Trilateral Cooperation in Africa, Germany and China
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A Model towards Poverty Reduction in Africa
1 Genesis of Trilateral Development Cooperations
1.1 Introduction: The roots of current Trilateral Cooperations
The shift towards multilateral cooperations and, more specifically, Trilateral Cooperations (TC) is more visible today than ever before. Many traditional aid recipient countries have recently become donors of development aid as well (Altenburg & Weikert 2007: 1). In particular are today's emerging powers such as China, India, Brazil and South Africa. These countries are increasingly providing aid programs for needier developing countries. This thesis deals with this entry level into the donor role. In the case of the country China, which has already provided development aid in the past and holds an important position among the New Donors. In addition the study attempts to find an answer to the question: Is there a common ground, together on which the People's Republic of China and the Federal Republic of Germany might engage in a Poverty Reduction Project in Africa? Finally a tentative model shall be introduced, which suggests how Trilateral Cooperation between China, Germany and Africa might look like.
Taking a closer look further back in history one will find that development co-operations in general became more significant in the late 1940s, in the aftermath of World War II, following the initiation of the famous Marshall Plan to rebuild the economy of the European countries (Hjertholm & White 2000: 59). This successful implementation led to the belief that development aid projects have the ability to be effective. As a result of this realization, the notion of development aid received an enormous boost.
From the late 1940s until the early 1960s Development Cooperations have been exceptionally in the form of bilateral agreements (Mehta & Nanda 2005: 1). Among the existing development aid given to reconstruct Europe, the United States of America was the outstanding donor establishing Development Cooperations in many developing countries (Mehta & Nanda 2005: 1).
The period from the early 1960s to the mid 1970s saw a considerable progress in multilateral development assistance (source). While in 1960, the original membership of the Development Assistance Group, the predecessor of the Development Assistance Committee (DAC), did cover most of the significant aid donors of the day the list of member states comprised Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Portugal, the United Kingdom, the United States and the Commission of the European Economic Community, joined almost immediately by first Japan and then the Netherlands. But even by then, the Russians had famously replaced the US and the World Bank as sponsors of the Aswan Dam, and indeed India and other Asian Commonwealth countries had been providing technical assistance under the Colombo Plan (source) since 1950. In 1961, Kuwait established the first of the Middle East funds: Hence their has been a great dislike of most of the well-established and professional Middle Eastern donor agencies of being referred to as “emerging donors” aka “non-DAC donors”. (source)
In addition, China undertook some significant and high-profile interventions, most notably the Tan-Zam railway, which was probably the biggest construction project undertaken anywhere in Africa in the 1960s and 1970's, and where at a time when DAC donors almost never covered any local costs China took a much more generous attitude - even if they raised the local currency largely by sales of Chinese consumer goods (source).
Mehta and Nanda (2005:2) name four major multilateral institutions as being responsible for providing development assistance during this period: International Development Association (IDA) attached to the World Bank; the Fund for Special Operations of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB); the cooperation fund of the European Economic Community; and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), organized in 1965 through the merger of several United Nations (UN) financial facilities.
Meanwhile, the idea of South-South Cooperations was born at the Bandung Conference in 1955 when the leaders of 29 so-called developing countries came together to recognize the promotion of collective self-reliance as a political imperative. This event was followed by the establishment of a Working Group on Technical Cooperation among Developing Countries (TCDC) by the UN General Assembly in 1972. In 1978, many more such leaders gathered at Buenos Aires to formulate a Plan of Action (BAPA), a conceptual framework and programmatic goals, all endorsed by the UN General Assembly a few months later. The Bandung conference was celebrating its golden jubilee in 2005, at which point practical ways to put forth the South-South cooperation agenda was examined.
In 1999, the High-level Committee called the Special Unit on the Review of TCDC and resolved that the South-South cooperation should be viewed as a complement and not as a substitute for the North-South cooperation. This effectively meant that the committee was of the view that a North-South-South cooperation was needed. Thus, the recognition for the importance of Triangular Development Cooperation came about.
However, on a practical level, Trilateral Cooperation already received a major boost in 1993 at the Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD). It has since become known as the TICAD process in which Japanese resources are used to promote exchanges between Asian and African countries (Mehta & Nanda 2004).
In May 2004, an international conference on poverty reduction in Shanghai, China adopted the Shanghai Agenda for Poverty Reduction. Commonly known as the ‘Shanghai Consensus', it opposed the central theme of the Washington Consensus by proclaiming that state intervention is necessary for development and that everything cannot be left to the markets (Metha & Nanda 2005:2). The agenda shows that stronger cooperation between all development partners including South-South cooperation can facilitate an increase of poverty reduction efforts through exchange of ideas, the transfer of resources and the strengthening of capacity. In this effort, it also reinforced the issue of partnership between all stakeholders to leverage and scale up a country's development efforts.
Today, more than five decades after the beginning of development aid, many principles are still being implemented for Development Cooperation Projects. To mention in particular is the need to correct the discrepancy between providing assistance on one hand and montary discipline and trade liberalisation on the other hand. The, so called ‚New Donors' (Altenburg & Weikert 2007) present willingness to accept responsibility for international development.
The evolving relationship between China and Africa could be one of the most important developments in the international relations in the post-Cold-War era (Ampiah & Naidu 2009). Germany is known as a traditional donor and has a long history of development assistance within both geographic entities, China and Africa.
The thesis at hand discusses opportunities and limits of Trilateral Development Cooperation between the traditional donor Germany and the emerging country China in a third African developing country. Emerging countries are aspiring economical and political powers, which cannot be ignored in order to solve present and future world order issues (Stamm 2004: 20).
Starting with this Introduction, part 1 leads from an historical perspective to the more nuanced assessment of the current plateau of relations of Trilateral Cooperations.
The Development of TCs will be discussed in part 2, including Egon Bahrs' approach implementing Germany's first Trilateral Cooperation and its failures. Furthermore it will show the specific Establishment of Trilateral Cooperations within the German Development Cooperation for Sustainable Development (GTZ). Part 2 provides a contextual understanding of Trilateral Cooperations by (1) giving definitions, (2) considering preconditions as well as (3) alluding to benefits of Trilateral Cooperations. Two case studies concluding the chapter evaluating German Trilateral Cooperations by contrasting the two geopolitic areas discussed in this work: Southeast Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa.
