Pambazuka News 446: Joseph Stiglitz and the limits of liberal orthodoxy
The authoritative electronic weekly newsletter and platform for social justice in Africa
Pambazuka News (English edition): ISSN 1753-6839
CONTENTS: 1. Features, 2. Comment & analysis, 3. Advocacy & campaigns, 4. Pan-African Postcard, 5. Books & arts, 6. Letters & Opinions, 7. African Writers’ Corner, 8. Blogging Africa, 9. Emerging powers in Africa Watch, 10. Highlights French edition, 11. Zimbabwe update, 12. Women & gender, 13. Human rights, 14. Refugees & forced migration, 15. Social movements, 16. Emerging powers news, 17. Elections & governance, 18. Corruption, 19. Development, 20. Health & HIV/AIDS, 21. Education, 22. LGBTI, 23. Racism & xenophobia, 24. Environment, 25. Land & land rights, 26. Food Justice, 27. Media & freedom of expression, 28. Conflict & emergencies, 29. Internet & technology, 30. eNewsletters & mailing lists, 31. Courses, seminars, & workshops
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Highlights from this issue
We open our first issue of Pambazuka News after the break with an article by Samir Amin, arguing that proposals in a UN report on reforms to the international monetary and financial systems sideline the South and ignore the fundamental structural problems that caused the economic crisis.
Meanwhile, Olivier De Schutter talks about Africa and the global food crisis, Abahlali baseMjondolo’s S’bu Zikode discusses the barriers that prevent meaningful engagement between the government and people, Nigel C. Gibson considers Fanonian practices in post-apartheid South Africa and Silvestro Montanaro brings us fresh allegations around the assassination of the former president of Burkina Faso, Thomas Sankara.
Elsewhere, Lansana Gberie says it's time for ECOWAS to intervene in the Guinea–Sierra Leone border dispute and Sehlare Makgetlaneng explains why hopes that Obama will change the nature of America’s relationship with Africa are unfounded.ZIMBABWE UPDATE: South Africa wants faster talks
WOMEN & GENDER: Women claim economic stimulus funds
CONFLICT AND EMERGENCIES: AU summit on conflict opens
HUMAN RIGHTS: ICC to take over Kenya poll chaos trials
REFUGEES AND FORCED MIGRATION: Somali camps ‘unfit for humans’
EMERGING POWERS NEWS: Emerging Powers news roundup
SOCIAL MOVEMENTS: Zambia NGOs in uproar over new law
ELECTIONS AND GOVERNANCE: Gabon city locked down amid post-poll riots
CORRUPTION: Nigerian bank chiefs charged
HEALTH & HIV/AIDS: Figures reveal extent of Africa’s neglected diseases
DEVELOPMENT: Poverty, inequality need home-grown solutions
EDUCATION: Pan-African university could launch next year
LGBTI: Circumcision ‘does not protect gay men’
RACISM & XENOPHOBIA: Canada refugee ruling ‘racist’
ENVIRONMENT: Trees ‘vital to food security
LAND & LAND RIGHTS: Research not trickling down to farmers’
FOOD JUSTICE: Moroccan citizen groups to protest food price hikes
MEDIA AND FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION: Censorship ruins Gabon election
INTERNET& TECHNOLOGY: Finding and funding African innovators
ENEWSLETTERS & MAILING LISTS: AfricaFocus Bulletin: Cape Verde: Transnational Archipelago
JOBS: International Grants Programme Manager – Comic Relief
PLUS: seminars and workshops
*Pambazuka News now has a Del.icio.us page, where you can view the various websites that we visit to keep our fingers on the pulse of Africa! Visit http://del.icio.us/pambazuka_news
A critique of the Stiglitz report
The limits of liberal orthodoxy
Africa and the global food crisis
Olivier De Schutter
Bringing government to the people?
Abahlali baseMjondolo and the politics of space
Fanonian practices in post-apartheid South Africa
Nigel C Gibson
Italian revelations on the assassination of Thomas Sankara
The Guinea–Sierra Leone border dispute
Time for ECOWAS to intervene
Africa's expectations of Obama are unfounded
Memories of war in Sierra Leone: The August 18th uprising
Ethiopia: A country behind bars
Realising economic justice by empowering women
Bringing women into the workforce
It’s time for gender-aware job creation
'Tribe' and tribal statistics in Kenya
Kenyanisation from within: The limits of a new constitution
Museveni’s letter on 'Bafuruki' political participation
Zimbabwe: A crisis driven by greed
Gross violations of human and citizenship rights in Tanzania
The Feminist Activist Coalition
Seeking support for Kenyans against Impunity
Kenyans against Impunity (KAI)
Kenyans against Impunity (KAI)is seeking support from willing Kenyans to carry out its activities which include public engagement on political and legal process to address among others corruption, extrajudicial killings, enforced evictions, enforced disappearances, mismanagement of public affairs, police brutality, arbitrary arrests, police harassments, rape and gender rights violations.
