Some years ago, I had a discussion with Donald Duke, former governor of Cross River State in Nigeria. I commended his vision for a plan to attract large numbers of tourists from around the world, impacting positively on the economy of the state and the nation. I observed that a large number of leaders in Nigeria can’t envision Nigeria as a developed nation, and talk more of mobilizing citizens to actualize the vision. He replied with an illustration: Nigeria, he said, is like an aircraft that is being flown by pilots that did not go to flying school. He added that when the plane crashes, everyone blames the pilot. The question therefore is: where are Africa’s leadership “flying schools?” How and where do Africans acquire sophistication in the leadership skills required to guide the continent into development? Op-ed 

Africa doesn’t need charity, it needs good leadership

  By Sam Adeyem   There is an ongoing discussion on the effectiveness of foreign aid in helping the economic development of Africa. One thing is obvious: the results are not exactly what Africa’s development partners have expected, and the reasons are not far-fetched. Dambisa Moyo, global economist and author, contends in her book Dead Aid that while foreign aid that addresses humanitarian needs caused by drought and conflict is helpful, most of the aid given to African countries is rather harmful. The OECD provides comprehensive statistics on the kinds and volume of aid…

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Op-ed 

Berlin 1884: Remembering the conference that divided Africa

135 years ago, European leaders sat around a horseshoe-shaped table to set the rules for Africa’s colonization.     On the afternoon of Saturday, November 15, 1884, an international conference was opened by the chancellor of the newly-created German Empire at his official residence on Wilhelmstrasse, in Berlin. Sat around a horseshoe-shaped table in a room overlooking the garden with representatives from every European country, apart from Switzerland, as well as those from the United States and the Ottoman Empire. The only clue as to the purpose of the November gathering of white…

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These are the fruits of the heroic struggle of the Soweto Uprising and the people determination to achieve a resplendent South African through permanent struggle. The historical antecedents of this day is a tribute to the Soweto Uprising inspired by a younger generation on the African continent, reminds us to always not tremble at the indignation of injustice anywhere and to rise to the demands for better welfare and the advancement of our given rights. With our right arms up, we give in red, green, and black salutes to the memories of the heroic student and the general masses of South Africa for the role they played in crippling imperialism on the African soil. To the commemoration of the African youth day, this occasion should not just be a mere jamboree of fine speeches and flattering activities. We must struggle to lift Africa in a new era of new beginnings! Op-ed 

In remembrance of the Soweto Uprising on June and 16, 1976 and African youth day.

By: Jusu Kamara We appreciate the history of resistance and the role played by African men and women who took the risk of protesting to honor the race and restore their people’s dignity. It is with this understanding that we join conscious men and women in the world and Africa in remembrance of the heroic struggle and sacrifice of the Soweto Uprising, and the commemoration of The African Youth Day. History has taught us that on this day, African school going students from the bantustans and native reserves of South…

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Incumbents and aspirants have tried to spin this to their advantage. They drive into slum communities tossing bread to residents in large numbers, in fact, according to a journalist in Kenya, “Chaos erupted among residents of Kibera, the largest slum area in Kenya as residents fought to share packets of maize flour(cornmeal) and a few masks donated by a local politician” Festus Chuma said. As the Coronavirus continues to wreak havoc across the globe, let us not forget very soon that starvation has been an age-old problem in Africa. A survey published by the Guardian in 2019 estimated that nearly 60 million children in Africa are deprived of food. The paper further elaborated that one in every three African children are stunted and hunger accounts for almost all child death across the continent. Overall, it is visible to the blind and audible to the deaf that starvation is a force to reckon with during these confinements across the continent, and the least attempt to downplay this problem has the potential to complicate the fight against this global pandemic. Op-ed 

Starvation, Military Brutality and Ignorance might kill more Africans than COVID-19.

