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Space and Debris

Helmut Sorge | Posted : October 03, 2018


January 28, 1986. It was just another day in the whirlpool of news and speculations of a new Foreign Correspondent to be assigned to the White House. Shivering on his way to the most important political center of the Western World, resisting arctic cold and snow on the way to work, hardly ever seeing the President himself. Instead, he found himself on this fateful day in a rendez-vous with Tom Foley, majority leader in the House of Representatives, a classic and classy democrat, honest and liberal, stamped by dignity and selected language and never close to the gutter as some politicians in the US capital these days.

Trump and the Future

Helmut Sorge | Posted : September 28, 2018


There they were, the North Koreans, covered by red flags, and more red flags — a Hollywood production indeed. Were the soldiers singing? There was nothing to sing about since they're marching for endless hours, being scrutinized by cameras and bothered by aching pains of hunger, unable to speak and stimulate their voice. The colonel in charge of the marchers may discover some rusty spot on a belt buckle or a truck on parade may run out of fuel - and a night in a military prison may be certain, at very least. Kim Jong-Un, at times we forget, is one of the world’s worst abusers of human rights. North Korea’s 70th anniversary parade was perfect, as a perfect as it can get, unless you are a fanatic, expecting ICB Missiles on parade — the Hwasong 14 or 15.These main actors in the show of national greatness, were missing, yes, AWOL, as soldiers say, absent without leave.

S’adapter à une menace changeante, l’Europe face à sa sécurité

Sabine Cessou | Posted : September 24, 2018

La conférence « A Brave New World, Adapting to a changing security landscape », organisée par Friends of Europe, le 20 septembre 2018 à Bruxelles, a consisté en des tables rondes auxquelles ont participé Bouchra Rahmouni Benhida, Senior Research Fellow d'OCP Policy Center et Amal El Ouassif, Research Assistant, notamment sur les plus grands défis de la politique extérieure européenne. « C’était très gratifiant de voir distribuées, aujourd’hui, les conclusions sur la migration d’un brainstorming global auquel j’ai participé en juillet dernier», a souligné Bouchra Rahmouni Benhida. 

A new Africa, a new China

Marcus Vinicius de Freitas | Posted : September 24, 2018

The Beijing Declaration “Toward and Even Stronger China-Africa Community with a Shared Future” - and the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) Beijing Action Plan (2019-2021), resulting from the last FOCAC held on September the 3rd and 4th 2018, in Beijing, showed the China-Africa cooperation will increase deeper in the near future, clearly demonstrating a new era for both China and Africa. FOCAC currently comprises China and 53 African countries. 

Infrastructure: Can Africa learn from Morocco?

Uri Dadush | Posted : September 21, 2018

This blog is based on remarks delivered at the Think-Tank Summit in Buenos Aires on 18 September 2018 held under the G-20’s Argentine Presidency. 

Africa has an enormous infrastructure gap that impedes its development. The Compact with Africa (CwA) is an international policy initiative sponsored under the German presidency of the G-20 in 2017 designed to bridge that gap. Intended to draw in the private sector in developing Africa’s infrastructure through a combination of Private-Public Partnerships (PPP) and blended finance, the CwA involves the public sector of a dozen African countries have volunteered to join the initiative, and international organizations such as the African Development Bank and various donor agencies. Though the initiative has built up momentum among policy-makers since its launch, the participation of the private sector has been noticeably weak. 

قراءة في آخر رسالة لأيمن الظواهري: خوف من أفول نجم القاعدة

Abdelhak Bassou | Posted : September 19, 2018

   جريا على عادته في الاستفادة من المناسبات للتواصل بين زعامة التنظيم و أتباعه، اغتنم زعيم تنظيم القاعدة ذكرى أحداث الحادي عشر من أيلول/سبتمبر الإرهابية، التي ضربت الولايات المتحدة سنة 2001 لتوجيه تعليمات قد تعتبر جديدة أو مجددة لأتباعه في كل بقاع العالم
   وضع الظواهري رسالته تحت عنوان: "كيف نواجه أميركا؟". يثير هذا العنوان بعض الاستغراب: هل يدل الظواهري أنصاره على الطريقة التي يجب أن يحاربوا بها أميركا بعد مضي أكثر من ربع قرن على اندلاع هذه الحرب أم أن ثمة أمر جديد يقتضي إما التذكير بأمور قديمة أو مد القاعدة بتعليمات جديدة أو خطط محدثة على الحرب ضد أميركا؟

AGRF 2018 : Leadership et évaluation permanente des politiques publiques, gages de la transformation de l’agriculture africaine

Mouhamadou Moustapha Ly , Tharcisse Guedegbe | Posted : September 19, 2018

La ville de Kigali, au Rwanda, a accueilli du 5 au 8 septembre 2018 le forum de l’AGRA, devenant ainsi la capitale de l’agriculture africaine pendant ces quatre journées. Délégations gouvernementales, partenaires techniques et financiers, chercheurs, universitaires, investisseurs, producteurs, club de réflexion, entre autres, étaient en conclave pour faire l’état des lieux du secteur et mesurer les progrès accomplis sur la route de la transformation de l’agriculture africaine. 

