A partire da una riflessione di World Bank blogs, sottolineiamo come l’Africa viva una condizione paradossale: pur essendo il continente meno responsabile per i cambiamenti climatici, è quello che pagherà il prezzo più alto in termini di conseguenze. Altresì, pur nelle difficoltà legate alla crisi climatica, l’Africa deve raggiungere i suoi obiettivi di sviluppo. Nota la riflessione sopra richiamata: Communities still live without reliable and affordable electricity needed to deliver social services and to be more resilient, better prepared, and more responsive when disasters hit.
Riguardo alla crisi climatica non abbiamo più molto da scoprire. Pur se ci sono alcune minoranze che ancora negano l’impatto dei cambiamenti climatici, fino a negarne l’esistenza, il tema è chiaro: la sostenibilità è uno dei nodi del futuro già presente. Quando parliamo di sostenibilità, però, la intendiamo dal punto di vista della complessità, non solo con riguardo alla questione ambientale. Oggi rischiamo di compromettere la sostenibilità del sistema-mondo e l’Africa lo dimostra. Fino a quando non capiremo che occorre ri-pensare l’impianto complessivo di una globalizzazione solo lineare e solo competitiva non riusciremo davvero a cambiare via, a percorrere la “via politica”.
Tutto abbiamo visto, negli ultimi decenni della nostra storia, tranne che l’evoluzione politica del mondo. Se, oggi, milioni di persone in Africa non hanno ancora accesso ai servizi energetici di base, ciò significa che abbiamo dato forma a un mondo disuguale, a un mondo fondato sulle disuguaglianze. Tutto questo, dentro la megacrisi de-generativa in atto (peggiorata con la pandemia e con la guerra in Ucraina), ci deve far pensare che i futuri dell’umanità possono ricominciare solo nei mondi-che-evolvono: dentro una ri-configurazione del mondo che superi gli Stati nazionali come centro della storia, e che crei un legame diretto e strategico tra i territori a livello regionale, il nostro obiettivo è di costruire scenari di glocalizzazione. Prestando particolare attenzione, lo ribadiamo, a una questione sociale che, nella erosione della relazione e dello spazio comune, si fa sempre più grave.
For a political sustainability of the world
Starting from a reflection by World Bank blogs, we underline how Africa lives a paradoxical condition: despite being the continent least responsible for climate change, it is the one that will pay the highest price in terms of consequences. Likewise, despite the difficulties linked to the climate crisis, Africa must achieve its development goals. From the above reflection: Communities still live without reliable and affordable electricity needed to deliver social services and to be more resilient, better prepared, and more responsive when disasters hit.
We don’t have much to discover about the climate crisis. Although there are some minorities who still deny the impact of climate change, even to the point of denying its existence, the theme is clear: sustainability is one of the knots of the future already present. When we talk about sustainability, however, we mean it from the point of view of complexity, not only with regard to the environmental issue. Today we risk compromising the sustainability of the world-system and Africa demonstrates this. Until we understand that it is necessary to re-think the overall system of a linear and only competitive globalization, we will not really be able to change course, to follow the “political path”.
We have seen everything in the last decades of our history, except the political evolution of the world. If, today, millions of people in Africa still do not have access to basic energy services, this means that we have shaped an unequal world, a world founded on inequalities. All this, within the de-generative megacrisis in progress (worsened by the pandemic and the war in Ukraine), must make us think that the futures of humanity can only start again in the worlds-that-evolve: within a re-configuration of the world that surpasses the nation States as the center of history, creating a direct and strategic link between the territories at the regional level, our goal is to build glocalization scenarios. With particular attention, we reiterate, to a social question which, in the erosion of the relationship and of the common space, becomes more and more serious.