Kenyans against Impunity (KAI)is seeking support from willing Kenyans to carry out its activities which include public engagement on political and legal process to address among others corruption, extrajudicial killings, enforced evictions, enforced disappearances, mismanagement of public affairs, police brutality, arbitrary arrests, police harassment, rape and gender rights violations.
Kenya 2012 election fever and dealing with the post-election violence
Kenyans Eyes From the Diaspora
Isaac Newton Kinity
Refocusing the People on the March to the Second Republic of Kenya
Kenyans for Justice and Development
Uphold Sudanese women’s human rights
An open letter to President al-Bashir
Mary Wandia and Lila Kiwelu
The grand fall of the Grand Coalition Government
L. Muthoni Wanyeki
Understanding Sudan’s saviours and survivors
Darfur caught between humanitarian fundamentalism and Khartoum’s divide-and-rule
Harry Verhoeven, Lydiah Kemunto Bosire and Sharath Srinivasan
Review of Chris Dolan’s ‘Social Torture: The Case of Northern Uganda, 1986-2006’
Screenings of A Place in the City
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The West is wealthy at our expense
Zambia needs an electoral complaints authority
An interview with Julius Chingono
The gift and the curse
A review of the African blogosphere
Africa’s Freedom Railway
'How a Chinese development project changed lives and livelihoods in Tanzania' by Jamie Monson
Pambazuka News 112: Mauritanie : Incertitudes politiques et questions raciales
IMF gives Zimbabwe Sh39bn boost
The International Monetary Fund has given Zimbabwe a windfall of more than US$500 million (Sh39bn) after almost a decade of financial restrictions imposed on the economically troubled country. This follows the injection of US$283 billion into the global economy to boost member countries dwindling foreign exchange reserves due to recession.
South Africa wants faster talks
South Africa wants long-running power sharing negotiations in Zimbabwe to move ahead more quickly, a senior member of South Africa's ruling ANC said. Thandi Modise, deputy secretary-general of the African National Congress, said her country wanted to see a recovery in Zimbabwe that would allow millions of Zimbabweans who have fled economic meltdown in their country to return home.
Tsvangirai frustrated by unresolved disputes
Zimbabwe's Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai has said he is frustrated with the unresolved disputes with President Robert Mugabe which he said were still pushing the development of the country down. Tsvangirai and Mugabe who entered into a government of national unity early this year have continued to disagree of several issues which have forced donors to fail to commit funds.
Global: Forum opens with claim on economic stimulus funds
Activists from 131 countries has convened to recharge a global movement for women’s health and rights, opening with an appeal from a leading German minister for countries to earmark 1 per cent of their economic stimulus funds for development needs.
Kenya: Killing the cut but keeping tradition alive
An ancient myth from Meru, eastern Kenya, tells of a war during which all the healthy men in the village were deployed to fight an enemy tribe, only to return and find the women had been impregnated by the men left behind, who had been deemed incapable of defending the village. From that day on, the legend continues, Meru women have had their clitorises removed to curb their sexual appetites and ensure their marital fidelity.
Mali: Back to the drawing board for new family code
Legislators in Mali will have to try harder to win support for the next draft of their new family code after the president sent it back to parliament on 27 August for re-drafting. The current draft code recognizes only secular marriages, increases the legal marrying age to 18, gives girls inheritance rights, and makes women equal with their husbands at home, according to lawmakers who said they had not done enough to get backing for controversial parts of the family code.
Niger: HIV-law shortcomings hit women harder
Despite a two-year-old law in Niger penalizing discrimination against people infected with HIV, seropositive women say they still receive substandard health care, are denied employment and risk losing their children because of their status. “When a woman is divorced as a result of her HIV status, it is difficult for her to keep her children,” said Sona Soumaré Conté, president of a local NGO that works with HIV-positive women. "Their husbands are afraid their children will not be well taken care of or will become contaminated.”
