Geopolitics

Is geopolitics impacting the global telecom supply chain?
Geopolitics

Is geopolitics impacting the global telecom supply chain?

Huawei is among the biggest tech giants and owner of the 5G patent, in contrast to the Western firms. However, stopping Huawei’s access to 5G chipsets from US semiconductor firms can hurt the American economy and moderate the 5G expansion. Closing doors on China would additionally disable the 5G future development.

Analyst for 5G Markets, Leo Gergs, referred to how ABI’s study “shows that forbidding Huawei and ZTE from 5G arrangements and confining their admittance to silicon and semiconductor supply chains will have extreme ramifications on economic performance. Besides, restricting these Chinese companies will hamper 5G and 6G R&D.” 

5G is designed to provide high-speed data transfer at a large scale for future applications. However, since the Federal Communications Commission ordered the Chinese telecom goliaths Huawei and ZTE as the national security threat, it could repress their 5G plans.

Since, December 12, 2019, Australia, Japan, New Zealand, Taiwan, and the U.S. have chosen to ban Chinese company Huawei’s products. In 2020, the UK also annnounced that all Telecoms companies should stop using Huawei hardware in the 5G mobile network from Sept. The UK administration’s announcement came before the law was passed, which later banned the Chinese company from the telecom network.

Huawei has been a market leader in telecom infrastructure and hence is the largest buyer of such equipment. However, since the row over US national security threat, the outbreak of coronavirus, India- China border issue, and many more reasons, many nations have criticized China. It led to more imposed sanctions by the US or cut business ties with them by many nations. 

However, the future will tell if geopolitics will impact the global telecom supply or not. On Dec 15, 2020, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) Chairman Mukesh Ambani, during a historic virtual ‘Collaborating for Digital India’ last year discussed the 4G and 5G technology, RIL-Facebook association, and the part businesses can play in building India’s future economy. 

The Facebook CEO praised Reliance for bringing the 4G revolution in India and that 5G was presently another big venture for the company.

How to stop Africa desertification? A great green wall dedicated to sustainable agriculture, reservoirs, and energy plants
Geopolitics

How to stop Africa desertification? A great green wall dedicated to sustainable agriculture, reservoirs, and energy plants

Africa desertification: In February 2021, there will be a summit of the European Union and African Union leaders. The talks will be an opportunity to draw up a concrete program and take a sustainable development path. Because we need to rebuild the world left in ruins by the coronavirus pandemic, avoiding repeating the mistakes of the past. Ibrahim Thiaw, the executive secretary of the UN Convention for the fight against desertification, announced, recalling how it is above all young people – first and foremost, Africans – who ask for and have the right to change. The meeting will be an opportunity to relaunch the construction of a great green wall in Africa.

The idea is a wall of trees and land dedicated to sustainable agriculture, reservoirs, and energy plants. It is 8,000 km long and 15 wides. The project aims to restore 100 million hectares of arid and degraded land by holding back the desert’s advance in the Sahel region. Two hundred and fifty million tons of carbon dioxide and create a new economy with 10 million jobs. These are the most important numbers of the Great Green Wall, the most innovative natural work that man has ever built. That should be ready in 2030, in an ideal connection that horizontally cuts the Africa continent.

From Senegal to Djibouti, three times the size of the coral reef. The idea of ​​creating a natural wall to stop the advance of the Sahara Desert to the south was launched by Richard St. Barbe Baker in 1952, returning from an expedition in the Sahara Desert.

The English biologist and botanist had caught some signs. He noted that the lands on the border desert in a few decades would be overwhelmed by its advance. The scientist proposed a project to reforest a green belt 50 km wide for the 8,000 of the natural length of the corridor. The Sahel desertification process became evident and upsetting in the 1970s when, following droughts, they rapidly dried up.

The countries affected by this crisis began to discuss that old project which anticipated the effects but also offered possible solutions to stop them. Only in 2002, however, the project of the great green wall was officially presented and discussed within the African Union, which adopted it.

After five years, in 2007, it started with its construction in the 11 participating countries to which, in recent years, another nine have been added. That partly modified the initial corridor with the addition of off-screen areas to counteract the desert from the north and, at the same time, participate in the promised green economy. Algeria, Burkina Faso, Benin, Cameroon, Chad, Cape Verde, Djibouti, Egypt, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Libya, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Somalia, Sudan, Gambia, and Tunisia are the countries part of the project.

