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Index April 2011

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2011-04-01: Network-less mobile banking;
2011-04-02: Japan: Financing Reconstruction, the Monetary Implications of the Nuclear Catastrophe;
2011-04-03: Mass mobilisation, democratic transition’and transitional violence in Africa;
2011-04-04: Bangladesh govt prods local investors to farm cotton, food in Africa;
2011-04-05: Sierra Leone Facing Facts of Teenage Pregnancy;
2011-04-06: Western Sahara is not a forgotten conflict;
2011-04-07: The Trumpcard of birthright nationalism;
2011-04-08: Gambling with the planet;
2011-04-08: Abandon de toutes formes d’excision: amorce d’un déclic;
2011-04-09: India’s skewed sex ratio: Seven brothers;
2011-04-09: Quatre cent femmes du Sénégal et de Guinée Bissau marchent contre l’excision;
2011-04-10: The myths of global land grabbing untangled;
2011-04-11: Uprising, imperialism and uncertainty;
2011-04-12: Profit Pathology and the Disposable Planet;
2011-04-13: News from the Sphere Project;
2011-04-14: Why Do We Support Selective Conscientious Objection?
2011-04-15: Requests for Information: 14 March – 10 April 2011;
2011-04-16: Mistreatment of Manning Criticized by Leading Law Professors & UN Torture Investigator;
2011-04-17: The great African land rush;
2011-04-18: The crazies versus the sleepwalkers – big budget showdown;
2011-04-18: MGF au Togo: Le taux de prévalence estimé entre 6 à 7%;
2011-04-19: 2011 Summer School on the Interational Criminal Court;
2011-04-19: Brakna: Haro sur les mutilations génitales féminines;
2011-04-20: The system is a social disease;
2011-04-20: Lutte contre le Sida: Validation du plan d’action pour le réseau national des agences d’encadrement;
2011-04-21: We did it;
2011-04-21: Europe: une nouvelle convention pour combattre la violence à l’égard des femmes;
2011-04-22: We export food to import food;
2011-04-22: Canada’s Earth Day assessment;
2011-04-23: Nigeria: The curse of post-election violence continues;
2011-04-24: The importance of research in an university;
2011-04-24: Les Maliennes remercient la commune – Pommerit-Jaudy;
2011-04-25: The Patriarchy Continuum – FGM Edition;
2011-04-26: Protect our children: Stopping the sexual abuse of children;
2011-04-27: China news tagged with: Ai Weiwei (130);
2011-04-28: Central African Republic: Supporting Women’s Rights in Remote Areas;
2011-04-29: Sunshine and Shadow in Rwanda’s Rural Housing Programme;
2011-04-30: WashPost Touts KIPP’s Extra Edge.


See also our pages:

(Sorry, but the different pages for the NGO-blog have crashed … but IF a website is published on my NGO blog, you may find it on the first Google Web-search or Google Blog-search Pages).

WashPost Touts KIPP’s Extra Edge

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Which Turns Out to Be Money and Dropouts – Linked on our blogs with Knowledge Is Power Program KIPP (Charter Schools). – Published on FAIR, April 28, 2011.

Is the Washington Post hoping readers only read headlines? At a glance, “Study: KIPP Charter Schools Have Extra Edge”, 3/31/11 would seem to be just another in the Washington Post Co.’s toutings of charter schools in general and KIPP schools in particular (Extra!, 9/10).

Readers who actually click through though, might be surprised to learn what the “edge” consists of: A study by researchers at Western Michigan University found that the KIPP network “benefits from significant private funding and student attrition.” Students receive more than $5,000 a year per pupil through private donations on top of regular sources of public funding; and the roughly 15 percent of KIPP students that leave each year are often not replaced. To the extent that these schools ‘outperform’ regular public schools, says the study’s author, “they’re not doing it with the same students, and they’re not doing it with the same dollars.”

This is of course extremely relevant given that KIPP schools are often held up as a model, at least for some people’s kids: “Every low-income school should be measured by how close it gets to that model, where kids go to school from 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. and part of the summer,” Newsweek’s Jonathan Alter once explained (7/21/08), though he couldn’t explain why rich kids wouldn’t also benefit from a longer day than most adults spend at work.

