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Stats: 2,159,280 members, 4,703,573 topics. Date: Friday, 18 January 2019 at 08:29 AM
|Politics / Re: Blame Northern Leaders Over Insecurity Not Jonathan-dino Melaye by Wallie(m): 8:26pm On Feb 04, 2013|
donchris33: Bro!you are very reasonable and cultured for not being biased and your well dissected analogies on the issue at hand. Now, Gej takes the blames and responsibilty For all that transpires in his tenure as president. Yes I 100 percent agree with you as posterity wiill judge him.
The way the issue of Boko Haram is being handled is like being told an aggressive tumor is growing inside one’s body but one should only take Panadol for the pain!
Guns and bullets do not solve every problem, at best, it only provides a short term solution but you have to show people that you’re not afraid to use whatever means you have at your disposal if necessary; however, after the guns then what? This is where our leaders fail woefully!
People might criticize OBJ for his military response in Odi but I don’t. I criticize him for the lack of political response. ANY government should never tolerate its citizens raising arms but should also listen to the yearnings of those people! Do they have a legitimate reason for their unhappiness or are they just being unreasonable?
You listen and act accordingly but whatever you do, make sure people understand that lawlessness won’t be tolerated!
I feel bad for GEJ because he’s the president at such a tumultuous time but what’s happening in Nigeria is a direct result of decades of corruption and mismanagement at all levels of government!
What do you tell a 30 year old college graduate that’s still a burden to his parents that funneled everything they had into his education with the hope that he’ll one day bail them out of their current misery? Growing up, we were told that all you had to do is go to school and get good grades, and the future will take care of itself. Where’s the future spoken of?
I seriously pray that the underlying issues fuelling extremism in the North do not spread because it will be uncontainable by any government! Day-by-day, there are more unemployed youths in the country with no future, how long do you think it will take before “they help themselves” to whatever they can?
GEJ should “speak softly, and carry a big stick!” He has to be decisive. The problem now is that people see him as weak no matter how strong he truly his.
Imagine two of your classmates in high school with the first one being a quiet-looking state boxing champion that avoids confrontation and the other being a big-mean looking bully with an attitude to match but really can’t fight. Which one of them do you think people will try to take advantage of? You don’t want people trying you to find out your actual strength; you want them to avoid fighting you based on your perceived strength!
When people see you as weak, regardless of your actual strength, they will try to take advantage or test you! Tunde Idiagbon, Buhari’s vice president, comes to mind as someone people feared. The same was true for Abacha and OBJ.
My advice for GEJ is to maintain his front on Boko Haram but also to tackle corruption decisively by grabbing the bull by the horn and let whoever gets gored gets gored! He can be rest assured that everyday Nigerians will have his back!
Look at Putin, the president of Russia, why do you think he’s running around like Rambo doing all sort of crazy stuff? Even GW Bush flew in a fighter jet that landed on an aircraft carrier just to show toughness! Contrast that with a president that got on his knees before a man (pastor), in front of the whole nation, when the nation is on fire?
I’m sure GEJ is kneeling before God but that’s beside the point because the truth does not matter; only what people think! The pastor in question should have gone to Aso Rock to pray for the President in his quarters or is the pastor now more powerful or important than the president, as far as Nigeria is concerned? I partially blame the pastor also because he should have insisted that he’ll go to Aso Rock! I see the situation as akin to an old man trying to prostrate before his young boss; at least in my culture, you have to tell him not to bother. Not because you think you don’t deserve his “thanks” but because it is an embarrassment to him.
Anyway, what do I know! Let me get off my soap box…
|Nairaland / General / Re: Nigerian Student Verbally Abused In A UK Hospital by Wallie(m): 6:36pm On Feb 04, 2013|
British people are so polite o! How can someone just walk up to you aggressively demanding where you're from? I don't really see that happening in the US because it's most certainly going to lead to a fight! The response should have been "bi*ch you better get the fo*k out of my face!"
|Politics / Re: Blame Northern Leaders Over Insecurity Not Jonathan-dino Melaye by Wallie(m): 5:38pm On Feb 04, 2013|
donchris33: So that he deployed jtf to the affected areas which is now containing the which is now containing the insecurity in the north and has reduced boko haram's insurgency is not enough? Bro please you can still proffers your owm suggestions on how to tackle the insecurity your opinions are highly needed, that's why we are all nigerians and practising democracy than always accusing Gej of every singlle thing.