However, 15 years after the first stone or better from the first tree planted, things are very late and proceed in patches, with enormous differences and different timings from country to country. From the UNCCD report (the United Nations Convention Against Desertification, last September only 4 million hectares (out of the 100 million expected) were completely recovered. Of these, more than half 2.3 million hectares) are in Ethiopia. Another 18 million hectares are in processing, although not all within the official corridor.

These works have allowed the creation of just 335,000 jobs, with 90 million dollars in revenues per year, compared to the 10 million expected when the work will be fully operational. Among the countries that have planted the most trees, Ethiopia with as many as 16.6 million plants. While in the rear, there is Chad, only 1.1 million plants.

Why Caucasians Bank On the WHO-Covax Vaccine Programme
Geopolitics

Why Caucasians Bank On the WHO-Covax Vaccine Programme

WHO-Covax Vaccine Programme: If you are a part of the Caucasia region, chances are you will need a strong friendship with the more powerful nations around you, to get hold of the best efficacy Covid-19 vaccine

The South Caucasian nations like Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia, have realized that they have to remain in good terms with Russia, Turkey and the rest of the West. All of them are aware that they will probably meet the first anniversary of the novel virus, when it hit their counties. But they might still have to wait their turn for the vaccine to start their respective immunization drives. 

In comparison, Turkey, Russia and the rest of West are already underway running their respective immunization drives. While Russia is experimenting dangerously with its own pathogen version (Sputnik V), Turkey has befriended Chinese Sinovac. Other Western regions are making use of either their own vaccine candidates or the ones which have been recognized by prominent medical boards worldwide. 

However, the Caucasian region is going to have to shake hands with one of the top players in the market. The other tunnel to take is the COVAX route. Under the Covax scheme, these nations that actively participated in the development of the vaccine will be given priority under a vaccine ration system. 

This would mean that the Caucasian regions countries that are primarily poor or struggle to get back on their feet after civil wars, could look forward to 2 billion doses. But this will only come through by Spring. They will need more supplies for which they have to knock the right doors. 

While the World Health Organisation’s COVAX scheme was meant to help poor nations secure covid-19 vaccines, it has run into problems due to lack of funds. The COVAX facility currently has 190 participating economies. This includes 98 higher-income economies and 92 low- and middle-income economies eligible. Of these, countries like Azerbaijan, Armenia and Georgia have expressed their interest in securing the vaccines, and have also paid up hefty amounts to receive required dosages. 

Azerbaijan has contributed the largest $21 million, while Georgia made an advance payment of $4.5 million. But Georgia has its own apprehensions and reservations, if the Covax programme decides to include Russian vaccine candidate to its lot. 

The Caucasian region is banking on the Covax programme heavily and continues to have its fingers crossed. 

WhatsApp privacy policy: company offers clarifications over circulating claims
Geopolitics

WhatsApp privacy policy: company offers clarifications over circulating claims

WhatsApp privacy policy: Past few days have emerged quite controversial for global chatting app WhatsApp led by the latest policy update which has brought it in middle of a storm. According to the update, further data sharing will be carried out with its parent company Facebook. Users have been given a deadline of accepting all the terms and conditions of the new policy by February 8, 2021 or else their accounts would be deactivated. This has led to a sparked exodus to other apps like Telegram and Signal.

There have been zillion claims circulating, ironically on WhatsApp, that are creating confusion and zero transparency into the exact whereabouts of the new policy. Furthermore, the fact that the organization is imposing a “full or void” formula to the policy acceptance rendering that users have no choice in accepting the policies has led to quite a rebuke and exodus from vastly popular chatting platform. But now the messenger app has clarified the move by sharing an explanation over its “data sharing clause” in the updated terms and conditions. 

The updated version of WhatsApp Terms and Conditions says, “As part of the Facebook Companies, WhatsApp receives information from and shares information with the other Facebook Companies. We may use the information we receive from them, and they may use the information we share with them, to help operate, provide, improve, understand, customize, support, and market our Services and their offerings, including the Facebook Company Products.” 

In recent official statement by WhatsApp in an attempt to offer some clarification into the controversy, the Facebook owned messenger app said that data sharing with Facebook would not change. It also said that starting February 8, 2021, data sharing will take place between Facebook Business and WhatsApp Business accounts. It clarified that the platform for those using it for instant messaging would not be affected. 

