#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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The Youth Summit website is up! Check it out! http://openforum.net/youthsummit

Open Forum speaker Staceyann Chin performs ‘Feminist or Womanist’

The discussions around Sex will focus on gender inequality and homophobia and the extent to which both continue to define virtually every society on the continent - and on the extent to which (a) the LGBTI movement (and other social movements) can learn and benefit from the gains of the women’s movement; and (b) new economic challenges intersect with the civil and political rights agendas that have traditionally been the domain of women’s groups and the LGBTI movement. Participants will also debate how to support social movements in a context of growing inequalities, where activists have fewer financial resources and are simultaneously required to address growing social discrimination.

Discussions on Power will focus on (a) what the Arab Uprisings can teach sub-Saharan Africa about political transitions, as well as what limitations these uprisings have faced; (b) what the rise of the BRICS countries mean for African politics and African politicians; (c) whether human rights and good governance – increasingly held up as pre-conditions for aid from Western countries in the last two decades – are likely to suffer as a result of increased economic and development assistance from the emerging powers; and lastly (d) where the new thought leadership and activism will come from to address the political and economic inequalities that continue to plague the continent.

Discussions on Money will focus on the fact that across the continent, current models of economic development are heavily reliant on (a) the extraction and/or unsustainable exploitation of natural resources; (b) the introduction of commercial models of agriculture that either impoverish or exclude rural poor people; (c) the concession of large tracts of land; and, (d) the negotiation of ports, power supplies, railways, and other important infrastructure, in ways that undermine the capacity of African states to manage their own affairs.  

The participants at the gathering will be a mix of leading African actors and thinkers, who are on the cutting edge of forcing change, as well as global policy actors with extensive experience. 

However, the OpenForum also seeks to bring to the fore new voices in African conversations. This diversity of voices and perspectives will be carefully selected both in terms of speakers, and in terms of participants, to ensure lively, dynamic and interesting conversations.

Areyeh Neier (pictured above), the President of the Open Society Foundations, will be giving the keynote address.


Binyavanga Wainaina, Kenyan author and a past winner of the Caine Prize for African Writing, argues that the world has got its image of Africa very badly wrong.

Let us imagine that Africa was really like it is shown in the international media.

Africa would be a country. Its largest province would be Somalia.

Bono, Angelina Jolie and Madonna would be joint presidents, appointed by the United Nations.

European aid workers would run the Foreign Affairs Office, gap year students from the UK the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Culture would be run by the makers of the Kony2012 videos.

'Wholesome and ethnic'

Start Quote

Africa’s image in the west, and Africa’s image to itself, are often crude, childish drawings of reality”

Actual Africans would live inside villages designed by economist Jeffrey Sachs.

Those villagers would wear wholesome hand-made ethnic clothing, dance to wholesome ethnic music and during the day they would grow food communally and engage in things called income-generating activities.

For our own protection, American peacekeepers and Nato planes would surround the villages - making hearts and minds happy and safe.

We would give birth to only one baby per couple - this way we would not overwhelm poor, suffering Europeans with our desire to travel outside our villages and participate fully in a dynamic world.

We would not be allowed to do business with the Chinese and we would not be allowed to do business with the country formerly known as Gaddafi’s Libya.

Africa would discover the child in itself, and stop trying to mess around and be a part of the rest of the world.

Read more, here.

Hairpeace by Youth Summit participant, Walidah Imarisha

Can’t wait! 

Aerial view of Cape Town at Night, South Africa

Photo by Island Chic

via kilele

(via dynamicafrica)

Language is a place of struggle … Our struggle is that of memory against forgetting.
bell hooks, talking about endangered languages and the voices of the oppressed. (via selchieproductions)

(via addistwaalem)