange- since Eritrea has been vindicated for the start of the war while ments.32 Following this development, the third round of hos- Ethiopia feels accused of the same.35 In other words, the decitilities took place in May 2000 with enormous loss on both sion, by extension, made the government of Ethiopia appear sides. The Ethiopian armed forces penetrated the western part guilty for beginning the war and hence it has appealed for a of Eritrea, inflicting enormous losses and destruction on the revision of the award, which the court has rejected as inadpopulations of Barentu and Tesseney, sparking a massive dis- missible.36 Ethiopia, facing intense domestic pressure, stated its rejection of the Boundary Commission openly. It was menplacement of people. tioned already that some of the governing parties within the ruling EPRDF were originally against any signing of the The Algiers Agreement and Aftermath Accord and now that the much contested territory of Badme In October 2000, both the governments entered into nego- has been awarded to Eritrea, it has given them even more tiations in the Algerian capital of Algiers in the presence of rep- leverage to press for changes in the decision of the resentatives from the United States, Algeria, the European Commission. Prime Minister Meles Zenawi told the Union, the United Nations and the OAU.32 At the same time Ethiopian Parliament that “the independent Eritrea-Ethiopia the United Nations Security Council authorised the forma- Boundary Commission (EEBC) which ruled on the border tion of a United Nations Mission in Ethiopia and Eritrea with dispute as ‘null and void’ and went on to add that the imple4,200 blue helmets for monitoring the cease-fire between the mentation of the contested ruling would only escalate already two countries.33 heightened tensions.”37 On its part, Eritrea ruled out any On December 12, 2000, the comprehensive agreement of changes in the border ruling and has since then been protestpeace in Algiers was signed. Among other things, the agree- ing at various levels –– the United Nations, EU, the AU and ment provided for: 1) de-militarisation of the frontier and the U.S. –– regarding Ethiopia’s rejection of the EEBC and creation of a Temporary Security Zone (TSZ) 20 km inside the violation of the rule of law.

58

February-April 2007


A F R I C A Current Events and Prospects

Q U A R T E R L Y tries 3) to accept, in principle, the Ethiopia-Eritrea Boundary Commission’s decision 4) to agree to pay its dues to the EthiopiaEritrea Boundary Commission and to appoint field liaison officers and 5) to start dialogue immediately with a view to implementing the Ethio-Eritrean Boundary Commission’s decision in a manner consistent with the promotion of sustainable peace and brotherly ties between the two peo-

It can be observed that as of today the government of Ethiopia has openly repudiated the decision of the court, thereby blocking the demarcation of the frontier. Since then, both sides have been engaged in polemical exercises contesting each other’s arguments and claims. Eritrea has accused the Ethiopians of supporting the opposition groups in its territory Responding to Ethiopian Prime ples.40 while Ethiopia accuses Eritrea of This new initiative is indeed a helping the opposition Oromos Minister Meles Zenawi’s peace remarkable one in the sense that after against the government of Addis plan, the Eritrean government more than two years of dilly-dallying, Ababa. Even if these accusations and issued a press statement saying Ethiopia has in principle accepted the counter accusations have some truth, decision of the Border Commission, the point to note is that these could that the Ethiopian which in effect means that the much lead to a dangerous point because announcement was aimed “at disputed territory of Badme over any victory by these governments promoting public relations which three rounds of conflict took could lead to disintegration of their 38 place would belong to Eritrea, a posirespective countries. exercises and buying more tion which was denied some time The international community time”. However, it needs to be 41 Although it is a step in the right ago. does not seem to be too concerned mentioned that the resolve to direction, one has to wait and see to about this. While the U.N. has been what extent this would be impletaking some measures such as end the war had been made mented. For example, as soon as the appointing a U.N. representative only in word and not in deed. announcement was made, local and calling each of the parties to opposition to the initiative started implement the agreement it has not worked well. Both the countries have been putting forward emerging from the Coalition for Unity and Democracy their respective arguments against any such implementation (CUD). From the other side of the border also discouraging statements have been made. The Eritrean government, in a or negotiation that has deadlocked the entire process. Answering a question on the situation of stalemate and what press statement issued by its Ministry of Information, said could be the way forward, Prime Minister Meles Zenawi that the Ethiopian announcement was aimed “at promoting replied: “The first thing that needs to be recognised is that the public relations exercises and buying more time”.42 As to the peace process is about the demarcation of the boundary, but speculation that the stalemate might lead to renewed war it is not solely about the demarcation of the boundary. The between the two, one can safely answer in the negative. At least Algiers Agreement is much wider in terms of scope. And so that seems to be the official position of both the countries. For in my view the demarcation process has encountered some example, the widely-circulated draft document, entitled difficulties and to that extent the peace process has encoun- ‘Ethiopia’s Policy and Strategy on Foreign Affairs and National tered difficulties. As to the way forward, the only way is to talk Security’, dismisses any renewed hostilities between the two and find ways and means of peacefully resolving the problems “unless provoked by its neighbour”.43 Of course it should be mentioned here that although war is officially out of question that have cropped up”.39 A recent initiative made by the Ethiopian side “seems” to and no bullets would be fired across, this resolve has been break the stalemate. Zenawi made a statement to the Ethiopian made only in word and not in deed. There have been sporadic Parliament on November 25, 2004, in which he made an elab- incidents of cross-firing as well as movement of troops well orate presentation in the presence of the international com- within the de-militarised 25-km TSZ that has been created munity about the Eritro-Ethiopian conflict. He made a five- under the Cessation of Hostilities Agreement signed between point peace plan which states: 1) to resolve the dispute between the two parties in June 2000 which is a violation of the peace Ethiopia and Eritrea only and only through peaceful means 2) agreement.44 These happened even before Zenawi stated that to resolve the root causes of the conflict through dialogue Ethiopia had openly declared time and again that it will not with the view to normalising relations between the two coun- fire the first bullet. Official statements do not correlate with

February-April 2007

59


N E I G H B O U R S practical reality. One can indeed argue that such incidents take place between countries, which are at enmity with each other. Nevertheless, in spite of such incidents, Ethiopia maintains that the only option to end the stalemate is dialogue. “If the Eritrean side is not willing for talks then either the stalemate would continue or war would erupt which would be initiated by the Eritrean side”.45 Conclusions The interdependence, as defined by Robert Keohane, has not worked well in the case of these two countries. The losses for both countries have been enormous. Poverty and misery created by droughts and famines threatens both the nations. The persistence of hostility is a grim sign that does not bode well for the future of both countries. The above analysis gives us a clear picture of the state of relations that exist between Eritrea and Ethiopia. Their relations have moved from one of initial camaraderie and bonhomie to hostility without much prospect for normalisation until now. Unless complete normalisation is achieved, developmental prospects for these two countries will continue to be bleak. Peace is necessary to create conditions conducive for development. The interlocked nature of their economies exemplifies this even more. Also, the interlocked nature of their internal politics vis-à-vis the other also is a determining factor. For example, during and after the 1998-2000 wars, both Eritrea and Ethiopia have been engaged in supporting each other’s opposition movements. This kind of “political culture” is related

to the very nature of their politics, which seems to be one of destabilising one another from power by assisting internal and external opposition groups. While Ethiopia openly courts the exiled Eritrean opposition groups such as EPLF-RC against Eritrea, the latter supports the OLF and other such opposition groups in Ethiopia. Therefore, the inter-state politics of Eritrea and Ethiopia looks more pervasive and persuasive than any thing in the region. From an economic point of view, whatever little internal resources they have can best be utilised only when peace is achieved. While globalisation is enveloping other parts of the world and nations are getting enmeshed in its web –– for better or for worse –– this region has been convulsed by war and internal conflicts. For these two countries to concentrate on the path towards development and to accept the trends that are taking place elsewhere, they need to first dissolve their bilateral disputes amicably. Tensions continue between the two countries without any sight of peace and even if peace is achieved the wounds opened by the war could take decades to heal. In a world of interdependence and the much-talked about globalisation, political realism, without doubt, continues to be a useful study of international relations at least in the case of third world. A recent initiative on the part of Ethiopia, however, is a welcome gesture that indeed has the potential of enmeshing the two countries at par with the developments of the outside world thereby proving invalid political realism but much remains to be seen as to how and to what extent would altercations trickle down to the level of common understanding and realisation towards the need to adjust to the changing realities of the outside world.

References 1. Selected speeches of his Majesty Haile Selassie First, 1918 to 1967 (Addis Ababa: The Imperial Ethiopian Ministry of Information, 1967), pp. 555-56 2. Ghebre Ab-Habtu, Ethiopia and Eritrea: A Documentary Study, (Trenton: The Red Sea Press, 1993), p. 15 3. Ibid, p. 202 4. According to Roy Pateman with the Turkish occupation of Massawa in 1517 Ethiopia was left without an outlet to the sea for 3 centuries. Meanwhile Eritrea had been enjoying constant ties with the Middle-east due to which Eritrea was in a position to develop both politically and economically. See Roy Pateman, Eritrea: Even the Stones are Burning, (Lawrenceville, N.J: The Red Sea Press, 1991), p. 30 5. For a detailed understanding on the need for the referendum and what transpired before and after along with examples from other sub-Saharan African countries, see, Andreas Eshete, “Why Ethio-Eritrean Relations Matter: A Plea for Future Political Affiliation”, in Amare Tekle, ed., Eritrea and Ethiopia: From Conflict to Cooperation, New Jersey, Red Sea Press, 1994, pp. 24-39 6. Eritrea Profile, April 23 1994, p.1 7. Eritrea Profile, May 14 1994, p. 1 8. Eritrea Profile, 23 December 1995, p. 1 9. Quoted in Eritrea Profile, 15 February 1997, p.1

