An objective evaluation of changing contours of our engagement with Africa, especially in light of significant developments in 2010, might interest Africa watchers and others.
Conceptual richness and consistency appear to characterise recent interactions, although their impact may still take a while to be felt tangibly.
If the period from our Independence to the end of the 1980s was marked by India's close involvement with Africa in political affairs, peacekeeping, training, culture and education, the 1990s turned out to be a lost decade. That was the time when policy makers were busy trying to re-adapt India's foreign policy to the post-Cold War world. Subsequently, the Africans' unhappiness with their neglect by India, China's rapidly growing profile on the continent, and the enhanced dynamism of India Inc. combined to initiate a renewal of India-Africa relations. The Government's three initiatives, namely the ‘Focus Africa Programme' under Exim policy for 2002-07, the ‘Techno-Economic Approach for Africa and India Movement' or TEAM-9 programme, launched in 2004 to upgrade economic relations with West Africa, and the Pan-African e-Network started in 2007, helped in sending the signal that India had not vacated space in Africa for others.
In this backdrop, the India-Africa Forum Summit (IAFS) in 2008 represented a veritable high point, showcasing a new, vibrant India as well as its reinvigorated Africa policy. The following year was a relative disappointment. But, developments during 2010 seem to have put India's engagement with Africa on a fast track.
India played host to at least eight high-level African dignitaries, one each from the Seychelles, Ghana, South Africa, Botswana, Mozambique, Kenya, Malawi and Ethiopia. Visits by presidents, prime ministers and other VIPs throughout the year demonstrated that Africa was keen to expand political and development cooperation with India. Armando Guebuza, President of Mozambique, endorsed India's approach towards Africa, expressing readiness “to raise the (bilateral relationship) to a strategic partnership.” Hailemariam Desalegn, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Ethiopia, chose to accord high importance to economic issues. Following a productive meeting of the joint commission, the two sides decided, “to infuse the close political relationship with greater economic content.” The visit by South African President Jacob Zuma helped in re-defining the bilateral agenda and re-launching the joint CEOs Forum.
Happily, Indian leaders found time to visit Africa in 2010. Vice-President Hamid Ansari's three-country tour covering Zambia, Malawi and Botswana was a notable success. Given his credentials, he was able to evoke old memories of deep political and emotional affinity as well as highlight mutuality of interests and the need for expansion of economic cooperation, thus lending a contemporary character to age-old ties. That he backed it with the announcement of credits and grants (for the three countries) amounting to about $200 million, in addition to credit lines valued at $60 million that were operational prior to the visit, showed India's new strength. This was on display again as the Government agreed to arrange major lines of credits for others: $705 million for Ethiopia for sugar and power sector development and $500 million for Mozambique for infrastructure, agriculture and energy projects.
The decision by the IAFS to set aside $5.4 billion for lines of credit and $500 million for human resource development during a five-year period means that now nearly $1 billion a year is available for cooperation with Africa. Utilising India's new financial muscle, an ambitious expansion of training programmes for the benefit of Africans is being attempted at present.
External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna got a direct feel of issues and personalities on his visit to the Seychelles, Mauritius and Mozambique. As these are all Indian Ocean countries, the strategic dimension of cooperation, especially relating to piracy, terrorism and changing foreign maritime presence, received considerable attention during his discussions. Later the minister, talking to a group of African journalists visiting India, emphasised that our relationship with Africa had “transformed”, with the two sides becoming “development partners looking out for each other's interests and well-being.”
Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma undertook visits to South Africa, Nigeria, Ghana and Kenya. He was instrumental in facilitating and moulding business-to-business dialogues in all the countries visited, with the help of organisations such as the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI). For business level exchanges, however, the most significant event in the year was CII-Exim Bank Conclave, held in Delhi in March. About 1,000 delegates attended it, half of whom were from various African countries.
Bilateral India-Africa trade, which stood at about $1 billion in 2001, has now reached the $40 billion mark. It is an encouraging growth. Figures about India's investments in Africa are confusing, but by taking an average of the figures of cumulative investments released by the Reserve Bank, the CII and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), one could place a value of $50 billion on them.
Three other highlights need to be mentioned here. First, India hosted a meeting of top officials of Africa's Regional Economic Communities (RECs). A first of its kind, the meeting was attended by six of the eight RECs, namely Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), East African Community (EAC), Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), Southern African Development Community (SADC), Community of Sahel-Saharan States (CEN-SAD) and United Nations Association/Arab Maghreb Union (UNA/AMU). It gave them the opportunity to interact with numerous Ministries and business enterprises. Coverage of areas viz stock exchanges, small industry, food processing, infrastructure, IT and telecommunications was quite wide. The visitors expressed “gratitude” to India for the initiative “to recognise the regional dimension of Africa's development.”