AROUND THE WORLD
- August 11, 2022. Amin Saikal, The Strategist. One year on, the Taliban’s rule in Afghanistan continues to be marked by extremist brutality in the name of Islam and defiance of the UN-led international demand for an inclusive government and respect for human rights. The group has not been accorded global recognition and the Afghan people are in the midst of the worst humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan’s modern history. The country’s future prospects have never been so bleak. The Taliban’s disastrous year-long rule in Afghanistan
- August 11, 2022. HRW. The Taliban have broken multiple pledges to respect human rights and women’s rights since taking over Afghanistan a year ago, Human Rights Watch said today. After capturing Kabul on August 15, 2021, Taliban authorities have imposed severe restrictions on women’s and girls’ rights, suppressed the media, and arbitrarily detained, tortured, and summarily executed critics and perceived opponents, among other abuses. Afghanistan: Taliban’s Catastrophic Year of Rule
- August 1, 2022. Alex Benkenstein, SAIIA. Achieving a sustainable future will require that economic growth and development take
place without a commensurate increase in waste and demand for natural resources. The COVID-19 pandemic, followed by the conflict in Ukraine, has ushered in a new period of global fragility and instability. The significant social and economic costs of the multiple and interlinked crises facing the world are daunting. Ultimately, however, this period of global flux is a unique opportunity to re-evaluate and reimagine the status quo, including issues around humanity’s relationship with nature. There are opportunities for Africa in the current period of flux in power, technology, resource demand and productive capacity, but also significant risks. Africa must position itself to benefit from the new realities shaping the post-COVID order. Transitions and Resilience: Natural Resource Governance Trends in Africa
Africa – Russia
- August 3, 2022. Gustavo de Carvalho, SAIIA. During five days in July 2022, Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov travelled to four African nations to signal Russia’s push into the continent. The visit to Egypt, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Uganda and Ethiopia symbolises the Russian offensive to gain and reinforce international support. Africa needs to forge a unified approach to Russia before 2023 Russia-Africa Summit
Australia – China
- August 11, 2022. Michael Shoebridge, The Strategist. China’s ambassador to Australia, Xiao Qian, has a friendlier way of presenting the Chinese Communist Party propaganda department’s talking points than many of Beijing’s wolf warriors, but it’s the same content, just in nicer wrapping. At his National Press Club speech yesterday there was no strident shouting about Australian ‘finger-pointing’ or emotional claims that Australia had breached the UN charter. Ambassador Xiao’s speech: storytelling and the invisible Chinese Communist Party
- August 11, 2022. HRW. Cameroonian soldiers summarily killed at least 10 people and carried out a series of other abuses between April 24 and June 12, during counter-insurgency operations in the North-West region, Human Rights Watch said today. The troops also burned 12 homes, destroyed, and looted health facilities, arbitrarily detained at least 26 people, and are presumed to have forcibly disappeared up to 17 others. Cameroon: Army Killings, Disappearances, in North-West Region
- Augut 10, 2022. Lilia Burunciuc, World Bank blogs. In my discussion with the Caribbean leaders, food security comes up often. The COVID-19 pandemic has undermined food security on a global scale, and with the additional challenges exacerbated by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the impacts on the Caribbean are dire. Reimagining social protection systems in the Caribbean
China – Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP)
- August 11, 2022. Zhijie Ding, Wanjun Zhao, East Asia Forum. In September 2021, China applied for membership of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP). This application came four years after the United States pulled out of the nascent arrangement. While China is clearly motivated by a desire to expand trade and facilitate industrial expansion, its political motivations are less clear. China’s CPTPP bid reveals the political dimension of global trade ambitions
- August 11, 2022. HRW. Guinea dissolved the National Front for the Defense of the Constitution (Front national pour la défense de la Constitution, FNDC), a prominent coalition of Guinean civil society groups and opposition parties, on politically motivated grounds on August 8, 2022, Human Rights Watch said today. Guinea: Government Dissolves Opposition Coalition
