Africa’s Population Growth’s Impact on Europe

“The wave of migrants coming into Europe at the moment has a proximate cause - sectarian war and chaos in the Middle East - but it isn't a transient phenomenon. The current migration is just the beginning of a long-term trend that will almost certainly last for at least a hundred years,” according to Nils Zimmerman, a freelance business journalist for  Deutsche Welle English.

Mr. Zimmerman said the reason is that, “Over that time-period, Africa's population is set to go from 1.16 billion today - exactly twice that of the European Union - to 2.4 billion by 2050. That's five times the EU's current population of 508 million,” he opined. “By 2100, according to the UN, Africa's population could be 4.2 billion - eight times that of today's EU.”

Mr. Zimmerman also said, “The arc of Muslim countries from North Africa and the Middle East through South and Central Asia is also in the midst of a demographic explosion. According to Pew Research Center, the world's Muslim population will grow from 1.6 billion today to 2.8 billion by 2050,” he added. To read more, see “Opinion: Europe's grand challenge - Africa's future.”

Permalink | No Comments

A Few Diplomatic Notes


CHICAGO, USA – Kenyan political scientist and author Peter Kagwanja published an insightful article in the September 12, 2015, issue of Kenya’s Daily Nation headlined “China using knowledge to consolidate its influence in Africa.”  He opined: “With its 1.3 billion people, the world’s second most powerful economy, a nuclear stock, a seat in the United Nations Security Council and drawing on the ethos of one of the world’s oldest civilizations, China is a superpower.”

The Chief Executive of the Africa Policy Institute and Sunday Nation columnist added: “But faced with growing accusations of extracting and siphoning African resources to fuel its rise, China is consciously shunning the supply-side economic models in redefining its relations with the continent.”

Mr. Kagwanja noted “Beijing’s scholars and foreign policy mandarins are experimenting on the “power/knowledge” model to win the hearts and minds of African thinkers and wielders of power in governments and regional groupings. To be sure,” he added, “China is treading a familiar philosophical path. Over four decades ago, the French historian and philosopher, Michel Foucault, popularized and transformed the power/knowledge concept into a growth industry. ”

I highly recommend Mr. Kagwanja’s article.


On September 12, 2015, Martin Chulov, Middle East editor of Guardian, offered a perspective on Syria in which he noted that, “All stakeholders recognize that the disintegration of Syria is a threat to their own interests and now has a self-sustaining momentum that is bigger than their capacity to control.” Mr. Chulov noted that, “ In recent months, many players have made a series of small, unilateral gestures. The aim has been to build trust and to draw each other back from maximalist positions which have meant that all of those involved in Syria parties have treated it as one big fire sale, taking whatever they can from the ruins, before they’re picked clean,” he wrote.  The article, headlined “Diplomacy, partition, intervention – which future is least bleak for Syria?”, is worth spending sometime reading, if you care about events in Syria.


The Editorial Board of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune told its readers in a September 10, 2013, editorial that, “Deep divisions in Washington obscured a shared objective: preventing Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons. That goal is closer to reality thanks to Thursday’s (9/10/2013) Senate vote on the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, more commonly known as the Iran deal.

“Too often lost in the binary domestic debate has been the fact that this is a multinational accord,” the publication opined. “Rejecting it would have risked the hard-fought global unanimity on sanctions that brought Iran to the table in the first place.” If you’re interested in reading more of the editorial, see “Iran deal is a victory for effective global diplomacy.”


Ido Aharoni, Israel’s Consul General in New York, offers a perspective on the convergence of diplomacy and information technology in the September 8, 2015, online issue of Time, headlined “How Technology Has Revolutionized Diplomacy.” According to Mr. Aharoni, “Three fundamental changes to the nature of diplomacy stand out above the rest.” Read the article to learn what they are.


According to Pakistan Today, Pakistan and China’s “decades’ old strategic partnership has entered into a new phase” with the launching of (an) “economic corridor project and construction” of what is being called Silk road.
”Top leadership have decided to bring the two countries more closer to each other through their regular economic interaction,” the publication said. “China will be playing pivotal role (in) the socio-economic development of Pakistan through the corridor project in the coming years.”  “Sino-Pakistan ties enter new phase; focus on economic diplomacy” is worth reading and is another aspect of the global economic ties China is deepening or creating globally.