Nigeria: Maternal mortality - a rural example
Women, their children strapped to their backs, defy the mid-morning sun and converge on the Primary Healthcare Centre, located on the outskirts of Farasinme village, the Badagry West Council Development Area of Lagos State. Most of the women, and a few men, have trekked to the centre, about one kilometre from the village, for free diabetes and hypertension screening and eye tests. They have come here for a free health service, initiated by the Lagos State Government, offered from time to time via various local government offices and health centres in the region.
Southern Africa: Sexual harassment still rampant in newsrooms
One of the thorniest and most uncomfortable workplace issues in media houses is sexual harassment. Recent research released by Gender Links, a South African non-governmental organisation, suggests that sexual harassment continues to be a problem in Southern African media houses. Glass Ceilings: Women and Men in Southern African Media, resonates with the voices of media women who are fed up, have left, or are considering leaving the noble profession.
Sudan: Women, children increasingly targeted in Southern clashes
Women and children are being increasingly targeted in the escalating attacks against communities in Southern Sudanese states, exacerbating the dire humanitarian situation, say officials. "We have seen a drastic escalation in violence across Southern Sudan this year - from the Equatorial States besieged by LRA [rebel Ugandan Lord's Resistance Army] attacks, to the brutal clashes in Jonglei, Upper Nile and Lake States," Jonathan Whittall, head of Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) in Southern Sudan, said.
DRC: Former leader to remain in ICC custody ahead of war crimes trial
A former senior official of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) who has been charged with war crimes will remain in custody ahead of his trial, the Appeals Chamber of the International Criminal Court (ICC) decided.
Kenya: ICC set to take over poll chaos trials
The International Criminal Court could decide to take over trials of key poll chaos suspects after meeting a government delegation at the end of September. An official of the court made the revelation on Sunday as two Cabinet ministers and assistant ministers vowed to shoot down a Bill that is meant to set up a local tribunal to try the suspects.
Rwanda: Tribunal’s work incomplete
The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda may lose its credibility unless it indicts and tries Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF) officers suspected of having committed war crimes in Rwanda in 1994, Human Rights Watch said in a letter to the tribunal's chief prosecutor.
Sierra Leone: Whether to criminalize child labour
The child rights act ratified in November 2008 in Sierra Leone criminalizes child labour, but some child rights experts say instead of prosecuting parents, the government should focus instead on getting children into school. “We don’t want to penalize or criminalize poverty. Many of these parents have few options,” said Annalisa Brusati, child and youth protection coordinator at the International Rescue Committee (IRC) in Sierra Leone. “The aim of the act is to reduce child labour, not to have everyone committing crimes. Parents need to be aware of how to make new choices,” she said.
South Africa: Pretoria addresses apartheid-era lawsuit
In a move hailed by South Africa's victims and survivors of apartheid-era gross human rights violations, the South African government has written to the judge presiding over the South Africa Apartheid Litigation claims, Judge Shira Scheindlin, backing the stand that a New York Court is an appropriate forum for the claims. The claims, against General Motors Corp, Ford Motor Co., IBM, Rheinmetall Group AG and Daimler AG, are based upon allegations that the corporations aided and abetted apartheid crimes, including, torture, extrajudicial killings and denationalization, all committed in violation of international law.
Ethiopia: Human rights violations and conflicts continue to cause displacement
For decades, Ethiopia has been affected by famine and conflict. In 2009, there have been various reports of internal displacement resulting from conflicts and human rights violations perpetrated by the army and groups opposed to the government. It is difficult to establish the number of internally displaced people (IDPs) as neither the government nor any international organisation has undertaken a profiling exercise. The access of humanitarian and human rights organisations and the media to some areas of the country has been restricted.
Kenya: Somali camps 'unfit for humans'
Hundreds of thousands of refugees from the conflict in Somalia are being forced to live in woeful conditions, the aid agency Oxfam says. It says overcrowded and badly managed refugee camps in Somalia, Ethiopia and Kenya are "barely fit for humans". Dadaab camp in north-eastern Kenya was meant to hold 90,000 refugees, but is now home to almost 300,000 people, and a further 8,000 arrive each month.
Uganda: Returns outpace recovery planning
Since the signing of a Cessation of Hostilities Agreement between the government of Uganda and the Lord’s Resistance Army in 2006, about two thirds of the 1.8 million IDPs who lived in camps at the height of the crisis have returned to their areas of origin. However, much work remains to be done to ensure that these returns are sustainable. Basic infrastructure and services in the return areas are inadequate or non-existent.
