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PAMBAZUKA NEWS 214: Focus on G8: Make looting history

A Weekly Electronic Forum For Social Justice In Africa

Pambazuka News is the authoritative electronic weekly newsletter and platform for social justice in Africa providing cutting edge commentary and in-depth analysis on politics and current affairs, development, human rights, refugees, gender issues and culture in Africa.

"In the 21st century millions of Africans are not the pathetic, dumb, ignorant or irredeemably dependent creatures of the European collective psyche. They know all too well the desperation and dreadful, endemic problems blighting their countries. ... Go to [email protected] a site with sharp intellectual and political debates by Africans and you can see the Africa which is unfolding. They are already speaking for themselves and doing it for themselves." Yasmin Alibhai Brown, Independent, 6th June 2005

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CONTENTS: 1. Action alerts, 2. Features, 3. Comment & analysis, 4. Advocacy & campaigns, 5. Pan-African Postcard, 6. Books & arts, 7. Letters & Opinions, 8. Women & gender, 9. Human rights, 10. Refugees & forced migration, 11. Elections & governance, 12. Corruption, 13. Development, 14. Health & HIV/AIDS, 15. Education, 16. Environment, 17. Media & freedom of expression, 18. News from the diaspora, 19. Conflict & emergencies, 20. Internet & technology, 21. eNewsletters & mailing lists, 22. Fundraising & useful resources, 23. Courses, seminars, & workshops, 24. Global call to action against poverty

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Action alerts

Featured this week: Focus on the G8

2005-07-06

http://pambazuka.net/en/category/action/28866

EDITORIAL:
- Helping Africa shouldn’t be so much about making poverty history, as making the looting of Africa by rich countries history, argues Firoze Manji
- Operation Murambatsvina - sweep out the trash – has torn through Zimbabwe like a Tsunami and Zimbabweans are feeling like the rest of the world is ignoring their plight, says Mary Ndlovu
COMMENT AND ANALYSIS:
- Issa Shivji is not optimistic that the G8 summit will produce significant changes for the millions of people trapped in poverty
- Bob Geldof is only the latest in a long line of Europeans who have appointed themselves as spokespersons for Africans, writes Patricia Daley
- Social movements and civil society activists will be meeting in Mali for their own G8 counter summit. Barry Amanita Toure explains why
- George Dor critiques the recent debt cancellation “deal” for Africa, the Blair Commission for Africa and the rise of Paul Wolfowitz to the top job at the World Bank
- Raised Voices is a unique project that traveled the world to gather views of the majority world on the G8
- Expect sugar-coated statements and hot air from G8 leaders, says Thomas Deve, who discusses various mobilizations to injustice including the World Social Forum and Global Call to Action Against Poverty.
- The best service the world could give Africa, argues Makeda Tsegaya, would be to support struggles to transform leadership on the continent
- Marie Shaba, chairperson of the Tanzanian Association of NGOs, discusses how the G8 can assist Africa’s development
PAN-AFRICAN POSTCARD: Tajudeen Abdul-Raheem on why Live 8 and G8 attention for Africa “is like being offered a handkerchief by the same person who is beating the hell out of you.”
GLOBAL CALL TO ACTION AGAINST POVERTY: African voices on the G8 via SMS; news from mobilizations in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania and Mozambique
PLUS: Links to news on conflict, human rights, elections, development, refugees, women’s rights, media, environment, jobs and books…




Features

Make looting history

Firoze Manji

2005-07-06

http://pambazuka.net/en/category/features/28865

Some 110 years ago, in 1894-95,, European governments met in Berlin to 'negotiate' the carving up of Africa - a meeting that in essence was very little different to this week's G8 meeting in Gleneagles. The G8 meeting should be seen as a gathering of the descendants of the Berlin Conference, argues Firoze Manji, we shouldn't be begging them to be nice about it. We shouldn't be begging them to carve us up 'fairly'. Let's end this charade about 'fighting poverty': turn, instead, to fighting those who cause and profit from impoverishment.


Zimbabwe’s Tsunami

Mary Ndlovu

2005-07-06

http://pambazuka.net/en/category/features/28856

Operation Murambatsvina - sweep out the trash – has torn through Zimbabwe like a Tsunami, describes Mary Ndlovu. Hundreds of thousands of people have been internally displaced, but the true cost of the government operation on the livelihoods of people is almost impossible to predict. As the G8 meets in Scotland and African leaders conclude an African Union Summit in Libya, Zimbabweans feel that the rest of Africa has turned its back on them.




Comment & analysis

Aid with one hand; Guns with the other

Q&A with Issa Shivji on the G8

2005-07-06

http://pambazuka.net/en/category/comment/28857

Global leaders like UK prime-minister Tony Blair have been vocal in stating that 2005 is a year where progress must be made on Africa's development. The G8 summit - an opportunity for rich world leaders to put their heads together and change the global development machinery - is now underway in Gleneagles, Scotland. Debt relief, aid flows, global trade and climate change are on the agenda of one of the highest profile G8 meetings ever. But well-known African commentator Issa Shivji is not optimistic that this summit will produce significant changes for the millions of people trapped in poverty.


Bob Geldof and the Livingstone connection: Africa not yet saved?

Patricia Daley

2005-07-06

http://pambazuka.net/en/category/comment/28858

Bob Geldof is only the latest in a long line of Europeans who have appointed themselves as spokespersons for Africans, writes Patricia Daley. With a distinct brand of humanitarianism they have acted to serve the demands of global capitalism, suppressing African voices and aiding the exploitation of the continent.


False promises to Africa from Blair and the G8

Barry Amanita Toure

2005-07-06

http://pambazuka.net/en/category/comment/28859

In a small corner of Mali far from the fanfare of the G8 summit in Gleneagles, Scotland, social movements and civil society activists will meet from 6-9 July to discuss international political and economic mechanisms which constrain the national policies of developing countries of the South. “Faced with the G8, which plays the role of a totally illegitimate world board of directors, African social movements are organising themselves to formulate alternatives to current neo-liberal policies and are firmly resolved to show their determination,” writes Barry Amanita Toure.


G8, Tony Blair’s Commission for Africa and debt

George Dor

2005-07-06

http://pambazuka.net/en/category/comment/28860

In the context of this week’s G8 meeting, George Dor critiques the recent debt cancellation “deal” for Africa, the Blair Commission for Africa and the rise of Paul Wolfowitz to the top job at the World Bank. He concludes that they represent “nothing other than a new means of continuing the exploitation initiated under the times of conquest, slavery and colonialism”.


Majority world voices on the effects of G8

2005-07-06

http://pambazuka.net/en/category/comment/28861

'Raised Voices: Testimony from the majority world on the effects of G8 polices on their lives' is a multi-media project that captures a diversity of voices from varying perspectives in text, audio and video. Raised Voices on the G8 captures the viewpoints of people from around the world in countries such as Brazil, South Africa, India, West Papua, Ethiopia, Nigeria, Kenya and more. Below we have reproduced five Raised Voices from Africa. To read more Raised Voices and to download and video and audio files of those interviewed, visit the Raised Voices website at http://www.raisedvoices.net/


Nobel Peace Prize Winner addresses the African Diaspora

ENTERPRISE AFRICA, African Diaspora & Development Day, 2005

Wangari Maathai

2005-07-07

http://pambazuka.net/en/category/comment/28870

One of the worst outcomes of injustices is poverty, says Wangari Maathai, 2004 Nobel Peace Prize Winner. It robs human beings of their dignity. When people are poor and when they are reduced to beggars, they feel weak, humiliated, disrespected and undignified. They hide alone in corners and dare not raise their voices. They are therefore, neither heard nor seen. They do not organize but often suffer in isolation and in desperation. Yet all human beings deserve respect and dignity. Indeed it should be unacceptable to push other human beings to such levels of indiginity. Even before any other rights, perhaps it may be time to campaign for all human beings to have the right to a life of dignity: a life devoid of poverty in the midst of plenty because such poverty demonstrates gross inequalities. As long as millions of people live in poverty and indignity, humanity should feel diminished. A time such as this gives all of us, and especially those in leadership, the opportunity to reduce poverty. There is a lot of poverty in Africa. This is largely due to economic injustices, which must be addressed not only by the rich industrialized countries but also by leaders in Africa.