- August 10, 2022. Toshiro Nishizawa, East Asia Forum. Affordability matters for government debt because the burden is eventually passed onto current and future taxpayers through tax hikes or inflation. Japan’s general government gross debt was 263 per cent of GDP at the end of 2021. Borrowing may seem affordable as long as the average yield is close to zero, but low interest rates are no longer sustainable as Japan falls behind global monetary tightening trends. Waking up from the Japanese debt dream
- August 10, 2022. Richard Arnold, The Jamestown Foundation. Much has been written about Cossack organizations fighting in Ukraine (see EDM, July 25, June 28, April 25, March 30, March 2) and fulfilling ideological roles in Russian society (see EDM, May 10). However, the influence of Cossack groups on Russian education has seemingly been neglected. Education policy is a crucial field for the long-term stability and survivability of any regime, as it is a critical area in which children become citizens and identity is formed (Ernest Gellner, Nationalism, 1983). In Russia, Cossack organizations play an important role in both educating youth in the values of patriotism and preparing them for military service. This is achieved through a variety of venues. Cossack Education Policy: Ideological Indoctrination
- August 10, 2022. Vadim Shtepa, The Jamestown Foundation. In May 2022, the first Forum of the Free Nations of Russia was held in Warsaw, Poland, and the second was held in Prague, Czech Republic, at the end of July. The latter gathering saw the adoption of the Declaration on the Decolonization of Russia (Freenationsrf.org, accessed August 9). Representatives of more than 30 Russian regions (national republics and oblasts), mainly living in exile, took part in these events, in person and virtually. The forum was originally organized by Ukrainian, Polish and Lithuanian nongovernmental organizations. Responding to Moscow’s Imperial Revanchism, a “Post-Russia” Forum Is Born
- August 10, 2022. Sergey Sukhankin, The Jamestown Foundation. On July 20, speaking at the annual assembly of manufacturers and entrepreneurs in Lipetsk Oblast, Vladimir Lisin, chairman of Novolipetsk Steel (NLMK)—first among Russia`s four steel-producing giants and one of the largest steel-producing companies in the world—remarked that the Russian ferrous metallurgy industry in general and the NLMK plant in particular are facing incredibly tough times. Specifically, Lisin argued that a combination of Western sanctions (which have resulted in Western markets de facto becoming closed to Russian steel producers), logistical challenges and increasing costs of freight services coupled with a large surplus of steel in the Asian markets have rendered “export from Russia virtually senseless.” He also warned that hopes of redirecting Russia`s exports to alternative markets—such as in the Indo-Pacific region—are, at least for now, an exceedingly low possibility, which stems from a number of factors. As a result, Lisin concluded, Russia is now exporting production of its ferrous metallurgy industry to its Asian customers at cost, which leaves the industry without any true profit margins (Rosbalt.ru, July 20). Russia’s Ferrous Metallurgy Industry Faces First Impacts of Economic Sanctions
Russia – North Korea
- August 11, 2022. Gabriela Bernal, The Interpreter. North Korea and Russia appear to be strengthening ties amid Russia’s increasing isolation from much of the world following its invasion of Ukraine. And with North Korea low on Washington’s priority list right now, Pyongyang seems to be taking advantage of tensions elsewhere and making decisions that could further worsen the security and stability of the entire Asian region. Russia and North Korea: never waste a good crisis
Russia – Ukraine
- August 10, 2022. IAEA. Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi announced today that he will brief the United Nations Security Council on Thursday about the nuclear safety and security situation at Ukraine’s Zaporizhzya Nuclear Power Plant (ZNPP) and his efforts to agree and lead an International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) expert mission to the site as soon as possible. Update 90 – IAEA Director General Statement on Situation in Ukraine
