"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" № 11 2018

 

 

Aziaafrika 11 2018

 

 TOP PROBLEM

KOREA: 70 YEARS OF SPLIT

Svetlana S. SUSLINA, Dr.Sc. (Economics), Chief Research Fellow, Institute of Far Eastern Studies, Russian Academy of Sciences ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. )

DOI: 10.31857/S032150750001780-0

    In 2018  the Korean peninsula has attracted increased attention of the world community due to the events of historical significance, primarily for the Korean people. Three summits of the leaders of the two Korean states  and one of the heads of state of the United States and the DPRK made a remarkable change in assessing the political and economic situation in the Asia-Pacific region  from anxious and threatening security to optimistic, detente.  Unexpectedly, the rapid warming of relations between the two Korean states and the prospects for their further possible rapprochement and unification encourage us to turn to the past, especially since there is a worthy reason for this – 70 years anniversary of the North and South Korea.

    In 2018, South Korea (ROK August 15, 1948) and North (the DPRK on September 9, 1948) celebrated   the 70-th anniversary of establishment of their States. During this long period, both States were involved not only in the military-political confrontation on the logic of the "Cold war", but also in the competition of their socio-economic systems. As a result, today the Korean Peninsula is of great interest for the study of the longest historical experiment, the essence of which is to demonstrate to the world the positive and negative results of the command-administrative and market systems, based on the example of one separately developing nation.

    The paper analyses the reasons of the successful development of South Korea economy and reveals the main obstacles to the economic achievements in  North Korea. The article examines the declared goals of the potential cooperation of two countries. The study compares them with Moscow's interests and opportunities to expand economic cooperation.

Keywords: DPRK, Republic of Korea, import substitution, export orientation, Russia, economic cooperation

 

THE KOREAN PENINSULA METAMORPHOSES IN 2018

Alexander V. VORONTSOV, PhD (History), Head, Korea and Mongolia Department, Institute of Oriental Studies, Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS) ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. )

DOI: 10.31857/S032150750001782-2

    Compared to early 2018, the situation on the Korean Peninsula has changed dramatically, as if at the wave of a magic wand, shifting from alarmist expectations of an all but imminent war between the US and the DPRK that dominated the second half of 2017 to a spectacular improvement in relations between the main protagonists: Pyongyang and Washington, and Pyongyang and Seoul. This process has been unfolding for a little over six months, and has culminated in two summit meetings between North and South Korean leaders on April 27 and May 26 in Panmunjom, a village on the 38th parallel, held for the first time in 11 years, and of course the first ever meeting between US President Donald Trump and DPRK Leader Kim Jong-un in Singapore on June 12, which was unthinkable as recently as in the winter of 2018.

    However the USA and DPRK official positions remain to be very different. Washington insists on North Korea complete denuclearization (CVID) first and only after it rewards are possible. Pyongyang is seeking for equal talk based on simultaneous steps of both sides respecting its security concerns.

    The only encouraging factor in all this is the suggestion that Trump and Kim Jong-un have reached some kind of an oral agreement, and maybe developed trust to some extent in their relations or devised a unwritten road map for undertaking mutual steps, and are seeking to abide by it by exchanging letters through these trusted persons. If this is true, the president’s personal diplomacy would be at odds with the official foreign policy of the US. There are serious doubts that this somewhat unnatural cooperation framework would last very long.

Keywords: denuclearization, sanctions, summit, negotiation process  

 

 POLICY, ECONOMY

SAUDI- RUSSIAN RELATIONS: THE THORNY PATH TO NEW HEIGHTS

Oleg B. OZEROV, Deputy Director, Department of Africa, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia (oleg This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. )

DOI: 10.31857/S032150750001783-3

    The article analyzes different periods in the relations of the Soviet Union, and then Russia with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. In the history of the world, there are few analogues of the fact that the two states  so zealously rushed from one extreme to the other. The USSR was the first to recognize the newly-born Arab state. Jidda instantly reciprocated, but very soon came the "deep freezing."

    Both objective and subjective reasons for such jumps are described. But even after the restoration of diplomatic relations in 1990, the "ascending movement" was not restored. Radical changes in Russian-Saudi relations were marked out at the beginning of the 21st century.

