Gathering for the Japan-Africa summit and preparations for the Russia-Africa summit are actions from August 27 that may emerge to become significant factors impacting geomarket developments in Africa.
Japan/Africa: Heads of state have arrived and ministers have concluded briefing notes for the start of the Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD).
Significance: Heads of state and government from across much of Africa, including from Angola, Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe have arrived in Yokohama to take part in the August 28-30 Japan-Africa summit. Most leaders from Africa have bilateral meetings planned with the Japanese prime minister as well as with the Japanese emperor, but multilateralism and regional economic growth, peace, stability, and socioeconomic development is the emphasis for the official program in Yokohama. The balanced and more modest agenda, insofar as the scale of capital likely to be committed in Yokohama, will ensure no fears are raised of a Japanese monopolization of African resources, unlike concerns expressed when peers, notably the Chinese, host a similar summit.
Russia/Africa: Angolan Foreign Minister Manuel Augusto traveled to Russia to meet Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.
Significance: While geostrategic focus this week is placed on the Tokyo International Conference on African Development that the Japanese government is hosting in Yokohama from August 28-30, preparations are also being fine-tuned for the Russian government to host its summit for Africa. The inaugural Russia-Africa summit will take place in Sochi from October 23-24. Russian diplomatic delegations have been active, just like their Japanese peers, in traveling throughout Africa to ensure full participation by African leaders. The Angolan foreign minister’s visit is surely a channel to personally convey agenda priorities held by Angolan President João Lourenço which, in the case of Russia, included shared diamond mining interests and security cooperation that the Angolan government utilizes to consolidate domestic political and economic reform imperatives.
Other items of note:
-The Angolan government will soon launch a public tender for the construction of a 100,000 barrel per day crude oil refinery in Soyo, Zaire province.
-Burkina Faso will host on September 14 a summit of the Economic Community of West African States.
-Guinea’s $1.3 billion, 450 megawatt Souapiti hydroelectric power project reached the impoundment stage of construction.
-Mariano Nhongo of the Mozambique National Resistance military junta reiterated that Ossufo Momade is the opposition party’s illegitimate leader and threatened violence should the Mozambique government continue to empower Ossufo.