It’s interesting how, even while reporting research that should complicate the issue,  the Post still leaves undisturbed the thumbnail of the charter network as “known for lifting the achievements of poor children.”  (KIPP, for its part, renounced the study, citing “flaws in the data” the paper left unspecified.) … (full text).


Knowledge Is Power Program KIPP /Homepage;

KIPP on wikipedia.

Sunshine and Shadow in Rwanda’s Rural Housing Programme

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Published on IPS, by Barrie Terreblanche, April 27, 2011.

The gleam of new corrugated iron sheets shimmers through the blue-green haze that veils Rwanda’s rural valleys and hillsides. It is a visible sign of Rwanda’s metamorphosis from a nation devastated by genocide seventeen years ago to the fastest modernising state on the continent.

But are the shiny roofs the jewels on Africa’s emerging bride, or the bling worn by a bully?

Most of the new houses are the result of a hugely ambitious plan to bring rural families, at present scattered across the countryside, together into villages called imidugudu, enabling the government to more easily provide electricity, water, schooling and security. But it is a smaller programme, the replacement of grass-thatched houses with more modern structures, which caught the attention of aid agencies when complaints emerged last year that the homes of the minority Batwa, former pygmy forest dwellers, were being destroyed by the government.  Continue Reading…

Central African Republic: Supporting Women’s Rights in Remote Areas

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Published on allAfrica, April 25, 2011.

Nairobi — Violations of human rights are on the increase in northeastern Central African Republic (CAR), with aid workers expressing concern for protection of civilians amid renewed clashes between government troops and the Convention of Patriots for Justice and Peace (CPJP) rebels – one of the few groups that has not signed a peace agreement with the government.

“Killings, arbitrary arrests, burning and looting of villages, forced disappearances and abductions are frequently reported, in particular in conflict-affected areas in the north and in regions where CPJP and LRA [Uganda's Lord's Resistance Army] are present,” Fornelle Poutou, the secretary-general of the Association of Women Lawyers of Central Africa (AFJC), told IRIN. “People are afraid to [go] to the police because they have no confidence in them, fear repercussions or simply do not know their rights.  Continue Reading…

China news tagged with: Ai Weiwei (130)

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UPDATE Sept 6, 2014: AI WEIWEI, Chinese, born 1957, also on ART SY;
See also Ai WeiWei on wikipedia, and on China Digital Times, April 22, 2011. Find links for Petitions fo free Ai Wei Wei: on Call for the Release of Ai WeiWei, on Imagine Peace, 09 Apr 2011, on, on ArtInfo, (see also in the air), and on Google Web-search.

Ai Weiwei detained: Here is his TED film, 11.38 min, Uploaded by TEDtalksDirector on April 4, 2011.


China Misunderstood: Did We Contribute to Ai Weiwei’s Arrest?

Beijing-based writer and former Wall Street Journal bureau chief Ian Johnson writes on the New York Review of Books blog about Ai Weiwei and the response to his activism inside China:  Continue Reading…

Protect our children: Stopping the sexual abuse of children

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Published on Pambazuka News, by Patricia Daley, April 20, 2011.

Just as we must condemn homophobia and support ‘the rights of consenting individuals to privacy in their sexual relations’, we must also grant far greater attention to the sexual abuse of children, argues Patricia Daley.

… Paedophilia is a crime irrespective of where it is committed. Institutions that take our children should provide a safe environment for them to grow. It would be interesting if the Catholic Church were to set an example in Africa by showing a commitment to investigate and make public such cases rather than seeing such acts as private to the individual (Menya & Liguorip 2011). A start has been made by Bishop Buti Tlhagale of Johannesburg, who was reported to have said: ‘I know that the Church in Africa is inflicted by the same scourge’ (Tostevin 2010).  Continue Reading…

The Patriarchy Continuum – FGM Edition

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Published on The Global Sociology Blog, by SocProf, April 23rd, 2011.

But first watch this video, on The Guardian: Kenyan girls fight back against genital mutilation, 32.20 min.

Comment on The Global Sociology Blog: “Female genital mutilation (FGM) horrifies – and bewilders – westerners who find it incomprehensible that a mother would allow her daughter to be so brutally amputated with all the risks of infection, difficult childbirth and deprivation of sexual pleasure. What this film does is to show how custom – even when violent and dangerous – embeds itself in social expectations. These girls are not considered eligible by prospective husbands until they have been cut; their parents need the income from a dowry to shore up precarious family finances. Standing out against such powerful conventions is difficult, dangerous, and costs money.  Continue Reading…

Les Maliennes remercient la commune – Pommerit-Jaudy

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Publié dans Ouest, 20 avril 2011.