Global: UK continues to exclude NGOs from G20 discussions
The Jubilee Debt Campaign and Bretton Woods Projects, NGOs that are part of the Put People First platform, had their accreditation for the G20 finance ministers’ meeting revoked by HM Treasury. The UK also barred two members of Put People First from attending the G20 London Summit in April with little notice. Representatives of both organisations had received notification of accreditation on Friday, 28 August. Both received emails late on 2 September saying “Unfortunately your accreditation has been withdrawn by HM Treasury.
South Africa: Abahlali baseMjondolo attacked by councillor warlords
A delegation of Abahlali baseMjondolo leaders from Durban narrowly escaped assassination this Sunday by local councillor warlords in Tin Town, Dinizulu township, eShowe. Abahlali have been receiving calls daily from Tin Town shack-dwellers, excluded from an uMlalazi municipality housing project called Sunnydale, constructed by Umpheme Development Ptd (Ltd). Tin Town shack-dwellers are now undergoing mass forced eviction and being left homeless.
Zambia: NGOs in uproar after president signs new law
Zambian president Rupiah Banda has signed legislation regulating the operations of civil society, sending shock waves through the sector, which fears its independence will be severely compromised. Presidential assent means the 2009 NGO Bill, withdrawn in 2007 after widespread protests by civil society and opposition parties, now only needs gazetting to become legislation that will require "the registration and co-ordination of NGOs" and can "regulate the work, and the area of work, of NGOs operating in Zambia".
Zimbabwe: Umvuthwandaba We Zimbabwe
"Umvuthwandaba Voice" meaning The End of Revelations is a publication that pushes the agenda of new formation of the Zimbabwean politics. In a sense that the youth of Zimbabwe would want to riot now and cause a dramatic change in the leadership of any of the front political parties, it might be Zapu, Mdc, and Zanu PF. This has been brought about the youths that are in UK, South Africa and Botswana. In our view we need to see a man or woman age below 35yrs of Age taking the podium as the new President of Zimbabwe.
Emerging Powers News Round-up
Africa: Africa’s big men mess up and pay image cleaners in Washington
Due to bad governance and human rights violations, African governments have sought to enhance their tattered images abroad since it can make the difference between more and less foreign Aid. In the process, they have paid millions of dollars to lobby groups at the expense of development and democracy instead pursuing the most cost-effective way— putting their houses in order, writes policy analyst Patrick Mutahi.
Benin: Five opposition parties to field single candidate in 2011 polls
Benin's main opposition political parties will field a single candidate in the 2011presidential elections, according to a protocol signed in Cotonou. The protocol said the African Movement for Democracy and Progress (MADEP), the Party for the Democratic Renewal (PRD), the Social Democratic Party (PSD), the Party of Benin's Renaissance (RB) and Key Force (FC) had decided to select a candidate for the 20 11 presidential election and future polls.
Chad: Escaping from the Oil Trap
the latest briefing from the International Crisis Group, examines the exploitation of oil revenues. Since 2003 they have contributed greatly to the deterioration of governance in Chad and to a succession of rebellions and political crises. The regime uses the revenues as a means to reward its cronies, co-opt members of the political class, and acquire the military means enabling it to reject genuine political negotiations. This has further limited space for the political opposition and civil society and helped keep the country in a state of political paralysis, stoking the antagonism between regime and opponents.
Gabon: City locked down amid riots
A night-time curfew has been declared in Gabon's Port Gentil after violence by opposition activists and attacks on French interests in the city. Earlier, opposition groups clashed with security forces in the capital, Libreville, after presidential election results declared Ali Bongo the winner. France, Gabon's former ruler, has told its 10,000 citizens to stay inside.
Guinea: Respect rights of opposition
Guinea’s coup government should respect the rights of demonstrators and end intimidation and threats against those who express dissent, Human Rights Watch has said. Opposition politicians and at least one human rights activist who have criticized the presumed candidacy of the coup leader, Captain Moussa Dadis Camara, for the upcoming presidential elections have been threatened in recent days.
Madagascar: Opposition wants army to head transition
Madagascar's opposition said on Thursday the military should take the top three posts in a power-sharing government after they failed to reach an agreement with the current leader on who should have control. Andry Rajoelina, a 35-year-old former DJ who ousted former leader Marc Ravalomanana with the aid a dissident army faction in a March coup, has until now remained steadfast in demanding his party retains the presidency and post of prime minister.
Nigeria: Bank chiefs charged
Nigeria has charged more than a dozen bank executives sacked by the central bank for causing losses that nearly crippled the country's banking industry. A spokesman for the Nigerian anti-financial crimes agency said on Monday the charges had been filed against 16 bank chiefs arrested for causing losses amounting to billions of dollars in bad loans for five ailing banks.