Keywords: Кingdom of Saudi Arabia, USSR, Russia, Saudi-Russian Relations

 

THE KINGDOM OF SAUDI ARABIA ATTEMPTS TO GUARANTEE ITS WATER SECURITY

Alexander A. TKACHENKO, PhD (Economics), Head of the Center for North Africa and African Horn Studies, RAS 

Konstantin  A. TKACHENKO, PhD (Economics), Researcher  of the Center for Global Problems Studies, RAS  

DOI: 10.31857/S032150750001784-4

    The article is dedicated to the problem of water supply for the population and economy of Saudi Arabia – one of the largest countries of the Middle East and North Africa. The long time experience that Saudi Arabia possesses in using various water resources deserves focused attention for at least one reason: the country has implemented vast projects in water management including construction of water desalting plants and assistant power assets, complex irrigation and wastewater reuse systems etc. The article contains a vast number of evaluations of various aspects of the country's water management within several decades, of the goals and efficiency of the state policy in this critically important field, perspectives of solving the vexed problems of the present, and aspects of international cooperation. One should stress that Saudi Arabia being one of the largest countries of the world and having average population, possesses limited resources of fresh water. Being one of the most inhabited countries of the world and therefore having high and steadily growing demand for water from population and urban industry, Saudi Arabia has unfavorable structure of water supplies and imbalanced liquid consumption. These and other factors including factors of international origin, predetermine the features of the state policy in water management, goals and tasks of development of international cooperation in securing water safety of the country.

Keywords: water problems, Saudi Arabia, Middle East, ecology

 

ISLAMIC POLITICAL PARTIES АND THE STATE

Marina A. SAPRONOVA, Dr.Sc. (History), Department of Oriental Studies, MGIMO-University ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. )

DOI: 10.31857/S032150750001786-6

    This article reviews the outlook of the leaders of Islamic political parties of the states of North Africa (Algeria, Tunisia and Morocco) on the problem of the state government of Muslim state, the functioning of its system of state bodies, the role of the head of the state and interaction between the state and the society. The issue of the essence of the government and its religious understanding and interpretation has always been pending for the Islamic religion. At present, the idea of building of the state based on Islamic principles are being suggested in general by political parties, movements and its leaders who base principally on the ideology of Salafism.

    The modern theoretical developments of the ideal model of state government based on Islamic principles at present differ a lot from each other. Political leaders and Islamic thinkers cannot come to a consensus concerning the essence of such a state and the methods of achieving this objective. Frequently the diversity of opinions can be encountered in the same organization.

    However, according to political process in recent times in Arab countries, the victory of Islamic parties on the elections does not mean the building of the state based on the Sharia principles. To the contrary, becomes apparent the unsteadiness of the Islamic political design.

Keywords: North Africa, state government, Islamic parties, personality and state

 

INDIA: CURRENT INNOVATION POLICY

Irina V. KIRICHENKO, PhD (Economics), Chief Research Fellow, Primakov National Research Institute of World Economy and International Relations ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. )

DOI: 10.31857/S032150750001787-7

    The article reviews India’s current innovation potential and problems of its development which innovation policy is addressing. These are great structural disproportion: high level of IT-sector evolution and poorly innovated other sectors of economy – such as industry. These disproportions prevent solution of urgent socio-economic problems in India such as poverty and  slow modernization.  So it is quite important to   examine the Indian innovation policy principles and their evolution in the context of the priorities that Indian government chooses. It is also important to determine factors that hamper realization of these priorities. On the other hand the article considers the examples of innovation police successful implementation. As India tries  to follow  China in its  modernization efforts and to achieve the same success as this country it is useful to  compare India’s innovation policy  with China’s innovation policy to understand  there common characteristics and unique features of Indian innovation policy. It is interesting that now India focuses on the same aim as China did many years ago. This is creation of modern industry that can compete with most developed countries’ industry.  Previously Indian government believed that it would be enough to concentrate only on IT-sector but it led to disproportions mentioned above. India practically copied Chinese motto  of innovation-industrial policy formulated as “Made in China 2025”. Prime Minister of India Narendra Mori declared recently “Make in India”. But innovation policy in India has its unique characteristics. One of them is “frugal” or economical innovation - in other words innovations for poor and specific inclusive innovations or including innovations initiated by the poorest stratum of the society.

Keywords: innovation policy, innovation potential, innovation

 

WEALTHY PEOPLE OF AFRICA: BUSINESS ELITES BETWEEN THE PYRAMIDS AND THE CAPE OF GOOD HOPE

Azat B. RAKHMANOV, Dr.Sc. (Philosophy), Associate Professor, Faculty of Sociology, Lomonosov Moscow State University ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. )

DOI: 10.31857/S032150750001789-9

    The article is dedicated to the analysis of business elites of African countries. The author relies on the annual ratings of billionaires of the American magazine Forbes and the Chinese research institute Hurun, as well as statistical studies of millionaires of various consulting firms. These sources create an empirical basis for research. The number, wealth, age and gender characteristics, the level of self-made, territorial distribution, sectoral specialization, global mobility and the degree of oligarchy of business elites in African countries are considered. The author compares the capitalist classes of African countries with the communities of major entrepreneurs of the world's leading countries. Primarily the raw and agrarian nature of the African economies hinders the emergence of numerous and rich business elites on the continent. The positions of African entrepreneurs within the global capitalist class remain rather weak. Business elites of all African countries are united by a high degree of dependence on the main centers of global capitalism. This is manifested not only in the nature of the economies of African countries, but also in the orientation of African billionaires to receive education in the USA and Europe. This is also indicated by the orientation of global migrations of large entrepreneurs in African countries. The main centers of African capitalism are South Africa, Egypt and Nigeria. The author pays special attention to the characteristics of the capitalist class of South Africa. This country has the most powerful and developed economy of the continent, which provides the appearance of the most numerous and wealthy capitalist class. An important feature of the business elite of South Africa is the transformation of its racial structure after 1994.