By tackling the crucial question of the role of governance within Trilateral Cooperations concerning ideological differences between the western and the southern world, part 3 starts with an identification of the ‘term of negotiation', followed by a summary of approaches given by diverse institutions and international organisations engaging within the governance debate. It further contrasts governance as a common term of negotiating with the emerging conflicts arising from clashing perceptions of governance particularly between China and Western Countries. This part also examines perspectives on Chinas alternative governance model.
Covering all the geo-strategic positions, part 4 examines the cross-currents of Germany's and China's relation to Africa. In opposition to the common myths that often describe China's role as that of a ‚yellow peril' and Western powers as ‚knights in shining amour' part 4 rather focuses on common engagement within the field of poverty reduction. Furthermore does part 4 present a model, showing what a Trilateral Cooperation between China and Germany in Africa will look like. Delineating the triangular relationship, a case study is used as a model suggesting the Congo Basin Forest Partnership as a possible development project with promissing success for all participating actors.
The final substantive part provides a collection of lessons learned from engaging in Trilateral Cooperations in general and warns for possible dangers and finally concludes with an analysis of the possiblitities of the developing partnership between Germany, China and the continent of Africa.
1.2 Research to date
There are numerous publications on Trilateral Cooperations in general. A more globalized world tends to be open for more cooperation. For this reason many of the former bilateral cooperations are now extended to Trilateral Cooperations. Multilateral Cooperations in general are a common way of working together to solve common conflicts. Trilateral Development Cooperations between traditional donors, non-DAC countries and developing countries however are rather rarely researched (Harmer & Cotterrell 2005: 4). More specifically, Trilateral Cooperations with China in Africa have only been researched in recent years by institutions such as the European Union (Commission of the European Communities 2008), Deutsche Institut für Entwicklungspolitik (Altenburg & Weikert 2006) and Department for International Development (Mehta & Nanda 2005). Most of the research compiled for this thesis is therefore based on documents of these institutions.
The research for the thesis at hand was compiled during the course of an internship at the German Cooperation for Sustainable Development (GTZ) in Beijing, China. The research was considered as part of the Sino-German Poverty Monitoring & Evaluation Project, which was established to introduce a participative Poverty Monitoring and Evaluation System (from local to national level) to the Province Jiangxi. The project has recently been expanded to include the topic of “Trilateral Cooperations: Germany & China in Africa”. The mandate of the intern entailed an analysis of the possibilities for Engagement in a Trilateral Cooperation between Germany and China to the benefit of a third African nation in the field of poverty reduction.
For this purpose GTZ experts, project partners such as International Poverty Reduction Center in China (IPRCC) and the State Council Development-Oriented Poverty Alleviation Leading Group (LGOP) as well as consultants of the organisation's broad network supported and advised the research. As a result, the thesis is mainly based on qualitative analysis, case studies and comparative analysis. In addition, the qualitative methods comprises literature review, policy and legal analysis. Historical as well as recent case studies are analysed for the purpose of presening lessons learned as an aid to future performance. Furthermore, the presented study reposes on one-on-one conversations with the GTZ (China, Indonesia, Germany), IPRCC experts, the German Embassy in South Africa and the China Agricultural University. There has been correspondance with the Bundesministerium für wirtschaftliche Zusammenarbeit und Entwicklung (BMZ) as well as with the Deutsche Institut für Entwicklungspolitik (DIE). In addition various documents and relevant sources of information, as from the European Union, for example, have been evaluated.
During the process of identifying relevant cooperation corridors for strategy-building and the development of new instruments for cooperation, the usage of sources has been a challenge. Some interview partners, exclusivly Chinese contributers, wish not to be cited and some studies, relevant for this thesis, are either not published or they are being kept confidental. The salient information which is free to be used can partly be found in the final chapter as well as in the use of ideas and data, the sources, of which must remain anonymously cited.
2 Trilateral Cooperations in Context
2.1 Defining Trilateral Cooperations
Generally speaking, a Trilateral Cooperation is a three-sided joint operation for mutual benefit. In the context of this thesis, the term, ‘Trilateral Cooperations' refers to a certain set-up of participants: one traditional donor, one new donor and one developing country. Among the different types of trilateral cooperations this analysis focuses on ‘Trilateral Development Cooperations'.
According to DIE (Altenburg & Weikert 2007), Trilateral Development Cooperations are considered as “cooperation projects which are jointly planned, financed and carried out by an established donor country which is already a member of the OECD-DAC together with a cooperation country which, although itself a recipient of development cooperation and not (yet) a member of the DAC, is emerging as a new donor, and a third country as the recipient.” The DIE definition is of great importance for the Trilateral Cooperation Model, I will present in part 4 of this study as it points out the special composition of the trilateral cooperation. In this case Germany is the traditional donor, while China acts as the new doner and non-OECD and DAC-member and an African country as recipient. Another imporant aspect of a trilateral cooperation is given by the German Development Cooperation. It states that a Trilateral Cooperation is an innovative form of cooperation: “A mutual passing on of lessons learned to technically and institutionally less advantaged third countries.”
There are, however, two essential features of Trilateral Cooperations: (1) the importance of South-South relations and (2) the type of capital transfer.
(1) In contrast to traditional aid assistance governments of emerging countries are now asked to change their way of thinking. Trilateral Cooperations challenge them to change positions from having been an aid receiver in the past towards becoming a new donor. In other words, money from industrialized countries is transferred on an institutional level to the developing country, where it will be implemented through technical assistance. Therefore South-South relations are of great importance in this matter.
(2) Trilateral development cooperation offers new means of funding, as the established donor and the cooperation country organize the know-how-transfer to the third country jointly.
2.2 Preconditions for Trilateral Cooperations
To maximize the opportunities for the success of Trilateral Cooperations, it is necessary to set up specific preconditions and ensure that they are met in order to prove that an effective or cooperative work is feasible.