Nothing short of a paradigm shift will radically alter the plight of the poor

Thomas Deve

2005-07-06

http://pambazuka.net/en/category/comment/28862

Expect sugar-coated statements and hot air from G8 leaders, says Thomas Deve, who discusses various mobilizations to injustices including the World Social Forum and Global Call to Action Against Poverty. The greatest asset for mobilization in Africa, he says, is the testimony poor communities, unemployed youths, women, children and the marginalized can make on how market based dogmas and principles have unleashed untold suffering in Africa.


The face of tyranny and making poverty history

Makeda Tsegaye

2005-07-06

http://pambazuka.net/en/category/comment/28863

Africa needs leaders, says Makeda Tsegaya. Africans have known this for years and have long campaigned for more democratic governance. The best service the world could give Africa would be to support their struggles to transform leadership on the continent.


We are fatigued with charity, we know we can do it ourselves

Q&A with Maria Shaba of Tango

2005-07-06

http://pambazuka.net/en/category/comment/28864

Even those who remember the word "Ujamaa", and know it was the philosophy behind Julius Nyrere's attempt to collectivise agriculture in the 1960s, probably wonder whether it has anything more than academic relevance to today's debates about development. In this interview with BBC Newsnight’s Paul Mason (reproduced here with permission of Paul Mason) Marie Shaba, chairperson of the Tanzanian Association of NGOs, discusses how the G8 can assist Africa’s development.




Advocacy & campaigns

Against Babangida

2005-07-04

http://pambazuka.net/en/category/advocacy/28764

A website has been launched by a group of Nigerians, to deter former military dictator, General Ibrahim Babangida from making a come-back. The website, www.againstbabangida.com, has as one of its main features a listing of Nigerians tagged "Public Enemies," for promoting or working for the aspiration of Babangida to rule Nigeria again, come year 2007.


Restore the right to housing in Zimbabwe: Sign a petition

2005-07-06

http://www.habitants.org/article/articleview/1467/1/381/

"We, associations of inhabitants, international networks, voluntary groups, NGOs, public agencies, citizens of the world, are profoundly hurt by and denounce the ‘Murambatsvina operation’ (sweep away the garbage operation) launched by the government of Zimbabwe."


Sign on letter: What the G8 should do on energy

2005-07-04

http://pambazuka.net/en/category/advocacy/28773

"We the undersigned call on the Group of 8 (G8) leaders to recognize and act upon the twin, interlinked crises of debt and global warming. Current G8 energy investments are fundamentally at odds with sound development practice. Ongoing public financing of the fossil fuel industry is increasing debt, poverty, and climate change. Urgent action is now required to substantially reduce emissions, reduce fossil fuel dependence, and protect people around the world, especially the vulnerable, the poor and disappearing nations."


Stand up for Africa petition

2005-07-05

http://pambazuka.net/en/category/advocacy/28790

Visit http://www.standupforafrica.org.uk/ to sign a petition to make poverty history in Africa.




Pan-African Postcard

White men in dark suits, ageing rockers and the AU summit

Tajudeen Abdul-Raheem

2005-07-06

http://pambazuka.net/en/category/panafrican/28836

Tajudeen Abdul-Raheem is at a loss for words over the current Live 8 and G8 attention for Africa. “It is like being offered a handkerchief by the same person who is beating the hell out of you,” he writes, preferring to focus his attention on the just-concluded African Union summit of heads of state that took place in Shirte, Libya. It was at this summit, he argues, that decisions about he real future of Africa were being made.




Books & arts

African Compass New writing from southern Africa 2005

2005-07-06

http://www.newafricabooks.co.za/books_detail.asp?ID=453054362

New writing from southern Africa 2005 is the first book in a three–year series of the US $10 000 HSBC/SA PEN Literary Award. The award is targeted at young writers who are citizens of any country in the SADC (Angola, Botswana, Democratic Republic of Congo, Lesotho, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe).


Ghanaian author wins Commonwealth prize

2005-07-06

http://www.africanbookscollective.com/

Alex Agyei-Agyiri's first novel Unexpected Joy at Dawn has won Commendation in the 2005 Commonwealth Writers' Prize, Best First Book Africa Region. A Ghanaian poet, playwright and short story writer, he has previously won the BBC Arts and Africa poetry award, the Ghana Association of writers' Literary Prize and the Valco Award for Literature.


O Vendedor de Passados

by José Eduardo Agualusa

2005-07-06

http://pambazuka.net/en/category/books/28842

"That divide between fact and fiction in the lives of ordinary people is what Agualusa has tackled with O Vendedor do Passados. Yet he has done so in a format that could easily be described as magical realism, one based in southern Africa. As part of this merging of history as story, numerous characters play a part in the narrative, from Frederick Douglass, the abolitionist, to South African high court judge Albie Sachs and Portuguese poet Fernando Pessoa." - From a review by Richard Bartlett on the website of African Review of Books. Visit http://www.africanreviewofbooks.com/ to read the full review.


Sixth Caine Prize for African Writing goes to Nigerian

2005-07-06

http://pambazuka.net/en/category/books/28841

In the year of Africa, S.A. Afolabi from Nigeria has won the sixth Caine Prize for African Writing, Africa's leading literary prize, for Monday Morning from Wasafiri, issue 41, spring 2004. The Chair of the judges, Baroness Young of Hornsey, announced the winner of the US$ 15,000 prize at a dinner held this evening (Monday, 4 July) in the Bodleian Library in Oxford. S.A. Afolabi was born in Kaduna, Nigeria and grew up in various countries, including the Congo, Canada, East Germany and Indonesia. He has been writing for over ten years and has had stories published in Wasafiri, London Magazine, Edinburgh Review, Pretext and others.




Letters & Opinions

An Open Letter to the G8

Network of Ethiopian Scholars

2005-07-06

http://pambazuka.net/en/category/letters/28845

We welcome the intentions to translate into practical action the vision of the Global Call to Action Against Poverty to make it history. Though the systems the G8 leaders are steering are way more complex and not so easily amenable to any good intention to make them deliver to the poor, we hope that any set of serious effort that you collectively undertake makes a difference.

Africa has suffered for too long. Until today the record of the political economy of international aid has been largely unproductive. Africa was trapped in a double bind: if the G8 and others refuse their assistance, Africa loses; if it accepts their assistance, Africa loses also. We hope now for the first time, the G8 are prepared to provide aid by engaging with the political economy of aid, investment and trade without forcing Africa to lose and blaming Africa for it. It is time to provide the kind of assistance that will make Africa a winner and would not put all the blame to it, if things go wrong.


Change of Heart about "Live 8"

Doreen Lwanga

2005-07-04

http://pambazuka.net/en/category/letters/28761

I am writing this letter to applaud the Live 8 events that have happened this past weekend in Berlin, London, Philly and elsewhere in the Western world. I have to say that after a long period of living and being exposed to real life in Western countries, I have become a Western- or to put it more specifically "White-pessimist" and developed a very big ego of Afro-optimism. This is particularly due to the way I have watched, observed and received news about Africa in these countries. The media, regular people and the education system mainly potrays its connection with Africa driven by a culture of pity. So, I had become convinced that white people have no intrinsic interest in Africa or Africans.