A travers une démarche rétrospective, cette contribution se propose de présenter les faits saillants de l’agriculture africaine. Nous revisiterons les défis et proposerons de considérer le développement du secteur de l’agriculture comme étant une partie d’un système dont le développement nécessite des politiques publiques endogènes, cohérentes et soutenables. 

How to heal the Brazilian economy

Otaviano Canuto | Posted : September 18, 2018

If I were to synthesize the current situation of the Brazilian economy in one sentence, I would say: “it is suffering from a combination of ‘productivity anemia1 and ‘public sector obesity2’". On the one hand, the mediocre performance of productivity in Brazil in recent decades has limited its GDP growth potential. On the other, the gluttony for expanding public spending has become increasingly incompatible with such limits in the potential expansion of GDP, particularly since the former has not been achieving socioeconomic results that match such appetite.

Libye : les raisons pour lesquelles les élections n’auront pas lieu

Youssef Tobi | Posted : September 14, 2018

Après dix-huit mois d’observation, les milices armées de Tripoli ont repris leurs luttes de pouvoir faisant, une quarantaine de morts, selon un bilan datant du 3 septembre 2018, et provoquant l’évasion de quelque quatre cent détenus de la prison d’Ain Zara. Après la rencontre de Paris, et la conquête du croissant pétrolifère libyen par le Maréchal Haftar, les milices armées semblent dos au mur se résolvant dans un ultime effort à faire partie, tambour battant, de la nouvelle phase de négociations insufflées par la présidence française. Il semble que, paradoxalement, la volonté de paix exacerbe la violence en Libye dans le sens où elle induit un partage de pouvoir parmi la multitude d’acteurs. Dans ce contexte, l’organisation des élections le 10 décembre 2018 semble compromise, voire totalement remise en question, et ce pour trois raisons principales. 

“L’Etat c’est moi”

Helmut Sorge | Posted : September 14, 2018


L’Etat c’est moi, ” proclaimed Louis XIV on April 13, 1655. He was the state for 72 years and 110 days, the absolute monarch of France, who was "l’état lui meme" since he was four years old when his reign began. Louis made his nation the leading power in Europe, defining its foreign policy mainly through warfare. The monarch turned into a myth, surrounded by extravagance and luxurious exaggerations, the roi soleil dominating forever his nation’s history books, which celebrate the greatness of France, and his genius. Versailles comes to mind, the glorious palace, where he died in 1715, still the king, buried in the Basilica of St Denis, today not really an adequate surrounding for a noble figure, succeeding in controlling aristocracy and papal power during his eternal years of rule.

Lesser, more megalomaniac, rulers come to mind, trying to impose on their people the control of authoritarian power by claiming l’Etat c’est moi - oppressive dictators, who exist in their delusion of grandeur, executing or incarcerating those who are questioning their minds or excessive authority. Muammar Gaddafi survived his delusions of greatness, protected by an imagined divine power, unlimited cash and hundreds of trusted, often female, bodyguards, for 42 years. Unlike the noble king of Versailles, aristocracy or men of wisdom advising him on how to establish a modern nation with his enormous wealth did not surround the ruler of Libya, the ninth largest oil producer of the world. He ruled without opposition, critical newspapers or the intellectual input of thriving universities. L’état c’est moi, was his Leitmotiv, his egomania and self-indulgence did not tolerate opposition.

I was expelled from Libya, accompanied by police to the British Caledonian Jet returning from Tripoli to London, because Germany’s media and politicians reacted fiercely to the massacre of Israeli athletes and coaches by Palestinian terrorists at the Munich Olympics in the summer of 1972 – Gaddafi supported the Palestinian movement, as he assisted the Irish Republican Army, and other radical groups with weapons, logistics, and money. The killed Palestinian terrorists, members of the Black September movement, were flown from Munich to Tripoli, and I followed to cover the heroes’ funeral, heroes for Palestinians and Gaddafi. The Munich attackers were buried with full military honors, a ceremony I missed because the Colonel decided to expel German citizens, especially members of the media criticizing the useless murder at a global sporting celebration.