Le conseil réuni lundi soir a entendu Claude Le Diuzet présenter le bilan des actions conduites par le collectif Trégor Nafanga et plus particulièrement par la commune de Pommerit-Jaudy auprès de l’école du village de Nitabougouro, l’un des 6 villages composant la commune de Nafanga. L’école accueille 300 élèves répartis en 6 classes. En participant au fonctionnement de la cantine et en aidant l’école à s’équiper en mobilier et en matériel pédagogique, Pommerit contribue au bon niveau de scolarisation de tous les élèves.  Continue Reading…

The importance of research in an university

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Published on Pambazuka News, by Mahmood Mamdani, April 21, 2011.

‘We have no choice but to train the next generation of African scholars at home. This means tackling the question of institutional reform alongside that of postgraduate education. Postgraduate education, research and institution building will have to be part of a single effort,’ writes Mahmood Mamdani, in a paper reflecting on how a market-driven model has affected the nature of research in African universities … //

… Last year, a team of scientists from Gabon and France found that malaria too has a wild host – monkeys – which means you cannot eradicate it. To learn to live with it calls for an entirely different solution. Eradication calls for a laboratory-based strategy. You look for isolated human communities, like islands with small populations and invest all your resources in it – which is what the Gates Foundation and WHO did. But living with malaria requires you to spend your monies in communities with large, representative populations.   Continue Reading…

Nigeria: The curse of post-election violence continues

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Published on Pambazuka News, by Dibussi Tande, April 04, 2011.

‘In reality, the targets of the uprising are the so-called leaders in the North – the political, military and business elite – as well the traditional institutions that have held the region back and truncated any attempt to educate the people and free them from the yolk of illiteracy and poverty.’ Dibussi Tande puts Nigeria’s post-election violence in context, with views from the African blogosphere.

Suleiman’s Blog seeks to put the post-election violence that erupted in (Northern) Nigeria in context: … //

A World View:

  • explains why the international campaign to stop piracy off the Somali coast is not succeeding:
  • ‘The international community’s three-year effort to end piracy off the coast of Somalia is a waste of time; that was basically the message presented by the Foreign Minister of Somalia’s Transitional Federal Government (TFG), Mohammed Abdulahi Omar Asharq, to an anti-piracy conference in Dubai on Monday…  Continue Reading…

Canada’s Earth Day assessment

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A look at our record on energy consumption, pollution – Published on CBCnews, Canada, April 21, 2011.

The world was first introduced to Earth Day on Apr. 22, 1970, when an estimated 20 million Americans attended rallies around the country and helped clean up their local communities … //

  • … The country has also increased the amount of residential garbage that gets recycled, from 18.1 per cent in 1992 to 26.8 per cent in 2006, according to the same report.

Ecosystems:  Continue Reading…

We export food to import food

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Published on Pambazuka News, by Nebiyu Eyassu, April 20, 2011.

Nebiyu Eyassu cuts through the supposed benefits of foreign agricultural investments – so-called land grabs – for a country like Ethiopia. Far from boosting employment and local food security, land grabs are likely to prop up a discredited government and increase hunger.

In recent years there has been an upsurge of agricultural investment in the developing world. Its alleged purpose is to curb the recent global food crisis that has seen serious volatility in the global food market system, causing significant price hikes on key global foods, such as rice.

The price hike in global food has prompted certain countries to seek cheap and fertile farmland beyond their borders in order to guarantee food security for themselves. To achieve this goal such states are encouraging their domestic agro-businesses, tied to their national interests, to invest in countries like Ethiopia, Sudan, Madagascar, Tanzania and Argentina, to name a few. Capital invested in far-away farms will produce food cheaply, which will then be exported back to the country where the original capital came from. In this way, the volatility of the international food market can be avoided and national food security achieved. Continue Reading…

Europe: une nouvelle convention pour combattre la violence à l’égard des femmes

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Publié dansé, 18 avril 2011.