Chris, this is not about playing the blame game but GEJ owns whatever ever happens during his tenure be it success or failure. It’s just the way it is. The captain of a ship remains the captain when the sea is calm or during a thunderstorm. You can only pray that during your tenure as a captain, you do not encounter thunderstorm.
To specifically address your question, GEJ deployed JTF but he’s responsible for their success or failure because he literally controls them. By virtue of his office, he’s the commander-in-chief of the Nigerian Armed Forces. He appoints people he trusts to sensitive positions to advice him and to act on his orders, including the armed forces.
When Nigeria loses a football game against an opponent that should have beaten with their eyes closed, who do you blame? The coach.
Why is that? Because he’s responsible for choosing the players on the field and strategizing how to deal with an opponent. You do not lay blame at the opponent’s coach because he had advised his team to play rough. It is the coach’s job to make sure his team wins and to equip them with whatever they need to do so.
The other question you asked is what he can do differently.
1. Address the core issues why someone would rather choose death over life.
2. Stop negotiating with terrorist because they’ll only become bolder the next time
3. Give them a reason to choose life.
4. Be decisive
5. Form a terrorism task force because terrorism is now part of Nigerian life and will remain that way for the foreseeable future.
Ultimately, the long term solution is to stamp out corruption. If not for corruption, the billions of dollars made over the years should have developed the North and the Niger Delta region! If not for corruption and/or incompetence, Nigerians should not have to carry arms just to be heard!
Give people reasons to value their life and they’ll almost certainly ignore the government as a whole. It is only when they don’t know where the next meal is coming from or they do not see a future for them or their family that they risk it all for they have NOTHING to lose! How can you kill someone that’s already dead? By making him undead!
|Sports / Match-fixing Threatens 'integrity Of Football In Europe' by Wallie(m): 4:32pm On Feb 04, 2013|
(CNN) -- The beautiful game's ugly underside was exposed on Monday as one of Europe's senior crime fighters revealed hundreds of games are under investigation in what he described as "a sad day for European football."
|Politics / Re: Blame Northern Leaders Over Insecurity Not Jonathan-dino Melaye by Wallie(m): 4:18pm On Feb 04, 2013|
There are two separate issues to be addressed and I think people are trying to conflate them!
1. What is the root cause of the insecurity in the North? I think this is what Dino Melaye is correctly apportioning blame towards! There's nobody else to blame than the past leaders of those states because their primary function is to cater for their people. Period. The federal government is to blame for the failure of Nigeria as a whole and the state governments are to blame for the failure of their respective states.
2. The response of the authority to the insecurity - the supreme authority of the land is GEJ and there's no two ways about it. Period.
|Family / Re: Displaying Family Pictures In The Office: Is It Proper? by Wallie(m): 3:55pm On Feb 04, 2013|
Yes it is proper! Actually, it is almost customary in the US to do so if you have your own "space". I have pictures, certificates and African paintings on my walls and/or desk.
But it is inappropriate to display things that other people might find offensive like the poster of your half-Unclad model posing on your dream car.
|Politics / Re: Lagos To Introduce Cable Cars For Mass Transportation. by Wallie(m): 3:46pm On Feb 04, 2013|
phabulous88: For an overpopulated city like Lagos? this ain't gonna work! The idea in itself is ridiculous and the proponents are senseless. Where is the business case? How do you deal with congestion by introducing cable cars? Were there any pubic consultation? Was there any exhibition of the proposals? Its not even feasible and I'd rather the money be invested in other sustainable transport systems like trams, maglev trains, hybrid vehicle... Unbelievable!
I'm curious to know why you think such a project wouldn't work in a city like Lagos? I find following your reasoning difficult because the stated questions seemingly point to unrelated issues. For example,
(1) business case - I would think somebody funding a $500 million investment would have a solid business case
(2) congestion - wouldn't having a transport system above the ground alleviate congestion?
(3) public consultation - why is this needed if private properties are mostly not impacted and the investors are using private funds?
(4) exhibition of proposals - what bearing does this have on the project not working?
