"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" № 4 2019

 

 

Azia Afrika 04 2019

 

 TOP PROBLEM

LIBYA: ISLAMIC FACTOR AFTER QADDAFI

DOI: 10.31857/S032150750004376-5

Yuri N. ZININ, PhD (History), Leading Research Fellow, Civilizations Partnership Center, Moscow State Institute for International Relations (MGIMO-University) ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. )

    The article examines a role of Islamic factor in Libya at the new post- Qaddafi era after the victory of the February Revolution.

    The collapse of state and military structures after the start of the “February 17 Revolution” in the course of an internal conflict with the participation of NATO, followed by civil strife among local armed groups led to a disrupt of the vertical of a single power and disintegration of the state. As a result, since the summer of 2014, diarchy reigns in the country with opposing "poles" of the administration. One is in Tripoli in the west and the other in Tobruk in the east, each with its own government, parliament and power block.

    The article deals mainly with background of the political Islam and its contemporary branches in this country. Islamic component during the uprising against colonel Qaddafi regime is analyzed. The article covers ongoing activations of Islamists during the last eight years, their relations with other social forces and perspectives of this phenomena in the Libyan future. A nature of arguments and rhetoric propagated by local Islamists is closely examined.

    The author esteems that within the concurrence on vision space in Libya political Islam will be henceforth present. Consequently, differentiation of trends inside this phenomenon, alignment between its moderate and extreme fractions will be going on.

    Secular-liberal thinking has not yet became an competitive power in this country due to archaic social relations and excessive religion traditions which are very strong.

Keywords: Arab spring, revolution, Islam, Qaddafi, Brothers-Moslems, NATO, Islamism, ethnic composing

 

 POLITICS, ECONOMY 

BANGLADESH IS DRIVING PAST PAKISTAN. A temporary paradox or steady tendency of socio-economic development? 

DOI: 10.31857/S032150750004377-6

Vyacheslav Ya. BELOKRENITSKY, Dr.Sc. (History), Professor; Hеad, Center for the Study of Near and Middle Eastern Countries, Institute of Oriental Studies, Russian Academy of Sciences; member, Editorial Board, “Aziya i Afrika segodnya” journal ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

    Speedy economic growth of Bangladeshi economy is analyzed in the article simultaneously with slower development in Pakistan. It is noted that in the beginning of the 1970s when Bangladesh separated from Pakistan the newly born country was lagging behind. The author dwells on the reasons of the breakaway growth in Bangladesh such as rise in literacy, employment and empowering women as well as increase of industrial exports especially of ready-made garments. Another cause of the Bangladeshi success story has been the mushroom growth of microcredit through institutions like BRAC (Bangladesh Rural Advancement Committee) and Grameen (Rural) Bank. Credits helped to partially uplift overpopulated and desperately poor rural areas and contributed to improvement in standards of living although Bangladesh’s per capita income is still less than that of Pakistan.

    Discussing Pakistan’s growth, the author underlines enormous amount of budget funds traditionally assigned to the military. Spending on various military services in the 1970s through 1990s exceeded social expenditures by 2-3 times. Pakistan demonstrated moderate increase of literacy, especially among women, and has not gone through the changes in basic social conditions which has enabled Bangladesh to slow down rates of demographic growth. In spite of Pakistan’s larger resources its economic future remains vague. Bangladesh has an edge in the short run but its further development relies heavily on external factors such as world market conditions for its export oriented industries. Forthcoming socio-economic dynamics in both countries depends on the combination of home and foreign factors which is difficult to predict.

Keywords: Bangladesh, Pakistan, economy, social sphere, literacy, ready-made garments industry, state of women

 

NDIA - NEW PLAYER ON VENEZUELA'S FIELD (to the 60th anniversary of India-Venezuela diplomatic relations)

DOI: 10.31857/S032150750004378-7

Tatiana A. VOROTNIKOVA, PhD (Political Science), Senior Research Fellow, Institute for Latin America, Russian Academy of Sciences ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. )

    In 2019 New Delhi and Caracas celebrate the 60th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations. The article analyzes the current state and prospects of cooperation between Venezuela and India, examines the historical context, as well as economical, political and cultural ties between the states. Special attention is paid to the cooperation in energy sector, in which the Bolivarian Republic has become one of the main partners of this South-Asian country in Latin America.