Altenburg & Weikert (2007) note that common interests are not yet a sufficient condition for Trilateral Development Cooperation and give four elementary requirements, which, from their point of view, need to be fulfilled before entering the triangular cooperation: Increasing alignment with good donor practices, co-financing by the cooperation country, efficiency, and donor coordination. Although the aforementioned requirements can be seen as some sort of core preconditions, there are still other crucial factors that need to be considered. (Altenburg & Weikert 2007: 3)
Firstly, the right timing, for a successful undertaking is imperative. For all participating actors of the TC, the necessity to enter the cooperation needs to be apparent. The right timing needs to be considered in this context also because there might be countries willing to enter the tripartite operation but are, time wise, either not ready or simply not able to be part of a certain project. Political strategy plays a major role in finding the right timing to engage in a Trilateral Development Cooperation.
Secondly, readiness of actors is indispensable for a trilateral dialogue and a cooperation implementation. There are two major considerations concerning this precondition, which might even seem too obvious.
(1) The actors need to be ready to engage in both trilateral dialogue and cooperation. Within the past years there has been much discussion between potential cooperation countries but not one single trilateral dialogue has let to the commencement of a sound trilateral cooperation. Thus, the readiness for dialogue but not for the actual cooperation, has been given. This observation has only been made in reference to TC with the anchor country China.
(2) The motive one participant holds behind the decision to enter the trilateral dialogue and cooperation is of no greater importance as long as the motives will not interfere with the implementation of the Cooperation. The motives need to be dynamic and resilient. However, the motives of all three parties may but do not have to be identical (Grimm 2008).
Thirdly, there is a necessity of one common denominator even if it might be the smallest one. The interface of interest among the three participant countries is a central condition for a successful TC. Furthermore, it would be beneficial to identify potentials of the tripartite dialogue and determine possible limitations. It will be of great advantage to harmonize diverse efforts of implementation into forming a Trilateral Development Cooperation.
Fourthly, the importance of political support needs to be verified . Trilateral Development Projects are dependent on the support on the respective governments. Yet, not only policy-makers need to be involved in the cooperation process, but necessary committees and panels have to be considered in the process as well. Agreements, such as the Paris Declaration should also be discussed and applied.
Fifthly, transparency should be practised, so that communication is made easy, corruption can be avoided and fair play is guaranteed.
2.3 Potentials and Limits of Trilateral Cooperations
“Trilateral cooperation can be an effective way of bringing appropriate intermediate technology' and ‘appropriate policy' to developing countries.”
The link between proper know-how and adquate policy constitutes the cooperative advantage that Trilateral Cooperations offer as opposed to previous bilateral assistance programs. In the past, consulting services put forth by established donors have, as seen in many cases, not used the suitable type of technical assistance or the services offered may have not been appropriate to the recipient country's needs. Moreover, donor countries coming to a ‘developing country' with their own type of technical expertise can create problems for the recipient country as there can be confusion and duplicity. As a result, the efficiency of the aid put in place remains questionable. These problems can be avoided by implementing a Trilateral Cooperation, by which an emerging country has been in the position of the recipient country itself and will be most likely be able to assist in a proper way. (Altenburg & Weikert 2006: 3)
Another advantage is that aid is tied to the donor country's provision of goods and services. On an average, a developing country expert costs one-third of the cost of developed country experts at prevalent international rates. However, if the expertise is carried out by anchor countries as well as by developed countries, the costs will be shared and generally less money will be invested. In this case Trilateral Development Cooperation can be a cost-effective way of promoting development cooperation.
Another issue related to tied aid, as argued in Mehta & Nanda (2005), is that when the donors tie up with local (donor's home country) technical assistance providers, there is a possibility that monitoring by the donors may get relaxed as they are likely to develop alliances. A third country provider of technical assistance is far less likely to develop such a relationship with a donor and hence monitoring is likely to be more rigorous.
Hence, triangular cooperations may bring more accountability in the implementation of development programs. With the involvement of a third country technical assistance provider, it is likely that more information will be made public and will thereby increase overall transparency in aid administration thereby creating a positive impact on global Governance. With a transparent aid administration system, the impact of politics on aid would be far less ….(source!)
Limits of Trilateral Cooperations
Trilateralisation of development cooperations may dilute previous political support base and thus lessen the interest of the domestic constituency in overseas aid. They might also question the accountability in the aid administration when the stakeholders from the donor country are not involved. This would lead to a decrease of commitment in donor countries for development cooperation.
However, this can be countered by a type of Trilateral Development Cooperation, in which Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) from developing countries with high credibility can be involved in developed countries in appraising the stakeholders there about the utility of the aid that they are providing to the developing countries (Metha & Nanda 2005: 2)
It may also not always be easy for one developing country to accept technical assistance for capacity building from another developing country. There are political problems even among several developing countries that might thwart the process.
Another risk factor Mehta and Nanda state in 2005 is that there may be an unwillingness in sections of policy makers and other important stakeholders to accept ‘intermediate technology' or ‘intermediate policy' who may be in favour of leap-frogging The lure of trips to rich countries among sections of bureaucracy and the political establishment may also sabotage the process of trilateral development cooperation. LDCs very often do not find the idea of visiting another developing country for training or experience-sharing exciting enough. Even the fringe benefits of visiting a rich country are much higher for them.
2.4 The Beginning of Trilateral Cooperations within German Development Aid
Germany's Development Aid Institutions are not singularly structured as they are in other European countries. Several Institutions such as KfW, DED, InWEnt and GTZ all function as German representatives in the field of development politics and provide assistance in developing countries. This might lead to different perceptions on what constitutes German Development assistance and which one represents the leading Development Aid institution.
According to Tomecko (2008), GTZ stated a prospective turnover of a little over €1.1 billion per annum and operate through 92 offices that serve 120 countries with about 12,000 employees working in 2,700 projects in the year 2008. About 25% of the mentioned turnover is currently in Asia. A wide geographic presence, access to development cooperation officials and the diversity GTZ projects, the organization is able to provide an infrastructure for Trilateral Cooperations.