- August 10, 2022. Kateryna Stepanenko, Katherine Lawlor, Angela Howard, Layne Philipson, Karolina Hird, George Barros, and Frederick W. Kagan, ISW. Ukrainian officials framed the August 9 attack in Crimea as the start of Ukraine’s counteroffensive in the south, suggesting that the Ukrainian military expects intense fighting in August and September that could decide the outcome of the next phase of the war. A Ukrainian official told Politico on August 10 that “you can say this is it” when asked about the start of Ukraine’s planned counteroffensive. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky vaguely noted on August 10 that the war “began with Crimea and must end with Crimea – with its liberation.”. Russian Offensive Campaign Assessment, August 10
- August 10, 2022. Cynthia Cook, Joseph S. Bermudez Jr., Jennifer Jun, Alexander Holderness, Grace Hwang, CSIS. On March 13, 2022, the Russian military attacked the Zorya-Mashproekt gas turbine complex in southern Ukraine, a complex that once supplied engines to the Russian Navy. This strike represented the coup de grace and final indicator of the end of Russia’s longstanding dependence on the key industrial capacity of Ukraine. The strike also offers evidence of continuing Russian efforts to reduce dependence on Western suppliers and develop domestic capabilities. This decoupling may be a bellwether for how Russia and other states act in future conflicts—namely, reducing dependencies where countries want to mitigate risks in case of armed conflict. If Russia or other states have moved to onshoring acquiring capabilities from other countries, this could signal their plans for strategic realignment through force or other coercive methods. Spotlight on Russia’s Attack on a Ukrainian Marine Gas Turbine Supplier
- August 11, 2022. John Fitzgerald, The Strategist. Whatever we make of the visit to Taiwan by US congressional leader Nancy Pelosi, one good thing to come out of it is that Australians have a much clearer sense of President Xi Jinping’s determination to take Taiwan by force. What Australia must do next on Taiwan
- August 10, 2022. Colin Clark, Breaking Defense. The unprecedented live fire exercises by China, designed to pressure Taiwan and overawe China’s neighbors in the wake of US Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to the island, are likely to become the “new normal,” a top expert on China’s military says. PLA patrols, missile launches ‘new normal’ for Taiwan
- August 10, 2022. The Associated Press, Defense News. China on Wednesday repeated military threats against Taiwan while appearing to wind down wargames near the self-governing island it claims as its own territory that have raised tensions between the two sides to their highest level in years. China appears to wind down military drills near Taiwan
- August 10, 2022. Andrey Gubin, Valdai Discussion Club. The visit of US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi to the island of Taiwan was undoubtedly an unpleasant event for Beijing. At the same time, the step was fully consistent with the spirit of modern US foreign policy. Washington, in an effort to maintain its own hegemony and the position of a world democratic leader, is constantly testing the boundaries of other states, which, in the opinion of the American authorities, are a threat. The Fourth Taiwan Crisis: Democracy vs. Logic
- August 10, 2022. CSIS. As U.S. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi traveled to Taiwan on August 2-3, China responded with forceful and coercive military, economic, and diplomatic measures. Developments are still unfolding, but the large-scale and unprecedented military exercises taken by the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) far exceed the operations China engaged in during the Third Taiwan Strait Crisis that took place in 1995-1996. Chinese escalation has precipitated the Fourth Taiwan Strait Crisis, leading to international calls for China to immediately halt its military activities. Tracking the Fourth Taiwan Strait Crisis (Updated August 10)
- August 10, 2022. Aaron Mehta, Breaking Defense. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin has approved downgrading the principal military officers at five global embassies, while reversing previous moves for four other officer roles including a particularly sensitive role in Israel, according to a memo obtained by Breaking Defense. EXCLUSIVE: Austin approves downgrade of 5 general officer jobs at embassies
Climate Change & Sustainability
- August 5, 2022. Chigozie Nweke-Eze, Lauren Johnston, SAIIA. Africa, like Australia, has abundant and relatively cheap resources in renewable energy, coupled with on average low population density and large-scale availability of non-arable land. Around the Northern and Southern Tropics especially there is excellent solar (average daily potential of 4.49kWh/kWp) and wind resources (180,000 TWh per year) for potential green hydrogen production. Green hydrogen offers a window to redefine the Africa-Australia and Africa-Australia-Europe partnerships
