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The Global Armored and Counter IED Vehicles Market 2013-2023 – Market Size and Drivers: Market Profile

Posted on 16 May 2013 by Africa Business

NEW YORK, May 16, 2013 /PRNewswire/ — announces that a new market research report is available in its catalogue:

The Global Armored and Counter IED Vehicles Market 2013-2023 – Market Size and Drivers: Market Profile–Market-2013-2023—Market-Size-and-Drivers-Market-Profile.html#utm_source=prnewswire&utm_medium=pr&utm_campaign=Aerospace_and_Defense


This report provides readers with a comprehensive analysis of the Armored and Counter IED Vehicles market through 2013-2023, including highlights of the demand drivers and growth stimulators for Armored and Counter IED Vehicles. It also provides an insight on the spending pattern and modernization pattern in different regions around the world.


The global armored and counter IED vehicles market valued US$23.4 billion in 2013, and will increase at a CAGR of 2% during the forecast period, to reach US$28.7 billion by 2023. The market consists of six categories: APCs, LMVs, IFVs, MRAPs, MBTs and Tactical Trucks. The IFV segment is expected to account for 34% of the global armored and counter IED vehicles market, followed by the MBT segment with a share of 26.2%.

Reasons To Buy

“The Global Armored and Counter IED Vehicles Market 2013-2023 – Market Size and Drivers: Market Profile” allows you to:

– Gain insight into the Armored and Counter IED Vehicles market with current and forecast market values.- Understand the key drivers and attractiveness parameters of the global Armored and Counter IED Vehicles market.- Understand the various factors impacting the growth of the Armored and Counter IED Vehicles market.

Table of Contents 1 Introduction

1.1 What is this Report About?

1.2 Definitions

1.3 Summary Methodology

1.4 About Strategic Defence Intelligence

2 Global Armored and Counter IED Vehicles Market Size and Drivers

2.1 Armored and Counter IED Vehicles Market Size and Forecast 2013-2023

2.1.1 Global armored and Counter IED vehicles market expected to increase during the forecast period

2.2 Global Armored and Counter IED Vehicles Market – Regional Analysis

2.2.1 North America is expected to lead the global Armored and Counter IED vehicles market

2.2.2 New programs in armored vehicles in the US to support the global armored and counter IED vehicles market

2.2.3 Armored and counter IED vehicles market to be robust in Europe

2.2.4 Asia to be a lucrative market for armored and counter IED vehicles

2.2.5 Saudi Arabia and Israel expected to lead the armored and counter IED vehicles market in the Middle East

2.2.6 Demand for armored and counter IED vehicles in Africa is expected to reach US$910 million by 2023

2.2.7 Brazil to lead the armored and counter IED vehicles sector in the Latin American region

2.3 Armored and Counter IED vehicles Sub-Sector Market Size Composition

2.3.1 Infantry Fighting Vehicles and Main Battle Tanks to witness strong demand

2.3.2 IFVs to account for the highest expenditure in the global armored and counter IED vehicles market

2.3.3 Market size of Main Battle Tanks expected to grow at a CAGR of 4.1% during forecast period

2.3.4 Armored Personnel Carriers market to experience a marginal decline

2.3.5 Scheduled withdrawal of peacekeeping forces and integration of anti-mine armors on all vehicles to lower MRAP vehicle market

2.3.6 Light Multirole Vehicles market size is expected to decline during the forecast period

2.3.7 Tactical trucks market size expected to witness steady decrease in demand

2.4 Demand Drivers and Growth Stimulators

2.4.1 International peacekeeping missions expected to propel demand for armored and counter IED vehicles

2.4.2 Modernization initiatives will drive the demand for armored and counter IED vehicles

2.4.3 Internal and external security threats fuel the global demand for armored and counter IED vehicles

2.4.4 Increasing costs and capability of armored and counter IED vehicles result in demand for multirole vehicles

2.5 Defense Budget Spending Review

2.5.1 European capital expenditure expected to increase during the forecast period

2.5.2 Asian defense budgets expected to increase at a robust pace

2.5.3 North American defense expenditure projected to decline marginally during the forecast period

2.5.4 Modernization programs likely to drive defense expenditure in South American countries

2.5.5 Military budgets of African countries expected to increase during the forecast period

2.5.6 Defense budgets of Middle Eastern countries likely to increase during the forecast period

2.6 Defense Modernization Review

2.6.1 Debt crisis in Europe leading to postponement of modernization plans

2.6.2 Arms race in Asia reflected in modernization plans

2.6.3 North American modernization plans marginally affected by economic recession

2.6.4 Modernization programs in South America driven by replacement of obsolete armaments

2.6.5 African countries mainly spending on infantry weapons and surveillance and monitoring equipment to slow growing crime rate

2.6.6 Middle Eastern countries pursuing modernization of air force and air defense systems

3 Appendix

3.1 Methodology

3.2 About SDI

3.3 Disclaimer

List of Tables Table 1: Global Armored and Counter IED Vehicles Market Overview

Table 2: Global Armored and Counter IED Vehicles Market Overview

List of Figures Figure 1: Global Armored and Counter IED Vehicles Market (US$ Billion), 2013-2023

Figure 2: Armored and Counter IED Vehicles Market Breakdown by Region (%), 2013-2023

Figure 3: North American Armored and Counter IED Vehicles Market (US$ Billion), 2013-2023

Figure 4: European Armored and Counter IED Vehicles Market (US$ Million), 2013-2023

Figure 5: Asia-Pacific Armored and Counter IED Vehicles Market (US$ Million), 2013-2023

Figure 6: Middle East Armored and Counter IED Vehicles Market (US$ Million), 2013-2023

Figure 7: African Armored and Counter IED Vehicles Market (US$ Million), 2013-2023

Figure 8: Latin American Armored and Counter IED Vehicles Market (US$ Million), 2013-2023

Figure 9: Armored and Counter IED Vehicles Market Breakdown by Segment (%), 2013-2023