On a global scale 14 operational trilateral projects are in place, so Temecko (2008); partners are namely (1) South Africa with Ethiopia, D.R. Congo, Lesotho, India on governance and technology, (2) Brazil with 10 countries in Latin America and Africa mainly in the area of AIDS, (3) Mexico with Guatemala, Ecuador and Dom. Republic on issues related to the environment, (4) Chile with several Latin American countries where we have a special fund for trilateral, (5) Indonesia with Timor Leste on national parks development, (6) China, with Chile, Vietnam and India mainly in the area of economic policy dialogue.
There are four major issues Trilateral Cooperations established through GTZ projects revolving around: Joint missions, the combined use and exchanges of experts, job training as well as education and fellowships and study visits development, micro-finance, SME promotion and health.
Financed are all projects by the parent ministry, the German Federal Ministry for Development and Economic Cooperation (BMZ) by providing additional budgets for activities like enhancing trilateral cooperation projects.
2.5 Lessons learned: Germany's previous Trilateral Cooperations
The topic of Trilateral Cooperations is not new, the idea of Joint Development Initiatives in Germany dates back to 1974. (Souce) The demonstrated form of Cooperation has been implemented within Germany's Development Cooperation with different levels of success. Within this study the first Trilateral Development Cooperation, under Egon Bahr, will be discussed intensively as it is the first Trilateral Cooperations in Germany and provides a range of lessons learned for further triangular engagement. In addition, two further Trilateral cooperation attempts are discussed to give a broader insight on what Cooperations have been put into practice and what can we learn from previous experiences.
2.5.1 The Failure of Germany's First Trilateral Cooperation under Egon Bahr
„Im öffentlichen Bewußtsein lag Entwicklungshilfe, sobald davon überhaupt Notiz genommen wurde, ziemlich nah bei der christlichen Pflicht des Wohlhabenden, mitleidige Menschen in Not zu unterstützen. [...] Unser Interesse mußte stärker betont werden, das Interesse an künftigen Märkten, an Prävention sozialer Spannungen. Es nützt uns, wenn andere etwas kaufen können, sichert sogar Arbeitsplätze.“ (Bahr, 1996: 467)
The political course of the German Sozialdemokratische Partei Deutschanlands (SPD)-politician Egon Bahr was considered as pragmatic in nature. His famous speech in front of the Evangelical Academy Tutzingen in 1963 holds the title „Wandel durch Annäherung“ - Change through convergence. It soon became not only his motto but also the program for West German foreign policy. His concept of „change through convergence“ was closely connected to the concept of „peaceful coexistance“ and soon led him to, in his eyes, beneficial ideas of establishing trilateral cooperations.
Bahr's idea was to bring together the oil money surplusses of the Arab States and the know-how of the industialized countries to engage together in development investments in developing countries. In that, he saw two main advantages: (1) On a global scale the cooperation was supposed to put forth a release of the currency situation and (2) on a national scale the model was alleged to help ease the national finances of the Federal Republic of Germany.
The following calculation serves as an explanation for establishing a Trilateral Cooperation. According to UN criteria for the second period of development aid (1971-1980) 0,7% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) should be used for Official Development Assistance (ODA). In 1974 the Federal Republic of Germany had already established 0,36%. Due to the oil price taxation the oil-producing developing countries received additional money in form of yields which were financed by the Federal Republic of Germany through their oil purchases. Therefore the West German GDP increased by 1,7 %.
In recognizing an interplay between economic and development politics, Bahr tried with his model of Trilateral Cooperation to use the surplus of the oil countries to finance development aid in third nations which are non-oil-development countries. As an outcome for Germany he expected to add new jobs, which would lead to an increase in income as well as in demand.
For the developing country he expected that the infusion of know-how and technical assistance would result in a catch-up industrialization with an escalating number of employees. This would have a positive influence on the economic status and would also result in an increase in demand. Brisk trade relationships and the surmounting of the economic crisis were supposed to be the outcomes of his model of trilateral cooperations.
However, Nuscheler (2005) argues that some of Bahr's assumptions are weak and would thererfore hinder the Trilateral Cooperation model to succeed. First of all, Nuscheler states the assumption that all developing countries would undergo similar development as would industrialized countries, also known as the catch-up industrialization. Due to geomorphological and climatic preconditions, which are completely different than in western countries, a catch-up industrialization would be rather unlikely. Bahr saw the agricultural sector as the most important one for a country, because it has been of great importance for Germany. Conversely, for most developing countries, the agricultural sector was not the key, since the population rate by far outweighs the provision of food, even if all available fields would be in use.
Secondly, Nuscheler questions the assumption that better integration of the developing countries into the world market would stimulate a demand in developing countries as seen in industrialized countries. With the exception of the raw material sector, such demand would not come about in the development countries, Nuscheler (2005) points out. His explanation is that the developing countries have different structures of supply and demand, which is set according to their respective needs.
The third and last assumption of Bahrs Trilateral Cooperation Model, Nuscheler critisizes, is that economic growth will have a positive effect on all parts of the population of a developing country.
All three arguments, Nuscheler states, can be seen as reason for failure of Bahrs model of the Trilateral Cooperation and can be summarized as errors of the concept „development through growth“ (Nuscheler 2005: 78).
In his Trilateral Cooperation model, Bahr also used elements of the „basic need strategy“, which maintains that life is a fundamental need and therefore that development politics should take into consideration that education as well as health-care etc. should be provided for all parts of the population. (Bahr 96: 479). That might be one of the reasons why Bahr drew attention of German development politics to the poorest countries of Africa.
Egon Bahr tested his Trilateral Cooperation model for the first time in 1975 in South Sudan. German companies were supposed to build with money from Saudi Arabian streets and habours in the largest Afrian country, but Bahr's ambitions were undermined by the Arabs. The Arabs demanded as a countermove from Germany that they will be part of the boycott against Israel and that Germany will exclude those firms from the Sudan-trade, who are in any trade relationship with Tel Aviv. This and German Development Politics under Egon Bahr with the tendency to „more selfishness, less charity“ has been one of several diffuculties leading to the breakdown of Bahr's Trilateral Coopration model.
