Saturday, June 30, 2012

Africans rescue fellow Africans

I found this interesting factoid while reading about the Somali pirates (since many of those sailors kidnapped are Filipinos, and we have a relative who is a sailor, I keep an eye on the news there).

from StrategyPage:
Soldiers from the TNG (Transitional National Government) raided a pirate base in central Somalia and freed a South African couple who were kidnapped 18 months ago when their sailboat was seized off the Kenyan coast. Pirates have been trying to obtain a high ransom for the couple ever since.

The Mail (SA) has a photo of this couple, which is a SA white woman and her (younger looking) Italian boyfriend.

The article says they don't know if ransom was paid, but here in the Philippines, the Italians alway pay huge amounts of ransom and deny it. (The joke is that the MILF always kidnaps Italian priests because they like Pizza).

On the other hand, the MAIL article doesn't mention the TNG troops.

On the other hand, European and American reporters rarely notice when Africans are doing something like this...

China in Africa investing in land etc.

TPM Barnett also has an essay about a new book and a NYTimes editorial onChina inAfrica.

the book he reviews defends China against charges of neoImperialism, using it's own people instead of local employees, and of course, supporting dictators and corrupt leaders.

Yes, folks someone is shilling for China.

He then adds his opinion:

My take: the more China gets into Africa, the more it enmeshes its interests with the locals, who, in turn, become more demanding of better deals - just like Chinese labor back home. Will it be a nice process? Hardly ever is, judging by history. But an unsurmountable process? Not if China is as highly incentivized regarding back-home stability as Moyo argues here (and I agree).

After ripping African leaders a new one, Moyo ends powerfully with this: With approximately 60 percent of Africa’s population under age 24, foreign investment and job creation are the only forces that can reduce poverty and stave off the sort of political upheaval that has swept the Arab world.

And China’s rush for resources has spawned much-needed trade and investment and created a large market for African exports — a huge benefit for a continent seeking rapid economic growth. No argument from me on that. China is creating connectivity and opportunity - more so than the West right now. The West is still a far bigger player in Africa, but China is the most dynamic agent right now.

Africa's Cheetah generation

From ThomasPMBarrett's(Wikistrat) blog: 
he sites an article in the Economist (UK)

Nifty Economist story on what economist George Ayitteh likes to dub the "cheetah generation" of Africa's business community ...  
Article contrasts serial entrpreneurs (who start company after company in sequence over their lives) with parallel entrepreneurs (who start mini-conglomerates of companies and seek to grow them all synergistically over time). The Economist argues that this is really the way things are unfolding in successful African economies.
 he then adds:

Speaking from experience, I couldn't agree more.  Virtually every deal I'm currently structuring or pursuing in Africa involves these parallel entrepreneurs.  They all seem about 35 and they're all running this cluster of companies that involve them in all manner of adjacent opportunities and economies (most of these clusters extend over several African states).

he links to this TED video:

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Human rights abuses continue

From Fides:

Harare (Agenzia Fides) - Rigged elections, limited freedom of speech and press, media censorship or intimidation and attempts to control the activities of civil society and NGOs continue to violate human rights in many countries of the world. In Zimbabwe the situation is particularly serious.  ...

Groups of criminals under the flag ZANU-PF have invaded private property, demolished homes and small markets. For the good of the nation, it is essential that all political protagonists and the security sector follow the directives of the President and immediately suspend such violence, as well as being equally important that President Mugabe insists that the government imposes its guidelines....

Report from Zimbabwe

Sister E writes that the poor rains resulted in a poor harvest, so folks are only eating one meal a day in her area.

Monday, June 11, 2012

From the DallasNews:

AIDS was an inferno burning through sub-Saharan Africa. The American people, led by Bush, checked that fire and saved millions of lives.
People with immune systems badly weakened by HIV were given anti-retroviral drugs that stopped the progression of the disease. Mothers and newborns were given drugs that stopped the transmission of the virus from one generation to the next. Clinics were built. Doctors and nurses and lay workers were trained. A wrenching cultural conversation about sexual practices broadened, fueled by American money promoting abstinence, fidelity and the use of condoms.
“We kept this country from falling off the edge of a cliff,” said Mark Storella, the U.S. ambassador to Zambia. “We’ve saved hundreds of thousands of lives. We’ve assisted over a million orphans. We’ve created a partnership with Zambia that gives us the possibility of walking the path to an AIDS-free generation. This is an enormous achievement.”
Bush remains active in African health. Last September, he launched a new program — dubbed Pink Ribbon Red Ribbon — to tackle cervical and breast cancer among African women. The program has 14 co-sponsors, including the Obama administration.
Falling death rates
Nyankombe sells colorful batiks, purses and other crafts to benefit Mothers without Borders, a charity that looks after orphans. When AIDS tore unchecked through southern Africa, millions of children lost their parents. Nearly one in five children in countries like Malawi and Lesotho were orphaned. In Zambia, it was one in four.
A decade ago, AIDS was killing 630 of every 100,000 Zambians, according to the World Health Organization. That was 100 times the AIDS death rate in the United States.
In neighboring Botswana, the toll was 750 of every 100,000 people. That was four times the rate for the leading cause of death among Texans (heart disease).
In 2001, four in 10 adults in Botswana were infected with HIV. President Mogae went before the United Nations to plead for the life of his country.
“We are threatened with extinction,” he said. “People are dying in chillingly high numbers. It is a crisis of the first magnitude.”
Bush, with bipartisan support from Congress and $15 billion, mobilized the U.S. government with the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief. In 2008, Congress agreed to provide $38 billion more.
By the time Bush left office, the death rate from AIDS had fallen more than 60 percent in Botswana. There are now 330,000 taking anti-retroviral drugs.
The death rate fell by nearly half in Zambia. There are 418,000 Zambians taking the drugs.
Free hit counters
Free hit counters