Figure 10: Global IFV Market Size (US$ Billion), 2013-2023

Figure 11: Global MBT Market Size (US$ Billion), 2013-2023

Figure 12: Global APC Market Size (US$ Billion), 2013-2023

Figure 13: Global MRAP Market Size (US$ Billion), 2013-2023

Figure 14: Global LMV Market Size (US$ Billion), 2013-2023

Figure 15: Global Tactical Truck Market Size (US$ Billion), 2013-2023

Figure 16: Defense Capital Expenditure of Top Three European Defense Spenders (US$ Billion), 2013-2023

Figure 17: Defense Capital Expenditure of Top Three Asian Defense Spenders (US$ Billion), 2013-2023

Figure 18: Defense Capital Expenditure of Top North American Defense Spenders (US$ Billion), 2013-2023

Figure 19: Defense Capital Expenditure of Top Three South American Defense Spenders (US$ Billion), 2013-2023

Figure 20: Defense Capital Expenditure of Top Three African Countries (US$ Billion), 2013-2023

Figure 21: Defense Capital Expenditure of Top Three Middle Eastern Defense Spenders (US$ Billion), 2013-2023

To order this report:Aerospace_and_Defense Industry: The Global Armored and Counter IED Vehicles Market 2013-2023 – Market Size and Drivers: Market Profile

Contact Clare:

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AfDB Concludes First Pan-African Training for Regulators of Derivatives and Commodities Exchanges

Posted on 14 May 2013 by Africa Business

ABIDJAN, Côte d’Ivoire /African Press Organization (APO)/ The African Development Bank (AfDB) ( on May 10, 2013 concluded a one-week, pan-African training workshop for African regulators of derivatives and commodities exchanges. The training workshop was held in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire.

At the opening ceremony, Job Essis N’Guessan, the representative of the Ivoirian Minister of Commerce, stressed the importance of commodities and derivatives markets, especially after the global food crisis of 2007 and the global financial crisis of 2008. He stated that as the environment in Africa is becoming increasingly conducive to investment, there is need to make sure that investor interest translates to an improvement in Africa’s ability to develop itself.

The workshop provided participants representing 30 African countries with strategic and technical skills to assist African securities and capital markets authorities develop legal and regulatory frameworks for derivatives and commodities exchanges.

On behalf of the Official Representation of the AfDB’s Headquarters in Côte d’Ivoire (ROSA), Chief Country Program Officer Sidi Drissi described the training session as being in support of the African Union’s 2005 Arusha Plan of Action and Declaration on African Commodities. The Plan of Action and Declaration highlight the importance of efficient financial and commodity markets as a prerequisite for equitable, inclusive and sustainable development.

“Having well-trained regulators are important for the proper functioning of markets,” he declared.

For participants from Kenya, this training comes at a particularly opportune moment, as the country is poised to license a Futures and Derivatives Exchange by August 2013.

“The training exposed us to other aspects of futures and derivatives regulation that we will be grappling with once the CMA has licensed the successful applicants for establishment of Futures Exchange, notably contract creation, licensing and monitoring of market intermediaries, clearing and settlement and market manipulation,” said Luke Ombara, Acting Director of Regulatory Policy and Strategy at Kenya’s Capital Markets Authority (CMA).

Keith Mukami of Bourse Africa Limited, another participant at the training workshop, described the sort of capacity building that the workshop provides as “the cornerstone to building sustainable and well regulated African commodity markets in the long term.” He finds it very encouraging to “witness and participate in AfDB’s efforts to building African commodity markets.”

The training workshop, the first in a series of trainings on market regulations, was jointly organized by the African Development Institute and the NEPAD, Regional Integration and Trade Department, both of the AfDB.



African Development Bank (AfDB)

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CAR: Food crisis looms

Posted on 13 May 2013 by Africa Business

NEW YORK, May 13, 2013/African Press Organization (APO)/ Food assistance is emerging as an urgent humanitarian priority in the Central African Republic (CAR). Assessments carried out earlier this year show that many people cannot afford the little food that is available in markets, and that farmers have begun to eat the seeds that were meant for planting this season.

Humanitarian agencies are now warning of critical food needs in both rural and urban areas as the country enters the traditional lean season between April and August/September. Food reserves are already low with many people forced to borrow or trade for food, or resort to fishing and hunting.

Women and children are particularly vulnerable. Irene, a 35-year old mother of two, lives in Bangui.

“I do not remember the last time my children and I had a balanced meal. If you visit the markets, you will see that virtually nothing is being sold there,” she says. “I often put an empty pot on the fire half an hour before the children’s bedtime to make them believe they will have dinner.”

Irene’s husband left in late March when the Seleka rebels took control of Bangui, fearing reprisals as he was associated with the former regime. Irene hasn’t seen him since.

“We have a small garden behind the house which provides us with vegetables, but we rely on the kindness of other women to provide us with cassava. When we eat, our meals consist of ngoundja (cassava leaves) cooked in salty water and cassava dumplings,” she says. “I see my children losing weight, but there is nothing I can do about it.” Her only income is around 100 Central African francs per day, about a quarter of a US dollar, from selling garden vegetables.

The crisis in CAR, which started in December 2012 when rebels launched an offensive against the government, has affected all of the country’s 4.6 million inhabitants. More than 173,000 have been displaced inside the country. A further 49,000 people have fled into neighbouring countries.

Even before this crisis, the World Food Programme (WFP) estimated that 80,000 people would be at risk of severe food insecurity during the 2013 lean season. This number is now expected to increase. WFP also projects that 13,500 children under the age of five will become severely malnourished.

“Over two million people are in need of critical health, nutrition and food assistance,” says Kaarina Immonen, the Humanitarian Coordinator for CAR. “But without access and security, our programmes cannot reach these people in need.”

In April, WFP identified 42,000 people in need of food assistance in Bangui, in the northern city of Kabo and in the central town of Bambari. Food distributions started on 25 April at Bangui’s community hospital and within a week nearly 3,000 people, most of them women, had received food rations. The agency is now focusing on reaching 7,500 particularly vulnerable people, including those living with HIV, malnourished children, and pregnant and lactating women.

WFP plans to assist some 400,000 severely food insecure people across the country by the end of this year. However insecurity continues to hamper access and to complicate efforts to supply humanitarian aid to Central Africans in desperate need.