60

10. Kidane Mengisteab, “Some latent facts in the EthioEritrean Conflict”, Eritrean Studies Review, vol.3, no.2, 1999, p. 96 11. Ruth Iyob, “The Ethiopian - Eritrean Conflict: diasporic vs. hegemonic states in the Horn of Africa, 1991-2000”, The Journal of Modern African Studies, vol. 38, no. 4, p. 660 12. See for more details on this, Alemseged Tesfai, The Cause of the Eritrean-Ethiopian Border Conflict, (Asmara, Red Sea Press, 1998), pp.6-8; and Tekeste Negash and Kjetil Tronvol, Brothers at War: Making Sense of the Eritrean - Ethiopian War, (Oxford, Ohio University Press, 2000) 13. Kidane Mengisteab, Eritrean Studies Review, p. 96 14. See Alemseged Tesfai, The Cause of the Eritrean Ethiopian Border Conflict, (Asmara, Red Sea Press, 1998), p.8 15. See for more details on this, Alemseged Tesfai, p. 4, and Gaim Kibreab, “Mass Expulsion of Eritreans and Ethiopians of Eritrean origin form Ethiopia and Human Rights Violations” Eritrean Studies Review, Asmara, vol. 3, no. 1999 16. Dan Connell, “Against more odds: The second siege of Eritrea”, Eritrean Studies Review, vol.3, no. 2, 1999, p. 196 17. See Ruth Iyob, p.665 18. Quoted in Ibid. 19. Ibid. 20. See John Young, p.9

February-April 2007


A F R I C A 21. Ibid. 22. Ibid, p.11 23. Patrick Gilkes and Martin Plaut, “The War Between Ethiopia and Eritrea”, Foreign Policy in Focus, vol.5, no. 25, August 2000, p.1 24. Ibid, p. 202 25. Self determination leading to secession has been adopted in the 1995 constitution of Ethiopia. It first appeared in a 1969 publication of Ethiopian Student Movement coined by Wallelign Mekonen and is the current political debate in Ethiopia. See for more details on this, Sandra Fullerton Joireman, “Opposition politics in Ethiopia: We will all go down together”, Journal of Modern African Studies, vol.35, Issue 3, September 1997, p.389 26. Sandra, p.397 27. Medhane, T., The Eritrean-Ethiopian war: Retrospect and Prospects, Addis Ababa, Mega Printing Press, 1998, p.99 28. Ibid 29. See Saleh A.A. Younis, The Eritrean-Ethiopian Conflict or How Ethiopia Blinded Susan Rice, (Walnut Creek, Silicon Valley Community College Press, 1999), p.6 30. Ibid, p.205 31. Tekeste Negash and Kjetil Tronvol, Brothers at War:

Q U A R T E R L Y

Making Sense of the Eritrean - Ethiopian War, (Oxford, Ohio University Press, 2000), p. 82 32. Eritrea profile, November 4, 2000, p.1 33. Eritrea profile, 16 September, 2000, p. 1 34. Eritrea profile, 20 April, 2002, p. 1 35. Eritrea profile, 6 July, 2002, p. 1 36. Dan Connell, p. 207 37. “Meles Vows Not to go to War”, IRIN, 16th October 2003 38. Dan Connel, p. 207 39. Interview with Prime Minister Meles Zenawi, IRIN, 29th October, 2003 40. See for details on the statement, “Prime Minister Meles Zenawi Presents New Peace Initiative”, Addis Tribue, November 26, 2004, p.1 41. Interview with Prime Minister Meles Zenawi, IRIN, 29th October, 2003 42. U.N. Integrated Regional Information Networks, November 26, 2004, www. allafrica.com 43. IRIN, 16th July 2003. 44. “U.N. protests to Ethiopia over buffer zone incursions", IRIN, 14th August 2003 45. Interview with Prime Minister Meles Zenawi, IRIN, 29th October, 2003

Bibliography Books 1. Selected speeches of his Majesty Haile Selassie First, 1918 to 1967 (Addis Ababa: The Imperial Ethiopian Ministry of Information, 1967) 2. Alemseged Tesfai, The Cause of the Eritrean-Ethiopian Border Conflict, (Asmara, Red Sea Press, 1998) 3. Amare Tekle, ed., Eritrea and Ethiopia: From Conflict to Cooperation, New Jersey, Red Sea Press, 1994 4. Ghebre Ab-Habtu, Ethiopia and Eritrea: A Documentary Study, (Trenton: The Red Sea Press, 1993) 5. Medhane, Tadesse, The Eritrean-Ethiopian war: Retrospect and Prospects, Addis Ababa, Mega Printing Press, 1998 6. Roy Pateman, Eritrea: Even the Stones are Burning, (Lawrenceville, N.J: The Red Sea Press, 1991) 7. Tekeste Negash and Kjetil Tronvol, Brothers at War: Making Sense of the Eritrean - Ethiopian War, (Oxford, Ohio University Press, 2000) 8. Saleh A.A. Younis, The Eritrean-Ethiopian Conflict or How Ethiopia Blinded Susan Rice, (Walnut Creek, Silicon Valley Community College Press, 1999) 9. Scott, Thomas “Africa and the end of the Cold War”, in Akinrinade, Sola, et al, Africa in the Post Cold War international system, (London: Pinter, 1998), p. 7 Journal Articles 1. Dan Connell, “Against more odds: The second siege of Eritrea”, Eritrean Studies Review, vol.3, no. 2, 1999 2. Gaim Kibreab, “Mass Expulsion of Eritreans and Ethiopians

of Eritrean origin form Ethiopia and Human Rights Violations” Eritrean Studies Review, Asmara, vol. 3, no. 1999 3. Kidane Mengisteab, “Some latent facts in the Ethio-Eritrean Conflict”, Eritrean Studies Review, vol.3, no.2, 1999 4. Patrick Gilkes and Martin Plaut, “The War Between Ethiopia and Eritrea”, Foreign Policy in Focus, vol.5, no. 25, August 2000 5. Ruth Iyob, “The Ethiopian - Eritrean Conflict: diasporic vs. hegemonic states in the Horn of Africa, 1991-2000”, The Journal of Modern African Studies, vol. 38, no. 4, September 2002 6. Sandra Fullerton Joireman, “Opposition politics in Ethiopia: We will all go down together”, Journal of Modern African Studies, vol.35, Issue 3, September 1997 Newspapers and Magazines 1. Eritrea Profile 2. “Meles Vows Not to go to War”, IRIN, 16th October 2003 3. Interview with Prime Minister Meles Zenawi, IRIN, 29th October, 2003 4. “Prime Minister Meles Zenawi Presents New Peace Initiative”, Addis Tribue, November 26, 2004 5. Interview with Prime Minister Meles Zenawi, IRIN, 29th October, 2003 6. U.N. Integrated Regional Information Networks, November 26, 2004, www. allafrica.com 7. “U.N. protests to Ethiopia over buffer zone incursions”, IRIN, 14th August 2003

February-April 2007

61


B I L A T E R A L S

India and ZAMBIA: Growing Trade Ties Kamini Krishna looks at the genesis of Indo-Zambian ties and the evolution of this relationship into one involving economic growth and development in the two countries

T

he nature of India’s relations with the continent of Africa, particularly with Zambia, is more about kinship than friendship. It is difficult to trace the origins of this relationship as historians and archaeologists have already established and recognised links deeper than 2000 B.C.1 African leaders championing the cause of Zambian independence such as Kwame Nkrumah, Julius Nyerere, Nelson Mandela, Kenneth Kaunda drew considerable inspiration from Mahatma Gandhi’s reliance on non-violence to resist British colonial rule. They were impressed with India’s support of the decolonisation process in Africa, elimination of apartheid, its policy of non-alignment and India’s role in international fora like the United Nations, the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) and the Commonwealth. When India became independent on August 15, 1947, it did not consider its independence to be complete until freedom was achieved by its neighboring countries and African brothers. India and Zambia have maintained close and friendly relations with frequent high-level visits by their leaders. The first President of Zambia, Dr. Kenneth Kaunda, kept regular and close contact with then Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, over a host of political and economic issues. Several leaders of post-independent Zambia, including Vice President Simon Kapwepwe, Prime Ministers Daniel Lisulo and Nalumino Mundia were trained in India over the years. They have maintained the historical relations between the two countries and, in the process, India has provided economic assistance to Zambia like extending EXIM Bank credit under the Africa Fund, Maruti vehicles, emergency medical supply, training of Zambians (over 2,000 Zambians have already been trained) including many in the armed forces under the Indian Technical Economic Cooperation (ITEC) programme. Several Indian experts have been deputed to Zambia for training Zambian defence personnel. Together, Zambia and India have set up a Joint Economic Commission and a Joint Trade Committee. Since 1996, Indian companies have invested about $70 million in Zambia. There are considerable similarities regarding the views of the

62

two countries on issues of regional integration like the role of the Southern African Development Community (SADC), the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) and the African Union (AU). This paper traces the genesis of India-Zambian relations and dwells in detail on the burgeoning economic relationship between the two countries. It also examines the importance of regional integration and its challenges to bilateralism. Finally, the paper analyses how organisations such as the SADC, COMESA and NEPAD may deepen the relations between India and Zambia and concludes with some thought on how to strengthen their bond in the future. Historic Relations The presence of Indians in colonial Zambia can be recognised as the beginning of the relationship between the two countries. The first migration of Indians took place in 1904 in Fort Jameson and along with the Europeans some Indians settled in Livingstone in 1905.2 During the nineteenth century, the British brought Indians to Africa as indentured labor and consequently colonial Zambia experienced a surge in the number of Indians living in that country. According to B.J. Phiri, almost all Indians in colonial Zambia came from the Gujarat province in western India.3 Indians exerted an important economic influence which was not proportionate with their number during the colonial period. In colonial and post-colonial Zambia, Indians experienced ups and downs, specially in the economic sphere. While on the one hand, as traders, they were disliked by the British businessmen who saw them as competition, on the other, the Zambians saw them as exploitative and a barrier to the advancement of the indigenous people. It can be said that Indians found themselves caught between the British and Zambian communities. Due to their low interest in local politics, they were frowned upon as mere money grubbers and were often blamed for not contributing towards the development of their adopted country, Zambia. After the Mulungushi Declaration in May 1968, many Indians lost their businesses as they did not adopt Zambian citizenship. Gradually, India and Zambia shared a number of common

February-April 2007


A F R I C A ideas and their leaders worked together to promote non-alignment and establishment of a multi-polar world. After Zambia gained independence in 1964, President Kaunda, visited India quite a few times. Similarly, Indira Gandhi visited Zambia to nurture friendly relations. At the height of Kaunda’s rule, about 6,000 Indian expatriates worked in Zambia and due to this, Zambia became the biggest recipient of ITEC assistance from India.

