What is in question is the balance of geopolitical and regional power around the World
What is an equation is the ownership of goods and financial instruments circulating the World
What is the result of such a combination of factors is the United States using its past power as the definition of new alliances and new forms of collaboration around the World
What are the determinations of such a combination of factors China is building through assessment and reevaluation of past mishaps and mistakes of Western Diplomacy to advance its own tailored solutions and resolutions?
The conflict between Russia and Ukraine is about NATO and the inclusion of European States in a new form of alliance that respects neither modern diplomatic history nor is aware of the present forms of suspicion instilled in the Chancelleries of various States following all these Western invasions of former Third-World countries.
Fragile and conflict-affected states have been among the worst hit by the pandemic, Russia’s war in Ukraine, the increase in energy and food prices, climate change, and intensified political instability. Each new crisis aggravates underlying fragilities and creates spillovers that can destabilize entire regions.
Conflicts forcibly displaced a record 108.4 million people last year, many of them refugees hosted in neighboring countries where fiscal conditions are already tight and growth prospects are weak. Fragility and conflict drive fragmentation and can cause reversals in trade, capital flows, and investment. Therefore, supporting fragile states by strengthening their economic and fiscal institutions is a global public good, as all countries can benefit.
The IMF is one among many organizations providing support, but it plays a crucial role. Our activities include financing and economic policy advice to governments, as well as capacity development—which encompasses technical assistance and training to strengthen economic institutions, for which external financing from donors is critical.
The 2022 IMF Strategy for Fragile and Conflict-Affected States centers on tailoring these activities even more to each country. Closer support for authorities and intensified dialogue with partners are important elements of the new framework. To help strengthen institutions and policymaking, we are stepping up capacity development and expanding our presence in fragile states.
Solid economic fundamentals are a crucial element for fostering inclusive growth and reducing poverty in any country. In fragile states, this requires several policy goals:
- Boosting tax revenues, controlling and prioritizing government spending, and managing public debt.
- Developing well-functioning central banks and ensuring sound financial institutions.
- Strengthening governance and anti-corruption laws and institutions, including to curb money laundering and terrorist financing.
- Publishing timely and accurate economic statistic.
- Developing macroeconomic frameworks and basic tools to inform policy decisions.
Governments in fragile states often face tough choices when economic crises, political divisions, insecurity, and social unrest combine. Limited resources confront policymakers with difficult tradeoffs between policies that can have unintended consequences in terms of taxation, debt, economic growth, and social spending. That’s why our strategy aims for frequent and comprehensive consultation with governments in fragile states, along with these fundamental objectives:
- Understanding the specific context of a fragile or conflict-affected state is crucial for designing the right reforms and providing technical assistance. Somalia saw a peaceful transition of power last year despite an ongoing insurgency and prevalent food insecurity. The analysis of our Country’s Engagement Strategy showed that insecurity, poor infrastructure, and the lack of a skilled labor force impeded economic growth. A durable fiscal framework is essential to overcome these challenges. That’s why our capacity development focuses on tax policy, revenue administration, and public financial management. Technical assistance – underpinned by Fund support for improving macroeconomic statistics – is also closely integrated with the Extended Credit Facility-supported program, contributing to Somalia’s progress towards full debt relief under the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries Initiative.
- Fragile states need practical and sustained in-country support, keeping in mind that progress is often in fits and starts. Assessing and improving the quality of public investment management, as in the Democratic Republic of Congo, and helping create a macroeconomic projection tool for a finance ministry (Timor Leste) or central bank (Iraq) are essential steps to strengthen economic management. For impact to last, policymakers need assistance as they adjust to new and recurrent challenges. Training is often required, especially in volatile environments where staff turnover is high. In response, the Fund is deploying more staff in-country and across our network of Regional Capacity Development Centers, which serve as hubs for knowledge, training, and peer-to-peer learning. Just last year, the IMF placed more experts in fragile states and across these centers in Africa and the Middle East, increasing the number of specialized advisors focused on these countries by 30 percent.