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The AfDB supports economic recovery in Mali with a loan of more than 30 billion CFA francs

Posted on 08 May 2013 by Africa Business

TUNIS, Tunisia, May 8, 2013/African Press Organization (APO)/ The African Development Bank Group (AfDB) ( approved on Wednesday, May 8 in Tunis, a loan of 30 billion CFA francs to the Republic of Mali. This amount will be drawn from the resources of the African Development Fund (ADF), the Bank’s concessional window, to finance an Emergency Economic Recovery Support Programme (EERSP).

The EERSP is an emergency budget support operation and part of a concerted effort by the international community to help Mali out of its successive crises (security, political, institutional) that have affected the country, by providing support to the reestablishment of public services and fostering economic recovery. The operation will contribute to the consolidation of peace initiatives and social cohesion undertaken under the ongoing transition. It will help to enhance the reconstruction of the country including the rebuilding of the capacities of the State. The program will equally improve macroeconomic and budgetary framework and create the conditions required for economic recovery. The program’s specific economic outcomes are, among others, restoration of functioning and rebuilding of the capacities of the public administration, restoration of access to basic social services, especially health and education services and support to economic growth expected to increase from 1.2% in 2012 to an average of 5% between 2013 and 2014.

The Transition Government in Mali has prepared an Emergency Priority Action Plan (PAPU) the objectives of which are the restoration of the functioning of public services, re-establishing access of the populations to basic social services and resumption of economic activity. The EERSP will help the State respond to urgent social and economic needs in the wake of the successive crises and its implementation. Furthermore, this operation, in line with the Bank’s intervention in Mali, is found on the Transition Support Strategy (2013-2014) hinged on a dual objective, to mitigate the impact of the crisis and strengthen the population’s resilience, and to consolidate the Government’s stability and the foundations for economic recovery.

The program beneficiaries will be the Malian population as a whole, i.e. about 15.4 million inhabitants, and, in particular, those living in the northern part of the country, especially those displaced as a result of the conflict. More specifically, these are people living under difficult conditions due to the absence of basic public services in the areas affected and the congestion of basic public services in the areas that accepted the displaced persons. The main beneficiary structures comprise the school network, public health services, and in general, the public administration which must return to a normal working order. The Government will then be able to consolidate its legitimacy and restore its sovereignty in the whole of Mali.

To date, funding approved by the African Development Bank Group in Mali is about 140 billion CFA francs.

The aim of the AfDB is to enhance and strengthen its support to Fragile States and those affected by conflict.



African Development Bank (AfDB)

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The Outlook for Medical Devices in the Middle East & Africa

Posted on 30 April 2013 by Africa Business

NEW YORK /PRNewswire/ — announces that a new market research report is available in its catalogue:

The Outlook for Medical Devices in the Middle East & Africa–Africa.html#utm_source=prnewswire&utm_medium=pr&utm_campaign=Medical_Equipment_and_Supply

Highlights from the Region

Egypt‘s market for medical equipment and supplies is one of the larger of those in the Middle East, but per capita consumption is very low by regional and world standards. In 2012, the Egyptian market for medical equipment and supplies is estimated at US$432.3 million, or US$4.9 per capita. The 2012-17 CAGR is projected at 10.3%. Egypt produces very little medical equipment, so the vast majority of the market is supplied by imports.

The Iranian medical device market appears to have no coherent regulatory framework, and Iranian buyers are very thorough in evaluating products for purchase. It is therefore advised that overseas firms appoint a local agent with knowledge of relevant procedures. Imports account for an estimated 88.1% of the market, despite the manufacture of basic consumable items such as syringes, needles & catheters, dental instruments & fittings and orthopaedic appliances. Imports were valued at US$785.3 million in 2011, with Germany and the Netherlands being the leading suppliers. Consumable medical devices and diagnostic imaging apparatus were the most significant import sectors.

Israel has the largest medical device market in the Middle East region. Much of the market, at just under 80%, is supplied by imports, and a significant portion of these in value terms are dominated by “high-end” products falling under the diagnostic imaging apparatus category. It also has important domestic manufacturing capabilities, with just under 300 medical device companies in Israel – according to Ministry of Health estimates

Both the government and private sector are committed to upgrading and modernising Jordan‘s healthcare provision. The country has a reputation in the region for its high standards of services provided. New public and private hospitals have been expanding and upgrading in recent years, providing good opportunities for companies in the provision of medical equipment.

In 2012, the medical market was estimated at US$204.4 million. However, per capita medical device spending at around US$6 remains low, leaving considerable potential for further expansion. The local medical device manufacturing industry remains at an embryonic stage, leaving most sectors of the market reliant on foreign imports, which totalled US$201 million in the 12 months to July 2011.

Espicom estimates the Omani market for medical devices to stand at US$97.1 million in 2012, equal to US$33.5 per capita. The market as a whole is expected to grow at a healthy CAGR of 11.3% per annum to reach US$165.8 million by 2017. Collated monthly trade data show that medical device imports rose to US$72.1 million in the 12 months to August 2012, representing year-on-year growth of 6.1%. The performance of the individual categories was mixed, with diagnostic imaging (20.1%), orthopaedics (19.8%) and consumables (4.7%) making gains during the latest 12 month period, whilst the value of imports stagnated or fell in other categories.

The Ministry of Health (MoH) has allocated over SR7 billion (US$2 billion) for 67 health projects throughout the country as part of its fiscal 2012 budget. The MoH said the projects include the establishment of 12 new hospitals with a combined bed capacity of 3,100 beds, as well as a number of comprehensive medical clinics, oncology centres and specialised dental centres. New healthcare facilities, coupled with the government’s plan to recruit more healthcare personnel from overseas to work in these new centres, will inevitably see a spike in procurement of medical equipment and supplies, and other capital goods.

The long term growth prospects of the South African medical device market will be strongly influenced by the ANC government’s policies in regards to the new National Health Insurance (NHI) scheme, the promotion of public-private partnerships to develop and upgrade hospitals, the serious shortage of healthcare personnel and an urgent need to effectively address the AIDS crisis in the country. The government has committed itself to increasing the level of healthcare spending and has launched a 14-year programme to implement universal healthcare coverage.