Q U A R T E R L Y Commission meeting in Zambia. In March 2005, Shashi Tripathi, the then Secretary (West) in the Ministry of External Affairs, visited Zambia in March 2005 for foreign office consultations and both countries signed an agreement to institutionalise an Annual Foreign Office Consultation. Economic Cooperation (Under Bilateral Agreements)

During President Kaunda’s visit to India in January 1975, Political Cooperation India and Zambia signed an agreement for cooperation in The relationship between the economic, technical and sciZambia and India continued to grow ence and technology fields.4 The presence of Indians in These agreements are not operational under President Frederick Chiluba, at present. Similarly, a bilateral Air who came to power in 1991. colonial Zambia can be President Chiluba visited India in recognised as the beginning of Services Agreement was concluded between the two countries in October 1993. During his tenure, the relations between the two countries the relationship between the two November 1993, which again is not remained cordial and friendly. There countries. The first migration of operational as there are no flights plying between the two countries was a qualitative improvement in Indians took place in 1904 in (Zambia does not have a national carIndo-Zambian relations after President L.P. Mwanawasa came to Fort Jameson and along with the rier at present). The two countries power in January 2002. President Europeans some Indians settled signed an agreement for Avoidance of Double Taxation in 19795 which is to Mwanawasa looked to the Asian in Livingstone in 1905. During be reviewed soon. On October 26, countries, including India, for politthe 19th century, the British 1990, the then Union Minister for ical and economic support (the Steel and Mines D. Goswami invitWestern countries were not happy brought Indians to Africa as ed Zambian ministers to discuss matwith his election, as it was tainted by indentured labor and colonial ters of mutual interest and cooperaallegations of corruption, rigging and other irregularities). President Zambia experienced the growth tion between the two countries in New Delhi.6 Mwanawasa met Prime Minister of an Indian population. Bilateral trade between India and Atal Bihari Vajpayee in New York on Zambia is valued at $ 54.48 million, September 3, 2002, on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly session and requested India to which includes exports worth $35.93 million (2003-04) and support the revival of agriculture and other sectors in the imports from Zambia amounted to $18.55 million. India’s Zambian economy. After that, President Mwanawasa paid a main export items include pharmaceuticals, transport equipvisit to India between April 20-25, 2003, and met the president, ment, cotton yarn, fabrics, plastic, rubber items and chemicals the vice president, the prime minister and other ministers and and imports from Zambia include mainly semi-precious was assured of India’s support in Zambia’s efforts to fight stones. As already mentioned, since 1996, Indian companies drought, the HIV/AIDS pandemic and in the revival of its have invested about $70 million in Zambia. The Zambian government has selected Vedanta Resources, the parent comeconomy. The then Speaker of India’s Lok Sabha (Lower House of pany of Sterlite Industries, of India as its major strategic partParliament), Manohar Joshi, visited Zambia with a seven- ner in the revival of the Konkala Copper Mine (KCM). The member parliamentary delegation between February 9-13, former has agreed to invest $48 million in KCM to acquire a 2003. During this visit, President Mwanawasa publicly assured major stake. It is important to acknowledge Indian investments made Joshi on February 13, 2004, that Zambia would support India’s candidature for a permanent seat in an expanded U.N. Security through the Indo-Zambia Bank Ltd. The bank was established Council and on the issue of terrorism. India’s then Minister in 1984 with a view to promote banking facilities and to have of State for External Affairs, Omar Abdullah, also visited the a modern bank in Zambia that could garner savings of the country between October 21-25, 2001, for the Joint Economic community and put resources to productive use. The long and

February-April 2007

63


B I L A T E R A L S

Former President of Zambia Kenneth Kaunda calling on Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in New Delhi on March 14, 2005. After Zambia gained independence in 1964, President Kaunda, who visited India quite a few times, was instrumental in furthering India-Zambia ties. Then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi also visited Zambia to nurture friendly relations.

deep ties of friendship between India and the Republic of Zambia and their ever-growing trade ties fostered the formation of this joint venture. The bank, which was incorporated in Lusaka on October 19, 1984, opened its doors to the public for the first time on December 24, 1984. It started initially with a share capital of Kwacha 3 million. Its present share capital authorised, issued and fully subscribed is K5 billion (about, $1.063 million @ K4, 700 as on March 31, 2005) well above the required capital of K2 billion as per local requirements. The Bank of Baroda’s share in this share capital is K1 Billion ($212,766), as a 20 percent shareholder. The shareholding pattern is as follows: Bank of Baroda K1 billion (20% shareholding) Bank of India K1 billion (20% shareholding) Central Bank of India K1 billion (20% shareholding) The Government of the Republic of Zambia K2 billion (40% shareholding) Total K5 billion (100%) The bank presently has nine branches in Zambia (two branches opened in 2004).7 Another major Indian investor in Zambia is the Tata Group. It has invested in the renovation of a five-star hotel called Taj Pamodzi, which is being managed by the Taj Hotels chain. In 1979 and 1982, India extended government and Export Import (EXIM) Bank credit to Zambia totaling Rs. 250 million ($5.5 million approximately). In 1989, India provided railway wagons costing about $2 million to Zambia under the Africa Fund. Other instances of assistance include Maruti vehicles that were given to the Zambia News Agency. In 2005, Finance Minister Ng’andu Magande informed Parliament that the government has purchased 65-seater buses, one each

64

for the University of Zambia, Evelyn Hone College and the Copperbelt University using part of the $10 million credit loan obtained from the Indian government.8 India and its Economic Diplomacy for Zambia After World War II, the world started integrating through the process of what is generally called globalisation. As a part of this phenomenon, different countries started coming together to form regional blocs. The basic purpose is to integrate within the region, take advantage of the comparative strength of each country and face the rest of the world as united blocs with the pooled strength of the given region. The need for integration was felt by the Indian and Zambian governments after attaining independence from the colonial rulers. We all know that for about 200 years, European powers established their empires in Africa and Asia and by subjugating the people of these continents, exploited them in all possible ways. After becoming independent, India and Zambia gradually started integrating their economies with other parts of the world and even with each other in order to become influential players in the region. This integration included regional grouping on the one hand and with individual countries on the other. In order to promote South-South cooperation, India is integrating with African blocs like SADC and COMESA. Since the African Union has come into existence, the Indian government is trying to promote linkages with it,9 with the regional blocs as well as individual countries in order to promote more tariff concessions so that it can promote trade and investment and create a better climate for South-South cooperation. At the initiative of President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, the Government of India has taken up a project to provide a com-

February-April 2007


A F R I C A

Q U A R T E R L Y

munication network in Africa and facilitate tele-education and business agreements with Mauritius, Kenya, Zambia, Uganda, tele-medicine across 53 member-countries10 of the Africa Zimbabwe, Nigeria, South Africa and Ethiopia.14 Union.11 To this end, a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed in New Delhi on October 27, 2005, by The Government of India’s Initiatives Shashi Tripathi of the Ministry of External Affairs, and Dr. Bernard Zoba, Commissioner for Infrastructure and Energy ! $6 million EXIM line of credit to PTA countries: In September 1992, the EXIM Bank signed an agreement with in the African Union.12 During President Mwanawasa’s visit to India in April 2003, the Preferential Trade Area (PTA) Bank to extend a $6 milthe prime minister of India announced a fresh credit of $10 lion line of credit to members of the PTA for import of capimillion, grant assistance of $100,000 for donation of tal goods from India. The PTA covers 21 countries from HIV/AIDS medicines and another grant of Rs. 25 million Eastern and Southern Africa, and Zambia is one of them. In ($500,000) for donation of agricultural equipment to Zambia. 1994, the PTA was replaced with the COMESA. India has also decided to waive the intergovernment credit ! Revolving Fund for Africa: In 1996, Prime Minister H.D. amounting to about $3 million outstanding against Zambia. Deve Gowda announced at the G-15 Summit in Harare the The number of ITEC slots available to Zambia was increased creation of a revolving fund of Rs. 1 billion ($23 million from 30 to 5013, thus opening up greater possibilities of coop- approximately) towards regional cooperation with Africa.15 eration in human resource development. The Indian govern- ! MoU with SADC: A Memorandum of Understanding on ment assured the Zambian president that India would be will- cooperation between India and the SADC was signed in ing to help Zambia in establishing a Vocational Training October 1997 which envisaged both government and private sector cooperation in the region, simCentre (VTC) and to depute Indian The government of President ilar to the one followed by COMEexperts in agriculture, health, information technology and other fields. Mwanawasa has initiated several SA and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS). The Zambian government is yet to steps to weed out corruption ! Meeting of HoMs/Commercial indicate its requirement (it is facing and called for zero tolerance of Representatives: Meeting of Heads difficulties in arranging local accommodation and transport for them). A corruption. It has taken several of Missions (HoMs)/commercial representatives of Indian missions in proposal to help Zambia with assissteps to rejuvenate the economy Eastern and Southern Africa under tance for street children at a VTC is and reduce disparities. It is the chairmanship of the minister of pending. Zambia has asked for Indian state for commerce and industry was veterinary experts at the University of committed to improving held in June 2000. A similar meeting Zambia (UNZA). Another proposal infrastructure, investing in was convened in October 2000 in for requirement of Indian experts, for education and public health West Africa. This committee intends the Lusaka Stock Exchange, is pending with the Training Centre (TC) and, above all, diversifying the to promote India’s economic relations with neighboring division of the Ministry of External economy from the present countries/continents. Affairs in India. Under the Joint monopolist economy to a Former Minister of External Economic Commission (JEC), the Affairs Yashwant Sinha once said that last meeting was held in New Delhi balanced one. Africa is the continent of the 21st between September 9-10, 2005, century. According to him, the which was attended by a Zambian delegation led by Ng’andu P. Magande, Minister of Finance Indian government is watching the development of SADC, and National Planning, and an Indian delegation led by Rao COMESA and Eastern African regional groups. He even menInderjit Singh, the then Minister of State for External Affairs. tioned the importance of an MoU with SADC and COMEIn the last decade, a number of initiatives were launched to SA under the supervision of AU for a partnership (dialogue promote trade with Africa. Apart from the government, the level).16 Indian private sector has pitched in to explore the African marFuture Prospects of Joint Ventures kets. From the mid-1990s, organisations like the Confederation The “New Deal” government under President Mwanawasa of Indian Industry (CII), the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry (ASSOCHAM), the Federation of has initiated several steps to weed out corruption and called for Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) and the zero tolerance of corruption. It has taken several positive steps Federation of Indian Exporters’ Organisations (FIEO) iden- to rejuvenate the economy and reduce economic disparities. tified Africa as a thrust area and launched programmes to pro- It is committed towards improving infrastructure, investing in mote economic and business cooperation. This included education and public health and, above all, diversifying the exchange of information, conducting one-to-one business economy from the present monopolist economy to a balanced meetings and organising activities like ‘Made in India’ shows sectoral growth with a renewed focus on agriculture and across Africa. These chambers have also entered into joint tourism. The present government’s concerted efforts have