Keywords: Africa, business elite, billionaires, millionaires, global capitalism, South Africa

 

PAKISTAN. PECULIARITIES OF MODERNIZATION PROCESS OF “EXTENDED FAMILY”

Maria V. KHAYTSEVA, Junior Research Fellow, Institute of Oriental Studies, Russian Academy of Sciences ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. )

DOI: 10.31857/S032150750001788-8

    The article is based on a field study carried out in Karachi over February-July, 2017. It presents the contradictory nature of the modernization process of “extended family” in Pakistan. While trying to preserve its traditional structure, an “extended family” neglects the irreversible influence of capitalist economy and modern social trends on its functional as well as financial grounds. Occupational and income differentiations have eroded the community bonds, especially in big cities, but have not eliminated them completely. The society in general adheres strongly to the “extended family” model in formal matters but the maintenance of its traditional financial structure becomes challengeable.

    Meeting basic modern needs  which became familiar to the Pakistani society through the media, modernization process urges  different social and economic framework. The majority of the society believes in coexistence of modern standards of Western society which is based primarily on individual rights, and responsibilities and traditional society which is based on family-community collectivism. The Pakistanis  in general seem not to consider these options as mutually exclusive and contradictory and follow traditional ways to get attributes of modernity thus creating mutant process in social life.

    The gradual transformation of one framework into another can hardly be achieved on Pakistani realities because the family-community framework is still very holistic. It covers all the spheres of social life and it is not possible to rearrange one part putting others aside unaffected. The modern Western society is based on different family model and do not envisage the regulation of community bonds which are the cornerstone for the Pakistani social structure. Thus, the Pakistani society adjusts partly to modern western trends at different speeds at the same time rejecting the fundamental social changes which are contradictory to their traditional social structure.

    The article is an attempt to analyse this process from micro to macro social level.

Keywords: Pakistani society, modernization, extended and nuclear family, dowry/jahaiz, consumerism

 

 SCIENTIFIC LIFE

SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOALS (2016–2030): CHANCE FOR AFRICA

Evgenia V. MOROZENSKAYA, PhD (Economics), Head, Centre for Transitional Economy Studies, Institute for African Studies, RAS ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. )

DOI: 10.31857/S032150750001791-2

    The Round table “Sustainable Development Goals (2016–2030): Possibilities and Ways of their Achievement by African States” was devoted to the problems and perspectives of some Goals realization in Africa. The speakers were concentrated on the possibilities of solving the acute social problems which are characterized for many African countries. Among these problems are the following: the promotion of sustainable agriculture (Goal 2); provision of access to affordable, reliable, sustainable, and modern energy for all (Goal 7); ensuring availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all (Goal 6); promotion of inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all (Goal 8). The special attention was paid to using the institutional, investment and technological tools for the socio-economic progress in African countries, primarily construction of resilient infrastructure, promotion of inclusive and sustainable industrialisation and faster innovation (Goal 9), first of all, in the sphere of information and communication technologies. In particular, it was the prospects of re-industrialisation in South Africa and the possibilities of real sector capitalisation in African economies. Besides, such problems as the ‘soft power’ use in the relations between India and African countries as well as the North Africa’s potential for the sustainable development were considered. Because of difficult identification of adequate indicators for all these goals, the ‘Human economic well-being’ was offered as аn important index for Sustainable development goals’ implementation in Africa. Such main complex indicator could be calculated as a result of many social, economic and other factors combination.

Keywords: Africa, Sustainable Development Goals, economic development, social problems, first results, regional prospects

 

 POST-GRADUATE COLUMN

IRAQ. FORMATION OF THE STATE INSTITUTIONS (2005-2018). The long road to the national consensus

Ruslan Sh. MAMEDOV, Post-graduate student, Moscow State Institute of International Relations (MGIMO-University) ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. )

DOI: 10.31857/S032150750001792-3

    The author analyses the problem of centralization and discrimination in Iraq during the premierships of Nuri al-Maliki and Haidar al-Abadi. During and after the withdrawal of the main contingent of the US-led coalition forces from Iraq in 2011, the country continued to be in a state of permanent political crisis. Iraq was a rather fragmented society, and the political process characterized by the constant conflicts and the desire of certain political groups to monopolize power. Ultimately, the permanent conflict of interests, marginalization and discrimination of certain groups of Iraqi society led to their radicalization and the emergence of conditions for spreading the influence of the "Islamic state" (the Terrorist Organization, banned in Russia).