The statement clarifies that dealing of personal chats will not change and it will continue to be end-to-end encrypted. This means that no third-party can read the chats. WhatsApp policy adds, “We do not retain your messages in the ordinary course of providing our Services to you. Instead, your messages are stored on your device and not typically stored on our servers. Once your messages are delivered, they are deleted from our servers.”

Regarding sharing location with Facebook, WhatsApp said that only approximate location information would be shared with the parent company. It also said that location when shared on the app, it would only be protected between sender and receiver, and is not transmitted to Facebook. 

WhatsApp also made it clear that it does not record, or listen to audio and/ or video calls made through it. Data of these calls remains end-to-end encrypted and thus secure, just like the text messages. 

Though WhatsApp has tried to clear the air and clarify misconceptions, the main hurdle in way of the app remains lack of trust and confidence with Facebook, its parent company. When it comes to data sharing with Facebook, only European Union has clear laws that exempt WhatsApp from doing so. As for the other nations, there are two choices for WhatsApp users. First is to continue using the platform and hope for new laws regarding data protection to be implemented in their country. Second is clear, and unsurprisingly looking at current exodus from the platform, is to switch to another platform that is not keen on data collection. 

Digital revolution. China-US tensions, an opportunity for Europe?
Geopolitics

Digital revolution. China-US tensions, an opportunity for Europe?

Digital revolution: UNCTAD, the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, recently compared the development between the financial crisis of 2008 and the present day, in full coronavirus emergency. The comparison is useful to understand that the current situation is leading to the emergence of new markets and new companies, alongside the deepening of the crisis of other companies and other traditional sectors. The great driving force of low cost, in particular of travel, which has facilitated the spread of tourist facilities and services with very low productivity, will no longer work as before and this will lead, among other things, to a profound restructuring of tourism.

But the infrastructure and access to the network has exploded in the twelve years that separate us from the previous financial crisis, and in this context, the competition between the two giants the United States and China represents a huge challenge for the European Union, which it also tries to give positive answers to the crisis. The reference framework for the tensions between the US and China is characterized by the American will to resist the rise of the Chinese superpower, at perhaps the most delicate moment of the leadership of President Xi Jinping and, perhaps, also of President Donald Trump.

On the other hand, the legitimacy of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) power lies in the extraordinary economic growth, which has brought dividends certainly distributed in a very unequal way and in the absence of guarantees on individual rights and on human rights of minorities, but so high. to feed a popular consensus without alternatives. Now, after the COVID-19 pandemic’s outbreak, growth forecasts have vanished, accentuating a slowdown trend that can largely be attributed to structural weaknesses in the Chinese economy, including rising debt, unproductive investments, demographic shifts, and renewed government support for inefficient state-owned companies.

However, Western concerns about Beijing’s emerging hegemony, and American concerns, in particular, have never been higher. According to the US Department of Justice, between 2011 and 2018, 90% of state-led espionage cases were attributable to China, and thus 2/3 of intellectual property thefts attributable to the private sector. Xi Jinping’s leadership aims to strengthen China’s international economic, military and technological position, within a strengthened control of the CCP: minorities, oppositions, and areas that do not intend to align are considered dangerous adversaries. To speed up the process, he has for years started an effective model of transmission and interconnection between the civil and military sectors, as the American Congress acknowledges, not without concern.

The coronavirus emergency represents a test case for this strategy. His raid took the local authorities of the province of Hubei by surprise, which was also serious because, in Wuhan, the capital of the province, there is the only biological laboratory of level 4 in China, created with the collaboration of France and where a researcher of international stature developed important knowledge about the “viral reserves” represented by bats and immediately sequenced the SARS-CoV-2 virus responsible for the epidemic. The central government reacted to the initial delay with very drastic and effective measures, blocking the epidemic in the country, with very high costs, but with the declared aim of demonstrating this ability to govern to the world: we recall the images of the dozens of bulldozers that cleared the area where the new hospitals for coronavirus patients in Wuhan would be built in a week.

The United States has grossly underestimated the impact of the coronavirus, not only in health terms but also in political and economic terms. They did not understand that China would play all out on containment, to demonstrate, within the country and abroad, the Party’s grip on strategic problems. But they did not even understand how China intended to leverage the internal lockdown, to accelerate the digitization processes already in full development with the emergence of technological giants of primary global importance and, in fact, the only competitors of the American giants.