Second, top officials of the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) undertook visits to Kampala and Addis Ababa in order to carry forward India's dialogue with the African Union (AU) for nurturing ties at the continental level. On the sidelines of its 15th Summit in Kampala in July, Jean Ping, Chairman of the African Union Commission (AUC), expressed immense satisfaction at the model of engagement created by India, adding that it was “the most unique and preferred of Africa's partnerships.” In plain language, he seemed to confirm the view that among many suitors of Africa, both old and new, the two most active are China and India. Ping was also happy with “the determined pace at which implementation (of IAFS decisions) has been undertaken.” However, this might have been more credible had the two sides announced, by now, the venue and timing of the second IAFS.
Third, a boost to our Africa diplomacy came with the announcement of the Hermes Prize for Innovation 2010 for India's Pan-African e-Network project. The prize was given by the European Institute of Creative Strategies and Innovation, a prestigious think tank. It called the project as “the most ambitious programme of distance education and tele-medicine in Africa ever undertaken.”\
A few tips
While moving determinedly to strengthen relations with Africa, the Government needs to do more. African diplomats still speak of the deficit in India's political visibility. Therefore, our President and Prime Minister should find time to visit Africa in 2011. More visits by Mr. Krishna would be helpful. Implementation of the first IAFS decisions, though improving, needs to be speeded up. India Inc. should be more active. In preparing for the second IAFS, South Block should draw from outside expertise. The civil society's potential to strengthen people-to-people relations should be tapped optimally. By according higher attention to Africa, the media could serve as a valuable bridge of mutual understanding.
Finally, India should declare and celebrate 2011 as its Africa Year.
The author is former High Commissioner to South Africa, Lesotho and Kenya
More for Asia:
Rebalancing World Oil and Gas (http://www.chathamhouse.org.uk/files/18066_1210pr_mitchell.pdf)
By John Mitchell | Chatham House
What is Beijing willing to do to secure oil and gas supplies? (http://search.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/eo20101227mr.html) By Michael Richardson | Japan Times
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if you want to remain a slave to the GC process and ristrict your career by staying with a company..just because you dont want to lose your PD...then..god save u and ur future..
the person who ports his PS was already in the line..he reclaimed his rightful place after going thru the due deligence...of restarting his GC process...in fact ppl.
i am sure ..after oct they will offer some relief to Eb3 category...
i think its a childish and selfish idea...i agree labor substitution was absolute nonsense...but not PD porting!
Why did they not take the employer to court? Why make the EB2 line suffer for these employer's faults?
If an employer wrongly files your case under EB3 instead of EB2 or EB1, then the onus is on you to challenge them and take them to court if need be.
I have been in the United States for 9 years - LEGALLY. I have bent over backwards to follow the letter of the law, irrespective of how convoluted it is. My kids are American Citizens. I pay taxes and contribute to the American economy. We even bought a house here in the hope that we can settle down in America. Me and my husband hold executive level positions in major multinationals. Here is the absolute kicker - I work in Satellite Telecommunications and my company supports the United States Government (DoD) and its contractors/ sub contractors in Iraq and Afghanistan!!
We wanted Democrats to win...but guess what - the failed CIR 2007 woke us up to the fact that Sen. Durbin will never make it easy for us EB immigrants. His hostility towards this community forced us to secure the Canadian PR. We have a little bit more time to decide when we want to move there before our PR expires. If things don't take a turn for the better on the Immigration front, we will move to Canada. I just dread having to sell the house here though!!
Till date, I only see Durbin driving immigration - and it is definitely against teh EB community. My question to Sen.Obama - what do you have to offer to us, the highly skilled immigrants? Would you rather we just liquidate all our assets (home, stocks, bonds, vehicles, etc) here in America and take it with us to another country that is more welcoming???
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Yes, everybody, all senators, wanted to teach these terrorists a lesson after 9/11.
Afghan war is good and Iraq war is bad. Why, because Iraqis didn't leave WMDs a.k.a nukes behind.
(A weapon of mass destruction (WMD) is a weapon that can kill large numbers of humans and/or cause great damage to man-made structures (e.g. buildings), natural structures (e.g. mountains), or the biosphere in general. The term is often used to cover several weapon types, including nuclear, biological, chemical (NBC), and radiological weapons)
Now, Iraq war went bad, economy went bad (due to main street scamming the banks) and suddenly its all the fault of Mr. Bush.
OK..today morning I got a call from a lady voice saying she is from Immigration services..