February-April 2007

65


B I L A T E R A L S seen Zambia achieve the Highly Indebted Poor Country (HIPC) Initiative completion point during the year 2005, as a result of which an external debt of about $3.8 billion is in the process of being written off by the donor community. Dipak Patel, Zambia’s Commerce, Trade and Industry Minister, said in July 2005 that an export-driven economy, maximisation of local raw material, coupled with an upgrading of technology, are central to Zambia’s competitiveness in the global market.17 It shows that the Zambian government is determined to reinvigorate its economy and remain competitive in the international market for goods and services. The Government of Zambia espouses a theme ‘Rebuild our Economy’, as a part of which it is trying its best to attract foreign investors under the following banners.

Current Status: Investment in Zambian Industries

The Government of Zambia has made efforts to link Zambian and Indian companies that can establish joint ventures mainly through information-sharing and dissemination of investment incentives. Amending the Investment Act will also greatly enhance the business environment. In September 2004, ESS Exports Company, which is one of the largest companies in India producing tyres and bicycles, expressed interest in exporting bicycle components, hand tools and auto-forging items. Tata Zambia Ltd. has submitted a proposal to set up a motor vehicle assembly plant in Ndola with an initial investment outlay of $500,000 (K2.5 billion) and a project to manufacture bicycles with an initial investment outlay of $250,000 (K1.25 Ten Good Reasons for Investing in Zambia: billion). Tata Zambia also plans to manufacture buses and trucks. The projects have the potential to transfer technology, ! Abundant natural resources increase exports, create opportunities for ancillary manufac! Political stability turing industries and generate employment. ! Thriving private sector Tata Zambia is still negotiating Zambia will continue to ! Investment guarantees with the Zambian government, encourage Indian investments which had written to the former in ! Duty free access to COMESA countries February 2005 requesting for further into its industrial sector, ! Progressive banking and finance particularly in agro-processing, clarifications and information on permarkets tinent issues. Tata Zambia has already textiles, gemstones and other ! Double taxation agreement ordered the equipment for the bicy! Good quality lifestyle industrial sub-sectors, mainly by cle plant and will soon start opera! Privatisation tions. establishing joint ventures. ! Investment in prime growth secIndian investors have expressed Investment promotion will be tors18 interest in the Zambian industries of one of the methods of achieving sugar, power generation and distriIndian Support to Zambia bution, as well as steel and fertilisers. this objective. Zambia will The Zambian Ministry of continue to acquire and In the area of commerce, trade and Commerce, Trade and Industry has industry, the fourth meeting of the identified horticulture and related disseminate information on Joint Permanent Commission areas such as processing of cereals and available technologies from between Zambia and India, held in oil seeds; production of dairy prodLusaka, between October 22-25, India for all sub-sectors such as ucts; sericulture, leather products 2001, identified the following six construction, light engineering, manufacturing; handicrafts producareas is which India can offer support tion; and waste management as areas food processing, sericulture, to Zambia: of possible joint ventures between lapidary and tanning. Zambia and India. ! Investment in Zambian industries; ! Technical assistance to entrepreneurs, policy-makers and Technical Assistance to Entrepreneurs, Policy-Makers and implementing agencies. Zambia agreed to identify sub-sectors Implementing Agencies to Date that require extensive training and India would provide technical expertise; India has offered a credit line of $10 million that was extend! Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement between ed to the Zambian government and was subsequently associZambia and India; ated with commercial lending to small-scale industries for ! Supply of pharmaceutical products to the health sector, as capacity-building through the Development Bank of Zambia. well as establishment of joint ventures to manufacture phar- In March 2004, the Indian High Commission informed the maceutical products; Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry that the EXIM of ! Technological upgradation and transfer of technology; India was ready to offer Zambia a credit line for projects in agri! Establishment of common facilities that would form a small culture, health, industry and capacity-building. However, the industrial area. However, all the machinery will have to be Zambian government would have to provide project proposmanufactured in India. Zambia agreed to identify potential als. entrepreneurs and industries to establish the same. The Indian government, mainly through its High

66

February-April 2007


A F R I C A Commission in Zambia and the Zambian High Commission in New Delhi, has offered the commerce, trade and industry sector information on available machinery from India that can be used by small and medium industries, such as equipment for a pineapple cannery, mini cement plant and agro-processing. A Zambian delegation comprising five government officials, 12 chief executives of statutory bodies and 15 private sector business persons visited India between April 18 and May 5, 2003, as part of an Investment Promotion Mission which involved acquiring technical and technological knowledge on business. The report prepared by this delegation was shared with Zambian businessmen, institutions and business associations such as Small Scale Industries Association of Zambia (SSIAZ). As a part of the mission, the Zambian delegation tapped best practices in micro-finance since one of the main constraints facing micro, small and medium enterprises in Zambia is lack of finance. They gained practice in the management and monitoring of industrial parks, thus addressing the constraint of inadequate entrepreneurial skills. They also acquired techniques and technologies such as gemstone cutting and polishing, which addressed the third main constraint facing Zambian businesses of inadequate information with regard to sourcing technology. Networking, particularly identifying suppliers of equipment and various commodities for the Zambian market, was also facilitated by the mission. About 13 MoUs were signed between Zambian and Indian business stakeholders. Some notable examples include the MoU between Zambia’s Private Sector Development Association and the PHD Chamber of Commerce of India; Kunstocom Ltd., BAFCO Pharmaceuticals Ltd., Technicom Chemi Ltd. and the Education and Medical Foundation, which are all subsidiaries of the AKC Group of India, with the Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry, TEVETA, Evelyn Hone College and the Private Sector Development Association. The Zambian delegation signed MoUs with Hind Minerals of India; All Indian Management Association; the Centre for Development of Gems and Jewellery; as well as the Jewellers Association Johari Bazaar, Jaipur. A trade agreement was signed between Zambia and India during the state visit. However, it is yet to be implemented because the document may be still at the State House in Zambia. A Zambian delegation comprising the private sector, business associations, Zambia Bureau of Standards and Evelyn Hone College attended the International Technology Fair of India in November 2003 to acquire more information on available technology for various sectors particularly industrial sectors, suppliers of reasonably-priced laboratory-testing equipment and capacity-building of small and medium enterprises. Zambia has participated in a number of activities coordinated by the Indian government which include training and information-sharing at the India International Trade Fair.

Q U A R T E R L Y

Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement (IPPA) between Zambia and India The draft IPPA was initiated in March 2003 by Siakalenge, Director, Industry Department, and Subashini, First Secretary, Indian High Commission, Zambia, who sent the agreed text to Indian authorities. A response was obtained from the Indian High Commission in January 2004 for the draft IPPA to be initiated by Zambian authorities and First Secretary, Indian High Commission. Supply of Pharmaceutical Products to the Health Sector as well as Establishment of Joint Ventures to Manufacture Pharmaceutical Products. The problem of HIV/AIDS has been a major focus of attention of the SADC as about 15 million people are infected with the virus. There are other epidemic diseases such as malaria and tuberculosis for which African countries have to find affordable ways of treatment. Indian drugs cost less than onetenth of the cost of drugs from multinational companies. The speeding up of the ongoing efforts to harmonise registration procedures for drugs and pharmaceuticals at the SADC level would greatly facilitate investment from India in this sector. Technological Upgradation and Transfer of Technology Till date, some of the industries in Zambia are using machinery from India such as Castor Oils Zambia that purchased a castor oil processing machine at Techmart 2003. Lamise Investment Ltd., that produces biscuits, snacks, plastic products, mattresses, furniture and linen, currently uses moulds manufactured in India. Information obtained from the Zambian High Commission in New Delhi on food processing machinery was disseminated to the Zambia Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Zambia Association of Manufacturers. Future Developments Zambia will continue to encourage Indian investments into its industrial sector, particularly in agro-processing, textiles, gemstones and other industrial sub-sectors, mainly by establishing joint ventures. Investment promotion will be one of the methods of achieving this objective. Zambia will continue to acquire and disseminate information on available technologies from India for all sub-sectors such as construction, light engineering, food processing, sericulture, lapidary, tanning and leather products, timber drying, furniture production, waste recycling and any other sub-sectors that will require information. The Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry led a business delegation to India for the India International Trade Fair, between November 14-27, 2005, where it held bilateral meetings with several stakeholders. During this investment and trade promotion mission, the ministry aimed to further promote investment in Zambian industries, lobby for more tech-

