Wednesday, July 25, 2012

EU proposes suspending Sanctions

from AlJezeerah:

A credible referendum on Zimbabwe's new constitution will be "an important milestone" toward the suspension of sanctions targeting many leaders and businesses linked to long-time ruler Robert Mugabe, the European Union said.

EU ambassador to Zimbabwe Aldo Dell Ariccia said on Monday in Harare that the 27-nation bloc was encouraged by reforms in Zimbabwe after years of violence and economic turmoil.

Zimbabwe needs to be rewarded to maintain the pace of reforms, but individual travel, banking and business bans imposed in reaction to violations of human and democratic rights will stay in effect at least until after a referendum, he said.

A draft of the new constitution was completed on Friday. It must be put to a vote months before parliamentary and presidential elections proposed for mid-2013.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Single men's hostels in Zim

from the Herald....

One of the ignored reasons for the HIV epidemic in Africa: single men's hostels because they were forbidden to bring their families with them to work in the mines etc.

Of course, since there were no old age pensions, and the land was owned communally, unless a man left his wife to farm the fields, the tribe would take back the fields for another, and leave him high and dry when he retired or was injured.

Now this report says that the hostels are slums with families renting a corner of the room and the gov't is trying to figure out how to make things better.
but of course, Mugabe destroyed 70 thousand homes in his "operation clean out the garbage", including destroying Sister Patricia's HIV clinic, a mosque, and the convent of Sister Winfreda in Queque... under the guise of "slum clearance"..the article doesn't mention this because the Herald is run by the government...

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Africa's coming religious wars

TPMBarnett has a link to a Wall Street Journal article on why we now see clashes between Muslims and Christians in Africa.

Oil money has funded extremist madrassas, or religious schools, to propagate a stripped-down, one-size-fits all ideology precisely suited for pollination across impoverished regions such as Somalia, Yemen, Nigeria, the Pakistani-Afghan border and the like. With money and threats, this international extremist franchise has targeted peaceful Muslim lands where the faith had blended with local customs or become more cosmopolitan through contact with other cultures. Places, in other words, where Islam had lost its aggression and exclusivity.
Today, radicalized imams from the outside infiltrate such places and rebuke the natives for their superstitions and weakness, their relaxed and idolatrous ways. Few can resist the irruption of money and guns legitimized by a virulent Quranic rhetoric, however pious they may be.
We see the same thing here in the Philippines, where Al Jezeerah is boosting propaganda about the MILF and their search for a Moro "homeland" that ignores both the locals who were displaced by the Moros not that long back in history, and the influx of northern Tagalog farmers in the last 60 years who were settled on open land or who now run businesses there.

One of the problems of this type of oil money funded Islam is that it teaches Islam, but not skills that can be used to get a job. So the Christians who get schooled end up getting rich.

Hopefully, Chinese investment will build an infrastructure that will discourage the nut cases from Saudi money, and as Barnett points out, the US Army will be doing their thing in keeping track of the crazies.

Sunday, July 08, 2012

Africa investing in Africa

TPMBarnett links to a WSJ article about the decrease in overseas investments due to the recession, but notes the increase in the number of Africans investing in their own continent.

But the good news of the piece: Africans themselves have picked up a decent portion of the slack, which is quite encouraging.
Total self-sustainable liftoff?  Hardly.  Africa's great hope of the past few years is that rising Asia (and other developing risers) might provide a sustained demand for materials that the West, in its more isolated boom-and-bust cycles of the Cold War, ever could.

key illustration:

Friday, July 06, 2012

Kristof and "ain't it awful" awful reporting

Global Voices on line has an article on Kristof's editorials that stress the bad things about Iran and Africa, without putting these problems into perspective. And of course, it's not just Kristoff.

Kristof's writing about Africa has previously been criticized by several writers and journalists, from Teju Cole–who says that Kristof's activism-journalism and “good heart” do not always allow him to “think constellationally”–to Elliott Prasse-Freeman, who writes eloquently of Kristof's “anti-politics.” More recently, Hamid Dabashi wrote a biting critique of Kristof in Al Jazeera, claiming Kristof relies too heavily on outdated and orientalist clich├ęs.
Now, in response to Kristof's recent article, bloggers from Africa and all over the world are weighing in.
First, Ugandan entrepreneur Teddy Ruge tweeted in response to Kristof's column, sparking Atlantic journalist Max Fisher to ask: “how should the media cover Africa”? Ruge first tweeted:
Those at the microphone telling Africa's story, too vested in their stayed narrative to adapt to a changing continent, risk being obsolete
He adds:
What's really rising in Africa is a bigger chorus of voices set to obfuscate the need for a singularly-focused Western narrator
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