The call ended by the time I realized my senses..here is the short story
Immig: We are verifying your details and need from information to process
Immig: WHo do you work for
Me: Blah Blah employer
You are lucky to recieve such call from USCIS. Just go ahead and send the details ASAP.
Four months ago one of my friend got the similar type of call from USCIS asking for copy of marriage certificate and his daugthers birth certificate. Officers aksed him to mail it or fax it. My friend was in panic mode after this, he took call back number then faxed it and called him to check if officer recieved it or not. Officer joked with him that don't panic and give him al least couple of days to go over faxed documents. When my firend told me this story, I couldn't believe but I could see the glow and excitement on his face. After 4-5 days 485 was approved for his family.
due to our status (or rather...lack of status).
We are in Bay Area (San Jose Metro area) and were paying around $2000 in rent. We just bought a condo where our payments (mortgage + Taxes + HoA) are going
to be around 2300. Hopefully we will be getting back around 400-500 in taxes and this makes it a good deal. However only 15 days after moving into our
new house, I was laid off and now our biggest concern is if I am not able to get a job in next few weeks and if we have to go back we will be almost
80k down the hole.
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SENIOR PRODUCER ATLANTA GA 45345
SENIOR PRODUCER ATLANTA GA 45345
OFFICE MANAGER ATLANTA GA 34819
OFFICE MANAGER ATLANTA GA 34819
OFFICE MANAGER ATLANTA GA 34819
SENIOR PRODUCER ATLANTA GA 45345
Be very careful of these calls. I am not sure why would USICS call up when they have unlimited Postal Budget. In case they do need anything I am sure they would send a letter asking for information. Secondly if they do call, its always safe to ask the name and phone number of the person calling and say that you would call back or check with your attorney before giving out any information. I would not be surprised if the vigilante groups who are working against the EB immigration system could be doing this. As regard to emailing documents, I would personally ask for a mailing address and send it to them by overnight through a documented carrier rather then an email.
Lets not forget even Sarah Palin got a call from Nicolas Sarkozy :)
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Searching for a bottom in the housing market
Sales look like they could rebound soon, but you can't say the same for prices.
See all CNNMoney.com RSS FEEDS (close)
By Janet Morrissey, contributor
June 19, 2009: 4:23 AM ET
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NEW YORK (Fortune) -- Sales in the decimated housing market may finally be bottoming, but don't expect home prices to stop dropping before mid-2010 at the earliest, analysts and economists say.
Indeed, prices in the battered housing market could get a lot worse before they get better as an avalanche of specialized adjustable rate mortgages, known as option ARMs and Alt-A mortgages, are slated to reset over the next 18 to 24 months, and rising unemployment causes a surge in the number of prime mortgages going into default. All of this is expected to trigger another round of foreclosures and cause home prices to tumble at least another 20% before the market rebounds, according to market analysts and economists.
Market bulls believe home prices could bottom in the second half of 2010, but the bears warn it could be 2013 before they finally trough. And once prices do reach a low, it could be years before they significantly rebound.
0:00 /4:19Housing market's false hope
"This is clearly the worst housing crisis since the Depression," says John Burns, president of John Burns Real Estate Consulting. Losses from the housing meltdown totaled $3.6 trillion at the end of 2008, and will likely approach $5 trillion by the time the crisis ends, predicts Lawrence Yun, chief economist with the National Association of Realtors.
Bob Curran, managing director at Fitch Ratings, is a lot more cautious, noting that one month of gains doesn't make a trend -- existing home sales are still off 3.5% from a year ago. "You'd want to see a string of months -- ideally three months -- to say with confidence that a bottom has been reached," he says.
"We're about two-thirds of the way through the pricing correction on a percentage basis," says Joshua Shapiro, chief U.S. economist with MFR Inc., an economic consulting and analysis firm. He expects prices to slide at least another 20% over the next 18 months.
In the bill summary, I do not see where it says that H1B extensions will not be
possible for those who have I-140 approved.
I-140 approval itself means that USCIS and DOL has agreed that this person
is needed for this position and AOS can be filed(If offcourse Visa numbers are
(I am sorry I have not read the full text of the bill.)
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IT WASN'T EASY, it wasn't pretty and the battle isn't over, but the House managed yesterday to pass a credible ethics bill that would require lobbyists to disclose the bundles of campaign checks they round up for lawmakers. The lopsided 382 to 37 vote belied the ferocious behind-the-scenes opposition to the bundling provision. Few lawmakers were willing to cast a public vote to oppose letting their constituents know what the lawmakers themselves are already keenly aware of: just how much they are indebted to which lobbyists. In private, however, many Democrats fought to prevent the vote. It was only the steadfastness of Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), Caucus Chairman Rahm Emanuel (D-Ill.) and Reps. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) and Martin T. Meehan (D-Mass.) that brought the measure to the floor. House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers Jr. (D-Mich.) served a key role in offsetting the opposition of some members of the Congressional Black Caucus.
