Star studded Kgalagadi Soul to tour SADC for workshops and performances
March 20, 2017 | 0 Comments
Kgalagadi Soul is a collaboration of three top artists – Mumba Yachi of Zambia, Sereetsi from Botswana and Austebza a South African. The trio has acquired a wealth of experience wowing their fans all over the world on big and small stages. Kgalagadi Soul will present a rich repertoire drawn from the trio’s individual projects using one international band comprising musicians from Congo (Nseka Bienvenu – guitar), South Africa (Bokang Kupa – keyboards), Zimbabwe (Leroy Nyoni – drums) as well as the USA (Terry Lewis – saxophone) that makes the tour a strong collaborative affair.
Kgalagadi Soul will be doing workshops during the tour in cities they will be performing at to share their knowledge with young and aspiring musicians. The one-day workshops will be structured in this way:
Sereetsi whose 83 page four string folk guitar instructional book/CD has been approved by Botswana Education Ministry to be taught in schools, will be leading the workshops. He will be teaching the technique of playing a modern guitar on four strings. A tradition originally used by herdboys on a self-made tin guitar.
Mumba Yachi will be sharing his experiences in the international music business scene.
Austebza will also share her experiences as a performer, a session musician and a bandleader as a woman in the tough music industry.
MUMBA YACHI is a folk musician born in Mokambo, a border town with the DRC Congo. He developed interest in music at a tender age while listening to his mother singing in a church choir and his father playing his various records of African musicians
Mumba Yachi seriously involved with music after spending just one day at the university. He quit university to follow his music call. He has been active on the music scene since 2009 and has released four albums – I am Lenshina (1st May 2015), Mongu Rice (2013), Mokambo (2012) and Inspire Me (2010).
Mumba Yachi has won several awards in the Zambian music scene
including Best Traditional Album for his Mokambo album and Best Live Recording Album for I am Lenshina album. He has become a household name in Zambia and is considered the leading voice in traditional/folk music of his generation. He is also a UN Ambassador for Gender Equality.
He has already collaborated and shared the stage with a number of well known artists such as Femi Kuti, Mokoomba, Hugh Masekela, Joss Stone, Mama Sibongile Khumalo and Hope Masike. He recently shared the stage with Sereetsi and the Natives and Jonathan Butler in Gaborone.
SEREETSI has just won four awards out five nominations at the BOMU Awards 2016. He is considered a pioneer on the cultural landscape in Botswana. His 83 page guitar instructional book/CD on the local folk guitar tradition entitled The Solo Four String Guitar of Botswana is a groundbreaking first. He continues to present workshops on the folk guitar tradition in Botswana and internationally. His book has been assessed and approved for use in schools by Botswana’s education ministry.
Only over a year after the release of his debut album, Four String Confessions, the act has already shared stages with established names like Jonathan Butler, Oliver Mtukudzi, Caiphus Semenya, Jaziel Brothers, Letta Mbulu and McCoy Mrubata. Sereetsi is the first Botswana act to embark on a month-long tour of South African (2016).
Sereetsi has also played Chicago, USA, Planeta World Music Festival in Gothenburg, Sweden, the Mahika Mahikeng Jazz festival for two years in succession, Kgalagadi Jazz Festival and the Cultural Calabash Fest in Durban, South Africa. This is in addition to a busy festival and corporate gig schedule in Botswana. Among festivals Sereetsi & the Natives has played in Botswana are the Maun International Arts Festival, The Hamptons International Jazz Festival, Son of the Soil and the President’s Concert.
Born in Krugersdorp and bred between Boons and Mafikeng, AUSTEBZA is a vibrant, energetic, incredible musician. She started her music career after her parents couldn’t afford to pay her university fees, but she has always been involved in music throughout her middle and high school. She then went to join the music department at the Mmabana Cultural Centre in Mafikeng, where she learned how to play the acoustic guitar.
Austebza has just landed the musical directorship of Feather Awards 2016. She has also worked with various artists such as HHP, Gang of Instrumentals, Maxhoba., Wanda Baloyi, Swazi Dlamini, KB Motsilenyane. While working with these top musicians, Austebza managed to travel Nigeria, Botswana, Mozambique, Lesotho, Zimbabwe, USA, Germany, Namibia, Jamaica.
Her debut album, Make a Difference has been well received. She is constantly performing with her band around South Africa.
The Kgalagadi Soul Tour 2017 is supported by an ANT Funding Grant from Pro Helvetia Johannesburg financed by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC).
30 March – Pretoria – African Chef – Performance
31 March – Pretoria – Bentley’s Country Lodge
04 April – Gaborone – Maitisong Festival – Workshops and performance
05 April – Pretoria – Solomon Mahlangu Arts Centre
13 April – Kuruman – Kgalagadi Jazz Festival – Workshops
15 April – Kuruman – Kgalagadi Jazz Festival – Performance
02 May – Johannesburg – Wits School of Arts – Workshops
03 May – Pretoria – Tshwane School of Music – Workshops
17 May – Durban – UKZN Jazz Centre – Performance & workshops
More shows to be confirmed.