    Though in historical perspective the bilateral relations have not received the impetus for serious development due to geographical remoteness, information vacuum and lack of obvious political conditions, nowadays, the intensification of investment and trade flows make the sides be more interested in each other. The main thrust to the cooperation was imparted only at the beginning of the 21st century. Venezuela has emerged as one of the largest India’s oil supplier after a bilateral Agreement on cooperation in the hydrocarbons sector was signed in March 2005. Access to Venezuelan markets plays an important role in the strategic goals of India to diversify its import and export and strengthen positions in the Latin American region. However, the political agenda in the bilateral interactions is rather small, the economic objectives have good potential and real opportunities for further engagements in the short and long term.

Keywords: India, Venezuela, international relations, diplomacy

 

NORTH AFRICA: ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT AND PROCESSES OF MODERNIZATION

DOI: 10.31857/S032150750004379-8

Sergei N. VOLKOV, PhD (Economics), Institute for African Studies, Russian Academy of Sciences ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. )

Alexander A. TKACHENKO, PhD (Economics), Institute for African Studies, Russian Academy of Sciences ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. )

    The work analyses the ties of key trends of economic development of the North African countries with modernization and globalization processes. The state of national economies, progress and results of market reforms define the course, opportunities and limits of modernization processes in social and political life of the North African countries. The crisis that developed in the North African countries at the turn of decades had complex nature which points directly at relevant demand in progressive reforming of key social areas. Nearly all countries of North Africa in the short and medium-term perspective will feel the consequences of relatively low or modest growth rates of the periods of the political upheavals of 2010s.

    The unfinished political modernization keeps inhibiting various processes of economic upgrade. First of all this inhibition affects forming of sustainable foundations for the modern market economy - creative businessmen of large, medium and small scale, sustainable independent court procedures in economics which would conform both to the international law and the conventional practices of governing the investment law. Closer analysis of industrial structure of each North African country reveals that in the next five years the leading role in development of the North African region will belong to tourism, trade of goods and service (including telecom, computer and media services), as well as to production and processing of hydrocarbons. The state supports the most perspective fields, by upgrading investment legislation, promoting dynamic formation of profile companies and firms using both domestic and foreign capital.   

Keywords: North Africa, world economy, processes of modernization, globalization, Arab spring, development

 

THE FORMATION OF THE QATARI-TURKISH ALLIANCE

DOI: 10.31857/S032150750004380-0

Timur R. KHAIRULLIN, Junior Research Fellow, Center for Civilizational and Regional Studies, 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 attempts to study the phenomenon of the Qatari-Turkish Alliance, which managed to strengthen its leadership positions in the Arab region during the events of the Arab spring through the support of the Society of the Muslim Brothers. For this reason, the policy of State of Qatar and Republic of Turkey in relation to the Society of the Muslim Brothers is compared. The comparative analysis has revealed that State of Qatar and Republic of Turkey share and support the ideology of moderate Islamism of the Society of the Muslim Brothers and have a long history of interaction with them. State of Qatar sees the Society of the Muslim Brothers as a good ideological springboard for its regional expansion, with its economic strength tied in, but because of its small territory, it has little chance.  In its turn, Republic of Turkey, with the coming to power of the Islamist Justice and Development Party, has strengthened its interaction with the Society of the Muslim Brothers, but due to the ethnic factor, has a weak prospect of achieving serious success alone within the Arab region. For this reason, the unification of State of Qatar and Republic of Turkey was strategically important.  Acting alone, Qatar and Turkey had little chance of achieving a leading position in the Arab region.  In the context of protracted processes of instability, only through joint efforts it is possible to achieve significant results on the political map of the Arab world. Moreover, it is the close cooperation of Ankara and Doha with the Society of the Muslim Brothers has become a strong basis for the formation of the Qatari-Turkish Alliance, which, contrary to popular opinion, was formed a few years before the events of the Arab spring.

Keywords: Qatar, Turkey, Alliance, Muslim brotherhood, Arab spring, AKP, Arab region, Islamism.