Suhasini Haidar, writing in the September 11, 2015, edition of The Hindu,  revealed that, “As the diplomatic crisis over the Saudi diplomat accused of raping two Nepalese women employed by him showed no signs of easing, India has asked the Saudi government to waive the official’s diplomatic immunity and cooperate in the investigation.”

“Chief of Protocol Jaideep Mazumdar called on the Saudi Ambassador, Dr. Saud Mohammed Alsati, on Thursday (9/10/2015) and formally asked that diplomatic immunity be waived for the First Secretary, who allegedly held the women as sex-slaves at his residence in Gurgaon,” Ms. Haidar reported. “In a tweet, MEA spokesperson Vikas Swarup wrote that the Chief of Protocol had “conveyed the request of Haryana police for cooperation of the Embassy” to the Saudi Ambassador.” On September 9, 2015, the Press Trust of India reported that the Saudi Embassy  issued a statement in which it  “strongly stresses that these allegations are false and have not been proven.”

It’s understandable why India wants  to get to the bottom of this. the country is widely known for what some call an official tolerance, at least at the local level,  for the nation’s widely criticized rape culture. To read more on India’s efforts to bring the undisclosed Saudi diplomat to justice, see “Saudi diplomat case: Waive immunity, New Delhi tells Riyadh.” By the way, the case has been reported all over the world.

Permalink | No Comments

Should Britain Make Syrian Christians a Priority?

George Carey, a former archbishop of Canterbury, opined in a September 5, 2015, article in the The Telegraph of London that:

Britain should make Syrian Christians a priority because they are a particularly vulnerable group. Furthermore, we are a Christian nation with an established Church so Syrian Christians will find no challenge to integration. The churches are already well-prepared and eager to offer support and accommodation to those escaping the conflict.

Some will not like me saying this, but in recent years, there has been too much Muslim mass immigration to Europe. This has resulted in ghettos of Muslim communities living parallel lives to mainstream society, following their own customs and even their own laws. Isn’t it high-time instead for the oil-rich Gulf States to open their doors to the many Muslims who are fleeing conflict?

Carey added: “Surely if they are concerned for fellow Muslims who prefer to live in Muslim-majority countries, then they have a moral responsibility to intervene.”

To read the entire article, see “Lord Carey: Britain has a duty to rescue Syria’s Christians.”

Permalink | No Comments

Mr. Cameron, Syrians Have Suffered Enough

News out of Britain is that Prime Minister David Cameron and his cabinet are contemplating air strikes on Syria as if Syrian civilians have not suffered enough at the hands of all combatants in Syria’s four year-old civil war. The bombings mostly likely won’t have much impact on President Bashar al-Assad or the Islamic State in Iraq in the Levant. See “Britain Leans Toward Participating in Airstrikes on Syria” and “Cameron signals he would drop Syria airstrikes vote if Corbyn is Labour leader.”

Permalink | No Comments

Recommended: An Interview With Michel Houellebecq

The January 2, 2015, edition of The Paris Review published an interview with French writer Michel Houellebecq, whose sixth novel, “Soumission (Submission)” has generate considerable debate in literary an political circles in France. I found the give-and-take between Houellebecq and interviewer Sylvain Bourmeau, “a producer at France Culture and an associate professor at the École des hautes études en sciences sociales in Paris,” fascinating.

The article was translated from French by Lorin Stein, according to Paris Review.

To read the interview, see “Scare Tactics: Michel Houellebecq Defends His Controversial New Book.”

Permalink | No Comments

French Writers and the Debate Over the ‘French Condition’

On January 8, 2015, The New York Times published an article by Paris correspondent Rachel Donadio, about French author  Michel Houellebecq, “whose polemical — some say prophetic — new novel, “Submission,” imagines a Muslim becoming president of France in 2022.” See “Before Paris Shooting, Authors Tapped Into Mood of a France ‘Homesick at Home’” I recommend it.

According to The Times,

Even before its official release on Wednesday, “Submission” had already set off intense debates in France — about the line between satire and Islamophobia and between fantasy and realpolitik, about the novelist’s (and Islam’s) treatment of women, and about the political mainstream’s struggles to keep pace with the rise of both Islam and the far right — a debate that the attacks are certain to intensify.

The reference is to the January 7, 2015, attack on  Charlie Hebdo, the French satirical newspaper, that resulted in the death of eleven of its staffers.

Permalink | 1 Comment