However, after watching "Live 8" events on TV in London, Berlin and Philly, I felt a change of heart. People coming out in numbers and thinking about Africa, performing for Africa, sweating for Africa, driving miles from the comfort of their homes for Africa. Although some of us Africans who love Africa very much are saddened by the way Africa is represented in Western audiences, today a part of me feels grateful and sad as well. I wrote to friends in Madagascar, in Senegal, in Uganda and in Nigeria, wondering how many cities in Africa have held similiar events? How many, really, how many places in Africa will you go and there is a band or fundraising event for the war in Northern Uganda or Darfur or Congo or Cote D'Ivoire? Yet if P Diddy or U2 or Snoop or 50 Cents were to come to perform in Africa for commercial purposes, many of us would save our salaries to watch their shows, and give our month(s) payment back to the rich when we cannot even raise money for our fellow Africans. Why don't African artists do this in their own countries? Or do we need an Africa International TV to show us that we are raising money for the continent?

One may say we have a lot of problems in our own countries but my goodness how many Ugandans even raise money for the people living in displaced camps in Northern Uganda? Besides those with relatives in these camps, usually it takes the likes of Save the Children to set up bases in Northern Uganda, so that our own media can report the humanitarian assistance. Then we complain that Bono or Paul McCartney are stealing the show....uhm! As Bob Geldof said today, "Don't let them tell you this doesn't work". Because twenty years ago, that girl on the TV screen had only two minutes to live. But this year, she finished her exam and degree in Agriculture in Northern Ethiopia. So, I thought to myself, even though these people's mercy is driven by an annoying culture of pity, I am watching Madonna, Snoop, Destiny's Child, Bono, Paul McCartney, sweating for Africa and raising their voice for Africa's poverty to the G8. And this made me rethink a part of my heart and pessimism about White people and the West. And I felt grateful and a little more certain that this money being raised now has a higher chance of making it to Africa unlike that money Western governments claim to allocate to Africa each year or the so-called humanitarian agencies but ends up paying their own staff and machinery.


Open letter on Live 8, G8 and African development

2005-07-06

http://pambazuka.net/en/category/letters/28867

Bob Geldof has done an unusual service of getting the key western countries to focus public attention on Africa at the G8 summit. This poses a difficulty for those who see the harm that this kind of focus does to the continent. It conceals the root cause of many of the problems of the continent and perpetuates a view of a continent that is unable to solve its problems. The problems are easy enough to state: complicity between the West and the corrupt leaders who have consistently pillaged the continent; reinforcement of the dependency culture that aid plus neo-liberal economic reform will redeem the continent from poverty, thus maintaining the pauperisation of Africans; suppressing radical people-centred alternative economic opinions opposed to the World Bank / IMF economic orthodoxy; and the subversion of the social and economic development in the interest of repayment of odious debt.

While we accept that good governance is self-evidently desirable, it is also true that the West has been and is still complicit in the corruption that they now disavow. In instances where Africans have democratically elected promising leaders, Western governments have undermined or conspired in their political elimination and replaced them with puppet regimes. The Democratic Republic of Congo is a classic example of this phenomenon. In spite of being duly elected and the preferred choice of his people, the West conspired to eliminate Patrice Lumumba and replaced him with Mobutu Sese Seko. It is therefore impossible to understand the economic and political circumstances in the Congo today without a knowledge of this history. We pose the question: how can it be that the country with the most natural resources in Africa is still amongst the poorest and least developed? Other examples could be cited to show that Africa’s real interests were stymied by the West’s activities in Africa.

We believe that Africa needs neither conditional aid, charity nor pity. Western governments should be held to account for the exploitation of the continent and to make reparations for the pillage that they have inflicted.

Signed:

Patricia Daley, Fellow, Jesus College Oxford
Firoze Manji, Editor Pambazuka News
Paul Okojie, Senior Lecturer in Law, Manchester Metropolitan University and a member of the International Governing Council of the Centre for Democracy and Development
Peter da Costa, PhD Candidate, SOAS, London
Tajudeen Abdul-Raheem, General_Secretary, Global Pan African Movement
Susan Akono, writer
Abiodun Onadipe, Independent Consultant
Rotimi Sankore, Coordinator of CREDO for Freedom of Expression and Associated Rights

An edited version of this letter first appeared in the Guardian July 4 2005


Say no to debt - but where did all the money go?

Mwombaji (no further details supplied)

2005-07-04

http://pambazuka.net/en/category/letters/28774

Yes I definitely want to say no to debt, but one thing bothers me, where did all the money go? Who benefited from the whopping sum given to African leaders?

Take Tanzania for instance, things are at a complete standstill including the people. Where did the money go? Why has no one done anything to stamp out corruption? Bribery is the only language people know. The poor have to fork out what they don't have, to give the haves in order to have things done no matter how little the service may be, including giving of a bedpan to a loved one in a hospital bed.

How long are these tin gods going to be propped up and to whose benefit? Tanzania is nothing but a rubbish dump. The city of Dar ES Salaam is nothing but an unsightly rubbish heap with pot holes even around the diplomatic offices and homes.

It is time the CCM allowed fair elections and see what happens. It is time the CCM stopped being dictatorial. It is time the CCM stopped lying to the world saying they are democratic. It is time the people were given the opportunity to make up their own minds and if they wanted to try a new leader they should be allowed to choose.

It is time we stamped out corruption in Africa. If after 40+ years the CCM has not done anything but run the country to the ground it is not likely to make any changes now, otherwise, they would have done it long ago.  All it means is that they have perfected the art of concealment and will continue to do so unless the eyes of the world focus on them. The masses now say, enough is enough. It is time we were all given a fair opportunity to voice our opinion.

So we call upon the world to support change. We call on the Western powers to oversee the coming elections in Tanzania. We call on the rest of Africa to stand up for once and start bringing change for the benefit of all Africans from all walks of life.




Women & gender

Africa/Global: Are donors really implementing their commitments to promote gender equality?

2005-07-05

http://www.eldis.org/cf/search/disp/docdisplay.cfm?doc=DOC18895&resource=f1

This report argues that the ten-year review of the Beijing Platform for Action (BPFA) must be linked to the review process of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) as it provides a major input into that process. The report specifically makes the link with MDG 8 – advocating a global partnership to eradicate poverty - and highlights the need to bring the well-established connection between poverty eradication and gender equality to the centre of that partnership.


Africa/Global: Women take brunt of human rights abuse

2005-07-05

http://web.amnesty.org/actforwomen/index-eng

Women and girls faced “horrific” levels of abuse in 2004 worldwide, Amnesty International (AI) has said in its annual human rights review, blaming widespread rape and violence on a mix of “indifference, apathy and impunity”. From honor killings carried out by the victims’ families to sexual violence used as a weapon of war, abuse frequently went unpunished and survivors were often abandoned by their own communities, the London-based rights group said. Amnesty indicated that it had sought in the past year to argue that violence against women in conflict situations was “an extreme manifestation of the discrimination and abuse they face in peacetime”, notably domestic violence and sexual abuse.


DRC: Sexual violence in the Congo

2005-06-28

http://www.international-alert.org/publications.htm#women

International Alert has published a new report on sexual violence against women and girls entitled "Women's Bodies as a Battleground: Sexual Violence Against Women and Girls During the War in the Democratic Republic of Congo, South Kivu (1996-2003)". This report, based on interviews with 492 women and 50 soldiers in Eastern DRC, is the result of research carried out by two Congolese women's organisations, Réseau des Femmes pour un Développement Associatif (RFDA), Réseau des Femmes pour la Défense des Droits et la Paix (RFDP), and the UK-based peacebuilding organisation, International Alert.


Nigeria: Trafficking in women from Nigeria to Europe

2005-07-05

http://www.migrationinformation.org/Feature/display.cfm?id=318

The Western European prostitution market has become increasingly globalized during the past 15 years. The processes by which Eastern European, Southeast Asian, Latin American, and Sub-Saharan African women end up as sex workers in Western Europe are highly varied. The largest group of prostitutes from Sub-Saharan Africa comes from Nigeria, and they are usually recruited through a specific type of trafficking network. The term "trafficking in persons" is restricted to instances where people are deceived, threatened, or coerced into situations of exploitation, including prostitution. This contrasts with "human smuggling," in which a migrant purchases services to circumvent immigration restrictions, but is not necessarily a victim of deception or exploitation.