The government has placed an emphasis on developing its healthcare system, with the goal of establishing a Universal Healthcare System by 2013 as part of its ongoing reforms for the healthcare sector. Around 85% of the medical device market is supplied by imports, which have risen rapidly in the past decade. In 2011, imports rose by 17.6% over 2010 and by a 2007-2011 CAGR of 6.0%. Half of imports were sourced from the USA, Germany and China. In the 12 months to October 2012, imports decreased by 6.5% to US$1,888.0 million. In this period, dental products showed some growth but almost all other categories fell in value.

The UAE’s economy is heavily dependent on the price of oil. Per capita GDP is very high, ranked among the top 20 in the world, and in 2012 was estimated at US$46,638. Real GDP growth of 3.7% is expected for 2013. As a percentage of GDP, healthcare expenditure is low, but in per capita terms, spending is among the top 30 in the world. Overall health expenditure was estimated at US$12.3 billion in 2011, equal to 3.8% of GDP. Per capita spending was US$1,551.

These Quarterly Updated Reports Analyse the Issues

The Outlook for Medical Device Markets in the Middle East & Africa is published by Espicom Business Intelligence. Each report provides an individual and highly-detailed analysis of each market, looking at the key regulatory, political, economic and corporate developments in the wider context of market structure, service and access. The reports are available individually or as a discounted collection, and the price includes 4 completely updated reports sent quarterly and details of local medical equipment distributors

To order this report:
Medical_Equipment_and_Supply Industry:
The Outlook for Medical Devices in the Middle East & Africa

Contact Clare:
US:(339) 368 6001
Intl:+1 339 368 6001

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ICG’s Conjectures on Eritrea: Realistic and Probable or Wishful and Imaginary?

Posted on 27 April 2013 by Africa Business

Eritrean Center for Strategic Studies, ECSS

On 28 March last month, the ICG released a report entitled: “Eritrea: Scenarios for Future Transition”. Unfortunately, as we illustrate below[1], ICG’s primary sources are mostly the same circle of personalities and entities that harbor a hostile agenda against Eritrea while its basic presumptions are predicated on a superfluous predilection to project a calamitous trend of imminent “doom and gloom”.   As it happened, these skewed approaches have rendered its scenario analysis extremely flawed, and, rather wishful and imaginary.

Political forecasting is not, admittedly, an exact science; it is a messy business indeed.   Still, it’s critical usefulness cannot be glossed over.   The architectures of conflict prevention and management depend on perceptive and sufficiently reliable early warning systems for a timely prognosis of fault lines and trends in order to avoid or mitigate crisis conditions.   But this task requires, in the first place, the existence of a potential crisis-situation as well as objective, neutral and dispassionate appraisal of political realities and trends on the basis of full and accurate information.  The ICG report is found wanting on all these critical parameters.

The ICG’s current report is a follow-up of its last report on Eritrea released on 21 September 2010 with the title “ERITREA: A SIEGE STATE”.   It was claimed then that the report was compiled in ten years of thorough field research that the think tank conducted inside and outside Eritrea.[2] ICG experts visited Eritrea for extensive interviews with senior government officials and canvassed the opinion of various internal sources of their choice.  But even then, there was a lingering impression among most knowledgeable observers of the Eritrean reality that the ICG was more inclined in corroborating a certain pre-conceived narrative rather than honestly and fairly depicting a balanced and nuanced picture.

This time around, the gloves are off and the ICG appears to have discarded all pretentions of objectivity and neutrality.  The ICG claims that it was denied entry to Eritrea although this remains contested by officials in Eritrea’s Foreign Ministry.[3] Whatever the case, and although the ECSS understands that the ICG did maintain some perfunctory communication with the Eritrean Mission to the UN5, the current report is conspicuous for its failure to cite official and neutral and credible sources for countervailing opinion and/or the validation of the facts and events that are described with authority.

Furthermore, and as we highlight below, the welter of information that the ICG cobbled together essentially emanate from rumorsand innuendos6 that are attributed to undisclosed sources.  This is rationalized by considerations of confidentiality.[4] Nonetheless, it casts deeper doubt on the validity of its postulates and conjectures since these “confidential interlocutors” that provided the baseline data may well be affiliated to fringe groups that espouse certain political agendas.   A cursory analysis of the 156 footnotes attached to the report illustrates that 71 % fall in that category. This is unduly large.  And, as we intimated above, the remaining references are virtually recycled data provided by the usual, Eritrea-bashing, hostile elements and groups. These glaring shortcomings of data collection and validation can only dent the reputation of the ICG besides carving out a gaping puncture on the reliability, coherence and probability of the “scenarios of transition” that it envisages.

For purposes of illustration, we cite below some of the outlandish rumors that the ICG blindly replicates in its report without questioning their validity.

· Isaias’s disappearance from public view for several weeks in April 2012 amid rumours of his illness and death made evident the lack of a succession plan;[5]

· During the latter half of 2012, more rumors circulated about disagreements inside the regime on the direction of the country, as well as Isaias’s leadership;[6]

· In November 2012 there were rumors of a round of arrests and “freezing” of senior military leaders including the defense minister, Sebhat Ephrem;[7]

· There are rumors the skeptics have asked the President to step aside and support a smooth, internal transition, so as to avoid the country’s collapse….[8]

· The military …appears to have maintained a certain degree of autonomy, such that it has reportedly (sic) questioned Isaias’s capacity to retain control and asked him to consider a transition at various points in the recent past;[9]

· The posters created for the celebration of the twentieth anniversary of liberation… portray Isaias in the image of Jesus Christ, the shepherd of the people, leading elders of both low and highlands;[10]

· Isaias has been grooming his son for succession;[11]

· The incident of 21 January 2013 is described as an event that was “not unprecedented” but as “the most recent in a number of unreported events”.[12] The report further states “the government reportedly negotiated with the soldiers, and in the end, the Ministry’s employees were released”.[13]

All these assertions are at variance with the true facts and represent gullible regurgitation of wild stories that normally thrive in the grape vine. In a nutshell, the litany of rumor-inspired, unsubstantiated, facts; the blunders of methodological omission and commission, are too many for ICG’s prognosis and “scenarios of transition” to be taken seriously.  After all, if the diagnosis of a presumed illness is wrong in the first place, the prescribed antidote will not only be useless but it may turn out to be toxic.

