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  • PROJECT TITLE: THE POLITICS OF OIL IN THE NEW SCRAMBLE FOR AFRICA
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CHAPTER ONE

1.1BACKGROUND

The scramble for Africa can be explained according to historical documents as a period of rapid colonization of territories and this is in line with the  belief that man is a political animal that will continue to struggle for survival; hence the survival of the fittest. Having noted that, it is therefore understandable to a large extent the reason why states in the international system sought to expand their territories which in turn led to the scramble. The scramble is colonization for three basic reasons; political, economic and religious expansion. Africa has been and is still the ground for international exploits and this has affected the economy of nations within it for ill or good. States that possess the power in the International system have maintained their positions through the level of influence they possess in the international system. This is done through influencing of various political leaders and in turn the affairs of their various states in other to achieve their personal interest. This however, has led to anarchy in the international system as there is the expression of Egotism and ‗flexing of muscles‘.

States display this by use of Power Politics.

On the other hand, the contemporary international system is different from what it used to be. States are a lot more liberal in their relationship with other states because there is now the presence of

International Institutions guiding the conduct of state relations so as to prevent the outbreak of war (although this was unsuccessful twice in 1914 and 1939).

Based on the foregoing, it can be assumed that Africa has always been under the control of the superpowers and has been used as a pawn in the hands of the bigger states. The new scramble for Africa manifested much more in the 21st century and has been aided by the era of globalization. Africa has been and is still struggling to catch up with the pace of development and modern technology of the modern age. Take, for example the fact that most of the African states do not fully understand the concept of liberal democracy and are still having to cope with incidents of civil war .A good example is the subject of this project, Angola. The country is known to have suffered major civil unrest since its independence. However in recent times, it is known to be one of the oil producing countries to reckon with. As at 2008, Angola was said to be the fifth largest supplier of oil to U.S. (two places above Nigeria) also it became the largest exporter of oil to China (taking the place of Saudi Arabia). The relationship between Angola‘s oil production and its internal crisis is based on the role of transnational oil corporations.

Angola has therefore been vulnerable to the super powers in the international system because it does not fully understand what it is to be a war free state. However, most states in the international system had not only gained independence years ago, but have grown to become better states based on the evolution of the international system. China‘s relations with Angola began politically during the era of anti-colonial struggle when it supported three liberation movements; FNLA (National Front for the liberation of Angola), MPLA (Popular Movement for the liberation of Angola) and UNITA (National Union for the Total Independence of Angola). These relations were however defined by the cold war era. Up until 1960s when the UNITA and FNLA became the only two recognized liberation movements, China mainly supported the MPLA. After the recognition of the two liberation groups China reduced, perhaps even totally withdrew, all support from the MPLA. Attention and resources were focused on the two recognized groups (Corkin, 2011).

After Angola gained its independence, China refused to acknowledge its independence, however, relations between the two countries only improved in the 1990s. it can be said that China‘s relations with Angola was only a military and security based one until after the crisis in 2002 when it shifted to an economic relationship. On March 4th 2004, china granted loan to Angola worth two billion dollars for reforming its damaged infrastructure. That move by the Chinese government is said to have strengthened the bilateral ties between the two countries and has led to the signing of various diplomatic treaties. It has also led to the creation of embassies both in China from Angola and otherwise. Also in 2007, china granted and oil backed loan to Angola in order for the country.

1.2STATEMENT OF PROBLEM

Against the backdrop of the Africa becoming the epicenter of the scramble for oil and some other mineral resources, several studies have been conducted into how the 21st century scramble affects the continent and its units, particularly the oil producing countries, Angola inclusive. This majorly, has been on the basis of the implications that the presence and interests of the major powers would have on the continent and some of its units. However, there has been scanty literature on how the presence of China and the United States, two important players in the neo-scramble for Africa, in Angola impacts on the country; hence this study. As such, this study seeks to demonstrate the grave implications that the politico-economic dimension of the US and China‘s scramble for oil and gas resources in Angola might have on the country.

1.3OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY

The specific objectives of the study are to:

1.      examine the growing importance of the continent to national, regional and global security;

2.      identify the complex issues involved in the international politics of oil in Angola; and to

3.      analyze the politico-economic and security implications engendered by the different American and Chinese interests and presence in Angola for the country.

1.4RESEARCH QUESTIONS

1.  In your opinion, how would you regard the 21st century race for resources in Africa?

2.  Which countries are the major scramblers for the continent?

3.  How has the neo-scramble for the continent impact on the numerous African oil and gas producing states?

4.  What implications would the intensification of American and Chinese presence and  interests in Angola engender for African units, particularly Angola?

5.  In the light of the deepening of US and China‘s interests in the country, how is Angola  responding to the myriad challenges triggered by the growing involvement of external interests in its confines?

1.5RESEARCH HYPOTHESIS

For the purpose of this research study, the research work is going to make use of Null hypothesis (H0) and Alternative hypothesis (H1).

H0. Oil is not an instrument in the new scramble for Africa H1. Oil is an instrument in the new scramble for Africa.

H0. There is no oil politics in Angola

H1. There is oil politics in Angola

1.6SIGNIFICANCE OF STUDY

The significance of the study is to explain the entire idea of the ‗new scramble‘ for African resources; oil amongst others. The study is to explain the political perspectives of the concept. Here we will understand when the scramble began and what led to its development. The stages of the exploitation of the African continent shall also be explained, how it all began from imperialism down to the 21st century form of globalization. This study is also to discuss the major actors in the exploitation of the Angolan oil such as United States, china. Majorly, the study shall discuss the significance of oil in the current International system and its implications as an instrument in the new scramble for Africa, especially in Angola.

1.7SCOPE OF STUDY

The concept of discussion is diversified, however, for vivid understanding; the special scope of this study shall be Angola. Angola is also known as the Republic of Angola has about 20.2 million populations (U.N, 2012). Its capital is in Luanda and its main exports are Oil, diamonds, minerals, coffee, fish and timber. Angola has, over the years, been an exploitation ground for major powers including United States and China. United States on one hand is known to establish and maintain not only it‘s ideologies but also its position as the largest economy in the world. Closely behind however, is China being the second largest economy in the world. 

One of the obvious differences between U.S and China is that U.S on one hand is known to fight and interfere in governments that go against not only it‘s ideologies but that on the contemporary international system. China on the other hand is a communist state that does not dabble or wish to interfere in the internal affairs of other states. This is why when it comes to harnessing resources, economic interest is first in China‘s list. The temporal scope shall be 21st century. It should be noted that facts and figures from past or historical papers could be subject to discussion in order to explain the present situation. Statistics will be made and gradations will be given.

1.8LIMITATIONS OF STUDY

A major limitation to this study was the unresponsive attitude of the varying nationals of Angola, United States and China, whom were met for either in-depth interview or the administration of copies of questionnaire. This impediment was undermined through the in-depth interviews with some research staff of the Nigerian Institute of International Affairs (NIIA), and some senior cadre officials of the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), both in Lagos.

1.9ORGANISATION OF STUDY

This study is a five-chapter work with the general introduction covered in Chapter one. Chapter two will have a discussion of literature review. Chapter three is for methodology while Chapter four is for interview presentation. Finally, Chapter five will cover summary of findings, conclusion, recommendations and suggestions.

1.10DEFINTION OF TERMS

Oil is essential in modern economy, providing, among other things, the foundation for transportation systems that facilitate human mobility. The discovery of petroleum and invention of the internal combustion engine radically transformed human existence in the 20th century, providing for individual mobility across wide geographic areas. Oil has facilitated the modern industrial economy and yet given rise to negative externalities.


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