South Africa: How gender is being factored into the South African budget, 2005

2005-07-05

http://www.eldis.org/cf/search/disp/DocDisplay.cfm?Doc=DOC18727&Resource=f1gender

This paper examines gender equity within the 2005 South African budget. The authors highlight that women and girls are often most vulnerable to conditions like HIV/AIDS and poverty, but that programmes to address these conditions will fail without a significant earmarking of funds. Ensuring that there is adequate funding for men's and women's programming does not mean having separate male and female budgets, but rather giving critical consideration to the imbalances that exist in society and respond effectively to addressing these. The authors claim that the South African budget in 2005 gives some consideration to tackling gender inequities, but these interventions tend to be gender-blind.




Human rights

Botswana: Public flogging causes outrage

2005-07-05

http://www.irinnews.org/report.asp?ReportID=47945

Two weeks ago Tebogo Malete was publicly flogged at a traditional court in Old Naledi, a village southeast of the Botswana's capital, Gaborone; a photograph of his punishment was published in the weekly newspaper, The Midweek Sun. Malete, 27, a petty thief, had been sentenced to five lashes for housebreaking at the customary court presided over by the village headman. The humiliating newspaper photo showed him with his pants down and a police officer using a lash on his bare buttocks, sparking outrage in human rights circles.


Congo: Lead NGO pulls out of the human rights commission

2005-07-04

http://www.irinnews.org/report.asp?ReportID=47919

The main human rights NGO in the Republic of Congo, the Congolese Human Rights Observatory (OCDH), pulled out of the state-sponsored National Commission of Human Rights last Thursday to protest what it says is the commission’s inaction on known abuses and lack of government independence. "The government does not consider the commission to be a constitutional institution with administrative and financial autonomy," Roger Bouka-Owoko, the OCDH executive director, said during a news conference to announce the NGO’s decision.


Egypt: New reports criticises restrictive NGO law

2005-07-05

http://www.irinnews.org/report.asp?ReportID=47940

The international NGO Human Rights Watch (HRW) and the Egyptian Organisation for Human Rights (EOHR) launched two separate reports on Monday, both criticising an Egyptian law that excessively regulates civil society and the activity of NGOs. "Freedom of association is a core political right. One cannot talk about democracy without being able to have an environment that allows people to come together in a free and unrestricted way," Joe Stork, Deputy Director of HRW's Middle East Division, said at a press conference in Cairo.


Liberia: Civil society groups urge AU to act on Charles Taylor

2005-07-05

http://news.amnesty.org/index/ENGAFR340022005

African and international civil society groups have launched a campaign urging the African Union (AU) Assembly to demonstrate its human rights commitment when it meets in Libya by ensuring that Charles Taylor faces justice for the crimes that he committed against African men, women and children. “It is now time for the African Union to join ranks with other key nations and international bodies in calling for Charles Taylor to face trial for these serious crimes,” said Kolawole Olaniyan, Africa Program Director at Amnesty International.


South Africa: Jubilee South Africa to oppose Absa/Barclays Deal in Court

2005-07-05

http://pambazuka.net/en/category/rights/28796

On the 5th of July 2005, in the Johannesburg High Court, Professor Dennis Brutus and Jubilee will make ex-parte applications to the High Court, stating their opposition to the takeover of Absa by Barclays. The anti-apartheid activist and poet Professor Dennis Brutus will approach the Court, advising it that Barclays Bank aiding and abetted the Apartheid Regime and has been misleading in information provided to the JSE and SRP, including the glaring omission that Barclays is the lead defendant in ongoing litigation in the USA.


Sudan: ICC Prosecutor Briefs Security Council

2005-07-05

http://hrw.org/english/docs/2005/06/29/sudan11233.htm

The United Nations Security Council should strongly declare its full support for the International Criminal Court's investigation into the serious crimes committed in Darfur, Human Rights Watch said before the first-ever briefing of the Council by an ICC prosecutor. When the Security Council referred the situation in Darfur to the ICC on March 31, it invited the court's prosecutor, Luis Moreno Ocampo, to report on the progress of his investigation within three months.  The International Criminal Court lacks the ability to execute its own requests. Instead, the court must rely on state cooperation to further its investigations. The Security Council should encourage and facilitate this cooperation, which is crucial to the effective pursuit of justice, Human Rights Watch said.




Refugees & forced migration

Chad: Refugee operations rush to beat rainy season

2005-07-06

http://www.unhcr.ch/cgi-bin/texis/vtx/news/opendoc.htm?tbl=NEWS&id=42caa9354

With rainy season floods just days away, UNHCR is scrambling to relocate some 10,000 refugees from the troubled Central African Republic (CAR) who recently arrived in several villages in remote southern Chad. The refugees, many of whom fled fighting in the CAR in early June with nothing but the clothes on their backs, are currently scattered among 17 villages near the Chadian town of Gore.


DRC: Once displaced by war, hundreds return to Kisangani

2005-07-06

http://www.irinnews.org/report.asp?ReportID=47964

Around 890 people displaced from their homes almost seven years ago in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) arrived in Kisangani, capital of Orientale Province, on Sunday after 43 gruelling days on a boat on the Congo River that came from Equateur Province. "We are now in the process of finding the means to take them to [the villages] they came from as soon as possible," Hubert Molisho Nendolo, Kisangani’s deputy governor, said.


Sudan: One million IDPs planning to return south, says report

2005-07-06

http://www.irinnews.org/report.asp?ReportID=47867

One-third of all internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Sudan plan to return to the south within six months, posing considerable humanitarian challenges to aid organisations, an interagency survey found. Sudan has experienced the worst population displacement in the world, mainly due to prolonged conflict since 1983. Although it is difficult to determine the exact number of IDPs, the figure is commonly rounded to four million, the survey report noted.


Togo: Thousands internally displaced

2005-07-06

http://www.idpproject.org/weekly_news/weekly_news.htm#1

Togo’s slide into political chaos following the disputed presidential elections in April 2005 has forced several thousand people to flee their homes, killed scores and wounded many more. While some 34,000 people have fled to neighbouring Benin and Ghana, UN agencies working with international and local NGO partners estimate that 12,000 people have been displaced within Togo's borders, especially in the Plateaux and Central regions.




Elections & governance

Africa: Africa’s garden of democracy

2005-07-05

http://www.opendemocracy.net/democracy-africa_democracy/elections_2603.jsp

"The African paradox can be simply stated. Africa is widely perceived throughout most of the world as the continent of perpetual socio-political upheavals and tragic military confrontations; yet its people’s commitment to democracy, far from undergoing any erosion, is, at grassroots level in particular, more and more vibrant." Click on the URL provided and read the rest of this article by Congolese writer Kabasubabu Katulondi.


Burundi: Ex-Hutu rebels lead Burundi poll

2005-07-05

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/4650997.stm

Officials in Burundi are counting votes following Monday's key parliamentary election, with a former Hutu rebel group looking set to win comfortably. Early results put the FDD well ahead of its main Hutu rival, the Frodebu party of President Domitien Ndayizeye. The polling was largely peaceful and the turnout was 65%.


Egypt: Judges allege vote fraud

2005-07-05

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/4644503.stm

Judges in Egypt say May's referendum on constitutional reform was marred by widespread fraud. The referendum on whether to allow rival candidates to contest the presidency in September was approved by more than 80% of voters. The judges said turnout in the booths they oversaw was very low but in government-supervised booths it was recorded at 100% in some cases.