We now revert to examine in some detail the ICG’s substantive conjectures.

1. Aggravated Ethnic and Religious fault lines

The ICG report paints a curiously explosive picture in regard to potential ethnic and religious conflicts and strife in Eritrea.   To drive the point home, it opines:  “Eritrean diversity, especially the Christian–Muslim divide”,[14] may usher in social upheavals.  The ICG waxes alarmist particularly in other sections of the report when it warns: “existing ethnic and religious divisions may come into play in a confrontation between military factions…leading to a disastrous civil war”,[15] (emphasis ours).

This sudden, doomsday, prognosis is not only utterly wrong, but it contradicts the ICG’s own report as spelled out in its previous report, which was the result, by its own admissions, of ten years meticulous research in Eritrea.  This is what the ICG had to say on the same subject in its September 2010 report:

Despite occasional conflict (sic) and the marked diversity, Eritrea has by and large avoided the kind of serious interethnic and religious strife associated with the region. Economic lifestyles, cultures, faiths and ethnicities have mostly coexisted peacefully. Church and mosque have stood side by side, occasional clashes notwithstanding.[16]

National cohesiveness and identity in Eritrea is, indeed, robust by all accounts; transcending parochial sentiments and allegiances to exclusive ethnic and/or religious sectarianism.  Whatever it’s other problems, the Eritrean polity has been blessed with ethnic and religious harmony that has further been reinforced in the past twenty two years of independence. The periodic communal/tribal infightings that erupt in virtually all the neighbouring countries and, the deep sentiments of religious/ethnic marginalization that characterize diverse communities in our region are literally inexistent in Eritrea.  These have come about as a result of history, the long years of armed struggle as well as judicious government policies anchored on equality of rights and opportunities for all its constituent parts.  The ICG’s new narrative of a volatile, worrisome, trend towards “ethnic/religious civil war” is thus a malevolent chimera that exists only in the minds of Eritrea’s detractors.

2. Forceful nation building

The ICG describes, in a rather deprecating manner, Eritrea’s normative trajectory of nation building as a failed, “forceful process”.[17]

This statement provokes a host of questions both in terms of abstract political theory as well as underlying motive.  In the ICG’s inexplicable view, nation building in the Eritrean case is found to be “forceful” because the “PFDJ has been seeking to further entrench the notion of a single national identity as defined during the struggle”[18]?  In the first place, Eritrean national identity was not forged or invented during the 30 years of liberation war.  Present-day Eritrea was shaped by European colonialism as is the case in the rest of Africa.  And in any case, the post-liberation political process could not have occurred on an artificial and centrifugal setting of polarizing a cohesive national society along ethnic and religious identities if that is what the ICG is alluding to.  The politics of ethnic institutionalization pursued by some countries in the region and that have been enshrined in their Constitutions is certainly not a positive example that must be emulated by Eritrea.  These political precepts are not only dangerous and a recipe for perpetual strife but they are not also warranted by the Eritrean reality.  In as far as ethnic/religious harmony during the armed liberation struggle is concerned; Eritrea’s positive experience had attracted almost universal accolades from all historians and political pundits associated with those times.[19] ICG’s concerns for that period are thus difficult to comprehend.

3. Peace with Ethiopia

The ICG’s position on this cardinal issue is difficult to decipher.  The imperative for Ethiopia to abide by its treaty obligations and to respect international law; the enhancement of regional peace and security that this would entail is not examined from its legal and political perspectives and is curiously absent from its lengthy discourse.  It is totally ignored in the Executive Summary where the ICG suggests various “recommendations” purportedly to address all the critical problems that require urgent solution.

In the sections where it broaches the subject, its point of departure is a presumptive acknowledgement that there are no indications “for unprecedented opening or softening of the previous policy”[20]on the part of Ethiopia.  The ICG then concludes, even if not in so many words, that the compromise must emanate from Eritrea.  What follows next is simply absurd.   The ICG quotes an anonymous “Eritrean analyst” to state:

“… In the event of a regime change, the Generals cannot last long without making peace with Ethiopia… Eritreans would propose negotiations on the status of Badme; a decision the population would not contest….there is no way for the Eritrean nation to survive as it is, if it does not make peace with Ethiopia.  It will, simply, collapse.[21]

The ICG then proceeds to outline steps that a “transitional government” could be expected to take … to open negotiations with Ethiopia in the eventuality/scenario of a Peaceful Transition to Multiparty Democracy.[22]

This analysis is too crass and simplistic to merit serious exposition.   Obviously, the ICG has no clue and is out of sync with mainstream Eritrean political opinion. Even the inconsequential Eritrean armed groups that Ethiopia supports for subversive reasons would not contemplate making concessions on Badme or any other sovereign Eritrean territories.  Apparently, the ICG also suffers from an acute lapse of institutional memory.  Because this is what it had to say in its previous report:

The international community, in particular donors and the Security Council, repeatedly failed to pressure Ethiopia to comply.  Eritrea’s sense of outrage heightened, notwithstanding that the Claims Commission ruled that it violated international law during its military operation in may 1998, in effect, had started the war.[23]

The key point is that the Eritreans felt Ethiopia was once again being appeased by an international community that was tacitly or explicitly hostile to Eritrea. The already deep-rooted sense of isolation and betrayal was reinforced.[24]

The international community erred seriously in 2002 in not putting greater pressure on Ethiopia to fully implement the Boundary Commission’s findings.[25]

4. The Vulnerabilities of the Eritrean State:

Perhaps because of its sources or for reasons better known to it, the ICG’s overarching intention seems to prove not only the “extreme vulnerability of the Eritrean Government” but even the “non-viability of the nation itself”.  The “inevitable collapse of the State and the threat this poses to regional security”, as well as the “weakness and fragmentation of the opposition… and the difficulty of reconciling the political cultures of PFDJ members and Diaspora leaders” are invoked for greater dramatization.