With which, however, President Trump did not define any strategic approach during his mandate. It is interesting to note that the reference for the Google-Apple agreement to make the operating systems of mobile phones communicate in order to recognize each other via Bluetooth, has as a regulatory horizon, the protection of privacy defined by the European Union.

The coronavirus has therefore also become a field of competition between the US and China, where it is the second to have gained margins. Also, thanks to an extensive adoption of new solutions and apps dedicated to monitoring, tracking, and control. This effort has translated into a further leap forward from the point of view of Internet penetration in the daily life of the Chinese.

According to a study of the World Bank, investment in infrastructure contributes to the development of productivity and economic growth of a country, increasingly as the integration of international markets growths. The Chinese economy has systematically developed the country’s infrastructure. It was able to do that because it found no obstacles in the property rights of families or businesses, in fact still subordinated to the planning of the CCP, and it wanted to do so by activating the financial capital available to the central government and the Provinces.

In the telecommunications and internet sector, this development has been prodigious, accompanied by an even more significant growth in technological capacity and willingness to innovate, fuelled by an educated and ambitious young population: from 2008 to 2019, internet users were grown by 300% reaching 900 million people. The network-based economy is changing Chinese society more rapidly than it is in the West. Among the population that uses the internet: 1 out of 3 order food online 1 out of 2 buy online, 3 out of 4 make payments online, 9 out of 10 use online streaming.

Ukraine stuck in vaccine geopolitics amid coronavirus pandemic
Geopolitics

Ukraine stuck in vaccine geopolitics amid coronavirus pandemic

Vaccine Geopolitics: To begin with, the first talks with Pfizer company and other Western vaccine manufacturers to get early shipments imploded after the Trump administration restricted vaccine exports. Presently, chances are only if President-elect Joe Biden takes office, the soonest commercial purchase of Western vaccines will be possible, The New York Times reported.

The pace of Covid disease in Ukraine has eased back in recent weeks with over 7,000 new cases reported every day. Since the start of the pandemic, 19,712 Ukrainians have passed away due to the infection. Ukraine declared a nationwide lockdown beginning from this weekend.

The immunization situation has generated an information war in Ukraine, which has been stirred up by Russia. TV broadcasting pro-Russian perspectives along with politicians have blamed President Zelensky for permitting Ukrainians to cease to exist of a difficult refusal to procure medication from an enemy nation. 

The nation is already battling with a tug of war between East and West in European political issues, which has presently become a point of convergence in the geopolitics being played on the covid-19 vaccine.

According to The New York Times, Lyudmyla Boiko’s family has just had a frightening, and deadly, experience with the Covid pandemic. 

A few relatives acquired the virus, and her daughter-in-law’s mom passed away. Presently, Ms. Boiko, a 61-year-old working at the Botanical Garden in Ukraine, is profoundly stressed over her husband’s health, which has medical conditions yet has not yet contracted the disease. She is placing her faith in an immunization. 

“I don’t mind where the vaccine is delivered as long as it’s safe, “Wellbeing ought to be the priority, Ms. Boiko stated.” 

Ukraine’s situation has grabbed the attention of Russia’s state-controlled media sources, who have underlined Ukraine’s Western partner’s failure to help in the time of need and offering the Russian Sputnik V vaccine as the alternative. 

Ukraine’s leaders, who have raised concerns over the efficacy and safety of the Sputnik V instead opted for China, purchasing its first vaccine in a rushed arrangement by the end of December 2020. 

“Russia, as usual, utilizes this in its crossover battle, as a data weapon,” Maksym Stepanov, Ukraine’s health minister stated over a phone interview about the nation’s work towards immunizing its populace. “He stressed, that the vaccine issue has been politicized.” 

The Russian insult has shocked Ukrainian health authorities; however, there is little they can do to counter it without an elective vaccine stock. 

“Russia is seeking an aggressive policy for the vaccine,” Oleksandr Linchevsky, former deputy health minister stated. “It’s in Russia’s governmental interest that Ukraine gets the vaccine from somewhere else soon as possible,” he added.