Guinea: Opposition leader returns as food tensions mount

2005-07-05

http://www.irinnews.org/report.asp?ReportID=47954

Alpha Conde, the main political rival of ailing Guinean President Lansana Conte, returned to Conakry this weekend after two years abroad, and received a rapturous welcome from thousands of people, angry about rising food prices and poor living conditions in the West African nation.


Libya: Annan announces creation of 'Democracy Fund'

2005-07-05

http://www.sarpn.org.za/newsflash.php#3150

Addressing leaders of the African continent meeting in Libya, United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan announced the launch of a new initiative to financially support States undergoing the democratization process. Mr. Annan told the African Union (AU) Summit in Sirte that the new UN Democracy Fund will provide assistance to countries seeking to establish or strengthen their democracy. "A number of Member States have already indicated their intention to contribute," he said, voicing hope that others would follow their example.


South Africa: Support for fired deputy president forces presidential retreat

2005-07-06

http://www.sarpn.org.za/newsflash.php#3149

Unexpected and overwhelming support for sacked former deputy president Jacob Zuma has given President Thabo Mbeki and the leadership of the African National Congress (ANC) some pause for thought. Mbeki's attempt to have the ANC's national general council endorse his "handling" of Zuma - which means approve Zuma's dismissal - backfired, leading to the president having to give concessions he would rather have done without.




Corruption

Africa: More Aid Sought for African People

2005-07-05

http://www.ipsnews.net/africa/nota.asp?idnews=29331

A leading campaign group has called for a substantial part of increased aid to Africa to be channelled directly to people, rather than governments. While G8 leaders talk of doubling aid to Africa, "we say that at least half of the doubling should be for more local initiatives," director of the London-based International Institute for Environment and Development, Camilla Toulmin, told IPS.


Ethiopia: Meles tops list of millionaire officials

2005-07-05

http://www.aeup.org/new/static/Ethiopia%20loot.htm

Prime Minister Meles Zenawi and 14 of his top officials have stashed away at least $238 million dollars out of which Meles, the mayor of Addis and a top confident of the premier have a combined deposit of $100 million in overseas banks, a radio reported on Wednesday. The radio said it has the evidence which verifies the loot of the Ethiopian treasury by the top-notch of the regime which is trying to contain public protests through killings, detentions and prolonging a state of emergency.


South Africa: ANC's zero tolerance

2005-07-05

http://admin.corisweb.org/index.php?fuseaction=news.view&id=117808&src=dcn

The African National Congress will adopt a "zero tolerance" approach to corruption - no matter who it involves. This was the commitment made by ANC chief whip Mbulelo Goniwe when he announced that the five serving ANC members of parliament who pleaded guilty to fraud with parliamentary travel vouchers have resigned from parliament.


Zambia: Graft campaign threatens Zambia's Mwanawasa

2005-07-05

http://admin.corisweb.org/index.php?fuseaction=news.view&id=117885&src=dcn

Zambian President Levy Mwanawasa has made his anti-corruption campaign the hallmark of his administration, hoping to persuade voters to give him a second term in next year's elections. Now it may well secure his ousting. The campaign has won Mwanawasa powerful enemies within the circle of former President Frederick Chiluba, the man the anti-graft efforts have largely targeted, while some senior figures in his own administration are unsure of whether they may be next in line for investigation.




Development

Africa/Global: The Origins of the G8

2005-07-06

http://pambazuka.net/en/category/development/28855

G8 is the term used to refer to the group of eight of the world’s richest and most powerful countries, namely the US, UK, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia and Canada. It’s formation was solidified in 1976 as a response to a global economic crisis represented by a rise in oil prices, inflation and unemployment. The coming together of the G8 was an attempt by leaders of these nations to stabilize the world economy and guarantee the ability of capital to continue to function effectively. Click on the link below for more details on the G8 and links to recent critical articles on the G8 summit.


Africa: African leaders seek end to debt

2005-07-05

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/4651337.stm

Delegates at the African Union summit in Libya are preparing a final declaration expected to appeal for the continent's debts to be wiped out. Members are also likely to call for fairer terms of trade with the West, while stressing their desire for better governance and transparency. The meeting ends a day before the G8 summit of the world's richest nations.


Africa: Debating the aid business

2005-07-05

http://www.opendemocracy.net/democracy-africa_democracy/NGO_2630.jsp

"Behind the politicians and pop stars on display at the Gleneagles summit of the Group of Eight (G8) on 6-8 July, look out for another contingent of professionals: non-government organisations (NGOs). The aid agencies will be there in strength, promoting their solutions for Africa’s ills, rallying their troops and rattling collection-boxes." But this article on www.opendemocracy.net argues that Western NGOs’ desire to help Africans has led them into unhealthy relationships with host countries, donor governments, and media.


Africa: Subordinating Development to Free Trade

2005-07-05

http://fesportal.fes.de/pls/portal30/docs/FOLDER/IPG/IPG2_2005/BULLARDCHANYAPATE.PDF

The impact of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) on the world's poor has been overwhelmingly negative, states this paper. "Despite its anti-development agenda, the WTO as an institution continues to garner a certain (though grudging) amount of buy-in from the developing country governments. This seems to stem from the belief that some rules, no matter how skewed, are better than the law of the jungle.”


Angola: Diamond areas short-changed by development, says report

2005-07-06

http://www.irinnews.org/report.asp?ReportID=47974

Angola is likely to produce diamonds worth nearly US $900 million this year, but little of that money will be spent on development in the diamond producing areas, according to a new report. The report by Partnership Africa Canada noted that "three years of peace is enough time for an oil-rich, diamond-rich government to have made wider social investments in the diamond areas and to have produced development policies that are more supportive of Angola's artisanal miners".


Nigeria: Nigeria to get $18bn debt relief

2005-07-05

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/4637395.stm

The Paris Club of creditor countries has agreed the outline of a debt relief package for Nigeria. About $18bn (£10bn) of debt will be written off and Nigeria plans to buy back a chunk of outstanding loans. The country owes the rest of the world $35bn, and the new talks are linked to an agreement between Nigeria and the IMF on debt repayments.




Health & HIV/AIDS

Africa/Global: 3 by 5 becomes 1 by 5

2005-07-05

http://www.asiamediaforum.org/node/195

The 29 June announcement by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) that the much-heralded '3by5' initiative is "unlikely" to be achieved by the end of 2005, places even greater urgency on the need to scale up access to other care options that keep people with HIV alive while they wait for antiretroviral (ARV) drugs, says a press release from Aids Care Watch. The two UN agencies, who share responsibility for tackling the global pandemic, highlight progress during the past 18 months towards greater ARV access, and report that one million people with HIV/AIDS (PWHA) in poorer nations are now taking life-saving ARV drugs. They had hoped 3 million people would have access to the medicines by the end of 2005, but that now looks out of reach.


Africa: G8 should focus on HIV, women's empowerment

2005-07-05

http://www.sarpn.org.za/newsflash.php#3141

When the leaders of the world's largest industrial nations meet in Scotland, they will debate how to address the HIV/Aids crisis and whether to significantly increase assistance to Africa. But for the summit to have a real impact on the Aids pandemic, the G8 will have to do more than increase funding; they will have to address the economic and social realities that make women and girls a special, high-risk group. Evidence from Africa shows the importance and cost-effectiveness of this strategy.


Africa: Health Resources Shortfall

2005-07-05

http://pambazuka.net/en/category/hivaids/28794

A recent edition of the Africa Focus Bulletin examines the problem of health resources for Africa. Despite their commitment early this month to write off debts to multilateral institutions by 18 developing countries (see http://www.africafocus.org/docs05/debt0506.php), says the Bulletin, rich countries have barely made a start in meeting the demands to address Africa's needs. "While debate tends to focus under the standard themes of debt, aid, and trade, activists in the health field are taking the lead to stress that the framework needs to be changed to a common obligation to invest in universal rights rather than a narrow conception of charitable "aid" from donors to recipients."