February-April 2007

67


B I L A T E R A L S nical assistance to Some Thoughts for Better entrepreneurs and impleBilateral Relations menting agencies. Policy-makers plan to From time to time, participate in training India and Zambia face courses in project managepractical difficulties in ment and various other implementing certain courses such as agro-proagreements, sometimes cessing, small and medium due to change of leaderenterprises development. ship or financial conThe Ministry of straints within their counCommerce, Trade and tries. This can be ironed Industry is hoping to conout within a certain juditinue working with the cial framework. Indian High Commission The economic condiin Zambia to sign the tion of Zambia during the Investment Promotion and last couple of years has Protection Agreement been volatile. The governbetween Zambia and India. ment took some very bold The ministry is also trypolicy initiatives such as ing to enhance its promotion of ensuring full convertibility of the Tata Zambia Ltd. has submitted establishing joint ventures in the local currency (Kwacha), stability of a proposal to set up a motor manufacture of pharmaceutical exchange rate, market-driven products. Technological upgradation vehicle assembly plant in Ndola exchange and interest rates, estaband transfer of technology would with an initial investment outlay lishment of the Broad-Based Intercontinue to be encouraged through Bank Foreign Exchange Market, of $500,000 and a project to the compilation of project proposals removal of restrictions on imports manufacture bicycles with an by the private sector. and exports, privatisation of various Establishment of common faciliparastatal entities, etc. These changes initial investment outlay of ties that would form a small indushave helped the integration of the $250,000. Tata Zambia also trial area, utilising machinery manuZambian economy into the global plans to manufacture buses factured in India, potential economy. entrepreneurs and industries to be In Zambia, real GDP grew by 5 and trucks. The projects have established will form the list to be percent in the year 2004 as compared the potential to transfer compiled by the ministry prior to the to 4.3 percent in 2003 and 3 percent technology, Investment and Trade Promotion in the year 2002. This expansion in Mission to India.19 growth of real GDP was driven by increase exports, create The Indo-Zambia Bank Ltd. has strong expansion in mineral and opportunities for ancillary been established as a fine example of agricultural production as well as manufacturing industries and a successful joint venture. It enjoys generally favourable external condithe patronage of two friendly tions and was a direct result of the generate employment. republics, the Government of the government’s micro-economic poliRepublic of Zambia and the cies adopted in the year 2004 –– basiGovernment of India. cally of restoring fiscal discipline.20 It has demonstrated how personnel drawn from four difBoth countries must look for an investment promotion ferent institutions can work together as a team and evolve a agreement and should avoid double taxation systems. Another distinct and efficient work culture. Under the present cir- could be setting up of a joint commission that would look at cumstances prevailing in the Zambian market, though all strengthening economic relations across a large number of secbanks are going through a phase of low returns, in view of a tors. Furthermore, the Joint Business Council (JBC) could be strong bottomline of the Indo-Zambia Bank and with built- instrumental in promoting greater cooperation both in trade up reserves at a very sound level, the management of the bank and investments through market forces among businessperis optimistic that the future of the joint venture is extremely sons of the two countries. A strong banking relationship has bright. to be encouraged for trade to flow smoothly through proper The two countries are currently working on the finalisation channels. Better connectivity is required to enhance bilateral of a Bilateral Investment Protection Agreement and a Protocol economic cooperation; air, shipping and telecommunication for Institutionalisation of Annual Foreign Office links need to be improved. Besides, there has to be a strong Consultations. commercial or economic section in the high commissions so

68

February-April 2007


A F R I C A that each country could deliver the goods and provide services which are required. At the World Trade Organisation (WTO), which is another platform for economic diplomacy for bilateral trade agreements within a judicial framework, emphasis can be made on preferential trade tariffs that can lead to free trade zones for greater integration like investment in the service sector, exchange of personnel, etc. India should try to promote more linkages with the African Union in order to develop more tariff concessions so that trade, investment and South-South cooperation can be boosted. Government-to-government credit and aid in a specialised manner can be used to promote bilateral and regional relations. Furthermore, India can assist developing countries like Zambia with technical help under its ITEC programme. Zambia is, no doubt, being provided with the above facility but would be certainly needing a lot more from India in the coming years. Apart from the Indian government, more and more Indian private companies should be encouraged to invest in Zambia. Apart from the Tata Group, several other Indian companies like Surfactan Industries (which manufactures wood adhesives and polish), Agarwal Tin Manufacture Company (graded cast iron and ductile iron casting for various industrial applications), Sachin Chemicals and Avalon Exim Inc. (chemicals) have shown their interest in exporting to African countries.22 Zambian importers who may be interested could contact the above companies. Beside these, there are good prospects of investments in power generation and transmission, tourism, commercial farming, agro-processing, leather processing and manufacture of footwear, and other items. Especially as the Zambian gov-

Q U A R T E R L Y

ernment is reviewing its economy through privatisation, which has been pulled through quite successfully by the Indian government. Conclusion India and Zambia, classified as developing countries, have to act together in their own interests and play a very important role in tackling their problems. India is intending not only to project its own economy but is also trying to promote the interests of all developing countries and work for a better world. A delegation of the COMESA and Indian leaders are looking forward to the conclusion of an India-COMESA MoU spanning diverse facets of economic cooperation. They are presently negotiating a Free Trade Area (FTA) with South Africa. It is, therefore, being believed that the negotiations between the South African Customs Union (SACU) and India would eventually lead to a free trade arrangement, which will cover all the SADC countries that are also in the process of concluding an FTA by 2008.23 The population of SADC countries has reached around 200 million and its geographical area is as large as India. Here it is very important to mention that India, whose population has crossed one billion and is able to meet food requirements locally, can help SADC countries to achieve a green revolution. The economic potential of India-Zambia relations is just beginning to be realised. The two countries can multiply bilateral trade and investment between them by fully implementing crucial economic pacts which have been signed between them. There is enough reservoir of goodwill to feed and nurture this growing relationship. If the present trends are anything to go by bilateral trade and investment are most likely to surpass expectation in the future.

References 1. A.A. Mohammad, ‘India-Africa Cooperation in the 21st Century’, Africa Quarterly, Vol. 43, No. 1, 2003, p.1 2. Nag, Prithvish, ‘Basis of Zambian Settlements’, African Quarterly, 17,1, (1977), p.64) 3. B.J. Phiri, ‘A History of Indians in Eastern Province of Zambia’, High Quality Printers, Lusaka: 2000, p.1 4. Indo-Zambia, Science and Technology Agreement, New Delhi, 26 January 1975, Foreign Affairs Record, 21 (1), January 1975, pp. 40-42 5. Foreign Affairs Record, 25 (2), February 1978, p.58 6. Foreign Affairs Record, 36 (10) October 1990, p. 225 7. Review of Operations of Indo-Zambia Bank Limited for the year ended, BoB’s Letter No. BBC: INT: SUB 97/150 dated 30th May 2005, p.1 8. The Post, Home News, ‘Confusion Reigns in Parliament’, Thursday No 17th 2005, p.4 9. Yashwant Sinha, ‘Facets of Indian Foreign Policy’, Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India, 2003, p.6 10. They are Angola, Burundi, Comoros, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Madagascar, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Rwanda, Seychelles, Somalia,

Swaziland, Sudan, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe 11. India News, High Commission of India, 24th October, 2004, vol. 1 No. 5 p.1 12 Press Release, ‘Expanding the Horizon of India-Africa Relationship’ in the 21st Century, p.1 13. http://meaindia.ni.in/foreignrelations, p3 14. www.india/s Africa policy in the 21st century 15. Government of India, Annual Report, 1996-97, 1997, Ministry of External Affairs, New Delhi, P.x 16. Yashwant Sinha, Facets of Indian Foreign Policy, p. 74 17. Special, ZAMBANKER, ‘Zambia Determined to Revive Economy’, July 2005, Patel, p.1 18. Zambia Investment Centre 19. Information from Ministry of Trade and Commerce, Zambia 20. Review of Operation of Indo-Zambia Bank Limited, P.3. 21. Yashwant Sinha, ‘Facets of Indian Foreign Policy’, Ministry of External Affairs, p.7 22. India News, High Commission of India, June 30, 2005, Vol. 2, NO. 3, p.8 23. Sinha, ‘Facets of India Foreign Policy’, P.110

February-April 2007

69


B O O K S

&

I D E A S

A selection of new books on Africa and by African writers from www.africabookcentre.com African History: A Very Short Introduction Edited by John Parker and Richard Rathbone; Oxford University Press, U.K.; 165pp; Paperback; £6.99 ESSENTIAL READING for anyone interested in the vast African continent as well as the diversity of human history there. This very short introduction looks at Africa’s past and reflects on the changing ways it has been imagined and represented. Key themes in current thinking about the continent’s history are illustrated with a range of fascinating historical examples, drawn from over five millennia across this diverse landmass. Archaeology and Culture History in the Central Niger Delta By Abi Alabo Derefaka; Nigeria Onyoma Research Publications, Nigeria; 330pp; Paperback; £29.95 THE BOOK presents new archaeological research on the cultural and anthropological history of Central Ijöland, situated in the Central Niger Delta. It draws primarily on oral traditions, and local and internal histories in the reconstruction of the past. It traces patterns of migration and dispersals within and from the region in an attempt to reconstruct phases, settlements and ways of life. And it considers both the saltwater mangrove swamps sub-zone in the eastern region, and the freshwater swamp and forest sub-zone of the central delta region.

Child Soldiers in Africa Alcinda Honwana; University Press of Pennsylvania. U.S.A.; 202pp; Paperback; £15 NEW IN paperback, the book brings first-hand experience with children in Angola and Mozambique to bear on how children are recruited, what they encounter and how they come to terms with their actions, particularly in their attempts to rebuild lives within local communities. It examines the wider institutional efforts to support these wartime casualties.

■ Editor’s Pick Only Half of Me: Being a Muslim in Britain By Rageh Omaar; Penguin, U.K.; 224pp; Paperback; £8.99 NEW IN paperback. The story of his childhood in Somalia, his family’s attitude to religion, his double life as a British Muslim and that of other British Muslims; the failed suicide bomber from Somalia; his cousin who was stabbed in the neck on a London street on July 8, 2005. Full of humanity and rage, empathy and insight ‘Only Half of Me’ takes us into lives that are widely misunderstood, and tries to make sense of our own fractured world.

70

A Short History of Slavery By James Walvin; Penguin, U.K.; 272 pp; Paperback; £9.99 AS WE approach the bicentenary of the abolition of the Atlantic trade, Walvin has selected the historical texts that recreate the mindset that made such a savage institution possible — morally acceptable even. Setting these historical documents against Walvin’s own historical narrative, the two layers of this account of the Atlantic slave trade enable us to understand the rise and fall of one of the great crimes of British history, the repercussions of which the modern world is still experiencing.

