"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 2019

 

 

Aziaafrika 05 2019

 

 TOP PROBLEM

TRUMP ADMINISTRATION’S NEW AFRICA STRATEGY

DOI: 10.31857/S032150750004743-9

Andrei Yu. URNOV, Dr.Sc. (History), Chief 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 author analyses political, economic and military aspects of the new US Africa strategy, approved by president D.Trump on December 12 2018 and made public next day by his National Security advisor John Bolton. According to the official version, the release of the strategy was prompted by the conclusion that the African policy which had been pursued, proved to be inefficient. Billions and billions of dollars invested by US in Africa have not led to stable governance and economic viability, neither have they stopped terrorism, or prevented other powers, such as Chine and Russia, to increase their own influence on the continent. This situation runs counter the US interest, threatens its national security.

    The new strategy is called upon to amend the current state of affairs in correspondence with Trump’s “central campaign promise to put the interests of American people first, both at home and abroad”. The first “core US interest” on the continent is to advance trade and commercial ties with nations across the region. As far as US economic assistance is concerned it will no longer be provided indiscriminately across the entire continent. The funding will be targeted toward key countries, the economic effort will focus on African governments which act as US strategic partners. And there will be established bilateral mechanisms to maintain maximum American control over every American dollar spent.

    The second “core interest” is countering the threat from radical Islamic terrorism and violent conflicts. The US will assist key African governments in building the capacity of their armed forces and security institutions. Washington wants to see more cooperative regional security organizations emerge around the world.

    The new Strategy is a component of the US course for global hegemony implemented under Trump’s slogan “America First”.

Keywords: USA, Africa, China, Russia, new strategy, development assistance, terrorism, competition, effectiveness

 

 POLITICS, ECONOMY 

REGIONAL SECURITY

THE MIDDLE EAST: WATER AND SECURITY

DOI: 10.31857/S032150750004744-0

Alexander O. FILONIK, PhD (Economics), Leading 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. )

Vladimir A. ISAEV, Dr.Sc. (Economics), Professor, Institute of Asian and African Studies, Lomonosov Moscow State University ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. )

    Water in the Middle East is dispersed greatly throughout the region causing uneven deficit of resource playing vital role in current economic and social development of countries in this part of the world. Unbalanced water supply and related problems show themselves distinctly at the national levels with different intensity typical for every specific case in line with combination of many factors having diverse historical depth. In one way the same factors affect seriously the security situation in the region if to take into special consideration that the majority of local waterways may be regarded as cross-board ones, and thus political efforts are needed to work out legal foundations for controversial issues relating to joint water use. The Arab governments are currently facing very serious challenges making the elites to think over their political moves in the squeamish niche that turns into a space where the most irritating problems have concentrated in close proximity to the stalemate. The whole process should be painful in many regards due to the objective reasons, caused by the erratic distribution of the scarce recourse that in any case (even in the best one) must be treated as at least not only easily available matter, but also as a diminishing value. Under such conditions the full scale settling of the water problem has little chances to be reached in the Arab East in foreseeable future. No doubt that the Arabs should themselves look for a way out from this drastic situation. Otherwise the new antagonisms will be accumulated and will not allow to overwhelm contradictions hampering progress in wright directions before the required recourse is exhausted and the time is lost.

Keywords: the Middle East, Africa, water recourses, water deficit, distribution of water, security, conflicts

 

SOLUTION TO NON-TRADITIONAL SECURITY THREATS IN SOUTHEAST ASIA: THE ROLE OF RUSSIA

DOI: 10.31857/S032150750004745-1

Alexander S. KOROLEV, Post-graduate Student, Junior Research Fellow, Centre for Comprehensive European and International Studies, National Research University Higher School of Economics ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. )

Veronika A. SHUMKOVA, Junior Research Fellow, Centre for Comprehensive European and International Studies, National Research University Higher School of Economics ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. )

    The paper analyses non-traditional security threats in Southeast Asia. It emphasizes such issues as water resources, food security and international terrorism. It singles out the main directions and mechanisms of cooperation between Russia and ASEAN. In particular, it is asserted that Russia and ASEAN have the potential to cooperate in the field of "virtual water" - products that produce a large amount of water resources (for example, food, pulp and paper products, chemical fiber, non-ferrous metals. In addition, the article provides practical recommendations for increasing Russian export of food and agricultural products to ASEAN member-states. In particular, it is necessary to determine the number of large companies from Southeast Asia that are interested in developing cooperation with the Russian Far East. To do this, it is advisable to organize a series of meetings with the owners and managers of these companies with the presentation of promising projects in the Far East. It is concluded that the development of bilateral cooperation, especially within the framework of the ASEAN-Russia Dialogue Partnership, plays an important role in solving these issues. In this respect, the format of the ASEAN-SCO-EAEU cooperation proposed by Russia does not seem to be effective. The main reason for this is that currently Greater Eurasia or Greater Eurasian Partnership represents only a set of separate, institutionally unrelated initiatives. Many experts confirm that, despite the active discussion of the idea at domestic and international venues, however, the initiative needs a lot of elaboration and detailed planning.