Africa: MSF urges UN and G8 AIDS drug action

2005-07-05

http://www.plusnews.org/AIDSreport.asp?ReportID=4988

The international medical NGO, Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF), is urging G8 nations and the UN to push for speedy delivery of the cheapest and latest anti-AIDS drugs to developing countries. MSF stressed that this was vital to head off a looming supply and cost crisis, because "access to newer drugs is increasingly critical, as the growing number of people with HIV/AIDS currently on treatment will inevitably develop resistance to first-line treatments".


Botswana: Rising malnutrition accompanies increasing joblessness

2005-07-05

http://www.irinnews.org/report.asp?ReportID=47928

Botswana's health authorities are battling climbing malnutrition rates among young children, despite sustained economic growth in recent years. A recent report by the National Early Warning Unit in the Ministry of Agriculture showed a dramatic decline since April this year in the nutritional status of children under five years in the northeastern districts of Kgalagadi North, and Mabutsane and Gantsi in the west.


Guinea-Bissau: Over 1,000 cholera cases recorded as epidemic spreads beyond capital

2005-07-04

http://www.irinnews.org/report.asp?ReportID=47936

A cholera epidemic that broke out in the capital Bissau last month is spreading into the interior of the country, with more than 400 new cases reported nationwide over the past week, health officials said Friday. Since the beginning of the epidemic on 11 June, a total 1,027 cases have been registered, including 12 deaths, said Simao Mendes, director of Bissau’s General Hospital.


South Africa: HIV drugs and food not keeping up with demand

2005-07-05

http://www.hst.org.za/news/20040869

An estimated 200 000 South Africans living with HIV and AIDS are in urgent need of anti-AIDS drugs, but supply is not keeping up with demand. And, despite good nutrition being an essential pre-requisite for starting anti-retroviral (ARV) treatment, only a fraction of HIV and AIDS patients are receiving the supplements and food parcels. This is the finding of a monitoring report compiled by the Treatment Action Campaign (TAC) and Aids Law Project, 18 months after the government approved the national HIV and AIDS treatment plan.


Zimbabwe: Doctors demand better pay as inflation bites

2005-07-04

http://www.irinnews.org/report.asp?ReportID=47896

Doctors at two of Zimbabwe's largest referral hospitals have embarked on an indefinite strike, demanding a pay rise of more than 100 percent and a special allocation to cover escalating fuel costs caused by the ongoing petrol shortage. Junior and mid-level doctors at Harare's Parirenyatwa and Central hospitals vowed on Wednesday not to resume work until the government had met their demands.




Education

Africa/Global: Does child labour always undermine education?

2005-07-04

http://www.id21.org/insights/insights56/insights-iss56-art08.html

Children are often forced to work due to chronic poverty. Globally, work is the main occupation of almost 20 percent of all children aged under 15. This is considered a major obstacle to achieving the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) of universal primary education by 2015. Research from the University of Oxford in the UK suggests that child labour is often essential to household survival. Children who do household work release adults from domestic responsibilities to earn a wage; those employed outside the home contribute to family income.


Africa: Higher education as the bedrock of development

2005-07-04

http://www.scidev.net/africanewsletter/july05.pdf

While there is no single solution to Africa's need to increase its capacity in science and technology, higher education is a central concern, reports the latest edition of the SciDev.net newsletter. "Though the number of universities has proliferated, teaching quality is often poor (with low salaries and 'brain drain' being contributing factors), and public spending on universities is often small. Equipment and support resources are also lacking. With a Millennium Development Goal focusing on universal primary education, in a few years there will be a crucial need for more and better universities to cater for a more educated population."


Africa: UNICEF Urges G-8 to Focus on Results for Children

2005-07-05

http://www.unicef.org/media/media_27556.html

The decisions which the G8 leaders take this week have the potential to reduce extreme poverty around the world and to improve the lives of hundreds of millions of children, UNICEF said. "By putting poverty and development at the center of their agenda, the G8 leaders have an unprecedented opportunity to help to realize the Millennium Development Goals.  These vital goals focus on the needs of children to survive, to be educated and to be protected from the impact of HIV/AIDS. There can be no more important task," said UNICEF Executive Director Ann M. Veneman.


Kenya: Kenya Needs 24 More Universities

2005-07-04

http://allafrica.com/stories/200507010867.html

Kenya requires 24 more public universities to meet United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation international standards. Prof Wanjala Kere, Unesco's lead education consultant in technical, vocational education and training, said the current number does not meet required international standards. "According to Unesco standards, there is need for one public university for every one million people and we only have six public universities for a population of approximately 30 million people," said Kere.




Environment

Africa/Global: "Greenwashing" does not make the world cleaner

2005-07-06

http://www.choike.org/nuevo_eng/informes/3106.html

The greenwashing that corporations are now doing as their bit to clean up the environment cannot hide the damage they are causing, Meena Raman, chair of Friends of the Earth International said Saturday. In fact, any attempt to contain climate change must tackle the big corporations first, she said. Host Britain has made climate change one of two priorities, along with the development of Africa, at the summit of heads of government of the eight leading industrialised nations (the United States, Canada, Britain, Germany, France, Italy, Japan and Russia) to be held in Gleneagles, Scotland, July 6-8.


Africa: Climate change 'threatens to evict African plants'

2005-07-04

http://www.scidev.net/News/index.cfm?fuseaction=readNews&itemid=2198&language=1

Climate change could drastically alter the distribution of thousands of plant species across Africa, say scientists. The researchers, led by Jon Lovett of the University of York in the United Kingdom, looked at 5,197 species of African plants — about 10-15 per cent of the continent's plant species. Using computer models that predict future climate, the researchers concluded that by 2085, the habitats in which nearly all of these plants can live would either shrink or shift, often to higher altitudes, as a result of anticipated changes in Africa's climate.


Africa: Up in Smoke?

2005-07-04

http://www.neweconomics.org/gen/z_sys_publicationdetail.aspx?pid=208

Africa - Up in Smoke?, the second report from the coalition of the UK's top environment and development groups, the Working Group on Climate Change and Development says that efforts to alleviate poverty in Africa will ultimately fail unless urgent action is taken to halt dangerous climate change. The report says that G8 nations have failed to 'join-the-dots' between climate change and Africa. Unless addressed, this could condemn generations in the world’s poorest nations.


East Africa: UN Co-Organizes Campaign to Clean Up Pollution in Lake Victoria

2005-07-04

http://allafrica.com/stories/200507010731.html

The United Nations housing agency is co-sponsoring a major awareness campaign to clean up Lake Victoria as rapidly growing urbanization along its shores threaten the world's second largest body of fresh water with increasing pollution and environmental degradation from waste and industrial effluents. "The main objective of the project is to innovatively change attitudes and behaviour with regard to environmentally unsound activities that continue to harm Lake Victoria," UN-HABITAT said in a statement.


Kenya: Thousands left homeless in forest evictions

2005-07-06

http://www.irinnews.org/report.asp?ReportID=47982

Ezekiel Lang'at vividly remembers the day in early June that a group of security guards and policemen stormed his home near Mau Forest in Narok District, southwestern Kenya. "This is not your farm - you have to leave," they ordered him before torching his houses. Lang'at is one of thousands of Kenyan families who have been left homeless following a government decision to evict them, without compensation, from farms allegedly carved out of the forest.




Media & freedom of expression

Angola: Journalist jailed

2005-07-05

http://pambazuka.net/en/category/media/28789

Journalist Celso Amaral, the former director for the government-controlled national radio in the northern province of Huila, was arrested on a charge of mismanagement and has been languishing in jail for the last month. The Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA) Angola learnt of Amaral's arrest when it undertook an information trip of some of Angola's regions at the end of June.