Africa: Body warns against a Doha deal at the cost of development
An African group participating in the two-day informal ministerial meeting in New Delhi has stated that a rapid conclusion to the Doha world trade talks should not come at the cost of developing countries’ concerns. “We should not lose sight of the development aspects for the round which ensure the integration of African and developing countries, particularly the least developed countries, in a fair multilateral trading system”, said Rachid Mohamed Rachid, trade and industry minister of Egypt, which is heading the African group at the Delhi meeting of the World Trade Organisation’s (WTO) Doha Round.
Africa: Poverty, inequality need home-grown solutions
A world-renowned scholar of public policy, Yehezkel Dror, recently reemphasised the point that policy and politics “closely interact, often overlap, and in part cannot be separated even analytically”. This seemingly obvious point, with far-reaching implications, has also been made by various eminent scholars. On poverty, Martin Ravallion — a leading scholar on issues of poverty — made, a while back, a similar point: that (poverty) measurement and (public) policy issues are often inseparable. Without doubt, poverty and inequality remain the most pressing challenges confronting Africa specifically. This is not to say that other continents and/or regions do not have a poverty and inequality challenge.
Global: Fragile states - a resource guide
This resource guide introduces some of the best literature on the causes, characteristics and impact of state fragility and the challenge of aid effectiveness and lessons learned from international engagement in these contexts. It highlights the major critical debates that are ongoing within the international development and academic community in relation to understanding and responding to fragile situations.
South Africa: The SA economy: Polarisation paralysis and the struggle for equity
An emerging description of the South African economy is captured in the words "polarisation paralysis." The term has several renderings and different emphasis across academic disciplines, with important nuance and extensions. Another rendering is that it might provide a metaphor for the first 100 days of the Jacob Zuma Presidency, but also sets the challenge for this term of government. Two features prefigure the shadow boxing over economic policy since the start of the Jacob Zuma Presidency.
South Africa: Threat to nationalise still hangs over mines
Debate on the nationalisation of the mining industry was revived in Parliament, with the chairman of the mineral resources portfolio committee saying the only way to avert it was to create a successful state- owned mining company.And a government official told the committee that such a company already existed, and had begun to build up an asset base.
Africa: Figures reveal extent of Africa's neglected diseases
Africa's neglected tropical diseases (NTD) burden is more than double the burden of tuberculosis and almost half that of malaria, a new analysis has found — raising questions about funding priorities. More than 500 million people in Sub-Saharan Africa suffer from seven key neglected infections, according to researchers writing in PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases last week (25 August).
Africa: House screening sees dramatic drop in malaria
House screening can reduce the amount of mosquitoes and prevent malaria related anaemia in children, a Lancet study has shown. Every 30 seconds a child dies of malaria and by 2006 over 247 million cases of malaria were reported resulting in a million deaths of mostly African children. It remains one of the world’s greatest childhood killers and accounts for close to 40% of public health funding.
Ethiopia: Thousands affected by acute watery diarrhoea
Ethiopian health authorities have dedicated three hospitals in the capital Addis Ababa to patients suffering from acute watery diarrhoea (AWD), according to a health official. Thousands of people have been infected and 34 killed by the outbreak, says the Health Ministry. Ahmed Imano, head of public relations in the ministry, said there were fears it could escalate with the rains.
Global: Children's participation in responses to HIV and AIDS
This document looks at the involvement of children, including young children, in responses to HIV and AIDS and examines issues around children's participation. It explores the challenges of enabling children to express their views and priorities effectively and suggests how they can best be supported through a range of appropriate media and communication approaches.
Uganda: Survey shows major ART training gaps for non-physicians
A survey of health facilities providing antiretroviral treatment in Uganda has found that nearly two-thirds of those providing ART are not doctors, and report major gaps in training. Two out of every five of this group had received no training in starting patients on ART and two-thirds had not been trained in how to monitor patients on ART. The findings were published in the August 23 edition of Human Resources for Health.
West Africa: Cote d'Ivoire gets first female presidential candidate
Former Ivorian Minister of Justice, Mrs. Jaqueline Lohoues-Oble, on Thursday announced her intention to run for the country's presidency, whose first round is scheduled for 29 November. Associate Professor of Law and Dean of the Faculty of Law at the University of Cocody, Oble, who was also a parliamentarian and senior adviser to Prime Minister Charles Konan Banny, is the first woman to run for a Presidential election in Cote d'Ivoire.