La nouvelle convention sera ouverte à la signature des 47 Etats membres du Conseil de l’Europe à compter du 11 mai 2011. Le Conseil de l’Europe a adopté, le 7 avril, la convention sur la prévention et la lutte contre la violence à l’égard des femmes et la violence domestique … //

… Les parties à la convention devront, également, ériger en infractions pénales : la violence psychologique, le harcèlement, la violence physique, la violence sexuelle y compris le viol, les mariages forcés, les mutilations génitales féminines, l’avortement et la stérilisation forcés.  Continue Reading…

We did it

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a success story – and a book review of: The Total Money Makeover. – Published on Dave Ramsey, April 8, 2011.

i am a single mom of two wonderful girls, until 2009 i did not know what a budget was, money came in and out of my hand like mist, rarely did it stay. i had credit cards, loans, overdrafts and owed money to so many places i did not know where i was, i grew up this way, it seemed to be normal and i guess to most it is normal. however i realised i did not want to be normal. I bought your book and everything seemed to fall into place, i did the babysteps and suddenly i was on a roll. fast forward 18months later and here i am debt free, apart from the house and that is on the market as i am downsizing. I have paid off $30,000 of debt on an annual income of £18,000 on my own, my children sit with me when i do the budget, we shop together and try to beat each other with the bargains we find. i am giving them the education i wish my parents had given me … (full text).

Link: Stop The Squeeze, Americans for Debt Relief Now.

Lutte contre le Sida: Validation du plan d’action pour le réseau national des agences d’encadrement

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Publié dans Africa Time, par MAAS – Agence Djiboutienne d’information, le 13 avril 2011.

… A raison d’ailleurs puisque l’appui des agences onusiennes a permis aux organisations non gouvernementales et reconnues d’utilité publique d’unir leurs forces pour mieux infléchir le taux de séroprévalence à Djibouti. Celles-ci au nombre de six sont l’union nationale des femmes djiboutiennes (UNFD), le cabinet social conseil formation et ingénierie (CCFIS), l’union pour le développement culturel (UDC), la coordination des associations de Balbala (CAB), le cabinet conseil appui et formation (CCAF), l’association djiboutienne pour le planning familial (ADEPF) qui forment le réseau national de lutte très actif sur le terrain afin d’endiguer la propagation du fléau du nouveau millénaire sous nos cieux.   Continue Reading…

The system is a social disease

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Published on Intrepid Report, by Frank Scott, April 19, 2011.

… The future calls for democratically controlled state power exercised in centrally overseeing decentralized local power, and a balance between global, national and local communities. This can only happen with more equitable sharing of resources, rather than wealth accruing to some at the expense of all. New energy forms are as important as new governing forms. The continued rape of the earth to acquire energy owned by private capital is countered by the need for democratic sources of energy available to all who experience sunlight and wind power. These cannot be marketed as private property.  Continue Reading…

Brakna : Haro sur les mutilations génitales féminines

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Publié dans Le Calame, le 12 avril 2011.

Les activités du projet de sensibilisation sur les droits des femmes et les dangers des mutilations génitales féminines ont été lancées à la fin du mois de mars dernier au siège de l’association mauritanienne pour la promotion de la famille, de la santé et de l’environnement, basée à Aleg et exécutrice du projet en partenariat avec SOS pairs éducateurs, l’organisation non gouvernementale Cidel et la coopération espagnole. Ce projet, dont la durée de vie est de quatre mois, interviendra dans les quartiers d’El Jedida, Taïba, Goural, Dar Naim et Carrefour. Déjà, dans ces localités, des relais communautaires ont été identifiés parmi les communautés féminines et les associations des jeunes. Un séminaire de 4 jours tenu le 30 mars dernier a permis la formation de 15 de ces relais.   Continue Reading…

2011 Summer School on the Interational Criminal Court

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IRISH CENTRE FOR HUMAN RIGHTS, Galway/Ireland, 19-23 June 2011 – Received by e-mail, From: Kjell Anderson, Date: 15/04/2011

Dear Colleagues, The Irish Centre for Human Rights is very pleased to announce the tenth annual Summer School on the International Criminal Court! The course will take place from June 19-23 this year and will cover all important aspects of the work of the International Criminal Court (ICC). The ICC is one of the most important new international institutions and promises to play a leading role in efforts to promote international justice. Subjects covered by the course will include the subject matter jurisdiction of the court (war crimes, crimes against humanity, genocide, and the crime of aggression), the procedures of the court, defences, the political context in which the court operates, and related questions of international criminal law.   Continue Reading…

MGF au Togo: Le taux de prévalence estimé entre 6 à 7%

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Publié dans Savoir News, par Edem Etonam EKUE, 11 avril 2011.

