With China's Help, Ethiopia Is A "Player"

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Re: With China's Help, Ethiopia Is A "Player"

Postby David Benton » Fri Feb 10, 2017 8:34 pm

johnthefireman wrote:I haven't heard much about Somali piracy recently. Does anybody have any recent statistics? Maybe it has reduced due to international naval patrols, the actions of AMISOM and other factors?

Much reduced by 2913 , according to Wikipedia .
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Piracy_of ... of_Somalia
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Re: With China's Help, Ethiopia Is A "Player"

Postby johnthefireman » Sat Feb 11, 2017 12:06 am

Thanks, David. From that link:

By September 2012, the heyday of piracy in the Indian Ocean was reportedly over. Backers were now reportedly reluctant to finance pirate expeditions due to the low rate of success, and pirates were no longer able to reimburse their creditors. According to the International Maritime Bureau, pirate attacks had by October 2012 dropped to a six-year low, with only one ship attacked in the third quarter compared to thirty-six during the same period in 2011. By December 2013, the US Office of Naval Intelligence reported that only nine vessels had been attacked during the year by the pirates, with zero successful hijackings. Control Risks attributed this 90% decline in pirate activity from the corresponding period in 2012 to the adoption of best management practices by vessel owners and crews, armed private security onboard ships, a significant naval presence, and the development of onshore security forces


So piracy is unlikely to be a limiting factor for the port of Djibouti these days.

Incidentally, talk around Nairobi is that much of the pirates' and their backers' cash was laundered in Nairobi via the construction of new office blocks and luxury apartments which have been springing up everywhere.
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Re: With China's Help, Ethiopia Is A "Player"

Postby george matthews » Sat Feb 11, 2017 8:06 am

johnthefireman wrote:I haven't heard much about Somali piracy recently. Does anybody have any recent statistics? Maybe it has reduced due to international naval patrols, the actions of AMISOM and other factors?

I would expect all sea traffic keeps a wide distance between the ships and Somalia.
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Re: With China's Help, Ethiopia Is A "Player"

Postby johnthefireman » Sat Feb 11, 2017 9:14 am

george matthews wrote:I would expect all sea traffic keeps a wide distance between the ships and Somalia.


I don't know if you read the link that David gave, but apparently all sea traffic no longer needs to keep a wide distance from Somalia.
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Re: With China's Help, Ethiopia Is A "Player"

Postby Gilbert B Norman » Sat Feb 11, 2017 9:40 am

I'm pleased to learn that piracy has become less of an issue than, say, five years ago. I'm sure the maritime community shares that same thought.

Now again I ask, Messrs. Fireman and Matthews, what will be the traffic base. The Chinese did not build this railroad "out of their humanitarian heart". There must be more unexploited reserves of natural resources needing rail transport to move to a maritime port than has been reported by general circulation media.

Thoughts, anyone?
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Re: With China's Help, Ethiopia Is A "Player"

Postby kato » Sat Feb 11, 2017 9:59 am

Gilbert B Norman wrote:There must be more unexploited reserves of natural resources needing rail transport to move to a maritime port than has been reported by general circulation media.

Main chinese plan circulated - and being realized - is to build factories in Ethiopia for local relatively cheap labour to produce goods for export.

See e.g.
https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles ... heap-labor
or
http://europe.autonews.com/article/2016 ... nufacturer
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Re: With China's Help, Ethiopia Is A "Player"

Postby johnthefireman » Sat Feb 11, 2017 11:06 am

Gilbert B Norman wrote:Now again I ask... what will be the traffic base. The Chinese did not build this railroad "out of their humanitarian heart". There must be more unexploited reserves of natural resources needing rail transport to move to a maritime port than has been reported by general circulation media.Thoughts, anyone?


Good question and I can't say I know the answer. But thoughts? Well, firstly China is increasing and consolidating its influence in Africa. Any particular piece of the jigsaw may not have a huge value in itself, but its value lies in being part of a bigger picture. Secondly, I think China aspires to a standard gauge network linking many African countries where there are natural resources.
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Re: With China's Help, Ethiopia Is A "Player"

Postby Gilbert B Norman » Sat Feb 11, 2017 11:51 am

Mr. Kato, thank you for locating and sharing those two links. Anyone whose knowledge of this development was formulated by The Times' article would think it was all about a one a day passenger train.

