"Asia and Africa today"
- is a scientificl monthly journal (in Russian)
of the Russian Academy of Sciences
Included in Russian Science Citation Index on
WoS platform, and EBSCO Publishing.
ISSN 0321-5075
Published since July 1957.

 

 "Asia and Africa today" № 5 2018

 

 

Aziaafrika 05 2018

 

 TOP PROBLEM

DOI: 10.7868/S032150751805001X

LAVROV’S AFRICAN TOUR: NEW CHALLENGES AND PERSPECTIVES FOR RUSSIAN COOPERATION WITH AFRICA

Irina O. ABRAMOVA, member, Presidium of Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS); Corresponding Member, RAS; Dr.Sc. (Economics), Professor; Director, Institute for African Studies, RAS;, Professor, Chair for African and Arab Studies, RUDN University; member, Editorial Board, “Aziya i Afrika segodnya” journal ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. )

The article provides a background analysis in connection with the visit of the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Russia S.V.Lavrov to Angola, Namibia, Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Ethiopia in March 2018. The author comes to the conclusion that one of the vectors of the Russian foreign policy is slowly shifting towards the «Black continent». Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) has become a zone approaching the status of emerging market economies, in particular the BRICS, in what refers to the pace of their development, the increase of their role and influence in the world economy and politics. The old-time views about Africa being a continent of total backwardness and extreme poverty no longer correspond to reality. Today the global centers of power recognize the exclusive economic importance of the Africa. In the present century the continent will be the most dynamically developing region of the world.

The character and the economic growth in the developed states, as well as the procurement of raw materials, energy resources and human capital will largely depend on the African sources. Mr. S.V.Lavrov’s visit reconfirmed Russia’s growing interest in Africa. It will undoubtedly give a powerful impetus to the development of Russian-African relations. Almost all African officials showed friendly attitude towards our country, many of them condemned the US hegemonistic policy in the world and in the region. At the same time, Africans still perceive Russia as a positive alternative to the West, and now also to China. Voices are heard that it is a good time for Moscow to capitalize on the paramount respect and authority that Russia acquired through its actions in the Middle East. Africans hope that Russia is ready to provide financial and military assistance on the same preferential terms, as the Soviet Union did in its time. It is necessary to clearly define short and long term priorities in Africa, to seek new forms and mechanisms for interaction, and, most importantly, to develop a new state strategy on the African direction.

Keywords: Africa, S.V.Lavrov, the African Union, challenges, Russian-African relations

 

DOI: 10.7868/S0321507518050021

CHINA COMMUNIST PARTY CONGRESS: SIGNIFICANCE FOR CHINA AND ITS FOREIGN POLICY

Tatyana L. DEYCH, Dr.Sc. (History), Leading Research Fellow, Institute for African Studies Russian Academy of Sciences ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. )

This article devoted to such important international event as XIX Chinese Communist Party Congress and to the effects of this event for China economic and political development and its home and foreign policy. As the article shows, the Chinese leaders headed by Xi Jinping were able to solve the problems of power consolidation, overcoming internal struggle and strengthening the authority of the Communist party within the country, as well as to increase China’s influence in the world arena. Among the achievements of the Congress is the promotion of new conceptual guidelines, in particular, the idea of socialism with Chinese characteristics «in new era”.

The concept of “common heritage of mankind» has been put forward as an ideological basis of Chinese foreign policy. China not only declares a course for the creation of a great power, but also is ready to try a role of global leader. Author makes the conclusion that the substantial changes in China’s foreign policy are improbable. Beijing will continue to be guided by the principle of non-interference in international affairs and peaceful resolution of conflicts by negotiations. This confirmed by its position in Syria crisis.

At the same time, China intends to strengthen its military power, international positions and defend its interests where they are threatened. There are also reasons to suppose that after the congress China will keep and probably intensify attention to Africa.