  By: John Saylay Singbae, II At the onset of Coronavirus in Wuhan China, to its rapid spread to Asia, Europe and America, many Africans around the world opined that Africans were immune to COVID-19. Some attributed this assertion to the fact that black people have melanin in their bodies, unlike other races. Conversely, these statements are not mere speculations, but medically inaccurate. In the past weeks, more and more African countries have confirmed numerous cases, deaths, and recoveries like their counterparts in Europe, America, and Asia. Now, Africa accounts…

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The ICC does not solicit cases despite what many may believe. It is actually the court of last resort. Cases are referred through State parties (that are member states who have signed on to the treaty) in accordance with Article 14 of the Rome Statute or through referral by the Security Council acting under Chapter VII of the Charter of the UN. The Office of the Prosecutor can also initiate an investigation upon complaints brought to it by individuals and organizations. The Office of the Prosecutor has conducted or is currently conducting an investigation in Honduras, Georgia, Republic of Korea, Palestine, and Afghanistan in addition to several African countries. To date, Uganda, Mali, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the Central African Republic have referred situations occurring or have occurred in their countries to the ICC. Public Policy 

Africa and the International Criminal Court: Uneasy Lies the Head

  The Editor, The International Criminal Court  (ICC) is a “permanent tribunal created to prosecute individuals for genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes, and the crimes of aggression.”  Its jurisdiction covers “the most serious crimes of concern to the international community as a whole (Preamble 2) and in cases where national trials would not occur or would be ineffective (Preamble 3).”   The nations of the world found it necessary to create the ICC as they were “conscious that all peoples are united by common bonds, their cultures pieced together in a shared heritage, and concerned that this delicate…

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This fact is often framed as a continent-wide struggle between the ancient and the modern, between Africa’s age-old tribal allegiances and its modern political institutions inherited from Europe. According to this narrative, African societies are yet to be fully reformed by modern life. When faced with elections therefore, voters continue to express old tribal solidarities rather than deciding based on ideology or policy. This argument presents European colonialism as a civilising mission against the customary order, albeit one which failed to fully de-tribalise its subjects. The 1884 Berlin Conference, far from dividing Africa among European powers, becomes seen as a unifying exercise that brought tribes together into modern political entities. As foreign affairs commentator Jonathan Power wrote in a 2006 article for The New York Times: Op-ed 

Colonialists didn’t fail to root out Africa’s tribal politics. They created it.

Standing in line at a Nairobi polling station to cast my ballot in Kenya’s 2017 presidential election, I struck up a conversation with fellow voters in the queue. The result was a foregone conclusion, said one of the gentlemen proudly. We had the numbers and our candidate was going to win. Everyone else agreed. No one needed to ask which candidate we would be voting for. That was another foregone conclusion. We were speaking in Kikuyu, and the Kikuyus were voting for President Uhuru Kenyatta. In the end, Kenyatta was…

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President Paul Kagame has talked about the possibility of not running for a fourth term, noting that his wish is for a woman to replace him when he retires from office. “My wish is that one day, a woman takes up this position that you gave me,” Kagame told delegates during the Nation Address at the 17th National Annual Dialogue last Thursday. He has previously made similar claims, notably in 2017 when he said he “can only accept” to run for a third term after being persuaded by the Rwandan population. While it would be difficult to dislodge a president who is credited with the nation’s economic transformation, no woman has made it to the ballot for the presidency in Rwanda’s history despite the president’s wish. Only two women have attempted to run for the top seat—Victoire Ingabire in 2010 and Diane Rwigara in 2017. Their attempts were, however, short-lived and unsuccessful as both were arrested shortly after announcing their bids to run against Kagame. Related Stories KAGAME: Less talk, more action will bring the change we need in EA KAGAME: Less talk, more action will bring the change we need in EA Rwanda as a City State, and Africa’s World Cup win Rwanda as a City State, and Africa’s World Cup win Advertisement Potential successors The ruling party, RPF, has notable women who have previously risen through the ranks and are seen as potential successors once Kagame decides to pass on the button. Experts say Rwanda has a pool of women leaders who can match the challenge. The Cabinet is 52 per cent female while they make up 68 per cent of parliament. “There are many young and experienced women in political offices now. One name that comes up to me easily is Louise Mushikiwabo, who has vast experience in leadership and can take the challenge,” Ismail Buchanan, a professor of politics told The EastAfrican. “But most importantly, I think it is not about a particular individual but the need for continuation of Rwanda’s (upward) trajectory.” Still energetic Ms Mushikiwabo is the secretary-general of Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie and previously served as Rwanda’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and Co-operation of Rwanda from 2009 to 2018. A week ago, President Kagame had again talked up his retirement, this time in a more subtle manner. While attending the 2019 Doha Forum, he answered “most likely not” to a question on whether he will seek for a fourth term in 2024. “I don’t know yet, but most likely no. When I say most likely, I mean I don’t want to lock myself into anything. I want to have some breathing space,” Kagame said. “But I think that given the way things are or have been in the past, it depends on two things. But I think I have made up my mind where am concerned personally that it is not going to happen next time.” President Kagame won a resounding third term in 2017 by 99 per cent of the vote, following a referendum in 2015 that suspended term limits. Before that, Kagame had made several suggestions that he might not seek a third term, but changed his mind after the constitution was amended in 2015 with 98 per cent voting to amend article 101 on presidential term limits. Now having served as president since 2000, he is alongside President Yoweri Museveni of Uganda as the longest-serving leader in the East African Community. The constitution allows him to run for another two five-year terms until 2034, and Mr Kagame says he still has a “lot of energy left to keep going” despite the economic transformation that he has overseen since the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi. “I can go on for several more years; I am not tired of doing what I am doing. I am working with my people and my country, and moving from the past of tremendous challenges but also making progress and creating hope for the people of Rwanda,” he said in Doha. He added: “It is never mission accomplished. As far as we are concerned, it is work-in-progress.” News 