Of interest, China is no longer "cheap labor". Remember when Japan was considered "cheap labor"? What has happened to the Japanese economy? What if same happens in China - let us not forget their formidable military might?

Oh well, we have a State Department - or at least we did until this past January 20 - to address those concerns.
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Re: With China's Help, Ethiopia Is A "Player"

Postby george matthews » Mon Feb 13, 2017 10:36 am

Gilbert B Norman wrote:I'm pleased to learn that piracy has become less of an issue than, say, five years ago. I'm sure the maritime community shares that same thought.

Now again I ask, Messrs. Fireman and Matthews, what will be the traffic base. The Chinese did not build this railroad "out of their humanitarian heart". There must be more unexploited reserves of natural resources needing rail transport to move to a maritime port than has been reported by general circulation media.

Thoughts, anyone?

Ethiopia is in fact developing enough to warrant a better rail connection with the ocean and therefore the rest of the world. I think it quite likely they will need a rail connection with Kenya to the south, and possibly to Uganda through South Sudan - though the latter's political instability makes that unlikely in the near future. However, as the two lines will soon be Standard Gauge the possibilities are quite obvious. Note that road connections are far more difficult in all these areas. Few of the roads are paved.

I don't think fears of the Chinese are warranted here. China is not finding work in Africa at all easy, as can be observed in Zambia.
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Re: With China's Help, Ethiopia Is A "Player"

Postby philipmartin » Mon Feb 13, 2017 11:41 am

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Re: With China's Help, Ethiopia Is A "Player"

Postby johnthefireman » Mon Feb 13, 2017 12:46 pm

george matthews wrote:China is not finding work in Africa at all easy, as can be observed in Zambia.


Are you referring to something specific here, George? Can you elaborate?
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Re: With China's Help, Ethiopia Is A "Player"

Postby george matthews » Tue Feb 14, 2017 7:08 am

johnthefireman wrote:
george matthews wrote:China is not finding work in Africa at all easy, as can be observed in Zambia.


Are you referring to something specific here, George? Can you elaborate?

There have been BBC tv programmes on the Chinese in Zambia, especially on the railway. They are not finding work easy there.
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Re: With China's Help, Ethiopia Is A "Player"

Postby george matthews » Tue Feb 14, 2017 7:32 am

johnthefireman wrote:At the moment the Standard Gauge line in Kenya is planned for diesel operation, although I suppose one can hope that one day it will be electrified. Kenya is currently struggling to generate enough power for the country, and there is little opportunity for increased hydroelectric capacity here. Geothermal electric power is the future for Kenya. Ethiopia and Uganda are planning to increase hydroelectric generating capacity.

For local energy supplies in Kenya the biogas I helped pioneer in the 1970s is the most encouraging development. I see reports that it has become quite popular. However, I don't think it is likely to power the new SG line. But geothermal is certainly the best bet there.
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Re: With China's Help, Ethiopia Is A "Player"

Postby johnthefireman » Thu Feb 16, 2017 11:06 am

There's a short piece on piracy in today's Daily Nation in Kenya. It says piracy is on the increase on Africa's west coast, with at least 27 attacks reported since last April, whereas on the east coast there have only been two attacks in the same period.
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Re: With China's Help, Ethiopia Is A "Player"

Postby george matthews » Thu Feb 16, 2017 11:39 am

johnthefireman wrote:There's a short piece on piracy in today's Daily Nation in Kenya. It says piracy is on the increase on Africa's west coast, with at least 27 attacks reported since last April, whereas on the east coast there have only been two attacks in the same period.

I think there are numerous small inlets along Nigeria's coast where small boats can hide. I doubt if Nigeria's security forces cover the whole coast efficiently or at all. I don't know anything about other coasts there. I never saw the sea when I was in Nigeria.
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