Zambia: Treating cervical cancer and HIV simultaneously
The HIV/AIDS epidemic may have contributed to the high incidence of cervical cancer in Zambia, where the number of cases is the second highest in sub-Saharan Africa, and HIV prevalence is one of the highest in the world. Women infected with HIV are thought to be three to five times more likely to develop cervical lesions that can become cancerous. "In a suppressed immunity due to HIV, the virus that causes AIDS makes women more at risk from infection," said Prof Groesbeck Parham, co-director of the Cervical Cancer Prevention Programme in Zambia.
Africa: Pan-African University could launch early next year
The first 'node' of a Pan-African University (PAU) — a continental network of institutions training postgraduate students and promoting research — could open its doors as early as February next year, an African Union (AU) official has confirmed. The node at the University of Stellenbosch in South Africa would be the first of five hosted by existing institutions across the continent, said Jean-Pierre Ezin, AU commissioner for science, last week (28 August).
Burkina Faso: NGO wins UNESCO prize for literacy education
One of the two UNESCO 2009 prizes for Literacy Education awarded by King Sejong and financed by the Korean Republic has been awarded to Burkina's "Tin Tua", an NGO in literacy and non-formal education, a press release from the UN special agency has said. The "Tin Tua" programme (Let's develop ourselves, in gulimancema, a local language in Eastern Burkina), got very good results by using the participants' mother tongue, producing material for specific reading and laying emphasis on issues of gender and sustained development of communities.
Sierra Leone: Schools in crisis as teachers go unpaid
Government’s refusal to pay the salaries of thousands teachers, while looking to recruit thousands more, has plunged the schooling system into crisis. With the new academic year poised to start, government and the national teachers’ union are still odds about payment for almost 3,000 teachers who have not received their salaries for over a year.
Global: Circumcision does not prtoect gays from Aids virus - study
Circumcision, which has helped prevent AIDS among heterosexual men in Africa, doesn’t help protect gay men from the virus, according to the largest U.S. study to look at the question. The research, presented at a conference, is expected to influence the government’s first guidance on circumcision. Circumcision “is not considered beneficial” in stopping the spread of HIV through gay sex, said Dr. Peter Kilmarx, of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
South Africa: Law failing lesbians on "corrective rape"
"Women are getting killed in the Western Cape," says Ndumie Funda, who runs LulekiSizwe in her "cabin" in the township of Gugulethu near Cape Town. The project is named after her late fiancée, Nosizwe Nomsa Bizana, who was gang-raped by five men and subsequently succumbed to crypto meningitis, and Bizana's friend Luleka Makiwane, who contracted HIV when she was raped and later died of AIDS.
South Africa: Anglican church welcomes and guides gay members
The Anglican Church of Southern Africa (ACSA) under the guidance of The Most Rev. Thabo Makgoba has passed a Resolution to provide Pastoral guidelines for the gay and lesbian members of the church living in covenanted partnerships. This decision comes after a Synod of bishops met at the Diocese of Cape Town from the 20 - 22 August this year which was held at St. Cyprians’ Church of Cape Town.
South Africa: Canada refugee ruling 'racist'
South Africa's ruling African National Congress has condemned as "racist" a decision by Canada to grant a white South African man refugee status. Brandon Huntley, 31, had told officials in Canada he could not return to South Africa after seven different attacks. They included three stabbings, which he said he had suffered as a result of his skin colour.
Africa: Fury at plan to power EU homes from Congo dam
Plans to link Europe to what would be the world's biggest hydroelectric dam project in the volatile Democratic Republic of Congo have sparked fierce controversy. The Grand Inga dam, which has received initial support from the World Bank, would cost $80bn (£48bn). At 40,000MW, it has more than twice the generation capacity of the giant Three Gorges dam in China and would be equivalent to the entire generation capacity of South Africa.
Africa: Trees 'vital to food security'
Countries tackling food insecurity and climate change adaptation can greatly benefit from agroforestry - integrating fleshy plants and trees into their farming systems, environmental specialists say. Sub-Saharan Africa has a history of food insecurity brought on by meagre rains, land degradation, declining soil fertility and bad management of resources, among other factors.
Global: Africa threatens walkout from climate talks
Africa's climate change negotiators led by Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi have threatened to withdraw from the upcoming global climate change talks. The Ethiopian PM said Africa might have to walk out if the December climate negotiations in Copenhagen, Denmark, failed to agree with Africa’s minimum position. “If need be we are prepared to walk out of any negotiations that threaten to be another rape of our continent,” he said.