Mind you, I’m not saying your other transportation ideas wouldn’t work but I’m pretty certain that they would cost billions of dollars more in infrastructure and involve more headache because such systems would require acquiring a lot more private property on the proposed track.
|Politics / Re: Lagos To Introduce Cable Cars For Mass Transportation. by Wallie(m): 3:21pm On Feb 04, 2013|
Interesting! I’m curious to know the exact kind of system to be deployed. I see that the company in question will be using a system provided by Doppelmayr, a company that has been in the business of producing ski lifts since the 1930s.
I wonder the viability of using ski lifts as a means of public transportation because of the year round traffic on such a system. Ski lifts only see heavy traffic during the winter months. If indeed they’re trying to bring a ski lift type system, which at most has a capacity of 6000 people per hour, can such a system be used as a means of public transportation without negatively affecting the mean-time-between-failures (MTBF)?
However, I doubt it would be ski lifts as shown in OP’s pictures. I think it would be a Cable Car like the one in the picture below.
|Politics / Re: Fashola Chides Critics Over ‘borrowing For Development by Wallie(m): 6:47pm On Feb 01, 2013|
Borrowing money to build infrastructure is a good thing because of the multiplier effect it creates. More infrastructures = more money made by businesses and more people that will be employed = more money for government because of taxation.
Borrowing to pay for recurrent expenditure is bad. Period.
|Politics / Re: If You Are The President Of Nigeria, What Will You Do Differently? by Wallie(m): 8:00pm On Jan 31, 2013|
A couple of things you should do if you ever become the President:
1. fire all your teachers for allowing you to pass out of their class; and
2. ask for a refund from all the schools you went through, even if you did not pay, for your ignorant half-educated asss neither can string a coherent thought together nor read past Primary 3 level!
I have nothing else to say to you because my responses have been the pinnacle of your miserable life thus far and you don’t seem to appreciate it because you’re too dumb to comprehend what I wrote.
Now go play somewhere else, I’m busy!
|Sports / How World Champions Are Developed by Wallie(m): 1:32am On Jan 31, 2013|
Check out her hands and balance....crazy!
|Foreign Affairs / Re: Is China Good Or Bad For Africa? by Wallie(m): 11:02pm On Jan 30, 2013|
That's great! We've achieved Step 1 which is to have the goods in Nigeria; it is now time for Step 2.
Step 2: Our market potential should be well known to all the foreign companies playing in our country, it is time to get them to invest more into our people. An easy way to do that is to add more tariffs onto finished products and let the parts or first layer assembly come into the country for free. In other words, force them to assemble the products in Nigeria. Products include any electronics having a market larger than X.
After Step 2 is accomplished, then I'll move on to Step 3.
Step 3: Based on our strengths or capabilities, I’ll identify selected components or sub-assemblies that can be manufactured locally and impose tariff on the imported components. Or you could say X% of a product has to be locally sourced.
I'm surprised nobody raised issues I would run into with the WTO (World Trade Organization). Well, they can go suck a lemon for the time being.
My goal is to create a more skilled local workforce.
|Politics / Re: If You Are The President Of Nigeria, What Will You Do Differently? by Wallie(m): 10:46pm On Jan 30, 2013|
Homebaked: No Nigerian president can deliver dividends of democracy under the current dispensation. There are corrupt people everywhere who will readily sabotage government effort. If were president, I will use my commander in chief power to stage a coup backed by some very patroitic soldiers. Then dissolve the national assembly, suspend the constitution and rule by decree. I will dismantle all state government structure and revert to regions along the geopolitical zone lines.Regions will be autonomous, they shall have control of their resources and fund their police department. All persons who have ever been in a political office will be banned for life from politics. Having done these, I will ensure that teachers from primary to university level are among the highest paid while political office holders are the least. My government will embark on massive infrastructural development this will jump start the economy and get our teeming youths off the street, partner with oil companies that will build refineries here, we will export only petroleum products and not crude oil.Once all these are done, off I go into exile.
Ok but how will you or any democratically elected president get the power back? Also, what happens if they install their friends in office before leaving or have a change of mind on tasting power? There are so many leaders in the world that seized power with a noble intention of “helping the people” but became power drunk or a tyrant and started believing in their own immortality after attaining power.