2.5.2 The Failure of Trilateral Cooperations in Europe and Central Asia
In the past there has been deliberations to enter a joint initiative between Germany and Israel in arid areas to benefit a third nation in the field of irrigation. Those ideas were never implemented due to lack of interest of the potential third nations. The failure of the Cooperations was sounded in the political Refusal of Israel by their neighboring countries in the Middle East, which were the most arid regions.
After the breakdown of the Sowjet Union, Germany and Turkey considered entering cooperation with the then newly independent countries of Central Asia. The German Development Bank, Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau (KfW), equipped two Turkish program banks with borrowing limits, which could be retrieved by businesses in Central Asia. The project was running from 1995 - 2001 and aimed to support an economical transformation of the third nations and improve institutional learning processes of Turkish Aid Institutions. Finally not enough credit had been retrieved and the deficient cooperation was ceased in 2001. There has been no prove for an increase in investments inputs and therefore no enhanced employment rate, the anticipated structural adjustments were absent, too. Not to ignore is the external reason of the Turkish Financial Crisis, which most like added to the approach ending in an unsuccessful endeavor.
2.6 Current Trilateral Cooperations of the Federal Republic of Germany
As mentioned in part 1.3 GTZ (under the authority of the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development) is part of 14 official trilateral projects. The emphasis has been mainly made in the subject of innovation and rendering knowledge. The Trilateral Cooperation finds its niche mostly within the education sector, particularly through vocational training programmes, student exchanges and panels of experts, as exemplified with the two following Trilateral Cooperations of the Federal Republic of Germany.
2.6.1 Timor-Leste - Indonesia - Germany
In March 2007 a Trilateral Cooperation between Timor-Leste, Indonesia and Germany was established. A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) of the respective Trilateral Cooperation was signed after Germany had already promised in 2003 to support the cause with an amount of 800 000 Euros. The Trilateral Cooperation was founded to enchan mutual projects concernin Democracy and Human Rights. The triangular commitment maintains not only a financial contribution, but also progress in terms of crisis transformation and crisis proevention. A trilateral working group with participants of all three contries is in charge of programs as well as their funding.
2.6.2 Germany - South Africa - South Sudan
Trilateral Cooperations between Germany and South Africa in third Sub-Saharan African countries persist for already three years. This method has been proven as a useful one, since these kind of cooperations enhance the regional development as well as the building of networks in the critical regions. Therefore a fund of five million Euro was established in 2006.
The Federal Foreign Office of Germany, South African authorities and the Government of South Sudan founded the project „Trilaterale Kooperation mit Suedafrika im Suedsudan“. This project is one of few initiatives, which dates back to the European Council Presidancy and the G8 Presidancy in 2007. Back then the German government decided to base its initiatives in Africa on the support of Africas proactive measures to increase the peace and security sector (German Embassy South Africa: 2008).
3 Governance debate within International Cooperations
3.1 The Making of International Cooperations: Actors and Institutions
International relations are undergoing profound changes with newly emerging powers entering the scene (source). China's increasing involvement in Africa evokes a mix of admiration, astonishment, and anxiety in the rest of the world. While economists hail the vitality of Chinese investment on the continent, strategists foresee a fierce rivalry for natural resources between China and western countries, and development aid workers are concerned that Beijing could undermine recent efforts towards beneficial change in African societies. In fact, the implications of China's emergence in Africa are complex and ambivalent, and their final consequences are not yet apparent (source).
While doing research on Trilateral Cooperations involving China and Africa it is close to impossible not to stumble over the term ‘governance', as the term is the most common argument used by Western International Institutions and Countries as a justification not to engage with China in Development Projects. Nevertheless, there are many positive experiences with the Concept of Trilateral Cooperations by various institutions and actors, e. g. GTZ experiencens in Latin America (Bauer 2007). However, 'governance' seems to be a main area of conflict in most of the China-Africa related discussions and has delayed or even hindered many development projects as well as policies from being put into practise. Transatlantic policy-makers are clearly concerned about a number of issues; not only ‘governance', but also issues connected to China's rise as a provider of aid and development finance in Africa. The norms governing aid and finance have been changing in the West (Brautigam 2008), and practices which are common in Chinese lending are no longer accepted or under attack in Europe and the United States. China's amalgam of state and business also creates dilemmas for policy makers in countries where business activities overseas are not so heavily subsidized and where issues of a government's direct responsibility for the behavior of its national firms are not so easily raised.
This chapter reviews the arguments of several actors and instutions (particularly EU, DAC/OECD, DFID and WorldBank) concerning their hesitation towards an engagement with China in a Trilateral Project in Africa, with a main focus on the ‘governance' issue and concludes with a collection of reasons pro a China-Coalition.
3.2 Governance as common term of Negotiation
Before going deeper into what has been known as the ‘governance-debate' it is important to find some sort of definition for the term ‘governance'.
"GOVERNANCE is the exercise of political, economic and administrative authority to manage a nation's affairs. It is the complex mechanisms, processes and institutions through which citizens and groups articulate their interests, exercise their legal rights and obligations, and mediate their differences." (UNDP 1997)
“GOVERNANCE is the manner in which power is exercised in the management of a country's social and economic resources for development. Governance means the way those with power use that power.” (ADB 2009)
GOVERNANCE is "… the traditions and institutions by which authority in a country is exercised for the common good. This includes (1) the process by which those in authority are selected, monitored and replaced, (2) the capacity of the government to effectively manage its resources and implement sound policies, and (3) the respect of citizens and the state for the institutions that govern economic and social interactions among them.” (World Bank 1991)
According to Prof. Dr. Thomas Risse ‘governance' can be regarded (1) in a normative way, such as ‘global governance' used by the UN-Commission, it aims to enhance sustainability and peace. Risse furthermore suggests ‘governance' to be seen (2) in a broader way, an empirical-analytical way, entailing all forms of social order and steering, e.g. market, hierarchy, networks. And he stated (3) a narrow, empirical -analytical point of viewing ‘governance', which focuses on non-state actors and differs by various modes of steering.
