China in Africa

In brief the NAI Policy Dialogue questions the World Bank recommendations for large scale agriculture to solve the productivity and equity problems in African agriculture. The whole issue of property rights is intimately linked to the question about agriculture and development. The contribution by Benjaminsen and Sjaastad on aspects of property rights formalization in Africa draws on recent processes in Mali and Tanzania. A general conclusion is that the formalization of property rights in rural areas is a very complex and problematic issue.

There is a high risk of the process being co-opted by officials and a wealthy elite, if necessary provisions are not made. Finally, Kjell Havnevik draws our attention to the relationship between inequality and climate change. This contribution is based on a presentation he made in Berlin in June 2007. Decoding the evolving China–Africa relations is the theme of an article written by NAI Research Director Fantu Cheru. He suggests that policies and programmes to deal with the present imbalances between China and Africa require us to revisit and redefine the NEPAD agenda.

A regional approach will, in his opinion, help African countries to negotiate from a stronger and better platform. During 2008 researchers at NAI will continue to devote attention to this topic. In our interview section we present one interview with Martha Qorro, professor in English language, on the question about the language of instruction in Tanzania. She is of the opinion that the best way to teach English is not to use it as the language of instruction. She also responds to the question why the question of language of instruction has become such a sensitive political issue in Tanzania.

In our second interview Jerome Verdier, chairman of the Liberia Truth and Reconciliation Commission, points to the fact that the TRC’s part of the conflict resolution is nothing new. Liberia has a history of resolving community conflicts at the round table. But in the past there were no prolonged conflicts, such as the recent 4 year period of massive human rights violation. In the research section we present the result of a conference which took place at NAI, Uppsala, in September 2007 regarding the ongoing discussions between EU and the ACP countries on Economic Partnership Agreements.

The discussion at the conference highlighted the lack of connection between the poverty alleviation goal and the reality of the negotiations, despite numerous political declarations on both the EU and ACP sides. Key decisions on EPAs will soon be made by EU and ACP ministers. The Africa Europe Group of Interdisciplinary Studies, AEGIS, of which NAI is an active member, is presented through three contributions. Photo by Susanne Linderos News from the Nordic Africa Institute 3/2007 First, we bring you an interview with the AEGIS Chair, Professor Patrick Chabal of King’s College, London.