#moneypowersex: the blog

the online interactive zone that provides a space for the free-flow of words, images, thoughts, discussions, and ideas around the OpenForum 2012 theme, 'money, power, sex: the paradox of unequal growth.'

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Posts tagged "Africa"

"When Zimbabwean activist, Rudo Chigudu, made us all emotional about gender injustice"

~ herzimbabwe


Screening                       
Thursday, May 24TH, 2012
4.30pm(following the closing session)
Auditorium 2 at the Cape Town Convention CentreThe director will be present for a Q&A
www.anafricanelection.com
 
ABOUT THE FILM 
In a world plagued by stolen elections, secret government agendas, and a renewed interest in the exploitation of African natural resources, what value does democracy offer, particularly in the tumultuous region of West Africa? For Ghana, a nation that has been Africa’s barometer of political stability, democracy may mean the difference between peace and prosperity—and murderous chaos under military coup.
 
An African Election is a remarkable documentary that grants viewers unprecedented access to the anatomy of Ghana’s 2008 presidential elections. Capturing the intrigue of electioneering, the intensity of the vote-counting process, and the mood of the countrymen whose fate lies precariously in the balance, director Jarreth Merz’s coverage unfolds with all the tension of a political thriller, revealing the emotions, passions, and ethical decisions that both threaten—and maintain—the integrity of the democratic process. An African Election illuminates a beacon of hope for Africa and for the value and vitality of democracy today. – (Sundance Film Festival)

Screening                      

Thursday, May 24TH, 2012

4.30pm(following the closing session)

Auditorium 2 at the Cape Town Convention Centre
The director will be present for a Q&A

www.anafricanelection.com

 

ABOUT THE FILM

In a world plagued by stolen elections, secret government agendas, and a renewed interest in the exploitation of African natural resources, what value does democracy offer, particularly in the tumultuous region of West Africa? For Ghana, a nation that has been Africa’s barometer of political stability, democracy may mean the difference between peace and prosperity—and murderous chaos under military coup.

 

An African Election is a remarkable documentary that grants viewers unprecedented access to the anatomy of Ghana’s 2008 presidential elections. Capturing the intrigue of electioneering, the intensity of the vote-counting process, and the mood of the countrymen whose fate lies precariously in the balance, director Jarreth Merz’s coverage unfolds with all the tension of a political thriller, revealing the emotions, passions, and ethical decisions that both threaten—and maintain—the integrity of the democratic process. An African Election illuminates a beacon of hope for Africa and for the value and vitality of democracy today. – (Sundance Film Festival)

Twelve years ago, the influential Economist magazine described Africa as “the hopeless continent”. Last year the same publication ran the headline: “Africa rising: the hopeful continent”, noting that some of the fastest-growing economies in the world are in Africa.

According to the 2012 Africa Progress Report, seven in every 10 people on the continent live in countries that have enjoyed an economic boom – growth rates averaging in excess of four percent for the past decade. From 2005 to 2009, Ethiopia recorded higher growth than China, and Uganda outperformed India.

The World Bank’s most recent estimates suggest that the number of poor people in the sub-Sahara region fell by around nine million between 2005 and 2008.

While there is clear evidence that in the past decade the continent has made significant gains in areas such as reducing infant mortality, curbing the spread of HIV/Aids, tuberculosis and malaria, and promoting economic growth, the findings of the report show that for the vast majority of Africans, life on the “hopeful continent” remains a daily challenge.

Entitled, “Jobs Justice And Equity – Seizing Opportunities in Times of Global Change”, the 2012 Africa Progress Report (APR) says that after a decade of “buoyant growth”, wealth disparities within and across African countries are “increasingly visible”, with almost half of Africans still living on less than U.S.$1.25 a day.

“The current pattern of trickle-down growth is leaving too many people in poverty, too many children hungry and too many young people without jobs,” says the APR. It notes that governments are “failing to convert the rising tide of wealth into opportunities for their most marginalised citizens” and that unequal access to health, education, water and sanitation is “reinforcing wider inequalities”.

The report also finds that smallholder agriculture has not been part of the growth surge, leaving rural populations trapped in poverty and thus vulnerable to disease and marginalisation.