… On dénombre au Togo, sept Ongs de lutte contre les MGF dont “Tama’de”  (dans la région Centrale), “Kaalnpaag” (région des Savanes) et “Odjougbo” (dans la région des Plateaux).

Les régions les plus touchées par ces mutilations sont celles des Plateaux, la région centrale, de la Kara et des Savanes.
Un vaste projet baptisé “Libération”, financé par l’Ong allemande “Intact” a permis à ces structures nationales de lutte contre les mutilations de mener une série d’actions sur le terrain.  Continue Reading…

The crazies versus the sleepwalkers—big budget showdown

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Published on Intrepid Report, by Michael Collins, April 15, 2011.

… The Republican crazies are in a celebrity death match with sleepwalking Democrats. It is a fabricated drama amounting to not much of anything in terms of the nation’s well being. The stakes are supposedly the shutdown of the United States government at midnight this Friday. But the most pressing issue isn’t discussed on Capitol Hill.

Why can’t anyone in a position of power mention the unmentionable? There have been no net new jobs in the United States since 2000. There were 137 million employed citizens that year. There are 139 million employed citizens today. This comes into clear focus when you consider the size of the workforce for 2000 and 2010; 143 million versus 154 million respectively. There are actually fewer jobs in proportion to the workforce … //  Continue Reading…

The great African land rush

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Published on Food Crisis and the Global Land Grab, by Drew Hinshaw, April 14, 2011.

KEUR MOUSSA, Senegal — Hours into the interior of this agrarian nation sits a cabbage, onion, sorghum, and lettuce field the size of Gibraltar that once belonged, it is said, to the villagers of Keur Moussa. They may never get it back.

In 1999, a well-to-do religious leader managed to acquire the title for the 1,500 acres of farmland that this village had long held in trust. Since he nabbed it, the plot has sprouted sheds, power lines, a water tower, tractors, and pick-up trucks that give it more the look of Iowa corn country than a Senegalese lot. Village women who used to grow, sell, and profit off its produce are now trucked in and out daily, tilling their grandparents’ soil like migrant workers. It earns them two to four dollars a day.

“It’s better than nothing,” one of the women, Maty Ngom said … //  Continue Reading…

Mistreatment of Manning Criticized by Leading Law Professors & UN Torture Investigator

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Hundreds of Thousands Write Obama Urging End to Manning Abuse – Retired Colonel: Obama Could End Torture of Manning With One Phone Call – Published on Global (first on Free Bradley Manning), April 14, 2011.

Washington, DC:  The eight months of solitary confinement of Bradley Manning at Quantico has drawn national and international criticism in the last week.  Support is growing for him around the world with 500,000 writing President Obama in the last few days and with hundreds of top U.S. legal scholars criticizing his conditions of confinement.

Lawyers representing every leading law school in the United States have written an open letter to President Obama criticizing the conditions of Manning. Among the law professors is Lawrence Tribe who was President Obama’s law professor at Harvard and served in his administration until recently. The letter, Private Manning’s Humiliation,  raises questions about President Obama saying: President Obama was once a professor of constitutional law, and entered the national stage as an eloquent moral leader. The question now, however, is whether his conduct as commander in chief meets fundamental standards of decency … //  Continue Reading…

Requests for Information: 14 March – 10 April 2011

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Received by e-mail, From: Global HRE List Moderator, Date: 14/04/2011

Dear members, Below is a compilation of requests for information sent to the Global Human Rights Education listserv during the past weeks. At the bottom of each request you will find an e-mail address, so that you can directly respond to the request.

Dear List Members, With our organization we are currently working on a 3-year project for raising awareness among European youth (Netherlands, Belgium, Austria, Czech Republic) about the rights of people with disabilities – we primarily focus on the necessity of inclusion of people with disabilities in mainstream development in developing countries (since we are a development NGO).
We’re now thinking of different ways to address youth and were wondering if you have any tips for tools / resources / lesson plans regarding youth and the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Many thanks in advance.  Continue Reading…

Why Do We Support Selective Conscientious Objection?