Keywords: Southeast Asia, ASEAN, Russia, non-traditional security threats

 

INDIAN MODEL OF JUSTICE

DOI: 10.31857/S032150750004746-2

Alexander Yu. YAKOVLEV, Dr.Sc. (Political Science), Leading Research Fellow, Institute of Economics, Russian Academy of Sciences ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. )

Petr Yu. YAKOVLEV, Legal adviser, People’s Friendship University of Russia ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. )

    The article is devoted to the judicial system of India. The country has a complex and large network of judicial bodies, which have a stable tendency to further growth.

    Despite permanent changes, the judiciary in India continues saving many elements of the colonial heritage. This leads to the coexistence in the South Asian state of modern judicial institutions and archaic ones, a number of which holds back the development of Indian judicial bodies. The main judicial body is the Supreme Court of India. In the next level are high courts. They started function more than 150 years ago. The oldest are High Court of Bombay, High Court of Calcutta and Madras High Court. They are a key element in the judicial system. One more level lower are district courts and subordinate courts. India has plenty of specialized courts. Examples are family courts, commercial courts and security courts.

    In addition to the courts, justice is realized by the tribunals. The country has tribunals to deal with different categories of cases - administrative, military, appeal, arbitration, debt collection, railway claims, etc. The tribunal is neither a court nor an executive body. It is an administrative supervision set up to fulfill quasi-judicial functions.

    One of the realities of Indian judiciary is long process in court. There are more than 29 million pending cases in courts of India. The other problems are high level of corruption and lack of qualified personnel.

    Despite all the difficulties, the Indian judicial system is developing. The example is the active introduction of information technologies in the judicial sphere.

Keywords: India, Indian judicial system, courts of India

 

INVESTMENT COMPONENT OF TECHNOLOGICAL DEVELOPMENT OF GCC COUNTRIES

DOI: 10.31857/S032150750004747-3

Vasily I. RUSAKOVICH, PhD (Economics), Associate Professor, Department of World Economy, Plekhanov Russian Economic University ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. )

    The article discusses the features and trends of FDI in the GCC region, uniting Bahrain, Oman, Qatar, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and the UAE. Countries in this group remain significant recipients of FDI. This group of States has traditionally attracted significant amounts of foreign investment, especially direct investment (FDI), especially in free economic zones. Moreover, according to the author, it is not only and not so much about the inflow of financial resources, but about modern and high technologies that are necessary for this group of States to ensure long-term sustainable development in the conditions of volatility of prices in the world oil markets. The aim of the article was to determine the determinants of FDI in the GCC countries and their relationship with the technical and technological development of the countries of the region on the basis of evidence. The results of the analysis show that this relationship remains weak at the present stage, although it tends to increase. The study is based on the statistical method and covers the period 2000-2017. the article shows that FDI contributes to a more active "embedding" of these States in global production chains, and not only as suppliers of resources. The dynamics of high-technology exports of this group of States attests to the long-term, productive investment nature of FDI and the link between FDI and foreign TNCs in the region. At the same time, the results of the analysis show that the relationship remains weak at the present stage, although it tends to increase.

Keywords: GCC, foreign direct investment, determinants of FDI, technological development, global value chains

 

WOMEN IN THE ARMED FORCES OF PAKISTAN

DOI: 10.31857/S032150750004748-4

Ekaterina V. SHALUPENKO, Post-graduate student, Department of South Asian History, Institute of Asian and African Studies, Lomonosov Moscow State University ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. )

    The article analyzes the specificities of women`s position and their role in the military forces of Pakistan. Apart from it, the reasons of their joining the armed services are also regarded. The armed forces are extremely popular structure in Pakistan due to its historical role. For the last two decades the amount of women in the armed forces of Pakistan is steadily increasing. This tendency was caused by occurred all over the world new ways of fighting wars and the role of women in them. At the same time, the necessity of reaching military parity with India in the amount of active military personnel also played a major role in this process. Due to these factors nowadays Pakistan ranks the leading place in the Muslim world by the numbers of women enlisted in the armed services. This process contributes a lot to the changes in the conservative views on general position of Pakistani women. However, it is difficult to state that Pakistani women join the military forces in large quantities because even today the ethnic factor and different interpretation of the provisions of Islam in every province of Pakistan remains very important in outlining the rights of women. Conditions in the provinces of Punjab and Sindh are more appropriate for women to choose their destiny and desired occupation while the society of such provinces as Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan and especially tribal areas still remains quite conservative. Furthermore, women are allowed to fulfill combatant functions only in air forces while in other branches of the armed services their functions are reduced to auxiliary ones.