It's critical now that the bundling provision not be killed in the quiet of a conference committee. The Senate version of lobbying reform contains a slightly different bundling provision, which can easily be reconciled with the House measure.
Other provisions of the bill approved by the House yesterday would provide for more frequent and detailed disclosure, including lobbyists' contributions to lawmakers' charities. To win support for the bundling amendment, reformers had to abandon their effort to double, from one year to two, the cooling-off period for lawmakers and staff who leave the Hill for lobbying jobs. The Senate-passed lobbying bill includes this effort to slow the revolving door. That, too, should be part of the final package. In addition, the work of the House will not be complete until a credible ethics process is in place, one that includes an independent office to assess and investigate allegations of unethical conduct. A Pelosi-appointed task force is expected to come up with a proposal soon. That will be the Democratic majority's next test.
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2. Love affairs: Something like cricket where one-day internationals are more popular than a five day test.
3. Marriage: It's an agreement in which a man loses his bachelor degree
and a woman gains her master
4. Divorce: Future tense of marriage
5. Lecture: An art of transferring information from the notes of the
lecturer to the notes of the students without passing through "the minds of either".
6. Conference: The confusion of one man multiplied by the number present.
7. Compromise: The art of dividing a cake in such a way that everybody
believes he got the biggest piece.
8. Tears: The hydraulic force by which masculine will-power is defeated by feminine water-power.
9. Dictionary: A place where divorce comes before marriage.
10. Conference Room: A place where everybody talks, nobody listens &
everybody disagrees later on.
11. Ecstasy: A feeling when you feel you are going to feel a feeling you have never felt before.
12. Classic: A book which people praise, but doesn�t read.
13. Smile: A curve that can set a lot of things straight.
14. Office: A place where you can relax after your strenuous home life.
15. Yawn: The only time some married men ever get to open their mouth.
16. Etc.: A sign to make others believe that you know more than you
17. Committee: Individuals who can do nothing individually and sit to
decide that nothing can be done together.
18. Experience: The name men give to their mistakes.
19. Atom Bomb: An invention to end all inventions.
20. Philosopher: A fool who torments himself during life, to be spoken of when dead.
21. Diplomat: A person who tells you to go to hell in such a way that you actually look forward to the trip.
22. Opportunist: A person who starts taking bath if he accidentally falls into a river.
23. Optimist: A person who while falling from Eiffel Tower says in midway "See I am not injured yet."
24. Pessimist: A person who says that O is the last letter in ZERO, instead of the first letter in word OPPORTUNITY.
25. Miser: A person who lives poor so that he can die rich.
26. Father: A banker provided by nature.
27. Criminal: A guy no different from the rest... except that he got
28. Boss: Someone who is early when you are late and late when you are
29. Politician: One who shakes your hand before elections and your
confidence after the elections.
30. Doctor: A person who kills your ills by pills, and kills you with his bills.
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At a high level, we all are for skill based legal immigration. Lets work towards that broader goal.
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... were pretty tough to work with. I don't reckon I drink too much beer, maybe a carton on weekends with the boys, but she told me we couldn't afford beer anymore. Well, it was tough, but I quit.
Then the credit card statement came in, with $150 spent on cosmetics. So I asked how come I had to give up stuff but she didn't. She said she needed the make-up to look pretty for me.
I told her that was what the beer was for.
I don't think she's coming back.
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But if you ask me for some other cause where I am not affected. I will definitly help. You would be doing the same things if your were in my shoes. If not atleast thinking the same things.
So, you don't believe in helping others.
can u pls clarify when u find some time..
from what I understand and you posted, he changed employers from A to B to C.
He reentered the US with a visa stamping of AorB and din't get a new H1 visa stamping with C..is that so..?
but until now 99% of us, are in the same thinking that as long as you have a valid stamping in the passport u r good for rentry..
so they dig and dig into our passports .. ? we ourselves get dizzy looking into all the pages of our passports.
Like UN said..wonder what we/they achieve with lawsuits,but we can expect a lot of digging into our cases during AOS...
(lawsuiting/challenging is no good idea with USCIS/DOS,they will not budge even a mm,they r huge monster govt organizations,it is best to move with the flow and instead work on ideas of allowing to file 485 when dates r not current etc..)