Ukraine, with a populace of 42 million, is expecting to get 8,000,000 vaccine injections under the Covax program that provides middle and low-income nations. However, those doses are scheduled to arrive in March.

Before the banning of vaccine exports from the United States, Ukraine had been in talks with Moderna, Pfizer, and Johnson and Johnson to accelerate delivery. However, the negotiations are in process, the delivery time is deferred.

Ukraine’s Volodymyr Zelensky has scarcely contained his shock at his nation ending up far back in the line for immunizations in spite of its uncertain geopolitical situation.

New geopolitics. Is the coronavirus vaccine changing the world travel system and visa regime?
Geopolitics

New geopolitics. Is the coronavirus vaccine changing the world travel system and visa regime?

Visa Regime: The main problem of 2020 was by far the global reaction to Covid-19, and there is the prevailing belief that in some way, 2021 will automatically be different because one figure in the year has changed. The world expects all of this to “end.” But perhaps the main question shouldn’t be when the Coronavirus problem ends, but how it will end. This health crisis, like all others, is the catalyst for political change. It has already left a bureaucratic trace in history.

The potentially most interesting -or terrifying it is the case to say – systemic change brought about by the virus would be the beginning of a sort of mandatory vaccination to travel. This concept, unthinkable just a year ago, has been treated by the mainstream media both positively and negatively, with some governments already verbally endorsing it.

Currently, the main form of bureaucracy for international travel is the citizenship-based passport. The proposed idea of allowing only vaccinated individuals to travel will essentially create the need for a second passport -regardless of the definition attributed to it – based on vaccination documentation. Therefore, since this new documentation proving vaccination will essentially function as a passport, we should look at the passports’ geopolitical aspects before examining those of vaccination.

The regime of passports and visas throughout the 20th century became the mirror of national power and created its own bureaucratic geopolitical spaces. If we look at the Global Passport Power Rank 2021, we see surprisingly top-ranking nations are not in the West. The choice of using the word “power” in the description of passports is very relevant. For example, US citizens can visit Bulgaria and Serbia without a visa, while Serbs and Bulgarians have to go through the bureaucracy, taxes, and talks necessary to have the privilege of stepping on American soil.

While many Bulgarians may think the United States is an ally that saved them from Communism, there are plenty of Serbs who today regard Washington as the killer of the people but still give Americans 90 days to stay in their country without asking questions.

On the contrary, and unlike many European nations, the Serbs allow Russia thirty days for business or holidays. Very often, traditional allies of a Nation can enjoy visa-free entry. Speaking of Russia, it is not surprising that many small nations that Russia recognizes, unlike America, allow Russian citizens to enter without a visa (South Ossetia, Abkhazia, etc.). Furthermore, as Russia’s influence increased after its total defeat in the Cold War, her passport has steadily increased its “power.” Visas and passports can reflect the strength of a nation or its proximity to power when its citizens can go almost anywhere while at the same time blocking entry to the less important.

If we have to live in a world where vaccination will be mandatory to travel, who tells us that every nation on Earth will recognize other vaccines’ validity? According to media reports, it appears that vaccination confirmed by some documents should be sufficient, but this is unlikely. The BBC has already spoken of the Russian Sputnik V vaccine against COVID-19 with some scepticism. We can believe many British politicians may choose not to recognize the Russian vaccine’s efficacy.

On the contrary, whether we like it or not, Russian citizens will only have access to the vaccine created by the Russians. You will have the choice to do it or not, but getting Pfizer’s American one will require effort, patience, and much personal expense. Then, it will be very complicated for Russian citizens to obtain a vaccine from a foreign competitor.

They will have to under the Sputnik V camp, from a bureaucratic point of view. In reality, there seems to be almost a vaccination rush as nations compete to develop and export their vaccine first. It could be a matter of national pride or humanitarian interests, but it could also be a matter of willingness to provide your vaccine to as many nations as possible.

Likewise, all Russian citizens with Russian passports will be placed in one large group. In the case of a vaccine passport, all people treated with Sputnik V or Pfizer will be in a similar travel category. If this is indeed happening, then surely the race is underway to secure as much of this intangible new geopolitical space as possible.

Why Taiwan Is The Moot Point In Sino-American Dynamics?
Geopolitics

Why Taiwan Is The Moot Point In Sino-American Dynamics?