Keywords: Pakistan, armed forces, women

 

AFRICA DAY – MAY 25

AFRICA: CHANGING THE FOREIGN VECTOR

DOI: 10.31857/S032150750004749-5

Review of the book: Africa’s Pivot to the “East” and Russian Interests / Eds. T.L.Deich, E.N.Korendyasov, S.V.Nenashev. Moscow, 2018. 304 p. (In Russ.)

Evgenia V. MOROZENSKAYA, PhD (Economics), Institute for African Studies, Russian Academy of Sciences, Expert of the Russian Academy of Sciences ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. )

Keywords: Africa, Russia, emerging countries, foreign policy, economy, partners

 

THE NIGERIAN CIVIL WAR AND THE SOVIET UNION’S INVOLVEMENT INTO THE CONFLICT

DOI: 10.31857/S032150750004750-7

POSIBI A. Preye (Nigeria), Post-graduate student (International Relations and Foreign Policy), People’s Friendship University of Russia ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. )

    The Nigerian Civil War, also known as the Biafran War, took place between July 6, 1967 and January 13, 1970, and was a political conflict caused by the attempted secession of the southeastern provinces of Nigeria as the self-proclaimed Republic of Biafra. This attempt led the young nation into a civil war which resulted in estimated casualties of one million. During the conflict, both the then Federal Military Government of Nigeria and the defunct Biafran regime had the desire to secure diplomatic support as well as military assistance from both the West and the East. This desire coupled with other reasons attracted many countries to declare support and assistance to either the Government of Nigeria or the Biafran regime. The “great powers” sided with opposing parties. The focus of this work is to examine the Soviet Union’s involvement into the conflict and the moves made by Nigerian diplomatic missions in Moscow, analyze the previous relationship between Nigeria and USSR and its development during all stages of the civil war, and venture to understand the reasons underlying this strange and interesting alliance.

Keywords: Nigerian civil war, USSR, international relations, diplomatic support, Soviet involvement

 

TOURISM IN AFRICA

DOI: 10.31857/S032150750004751-8

Liudmila N. KALINICHENKO, Research Fellow, Institute for African Studies, Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS) ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. )

Zinaida S. NOVIKOVA, PhD (Economics), Senior Research Fellow, Institute for African Studies, RAS ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. )

    The article deals with tourism in Africa as an important sector of modern African economies reacting strongly to the development of individual countries. Tourism is examined in terms of export revenues, contribution to GDP and jobs creation, especially for women and young people. Tourism as an internationally traded service has become a major component of export and one of the sources of foreign exchange income. Tourism export revenues appear to be a very stable source of external inflows and a key sector in different countries, especially Africa’s small island developing states such as Seychelles, Cabo Verde, Mauritius. Africa’s rapidly rising tourism sector is booming thanks to more effective use of modern technologies and deepening internet penetration. The authors underline the necessity of sector efficient management and cooperation between the state and private investors.

    Tourism also serves as one of the significant drivers for the expansion of business and cultural cooperation inside regional economic communities and on the continent in general. A rising African middle class, visa liberalization and the recent creation of Single Air Transport Market open new prospects for African tourism development. The authors analyze the experience of such countries as Benin, Rwanda, Kenya, Zimbabwe and others in opening their visa environment, and the positive example of Ethiopian Airlines, which demonstrates perspectives for other African countries. Tourism in Africa faces different challenges, but many countries are trying to overcome them by improving their business environment.

Keywords: Africa, tourism, export revenues, service industry, digital technologies, visa liberalization, Single Air Transport Market

 

 FROM OUR STAFF CORRESPONDENT

AFRICAN UNION ON REFORMIST TRACK

DOI: 10.31857/S032150750004752-9

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

    In October 2018 and February 2019 in Addis Ababa took place two sessions of the Assembly of the African Union. African leaders started institutional, administrative and financial reforms and focused on the establishment of a continent wide free trade zone. They pushed for import taxes to fund AU activities and reduce its dependence on external donors, who pay for more than a half the institution’s annual budget. Head of states stressed the need to ensure that Africa speaks independently with one voice and strongly defends its positions on international arena. The reformist track will be on the African agenda conceived as a strategic framework for socioeconomic transformation, security and development. In the African Union are confident that Africans will find in the nearest future optimal answers to continental problems.