President Paul Kagame wants to retire from office

President Paul Kagame has talked about the possibility of not running for a fourth term, noting that his wish is for a woman to replace him when he retires from office. “My wish is that one day, a woman takes up this position that you gave me,” Kagame told delegates during the Nation Address at the 17th National Annual Dialogue recently. He has previously made similar claims, notably in 2017 when he said he “can only accept” to run for a third term after being persuaded by the Rwandan population.…

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What should be done? The Economic Community of West African States (Ecowas) is lobbying for joint military operations involving regional states. But intelligence sharing, border controls and efforts to win over local populations would be cheaper and more effective. Ecowas should redouble efforts to avert electoral crises that militants could use to their advantage. Public Policy 

Africa should not wait for jihadists to get stronger before our leaders act

By Cherbo Geeplay Today, everything we know says Africa is plagued with barrage of conflicting issues, and prominent amongst these is the looming threat of terrorism buckling at the feet of our leaders who are not proactive on the issue to fight the crime, even as migration or corruption spiral out of control, and caught between the scissors are our poor people who otherwise are the victims largely of these conflicts. They are caught in terrifying crosshair here—with little options available to them. When we are talking about Africa: the…

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Gifts are exchanged. On 31 December participants celebrate with a banquet of food often cuisine from various African countries. Participants greet one another with "Habari gani" which is Kiswahili for "how are you/ how's the news with you?" For further information about Kwanzaa, write to the University of Sankore Press, 2540 W. 54th St., Los Angeles, CA 90043. A children's book about KWANSA by Deborah Newton Chocolate is available through Childrens' Press, 1990, Chicago. Culled -Akwansosem is an outreach newsletter Editor's Desk 

Three Swahili Kwanzaa Phrases That Uncover The Holiday’s Origins

    Let’s take a moment to discover a little more about the week-long celebration of Kwanzaa, and the language that makes it so colorful — Swahili. The end of December brings a whole lot of joy to many different cultures and religions around the globe — some people light candles, some decorate trees, some perform intricate dances. As for Kwanzaa, a cultural holiday, it’s all about history, heritage, and and bringing African people together. 1. The meaning of Kwanzaa: Matunda ya kwanza Meaning ‘first fruits’ or ‘first fruits of…

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Ngũgĩ wa Thiongio will succeed Vinton Cerf, known for being one of the fathers of the Internet. Cerf was the first technologist to receive the prize, with other awarded figures including the philosopher Karl Popper, oceanographer Jacques-Yves Cousteau, politician Václav Havel, writer Doris Lessing, and activist Malala Yousafzai. The prize will be awarded to the Kenyan author during the first quarter of 2020 at a ceremony chaired by Catalan president Quim Torra.  Artists & Reviews 

Kenyan writer and activist Ngugi wa Thiong’o wins Catalonia International Prize

    The Kenyan writer and activist Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o has been awarded the 31st Catalonia International Prize given by the Catalan government, “for his distinguished and courageous literary work and his defense of African languages, based on the notion of language as culture and collective memory.” “Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o is one of the most prolific and renowned African writers,” reads the jury’s communiqué. “In all the genres he cultivates – novels, essays, memoirs, theatre – he combines the most profound African traditions with a sensitive yet merciless description of the social…

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