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Linked on our blogs with Christian Peace Witness CWP. – Published on Christian Peace, not authored nor dated.

Our nation has now been at war for almost a decade. As our soldiers consider re-deployment or combat veterans return to rebuild their lives in light of their experiences in war, we are increasingly aware of the crisis of conscience some soldiers wrestle with and the moral injury some have experienced in combat.

Christian Peace Witness is committed to work for the establishment of selective conscientious objection based on our support of Christians and others whenever they take steps of conscience to reject violence and killing.  Continue Reading…

News from the Sphere Project

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Linked on our blogs with The Sphere and with The Sphere Project’s online press room.

Received by e-mail,From: Juan MICHEL, Date: 10/04/2011:

  • This is just to let you know that the 2011 edition of the Sphere Handbook Humanitarian Charter and Minimum Standards in Humanitarian Response will be released in a dozen countries around the world on 14 April 2011 (see a list of launch events at Sphere
  • Please find additional information at our Online Press Room.
  • Best regards, Juan Michel, Communications officer, The Sphere Project, e-mail, +41.22.730.4498, and +41.76.307.5877

Profit Pathology and the Disposable Planet

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Published on Global (first on, by Michael Parenti, April 8, 2011.

… The Superrich Are Different From Us:

  • Isn’t ecological disaster a threat to the health and survival of corporate plutocrats just as it is to us ordinary citizens? We can understand why the corporate rich might want to destroy public housing, public education, Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. Such cutbacks would bring us closer to a free market society devoid of the publicly funded “socialistic” human services that the ideological reactionaries detest, and such cuts would not deprive the superrich and their families of anything. The superrich have more than sufficient private wealth to procure whatever services and protections they need for themselves.But the environment is a different story, is it not? Don’t wealthy reactionaries and their corporate lobbyists inhabit the same polluted planet as everyone else, eat the same chemicalized food and breathe the same toxified air? In fact, they do not live exactly as everyone else. They experience a different class reality, often residing in places where the air is markedly better than in low- and middle-income areas. They have access to food that is organically raised and specially transported and prepared.    Continue Reading…

Uprising, imperialism and uncertainty

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Published on Pambazuka News, by Sokari Ekine, April 7, 2011.

Will the protests across Africa result in real social and political reform, or just a changing of the guard, asks Sokari Ekine.

In addition to the uprisings in Tunisia, Egypt and Libya – all of which remain in various revolutionary stages – protestors have taken to the streets in Zimbabwe, Senegal, Gabon, Sudan, Mauritania, Morocco, Algeria, Benin, Cameroon, Djibouti, Cote d’Ivoire and most recently in Burkina Faso and Swaziland. Some protests have been single ‘days of rage’, others have lasted a few days or weeks. There are many similarities between the uprisings but also differences, often related the level of organising prior to the uprisings, for example the strength of trades union and student movements, political activism and so on; levels of repression and overall frustration of youth in particular with high unemployment and lack of freedom; the belief that civil disobedience can work; and the willingness to persevere not for days but for weeks on end.  Continue Reading…

The myths of global land grabbing untangled

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Published on The Broker, by Editor Evert-jan Quak, April 04, 2011.

This week the three day international conference on Global Land Grabbing will start in Brighton, United Kingdom. The issue of land grabbing has been on the agenda for some years now, but it seems to me that the academic focus is changing. This is my conclusion on the outcome of the “The Global Land Rush” seminar that took place on 24 March at the Utrecht University, the Netherlands. Two years ago the discussion was solely about the impact of large-scale land acquisitions of Gulf States in Africa to secure their food production and the concern with the bio-fuel expansion in prime agricultural areas in developing countries.

The debate is broader nowadays. The seminar showed that international drivers of large-scale land acquisitions are diverse as a consequence of changing demands in a rapidly urbanising world. On the other hand there is not only a global land rush. A large number of small-scale land acquisitions by domestic or regional migrants who have been attracted into new rural areas by large-scale foreign investors can be even more problematic than the initial foreign land acquisitions … //   Continue Reading…

Quatre cent femmes du Sénégal et de Guinée Bissau marchent contre l’excision

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Publié dans Tahiti Infos, par hg-stb/sba , le 8 avril 2011.