And, to cap it all, the ICG quotes again, an anonymous but “long time observer of the Eritrean reality”, who states:

“Is the system reformable from within…even after Isaias’ removal? …Is Isaias’s absence from the Eritrean political system the answer to all the problems of the nation? Ultimately will Eritrea ever be viable as a nation?”[26]

With all these hyperbole in the background, the ICG considers “six scenarios of transition” which are all permutations of, and predicated on, the sequel after the “prior removal of the President”, by whatever means.  Indeed, in almost all the sections that follow, the ICG emphatically envisions and calls for “the President’s exit”, which it describes as “if not the sole one”, but “still as the absolute sine qua non for transition”.  Isaias’s exit … “is about surely a precondition for anything much to change”,[27] we are reminded time and again!

What is pushing the ICG to dwell on and forecast cataclysmic developments in Eritrea in the times ahead?  Surely, this cannot be a logical extrapolation from the isolated incident that transpired on January 21st early this year.  As we emphasized in the first part of this article, ICG’s almost singular reliance on hostile sources may partially explain this muddled output.   But one would have expected the ICG to consult more objective diplomatic and other sources as well as published materials.  Although we do not subscribe to the underlying concept and analytic methods employed, the annual Index of Failed States,[28] for instance, ranks Eritrea in the upper middle rung, i.e. less prone to potential turmoil than Ethiopia and other countries in the region.  ICG’s obsession with its conjecture is thus difficult to comprehend.

The other intriguing element in the whole report is the obvious disconnect between the recommendations in the Executive Summary and the rest of the report including the “six transition scenarios”.  In the Executive Summary, the recommendations have two parts: the first option dwells on proposals for coordinated action by regional and international players in order to “promote talks with President Isaias Afwerki and the current leadership with a view to avert chaos and further displacement of populations”.[29] The second option focuses on residual measures that must be taken by the “US, EU and countries with special relations with Eritrea” in the event of “transition”.[30] But, as explained above, the entire report then swerves into a different discourse anchored on the agenda of imminent, inevitable and necessary “regime change”.   One is led to believe that the two parts of the article were written by two groups of researchers with disparate views and conclusions.  And these were not reconciled when the end product was published.  The report thus fails even to meet minimum editorial standards.

5. External intervention

The ICG does not conceal its overriding aim of establishing a case for external intervention. The scenarios it envisages for such an eventuality are however puzzling.  This is what it has to say in its scenario of External Mediation or Domination.[31]

Dragged for various reasons, Addis Ababa and Khartoum could play at their intervention in two ways: either a political agreement on how to establish peace (perhaps through IGAD) and setting a closely mentored government or by splitting the country in effect into zones of influence as has happened in south-central Somalia. Alternatively, should a regional agreement over Eritrea not be reached, they could offer direct or material support to competing Eritrean factions in order to satisfy their national and regional security interests.[32]

In the last scenario of Regime Change with Ethiopian intervention, the ICG envisages a positive role being played by the new post-Meles leadership in which the latter offers a transitional leadership in Asmara a fresh diplomatic start, reopening economic ties and providing support for a non-partisan, inclusive, political initiative.[33]

We have never come across such a brazen and horrid apology or advocacy of colonialism under the disguise of academic research work.  In the first place, what would be the contents of a “fresh diplomatic start” by Ethiopia and what are the dividends to Eritrea?  If the ICG is privy to any “concessions” that Ethiopia is prepared make to respect the border rulings of the Eritrea-Ethiopia Border Commission in the event of a “transition”, it does not spell them out in the report.  And in any case, the ICG had categorically asserted in previous sections of the same report that there will not be any “new opening on the border problem on the part of the new Ethiopian government” thus throwing the gauntlet to Eritrea for any progress on that front.  So what is this fresh diplomatic start?  The re-opening of economic ties is another riddle that begs more nuanced answers.  Although mutual benefits that may accrue from bilateral trade may not be discounted, the asymmetric advantages to Eritrea are not clear particularly as the report does not at all discuss economic issues and development strategies and policies in Eritrea, Ethiopia or the region as a whole.  Ethiopia’s potential support for a “non-partisan, inclusive, political initiative” only underscores the authors’ utter ignorance of the political dynamics in the region.  In the first place, Ethiopia – the old regime as well as its successor – is enmeshed in the political quagmire of ethnic and highly partisan politics in its own country.   In Eritrea, Ethiopia’s futile policy of regime change has been pursued in the last ten years by mainly propping up what it calls the “Kunama and Afar Liberation Fronts”.   And, in a report where incoherent and mutually contradictory conclusions appear in successive paragraphs, the ICG also states:

Any Ethiopian intervention would likely have a security rather than a democratic agenda.  Hawkish responses are conceivable; Ethiopia could seal the border or seize the opportunity to support one faction in Asmara.  It might even take advantage of instability to achieve one of the longstanding goals of hard-liners, control of the port of Assab in order to end the country’s land-locked status.[34]

The positive role that the ICG assigns to other regional actors similarly provokes more questions than answers.  The ICG professes to be keenly aware of grave fault lines that obtain in the region’s countries in its multiple publications. It has written extensively on the dangers posed by the precarious leadership transition in Ethiopia (though without dwelling on the challenges this poses, as well as the internal dynamics of instability in the country).   It has also written, in its recent reports, on what it has termed as the “embattled situation of the ruling National Congress Party in Sudan”, as well as the “electoral unrest in Djibouti”.[35] Yet despite its gloomy predictions on the potential consequences of these fault lines, it argues for entrusting Eritrea’s troubled neighboring States with the responsibility of “managing change in Eritrea”.  This haphazard and ill-advised advice is indeed  confusing and difficult to fathom.    The ICG advocates, on the one hand, for an “urgent need for transition in Eritrea to ensure its stability” and for the “benefit of the entire region”.[36] At the same time, it envisages this change to come about through the intervention of Eritrea’s neighbors when each of them is embroiled in perhaps deeper political quagmire.

From the foregoing, it is clear that the ICG did not set out to appraise the reality in Eritrea in good faith.  It must have started its research work from a pre-conceived conclusion.  The end result is not really a professional and objective work of situation analysis but a catalogue of biases and suggestive conjectures.