Keywords: China, Chinese Communist Party, XIX Congress, Xi Jinping, concepts, development, foreign policy

 

 POLICY, ECONOMY

 AFRICA DAY – MAY 25

DOI: 10.7868/S0321507518050033

RUSSIA AND ETHIOPIA: 120 YEARS OF DIPLOMATIC RELATIONS

Vladimir P. NEMCHENKO, our Staff correspondent in Ethiopia ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. )

This year Russia and Ethiopia celebrate 120th anniversary of diplomatic relations. Two countries are far from each other, but there are many common moments in their history.

In XVII-XIX centuries Russian people interested in Christian Abyssinia - the name of Ethiopia in those epoch. In that period in Russia appeared Hannibal, an ancestor of Aleksandr Pushkin, a great Russian poet. In the second half of XIX century the Russian Empire started to find new allies including on the African continent.

It wasn’t surprising that Russian diplomacy selected Ethiopia. Russian support to this African country in 1895-1896 war against Italian colonization played an important role and led to the opening of the Russian Embassy in 1898. That event became a significant factor in defending and strengthening the Ethiopian state system and sovereignty.

In the Soviet period there were different relations between Moscow and Ethiopian regimes, but concurrence of interests and mutual sympathies helped in preservation of multilateral cooperation. Valuable contribution to the national economy made the construction by the USSR of the «Melca Wacana» hydro-electric power station, more than 60 industrial and industrial installations and large scale geological explorations. About 10 thousand Ethiopians were educated in universities and colleges in the Soviet Union.

In the last years both countries actively develop political contacts. Meetings of the ministers of foreign affairs became an annual event. Economic and trade connections strengthen with priority on energy, power grids, nuclear research, mining, transport, agriculture, education and science, health and tourism.

Keywords: Russia, Ethiopia, diplomatic relations

 

DOI: 10.7868/S0321507518050045

AFRICA AND INTERNATIONAL CRIMINAL COURT: STRATEGIES OF WITHDRAWAL

Alexander B. MEZYAEV, Dr.Sc. (Law), Professor, Head, Department of International Law, University of Management TISBI; Editor-in-Chief, Kazan Journal of International Law and International Relations
( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. )

The article examines the theoretical contradictions between the model of justice presented in the International Criminal Court in its current form and the models of justice of the countries of the East, including the countries of Africa.
The evolution of relations between African countries and the African Union on the one hand, and the International Criminal Court (ICC), on the other, is traced. An overall assessment of the investigations conducted by the ICC Prosecutor’s Office on a number of situations in the countries of the African continent and the reaction of both individual countries and the African Union is given.

The author analyses the decision on the collective withdrawal of African countries from among the participants in the ICC Statute and the reasons for the failure of its implementation in October 2016. Author suggests the political and legal reasons that have compelled the Governments of South Africa and Gambia to withdraw their statements of withdrawal from the International Criminal Court. The decision of the ICC on the opening of the investigation of the situation in Burundi is analysed.

Author concludes that this decision is not binding Burundi in its cooperation with ICC, because the official announcement of the above mentioned decision was announced after the withdrawal took a legal effect.

Keywords: International Criminal Court, African Union, Republic of South Africa, Gambia, Burundi, international law, international relations, UN Security Council, Rome Statute of ICC, withdrawal from the International Treaty

 

DOI: 10.7868/S0321507518050057

«THE NILE QUESTION» YESTERDAY AND TODAY

Vatanyar S. YAGYA, Dr.Sc. (History), Professor, Head, Department of World Politics, Faculty of International Relations, St. Petersburg State University ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. )

Irina E. NESTEROVA, PhD (Political Science), Senior Lecturer, Department of World Politics, Faculty of International Relations, St. Petersburg State University ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. )

The article analyses the urgency of the problem of water resources and the reasons for the shortage of fresh water in the world. One of the most acute issues is the problem of regulating the use of water in transboundary rivers, especially considering the conflict potential between the states on whose territory they flow. The probability of conflicts arising from water is estimated. Historical examples of disputes are given because of the delimitation of rivers and lakes between neighboring countries. The authors pay special attention to the Nile River and underscore the importance of the problem of the equitable distribution of the Nile waters.