The Africa Progress Panel – a group of 10 individuals chaired by the former United Nations secretary-general Kofi Annan, publishes the APR. Other members include Mozambique humanitarian and former South African first lady Graca Machel, former Nigerian president Olusegun Obasanjo, Ivorian businessman Tidjane Thiam, Bangladesh Nobel laureate Muhammad Yunus, French economist Michel Camdessus and musician and activist Bob Geldof.

The panel says it chose to highlight justice and equity in the 2012 report because “they are missing from the lives of too many Africans, making the present growth socially unsustainable”.

Nonetheless, the continent’s economic growth has helped it make significant progress towards the United Nations Millennium Development Goal (MDG) targets. In the past decade, the number of children who die before their fifth birthday has fallen by half from the number who died before the age of five in the decade from 1990 to 2000.

(cont. reading)

via dynamicafrica

#TRUTH or #FAIL: Is Africa’s global appeal only as deep as its oil?

voa dynamicafrica:

The two weeks since Egypt’s abrupt cancellation of a Mubarak-era gas-export deal with Israel have seen an exchange of indirect threats and warnings between the two countries, culminating in an apparent Israeli military build-up on the border of Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula.

“In recent days, Israel appears to have begun preparing for military deployments on its southern border,” Tarek Fahmi, head of the Israel desk at the Cairo-based National Centre for Middle East Studies, told IPS.

On Apr. 22, Egypt unilaterally cancelled a 2005 export agreement for the sale of natural gas to Israel, which for the past five years had ensured a steady supply of Egyptian gas from the northern Sinai Peninsula to Israel. Egyptian energy officials attributed the move to Israel’s failure to meet payment deadlines, stressing that the decision was “not politically motivated.”

Israel, which is said to depend on Egyptian gas for some 40 percent of its electricity needs, was quick to register its opposition.

Several Israeli officials warned of the move’s dire implications for the Camp David peace agreement, signed between Egypt and Israel in 1979. Israeli opposition leader Shaul Mofaz called on his country’s chief patron, the United States, to intervene on Israel’s behalf.

The Israeli Finance Ministry went so far as to describe the move as “a dangerous precedent that casts clouds over the peace agreements and the atmosphere of peace between Egypt and Israel.”

While Israeli officials have vowed to take legal action to ensure the supply of Egyptian gas, local energy analysts say Egypt was well within its legal rights to opt out of the deal.

“The Israeli purchasers failed to pay their bills to the tune of some 100 million dollars,” Ibrahim Zahran, Egyptian petroleum expert, told IPS. “The contract clearly states that if either party fails to live up to its obligations, the other has the right to terminate the agreement.”

Egypt first began pumping natural gas to Israel in 2008, based on a deal hammered out three years earlier that allowed Egypt-Israel joint venture East Mediterranean Gas (EMG) to sell Egyptian natural gas to Israeli buyers, including the government-run Israel Electric Corporation.

Given Israel’s broad unpopularity on the Egyptian street, the gas-export deal has met with widespread public opposition since its inception. Critics note that, by providing Israel with Egyptian gas at far below international prices (while Egypt itself suffers from chronic energy shortages), the deal effectively supports - albeit indirectly - Israel’s ongoing occupation and annexation of Palestinian land.

(cont. reading)

Racism and a legacy of colonialism are preventing the West from recognizing the potential of African innovation.

Affordable technology is helping people all over Africa propel an economic revolution. Investment is pouring in from India, China, and other emerging markets. But the West, in my eyes, is ignoring one of the 21st century’s most important stories.

There are reasons the West has historically overlooked African innovation. Racism plays a big part, owing to the West’s past of colonialism and slavery on the continent. Much of the West’s acquisition of wealth was a direct result of the colonial era, which, for all intents and purposes, is not something that has been relayed to western populations accurately. Too many people in the West are under the assumption that it is their aid or assistance that sustains Africa, without understanding the underlying structures that have been put in place, and are held in place, by institutions that serve the West.

Read More

It is in our hands to join our strength, taking sustenance from our diversity, honouring our rich and varied traditions and culture but acting together for the protection and benefit of us all
Kwame Nkrumah

Open Forum #money speaker, Hakima Abbas reflects on African Social Justice philanthropy

Profile on Open Forum 2012 #Money speaker, Akwasi Aidoo