[1] In both the current report and its predecessor, the ICG makes repeated reference to individuals and entities that espouse hostile attitudes towards Eritrea, being at the same time ardent champions of regime change. The list includes Bereket Habteselassie, Berouk Mesfin (a senior researcher at the Institute for Security Studies who finds it difficult to divorce  from the version of the Ethiopian government when writing on Eritrea)  Dan Connell, Gaim Kibreab, Kjetel Tronvor, Leonard Vincent (author of Les Erytheens and cofounder of a Paris-based anti-Eritrean radio station), Martin Plaut, Tekeste Negash who is opposed to Eritrean independence, and Yosief Ghebrehiwet a permanent contributor of anti-regime articles in the Gedab News, a website devoted to Eritrean division and referred to repeatedly in ICG reports. Other entities of similar category referred to in the ICG reports are the TPLF website, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, Reporters Without Borders.

[2] International Crisis Group, Eritrea the Siege State Africa Report No.136 31 September 2010 p.1

[3] ECSS interview with Dr. Fessehatzion Petros, Foreign Office, Asmara,

[4] International Crisis Group, Eritrea: Scenarios for Future Transition African report No.200 28March 2013, p.2, see fn. 6.

[5] Ibid, p.7

[6] Ibid, p.8

[7] Ibid, see fn.41

[8] Ibid, p.16

[9] Ibid, p.10

[10] Ibid, see fn. 62

[11] Ibid,  p.22

[12] Ibid,  p.6

[13] Ibid,  p.4

[14] Ibid, see fn. 2.

[15] Ibid, p.24

[16] ICG, Report No.136, p.17

[17] ICG Report 200 see Executive Summary.

[18] Ibid, p. 12

[19] Reference to witnesses made by several close observers which among others included: Basil Davidson and Dan Connell.

[20] ICG Report No.200, p.24.

[21] Ibid, see fn.140.

[22] Ibid, p.26

[23] Ibid, p.21

[24] ibid

[25] Ibid, p.25

[26] Ibid, see fn.118

[27] Ibid, p.21

[28] Failed States Index , 2010,2011,2012

[29] ICG Report No. 200; see Executive Summary.

[30] Ibid.

[31] Ibid, p.25

[32] Ibid.

[33] Ibid p.27

[34] Ibid, p.27

[35] Ibid p.28

[36] Ibid.

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Standard Bank Group boosts debt capital market with five issues valued at R6,1bn

Posted on 25 April 2013 by Africa Business

Standard Bank Group has concluded five major corporate bond issuances in the past month with a value of R6,1-billion. Standard Bank has assisted Netcare, PPC Ltd, Mercedes Benz, SABMiller and the City Of Tshwane to access the bond market for their funding requirements.

Netcare is the only healthcare company to have issued into the debt capital markets (DCM) with over R3-billion currently in issue. Netcare issued five-year A-rated notes for R600-million, (18 March 2013), and was more than three times over-subscribed. PPC Ltd issued three-year notes for R650-million, (20 March 2013).

This was PPC’s debut in the DCM, and despite this, the issue was robustly supported being more than four times over-subscribed. SAB South Africa issued five-year AA+ rated notes for R1-billion, (26 March 2013), and was more than twice over-subscribed. As with PPC, the issue was at the lowest end of the pricing guidance. This issue was the lowest ever coupon raised. Mercedes Benz South Africa issued one and three year AA+ rated notes for R2,5-billion, (25 March 2013).

In 2012 Mercedes Benz South Africa was the largest corporate issuer of ZAR bonds in the market raising R4-billion. The City of Tshwane became the fourth of the big-five South African metropolitans to raise capital on the DCM, to create a sector which is expected in time to become one of the major drivers of this market. The R1,39-billion of 10 and 15 year notes, (27 March 2013) was well over-subscribed, and priced aggressively given their long tenor.

The South African bond market has experienced significant growth, last year’s level of R100-billion in issuance was the highest ever by some margins, and we expect the trend to continue for 2013 , says Ms Megan McDonald, Head of Debt Primary Markets at Standard Bank.

The widening of local investment mandates by South African institutional investors, is driving this demand by allowing investors to participate more broadly in the corporate bond market. In addition, growing interest in the South Africa debt capital markets by foreign investors has further supported liquidity in the market. Foreign investors typically participate aggressively in sovereign issuance, which has tended to drive domestic investors looking for higher yields into the corporate market.

“In the past the debt capital market tended to be dominated by blue-chip companies, and while the current listings are still household names in South Africa it does represent a significant diversification of the market. These are companies and other entities which are anticipating the introduction of the Basel regulatory environment and are proactively looking to diversify their funding base. Indeed, this is precisely what rating agencies are recommending large companies do in order to strengthen their balance sheets,” explains Ms McDonald.

This is not the first time companies have sought to diversify their sources of capital, says Ms McDonald, but what is different now compared to 2008/2009 when the liquidity crisis first prompted the economic slowdown, is that the debt capital market space is today far more mature and therefore represents a viable alternative.

“Local investors have been highly impressed at the quality of recent issues as demonstrated by the strong investor demand. The transactions were significantly oversubscribed, up to four times, and tight pricing achieved across the board. For issuers, it makes sense to come to the market as the dynamics are currently highly favourable” says Ms Mc Donald.

Source: Standard Bank

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World Organization of Creditors took part in the United Nations thematic debates

Posted on 23 April 2013 by Africa Business

April 15, Robert Abdullin – President of the World Organization of Creditors – took part in the thematic debates at the United Nations headquarters in New York. These debates were devoted to the issue of “Global Economic Governance”.

Prime ministers and ministers of the developed and developing countries of the world also became participants of this event. The discussions were held in the run-up to the meeting of Secretaries of the Treasury and Central Banks Governors from all over the world in Washington.

During the opening of the thematic debates the President of the UN General Assembly Vuk Jeremić pointed out that “with the onset of the global economic, financial and debt crisis, discussions on the ways of improvement of global economic governance and its efficiency became more frequent”.  Jeremić also made a note of the importance of General Assembly in this process. According to him, it is General Assembly which should serve as the springboard for strengthening the interaction between international financial and trade institutions of G20 member countries and other alignments for the purpose of solving their common problems.

General Assembly Vice President, Jan Eliasson, addressed G20 member countries and suggested allocating 0.7% of GDP by way of an aid to the UN Assistance Fund for further development of the countries facing a difficult economic situation.

