Diskussion über Themen der Entwicklungszusammenarbeit (EZ) in/mit Westafrika einschließlich (und vor allem) der politischen sowie sozio-ökonomischen Bedingungen in den Ländern und was EZ bewirken kann -- oder auch nicht -- oder ob sie aber nicht sogar schadet. ACHTUNG: In Ermangelung von Kommentaren lediglich Beiträge zu EZ-Themen. _________________________________________________________________

22. April 2008

Tödliche Umarmungen

Afrika muss viele Freunde haben, gemessen an den vielen Umarmungen, die der Kontinent erfährt. Leider sind es tödliche Umarmungen. Die Frage ist: Merkt es der so Umgarnte? (oder besser: Wollen es die politischen und wirtschaftlichen Eliten, denen es in erster Linie um die eigenen Vorteile geht, überhaupt sehen ...?)

Da sind die Chinesen, die sich als wahrer South-South Freund gerieren. Natürlich nur in Ländern, wo sie langfristige wirtschaftliche Interessen haben, an Rohstoffen wie Öl zum Beispiel (siehe Video >> Was will China in Afrika?). Billiges Geld (ohne Conditionalities), als Zugabe Infrastrukturgeschenke (z.B. die Fußballstadien in Ghana), die teilweise mit eigenen (chinesischen) Arbeitern gebaut werden, von denen dann nach Beendigung der Bauarbeiten gleich Hunderte im Land bleiben -- als dreiste Zugabe! Letztes Jahr sind die Staatschefs Afrikas nach Peking gepilgert, um das Ganze noch feierlich vertraglich abzusegnen.

Die Amis umarmen sowieso mit ihrem Millenium Challenge Account (u.a. um ungehindert ihre Fortress-like Botschaften bauen zu können). (Zu MCA siehe zB >> hier.) Da ich kein einseitiges Amerika-Bashing liebe, gehen wir doch gleich zu uns, den Europäern, und den Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs). Dazu hatte ich mich schon kurz >> hier geäussert (siehe auch: >> Beware bilateral trade deals with the EU). Anlässlich der 12. UNCTAD-Konferenz in Accra (siehe >> UNCTAD Ghana Blog) hat OXFAM einen 42-seitigen Report Partnership or Power Play vorgelegt. Im Rahmen der Präsentation in Accra hatte die Verfasserin E. Jones unter anderem Folgendes zu sagen:
"Ms. Jones said the EPA would exacerbate the way in which ACP countries were being integrated into the global economy if not stopped and push the 300 million peoples of the ACP countries into worse economic conditions that they faced now.

She argued that through the EPA, the EU sought to open up the economies of ACP countries up for heavily subsidized products from the EU, with very little commitments from the EU itself on how to assist the ACP countries to compete fairly.

She noted that whereas the ACP countries faced serious productions constraints in the products covered under the EPA, the EU on the other hand provided heavy subsidies to its local producers of goods covered under EPA, thereby giving EU producers unfair advantage over their ACP counterparts.

Ms Jones also noted that strict intellectual property rules proposed by the EU in the EPA would deepen the digital divide and challenge traditional farming methods, including seed saving, which was largely practised in the ACP countries." (Quelle: >> EPA will cost poor countries nine billion dollars annually.)
Beispiel zum Thema "Freihandel auf Augenhöhe" mit Europas subventionierten Agrarprodukten >> hier.

Nun kommen auch noch die Inder mit einer weiteren Umarmung, dem chinesischen Beispiel folgend, als Ausgangspunkt eine riesige Konferenz für afrikanische Staatsoberhäupter organisierend. Aber es ist nicht so, als wüssten die Afrikaner nicht, was da auf sie zukommt, also dass die Umarmungen mittel- bis langfristig tödlicher Natur sind:

CPP Warns Against New Scramble for Africa

www.ghanaweb.com: General News of Thursday, 17 April 2008

The Convention People’s Party (CPP) has followed with absorbing interest the India-Africa Summit of 8-9th April 2008 in the Indian capital of New Delhi, which followed one held by China in Beijing in 2006 and a number of others between Africa and the European Union. At the end of the Indian Summit, a “Delhi Declaration” and “Africa-India Framework for Cooperation” were issued ostensibly to the satisfaction of both parties.