The authors considered the historical agreement of 1959 between Sudan and Egypt which in many ways laid the foundation for understanding the problem of the Nile basin. In this regard, the authors attach particular importance to the construction of the «Great Renaissance Dam» by Ethiopia, which can make Ethiopia the largest exporter of electricity in the region after South Africa. Thus, Ethiopia also creates the conditions for reconfiguring a new geopolitical «balance of power» on the African continent.

According to the authors, the dam is a direct challenge to Egypt. Modern agreements and documents on the Nile between Ethiopia, Egypt and Sudan are of a framework nature, and this increases the likelihood that the dispute between Ethiopia and Egypt threatens with new conflicts in the region. Separately, the authors noted the role of Sudan, which has good reasons to support the erection of Ethiopia’s «Dam of the Great Renaissance». Finally the authors come to the conclusion that the geopolitical alignment of forces among the key coastal Nile states is still ambiguous.

Keywords: shortage of water, Africa, Ethiopia, the Nile, waterworks

 

DOI: 10.7868/S0321507518050069

PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS IN LIBERIA: REASSESSMENT OF 1989-2003 CIVIL WAR OUTCOMES?

Alexander Yu. SHIPILOV, Junior Research Fellow, Russian Institute for Strategic Studies; Post-graduate student, Institute of World History, Russian Academy of Sciences ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. )

The article examines the Presidential elections in Liberia on the eve of 2018 in the broad context of general political processes in Africa and a common trend of strengthening authoritarianism.

An analysis is conducted of the ethnic, economic and social political causes of the electoral outcome as well as general tracks of political development in Liberia and West Africa during the decade of so-called “emerging democracy”. Crucial fractions and driving forces inside the Liberian political acumen are outlined along with their respective key problems and traits.

An assessment is made of successes and failures in democratic state building in the past decade as well as future prospects for such policies. Special attention is drawn to the political return of forces that have lost the civil war of 1989-2003 as well as current shifts in the Liberian ruling elite. A comparison is made of the outgoing regime policies marked by clanship and close ties to the global financial institutions and the victorious opposition unified by social agenda and not limited by rigid ethnic allegiances with regards to the third political parties, tribal, religious, social and economic problems.

A specific question is addressed regarding why the former ruling Unity Party was unable to work out succession mechanisms for the outgoing President Sirleaf in the wake of her two terms in office in spite of the backing received from the West, when forces will become the support base for the new president and what is Liberian future in the broad African framework.

Keywords: Liberia, George Weah, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Charles Taylor, civil war

 

DOI: 10.7868/S0321507518050070

NIGERIA: ECONOMIC POLICY OF THE GOVERNMENT OF MUHAMMADU BUHARI (2015 - present)

Nina G. GAVRILOVA, Senior lecturer, Department of Finance, Russian Timiryazev State Agrarian University ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. )

In 2000s-2010s, several plans and programs aimed at developing and reforming the economy were adopted in one of Africa’s largest countries - Nigeria. The author focuses on the new program of economic development of Nigeria, which was introduced in 2016 by the government of Muhammadu Buhari, who had come to power in 2015.

The article examines the main goals of the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) and the opportunities for reaching them; an attempt is made to identify the positive and negative aspects of Nigeria’s new economic evelopment program and assess the prospects for implementing the ERGP on time.

ERGP is aimed at accelerating economic diversification and priority development of such industries as agriculture, infrastructure, mining and energy sector. The ERGP proposes to create about 1.5 million new jobs by 2020, facilitate export growth, stimulate the growth and modernization of micro, small and medium enterprises through the introduction of technological innovations and the use of information and communication technologies.

However, the country lacks employment expansion programs and plans to implement and monitor the implementation of this part of the ERGP. Apparently, it is assumed that economic development supported by other initiatives will naturally lead to an increase in the number of jobs, but this assumption is not based on any calculations, and therefore this item of the ERGP cannot be considered as feasible. Nonetheless, the ERGP provides significant investment opportunities for local and foreign investors, which is extremely important for the recovery of the Nigerian economy, which is currently undergoing a recession.

The author concludes that it is impossible to implement all items of the plan within the specified time. It is pointed out, however, that if the plan is implemented at least partially, it will have a huge positive impact on almost all sectors of the Nigerian economy.