Within this context, it is important to work not only in a trilateral partnership, but in a broader multilateral framework therefore the term ‘global governance' is appropriate to be applied.
3.3 Actors and Institutions on Governance
The European Union
Ever since the EU has announced a “strategic partnership” with China, including issues of global development (Berger 2008) the idea of engaging in a trilateral Cooperation has been constantly discussed. The EU is still the largest cooperation partner to Sub-Saharan Africa (Berger 2008: 2). But China - even though not a new partner to African states - has geared up its presence in Africa with booming direct investments and an active official cooperation policy.
Therefore it is to say that the EU-China relationship has been marked by periods of high expectations followed by disillusion and increased skepticism of the feasibility of a real partnership. So far there have been more panels and dialogues, such as the institutionalization of EU-China Annual Summit, which since 1998 has contributed to upgrade the level of political dialogue and has produced some important strategic approaches, namely regarding external relations with other regions of the world but no implementation of common policies. Within this aspect it is important to note that, not only China, but also the European Union is itself an “emerging” foreign policy actor, hoping to reinforce its political influence in order to match its weight as global development actor.
Furthermore, EU and Africa have complex institutional architectures, which makes this dialogue very challenging to manage. Therefore searching for common ground will not be easy as it also depends on coordination among Europeans. Despite the “Europeanization trend”, Member States still prefer bilateral channels to address some important issues. For instance, there are still important divisions between EU Member States with respect to human rights vis à vis the importance of economic bilateral relations with China. Likewise, China is not a homogenous entity, as it is many times perceived, but rather a heterogeneous group of various actors such as the government, state enterprises, private companies and citizens' initiatives.
China is more favorable to bilateral dialogue and tends to perceive multilateral initiatives for aid harmonization and cooperation as western-driven e.g. OECD, Paris Declaration. In other words, the benefits for China to engage in a trilateral dialogue are not clear for China's foreign policy and global endeavor. Africa may be more interested in negotiating with both partners bilaterally for its own benefit, diversifying partnerships and not ‘putting all its eggs in the same basket'.
Europe can be trapped in North-centric discourse and may give in to the temptation of presenting itself as the “best model”, the actor that defends good universal values such as democracy, that fights for the respect of human rights and that has a more sustainable approach towards development. However, as stated by Manji and Marks (2007), the “relatively simple aspiration to normalize China into these initiatives of governance reform could easily slip into a strategy of co-opting China into the bigger game of ‘humanizing neo-liberal globalization in Africa', instead of addressing the issues of a genuine governance reform favorable to Africans”.
China has signed the Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness as a recipient but there are on-going talks with the DAC/OECD to involve China in donors' discussions. One of the topics for dialogue is certainly the status that these emerging donors will, and should, have the ‘global governance' level, e.g. Bretton Woods institutions, G-8+, United Nations, WTO etc. Hence the reality of ‘new' donors is adding apparent contradictions and complexity to the international aid architecture. Various among these "New Donors", China being one of them, direct inquiries to OECD countries for carrying out joint development projects in third countries or for receiving support in building up their own donor institutions. OECD donors have a clear interest in integrating these New Donors into a democratic and multilateral world order. From this point of view, the assumption of international responsibility displayed by the New Donors through their engagement can only be welcomed. On the other hand, this engagement should also be aligned with the international donor consensus, especially as set forth in the MDG Agenda and the "Paris Declaration" of the Development Assistance Committee (DAC) of the OECD.
This is currently not the case with all New Donors. Particularly China - which, along with some of the Gulf States, is by far the most important donor outside the DAC - as it is often criticized both or its unconditional support of countries with bad governance records and for its tied aid.
Within the IDS Working Paper 291, DFID raises questions such as:
“Which implications are there for DFID and other bi- and multi-lateral agencies? What roles might they play in building appropriate dynamic capabilities in SSA, in making the Chinese more aware, not just of their positive impact, but also of the negative direct and indirect impacts of their growth in SSA? How might China be persuaded to participate more actively in the promotion of more transparent and better governance in SSA, particularly in countries with fragile states? What role might they play in intermediating discussions among Chinese and SSA stakeholders?”
Historically, most of SSA's trade links have been with the former metropolitan powers, either directly with the UK (in the case of Anglophone countries) and France (for Francophone countries), or more generally with Europe and North America. These links have been strengthened through the development of various forms of preferential trade arrangements (Lome-Cotonou, AGOA, EPAs and FTAs). 2 shows a variation of a Trilateral Project, established by DFID.
3.4 China's alternative governance model
China's unconditional approach to development assistance, the so-called Beijing Consensus, fundamentally challenges the controversial (Post-) Washington Consensus of multilateral donors, which usually requires the liberalization of particular sectors of the economy, the privatization of public services, and the compliance with certain social and environmental standards. Confronted with two competing models, African counterparts may now play off China and the established donor community. This could lead to a race to the bottom to lower standards and undermine international efforts for a supporting a reformist agenda in the developing world. Obviously, China poses a serious threat to the established development aid architecture.
In fact, the so-called “new” donor countries have a long history of development cooperation and this term is currently applied mainly because these countries - such as China, India or Brazil - have adopted an independent approach to aid that does not fit within western standards or institutions (e.g. DAC/OECD).
3.5 Conflict of Interests: Western perspective versus Asian Ascendancy
Some scholars of international relations view this phenomenon as just another case of an ongoing power shift between states and regions from a unipolar to a multipolar world order. According to (neo-) realist thinking, emerging powers like China are inherently dissatisfied with the status quo and seek to upset the established international order. Just like imperial Germany and Japan threatened the international system at the beginning of the 20th century, China's rise would now challenge existing norms, institutions, and the distribution of power. Given its sheer size, rapid growth, and increasing assertiveness, the Chinese reemergence as a driver of global change could lead to instability, conflict, and war. To prevent such a worst-case scenario to unfold, institutionalists have been thinking about ways of engaging China into international regimes.