But I do understand your point about the president being rendered impotent by the system.
|Politics / Re: If You Are The President Of Nigeria, What Will You Do Differently? by Wallie(m): 9:19pm On Jan 30, 2013|
The goal of my administration will be to enforce laws that work, strengthen those that need to be strengthened, and shelve those that need to be shelved. However, in addition, I will be creating an Office of Verification. Check my new post on how my cabinet members will be selected.
|Politics / Re: If You Are The President Of Nigeria, What Will You Do Differently? by Wallie(m): 9:07pm On Jan 30, 2013|
How will you select your cabinet
19. Qualified candidates will be encouraged to apply but each of the applicants will be tested and the position will go to the person with the highest score until he/she messes up and gets fired. I will then select the next person in line. Not a single cabinet member will be selected based on tribe or religion except those that represent their tribe.
20. People in my cabinet will need to take personal responsibility for their subordinate's actions. If someone under you messes up, I'll be firing the both of you and your supervisor will get a warning. 3 warnings and the supervisor is out.
21. Every last week of the month will be devoted to cabinet members. I will need DETAILED briefing of what they did the month prior and what they're going to do for the following month. This will be matched to the plan the submitted at the beginning of the year for their department. You have to meet 80% of your objectives otherwise you're out.
22. I will create an Office of Verification and their job will be to verify EVERY single project that involves federal money. This verification will be independent of what cabinet members tell me.
|Politics / Re: If You Are The President Of Nigeria, What Will You Do Differently? by Wallie(m): 8:48pm On Jan 30, 2013|
CROWÉ: I will invade Cameroon and take the Bakassi lands, I will turn Ghana, Benin etc into Nigerian satellites and I will slaughter and barbecue South Africans for district 9, finally I will pass a law and means any woman who rejects my sexual advances will hang and any child those who accept me have win not be my responsibility, she can't even tell me she is prego >.>
Have you ever heard of grassroots movement? You'll be surprised how things can take on a life of their own!
|Politics / Re: If You Are The President Of Nigeria, What Will You Do Differently? by Wallie(m): 8:45pm On Jan 30, 2013|
17. Corporate taxes will be zero for the first 5 years for any company not in the oil sector that hires at least 100 people. For every year after that, the tax will go up 20% until reaching the normal corporate tax rate.
18. Imports of non-essential goods will attract additional import duty of 50%. Non-essentials goods include anything that is not required to sustain a life.
The two policies above will force companies to create local subsidiaries that will hire the local population.
|Politics / Re: If You Are The President Of Nigeria, What Will You Do Differently? by Wallie(m): 8:21pm On Jan 30, 2013|
Did the guy plead "guilty"? If yes, then I'm essentially saying that even when plea bargaining, you will have to serve a minimum jail term or pay x10 the amount you pled guilty of looting.
|Foreign Affairs / Re: Is China Good Or Bad For Africa? by Wallie(m): 7:45pm On Jan 30, 2013|
I think you're focusing on a different aspect of China’s dominance that has nothing to do with Nigeria per se but the world in general.
No doubt that cheap products from China make things more affordable but bear in mind that there's always at cost associated with. If a country floods one's market with cheap imported goods, one will be literally killing local manufacturing companies that create local employment.
Let's take textiles for example. A Nigerian consumer might be able to now buy lace for cheaper with better quality but that means local companies will go out of business if they can't compete. Moreover, your importation is literally subsidizing the Chinese economy. They can now afford to hire more people because the dollars flow back to China, create better technologies, further decrease the price of goods, create more wealth over there and make their country richer.
They can now turn around and give you handouts!
This topic is focused on China’s investments in Africa. They go to African countries and invest mostly in energy – energy which they need to survive and is unavailable anywhere else.
|Politics / Re: If You Are The President Of Nigeria, What Will You Do Differently? by Wallie(m): 7:17pm On Jan 30, 2013|
Why you wan insult me? Be rest assured that I will respond in kind if you do. If you disagree just state your points!
You asked for what GDP per capita means sarcastically but I'll go ahead and tell you anyway.
It means all the value of final services and goods produced in a nation in a given year divided by the number of people in the nation. The calculation doesn't take corruption into account and neither does it include how much money Nigerians actually have.
For example, if Nigeria made $300,000,000 and we have a population of 150,000,000 then the GDP per capita is $2.