DRC: CPJ Condemns Harassment of Journalists Covering Opposition Protests

2005-07-04

http://allafrica.com/stories/200507010571.html

Security forces have harassed and detained several journalists covering opposition protests in the Congolese capital, Kinshasa, according to local sources. A presidential spokesperson told the Committee to Protect Journalists that any journalists detained while doing their work would be released.


Ethiopia: Four journalists arrested

2005-07-04

http://pambazuka.net/en/category/media/28777

The Ethiopian Government arrested four journalists on 28 June. The arrested journalists were Befekadu Moreda, Editor in-Chief of Tomar news paper; Zelalem Gebre, Menilik news paper; Dawit Fassil, Asqual news paper; and Tamrat Serbesa, Satenaw news paper.


Sierra Leone: Open letter to president on libel laws

2005-07-04

http://pambazuka.net/en/category/media/28778

"We are writing on behalf of the International Press Institute (IPI) and the World Association of Newspapers (WAN), to call for the repeal of Sierra Leone's seditious libel law under which Paul Kamara, editor of For Di People, is currently imprisoned. In October 2004, Mr Kamara, editor and publisher of the independent daily For Di People, was convicted on two counts of seditious libel for articles that appeared in his newspaper focusing on a 1967 Commission of Inquiry, which reportedly implicated you in the embezzlement of public funds."


Zambia: Media freedom under threat says watchdog

2005-07-05

http://www.irinnews.org/report.asp?ReportID=47951

Zambian police are investigating charges of sedition and criminal libel against two journalists, raising concern that freedom of expression is under threat. Sipo Kapumba, a spokesman for the Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA) Zambia, told IRIN the police had summoned Fred M'membe, editor of the privately-owned The Post newspaper, on 29 June after a series of editorials critical of President Levy Mwanawasa's government.


Zimbabwe: Mugabe Signs Draconian Law

2005-07-04

http://www.misa.org/cgi-bin/viewnews.cgi?category=1&id=1119530814

Zimbabwean journalists now risk spending 20 years in jail following the signing into law by President Robert Mugabe of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Bill which introduces stiffer penalties against the publication of falsehoods. The Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Bill Chapter 9:23 which was passed by Parliament at the end of last year, was gazetted on 2 June 2005 after the President assented to it.




News from the diaspora

UK tribute to Walter Rodney

2005-07-06

http://pambazuka.net/en/category/diaspora/28837

The Karibbean Independent Trust for Ecology (KITE), has arranged a 25th anniversary event to commemorate the life of Dr. Walter Rodney, Caribbean historian and politician, who was murdered in 1980. During his short life Dr. Walter Rodney wrote many works of history, the best known being "How Europe Underdeveloped Africa". Eusi Kwayana said at the time of his death: "Our best was killed by our worst".




Conflict & emergencies

DRC: Civilians Killed as Army Factions Clash

2005-07-05

http://pambazuka.net/en/category/conflict/28806

The Congolese army must prevent further violence among its rival factions that has caused unnecessary civilian casualties, Human Rights Watch said after security forces in the eastern city of Goma fired mortars against soldiers based in a crowded neighborhood, killing two children and injuring 10 other civilians. The violence among army factions comes at a time when security forces across the country have been on high alert for weeks. Opposition parties had called for mass protests to force the Congolese transitional government to step down on June 30, the deadline originally set by the 2003 Sun City Accord.


DRC: Elections delayed as demand for tin fuels continued conflict

2005-07-05

http://pambazuka.net/en/category/conflict/28805

Continued fighting in the mining areas of eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) threatens the country's fragile peace and adds daily to the 3.3 million death toll in the world's most devastating conflict since World War 2, says Global Witness. It has also contributed towards the delay in the Congolese elections, which were originally scheduled for June 30. The international demand for tin has led to a US$50 million trade in the metal in eastern DRC with military factions vying to control the lucrative mining areas there, according to a report released by Global Witness.


Nigeria/Sudan: Obasanjo meets with Darfur rebels to try to unblock peace talks

2005-07-04

http://www.irinnews.org/report.asp?ReportID=47937

Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo has met the leaders of the two main rebel movements in Sudan's Darfur region in an attempt to resurrect peace talks that have become bogged down by splits within the rebel ranks. Obasanjo is the current chairman of the African Union (AU) and the Nigerian government is hosting peace talks in Abuja between the rebels and the Sudanese government on behalf of the continental body.


Northern Uganda: Building a Comprehensive Peace Strategy

2005-07-05

http://www.crisisgroup.org/home/index.cfm?id=3523&l=1

Peace may yet be possible in Northern Uganda in 2005, says the International Crisis Group. "Many elements seem to be in place, but they need to be pursued by President Museveni's government in a more comprehensive framework, given stronger international support and - most urgently - be committed to by the rebel Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) in the context of a specific process with a clearly definable endgame."


Zimbabwe: Order out of Chaos, or Chaos out of Order?

A report by the Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum

2005-07-05

http://www.hrforumzim.com/frames/inside_frame_special.htm

“Operation Murambatsvina” and “Operation Restore Order” are the code names used by the police for a massive operation that began in Zimbabwe towards the end of May. This nationwide campaign, which has been conducted in the cities and towns, in peri-urban areas, and on farms settled after land invasions, has led to the destruction of many thousands of houses and means of shelter, trading stalls and markets. Whatever the reasons behind this, none of which can be morally justified, this campaign has created a huge humanitarian disaster causing enormous hardship and suffering. Within the space of a few weeks, Operation Murambatsvina has produced a massive internal refugee population who are homeless and without the means to earn a living.




Internet & technology

ITU hones in on digital divide

2005-07-04

http://www.balancingact-africa.com/news/current1.html

The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) has launched a new development drive designed to bring access to information and communication technologies to the estimated one billion people worldwide who are still without access to a telephone. Called 'Connect the World', the initiative is designed to encourage new projects and partnerships to bridge the digital divide.


Kenya: On the Way to Getting Wired

2005-07-05

http://www.ipsnews.net/africa/nota.asp?idnews=29302

There's no disputing that computer ownership in Kenya is on the increase. Even so, the path to ensuring that the majority of Kenyans are able to benefit from information and communication technology (ICT) is littered with obstacles - something that came to the fore during a conference held this week in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi.


Mobile Phones for Mother and Child Care

2005-07-04

http://www.comminit.com/evaluations/eval2005/evaluations-92.html

This article evaluates the strategy of using mobile phones as a tool for promoting maternal, newborn and child health (MNCH) in developing countries, using Egypt as a case study. Information presented in this article is based on a qualitative study conducted by the author in Minia Governorate, Egypt in 2002-2003, and uses a framework developed for the UK Partnership for Global Health and the Nuffield Trust in 2002 entitled "Integrating Information and Communication Technology to Improve Global Health: A Conceptual Framework".


Nigerian blogger tackles taboos

2005-07-06

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/4649607.stm

A Nigerian-born blogger living in Spain is giving a voice to African women and highlighting gay and lesbian issues on the continent. Online diaries, or weblogs, come in all shapes and sizes. Some are intensely personal; others are very political. Sokari Ekine's blog is both, and that is just the way she likes it.




eNewsletters & mailing lists

Association of African Women Scholars email list

2005-07-05

http://www.iupui.edu/~aaws/afwosreg.htm

The discussion group is open to members and non-members. The AFWOSCHO list focuses on debates and exchange of ideas about gender issues in Africa and encourages the dissemination of and response to other related and relevant information (research queries, conferences and workshops, grants, fellowships, courses, programs, scholarships, collaborative work). Request to join can be made on the internet through [email protected] by sending the following message: SUBSCRIBE AFWOSCHO [your name]


The Equinet newsletter

2005-07-05

http://pambazuka.net/en/category/enewsl/28826

The Equinet Newsletter is the newsletter of the Network for Equity in Health in Southern Africa. The Newsletter is delivered by e-mail once a month. Visit http://www.equinetafrica.org/newsletter to read the newsletter and for subscriptions.




