• Africa,  China

    Nigerian Saying: “The chicken that is searching for food in the rain must be very hungry”

    "The chicken that is searching for food in the rain must be very hungry" is a Nigerian proverb the Chinese hope won’t become their fortune. China is not yet hungry but it is looking to get in front of the rain that is sure to come in the form of a Western rush. The Chinese footprint in Nigeria is expanding quicker than most would think or admit. While oil and other natural resources are essential to Western economies, there is more to Nigeria and the region. There are other business opportunities the West in general, except for French Alcatel’s lucrative partnership with China, are missing out on.

  • Africa,  China,  Public Diplomacy

    Practicing Effective Public Diplomacy in Africa (or elsewhere)

    Let’s say you’re charged with finding the path to partnership with a few dozen African countries that have resources you want and need. How would you approach the them to establish a relationship to establish a partnership? This might be especially important if you are locking for priority treatment or even to lockout a competitor. A blocking strategy would really entail developing a deep partnership of trust, or coercion. If you want to go with the trust route, believing that it will cost less in the long run (i.e. soft power vs hard power) it would make sense to establish and build trust and understanding. Perhaps even a spirit of…

  • Africa,  China

    African oil is an American security challenge

    News brief from David Wood at Newhouse News Service. David writes about the Gulf of Guinea security problem, which is becoming appearing in the headlines more often these days. The United States is becoming increasingly dependent on oil from a region beset by official corruption, tottering governments, violent criminal syndicates and religious and ethnic strife: West Africa…. "We can’t afford to have a ship there 365 days a year," said Rear Adm. D.C. Curtis of the U.S. 6th Fleet, which oversees naval responsibilities in Europe and Africa from its headquarters in Naples, Italy. "The days of getting an aircraft carrier off the coast are gone." That leaves most security in…

  • Uncategorized

    CT in the Horn

    The American and British presence on the Horn is sneaking into the news more often. The secrecy over military operations in the region is slowly being lifted. From the rescue of cheetah cubs to this AP story, a new front is being readied in an area International Crisis Group lists as a "Conflict Risk Alert":

  • Africa,  China,  Public Diplomacy

    Chinese and the Horn of Africa

    News from the Horn of Africa is diverse and found along many paths. To start, US troops in the Ogaden area rescued two abused and endangered cheetah cubs late last month (Nov 2005) while the Taipei Times is reporting the Chinese navy is "flexing its soft power" as part of an "assertive foreign policy…connecting Chinese seaports with the Middle East and the Horn of Africa. Its strategy: to build up sea power, measured in ships, bases and alliances. Energizing a populace accustomed to thinking of China as a land power is one crucial element of Beijing’s new maritime diplomacy." The sea-based public diplomacy is integral to Chinese expansion in the…

  • Africa,  Private Military Companies

    Puzzle Pieces: HAFZA…Somalia…TopCat….intent? Goal?

    The HAFZA site, available on Google Docs in archive form, has extensive text on being legitimate and extolling the value of its purpose. As part of its financing, HAFZA authorized a "Mid Term Note" (MTN) of $50m, issued one year ago and due 2014. Websites and entities seeking to obfuscate the truth do not tend to go into as much detail as HAFZA has to explain its mission and provide supporting documentation, and above all, reiterate over and over a noble purpose.