For Kgalagadi Soul Bookings and Media enquiries:
S.Africa’s Marikana victims offered $91 mln in damages
March 16, 2017 | 0 Comments
Johannesburg (AFP) – The South African government on Wednesday said it was offering to pay 1.17 billion rand ($91 billion) in compensation to victims of a 2012 police shooting that left 34 mineworkers dead and dozens wounded.
“The 1.17 billion rand presented here is an amount linked to a certain number of individuals‚ loss of support‚ injuries and of course fatalities,” Police Minister Minister Nathi Nhleko told lawmakers.
The amount will cover 652 claims made by families who lost breadwinners, miners who were injured and those who were unlawfully arrested.
The 34 miners were gunned down after police were deployed to break up a wildcat strike that had turned violent at the Lonmin-owned Marikana platinum mine northwest of Johannesburg in August 2012.
It was the worst police violence in South Africa since the end of apartheid in 1994.
An official inquiry established by President Jacob Zuma put much of the blame for the massacre on police tactics used to disperse the strikers, but it did not go as far as recommending compensation.
Last year Zuma announced that government was ready to pay damages.
The police minister did not state when the claims would be settled saying the process depended on the finalisation of legal processes.
A senior police official, Nashee Sewpersadh, told lawmakers that the offers had in principle been accepted.
Africa: New Head of AU Commission
March 14, 2017 | 0 Comments
By Cristina Krippahl*
New African Union Commission chief Moussa Faki Mahamat officially takes up his post on Tuesday. But who is Faki and what does he stand for?
A seasoned diplomat and politician, 56-year-old Moussa Faki Mahamat is no stranger to the challenges presented by the top job he was elected to on January 30. He is seen as the architect of Chad’s nomination to the United Nations Security Council as a non-permanent member and also of the country’s presidency of the AU in 2016. He headed the AU Commission on Peace and Security at the Nairobi summit in 2013, which was dedicated to the fight against terrorism. Above all, as a former Chadian prime minister and current foreign minister he has had a decisive say in all the military and strategic operations his country was and is engaged in: Libya, Mali, South Sudan and Central African Republic, the Sahel and the Lake Chad region.
His election as chief executive of the AU thus indicates a very likely reorientation of AU policies towards issues of peace and security on the continent, Liesl Louw-Vaudran of the Institute for Security Studies (ISS) in Pretoria told DW: “His country, Chad, is well known for seeing itself as a sort of champion of military intervention.”
His predecessor, South Africa’s Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, was severely criticized for neglecting the pressing issues on the crisis-riven continent, preferring to concentrate on longterm plans of prosperity for Africa, not to mention her own political career at home. Moussa Faki, on the other hand, has already left a mark in the fight against terrorism, most notably as chairman of the council of ministers of the G5Sahel, a military anti-terror alliance made up of Mauritania, Mali, Niger, Burkina Faso and Chad, of which Ndjamena is the driving force.
His election to the AU Commission is likely to please both Europe and the United States of America, who support Chad in the fight against Boko Haram and other jihadist groups. Chad is also the headquarters of the French counterterrorism operation in the Sahel, Operation Barkhane.
Democracy not a priority
But not everybody welcomed the news. Doki Warou Mahamat, a Chadian who coordinated the campaign against Faki’s election, told DW: “Moussa Faki is on the payroll of a dictatorship. The Chadians are in a state of mourning. You have to clean up your own act before starting somewhere else.”
Moussa Faki is reputed to be very close to President Deby who was reelected in April 2016 for a fifth consecutive term. The outcome was widely criticized because of serious irregularities. Deby has ruled the country with an iron fist since 1990. Both are members of the Zaghawa ethnic group. Analysts note that Deby succeeded in placing a man he trusted at the helm of the AU on the same day that he handed over the rotating presidency of the organization to Guinea, showing the extent of Chad’s influence in the AU and on the continent.
Reforms in the offing
Nevertheless, Faki’s election was not a foregone conclusion. Internal rifts in the AU were highlighted in July 2016 when no candidate won the necessary two-thirds majority at a previous attempt to elect a chairperson, forcing Dlamini-Zuma to stay on for an extra six months. And early this year it took seven rounds of voting before Faki emerged as the winner ahead of Kenya’s Amina Mohamed, long considered the favorite.