 

PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION IN THE DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO: THE LEADERSHIP STRUGGLE

DOI: 10.31857/S032150750004381-1

Galina M. SIDOROVA, Dr.Sc. (Political Science), Professor, Department of Theory and History of International Relations, Moscow State Linguistic University (MSLU); 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. )

    The subject matter is the third in a series presidential election in the Democratic Republic of Congo, which took place on 30 December 2018 with the violation of constitutional terms in two years. The questions of internal political struggle are considering in a pre-electoral period in the background of unstable sociopolitical situation, permanent armed conflicts and extremely low living standard of the population. Focusing on that fact that 21 candidates took part in the presidential marathon, among whom the most important political figures - F.Tshisekedi, M. Fayulu and R.Shadari. Some strong players dropped out of the political process. The government succeeded in isolating and preventing from the elections such candidates as J.-P.Bemba, M. Katumbi and also a veteran of the Congolese political movement, P. Lumumba's ally - A.Gisenga.  The election campaign was clearly marked, there was a constant regrouping of political forces both in the presidential entourage and in the opposition camp.  The election Commission did not announce the election results for a long time, citing to a large amount of work. Following the results of the elections, which were announced on the twenty-first of January, the opposition leader F.Chisekeli received the most votes. However, many people were not agree with this. According to religious figures, another oppositionist M.Fayulu scored a larger number of votes. The expectations of the president’s establishment that its promotee R.Shadary would win didn’t live up. What is more, his personality triggered electorate’s irritation. The aim of the research is to evaluate this significant event, which is planned to be «fair and transparent elections» from the international experts’ viewpoint. The methods of empirical political science, as well as event analysis let the problems of political and electoral processes in DRC be defined in general. It was concluded that despite the long way to the elections, they finally took place, thereby being considered an evidence of positive shift in terms of democracy establishment in DRC.

Keywords: Africa, Republic of the Congo, presidential election, electoral commission, power, opposition

 

IMMIGRATION TO US FROM SUB-SAHARAN AFRICAN COUNTRIES (at the second decade of XXI century)

DOI: 10.31857/S032150750004382-2

Natalia E. PETROVSKAYA, PhD (Economy), Senior Research Fellow, Institute for U.S. and Canadian Studies, Russian Academy of Sciences ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. )

    The article discusses contemporary migration from sub-Saharan Africa to the United States, which is rising steadily over the past decades. The African immigrants from sub-Saharan Africa become one of the fastest-growing immigration segments in the United States, making 70 percent of all African immigrants in the middle of the current decade; with growing share in the workforce. They often represent the most highly educated from their native countries, predominately English-speaking, and have higher educational levels than most native-born Americans. The majority of African immigrants from sub-Saharan Africa come from Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, Ethiopia and South Africa. The article focuses on the dynamics, structure of migrant inflows from this region to the US, taking into consideration that according to World Bank in the decade’s ahead sub-Saharan Africa will be the key region of labor force supply. The structure of migrant inflows to the US needs special attention. Besides family preferences (relatives of U.S. citizens), the sub-Saharan immigrants (legal permanent residents) come mainly through the diversity visa program (also known as the visa lottery program), as refugees. Though Sub-Saharan Africans immigrants were more likely to be proficient in English and speak English at home than the overall U.S. foreign-born population, participate in the workforce at a higher rate than the overall immigrant and U.S.-born populations, they experience a higher poverty rate than immigrants overall and less median income. Despite having more college education, black African immigrant men earn less than white men born in the United States and half of the black population depends on the government social security program (witout its benefits their income would be under the american poverty line). In spite of Trump’s policy aimed at the immigration restrictions, according to the polls, Sub-Saharan Africans who plan to migrate prefer going to the US in the nearest future.