Deborah Bräutigam (2008: 27) differentiates, when she uses the term ‘governance' in the China-Africa context. Her main concerns are rogue regimes and corruption. The latter China enhances, argues Bräutigam as well as several other mostly Western Scholars, by given aid to countries like Chad (1.6 CPI), Equatorial Guinea (1.8 CPI), and the Democratic Republic of Congo (1.9 CPI). Among countries ranked by Transparency International as some of Africa's most corrupt, specifically Chad scores country number six of most corrupt countries, Equatorial Guinea 9 and DRC 16, according to Transparency Internationals 2009 Corruption Perceptions Index. And China imposes no governance conditionality. Chinese views on corruption are shaped by their experience at home. Corruption is widespread in China (3.6 CPI), having said that, it has not derailed economic development. Imposing economic sanctions or conditionality to combat corruption is seen as harmful to Africans because it hurts their opportunities for growth.
However, China does work to avoid problems with corruption in their aid, particularly when it might affect repayment of Chinese loans. Seventy-nine percent of China Eximbank loans in Africa are given for government infrastructure investments, a sector notorious for corruption in most countries (Brautigam 2008). To reduce corruption, monitor implementation, and help ensure the repayment of the loan, Chinese loans, whether MOFCOM or Eximbank, are not disbursed to the borrowing government. This contrasts with policies at financial institutions like the World Bank, which does disburse money directly to the government. The borrowing government authorizes the payment, and Eximbank pays the Chinese company directly. Corruption can still enter in, but the opportunities will be fewer. Chinese contractors could pad their expenses. They might provide kickbacks or collude on the submission of invoices. But keeping the money in China minimizes the opportunities for wholesale disappearance of money that are possible when banks disburse loan money directly to the government.
The second governance concern shared across the Atlantic, stated by Brautigam 2008, is the financial lifeline extended by China to “rogue regimes” that otherwise might bend to increased pressure from sanctions and conditionality. Because of its support for janjaweed militias that have massacred entire villages in the Darfur rebellion, Sudan is perhaps the most controversial of these regimes. Since 1996/97, U.S. companies have been barred from financial transactions, loans, and trade with Sudan, when the country was listed as a sponsor of terrorism (U.S. company Marathon Oil retains exploration rights in a concession in southern Sudan). Most other large Western firms have left the Sudan oilfields, although several remain in other large projects, including Lahmeyer International and Siemens of Germany, France's Alstom, and ABB of Switzerland. A Canadian mining company, La Mancha Resources, is the main foreign player in Sudan's non-oil minerals and mining. Aid in the traditional sense is not a significant factor here. China has given relatively little ODA to Sudan, although there have been several large non-concessional loans, and humanitarian assistance to Darfur. However, it has supported Khartoum in many other ways, including diplomatically, by enabling Khartoum to drag its feet in allowing foreign troops to help police Darfur. For years China blocked sanctions at the United Nations, and, along with other countries such as Malaysia and India, provided considerable investment. It has purchased the bulk of Sudanese oil and sold the country's arms.
Years of activism failed to change China's support for Khartoum and its policy of non-intervention. This began to change in 2007. In March, China's main planning agency, the National Development and Reform Commission, dropped Sudan from the list of target countries for new investment by Chinese oil and gas companies, a move regarded as significant by Chinese observers. China appointed a special envoy for Africa and Sudan, and successfully persuaded Khartoum to allow UN peacekeepers into Darfur in late 2007. “China in my view has been very cooperative,'' Andrew S. Natsios, the former special envoy of President Bush to Sudan, said in February 2008. ‘'The level of Coordination and cooperation has been improving each month.'' Yet Chinese policy has consistently opposed economic sanctions.
Chinese ODA to troubled Zimbabwe has also been relatively limited, with loans on concessional terms and grants for food aid, some equipment, and the renovation of the stadium built by Chinese aid in 1987, probably amounting to less than $30 million between 2000-06. But again, as with Sudan, China's investments and other forms of economic engagement were of some help in keeping Mugabe in power, despite the collapse of much of the economy. In 2007, the Chinese leadership appeared to be debating its involvement in Zimbabwe: reports that aid would be limited to humanitarian assistance circulated in September. The Chinese embassy in Harare denied these reports, announcing plans to build an agriculture technology demonstration center, two primary schools, and a hospital. But within weeks, China's special envoy to Africa Liu Guijin repeated that China would indeed limit its aid. In the midst of this, China Development Bank provided what was probably non-concessional finance to develop three projects: the Victoria Falls Airport (a project South Africa was also considering financing), a tobacco enterprise, and a chromium mine. Having said that, it is reasonable to ask if China enhances corruption as well as rough regimes in Africa, e.g. Sudan and Zimbabwe case on which ground can we hope for a binding commitment within a trilateral partnership?
Therefore it is worthwhile to revisit the MDGs, in particular Goal-8, which is the only one which speaks about global partnership for development. In a sense the message of this goal can be imported into the trilateral cooperation context. Goal-8, which deals with trade, aid and debt, was also one of sub-themes of UNCTAD XI held at Sao Paulo in June, 2004 (Mehta & Nanda: 2004). The Special TCDC Unit of UNDP is engaged in promoting South-South cooperation programs. However, practically, it is promoting more of trilateral cooperation. Trilateral cooperation takes a broad-based approach that promotes TCDC partnership with various actors, which include traditional donors, multilateral agencies, private sector, academic institutions and civil society organisations.
4 Cooperation within the field of Sustainable Poverty reduction
4.1 Sino-African relations
„The evolving relationship between China and Africa could be one of the most important developments in the international relation of the post-Cold War era.“
With these two lines Ampiah and Naidu 2008 show that there have been great changes in Africa's relations with China, mainly in terms of growth and investment. And the two African Scholars do not stand alone with their observation. Philip Snow (1988) and Ian Taylor (1998) already wrote about Sino-African relations, followed by experts from around the world who take part in the China Africa debate. To mention in this respect are Chris Alden (2005), Sanusha Naidu (2006) and Xuewu Gu (2006).
It was not until 2006, however, that a number of studies and policy papers which focused on China-Africa relations had proliferated, particularly after Beijing hosted a high-profile summit of the Forum on China-African Cooperation (FOCAC).The conference arose international interest and inspired scholars like Harry G. Broadmann (2007), Deborah Brautigam (2008), Asche & Schüller (2008) to focus on China's growing role on the African continent. But bilateral relations between China and various African countries are not new.