KOLDA, 2 avril 2011 (AFP) – Quelque 400 femmes du Sénégal et de villages de Guinée Bissau ont marché samedi à Kolda (sud du Sénégal près de la frontière bissau-guinéeene), pour dénoncer les pratiques de l’excision et des mariages précoces, a constaté un journaliste de l’AFP.

Des représentantes des femmes ayant participé à la marche, organisée par le réseau Siguil Jiguéen (mettre en valeur la femme), ont remis au préfet de Kolda, Bouya Amar, une résolution demandant l’aide de l’Etat pour “accompagner la dynamique communautaire dans la lutte contre l’excision” … //  Continue Reading…

India’s skewed sex ratio: Seven brothers

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An aversion to having daughters is leading to millions of missing girls – Published on The Economist, KOTLA/HARYANA/India, April 7, 2011.

“WE’RE going for a trip”, Sakina remembers her older sister saying. Orphaned and poor, the girls were happy to leave their home in Kolkata. Taken 1,300km to Kotla, a village on the wheat plains south of Delhi, the 12-year-old Sakina was dumped in the arms of an older man while her sister fled. The man, a wage labourer, had paid over 5,000 rupees ($100, today) to a dalal, or broker, who arranged to ship unwanted girls to places short of them.

akina, now taking a break from the first harvest of the year, recalls the early misery of her new home. A Bengali forced into marriage, she was jeered at as a paro, a term for female outsider in Haryana, and shunned. We are treated as goats, mutters another woman, imported from Hyderabad. “It was when I started having children that I realised I had no time to be upset,” Sakina says. She has produced nine offspring, eight of them boys. Now she worries about getting brides for them—and says she is even ready to repeat her own sad history by contacting a dalal.  Continue Reading…

Abandon de toutes formes d’excision: amorce d’un déclic

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Publié dans Africa Time, (Copyright dans La Nation/Djibouti), par Neima Egueh, 1 avril 2011).

Après la cérémonie inaugurale de lundi dernier, l’atelier de formation sur les dangers et les complications des mutilations génitales féminines a poursuivi mardi ses travaux dans les murs de l’Institut Supérieur de la Science et de la Santé (ISSS), sis à l’hôpital général Peltier.

Lu-delà des discours de bonnes intentions sur l’abandon de toutes formes d’excision, les propos chocs de la sage femme Mako Mahamoud a sensibilisé les participantes de l’atelier de formation sur les dangers et les complications des mutilations génitales féminines.  Continue Reading…

Gambling with the planet

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Published on AlJazeera, by Joseph E. Stiglitz, April 6, 2011.

Japan’s disaster and the global recession provide stark lessons on societies’ failure to manage risks, economist says … //

… We have seen two of the big risks in recent years, but have done little to bring them under control. By some accounts, how the last crisis was managed may have increased the risk of a future financial meltdown.

Too-big-to fail banks, and the markets in which they participate, now know that they can expect to be bailed out if they get into trouble. As a result of this “moral hazard”, these banks can borrow on favourable terms, giving them a competitive advantage based not on superior performance but on political strength. While some of the excesses in risk-taking have been curbed, predatory lending and unregulated trading in obscure over-the-counter derivatives continue. Incentive structures that encourage excess risk-taking remain virtually unchanged.  Continue Reading…

The Trumpcard of birthright nationalism

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The US birther phenomenon exposes the broader issue of birthright nationalism and the inequality it perpetuates

Published on AlJazeera, by Imran Garda, April 5, 2011.

… So … Why not base a person’s nationality on their place of conception?

Naming people by place of conception has already been done. Sacha Baron Cohen’s most exquisite of alter-egos, Ali G, famously asked David and Victoria Beckham if they named their son Brooklyn because that is where they “did it”, before quipping, that if it indeed was the case, then he and his Julie would have to name their child “the bogs at KFC in Langley Village”.

The magic ticket to a galaxy of options:  Continue Reading…

Western Sahara is not a forgotten conflict

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Published on Pambazuka News, by Peter Kenworthy and Konstantina Isidoros,  March 30, 2011.

In conversation with Konstantina Isidoros, Peter Kenworthy profiles the longstanding Saharawi struggle for independence from Morocco and the gulf between people’s support for Western Sahara around the world and governments’ action on the conflict.