Keywords: Nigeria, economic plans and programs, Economic Recovery and Growth Plan, economic policy, agriculture, industry

 

DOI: 10.7868/S0321507518050082

RUSSIAN SCIENTIST AWARDED MADAGASCAR’S HIGHEST ORDER

Artem V. KOZVONIN, applicant, Institute of General History, Russian Academy of Sciences; Counsellor, Permanent Delegation of the Russian Federation to UNESCO in Paris, France ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. )

The article is dedicated to the awarding the Malagasy National Order of the degree of «Great Cross of the 2nd class» to Ludmila Kartashova, famous Russian specialist in African studies, leading researcher in the literature, language and history of Madagascar.

Ludmila Kartashova, Russia’s first complete cavalier of this award and a full member of the Malagasy Academy of Sciences, devoted more than half a century to the study of Madagascar. She taught Malagasy language in Moscow Lomonosov University, and translatеd Malagasy prose and poetry into Russian.

She is also the author of Malagasy textbooks, dictionary, phrase book, Russian language bibliography of Madagascar, a book of memories, various scientific articles. Mrs Kartashova is the founder of the Club of Friends of Madagascar and the almanac «In the mysterious country of Madagascar».

 Keywords: Madagascar, Kartashova, order, Malagas

 

DOI: 10.7868/S0321507518050094

IS THE PALESTINIAN NATIONAL RESISTANCE MOVEMENT STILL ALIVE?

Victoria A. KOROCHKINA, PhD (Political Science), St. Petersburg University ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. )

The article deals with insights into the present Palestinian political landscape which is going to be changed - if not these days then tomorrow.

Leader of the Palestinian National Authority (PNA) or simply Palestinian Authority/Autonomy (PA) or according to the Israeli version “the Former Autonomy” for the last 13 years the 82-years old Mahmoud Abbas together with his FATAH team is in the thick of behind-the-scenes struggle for power.

This political activity hardly bears any relation to the people’s aspiration of “Palestine’s liberation from Zionist occupants”. To the contrary this ritual agenda is being explored by ruling Palestinian clans in purpose of keeping or getting the power.

Palestinian resistance movement since 2007 is divided between FATAH, which governs in the West Bank Ramallah, and HAMAS in the Gaza Strip. Palestinian political institutions go on withering, never getting a chance to be properly formed since Oslo agreements [1993-1995]. Palestinian leaders are fading away day by day losing credibility among Palestinians because of their inability to deal with socio-economic challenges and political aspirations.

Inner Palestinian disagreements and related to them external pressure is the largest block on the road to a Palestinian state. One might jump to the conclusion that there could be the break through the impasse only when the new Palestinian generation reconsidered previous generations’ agenda and aspirations. Unfortunately even in this case there would be hardly any peaceful solution because from all appearances with the situation going on like this the Israeli society will be radicalizing more and more.

Until then the profound crisis of political perspectives in the Palestinian arena and rapidly changing political environment in the Middle East region as a whole are blackballing Palestinian national resistance movement.

Keywords: Palestinian resistance movement, Mahmud Abbas, Palestine Liberation Organization, FATAH, HAMAS, Dahlan, Rajoub, Israel, Middle East

 

DOI: 10.7868/S0321507518050100

INTER-AFGHAN SETTLEMENT: MEETING IN KABUL

Kseniia R. ISHBULDINA, Post-graduate student, MGIMO University ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. )

The article analyses the results of the second meeting within the framework of the Kabul Process that was held on 28 February, 2018 in Kabul with the participation of the representatives of 25 countries and three international organizations.
This format was founded in 2017 as a peacekeeping mechanism under the leadership of the Afghan Government to lead peace efforts to end violence in Afghanistan. Unlike the first meeting, which have not led to meaningful results, the second conference finished with signing of the final Declaration. In addition, two documents prepared by the Government of Afghanistan aimed at achieving peace with the Taliban and strengthening regional cooperation to counter terrorism and drug threat were distributed during the event.