February-April 2007


A F R I C A

Of Development and Generation Next World Development Report 2007: Development and the Next Generation By World Bank; Oxford University Press, U.S.; 336pp; Paperback; £15.99 A FLAGSHIP annual publication, the report discusses the priorities for government action across five youth transitions that shape investments in young people’s human capital: learning, work-

ing, staying healthy, forming families, and exercising citizenship. It concludes that investments in young people have been most successful when they have not only expanded opportunities directly, but have also improved the climate for young people and their families to invest in themselves. Also contains selected data from the World Development Indicators 2006 — an appendix of economic and social data for over 200 countries.

■ Gender Issues Africa After Gender? Edited by Catherine Cole, Takyiwaa Manuh and Stephan F. Miescher; Indiana University Press, U.S.; 328pp; Paperback; £14.99 GENDER IS one of the most productive, dynamic, and vibrant areas of Africanist research today. But what is the meaning of gender in an African context? Why does gender usually connote women? Why has gender taken hold in Africa when feminism hasn’t? Is gender yet another Western construct that has been applied to Africa however ill-suited and riddled with assumptions? This collection looks at Africa now that gender has come into play to consider how the continent, its people, and the term itself have changed. African Women and Globalisation: Dawn of the 21st Century Edited by Chepyator-Thomson, Rose Jepkorir; Africa World Press, U.S.A.; 320pp; Paperback; £19.99 THIS VOLUME seeks to examine globalisation’s effect on women’s lives. In this volume scholars deconstruct important issues and provide perspectives on understanding and transforming women's experiences in Africa. Writing from diverse academic disciplines and interdisciplinary standpoints, the contributors explore the realities of African women’s lives in connection to processes of globalisation. Some of the issues highlighted include the education of girls in Kenya, women’s role in agriculture, women as culture mediators in music, the participation of women in sports, and women in resource management in East Africa.

February-April 2007

Q U A R T E R L Y Half of a Yellow Sun By Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie; Harper Perennial, U.K.; 448pp; Paperback; £7.99 A SWEEPING new novel from the author of ‘Purple Hibiscus’ that is set in Nigeria in the 1960s, at the time of a vicious civil war in which a million people died, and thousands were massacred in cold blood. The three main characters in the novel get swept up in the violence during these turbulent years. As these people’s lives intersect, they have to question their own responses to the unfolding political events. This extraordinary novel is about Africa in a wider sense: About moral responsibility, about the end of colonialism, about ethnic allegiances, about class and race; and the ways in which love can complicate all of these things. States of Vulnerability: The Brain Drain of Future Talent to South Africa Edited by Jonathan Crush & et al; IDASA, South Africa; 66pp; Pamphlet; £11.95 THE PROBLEM of brain drain is a major policy and research issue at national, regional as well as at the continental levels in Africa –– especially as the trends having intensified in the 1980s and 1990s. This report –– a slim volume –– presents the results of a baseline study of potential skills in six SADC countries: Botswana, Lesotho, Swaziland and Namibia, South Africa and Zimbabwe. The study illustrates how the poorest countries (Zimbabwe, Lesotho and Swaziland) are the most likely losers. South Africa gains regionally, but is losing skilled citizens to the North. The study highlights the contradiction between tight national immigration policies and the wider political pressures for stronger regional integration, arguing that this may yet present the most promising contingency.

71


B O O K S

&

I D E A S

■ Fiction/Biography

New Fiction emerging from Africa Whiteman By Tony D’Souza; Portobello Books, U.K.; 288pp; Paperback; £8.99 YOUNG, AMERICAN and idealistic, the Whiteman bounds into the Ivory Coast with a deep desire to make a difference. But the NGO’s funding dries up and he’s stranded, unable to establish a water supply for the village and with plenty of time on his hands. With Mamadou as his guardian, he builds himself a thatchroofed hut, cultivates a field, masters the art of rainforest hunting, and inadvertently tramples all over unspoken taboos, all the while being hopelessly, helplessly, distracted by women, from the village flirt to the local chief's intended wife. Taking place against the backdrop of bloody civil war, this is the story of a white man losing his aid-worker illusions and discovering a different, more complicated Africa: Perplexing and brutal, beguiling and sexy. As Used on the Famous Nelson Mandela: Underground Adventures in the Arms and Torture Trade By Mark Thomas; Ebury, U.K.; 352pp; paperback; £6.99 UNDER A fairly flimsy disguise and with the use of some worryingly poor accents, Mark set off on a journey of discovery in the company of arms dealers, torture victims, politi-cians, cops, crusties and geeks. Embedded within the sharpness of his humour is the truth of an industry fraught with loopholes, complacency and greed; that allows corrupt regimes to kill, maim and displace, but whose deals are often subsidised by the British taxpayer.

THE ESSAYS in this book first appeared in the weekly electronic newsletter, Pambazuka News. They provide an easy-to-read introduction to the struggle for women’s rights in Africa. The contributors describe how African women won a cross-continental campaign for a protocol to protect their rights. In a rich variety of articles, they consider topics such as: women and conflict, the impact of current U.S. policies on women’s health in Africa, women’s rights in Islam, and the implications of the Jacob Zuma trial for women in South Africa.

■ Health

■ Short Stories Chameleon By Jane Bryce; Peepal Tree, U.K.; 110pp; Paperback; £7.99. WHEN A young white child discovers why her family’s African gardener so dislikes the chameleon she spots in a tree, she is plunged into a puzzled awareness of the complexities of race, colour and difference. As the ‘I’ of the stories grows into adulthood in Nigeria, she too becomes a chameleon of sorts, one thing when she is with her Nigerian friends, another with the white tribe when she can no longer resist the lure of the scarce luxuries to be had at the British Embassy. When the ‘I’ makes the crossing from Nigeria to the Caribbean, she discovers that it is not only people who are chameleons. Osun, the Yoruba orisha, has also made the journey, a little outwardly changed, but inwardly the same in Trinidadian and Cuban manifestations.

72

Grace, Tenacity and Eloquence: The struggle for women’s rights in Africa Edited by Patrick Burnett, Shereen Karmali & Firoze Manji; Fahamu & Solidarity for Women’s Rights, U.K.; 223pp; Paperback; £17.99.

February-April 2007

How to be a ‘Proper’ Woman in the Times of HIV and AIDS By Stella Nyanzi and Katja Jassey; Nordic Africa Institute, Sweden; 40pp; Pamphlet; £8.95. WHEN IS one social script of being a proper woman valid and what invalidates it? What kind of changes and norms are implicitly or explicitly promoted through development interventions? Can sexuality be separated from material, social and political realities? Why are there so many contradicting messages and forces around ARV medicines? Why is there so much silence and so much noise at the same time around HIV/AIDS? Can HIV/AIDS be a force for inclusion rather than exclusion?


A F R I C A

Q U A R T E R L Y

Bestsellers in India The fascination with William Dalrymple’s ‘The Last Mughal: The Fall of a Dynasty, Delhi 1857,’ topping the non-fiction category and Kiran Desai’s ‘Inheritance of Loss,’ topping the fiction category, continues. TOP 10: NON-FICTION 1. ‘The Last Mughal: The Fall of a Dynasty, Delhi 1857’ Author: William Dalrymple Publisher: Penguin Viking Price: Rs. 695

Penguin Viking Price: Rs. 295 7. ‘In Spite of The Gods: The Strange Rise of Modern India’ Author: Edward Luce Publisher: Little Brown Price: Rs. 695

2. ‘Planet India’ Author: Mira Kamdar Publisher: Scribner Price: Rs. 395

8. ‘Banker to The Poor: The Story of the Grameen Bank’ Author: Muhammad Yunus Publisher: Aurum Press Price: £5.00 (Rs. 423)

3. ‘Unbowed: A Memoir’ Author: Wangari Muta Maathai Publisher: William Heinemann: London Price: £7.25 (Rs. 614)

9. ‘Trees of Delhi: A Field Guide’ Author: Pradip Krishen Publisher: Dorling Kindersley (India) Price: Rs.799

4. ‘The Writing on The Wall: China and the West in the 21st Century’ Author: Will Hutton Publisher: Little, Brown Price: Rs. 495

10. ‘Gulbadan: Portrait of a Rose Princess at the Mughal Court’ Author: Rumer Godden Publisher: Tara Press Price: Rs. 650

5. ‘Provoked: The Story of Kiranjit Ahluwalia’ Author: Kiranjit Ahluwalia & Rahila Gupta Publisher: Harper Collins Price: Rs. 295 6. ‘Terrifying Vision: M.S. Golwalkar, The RSS and India’ Author: Jyotirmaya Sharma Publisher:

TOP 10: FICTION 1. ‘The Inheritance of Loss’ Author: Kiran Desai Publisher: Penguin Books Price: Rs. 395 2. ‘A Golden Age’ Author: Tahmima Anam Publisher: John Murray Price: £6.25 (Rs. 526) 3. ‘The Barn Owl’s Wondrous

Capers’ Author: Sarnath Banerjee Publisher: Penguin Books Price: Rs. 395 4. ‘The Quest’ Author: Wilbur Smith Publisher: Macmillan Price: £9.20 (Rs.774) 5. ‘Step On a Crack’ Author: James Patterson & Michael Ledwidge Publisher: Headline Price: Rs. 395 6. ‘Next’ Author: Michael Crichton Publisher: Harper Collins Price: Rs. 195 7. ‘On Chesil Beach’ Author: Ian McEwan Publisher: Jonathan Cape, London Price: £6.00 (Rs. 505) 8. ‘Sister’ Author: Danielle Steel Publisher: Bantam Press Price: £11.50 (Rs. 968) 9. ‘Shopaholic & Baby’ Author: Sophie Kinsella Publisher: Bantam Press Price: £7.25 (Rs. 614) 10. ‘Love in a Torn Land’ Author: Jean Sasson Publisher: Doubleday Price: £7.75 (Rs. 652)

(Source: Bahri Sons, New Delhi, www.booksatbahri.com. All the books listed above are available online)