While campaigning, Faki, who studied law in Brazzaville and Paris, said that as head of the AU Commission he would want a continent where “the sound of guns will be drowned out by cultural songs and rumbling factories.” While he promised to put development and security at the top of the agenda during his four-year term, he might also want to go ahead with at least some of the reforms deemed necessary to make the organization more effective. “The AU chairperson should be able to make a stand and authorize the sending of AU troops in crisis situations. At the moment, the Commission is sort of beholden to the decision of the 55 member states. Basically, the Commission’s hands are tied,” expert Liesl Louw-Vaudran said. Being a man accustomed to power and who expects to be obeyed, it is likely that Faki will want to change that.
“Lights, Power, Action”: AfDB’s Adesina and Kofi Annan Urge Governments to Close Africa’s Energy Deficit
March 14, 2017 | 0 Comments
The Chair of the Africa Progress Panel and former UN Secretary-General, Kofi Annan, and the President of the African Development Bank, Akinwumi Adesina, have called on African governments and their partners to do everything possible to close the continent’s huge energy gap.
They made the call on Monday, March 13, 2017 in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, at the launch of the Africa Progress Panel Report on “Lights, Power, Action: Electrifying Africa,” which calls for the adoption of every available on-grid and off-grid solution to light up and power Africa.
“The electricity deficit in Africa is immense,” said Adesina. “Today, 645 million people do not have access to electricity.
“Yet the continent has abundant supply of solar, hydropower, wind and geothermal potential, as well as significant amounts of natural gas and in some countries coal deposits. Africa has energy potential, yes, but we need to unlock that potential. And we must do so quickly, because Africans are tired of being in the dark.”
Adesina stated that he drew inspiration from the Panel’s previous report in developing the Bank’s High 5 development priorities, which places energy as the top priority, and which has, through the Bank’s New Deal on Energy for Africa, committed to investing US $12 billion on energy in the next five years and leveraging US $45-50 billion from the private sector and other partners. The goal is to connect 130 million households via the grid, 75 million people via off-grid and provide some 130 million households with access to clean cooking energy.
The AfDB President commended the Africa Progress Panel for another very insightful report which, he said, will help Africa think through how to achieve the off-grid electricity revolution, as part of the comprehensive New Deal on Energy for Africa.
Lights, Power, Action notes that more than 620 million Africans without access to electricity cannot wait for grid expansion. While grid-connected megaprojects such as large dams and power pools are essential to scale up national and regional energy generation and transmission, they are slow and expensive. Therefore, governments must also increase investment in off-grid and mini-grid solutions, which are cheaper and quicker to install, the report says.
Of the 315 million people who will gain access to electricity in Africa’s rural areas by 2040, it is estimated that only 30 per cent will be connected to national grids. Most will be powered by off-grid household or mini-grid systems.
“Lights, Power, Action” is an in-depth follow up to the influential 2015 Africa Progress Report, “Power, People, Planet: Seizing Africa’s Energy and Climate Opportunities“. It urges governments to put in place the incentives needed to encourage greater investment in off-grid and mini-grid systems, protect consumers, and facilitate demand among disadvantaged groups.
Above all, governments need to foster an environment in which companies can enter energy generation, transmission and distribution markets, climb the value chain, and build the investment partnerships that can drive growth and create jobs.
“Traditional approaches to extending the grid are no longer viable as the main option for African countries,” Annan said. “They will take too long and will not meet the needs of our growing economies and societies. Instead, governments and their partners need to seize the opportunity to re-imagine their energy futures.”
South Africa: Parliament – ANC Wants a Total Reset
March 14, 2017 | 0 Comments
A wholesale review of Parliament’s structure is proposed in the ANC’s Legislature and Governance Discussion Document released on Sunday. Like the proposal to centralise policy, planning, co-ordination and resource allocation in the presidency through a proposed “department of state policy and planning”, the legislative review proposes centralisation: one Speaker of Parliament rather than the two presiding officers for the National Assembly and National Council of Provinces (NCOP) and making the ANC Chief Whip the Chief Whip of Parliament, rather than recognising all represented political parties’ chief whips. These are proposals that, if implemented, require constitutional changes. By MARIANNE MERTEN
The ANC’s Legislature and Governance Discussion Document meanders from retaining political power “to preserve our democratic legacy and accelerate socio-economic transformation” to arguing that corruption must be “exposed and swift action taken, regardless of the seniority of the people involved”, and wants to see state-owned entities (SOEs) as drivers of the developmental state and a single public service, whose members, like elected public representatives, “at all levels are barred from doing business with the state”.
It’s a wide field and, particularly, on inter-governmental relations a measure of frustration emerges not only between the lines. “The inter-governmental relations system reflects design issues hampering the effectiveness of the three-sphere system. Importantly, many of the issues relate to the shortcomings in the human capital skills, leadership, commitment and accountability,” says the discussion document.
Amid this come the proposals for a review of how Parliament is structured politically – and a review of the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) as “an opportunity to reconfigure the House, or rather, repositioning the future role of the NCOP”, including making traditional leaders as “part-time participants” as per their request to interact with legislative processes.