Nigeria: Abandoned tin mines endanger communities
ERA monitors visited Sabon-Barki community and Gyel District, both in Jos South LGA of Plateau State on August 5, 2009 in response to the growing call by impacted communities for a remediation of the ecological disaster and dislocation wrought on their environment and livelihood by nearly a century of tin mining and the failure of government at the federal and state levels to address the problem.
Southern Africa: Impact of climate change in South Africa: farmers' perceptions
This report outlines how climate change is expected to have serious environmental, economic, and social impacts in South Africa. It states that rural farmers, whose livelihoods depend on the use of natural resources, are likely to bear the brunt of adverse impacts. The research uses a “bottom-up” approach to gain insights from the farmers themselves based on a farm household survey collected from 794 households in the Limpopo River Basin of South Africa for the farming season 2004–2005.
Namibia: Government calls slow pace of land reform frustrating
The Namibian government has expressed frustration with the slow pace of the land reform programme, saying at the current pace of land resettlement, government will not meet its 2020 target of addressing the skewed land ownership pattern. In a startling revelation, the Ministry of Lands and Resettlement said that the land reform programme in Namibia had been slow.
Southern Africa: Research not trickling down to farmers
Farmers could be losing tonnes of crops every harvest just because no one has bothered to tell them that scientists have found more effective methods of using water to farm. Isaiah Mharapara, chief executive officer of the Agricultural Research Council in Zimbabwe said much research has been conducted on water availability, distribution and use, but most of the findings have not been given to the farmers to use.
Morocco: Citizen groups call for sit-ins to protest food price increases
A national committee against high food prices during Ramadan has called for protests and sit-ins in a number of Moroccan regions, starting with one in Berchid on September 11th, and another in front of the parliamentary building, said committee member Muhammed Ghafri. "A public protest organised by the campaign committee seems appropriate at this time of year, which coincides with summer, Ramadan, the start of the school year and the economic crisis, as we're faced with constant price rises," said Abdessalam Adib, the co-ordinator for the campaign against the rising cost of living.
Gabon: Election ruined by media censorship
The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) has condemned what it called "Gabonese government censorship and restrictions on media coverage of the presidential election, including denial of accreditation to at least four international journalists". In a statement from its headquarters in New York, US, the CPJ said that prior to the election, Gabonese government authorities denied accreditations to international journalists from French media outlets, including international broadcaster France 24 and weekly L'Express, which were known for their probing coverage of late President Bongo's health and wealth.
Mauritania: IFJ calls for release of online journalist
The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) has called for the release of Hanevy Ould Dehah, editor of Taqadoumy website, who was charged with “offending public decency” and sentenced to six months imprisonment by the court in Nouakchott. “This is an unduly severe and political judgment, especially as only one of the charges was finally retained,” declared Gabriel Baglo, Director of IFJ Africa Office. “Our colleague must be released,” he added.
Niger: CPJ expresses concern about imprisoned editor
The New York-based media rights group Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) has expressed concern about the health of imprisoned editor Abdoulaye Tiemogo, after his transfer from a hospital in Niger's capital, Niamey, to a prison in a remote town. A CPJ statement obtained by PANA quoted Zeinabou , wife of Tiemogo, editor of the weekly Le Canard Déchaîné, as saying the husband is suffering from malaria and is no longer receiving adequate medical attention in a prison in Ouallam, 88 kilometres to the north of Niamey.
Uganda: Four "Monitor" journalists face criminal prosecutions
Four journalists from Uganda's largest independent newspaper are facing criminal prosecutions, joining four others already charged since 2007, according to local journalists and news reports. Criminal prosecutions against the Monitor are on the rise against the backdrop of mounting national tensions in the lead-up to general elections in 2011. This month, President Yoweri Museveni, who is expected to seek re-election, warned private broadcasters against inciting public discontent with the government.
Africa: AU extraordinary summit on conflicts opens
The special session of the African Union's Conference on the examination and resolution of conflicts in Africa opened in Tripoli, Libya. This special session presided over by the chairman of the African Union, the Libyan Guide Mouammar Kadhafi, will examine the crisis and conflicts occurring in some parts of the continent, such as Somalia, Darfur and the Great Lakes region. Twenty-seven African heads of state attended the opening session.
Africa: Conflict and state fragility: assessing the impact of the financial crisis
It was thought that Sub-Saharan Africa would be largely unaffected by the financial crisis. However, as many Sub-Saharan African countries are dependent on foreign finance inflows and are even more dependent on commodity based exports, this has been swiftly revised. Subsequently, economists are now warning that although Africa is the least integrated region, it could actually be the worst hit. Furthermore, as the most conflict-ridden continent in the world, any subsequent exacerbation of resource scarcity could increase unrest across Africa.