As you see, your definition is COMPLETELY wrong!
|Politics / Re: If You Are The President Of Nigeria, What Will You Do Differently? by Wallie(m): 6:34pm On Jan 30, 2013|
Thanks for the informative post but you didn't answer the question! What would you do differently and how will you do it?
I'm guessing you missed my point about using part of the taxes paid to fund a health insurance program? Also, who told you Nigeria is a rich country?
What is the per capita GDP of Nigeria? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_GDP_(PPP)_per_capita
|Politics / Re: If You Are The President Of Nigeria, What Will You Do Differently? by Wallie(m): 6:28pm On Jan 30, 2013|
duality: Theory is different from practicals. forget the frivolous criticism you see here everyday. If you are not on the field your imaginations of what you can do is simply a waste of time; b/cos, it is totally, a different ball game. Those who think they can do much have most times disappointed those who have faith in them.
There's no doubt that things are easier said than done but if you don't have a fully flushed out plan in place before assuming power, when do you want to have it? You want to start planning when problems are coming at you like water from a firehouse or do you want to have a well thought out plan in place so that you can just check off your listed policies?
I think the real answer is to have policies in place before assuming office but one should also be mindful that the policies are not set in stone and might need changing based on the current political climate.
|Politics / Re: If You Are The President Of Nigeria, What Will You Do Differently? by Wallie(m): 6:22pm On Jan 30, 2013|
That's why I was counting on "hope". The hope might not be that far fetched if Nigerians are truly tired.
|Politics / Re: If You Are The President Of Nigeria, What Will You Do Differently? by Wallie(m): 6:19pm On Jan 30, 2013|
Not exactly! It is true that we have some many good policies but some things need to change! For example, is it not within the boundaries of the criminal code that a convicted criminal guilty of stealing $12.6 million got a $1500 fine? If there are minimum mandatory sentencing guidelines in place then a judge cannot deviate from the guideline.
|Politics / Re: If You Are The President Of Nigeria, What Will You Do Differently? by Wallie(m): 5:33pm On Jan 30, 2013|
How are you going to fund your ideas? Keep in mind that every dollar made from crude oil is already budgeted for or has an "owner".
|Politics / Re: If You Are The President Of Nigeria, What Will You Do Differently? by Wallie(m): 5:30pm On Jan 30, 2013|
Very true but I'm counting on the hope that my party will control the House and Senate, and the politicians will be forced to follow my lead based on popular sentiments and a new breed of politicians being voted into office.
I'm pretty sure that there must have been a lot of resistance when the EFCC was created because the legislatures know that their day of reckoning could be just a day away out of power.
|Programming / Re: Your Future As A Software Developer by Wallie(m): 3:45pm On Jan 30, 2013|
In addition to OP’s comments, one has to be more than a "code monkey"! If all you know how to do is generate lines of code, you’re an endangered specie! Coding is getting to the point where it may be cheaper and expedient to generate automatically. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Automatic_programming
Try moving up the chain of software development because the people there are more immune to outsourcing. The people in India will not know the industry better than someone that lives and breathes the industry. They only do what you tell them to do. Try to be the person that tells them what to do.
|Foreign Affairs / Re: Is China Good Or Bad For Africa? by Wallie(m): 3:17pm On Jan 30, 2013|
AjanleKoko: Talking from personal experience, China is good for Africa. From the viewpoint of the common African on the street, that is the case overall.
But should we be seeking more out of the relationship especially in industries that can create more local employment? There's no doubt that their interests lie primarily in energy but mining will not create high employment like a manufacturing facility will. Can't we come up with a policy that says for every X tons mined or X dollars made, you have to employ Y number of Nigerians? In other words, we will give them what they yearn for but we will also get something more important to us - reducing youth unemployment.
|Politics / Re: If You Are The President Of Nigeria, What Will You Do Differently? by Wallie(m): 11:16pm On Jan 29, 2013|
1. Automatic 1 year jail term for every $1 million stolen. You can reduce your jail term by paying the jail term down. For example, if you return $1m you are guilty of looting, your sentence will be reduced 1/10th of 1 year. To avoid jail, you will need to pay back 10 times the stolen amount.
2. Breach of public duty not involving money will result in a punishment ranging from termination to a 3-month jail term. If it involves money, more time will be added to the 3-month. This is needed for public official that derelict their duty.