February-April 2007

73


D O C U M E N T S Excerpts from the Joint Communique issued at the end of the official visit to India by the East African Community Delegation, in New Delhi on February 22. 1.0 At the invitation of the Government of India, an EAC Delegation led by Hon. John Arap Koech, Chairperson of the EAC Council of Ministers and Minister for East African Community of the Republic of Kenya paid a six day official visit to India from 19th to 24th February 2007. Accompanying him were, Hon. Eriya Kategaya First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for East African Community Affairs of the Republic of Uganda, Hon. Dr. Ibrahim Msabaha Minister for East African Cooperation of the United Republic of Tanzania, Hon Rosemary Museminali, Minister of State for Cooperation of the Republic of Rwanda, Hon Donatien Nijimbere, Minister for Trade and Industry of the Republic of Burundi, the EAC Secretary General, Amb. Juma V. Mwapachu Dr. Kipyego Cheluget, Deputy Secretary General, the EAC High Commissioners and Ambassador and other senior officials of the EAC Secretariat. The Mission held cordial discussions with the Ministries of External Affairs, Agriculture, Finance, Commerce and Industry, Science and Technology, Home Affairs, Delhi Assembly, Capital Markets Authorities, Agricultural Research Institute (PUSA), RITES, Telecommunications Consultants of India Limited (TCIL), Exim Bank, Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and visited the Escort Agricultural Machinery Factory. 2.0 The main purpose of the mission was to discuss ways of deepening collaboration between the Government of India and the East African Community as provided for in the Memorandum of Understanding signed on 20th April 2003 in Dar Es Salaam. The Mission was also to consult on proposed specific projects and programmes for support from the Government of India. 3.0 The EAC Delegation briefed Ministers and senior officials of the Government of India as well as the institutions with whom they engaged on the progress made in the integration process of the Community including the accession of Rwanda and Burundi; capacity building activities at the Community; the EAC Development Strategy 2006-2010; priority sectoral projects and programmes; the restructuring of the East African Development Bank; the challenges faced in the process of integration and other proposed areas of support by the Republic of India. 4.0 Similarly, the Indian Delegation briefed the Mission on the vision and direction of its support to East Africa for priority areas of intervention in regional programmes with emphasis on infrastructure development, agriculture, health, ICT, education, community development, trade, industrialisation, science and technology among others. 5.0 Following the foregoing discussions, the parties agreed as follows:

74

5.1 Support for the Railways Sector The Indian Government expressed its strong willingness to support the revamping of the East African Railways network as a vital contribution to the economic development of the East African Region. In line with this gesture, it was agreed that: a) The EAC will share with Government of India the Railways Development Master Plan when completed in August 2007 in order to identify areas that require support; b) That the Government of India will consider technical support for detailed feasibility studies of the following railways projects: i) Tanga - Arusha line; ii) Arusha - Musoma - Port Bell line; iii) Mombasa - Kampala line; iv) Isaka (Tanzania) - Kigali (Rwanda) line; v) Isaka (Tanzania) - Gitega - Bujumbura (Burundi) Line; and vi) Himo - Voi line 5.2 Telecommunications The parties noted the wide scope of possible cooperation in telecommunications. The Indian Government briefed the EAC Delegation on the progress being made on the implementation of the Pan African e-Network Project and the VVIP connectivity projects. The project is aimed at enhancing cooperation between India and Africa in the area of telemedicine and e-learning through connectivity between premier institutions in health and education in both India and Africa. The latter project also aims at connecting the Heads of State in Africa to an alternative reliable and secure communications system including teleconferencing facilities. Both projects will be underwritten by the Government of India for five years after commissioning estimated to cost US$ 117 million. The Delegation was further informed that the Protocol for the implementation of both projects had been developed and that 22 countries in Africa had signed including Tanzania, Uganda and Burundi. Both parties noted the urgency for the countries that had not signed the Protocol to do so to facilitate planning for the projects and to avail the required basic infrastructure, exempt the projects from customs and other duties, avail visas for Indian project personnel and nominate counterpart personnel to the project to enable technology transfer within the first five years of the project. The Indian Government will consider further support under the above projects to facilitate the establishment of the necessary architecture for e-networking between the Secretariat and the five co-ordinating Ministries in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda and Burundi. 5.3 Energy sector The Government of India took note of the concerns of the EAC on the energy deficiencies that had cost the countries huge losses in their Gross Domestic Products. The Indian Government will support the EAC in this sector with emphasis on wind, biomass and methane gas exploitation. Technical teams will be exchanged to assess the required support by August, 2007.

February-April 2007


A F R I C A

5.4 Agriculture Sector The Government of India took note of the low level of agricultural productivity in the EAC countries and the frequent droughts that have caused serious food shortages in the region. The Indian Government expressed willingness to support EAC towards the improvement of agricultural productivities and value addition. In this regard, the Indian Government: a) Undertook to support the transformation and revamping of the Tropical Pesticide Research Institute (TPRI) based in Arusha to not only undertake research in pestcides but also give it an expanded mandate in agricultural research; b) Will interest Indian farmers through their State Farmers Associations and State Governments to invest in farming ventures in East Africa; and c) Will support an exchange programme for agricultural technical experts from both sides to develop the necessary skills to facilitate the transformation of EAC agriculture. 5.5 Capacity Building and Application of Science and Technology The parties noted that there was much scope for cooperation in this sector in view of the advances made by India in the application of science based information and management systems. India expressed its readiness to support the establishment of the EAC Science and Technology Council (STC) and Institute to assist the region intensify and widen the application of science and technology in the production processes and better decision making. The Indian Government will support a technical mission to EAC to develop a detailed support proposal for the EAC Science and Technology Council and Institute by end of May 2007. In addition, Indian Government offered 10 Scholarships to the East African Community Secretariat to be utilised in the development of prioritised competencies in the region especially in IT based and technology fields. 5.6 Capital Markets The Indian Government noted the strong desire of the EAC to develop strong capital markets as a basis for mobilising capital in the region following the Indian model. India expressed strong desire to support EAC in these fields: a) Establishment of the institutional framework and necessary infrastructure for the proposed EAC Securities Markets Institute and assist in the review of the legal and regulatory regimes for smooth capital markets operations in the region; b) Assist training of trainers in capital markets operations coupled with regular personnel exchanges to enrich the experiences in the stock market operations in EAC and India; and c) Exchange of technical teams to fine tune the proposal for support in the strengthening of the capital markets operations in the region by June 2007. 5.7 Tourism The parties noted the great tourism potential existing in the two sides. It was noted that India had successfully marketed

Q U A R T E R L Y

its tourism potential through the "Incredible India" brand. India indicated her willingness to support EAC in developing the region's tourism potential including the operationalisation of the EAC Tourism and Wildlife Conservation Agency and exchange of personnel in the sector. It was agreed that technical teams will be exchanged to work out the details of the needed support by July/August 2007. 5.8 East African Development Bank (EADB) The parties noted the critical role that a strengthened EADB would play in mobilising development resources particularly for long term infrastructure and other activities. Currently, EADB enjoys a small line of Credit from the Exim Bank of India to the tune of US$ 5 million. It was agreed that Exim Bank and EADB engage in negotiations on the issue of lines of credit. It was further agreed that Industrial Development Bank of India (IDBI) also examines ways and means of extending funds for on-lending by EADB. On its part, the Indian Government will explore the possibility of becoming a shareholder of EADB. 5.9 Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) Conclaves On the request by EAC to host a CII- EAC Conclave on the sideline of the Commonwealth Heads of States and Government Summit in Kampala, Uganda in November 2007, the Indian Government advised that the next Conclave was planned to be held in Kampala from 26th to 29th of June 2007 and notice to that effect had already been released. 5.10 Proposed Trade and Investment Framework Agreement between EAC and India On the proposal by EAC to conclude a Trade and Investment Framework Agreement between the parties, the Indian Government welcomed the idea. It was, therefore, agreed that: a) India commences a desk study to be finalised within a month; b) The results of the desk study are shared with EAC by mid April 2007; c) A joint technical team to discuss a detailed feasibility draft Agreement starts work by end of April 2007; d) Joint negotiations commence immediately after the joint technical team finalises its work (proposed timeframe end of June 2007). 5.11 Planning/Technical Mission In view of the urgent need to concretise the proposals for support, India agreed with the proposal by EAC that the latter hosts a joint planning/technical mission to work out detailed documentation for projects and programmes. Further, that following the planning/technical mission's report, a high level meeting between the Indian Government and EAC be held in Arusha to consider the concrete projects requiring Indian Government support. Anand Sharma John Arap Koech Minister of State Chairperson, EAC Council Ministry of External Affairs of Ministers

February-April 2007

75


I N C R E D I B L E

I N D I A

Enchanting

NAGALAND

T

he state of Nagaland, in India’s northeast, has a thickly-wooded mountainous terrain with clear streams cutting a path through its numerous valleys. An unexplored paradise, Nagaland offers breathtaking scenery, exotic flora and fauna, a “laid-back� environment and the inherent hospitality of the Naga people. Nagaland is a place where you can put the brakes on, recharge your energy, feel good about yourself, go back to basics and learn to appreciate life and Mother Nature. A land with more than a 100 tribes, Nagaland covers an area of 16,488 sq. km. It is encircled by Assam in the north and west, by Burma and Arunachal Pradesh in the east, and Manipur in the South. The state is dominated by Naga communities and, hence, it forms a single cultural region generally definable by common cultural and linguistic traditions. Nagaland has a unique blend of the ancient and modern, of Eastern and Western, and is the only state in India where English is the official language. Flora and Fauna: The variations in the altitude, climate and soil have given rise to a diversity of forest types, ranging from tropical evergreen to temperate evergreen and the coniferous. The largest rhododendron in the world is found in Nagaland. Bamboo groves are extensive everywhere. Among the common species, mention may be made of the Naga Bhe and plants such as Mesuaferrea, Careyaarbotrea and Fiscus Electica. On the hill slopes are found oak, chestnut, birch, magnolia, cherry, maple, laurel and fig. Pine trees are found at higher altitudes, varying from 3,000 to 4,000 feet. Nagaland is the meeting ground for the sub-Himalayan, Indian, Chinese and Burmese fauna. Elephants, tigers, barking deer and sambar are found in the state. Monkeys, jackals, wild buffaloes, wild pigs, bear and wild dogs are sparsely distributed through the Naga Hills.

