Please find the original text below, submitted in Portuguese.
The 19th African Union Summit took place in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, earlier this month, on July 15 and 16. The meeting discussed the need for economic development of the continent by means of intra-African trade and partnership with new global emerging players. I was invited by the NGO Fahamu Kenya to participate as a correspondent for the Correio Nagô news site. The purpose of my involvement was to analyze the participation of Brazil in cooperation with the African continent.
It is no secret that Brazil has been significantly increasing its influence in Africa. Under the presidency of Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva (2003-2010) 17 new diplomatic posts were opened, making Brazil the Latin American country with the largest number of embassies on African soil—at 37 posts. Brazil’s budding relationship with Africa demonstrates how Brazil is growing and diversifying its commercial partnerships, which helped Brazil largely weather the economic crisis of 2008. Moreover, the collaboration is part of a Brazilian strategy of consolidating itself as a leader in the South Atlantic and seeking its coveted permanent seat on the UN Security Council.
However, despite the remarkable efforts of the Brazilian government to consolidate its leadership and influence in Africa, we can see is that there are still many challenges. Other emerging countries like China and India have invested far more in Africa. For example, the new $200 million African Union headquarters in Addis Ababa was donated and built by the Chinese and is a symbol of this new era of African politics, where Western influence has been increasingly reduced and China increasingly magnified. Plus, one-fifth of all petroleum used in India comes from Africa. India's trade with Africa doubled in the last four years, from $24.98 billion in 2006-07, to $52.81 billion in 2010-11, per Indian government figures.
However, Chinese and Indian investments are also criticized because they do not necessarily promote local workforce training nor respect human rights. Some believe that China and India only seek exploitation of natural resources. On the other hand, some analysts see the investments as positive for African countries to have more partners with whom to negotiate investments—a privilege once confined to Western countries.