3. Former politicians will need to explain the source of their wealth otherwise they will forfeit what can’t be explained.
4. Everybody will be issued a unique National Identity number. The number will be needed to get any service regulated by the government e.g schools, hospitals, electricity, traveling outside the country, opening a bank account, etc
5. Everybody over the age of 21 will have to file a tax return at the end of the year even if unemployed.
6. The federal tax rate will be a flat rate of 20%.
7. Every house will pay property taxes based on the size of the house and land but I would exempt rental properties of 4 or more units.
8. Every vehicle except commercial vehicles will pay road usage tax based on the size and year of the vehicle. Vehicles over 20 years will pay no taxes. Basically, my tax policy will tax the rich more because of their consumption since they buy the newer cars and live in bigger houses.
9. Unemployed people can get up to NGN5000 for free after filing taxes.
10. The tax collecting agency will need more tax inspectors for tax auditing.
11. People will be audited randomly for paid taxes and if your lifestyle does not match your income declared on your tax return, na jail be that!
12. I will be building new prisons and they need to be staffed.
13. Mineral resources will belong to the owners of the land but will be taxed and controlled by the government.
Crude Oil Revenue
14. The current crude oil revenue sharing philosophy will be gradually phased out over 10 years and states will be encouraged to generate their own IGR. For each of the 10 years, the revenue to states will be reduced by 10% but the states can get it back by generating an equal amount of IGR.
15. Everybody will be encouraged to own basic healthcare insurance that will cover their basic health needs. This will be done by creating an insurance company that will insure people that filed taxes. An amount of the taxes paid will be paid into the insurance company to insure people.
16. Federally funded technology centers and incubation centers will be created and built in all universities. Their staff will be federal employees and they will be evaluated yearly based on how many successful companies students created.
I'll address the remaining points later…
|Foreign Affairs / Is China Good Or Bad For Africa? by Wallie(m): 7:41pm On Jan 29, 2013|
By Peter Eigen, Special to CNN
Editor’s note: Peter Eigen is a member of the Africa Progress Panel, chaired by Kofi Annan. He is the founder and chair of the Advisory Council, Transparency International, and chairman of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative. The views expressed are the author’s own.
China’s growing presence in Africa is one of the region’s biggest stories, but even seasoned analysts cannot decide whether this booming relationship is good or bad for Africa.
Critics say Chinese strategy is entirely self-promotional, aimed at maintaining access to Africa’s precious mineral resources even when that means propping up odious governments. China’s supporters say the Asian superpower is strictly neutral and business-oriented, preferring to generate economic growth not a dangerous dependency on aid.
China has certainly been contributing to Africa’s economic growth, both in terms of trade and with building infrastructure. All over the continent, it has built roads, railways, ports, airports, and more, filling a critical gap that western donors have been shy to provide and unblocking major bottlenecks to growth.
The rehabilitated 840-mile Benguela railway line, for example, now connects Angola’s Atlantic coast with the Democratic Republic of Congo and Zambia. And Chinese-financed roads have cut journey times from Ethiopia’s hinterland to the strategic port of Djibouti, facilitating livestock exports.
Meanwhile, bilateral trade between Africa and China continues to grow at an extraordinary pace, reaching $160 billion in 2011 from just $ 9 billion in 2000.
But some 90 percent of Sino-African trade is still based around natural resources – oil, ores, and minerals. And exports of natural resources by themselves do not help Africa to develop as we can see from the examples of Nigeria and Angola, Sub-Saharan Africa’s two largest oil exporters.
First, oil and mining are not labor intensive industries. So while natural resources may create impressive headline growth figures, they do not necessarily translate into widespread job creation.
Second, as we saw in the Netherlands in the 1960s and Norway today, large oil and mineral reserves can distort the local currency, pushing up prices of other exports, such as agricultural products, and making them much harder to sell overseas.
Third, without careful management, oil and mineral revenues have often fuelled corruption which has a severely negative impact on a country’s development. It’s notable, for example, that China is not yet one of the supporting countries for the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI), an initiative to promote transparency and accountability in the governance of natural resources.
Away from the oil and mining industries, critics of China say they don’t see much evidence of China advocating for Africa on global issues either.