Japfu Peak: Scaling the Japfu peak at 3,048 metres can be tiring, but the expansive vista of natural beauty compensates the effort put in. The range is covered by mist at the break of dawn, adding to its mystic beauty. Kohima War Cemetery: Kohima War Cemetery offers space for a contemplative stroll. This is a symbolic memorial raised to the sacrifices made by the officers and men of the allied forces, to halt the tide of the Japanese onslaught

Dzukou Valley: This valley is tucked away at 2,438 metres. From June to September, the entire valley is covered with a carpet of wild flowers. Here, you are completely at peace with nature. The valley is ringed by hills and natural caves and is ideal for camping.

76

February-April 2007


A F R I C A

during the Second World War. This was their last post. The cemetery is beautifully and meticulously maintained by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission. Wildlife Sanctuaries: Nagaland boasts of several sanctuaries, each different in terms of variety and scenic beauty. The Fakim Sanctuary is close to the Myanmar border, receives high rainfall and is home to some of rare species of flora and fauna. The Intanki Wildlife Sanctuary is the home to some rare species of birds and the Hoolock Gibbon, the only Gibbon found in India. Tourist Permits: Domestic tourists visiting Nagaland are required to obtain an Inner Line Permit. These permits are issued by: The Resident Commissioner, Nagaland House, 29 Aurangzeb Road, New Delhi; Additional Resident Commissioner, Nagaland House, 12 Shakespeare Sarani, Kolkata; Assistant Resident Commissioner, Nagaland House, Nongrim Hills, Shillong, Meghalaya; Assistant Resident Commissioner, Nagaland House, Guwahati, Assam. It is also issued by the Deputy Commissioner, Dimapur, Nagaland. Foreign Tourists need a Restricted Area Permit from the Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India, New Delhi.

Q U A R T E R L Y

TOURIST INFORMATION HOW TO GET THERE BY AIR: The nearest airport is Dimapur (74 km from the state capital Kohima), which is air-linked with Kolkata. BY RAIL: Dimapur also serves as the nearest railhead, and is connected with some of the major cities of India. BY ROAD: By road, Kohima is accessed by National Highway 39. Kohima is well connected by this road from Dimapur. BEST TIME TO VISIT: You can visit Nagaland throughout the year. WHERE TO STAY: Nagaland offers a range of accommodation from spare and simple to deluxe.

February-April 2007

77


A F R I C A

Q U A R T E R L Y

■ Contributors ■ K. MATHEWS, a noted expert on African affairs and international relations, is currently Professor of International

Relations at the Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia, since 2003. Earlier, he was Professor of African Studies and Head of the Department at the University of Delhi (1991-2003). He has lived in Africa for about 17 years and has travelled extensively in the continent. He has taught at the Universities of Dar-es Salaam, Tanzania (1976-82), and at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, (1982-90). He has also held visiting research/teaching position in several other universities/institutions, including the University of Oxford, England (1988-89), Carlton University, Ottawa, Canada, the Africa Institute of South Africa, Pretoria (1998), among others. He has over 80 publications to his credit. His book, ‘Africa, India and South-South Cooperation’ is widely referred in India and outside. ■ YESHI CHOEDON is Associate Professor in International Organisation in the School of International Studies,

Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. She did her Ph.D. from the School of International Studies, JNU, in 1988 and worked as Lecturer and later as Reader in Political Science and International Relations from October 1988 to March 2004 at Sikkim Government College, Gangtok. Her area of specialisation is the United Nations. Choedon was awarded the UGC “Career Award” in 1995 and also the ‘DAAD Fellowship’ in 1997. She published a book entitled ‘China and the United Nations’ in 1990 and has published extensively. ■ RUCHITA BERI is Research Officer at the Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses (IDSA). She is also the vice

president of the African Studies Association of India. She has an M.Phil. degree from the School of International Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. She is also an alumnus of the Department of Peace and Conflict Research, Uppsala University, Sweden, and Women in International Security, CISSM, University of Maryland, USA. For the last 18 years she has been involved in research on political and security issues relating to Sub-Saharan Africa and has participated in various national and international conferences and also published numerous articles in books and journals. ■ M. VENKATARAMAN is Associate Professor of Political Science and International Relations, Addis Ababa University, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. He has served as Assistant Professor, Department of Political Science, University of Asmara, Eritrea, between July 1999 and July 2004. He completed his Ph.D. in 1997 from the Centre for South and Southeast Asian Studies, University of Madras. ■ JAMAL M. MOOSA is currently working as Reader (International Law, Human Rights and Minorities’ Rights) in the

Academy of Third World Studies, Jamia Millia Islamia. New Delhi. His areas of specialisation are African Studies, International Humanitarian Law, Human Rights and Conflict Studies. Currently, he is working on issues related to child soldiers, refugees and stateless persons and Francophone Africa. He has also contributed articles to Africa Quarterly and Journal of Peace Studies. Moosa did his Master’s in Political Science from the Centre for Political Studies, JNU. He was awarded M.Phil. degree for his dissertation tilted, ‘Ethnicity and Secessionist Struggle: A Comparative Study of Biafra and Eritrea’, from the Centre for West Asian and African Studies, School of International Studies, JNU. Subsequently, he went on to do his Ph.D. on the theme, ‘Ethnic Conflict and the Problem of Refugees: A Comparative Study of Rwanda and Burundi’ from the same university. ■ RANJIT KUMAR is working as Special Correspondent for defence and diplomatic affairs with Navbharat Times, New Delhi. Invited as a visiting Press Fellow by the University of Cambridge, U.K., Kumar has written books on the Kargil conflict, India’s nuclear policy and on SAARC titled ‘South Asian Union’. The author has visited India’s peace-keeping missions in Sierra Leone and Lebanon. ■ KAMINI KRISHNA is Lecturer at the University of Zambia, School of Humanities and Social Sciences. She did her

Ph.D., Master’s and B.Ed. degrees from the University of Patna (India). Immediately after obtaining her doctorate degree in Indian History and Archaeology, she proceeded to England where she did research on bronze iconography. She authored a book entitled ‘Bronzes of Early Bihar’. Dr. Krishna has presented papers at international conferences. Dr. Krishna is currently researching Indo- African Relations. She has also been signed by the Indian High Commission, Lusaka (Zambia), to do research on Indians settled in Zambia. ■ MANISH CHAND is editor of Africa Quarterly. He writes on foreign policy, politics, culture and books for Indo-Asian News Service (IANS). He has also worked with The Times of India, The Asian Age and Tehelka. His articles have been published in leading national and international dailies.

78

February-April 2007


A F R I C A

Q U A R T E R L Y

Note to Contributors Africa Quarterly, published since 1961, is devoted to the study and objective analyses of African affairs and issues related to India-Africa relations. Contributions are invited from outstanding writers, experts and specialists in India, Africa and other countries on various political, economic, social-cultural, literary, philosophical and other themes pertaining to African affairs and India-Africa relations. Preference will be given to those articles which deal succinctly with issues that are both important and clearly defined. Articles which are purely narrative and descriptive and lacking in analytical content are not likely to be accepted. Contributions should be in a clear, concise, readable style and written in English. Articles submitted to Africa Quarterly should be original contributions and should not be under consideration by any other publication at the same time. The Editor is responsible for the selection and acceptance of articles, but responsibility for errors of facts and opinions expressed in them rests with authors. Manuscripts submitted should be accompanied with a statement that the same has not been submitted/accepted for publication elsewhere. Copyright of articles published in the Africa Quarterly will be retained by the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR). Manuscripts submitted to Africa Quarterly should be typed double space on one side of the paper and two copies should be sent. A diskette (3 ½” ) MS-Dos compatible, and e-mail as an attachment should be sent along with the two hard copies. Authors should clearly indicate their full name, address, e-mail, academic status and current institutional affiliation. A brief biographical note (one paragraph) about the writer may also be sent. The length of the article should not normally exceed 7,000 to 8,000 words, or 20 to 25 ( A-4 size) typed pages in manuscript. Titles should be kept as brief as possible. Footnote numbering should be clearly marked and consecutively numbered in the text and notes placed at the end of the article and not at the bottom of the relevant page. Tables (including graphs, maps, figures) must be submitted in a form suitable for reproduction on a separate sheet of paper and not within the text. Each table should have a clear descriptive title and mention where it is to be placed in the article. Place all footnotes in a table at the end of the article. Reference numbers within the text should be placed after the punctuation mark. Footnote style: In the case of books, the author, title of the book, place of publication, publisher, date of publication and page numbers should be given in that order, e.g. Basil Davidson, ‘The Blackman’s Burden: Africa and the Curse of the Nation State’, London, James Curry, 1992, pp. 15-22. In the case of articles, the author, title of article, name of the journal, volume and issue number in brackets, the year and the page numbers should be given in that order. In addition to major articles and research papers, Africa Quarterly also publishes short articles in the section titled News & Events. They may not exceed 2,000 words in length. Contributions of short stories and poems are also welcome. Contributors to Africa Quarterly are entitled to two copies of the issue in which their article appears in addition to a modest honorarium. Contributors of major articles accepted for publication will receive up to a maximum of Rs. 4,000. Contributions may be sent by post to: The Editor Africa Quarterly Indian Council for Cultural Relations Azad Bhavan Indraprastha Estate New Delhi-110 002 Contributions may be e-mailed to: africa.quarterly@gmail.com

February-April 2007

79


africa Q

U

A

R

T

E

R

L

Volume 47, No. 1 February-April 2007

Y

A F R I C A Q U A R T E R L Y

Indian Council for Cultural Relations Azad Bhavan Indraprastha Estate New Delhi-110 002 E-mail: africa.quarterly@gmail.com Registered with the Registrar of Newspapers of India Regd No. 14380/61

!

India’s energy safari in Africa

!

India and its peace-keeping missions

!

Ethiopia-India ties: Upward spiral

!

Globalisation and democracy in Africa

!

In Conversation: Wangari Maathai

!

Trade ties: India and Zambia

!

U.N. reforms: An African perspective

I

N D I A N

C

O U N C I L

F O R

C

U LT U R A L

R

E L A T I O N S

AQ-Feb-2007-Apr-2007  

February 2007-April 2007

Advertisement