Commonwealth Round Table website

January 2021

India–China relations – the present, the challenges and the future

China is India’s biggest neighbour and we need to understand the Indo-Chinese relationship from several angles and aspects. Both countries have serious problems to resolve, such as the border, water-sharing, regional cooperation, etc., but given their respective sizes and potential, they are also countries which can define the future destiny and direction of Asia and the world beyond.


President Buhari and the Other Arms of Government in Nigeria

Since Nigeria’s return to democracy in 1999, there have been four successive civilian governments under the leadership of Presidents Olusegun Obasanjo (1999–2007), Umar Musa Yar’Adua (who was in office until his death in 2010), Goodluck Jonathan (2010–2015), and Muhammadu Buhari (2015-date) respectively. The praxis of horizontal accountability of power in contemporary Nigeria has always been a major defect of its democratic project. Even though the 1999 constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended) provides for a clear separation of powers between the three arms of government, the actual relations have been adversarial and combative.


Commonwealth Challenges: The Road to CHOGM 2018 (published in October 2017)

In April 2018, for the first time in over 20 years, the leaders of the Commonwealth’s 52 member countries will gather in the UK for their biennial summit. The official meeting will take place at Buckingham Palace, with the Leaders’ Retreat hosted at Windsor Castle, and many will want to mark the Queen’s extraordinary tenure as Head of the Commonwealth.


Diaspora, Development and the Indian State (published in November 2016)

The Migration and Development Brief, released by the World Bank in November 2012 World Bank. (2012) Migration and Development Brief, No. 18, 20 November. Washington: The World Bank., estimated the flow of remittances into developing countries for 2012 to be US$406 billion. India, again, retained the top position in terms of total remittances and was expected to receive US$70 billion that year. The size of the Indian diaspora is particularly large, a reason for this high volume of remittances.


Routledge/Round Table Commonwealth Studentship Awards

The PhD studentships provide support for research projects on Commonwealth related themes. Two studentships are available each year, to the maximum value of £5,500 GBP each: one for students registered at UK universities, one for students registered at universities in other Commonwealth countries. Proposed research must relate to the Commonwealth as a whole or to any Commonwealth-wide institution or organisation, or have a strong Commonwealth comparative aspect, or be of relevance to a Commonwealth country other than the UK.


Rhetoric and Praxis: Nigeria’s Africa Diplomacy and the Shaping of the African Union (published in January 2019)

Nigeria played important roles in determining the final shape of the OAU formed in 1963 and its subsequent transmutation into the AU in 2001. Professor Alade Fawole maintains that Nigeria exerted considerable influence in the process leading to the formation of the OAU. The preparatory conference where the final shape and structure of the organisation were discussed was held in January 1962 in Lagos, Nigeria. The organisation – when it officially came into force – reflected substantially Nigeria’s perception, predilection and ideas of what the underlying principles should be, and the institutional arrangements for driving them, as well as how issues on the organisation’s foreign policy agenda should be prioritised.


The changing face of the Indian parliament

Central Hall is unique to India. No other parliamentary bodies elsewhere appear to have anything similar. It is circular with a dome 30 metres (98 ft) in diameter. Although a century old in a city where older monuments abound, it is a place of historical importance. The Indian Constitution was debated for over two years and framed in the Central Hall. Jawaharlal Nehru made his “Tryst With Destiny” speech here, heralding the birth of independent India.


India–China relations – the present, the challenges and the future

See above.


Malawi: The human hyenas (published September 2016)

The ritual rape of girls as young as 12 as a rite of passage in southern Malawi, exposed by the BBC, has highlighted the country’s struggle to protect its children from widely observed traditions of sexual abuse. The World Service documentary revealed how men, known as afisi (hyenas), were paid by the children’s parents to “sexually cleanse”’ girls as part of a transition to adulthood in southern Malawi’s Nsanje district. According to the custom of kuchotsa mafuta in Nsanje, girls are forced to have sex with the fisi for up to three days after they first menstruate.


Appointment of new service chiefs in Nigeria: same old guards

On 26 January 2021, the Nigerian President, Muhammadu Buhari, appointed Major General Lucky Leo Irabor as Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), Major General Ibrahim Attahiru as Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Ishiaka Amao as Chief of Air Staff (CAS), and Rear Admiral Awwal Zubairu Gambo as Chief of Naval Staff (CNS). They had replaced General Gabriel Olonishakin, Lieutenant General Yusuf Tukur Buratai, Air Marshall Abubakar Sadique, and Vice Admiral Ibok Ibas, respectively, who had held office from 13 July 2015.


Barbados: Mottley makes a republic of ‘little England’

Little England, as Barbados is often known, will swap Queen Elizabeth for Dame Sandra this month, when the Caribbean nation becomes a republic under a homegrown head of state. It marks the fulfilment of a pledge last year by the prime minister, Mia Mottley, to give the island a Barbadian president.


India–China relations – the present, the challenges and the future

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