Keywords: international migration, migrant remittances, Sub-Saharan Africa, US

 

THE HIV SITUATION IN AFGHANISTAN: AN OVERVIEW

DOI: 10.31857/S032150750004383-3

Andrey I. KOCHETKOV, Post-graduate student, Hochschule Fulda (Fulda University of Applied Sciences), Germany ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. )

Taisiya V. RABUSH, PhD (History), Associate Professor, Department of Social Sciences, St. Petersburg State University of Industrial Technology and Design ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. )

    The article examines the HIV situation in Afghanistan since the 2000s and up to the present. The main ways of HIV transmission, the problem of disease detection and treatment are considered. Despite HIV is not the key problem of Afghanistan today and the acuteness of the problem can be seen only in the key population (mostly injecting drug users), the deficit of the medical assistance plays a significant role in spreading of the infection. One of the important aspects is that the population of Afghanistan gained access to the HIV testing and the highly active anti-retroviral therapy only in 2000s; Afghanistan is also one of the last in the region in the condom usage. According to the UNAIDS reports, the HIV situation worsen, but the last report shows a notable increase of anti-HIV therapy coverage. Today this access is mainly granted by the international organisations under the authority of UNAIDS, but only in 8 cities, which can restrict the access for the rural area population. A possible forecast of the situation with the further spreading of HIV infection in Afghanistan is given at the end of the article. Albeit the reached progress in testing and treatment, the rate of HIV infection's spreading is according to the authors unlikely to decrease, which is caused by an unstable political and economic situation and the fact that Afghanistan is the citadel of drug production. Despite the slow outbrake of the epidemic out of the key population, high growth of the sexual and mother-to-child transmission roles is not expected.

Keywords: HIV, drug addiction, Afghanistan, Afghan armed conflict

 

ULAANBAATAR AS A NON-PLACE

DOI: 10.31857/S032150750004384-4

Vladislav I. TERENTYEV, PhD (History), history teacher, Plekhanov Russian University of Economics, Ulaanbaatar branch, Mongolia ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. )

    The article examines the problems of changing mentality and identity of the nomadic Mongols, who at the beginning of the XXI century actively moved to a relatively permanent place of residence in the capital of the country – the city of Ulaanbaatar. The process of transforming urban space by yesterday's nomads and the technology of transmitting specific cultural stereotypes from the steppe to the capital is described in the article. When moving to the city from provincial immigrants from the rural areas, images and ideas about nomadic culture become more relevant. However, these images cannot truly function in the context of urban life. This happens in isolation from the tradition and through its rethinking of nomadic life. These circumstances are extremely specific in the conditions of urban everyday life and manifest through nostalgia for motherland and nomadic culture. The theoretical and methodological novelty of the study is the experimental use of the conceptual model of «non-place» (anonymous places) by the French anthropologist M.Auge. The article attempts to explore Mongolian culture from the inside through emic analysis (emic standpoint). The no ownership of Ulaanbaatar is confirmed firstly by the fact that the provincials perceive the city as a seasonal camp from which it is necessary to migrate to another camp (abroad or back to the provinces). Secondly, Ulaanbaatar is not perceived by its inhabitants as a small homeland. The images of small homelands and discourses about these images are the basis for the identity of an any modern Mongolian.

Keywords: Mongolia, Ulaanbaatar, city, nomadic culture, self-identity

 

SCIENTIFIC LIFE

CHINA, CHINESE CIVILIZATION AND THE WORLD: HISTORY, MODERNITY, PROSPECTS

DOI: 10.31857/S032150750004385-5

Elena A. LAPSHINA, journal "Problems of the Far East.", Institute of the Far Eastern Studies, Russian Academy of Sciences ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. )

    The article relates of the XXIII International Scientific and Practical Conference “China, Chinese Civilization and the World: History, Modernity, Prospects” which has taken  place in Moscow.     More than 120 Russian and over 40 Chinese scientists took part in the conference, including those from the Institute of Modern China, China People’s University, Jiaotong University, the Institute of New History of China, as well as specialists from Germany, Serbia, Belarus, Ukraine.

    After the plenary session, at which 9 scientific reports were heard, presentations and discussions continued in the section and at the round tables on the subject: Silk Road Economic Belt: Problems and Prospects, History of the Great Tea Road, Chinese Economy, PRC Foreign Policy, PRC Internal Policy. China: history and modernity, Spiritual culture of China (philosophy, religion), Chinese language, education, literature, art.