    In this regard, the actions of the former Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki and his in the period after the withdrawal of the occupational forces served as an important factor in the development of the interfaith relations crisis against the backdrop of the deteriorating situation in neighboring Syria. Nevertheless, the institutions created during his tenure in power were revised and strengthened under the next Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi. H. Al-Abadi tried to find a common ground among the political forces with different agendas. Despite the difficulties, this partially helped to improve the situation in the country and outline the contours of the future settlement.

Keywords: conflict, Iraq, Sunnis, Shiites, discrimination, al-Maliki, Sahwa, Daava, de-Baathification

 

NIGERIA AND OPEC: EVOLUTION OF RELATIONS

OKEKE Obidozie A.A. (Nigeria, Russia), Post-graduate student, Institute for African Studies, Russian Academy of Sciences ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. )

DOI: 10.31857/S032150750001793-4

    For about a century oil has been used as a weapon in international relations. The article attempts to evaluate Nigeria’s role as an OPEC member and its relationship with this organization. The country’s membership in OPEC has had a far reaching impact on both the international political economy of oil and Nigeria’s development efforts. 

    Many factors combined to destine Nigeria to play a major role in the international oil industry and ensured that major oil consuming and producing countries would directly and indirectly influence the country’s internal politics and its international relations. Nigeria is located in the Atlantic Basin, closer to the United States and Europe than the Middle East, which boasts of most of the global oil producing countries, such as Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Iraq. An important advantage for the Nigerian oil industry is the quality of its sulphur free crude. This factor explains why Nigeria has on several occasions played a major role in the global oil market. The development of the Nigerian oil industry, however, has gone through phases, each of which has been influenced by the country’s internal political dynamics, the role of major actors in OPEC and the general global political and economic situations.

    Although Nigeria has never been directly involved in any major conflicts in the Middle East, which in most cases involved other OPEC member countries, it has not been insulated from their outcomes. Conflicts involving member countries of OPEC, such as the Iran-Iraq war of the 1980s and the Iraqi invasion Kuwait on August 2, 1990, had the effect of paralyzing the organization, inducing mutual destruction of oil facilities of belligerents and distorting prices of oil in the international market as operators reacted or scrambled for oil to guard against shortages.

Keywords: Nigeria, OPEC, oil industry, international relations, foreign policy, the Middle East

 

 CULTURE, LITERATURE, ART

 

CULT BRANDS IN PAKISTAN

Anna A. SUVOROVA, Dr.Sc. (Philology), Head of Department, Institute of Oriental Studies, Russian Academy of Sciences ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. )

DOI: 10.31857/S032150750001794-5

    A cult brand is a product or service that has an energetic and loyal customer base. A cult brand, unlike others, has customers who can be described as near-fanatical, true believers in the brand and may feel a sense of ownership or vested interest in the brand's popularity and success. Cult brands have achieved a unique connection with customers, and are able to create a consumer culture that people want to be a part of. The article presents the most popular cult brands that reflect images of Pakistani challenging frequently inaccurate representations of this culture in today’s media and political discourse. For example, the images of legendary creatures from the Qur’an illustrated within floral designs on the surfaces of different vehicles: trucks, rickshaws and taxis. The function of such illustrations, in combination with ornamental designs, is not only decorative, but also apotropaic — to ward off evil. The nationalist ideals via product branding and packaging are explored in the show case of a soft-drink first produced during the 1950s, a period defined by patriotic rigor. The brand’s name  Pakola, its electric green hue and original logo design (which included a star and crescent reminiscent of the Pakistani flag) initially reflected nationalist concerns shortly after the formation of the Pakistani state. By the 1980s, with increased state militarisation and internal conflicts, this beverage’s visual attributes came to represent an ideal of home for a growing (and nostalgic) Pakistani diaspora.

Keywords:  Pakistan, a cult brand, national identity, consumer patriotism

 

 BOOK REVIEW

A MAN AND EPOCH

DOI: 10.31857/S032150750001796-7

Review of the book:  Alexander Dzasokhov. “Asia. Africa. Solidarity Milestones” (M., 2018. 277 p.) (In Russ.)

Alexey M. VASILIEV, member, Russian Academy of Sciences, Dr.Sc. (History), Professor; Honorable President, Institute for African Studies, RAS; Head,  Chair of African and Arab Studies, People’s Friendship University  of Russia; Editor-in-Chief, “Aziya i Afrika segodnya” journal ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. )

Keywords: national liberation movement, Asia, Africa, Soviet Committee of Solidarity, Alexander Dzasokhov