The meeting was focused on two main topics: modality of the peace process and fight against terrorism. The President of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan insisted that terrorism is not only an issue for Afghanistan, but it also imposes threats to the countries of the region and the whole world. The Afghan Government put forward an important offer for peace to the Taliban to engage in direct peace talks.

According to the Plan «Offering Peace» presented at the conference, the National Unity Government would agree to the opening of a Taliban office, issuance of passports to its members, recognition of the Taliban as a political party, helping to remove sanctions and release prisoners. Participants of the Kabul Process called upon the Taliban to accept this Peace Offer without any preconditions and without the threat of violence. And now international community expects that this offer will lead towards the establishment of a genuine peace process.

Keywords: Kabul Process, Afghanistan, national reconciliation process, Taliban movement

 

DOI: 10.7868/S0321507518050112

JAPANESE WOMEN: CAREER PATH

Larisa V. ZHILINA, PhD (History), Associate Professor, F.M.Dostoevsky Omsk State University This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. )

In Japan female labor participation are steadily increasing over the past years, and number of the obsolete stereotypes about outright gender discrimination against women in the workplace have been gradually reducing.

However, in Japanese society it is still rather difficult to combine a career with children and family, and employers often prefer men because they stay with companies longer and don’t require maternity. Also there are a variety of reasons why Japanese women quit their jobs in mid-career. But the departure of married women from work is often attributed to the difficulties they face in balancing their jobs and family needs and they often have to choose between raising children and holding on to a job.

This article analyses problems which Japanese women are faced, if they decide to combine their career and family. How this decision may influence on women’s lifelong careers when career interruption occurs in the childrearing phase. Since male-centered Japanese-style employment practices depend on women assuming all housework and childcare, this prerequisite is in the process of collapsing as women in the childrearing phase continue to work.

Keywords: Japanese women, career, family, society

 

 EVENTS, FACTS, COMMENTS

DOI: 10.7868/S0321507518050124

WFSW 22nd GENERAL ASSEMBLY IN SENEGAL

Vyacheslav F. VDOVIN, Dr.Sc. (Radio Physics), Chief Research Fellow, Institute of Applied Physics, Astrospace Centre, FIAN, Russian Academy of Sciences ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. )

Elena V. KHARITONOVA, PhD (Psychology), Senior Research Fellow, Institute for African Studies, Russian Academy of Sciences ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. )

The article examines the work of the 22nd General Assembly of the World Federation of Scientific Workers (WFSW), which was held in Dakar in December 2017. After the bombardment of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, scientists felt their guilt and responsibility.

In 1946, on the initiative of a group of British, French and Soviet scientists, an international non-governmental organization, the World Federation of Scientific Workers, was established. The organization united scientists, teachers and engineers from 59 countries, as well as 45 national organizations from 31 countries. The role of scientists in solving global problems of defending peace and preventing nuclear war, energy problems and the issue of the consequences of climate change are considered.

The 22nd Assembly worked in Africa. That is why the article deals with the with conditions of the sustainable development of the countries of the African continent, African science and education, in particular, the virtual university project. One of the tasks of the Scientific Symposium was to determine what contribution science can make to the development of Africa? How to navigate the African realities? What scientific achievements and practices can be applied to the development of the African countries?

The specifics of the African business culture and algorithms for building effective business communications are considered. Summary decisions of the Assembly are given. The main result of the work of the General Assembly was the Dakar appeal, which states that the main danger to the world today is the new Korean crisis, the violation of the current regime of non-proliferation of nuclear technologies and the development of new non-nuclear weapon systems.
The need to consolidate the efforts of scientists and their influence on the governments of states on which the issues of global security, climate and ecology depend are underscored.

Keywords: World Federation of Scientific Workers, Africa, science, education, climate, global security

 

 POST-GRADUATE COLUMN

 DOI: 10.7868/S0321507518050136

STUDENT MOVEMENTS IN INDIA: THE POLITICAL STRUGGLE IN JAWAHARLAL NEHRU UNIVERSITY

Ilya B. SPEKTOR, Post-graduate student, Department of South Asian History, Institute of Asian and African Studies ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. )

The article analyses the development of student political movements and the current situation in higher educational institutions in India. The Asian student communities have a long tradition in participating in political life during the colonial and post-colonial periods. India is not an exception; the first political groups in Calcutta and Bombay were formed at the beginning of the XIX century.