Sino-American Dynamics: The ‘nobody’ that Taiwan has been, it is going to derive a kind of prominence it has never seen before. As the small island develops its prowess in the semiconductor manufacturing trade, it is going to its closest ally the United States huge competition. It is worth noting that the United States has dominated the semi-conductor market for a long time. 

A recent visit planned by the US envoy to the United Nations to Taiwan, did not go well with Beijing. China accused America of crossing its line and disrupting Chinese sovereignty that continues to claim ownership on Taiwan. Ambassador to the UN Kelly Craft will visit Taiwan; something that is should be seen as a clear provocation of the ‘One China’ policy, as there is change of guard at the White House. 

The US has never recognized the sovereignty of Taiwan but treats it as a point of irritation against China. Ironically, some 17 countries worldwide still shows Taiwan the respect it deserves. The United Nations does not and still considers Taipei’s legitimate government to be running from Beijing. While China has been claiming its right on Taiwan, it has made no moves to physically claim this small but significant island. 

Taiwan continues to be a crucial link in the semiconductor supply chain and the 22nd largest economy in the world. Surprisingly, it has let US dictate terms of trade with itself, without acknowledging it as an independent nation. 

Taiwan has not dominated significant international presence. But geopolitically, it has strategic importance to both the United States and an increasingly assertive China. In no way can US afford Taiwan to be taken over by China; because if that was to happen, China would instantly become a Pacific power.

As political analysts predict, it will take no time for China to get down to controlling some of the world’s most cutting-edge technologies, and have the ability to choke off oil shipments to Japan and South Korea. This could further lead it to leverage a strong demand to close down the U.S. military bases in both countries as well. 

Indeed, Beijing would likely be able to force the U.S. out of Asia after all. It is no surprise, then, that Taiwan had been of the rare issues on Capitol Hill where the Congress continued to pass pro-Taiwan legislation. 

More importantly, Taiwan needs to assert its sovereignty in order it can grow itself in a level playing ground. 

Leading trends that will govern the geopolitics in 2021
Geopolitics

Leading trends that will govern the geopolitics in 2021

Geopolitics in 2021: Passed year 2020 was dominated by the coronavirus pandemic and impacted global economy as a result of this. The consequences of Covid-19 pandemic will also be the dominating and governing issue for the year 2021. Outbreak’s impact due to economy lockdowns and varied restrictions across the nations will continue to hover the laid down consequences. The pandemic has exacerbated many underlying issues to the forefront that were already in existence. 

Though global economy will be making the headlines, few trends would be the talking points and influencing factors of new year. 

The biggest reality exacerbated and presented to forefront in bold by pandemic has been inequality – inequality among nation, people, races. When we talk about within a country, inequality in terms of income and access to basic facilities has even worsened in midst of Covid-19 pandemic. For affluent people, it was easier to follow physical distancing. Similarly, older and more at risk people were in better isolation if having a support system, as compared to those lacking it. In United States alone, mortality was starkly higher among certain ethnic minorities. In India, as many South Asian nations, the horrific treatment of migrant workers can never be forgotten for years to come. 

The working class dependent on daily wages have suffered the most during pandemic. But this had not much to do with the generous funds dedicated for them or the lack of them. The deprivation across nations was due to the basic inequality in access to basic services of welfare and healthcare within countries even during normal times. This gap has only widened by the pandemic. Going forward in 2021, the countries who will be able to make vaccine available across people more effectively, equally and quickly would be able to bounce back more efficiently and rapidly. 

Second predominating trend for the new year is largely related to the first one – growth, investment and financing in various sectors of environment, social and governance. Countries with stable governance, inclusive social systems will be able to reach back to stable economy more effectively. 

ESG (environment, social, governance) related funds reached new heights in 2020, despite pandemic. Environment action and climate crisis were the world’s centrestage as countries came forward and together to raise relief packages for climate rescue. 

2021 will be governed by quality of relief available and domestic and international economy revival. The funds and investment for green sectors will be the overriding points for the year. 

The third and most defining and important trend for 2021 will be geoeconomics competition among nations. The constant attempts to insulate own supply chains and diversify own interests through indigenous means have amplified during pandemic. The crisis saw no attempts from nations to find a common ground to keep inter-nation trade keep going. 

All the three trends would quantify how year 2021 goes along and would govern the performance of all nations individually and together as a block. 