Robert Abdullin –  President of WOC – on the debates: “There were extremely interesting speeches made by Deputy Prime Minister of Turkey Ali Babacan, Minister for National Policies of Nicaragua government Paul Oquist and other high-ranking officials from different countries of the world;  they have expressed radically different opinions related to G20 and the future of the world”.

Discussions will be continued in May, 2013 within the framework of VI Astana Economic Forum in Kazakhstan. World Anti-crisis Conference (WAC) will be held in Astana under the auspices of the United Nations Organizations. Upon the results of WAC work there will be worked out recommendations on overcoming the world crisis for G-20 member countries.

REFERENCE: Non-profit Partnership, World Organization of Creditors (WOC) was established in 2009 to unify the creditors by well-established organizations with years of practical experience in the international financial market. WOC Research – is a project of the World Organization of Creditors (WOC) which analyzes the global and regional economies.

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Mr. Aaron Sen, Singapore Branch Head of Ship and Aircraft Finance Asia Pacific, Norddeutsche Landesbank Girozentrale speak about his experience and knowledge on the freight forwarding industry at PowerLogistics Asia 2013 Conference on 30th-31st October 2013 at Marina Bay Sands, Singapore

Posted on 23 April 2013 by Africa Business

PowerLift Company Ltd. (PowerLift) will organize its second annual event “PowerLogistics Asia 2013”. This event is specifically focused to the project logistics service providers, mainly Asia based, as well as for the consumers of these services, namely:

Oil & gas

Heavy engineering

wind power


Hear Mr. Aaron Sen, Singapore Branch Head of Ship and Aircraft Finance Asia Pacific, Norddeutsche Landesbank Girozentrale speak about his experience and knowledge on the freight forwarding industry at PowerLogistics Asia 2013 Conference on 30th-31st October 2013 at Marina Bay Sands, Singapore.

Here’s a brief interview with Aaron Sen, on his views about the finance industry and the heavylift industry.

1. What Impact is the global financial meltdown having, and what will this mean in the coming years?

The global financial crisis has a severe impact on ship finance. Several banks are either reducing their exposure in this specialized industry or even gradually exiting. This will mean in the coming years that ship lending will become a scarce commodity.

2. What challenges have you faced after the financial meltdown?

Directly after the financial meltdown back in 2008 the foremost relevant challenge was to keep funding and liquidity intact. Following the financial crisis the focus switched to the problems then occurring due to the sharp cool-down of the world economy.

3. Is your industry credit crunch immune?

Banking is not credit crunch immune as still bank to bank business forms a relevant part of a banks funding strategy.

4. What are the effects of the new world finance order on the heavy lift industry?

It is, and mostly likely will be in the near future, more difficult to get lending for newbuilding projects for heavy lift vessels.

See you there at PowerLogistics Asia 2013 Exhibition and Conference on 30th-31st October 2013 at Marina Bay Sands, Singapore.

Visit for more information.

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Madagascar needs more than $41 million to end locust plague / Half of the country infested by locusts – food production seriously at risk

Posted on 26 March 2013 by Africa Business

ROME, Italy, March 26, 2013/African Press Organization (APO)/ Madagascar needs more than $22 million of emergency funding by June to start fighting a severe locust plague that threatens the country’s next cropping seasons and the food security of more than half the country’s population, FAO said today. The agency underlined, however, that a three-year strategy is needed – requiring an additional $19 million.


Currently, about half the country is infested by hoppers and flying swarms – each swarm made up of billions of plant-devouring insects. FAO estimates that about two-thirds of the island country will be affected by the locust plague by September 2013 if no action is taken.


In view of the deteriorating situation, the Ministry of Agriculture of Madagascar declared a national disaster on 27 November 2012. In December, the Ministry of Agriculture requested technical and financial assistance from FAO to address the current locust plague, ensure the mobilization of funds as well as the coordination and implementation of an emergency response.


The emergency funding that has to arrive by June will allow FAO, together with the Ministry of Agriculture, to launch a full-scale spraying campaign for the first year.


Nearly 60 percent of the island’s more than 22 million people could be threatened by a significant worsening of hunger in a country that already has extremely high rates of food insecurity and malnutrition. In the poorest southern regions, where the plague started, around 70 percent of households are food insecure.


The plague now threatens 60 percent of the country’s rice production. Rice is the main staple in Madagascar, where 80 percent of the population lives on less than a dollar per day.


The locust swarms would also consume most green vegetation that might normally serve as pasture for livestock.


From start to finish


“We know from experience that this plague will require three years of anti-locust campaigns. We need funds now to procure supplies and to timely set-up the aerial survey and control operations,” said Annie Monard, FAO Senior Officer and Coordinator of the FAO locust response.


“Failure to respond now will lead to massive food aid requirements later on,” said Dominique Burgeon, Director of the FAO Emergency and Rehabilitation Division.


“Campaigns in past years were underfunded, and unfortunately it means that not all locust infestations were controlled,” said Monard. She compared it to not uprooting the roots of a weed, in which case even more weeds come back.


Current national efforts


The national Locust Control Centre has thus far treated 30 000 hectares of farmland since the six-month rainy season began in October 2012, but some 100 000 hectares that need to be treated haven’t been, due to the government’s limited capacity.


In late February, the situation was made even worse by Cyclone Haruna, which not only damaged crops and homes but also provided optimal conditions for one more generation of locusts to breed.


The first year of the FAO strategy to control locusts would rely on large-scale aerial operations. Some 1.5 million hectares will be treated in 2013-14, which declines to 500 000 hectares in the second year and 150 000 hectares in the third and last year of the strategy. All the operations will be implemented in respect of human health and the environment.


The strategy also includes:

•    establishment and training of a Locust Watch Unit inside the Plant Protection Directorate, for monitoring and analysis of the locust situation over the whole invasion area;

•    aerial and ground survey operations;

•    monitoring and mitigation of locust control operations to preserve human health and protect the environment;

•    training in pesticide and spraying operations management.


An impact assessment of the locust crisis on crops and pasture will be conducted each year to determine the type of support needed by farming households whose livelihoods have been in pesticide and spraying operations management.



Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)

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