‘I don’t like this phrase “forgotten conflict”,’ Konstantina Isidoros tells me. ‘The primary concern here is that the Western Sahara conflict is very simple to solve but no one is solving it. It simply perpetuates its “forgotten-ness” and major newswires miss the point that the Western Sahara is actually a “hot” geopolitical potato that has the US and France fighting over regional superiority and valuable untapped natural resources, with Spain squirming between the two.’

Konstantina Isidoros is a doctoral researcher at Oxford University, but lives most of the year in the Sahara desert where she does anthropological and political science research, with a special focus on the Western Sahara region.  Continue Reading…

Sierra Leone Facing Facts of Teenage Pregnancy

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Published on IPS, by Mohamed Fofanah, April 3, 2011.

On Apr. 5, the United Nations Children’s Fund will launch a report on teenage pregnancy in Sierra Leone. Teenage pregnancies account for 40 percent of maternal deaths in the country, and the report comes as public health authorities recalibrate strategy to address a problem that endangers both mothers and children.

Seventy percent of teenage girls in Sierra Leone are married, according to a 2008 survey by the World Health Organization, in a country where early marriage is supported by traditional practice.

Poverty and stigma: … //   Continue Reading…

Bangladesh govt prods local investors to farm cotton, food in Africa

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Published on Food Crisis and the Global Land Grab, by Mushir Ahmed, March 30, 2011.

The foreign ministry has cleared the way for Bangladeshi entrepreneurs to invest in farming sector in the vast and untapped rural expanse of Africa, said an official Tuesday. The move comes after two fact-finding missions led by the foreign secretary last year found farming in the so-called dark continent “exceedingly lucrative” for Bangladeshi investors.

The teams headed by Mijarul Quayes visited Liberia, Ivory Coast, Senegal and Ghana and now foreign ministry wants the Bangladesh Bank and the agriculture ministry to take up the case for overseas farming. “Bangladeshi entrepreneurs can invest in rice, wheat, cotton, coco and coffee farming in Africa. We want them to go fast before investors of other countries arrive,” said a senior foreign ministry official. Continue Reading…

Mass mobilisation, democratic transition and transitional violence in Africa

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Published on Pambazuka News, by Michael Neocosmos, March 31, 2011.

The North African protests have renewed enthusiasm for ‘a popularly driven process mass mobilisation’, not only as a means for people to force changes in leadership, but also to ‘demand a greater say in the running of their own lives’. But can the masses sustain their status as ‘full-blown political subjects’, rather than ‘victims’ in need of ‘empowerment’, asks Michael Necosmos … //

… It follows that to attempt to understand political change in Africa through the medium of a transition from authoritarianism to democracy privileges the thinking of state politics. As a result, it can only fail to make sense of the increase in certain pervasive forms of violence in neo-colonial (post-democratic) African states. Such forms of violence are not an indication of regression to authoritarianism or of loss of momentum in an ongoing democratic transition, but rather are a necessary outcome of the combination of neoliberal capitalism and neoliberal democracy in a context of neocolonialism wherein a dominant form of oppression is national in content.  Continue Reading…

Japan: Financing Reconstruction. The Monetary Implications of the Nuclear Catastrophe

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Published on Global, by Ellen Brown, March 31, 2011.

Why the Japanese Government can afford to rebuild: it qwns the largest deposit bank in the world. The Japanese government can afford its enormous debt because it owns the bank that is its principal creditor.  But competitors are attempting to force the bank’s privatization.  If they succeed, they could propel the country into debt servitude along with other credit-strapped nations.

When an IMF spokeswoman said at a news conference on March 17 that Japan has the financial means to recover from its devastating tsunami, skeptical bloggers wondered what she meant.  Was it a polite way of saying, “You’re on your own?”   Continue Reading…

Network-less mobile banking

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Linked with Africa Research Institute ARI. – Published on the Blog of the Africa Research Institute ARI, by Chris Marshall, March 18, 2011.

In February 2011 Michael Joseph, former CEO of Kenyan mobile phone operator Safaricom, was appointed by the World Bank to spearhead the expansion of mobile banking worldwide. Joseph grew Safaricom from five employees to a business with an 80% share of the Kenyan mobile phone market. But his most lasting legacy is undoubtedly the introduction of M-PESA, the company’s flagship mobile payment system, and the most successful of its kind in the world. M-PESA facilitates more transactions each day in East Africa than Western Union does in a year, globally.  Continue Reading…