While the CPP fully supports cooperation between peoples and nations of good-will from all over the world, we are also worried that unless these “declarations” and frameworks” are jointly developed to take proper account of the varied and sometimes even conflicting interests of the parties involved, African leaders may end up being unwitting participants in a new “Scramble for Africa” to the detriment of our people. In the original Scramble for Africa, the continent was carved up into competing spheres of foreign economic influences and its natural resources used to fuel Europe’s industrial revolution at the expense of Africa’s own development. We don’t want history to repeat itself.

In the case of the India Summit, the Delhi Declaration appears designed primarily to facilitate India’s quest for rapid industrialisation and development while implicitly seeking to cement Africa’s position in the global economy as the provider of raw materials for the industrialisation of other economies. Under the Delhi Declaration, India promises a US$5.4bn credit facility for African countries to import a range of industrial products from India, including tractors, water pumps, transportation equipment, and communication gear.

In return, India offers Africa “duty free” access to its market for the following: “cocoa, cotton, cashew nuts, sugarcane, ready-made garments, fish-fillets, copper and aluminium ore, as well as non-industrial diamonds.” With the exception of “ready-made garments”, which in any case may face resistance from India’s apparel industry, all the products for which Africa is seemingly being granted preferential access are the kinds of primary commodities whose concentration in Africa’s exports has contributed immensely to the continent’s economic and social stagnation.

Indeed, India already has negligible tariffs on most primary commodities from Africa, but maintains high tariffs on processed exports from the continent. This has the effect of promoting India’s industrial development through the conversion of raw materials into finished goods while retarding that of Africa because raw materials are exported unprocessed. For example, in order to promote its leather goods industry, India imposes only 0.1% tariff on raw hides from Africa but charges 14.7% and 15.0%, respectively, on leather and leather products from Africa. Indeed, an Indian-owned cashew company in Tanzania cannot export processed cashew to India due to high tariffs because India wants to protect the cashew processing industry in India. Numerous examples abound.

By proposing “duty free” access for African raw materials, whose tariffs are already very low, India is effectively offering nothing to Africa, while it uses low-interest government-subsidised loans to lure Indian finished products into Africa without offering reciprocal access for Africa’s finished products. We deem this unfair. It will lead to the collapse of African industry, create high unemployment, and worsen poverty on the continent.

We, therefore, call upon the African Union to scrutinise the Delhi Declaration carefully before giving it its full blessing. Specifically, the AU must ensure that the industrial goods from India are of the highest quality and can complement Africa’s own efforts at industrialisation and development. The AU should also ensure that India make explicit pledges to reduce not only tariffs on raw materials but also finished products from Africa.

Lastly, parallel to these attempts at global cooperation, we urge the AU to accelerate efforts at expanding trade among African countries. We believe that the 8.4% of Africa’s GDP that is traded among Africans, compared to 50.6% with the rest of the world, is unacceptable and leaves Africa vulnerable to all sorts of global trading enticements that may not always be to our benefit.

Quelle: >> ghanaweb.com

Indien, Amerika, China: was geht's uns an? Bei den EPAs sieht es schon anders aus, da sind wir Mittäter. Im Internet gibt es viele Infoseiten, z.B. die Stop EPA Kampagne >> hier, um etwas zu unternehmen! Ich meine, wir können durch Aufklärung in Deutschland bzw. Europa mehr für Afrika tun als mit Projekten bzw. EZ in Afrika.

Der Ausgewogenheit halber hier ein Link zu der DFID-Seite >> Ten myths about Economic Partnership Agreements. Ob die Argumente dort, die sich zunächst plausibel anhören, allerdings ausgewogen sind, wage ich zu bezweifeln! Die ex-Kolonialmacht ist nicht gerade für Interessenlosigkeit bekannt.