The student political groups were an integral part of the anticolonial movement, but from the 1930s, their political views started to radicalize. After the independence of India, the national organization came under control of the Communist party.

From this time, the majority of political student movements of India were linked with various left-wing groups, including radical Naxalite movements. In this article the special attention is being paid to the processes, which take place in the Jawaharlal Nehru University in Delhi.

This university was established in 1969 as a center of humanitarian education and became the place of the highest political activities of the student communities. Although the university is situated in Delhi, there are significant groups of students from non-Hindi speaking areas - Jawaharlal Nehru University is often called “India in miniature”.
All the problems, which become topical in the university, are connected with the problems, which are important at the national level. The importance of the radical student movements became obvious after the protests, which took place in JNU at the beginning of 2016. The students were supported by many political parties who opposed the current government of Bharatiya Janata Party.

Keywords: Jawaharlal Nehru University, radicalism, Delhi, India

 

 CULTURE, LITERATURE, ART

DOI: 10.7868/S0321507518050148

TAHAR BEN JELLOUN TEMOIGNE

Svetlana V. PROZHOGINA, Dr.Sc. (Philology), Chief Research Fellow, Department of Comparative Culturology, Institute of Oriental Studies, Russian Academy of Sciences ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. )

Publies plus bas les traductions des fragments du nouveau livre d’un eminents ecrivain maroccain Tahar Ben Jelloun (ne en 1947) «Le pays sur les nerfs» (2017) - temoignages marcants des evenements, qui ebranlent aujourd’ hui l’Europe et la France partuculierement, ou l’auiteur travaille depuis longtemps non rompant les liaisons avec son pays natal.

L’ecrivain est inquiete des problemes de l’affluence enorme des Refugieux et des emigrants en France et de la croissance de l’opposition reciproque des Nord-Africains et de la societe d’accueil ; des cas des actes du terreur ; de la nessecite des efforts mutuels pour l’etablissement de la paix et de l’ ordre sociale au pays, malgre l’accriossement constant de la migration des pays de l’Afrique, de l’Asie et du Proche Orient.

Le nouveau livre publiciste de Tahar Ben Jelloun est la suite de ses recherches en qualite du socio-psychologue depuis longtemps etudiant profondement les methodes et les problemes de «l’hospitalite francaise» et de la politique de l’integration des emigres. Son essais psycjologique «La plus haute des solitudes», publiee aux annees 70 est aussi un temoignages aigu de l’epoque du developpement du processus de la migration en ce temps la pas tellement dramatique que maintenant.

Mais etant un observateur profond et attentif de la vie de ses compatriotes nord-africains et du monde arabe en general, l’ecrivain dans son livre nouveau «Le pays sur le nerfs» est preoccupe par presque situation tragique qui ebranle la paix et augmente l’affrontement des peuples et des leurs cultures dans la societe devenu deja polyethniques et polyconfessionnelles.

Ecrivain magnifique de la vie et des traditions de son pays natal, narrateur realiste des problemes des difficultes postcoloniales, Tahar Ben Jelloun est afflige aujoud’hui des problemes de l’intolerence a l’autre, des rates de l’integration, de «la fatigue democratique» du pays, qui etait toujours dans la conscience des excolonises la patrie du grand slogan de «La Liberte, de la Fraternite, de l’Egalite»…

«Un pays sur les nerfs» dont le lecteur verra les fragments, on peut regarder comme la suite de l’oeuvre artistique de l’ecrivain maroccain, qui avait cree le portrait de son pays natal de l’epoque postcoloniale, et maintenant a fixe avec une tres grande capacite metaphorique des esquisses des plus importants moments de l’histoire contemporaine.

Les mots-clefs: Les refugieux, la societe francaise, le mecontentement des immigres, les actes des terroristes, la necessite de la