- August 8, 2022. Simone Phoré, Alex Benkenstein, SAIIA. Oceans have been described as the quintessential sustainable development issue, as they sustain the global economy and are a critical resource, fundamental to human survival. Africa’s Sustainable Blue Economy: The Role of Incubators and Accelerators
Counterrorism – Cybersecurity – Defense – Military – Security – Space
- August 11, 2022. Brendan Walker-Munro, The Strategist. In June, the Five Eyes Law Enforcement Group—comprising the heads of national police for Australia, Canada and New Zealand, the UK and the US—revealed that foreign governments were infiltrating organised crime groups to launder money and sell drugs in Australia. Foreign spies and gangsters: why Australia needs a national security strategy
- August 10, 2022. Alessandro Mascellino, Infosecurity. The threat actor known as DeathStalker has continued to target and disrupt foreign and cryptocurrency exchanges around the world throughout 2022 using the VileRAT malware, according to security researchers from Kaspersky. DeathStalker’s VileRAT Continues to Target Foreign and Crypto Exchanges
- August 10, 2022. Alessandro Mascellino, Infosecurity. Cyber-criminals spreading malware families are shifting to shortcut (LNK) files to deliver malware, HP Wolf Security’s latest report suggests. Cyber-criminals Shift From Macros to Shortcut Files to Hack Business PCs, HP Report
- August 10, 2022. Andrew Eversden, Breaking Defense. The US Army’s rapid capabilities office plans to deliver its first combat laser to Stryker units in next few weeks and is moving ahead with a project to mount a laser weapon on another vehicle, according to the office’s director. ‘Bullet made out of light’: Army to field first Stryker-mounted combat laser in next 45 days
- August 10, 2022. Justin Katz, Breaking Defense. The Government Accountability Office has denied Textron Systems’ legal challenge to the Navy’s $122 million contract award to Bollinger Shipyards for the production of a new unmanned surface vehicle. Textron Systems loses bid to change Navy’s course on MCM USV contract
- August 10, 2022. Breaking Defense. Since the end of the Cold War, the defense industry has been on a merger and acquisitions kick, with larger firms gorging on smaller ones with few challenges put forth from government. That may be beginning to change, argues Bill Greenwalt of the American Enterprise Institute, and if so it would herald a new era for industry — with potential rewards for taxpayers. FTC activism and Ukraine signal a new era for the US defense industrial base
- August 10, 2022. Theresa Hitchens, Breaking Defense. Northern Command is wrapping up testing of the Long Range Discrimination Radar for missile defense, and expects that it will be operational within “months,” says Brig. Gen. Joey Lestorti, head of the command’s J3 operations directorate. Long-range missile defense radar ready to ‘plug in’ at NORTHCOM within ‘months’
- August 10, 2022. DARPA Updates on OpFires Hypersonic Missile Test In July 2022, Naval News reached out to the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) for an update on their test firing of an Operational Fires (OpFires) hypersonic missile. The OpFires program will mount two to three hypersonic missiles on a U.S. Army 10×10 Palletized Load System (PLS) or U.S. Marine Corps (USMC) Logistics Vehicle Replacement System tactical truck. OpFires trucks intend to deliver better field mobility, setup, and launch response time, maneuverability, and concealment than hypersonic missiles on a tractor-trailer combination.
- August 10, 2022. Lauren C. Williams, Defense One. The Army wants a small business to supply tech that can support and integrate everything from sensors to 5G and augmented reality headsets, in an effort to “optimize the ground soldier’s ability to shoot, move, and communicate”. The U.S. Army Is Hunting For More Soldier-Connected Tech
- August 10, 2022. Gen. Glen D. VanHerck, Defense News. The 2022 National Defense Strategy outlines defending the homeland as priority No. 1. To ensure homeland defense, North American Aerospace Defense Command and U.S. Northern Command require credible capability to deter strategic competitor actions across the whole of our area of operations and responsibility, including the Arctic. While some may challenge the importance of the Arctic to U.S. national security, Russia and the People’s Republic of China have clearly made long-term Arctic investments in the region. Campaigning at the top of the world: The Arctic and homeland defense
- August 10, 2022.