East Africa: Ethiopian troops enter Somali town
Ethiopian troops have crossed into neighbouring Somalia and seized control of a town from Islamist fighters, witnesses say. Hundreds of troops reportedly entered the strategically important town of Beledweyne.
Niger: Desert flooding wipes out electricity, homes, livestock
Four days of intense rains in Niger’s northern Air Mountains and desert towns at its base have affected 7,000 households, damaged 3,500 homes and caused widespread livestock and agriculture losses mostly in the commune of Agadez, according to local officials. Agadez commune is one of 15 communes in Agadez region.
Nigeria: Government 'will not extend amnesty for militants'
The Nigerian government will not extend the 60-day amnesty offer to the country's oil militants when it expires 6 October 2009, according to President Umaru Yar'Adua. "Those who refuse to take advantage of (the) amnesty will be on their own after October 6, 2009," the President said at the opening of the 2009 Chief of Naval Staff Annual Conference in Uyo, capital of South-east Akwa Ibom state.
Sudan: Scores killed in south Sudan clash
At least 43 people have been killed in clashes between soldiers and cattle rustlers in south Sudan. Women, children and soldiers were killed after fighters attacked a settlement in the Twic East region of Jonglei state, on Saturday, Major-General Kuol Diem Kuol, of the southern Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA), said.
Africa: Finding and funding African innovators
How do you find the entrepreneurs and innovators in Africa who need investment funding to scale? There are really two big issues at stake. First, how to find the right people. Second, what funding level is needed. You’re not going to find the compelling African entrepreneurs while sitting in an office in the US or Europe. It’s only by spending significant time on the ground in the countries you’re wanting to invest in that you find the people you need to know.
Africa: New cables to kick-start new broadband era - study
Total broadband adoption in Africa will increase at a CAGR of 28 percent through 2013 as new undersea cables boost Africa's international bandwidth, a new report from Pyramid Research has stated. The report further said the undersea infrastructure will further reduce the number of coastal countries without any cable access from 19 to one.
South Africa: 12 days to satellite lift-off
The Department of Science and Technology's (DST's) decision to step up efforts to get SA's satellite off the ground seems to have paid off. The department announced this morning that the long-awaited SumbandilaSat will take to the skies in 12 days' time from its launch-pad in Baikonur, in Kazakhstan.
Uganda: Taking action to preent e-waste
To prevent e-waste in Uganda non-profit organisations IICD and Close The Gap will dismantle and recycle outdated or broken computers in Ugandan schools. More than 2000 cost-efficient high-quality used computers from the Netherlands and other European countries will be sent to schools in Uganda.
Cape Verde: Transnational Archipelago
AfricaFocus Bulletin Aug 18, 2009 (090818)
The headling in Cape Verde's bilingual A Semana on August 13, (http://www.asemana.publ.cv/spip.php?article44442 or http://www.asemana.publ.cv/spip.php?article44423), read "Clinton's visit to Cape Verde ignored by American media." And if coverage was sparse, historical perspective was even more strikingly absent. Search for mentions of "Hillary Clinton" and "Amilcar Cabral" on the web, for example. Apart from a few mentions of her landing at the Amilcar Cabral International Airport, the only reference one is likely to find is a Fox News attack on Obama administration green jobs czar Van Jones, because of his affiliation with an organization which once praised Amilcar Cabral in its newsletter.
Kenya: 2010 Peace Festival/ Conference
Drum Cafe, 19-25 September 2010
“THE DRUM CAFE”, is an innovative network of creative and performing professionals with the Central aim of re-defining drum music as a powerful medium of social change in east Africa. The first drum cafe was first hosted by Alliance francaise de Nairobi in September 2006 and supported by various individuals, cultural and artistic institutions. The DRUM CAFÉ 2010 PEACE FESTIVAL will be a seven day celebration presented by and for the various Kenyan ethnic subgroups and communities living in Nairobi.
South Africa: World Summit on Arts
The fourth World Summit on Arts and Culture, a project of the International Federation of Arts Councils and Culture Agencies (IFACCA), will take place in Johannesburg from 22-25 September, hosted by the National Arts Council of South Africa. Mike van Graan, Programme Director for the Summit and Head of the Arterial Network’s Secretariat will write this weekly column in the build up to the Summit, raising some of the themes and provocative issues that will be debated at the event.
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