Climate change and better access to overseas markets are two such issues. But at the Africa Progress Panel we see little evidence of China pushing hard for improved market access for African products in non-African markets. Indeed, South African and other manufacturers have frequently complained about the crushing competition from Chinese textiles. Nor do we see China pushing for any meaningful breakthroughs in climate negotiations that would favor African nations.
More heavily publicized, Chinese use of its veto in the U.N. Security Council to inhibit international action on Darfur has made a mockery of China’s supposedly “neutral” stance.
So what else could Africa and China do so that Africa benefits more from its growing relationship with China?
For a start, African countries could diversify their economies as much as possible away from supplying unprocessed natural resources to China. This will make them less dependent on the vagaries of both the Chinese economy and the ups and downs of global commodity prices. Trade with China may have helped insulate Africa from the full impact of the 2008 financial crisis, but Africa still looks vulnerable to China’s economic slowdown. Meanwhile, African nations should also prepare for the day when they no longer have natural resources to sell. At the Africa Progress Panel, we talk about transforming natural resource wealth into human capital, by investing revenues into health and education.
Second, African countries need to encourage Chinese investment into more labor intensive sectors. Africa’s population is growing faster than anywhere else in the world, and job creation is a top priority. If Africa cannot create jobs to keep up with the growth of its workforce, then we can expect to see a large and growing population of frustrated, jobless youth.
As China’s relationship with Africa shifts from being essentially government-to-government to business-to-business, some analysts see enormous potential in the manufacturing industry, especially for clothing and textiles. Rising Chinese wages in this sector may lead Chinese manufacturers to export jobs to African countries where labor prices are lower.
One example of how this might work is Zambia, where some 300 Chinese companies now employ around 25,000 people. Ethiopia’s shoemaking sector has also benefitted from Chinese investment that has created jobs and exports.
For the most part, however, and despite the scale of investment, linkages between Chinese investment and local economies remains weak.
Third, African countries could negotiate better terms with Chinese investors, including quality control and better linkages with local economies. African governments could urge China to improve market access for African goods overseas, for example in trade fora such as the World Trade Organization. The IMF estimates the average import tariff faced by low-income countries in Africa in the BRICS at 13 percent – around three times the level in the United States and the European Union (which also operate a range of non-tariff barriers).
On quality, observers describe shoddy workmanship in a range of Chinese investments from crumbling walls in a Chinese-built hospital in Angola, enormous potholes in Ghanaian and Zambian roads, and a leaking roof in the African Union’s new $ 200 million headquarters opened in January.
Fairly or unfairly, many in Africa complain that Chinese projects do not employ enough Africans or do enough to transfer skills and technology. The reality is that this will vary from project to project. When a country is emerging from a decade or two of civil war, its labor force may not have sufficient capacity to work on technical projects. But at the Africa Progress Panel we view job creation as a priority issue for Africa’s development. Skills development has a major role to play in this respect.
And when Africans are employed, working conditions are sometimes substandard. Human Rights Watch reports dangerous work conditions in Zambian mines. And pay disputes at a copper mine also in Zambia led to two Chinese managers shooting at miners in 2010, then the death of a Chinese manager this August.
Fifth, Africa could keep working to make itself as attractive a business environment as possible. At the Africa Progress Panel, we consider further regional economic integration to be a priority. Africa’s population will one day represent the world’s largest consumer market. If they can get increased market access by investing in a single country, Chinese businesses will want to invest much more.
Analysts see more Chinese businesses coming to Africa, meaning that the Africa-China relationship is diversifying away from simply government-to-government relationships. This makes it harder to characterize the relationship as either good or bad. However we view it, China’s growing presence in Africa is part of a rapidly changing reality that presents enormous opportunity.
|Foreign Affairs / Re: Car, Airplane Coffins Built In Ghana by Wallie(m): 6:22pm On Jan 29, 2013|
They can also choose to prop the dead body up...
|Foreign Affairs / Re: Car, Airplane Coffins Built In Ghana by Wallie(m): 6:14pm On Jan 29, 2013|
At least they're not posing dead bodies on a bike!
David Morales Colon, 22, was shot to death April 22 in Puerto Rico. For his wake, Colon was embalmed and mounted on his Honda CBR600F4i with full Repsol colors.
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