Hinweis: Dieser Beitrag wurde seit dem 22. April mehrmals leicht geändert, insbesondere durch Hinzufügen weiterführender Links.

15. April 2008

Africa beyond aid

Proceedings of two international conferences held under the joint auspices of the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung, the Danish International Development Agency (DANIDA), and The Brenthurst Foundation. Published by the Brenthurst Foundation (www.thebrenthurstfoundation.org). Johannesburg, January 2008


Aid seeds to build internal capacity. However, it can produce a set of negative incentives, including rent-seeking, crowding out of private investments, and an unrealistic faith that international actors will always provide development aid.

Instead of focusing on increasing aid flows to developing countries, the donor community should consider strategies to reduce dependency on aid.

For some international donors, aid seems to be an excuse not to make tough domestic concessions on trade policy. Similarly, African leaders might not consider it necessary to put sufficient effort into promoting free trade, since they believe that their path to survival and development depends on aid.

Although aid may promote the concept of ownership in the countries receiving it, it can distort, and even undermine, the idea of shared accountability of the executive and legislative branches. For instance, parliaments are often excluded from decisions on the distribution and channelling of funds, and therefore lack the ability to hold governments accountable.
Furthermore, when establishing aid strategies, a distinction should be made between aid as a tool for development and governance, and aid as an instrument of foreign policy. Some countries, such as Russia and China, use aid mainly as a means of leverage in foreign policy, and challenge the Western approach of development aid. This gives rise to controversial questions about the relationship between democracy, development and stability.

A sustainable development partnership with Africa should be based on a shared or comparable value system based on joint interest. The rule of law, good governance, and a value-orientated pluralistic party system is basic to an enabling environment for development. Without these, economic growth and political stability will not be sustainable.
For many reasons, aid is not solving Africa’s development problems. Democratic transition should alleviate poverty, but it will not necessarily lead to sustained growth in the short-term. Sustainable growth can only occur with a massive increase in jobs.

beyond aid is a joint initiative of Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung, the Danish International Development Agency (DANIDA), and the Brenthurst Foundation. It is a forum for development experts from all over the world to share their views on a variety of subjects relating to the efficacy of aid in Africa. (...)

Gerhard Wahlers

Head International Cooperation and
Deputy Secretary General

Links to Documents

New Aid Thinking
The Brenthurst Foundation Disscussion Paper 2006/4

Africa Beyond Aid II
The Brenthurst Foundation Disscussion Paper 2007/5
(Proceedings of the Conference in Brussels, June 2007)

4. April 2008

China: Erfolgreichstes Armutsreduzierungs-Modell?

Des öfteren habe ich mich hier kritisch zu China geäußert. Das hält mich aber nicht davon ab, auch positive Aspekte zu präsentieren -- zumal auch Fragen wie Diktatur vs Demokratie im Kontext des entwicklungspolitischen Diskurs angesprochen werden. Das folgende Zitat stammt aus einem Interview in der Online-Ausgabe 14 vom 04.04.2008 von

Freitag: Die Ost-West-Wochenzeitung


Der Westen beeindruckt China längst nicht mehr

IM GESPRÄCH : Bestseller-Autor Frank Sieren über Tibet-Romantik und Selbstüberschätzung, schlecht funktionierende Demokratien und gut funktionierende Diktaturen

"Heißt das, autoritäre Regime wie das chinesische sind den heutigen Herausforderungen besser gewachsen?
Es bedeutet schlichtweg, dass es schlecht funktionierende Demokratien und gut funktionierende Diktaturen gibt. Auch wenn wir das nicht möchten - China ist das mit Abstand erfolgreichste Entwicklungsprojekt der jüngeren Weltgeschichte. Und es hat seinen Zenit noch lange nicht erreicht. Noch nie wurden so viele Menschen in so kurzer Zeit der Armut entrissen."

>> mehr