Fundraising & useful resources

Call for Proposals

Conflict and Governance Facility

2005-07-04

http://pambazuka.net/en/category/fundraising/28762

CAGE has entered its second phase with regard to the Calls for Proposals to fund policy research and dialogue within the conflict and governance arena. Please visit our website at www.cage.org.za to access all the funding information. The application pack (Guide and Form) can be downloaded and completed forms must be submitted on or before 30 August 2005, 15h00, only to the CAGE offices.


CCS research grants deadline

2005-07-06

http://pambazuka.net/en/category/fundraising/28838

The Centre for Civil Society is based at the University of KwaZulu-Natal in Durban. We aim to advance socio-economic and environmental justice by developing critical knowledge about, for and in dialogue with civil society, through teaching, research and publishing. As part of our mandate, the Centre grants research funds of up to R50000 to a number of researchers annually to encourage new and innovative research on civil society, through teaching, research and publishing.


Fellowships at the National Endowment for Democracy

2005-07-04

http://pambazuka.net/en/category/fundraising/28772

The National Endowment for Democracy (NED) invites applications to its Reagan-Fascell Democracy Fellows Program. Established in 2001 to enable activists, scholars, and journalists from around the world to deepen their understanding of democracy and enhance their ability to promote democratic change, the fellowship program is based at NED's International Forum for Democratic Studies, in Washington, D.C.


Southern African Litigation Centre

2005-07-04

http://pambazuka.net/en/category/fundraising/28770

The Open Society Initiative for Southern Africa (OSISA) in partnership with the International Bar Association (IBA) announced the launch on June 20, 2005 of the Southern African Litigation Centre (SALC). The Centre will be located in Johannesburg and will assist lawyers in various Southern African states in litigating specific human rights, public interest and constitutional cases within their respective domestic jurisdictions. The Centre will be staffed by resource people who are able to provide expert support to lawyers litigating on these issues in the region. They will do so by providing training, mentoring and facilities, thus promoting the effective implementation of human rights in the region.




Courses, seminars, & workshops

Development Planning and Management training

2005-07-04

http://pambazuka.net/en/category/courses/28771

Olive (Organisation Development and Training) is running two - five day sessions on Development Planning and Management on the 15th to 19th August and 14th to 18th November respectively, and altogether covering 5 modules.


Managing Agricultural Research for Development within Innovation Systems Perspective

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, October 3-20, 2005

2005-07-04

http://pambazuka.net/en/category/courses/28769

In response to changing continuing education needs of agricultural institutions and their personnel in Eastern Africa, the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) and Alemaya University (Ethiopia) are setting up a Center for Agricultural Research Management and Policy Learning for Eastern Africa (CARMPoLEA). This regional center will serve as a home of capacity building initiative to improve the management, organization and leadership of agricultural research and policy making and ultimately support the Agricultural Innovation System (AIS). To launch the center, we are organizing a series of workshops which are aimed at responding to regional knowledge and skill needs in the areas of agricultural research management and policy.




Global call to action against poverty

African voices via SMS

2005-07-06

http://pambazuka.net/en/category/gcap/28854

As part for the Global Call to Action Against Poverty (GCAP) Fahamu, the producers of Pambazuka News, set up an SMS number so that people around Africa and the world could send messages calling for debt cancellation and an end to poverty. So far we have received over 1000 messages – all calling for an end to debt and poverty. Below is a selection of some of these messages. You can send your message to +27 82 904 3425.

1. No to debt, yes to africa development. Mozambique

2. No to debt. Deeply unjust and maintains serious under development and inequality. Emma Harvey. South Africa

3. No to debt. The G8 countries must extend the cancellation of debt to all countries in the South to give them a chance to revamp their economies and improve the standard of living of their communities. The next important task will be to open up trade opportunities in terms of fair trade so that these countries can develop their capabilities and capacity. Aluta continua! South Africa

4. Every 3 seconds an African child dies due to poverty - cancel the debts. Ghana

5. SAY NO 2 POVERTY,10 YRS GHANA.

6. Poverty is bad. Ghana

7. No to Debt it binds a nation to poverty. Mugerwa Olga Nakato
Uganda

8. No to debt, Another world is possible. Adelson Rafael,
Mozambique

9. No to debt - I wish to remind the G8 leaders that delay is not denial and the focus is on them to act now. Ronald Ondari,
Kenya

10. Please help the children of Africa. Farida Choisy of the Seychelles. Thank you.

11. It has to stop. No to poverty. No to war!
Seychelles

12. TO ALL LEADERS MAKE THIS WORLD A BETTER ONE SO WE CAN ALL LIVE IN PEACE AND HARMONY.
Seychelles

13. I JANE NABUNNYA IN SEETA MUKONO DISTRICT UGANDA SAY NO TO POVERTY

14. Peace&unity will stop poverty (maga)
South Africa

15. The G8 must cancel our debt. But we Africans are our own enemy. We must say NO to corrupt, self serving leaders and vote them out of power. God has provided for Africa in abundance but some of our 'leaders' connive with the West in robbing Africa. Enough is enough! We shall overcome. Namibia

16. No to debt! We r not responsible for being down, but we r responsible for getting up! South Africa

17. I really hope leaders get it to their heads that they are the way forward for AFRICANS. Ayodele olufawo from Nigeria.

18. Africa is in debt BECAUSE since slavery, colonization, apartheid & now globalization we've been ENRICHING the G8 countries. AFRICA OWES NOTHING. Magauta, Joburg, South Africa.

19. LET THE (G8) CHANGE THE HISTORY OF THE POOR NATIONS BY WRITING OFF THEIR DEB TS;THANK YOU.
Kenya.

* CAN'T PAY WON'T PAY

Join the call for debt cancellation! Text your comments with your name and surname to

+27 82 904 3425

Your message will be used to demonstrate overwhelming support for debt cancellation.


Kampala Speaks Out

2005-07-05

http://pambazuka.net/en/category/gcap/28832

Today (July 01), the length and breadth of Kampala, Capital of Uganda is soaked with messages of solidarity and the Global Call to Action against Poverty on this second international White Arm-Band Day. As early as 4 a.m. banners were erected in strategic positions of the city calling upon Ugandans to speak out with one voice and send a clear and powerful message to Prime Minister Tony Blair, President George Bush, the rest of the G8 leaders as well as our President Museveni.


Lobby of G8 embassies in Maputo

2005-07-05

http://pambazuka.net/en/category/gcap/28835

Wednesday 6th of July 2005
Friday 8th of July 2005
Eight of the most predominant organisations will go to G8 embassies to present their demands to the G8 ambassadors.
Contact Silvestre Baessa on +258 824921000. [email protected]


Mass rally in Tanzania

2005-07-05

http://pambazuka.net/en/category/gcap/28834

Rallying under the themes “no more broken promise” and “ Acha mizengwe timiza malengo ya Millennia”, TANGO and Action-Aid will on 5th July be holding a procession which will culminate into a mass rally at Karimjee Hall grounds. The procession and rally will be part of the Global Call to action Against Poverty, which aims at creating awareness on the content of the Millennium Declaration and the subsequent Development Goals.


White bands wrapped around buildings across the world

2005-07-05

http://www.whiteband.org

In the run-up to and during the July G8 summit in Gleneagles, Scotland, buildings around the world are wrapped in white bands, the symbol of the Global Call to Action against Poverty campaign (www.whiteband.org). In Freetown, Sierra Leone, the famous cotton tree, planted by freed slaves when the nation was founded, is draped in a white band, as is the slavery archway in Senegal.


Whiteband action in Kenya

2005-07-05

http://pambazuka.net/en/category/gcap/28833

Today (July 01) the Kenyan GCAP Coalition sent out powerful delegations of activists to petition some of the G8 Embassies with the message for debt cancellation, more and better quality aid and immediate removal of harmful conditionalities that come with any new loans. The Embassies visited were Japan, Germany, USA and Italy.


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