Keywords: African Union, assembly, institutional, administrative and financial reform

 

FOREIGN EXPERT OPINION

OIL OR BLOOD? THE DETERMINANTS OF INSURGENCY OUTCOMES IN SYRIA AND IRAQ

DOI: 10.31857/S032150750004753-0

SAVASTA Lucrezia (Italy), Post-graduate student, Higher School of Economics - National Research University, Moscow, Russian Federation ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. )  

    The study of insurgency outcomes in oil-producing states, in the Middle East, has been slightly explored by past scholars. Nowadays it is becoming increasingly important to understand why different groups can be more successful than others and what are the determinants that shape insurgency outcomes.

    For this analysis I have selected four case studies: ISIS (in Iraq and Syria), Free Syrian Army (FSA), Iraqi Kurdistan Region (KRG - PUK) and Syrian Kurds (Rojava region, PYD and YPG), in the period from 2012 to 2018. This four groups have been compared because they offer a complete vision of all possible models of insurgent groups, that are present in middle eastern oil-producing states.

    Four common key factors have been found: 1) management of natural resources, 2) management of territory under control, 3) military capacity and 4) incrementation of group’s demography, and the sum of each factor determines if the group was successful and when. The highest will be the group’s capacity in each of the four factors, the highest will be the level of success.

    The peculiarity of this study, based on the calculation of the level of success, offer a new model that can be applied to review past conflicts, develop future insurgency/anti-insurgency campaigns and forecast future conflicts in oil-producing states.

Keywords: insurgent groups, oil, level of success, Middle East, calculation-model 

 

POST-GRADUATE COLUMN

IRAQ: MODERN ECONOMY, CHALLENGES AND PROSPECTS

DOI: 10.31857/S032150750004754-1

Maaz Abdullah Basher BASHER (Iraq), Post-graduate student, Sergo Ordzhonikidze Russian State Geological Prospecting University (MGRI-RSGPU) ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. )

    The article analyzes the features of socio-economic development of the Republic of Iraq in 2010-2017 .possessing significant reserves of various mineral resources, especially oil and gas, extracting huge volumes of this raw material and exporting it to the world market, Iraq is traditionally included in the system of international division of labor mainly as an oil supplier, occupying in 2017 the 4th place in the world in terms of the value of exports of "black gold". However, in the conditions of instability in the world oil market and especially as a result of the military conflict that took place in 2014-2016, the need to restore the national economy and, above all, the oil segment is becoming more and more urgent for the state. The article shows that the national economy of Iraq, including the hydrocarbon sector and infrastructure, has suffered enormous material damage. As a result, there has been a significant reduction in GDP and other key macroeconomic indicators, including oil production and exports, as well as a deterioration in living standards and an increase in mortality.

    Economic recovery, which began in 2017 and continued in 2018, is the most important task of the state in the future. This will, however, require significant financial resources and efforts from both the public and non-governmental sectors, which in turn necessitate the institution-building of the country.

    According to the author, technological development and international cooperation play an important role in the process of economic recovery of the Republic of Iraq. The analysis of the current economic situation in the Republic of Iraq is based on UNCTAD statistics and official data from the government of Iraq.

Keywords: middle East, Iraq, economic development, economic recovery, hydrocarbon segment, investments

 

CULTURE, LITERATURE, ART

NOBUHIKO OBAYASHI: FROM INDEPENDENT CINEMA TO MAINSTREAM AND BACK

DOI: 10.31857/S032150750004755-2

Maria L. TERAKOPIAN, PhD (Arts), Leading Research Fellow, Film Art Institute-VGIK ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. )

    The article offers a portrait of a leading Japanese director Nobuhiko Obayashi, whose work is inseparably connected to the history of his country and national cinema. Yet he has been unduly neglected in the West. Special attention is given to his pioneering work in the definition of the look of commercials, the development of independent cinema, the fall of the studio system, the aesthetics of filmmaking. He started out making 8 and 16 mm movies on his own, yet he managed to make his way into the mainstream bypassing the almost compulsory training at major studios as assistant director. His creative work reflects the major developments in the artistic, social and political history of his country. The topic of one’s home town has always held a special appeal for the director and throughout his career he came back to it again and again. Central space is given to the director’s approach to the topic of war which is of paramount importance in his films. The director’s experiments and innovations in film language have noticeably influenced Japanese moviemaking. The visual aspect of Obayashi’s films is of special interest. He freely mixes feature and documentary shots, animation and computer graphics to create the desired emotional effect and to get his message over to the audience. Obayashi never stops experimenting, even when he is working mainly in the mainstream he makes occasional forays into the avant-garde. His services to national filmmaking have been acknowledged at home and crowned with several awards.

Keywords: Japanese cinema, Nobuhiko Obayashi, Fukushima, Second World War, independent cinema