These ocean expeditions had mainly been recorded to engage in diplomatic gift exchange when they arrived in the overseas countries, such as to give the local people the Chinese silk and porcelain and carry back their articles of tribute to the royal court. Nearly none of any colonial activities have been recorded in the ancient Chinese history. The concept of a national boundary was historically not a distinctive feature in Chinese thinking and according to Chinese philosophy; all creatures under the sky were, in some form, subjects of the emperor. Therefore the culturally-legitimate way to treat the overseas territorial should be under the friendship-based principle, and in a nominal term that the diplomatic relation with the “faraway land” can be established only if the others acknowledge their formal subordination to the China's Empire usually by “bow their head before the emperor” and then this relation should be maintained through the gift exchange on the general principle of reciprocity. In the history of China's overseas activities, such principles were kept and manifested in various forms. These principles have also represented the cultural rules of “peace is the best option” and “associating with benevolent gentlemen and befriending good neighbors” which are still embedded in Chinese peoples mind and making various kinds of impact on China's diplomatic policy even today.
However, for several decades, there were strong political and ideological ties deriving from the African liberation movements on the one hand and the confrontation of colonialism and the diverse nature of the Cold War (Bandung Conference 1955) on the other hand. The South-South cooperation was born and materialized in thousands of scholarships to African students as well as in major infrastructure and construction projects, such as the national parliaments or stadiums of many African countries.
Most importantly the FOCAC but also the visit in January 2006 by Li Zhaoxing, China's foreign minister to Cape Verde, Liberia, Mali, Senegal, Nigeria and Libya, President Hu Jintao's visit to Morocco, Nigeria and Kenya in April 2006 and Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao's visit in June 2006 to Egypt, Ghana, Congo-Brazzaville, Angola, South Africa, Tanzania and Uganda, indicates the extent to which Africa is now a focus of China.
Chinese activity in Africa is increasing at an exponential rate. As the China-Africa Business Council points out, China is now Africa's third most important trading partner, behind the United States and France but ahead of the United Kingdom. Indeed, the burgeoning of Sino-African links is exceptional and is becoming the main topic of interest vis-à-vis Africa's international relations. Hence the s show 1999, the value of China's trade with Africa was $2 billion; by 2004, this had grown to $29.6 billion and in 2005 reached $39.7 billion. A senior economist at the Chinese Ministry of Commerce predicts that trade volume between China and Africa will top the $100 billion mark in the next five years. Driven by a desire to obtain sources of raw materials and energy for China's ongoing economic growth and for new export markets, Chinese expansion into Africa is more and more attracting the attention of policymakers in the impact of China's increasing role in Africa.
Of particular interest to the West is China's growing expansion into Africa's oil markets. It should be pointed out that although oil is a major and obvious source of Chinese interest in Africa, it is far from being the only one. China is actively seeking resources of every kind; copper, bauxite, uranium, aluminum, manganese, iron ore etc are all objectives for acquisition for Beijing. In addition, Chinese textiles and clothing companies are investing heavily in Africa, whilst China is also becoming increasingly politically engaged with the continent. However, it is largely issues surrounding China's oil quest—in Africa and elsewhere—that is provoking particular concern in Western capitals. Furthermore, a look at China's top ten trading partners in Africa reveals that with the exception of South Africa, with its well-developed industrial economy, Beijing's main trade connections in Africa are with oil-producing states: In the development aid community, the debate has evolved along two central questions: What is in it for Africa? And what is the likely impact on the established development aid architecture?
4.1.1 China's aid to Africa
China started to give aid to Africa around the same time as its Western counterparts with the West. It launched its overseas aid programmes during the 1950s when it began to receive large-scale aid from the former Soviet Union. China's aid at that time was strongly tied to the export of its communist ideology, as much as the international aid industry led by the West was ideology driven by the agenda of modernizing developing countries on the basis of a liberal capitalist system. After the 1980s, China started to receive foreign aid from the West and at the same time adjusted its own policy on overseas aid by reducing the conditions on ideological conformity and giving more weight to geo-political and economic considerations.
China's policy towards Africa, since the 1990s, has developed into enhanced economic interaction with the continent based on the goal of integrating the continent into the global economy (Cornellissen & Taylor 2000). With the rapid growth of China's economy, China also increased the scale of its overseas aid in a steady manner, particularly to Africa. This phenomenon has attracted wide attention from the international community. On the one hand, the international commentaries have given high credit to China's success in economic development and consider its experiences as valuable and relevant to the other developing countries. Zoellick (2007) regarded China as a very important strategic partner in the field of nternational economic development. He also called on the West to listen to African countries and improve the aid quality in this area. Zoellick said,:
“China's investment in Africa can be very effective, it can help the African countries to develop its infrastructure facilities and help them to utilize the natural resources that they own.”
In addition, the Financial Times in the UK commented that the “Beijing Consensus”5 is instrumental to the peaceful and smooth economic “take-off” in China. The core principle in the Consensus is to find one's own development strategy by starting from one's unique situations situations. (Yu 2006) The “Beijing Consensus” has become more and more popular and brought hope to the world as it suggests that every country can become powerful primarily based on its own strength and capacity. This has also endowed China with new responsibilities and a new role in the pursuit of international development.
On the other hand, there are also different voices and opinions on the implications of China's experiences and its aid effectiveness in Africa. Some researchers proposed the “China-threat theory” and pointed out that China's aid to Africa has interrupted the economic development and social stability in these countries. (Zhang Xiangdong, 2006) Sephanie Giry pointed out that China's activities in Africa have impaired America's long-time strategy and effort to promote democracy in this area: to put it mildly, China's interference will complicate the process of democratization in Africa; or China will even destroy America's global anti-terrorism strategy and lead to the proliferation of nuclear-weapons. (Giry, 2004)
According to Berger and Wissenbach (2007:14) China's political institutions lack sufficient differentiation and resources. Different to most traditional don
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