- August 10, 2022. Megan Eckstein, Defense News. A new U.S. Marine Corps regiment has shown how it can protect a carrier strike group while navigating through a strait, using only sensors, an unmanned truck armed with anti-ship missiles, and a fires and air detection unit. New US Marine regiment shows off capabilities at RIMPAC ahead of fall experimentation blitz
- August 10, 2022. Irene Loewenson, Defense News. Maxar Technologies will build 14 spacecraft platforms for L3Harris Technologies as part of a Pentagon program for tracking missile threats, including from hypersonic systems, Maxar announced Tuesday. Maxar to aid L3Harris in tracking missiles from space
- August 10, 2022.
- August 10, 2022. Catherine Buchaniec, Defense News. As the Pentagon seeks to modernize its weapons program, artificial intelligence and autonomous robots could hold the key to improving the lethality and performance of close combat units. US Army’s ‘Lethality Task Force’ looks to save lives with AI
- August 10, 2022. Irene Loewenson, Defense News. Armaments Research Co. will provide U.S. soldiers with real-time data on the health and readiness of the rifles that the service has recently selected for its close combat force under the Next Generation Squad Weapons program, the company announced in a news release Wednesday. Army seeks data as it fields Next Generation Squad Weapons
- August 10, 2022. Kim Tong-Hyung, AP, Defense News. South Korea’s government stressed Wednesday it will make its own decisions in strengthening its defenses against North Korean threats, rejecting Chinese calls that it continue the polices of Seoul’s previous government that refrained from adding more U.S. anti-missile batteries that are strongly opposed by Beijing. China, South Korea clash over THAAD anti-missile system
- August 10, 2022. Shahira Amin, Atlantic Council. When US President Joe Biden announced the killing of al-Qaeda leader Ayman al- Zawahiri on August 1, his family members in Cairo received news of his demise with shock and dismay. The founding head of al-Qaeda is dead. But radicalism continues to thrive in Egypt
- August 10, 2022. Xirui Li, East Asia Forum. Cross-border data flows have been a priority on the G20 agenda since 2019. This year is no exception. Indonesia, which holds the G20 Presidency in 2022, has promised to promote discussions on cross-border data flows, setting up the Digital Economy Working Group to facilitate a constructive, productive and inclusive dialogue related to data governance. Indonesia won’t go with the flow on data
- August 9, 2022. Sunayana Sasmal and Petros C Mavroidis, East Asia Forum. Trade policy and national security policy are interconnected. The World Trade Organisation (WTO), which replaced the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) in 1995, promotes a rules-based approach to international trade between nations. There are two exceptions to obligations assumed under WTO law — exceptions that are compromising the efficacy of the WTO and its desire for a rules-based order. A WTO member’s home is its castle
- August 10, 2022. Laurent Bossavie, Kevwe Pela, World Bank blogs. Labor costs can be a key determinant of job creation. In developing economies where informal employment remains common, it has also been argued that labor costs can contribute to informality by making employment “off the books” more attractive to employers in relative terms, especially in contexts where labor productivity is low. What we’re reading about labor costs, employment incentives and the broader jobs agenda
- August 10, 2022. Gregory Simons, Valdai Discussion Club. The global geopolitical configuration continues its transformation away from the embattled hegemony of the Western-centric US unipolar order towards a non-Western centric multipolar order. As such, the level of competition and conflict is likely to increase as the US is a declining hegemon seeks to arrest the rise of competing are perceived to grow at their expense. Clash of Diplomacies in the Transforming Global Order: Messianic Ideology Versus Pragmatic Realism
Health & Digital
- August 10, 2022. Shania Kennedy, Health IT Analytics. The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) announced that it will incorporate recommendations from the HHS Equity Technical Assistance Center (ETAC) into the next iteration of its Project US@ initiative. ONC Expands Health Equity Data Initiative to Standardize Patient Addresses