Conflicts of the future. Water Wars: blue gold is worth more than black
Geopolitics

Conflicts of the future. Water Wars: blue gold is worth more than black

Conflicts of the future: In 2018, a World Bank report spoke of 507 conflicts in the world related to water resources control. While the whole world is focused on energy resources analysis as the main factor in wars, little is said about the water. The scarcity of which could change the destinies of future global conflicts. UNESCO, in a report with the emblematic title The United Nations world water development report 2019. Leaving no one behind, estimated that 2.1 billion people in the world do not have access to safe water and 4.5 billion do not have sanitation safe. Refugees are the weakest category and the most exposed to water crises. The report also states that, from 2015 to 2019, 25.3 million people a year, on average, migrate due to natural disasters. It is clear that, as reiterated by many experts, it is not only the global geopolitical situation that causes migration but also the climate change underway.

Researchers from the Water, Peace, and Security Partnership have presented a detailed map to the United Nations Security Council in which it is noted where conflicts over access to water resources are expected to occur, in the period between June 2020 and May 2021. The Middle East and North Africa are the area most at risk. Regions where, in addition to political and security instability, there is a serious shortage of water. Just think of southern Iraq, which for some years has been facing continuous droughts linked to the construction of large dams in Turkey that limit the water regime of the Tigris and Euphrates. The South-eastern Anatolia Project, planned by the Ankara government, includes, in fact, the construction of a system of 22 dams along the two rivers with the aim of improving the local economy in one of the poorest areas of the country. In mid-July, the Iraqi minister for water resources denounced the severe shortage of water in the north of the country, warning of the dangers that this situation could entail for the stability of Iraq itself.

According to the ministry’s data, the flow of water from Turkey decreased by 50% compared to 2019 and the same decrease was recorded in relation to the low annual rainfall. In addition, some scholars also blame Syria’s civil war on many years of drought. In fact, between 2006 and 2010, Syria experienced the worst drought ever recorded. The water shortage has caused the migration of nearly 2 million farmers to the centers of Aleppo and Damascus, perhaps preparing the ground for the political and social unrest of the years to come. 

Today, the attention is on the ongoing crisis between Egypt, Sudan, and Ethiopia for the Nile waters. Since Herodotus’ time, the Nile was considered as a gift for the importance it has for the Egyptian people. Since 2011, Ethiopia has started a hydroelectric energy production project, building a large dam on the Nile River to promote development and meet the population needs. Also, in terms of energy requirements. 

Despite various unsuccessful attempts to reach an agreement between Ethiopia, Egypt, and Sudan, Addis Ababa began filling the African dam on July 15, without agreements with its counterparts. The Blue Nile, on which construction is proceeding, is one of the major Nile River tributaries, from which Cairo draws more than 90% of its water needs. According to Egypt, the dam endangers the lives of more than 150 million people, Egyptians and Sudanese. Al-Sisi wants to make sure that the construction of GERD does not cause damage to the Egyptian supply. And that its filling takes place gradually. From its side, Ethiopia argues that the hydroelectric project is essential to sustain its rapidly growing economy. It believes that it will favor the development of the entire region.

Addis Ababa, in particular, declares that over 60% of the country is made up of dry land, while Egypt, on the other hand, has groundwater and has access to seawater that it could desalinate. For the moment, mainly for geographical and economic reasons, a war between the two countries is a remote hypothesis. If the Nile flow could not cause a shortage of water in Egypt, the path of dialogue should not work. It is reasonable to think that the Cairo air force could hit the dam in the area upstream of the river, thus trying to stem the problem. If a war occurs, it could cause external powers to enter the field.

Egypt spent last year in military 2200.00 USD Million. Ethiopia invested only € 300 million in defense. However, Addis Ababa is looking to other countries. Ethiopia and France concluded their first military cooperation agreement on March 12, 2019. On July 16, the Turkish foreign minister visited the Ethiopian capital. Turkey is the second-largest foreign investor in Ethiopia after China, with over 150 companies in the country and, therefore, has every interest in having the dam built. However, given the tense relations between Egypt and Turkey in other theatres like Libya there could be an interest by Ankara also in an anti-Egyptian key. Some time ago, al-Sisi had declared that the Egyptian army is one of the most powerful in the region, ready to carry out any mission on its borders or, if necessary, outside. Was it a reference to Libya, or maybe there is more?

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