- Countries experiencing armed conflict, a category unto themselves, need capacity building to preserve state institutions. In Ukraine, Russia’s invasion resulted in a 30 percent contraction of GDP last year and placed significant pressure on staff and institutions. The IMF provided technical assistance to the central bank to support continued operations. We are now assisting with the development of anti-money laundering legislation in connection with ongoing financing.
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These military interventions are directly topping local governments, other forms are conducted as military presence with the provision of high-level training to the local military making them a threat to the elected civilians. The last one is through proxy forces formed and financed groups considered as terrorists.
Within such dualist interactions among the sphere of the State Power, the preeminence of Food Sovereignty in Africa remains a higher level of Self-sufficiency than Food Security that is more related to dependency on and use of chemicals as well as artificial means of outsourcing and fertilizing. African countries faced with lower income and depreciation of their own money in the international market tend to rely on the export of brut and unprocessed natural resources as the source of their national and regional budgetary allocations and as the stimulant for their economy.
Such reliance on the primary resources invade also the food and agrotech production bringing agricultural productivity and production at land and sea to the manipulation of the international markets speculators, its predators, and manipulators. At the same time, African countries are coined in malediction and predicaments of polluted lands, skies, and oceans with open territories vulnerable to all diseases and incurables sickness for the livestock, human condition, and sea products.
In parallel, it is known that the wealth of natural resources existing in Africa is translated in the highest level of poverty rates among the nations of the World to the point that the ownership of rich lands in mineral is becoming a synonym of madness and cursing if not deprivation of values, including corruption, instability, growth of poverty, increase dependency on the conditionality of foreign aids and international indebtedness along the rise of “Mineral Mafia” controlling the flows of the transfer and financing acts of sabotage and intimidation. An invisible competition takes places among the bureaucratic, military and technocratic African elites and its respective social base of legitimation including the support enacted by the presence of foreign interests and foreign military commanding officers installed in various Africa regions and countries.
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States and Governments in these regions resort to new forms of self-protection as preventive measures. These moves translate into economic, financial, sociocultural, and defense levels, opening the doors to any instruments of control and development without considering their origin or their legitimacy. The urgency dictates the choice and the decision-making process.
Fighting against fire by using fire is the move of firefighters in Africa and the Middle East. This fire is nourished with the presence of strategic mineral and natural resources if not the size of the national demand and market. Adding to this, the strategic location in terms of international competition and regional geo-political as well as national interests.
Within such a frame of portraying the conditions and the fundamental derivatives of the clashes taking place on the World Stage of Eco-Finance interactions and the International Stage of regional influences, China is defining new terms for recruiting new allies taking advantage of the weakness that have been created by the use of extreme force by the Western powers that are actually hostage of the Russian – Ukrainian War.
At the same time, the United States is not giving priority to its internal social imbalances and economic disparity undermining the strength of the social fabric of the American Society and the ideal of the most advanced economy in the world. The real power of an economy is sharing and defending equity among its own citizens. Beating the rest of the world does not solve social problems but aggravates tensions among the constituency of the same world.
China has been following a path of conciliation and expansion that aims to build alliances and support its own regional and international initiatives. Within such political and geostrategic considerations, China is devoting resources and conducting Research and Development at the level of advanced sciences and technology to prove to the rest of its existing and potential allies that they can rely on the Chinese new power.
China’s impressive economic growth and global interdependence have boosted its political influence, elevating it to superpower status. Meanwhile, the United States has seen a decline in its relative power on the world stage. This is not due to weakening on the United States’ part, but rather the result of China becoming stronger.
As China’s political and economic influence grows, it has taken a more assertive international stance. “Chinese leaders are in essence realist. Their making of Chinese foreign policy often starts from a careful assessment of China’s relative power in the world,” said Suisheng Zhao, a professor of Chinese politics and foreign policy at the University of Denver.
Meanwhile, Washington is increasingly worried about China’s rise.