    The theses of the reports can be found in the collection “Theses of the reports of the XXIII International Scientific Conference“ China, Chinese Civilization and the World. History, modernity,

    Opening the work of the conference director of the Institute of Far Eastern Studies, RAS, Doctor of History, Professor G. Luzyanin emphasized that China today has become a serious global player in the international arena, possessing the second economic potential in the world and an impressive defense potential allowing it to pursue an active foreign policy. The Ambassador of China to Russia, Li Hui, in his speech thanked the Institute of the Far East for organizing such an important conference and noted the great role of the Institute in the development of Russian-Chinese relations.

Keywords: China, Russian-Chinese relations, economy, foreign and domestic policy China, history, philosophy and culture, Chinese language, education, literature and art.

 

 HISTORY PAGES

«BLACK BABY» FROM THE MOVIE “CIRCUS”… IN DAR es SALAAM!

DOI: 10.31857/S032150750004387-7

Oleg I. TETERIN, PhD (History), First Deputy Editor-in-Chief, “Aziya i Afrika segodnya” journal ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. )

    The story tells about the poetic creativity of the character from the famous Soviet film Circus" (1936) directed by G.Alexandrov - the little black kid, played by James Patterson. The film has made the little actor famous. 45 years after the release of the film J.Patterson, the son of an American Negro, a citizen of the USSR, arrived in Tanzania and paid a visit to the Novosti Press Agency (APN) Bureau in Dar es Salaam.

    The author of the notes being at that time a head of the APN Bureau received a present from  James Patterson ­- a book of  his poems reflecting the historical past and the socialist present of Russia. The book which had an autograph of the author reflected the historic past and the socialist present, the hot days of its great construction projects. The international theme, the poetic solidarity with the Negro people of America, who fought for their civil rights, as well as with the peoples of Africa who defended their independence, runs through all the work of the famous kid “cinema negro”. The content of the book leaves no doubt that for the “cinema negro” it was not the first visit to Africa.

    This visit of the poet served  the author of the story as a pretext to recall that great work that the APN Publishing House and Moscow Radio was conducting on the African audience. And as our African readers and listeners emphasized our translations into Swahili were of high quality.

Keywords: “Circus” (movie, 1936), James Patterson, Novosti Press Agency office in Tanzania, APN Publishing House, “Chuk and Gek” in Swahili    

 

CULTURE, LITERATURE, ART

KOREAN LITERATURE IN RUSSIA/USSR/RUSSIAN FEDERATION (works in Russian of writers of the North and South Korea)

DOI: 10.31857/S032150750004388-8

San Yun Li,  PhD (Philology),  Associated Professor, Department of Asian and African studies, National Research University Higher School of Economics (Saint-Petersburg) ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. )

    The article explores the causes of growing interest in Korea and Korean literature in Russia and analyzes the perception of Korean literature in USSR-Russia at different stages of the relationships with South Korea.

    This article studies the history of cultural relationships between Republic of Korea and Russia since the late 1980s – even before the USSR and South Korea established diplomatic relationships in 1990 – Russian readers learned about contemporary South Korean literature, and Korean culture started attracting attention in Russia. Translations of the best pieces of famous Korean writers have been published in Russia – thanks to the efforts of the government of South Korea aimed at disseminating Korean culture across the globe. The focal point of this article is South Korean contemporary literature, which has gained international acclaim over the past decade. The main achievement of South Korean literature is the novel “The Vegetarian” by Han Kang (born in 1970) that won the International Booker Award in 2016. After Han Kang’s international success, South Korean literature started piquing interest in Russia as well. The Russian reader who is not familiar with the moral and ethical teachings of Confucius, the Buddhist and Taoist perception of the world, still has difficulty understanding the deep meaning sometimes hidden underneath the outer layer of the works of Korean authors. However, South Korean literature is attracting more and more readers.

    Additionally, recent political environment on the Korean peninsula has also stimulated growing interest in the literature of North Korea.

    Over the past 135 years of Russian-Korean relations, interest in Korea (as a whole country at first and later as the one divided along the thirty-eighth parallel), and its culture intensified or weakened - depending on the political situation in the world - and in recent decades has reached a level that promotes mutual cultural enrichment.

Keywords: Korea, North Korean literature, South Korean literature, interest in Korean culture in Russia