This nod to include in the NCOP traditional leaders, an important constituency for the ANC by its own admission, is not provided for in the Constitution. In line with Section 212 of the Constitution, which also provides for traditional leadership as an institution to have a role at local government, government has already established provincial and national houses of traditional leaders.
Other structural changes with constitutional implications are raised in the proposal that, as there is just one secretary to Parliament to head the administration, there should be one speaker of Parliament as the institutional political head. 1
“The three arms of state are each led by a single office as prescribed by the Constitution, except for the legislatures. The executive and government are led by the state president [Note: the Constitution talks of “president”, not state president], the judiciary by the chief justice, while legislatures are led by the speaker of the National Assembly and chairperson of the NCOP. The consideration of the political institutional head of Parliament as a speaker of Parliament must be resolved upon.”
Yet the reason there are two presiding officers is because there are two separate houses, each with its own constitutional obligations. While Section 42(3) of the Constitution states that the National Assembly is “elected to represent the people and to ensure government by the people” and thus elects the president, the NCOP “represents the provinces to ensure provincial interests are taken into account in the national sphere of government”, according to Section 42(4).
Both the National Assembly and NCOP are constitutionally enshrined to establish joint rules and joint committees in Section 45 to facilitate the legislative process – and their relationship.
To say, as the discussion document does, that Bills referred back to Parliament have “mainly been on procedural flaws in the NCOP cycle in passing legislation, which is the lack of proper public participation” is tantamount to simplifying a complex process that not only has to deal with different levels of capacity in different provinces, but also contending interests among provinces and within the governing ANC factions in eight of the nine provinces. The Western Cape is governed by the DA, where contending interests play out to a different script.
The NCOP has long struggled to secure the regular and active participation of the South African Local Government Association (Salga) – it has 10 part time participants – and that of the four special provincial delegates, including the premier or his or her representative. The other six members of a provincial delegation, or the permanent delegates, are determined on the basis of a political party’s provincial electoral performance.
In some circles the NCOP is seen as a sweetheart venue for the executive, and for the president to deliver his annual lecture. Some circles argue the NCOP is largely considering the same matters as the National Assembly, and so is largely a duplication. For others the NCOP is seen as the platform to introduce last-minute legislative amendments.
It’s seldom the NCOP puts its foot down. It did so in October 2013 when the majority of provinces refused to give their mandate to the then Traditional Courts Bill, touted as a sweetener to traditional leaders ahead of the May 2014 elections. Five provinces rejected the Bill outright and two others indicated they would abstain, thus effectively scuppering the draft legislation. It has since been substantially revised – the 2012 version was criticised for introducing an unconstitutional two-tier justice system – and reintroduced.
More recently the NCOP insisted on its constitutional role of approving provincial supervision of a non-performing municipality, effectively throwing a spanner in the wheel of provincial political machinations. While KwaZulu-Natal MEC for Co-operative Governance Nomusa Dube announced that Nquthu municipality would be placed under administration in terms of a provincial decision on February 8, the NCOP maintained this could not be done until it had considered the matter. Nquthu, finely balanced following the 2016 local government elections, has failed to elect a mayor, deputy mayor and speaker since that poll. The NCOP’s endorsement of the provincial decision came on February 24 in line with Section 139 of the Constitution.
But the ANC’s Legislative and Governance Discussion Document says that while celebrating the 20th anniversary of the establishment of the NCOP, “the constitutional role of the NCOP must be reviewed with the intention to strengthen the NCOP. Mechanisms must be developed to ensure NCOP plays a catalytic strategic role in articulating provinces and local government matters”.
This would take place alongside a recommended review of what the ANC document calls “legislative sector”. This assessment “must establish whether the legislative sector is appropriately configured, adequately resourced, optimally functioning and works co-operatively with other arms of the state across all spheres”.
As the Governance and Legislative Discussion Document argues, “the ANC must retain political power in order to preserve our democratic legacy and accelerate socio-economic transformation”, the ANC parliamentary caucus is styled as an electioneering tool.
“The ANC caucus must effectively use Parliament to regain the confidence of our people in the run-up to the 2019 elections,” says the discussion document, after stating earlier: “The ANC in Parliament will in both words and deed master the moral high ground, vigorously advance clean governance, champion the fight against corruption, shun incompetence and decisively deal with ill-discipline.” 3
But the discussion document is silent on key points in the governance and legislative sector. For example, Communications Minister Faith Muthambi now plans a legal challenge to Parliament’s hard-hitting report on its SABC inquiry. Adopted last week, it not only recommended probes into misspending and maladministration, but on the back of political interference also recommended that the president should seriously reconsider keeping her on in the portfolio.
And so the difference between discussion document sentiment and factional ANC politics permeating governance emerges as vast.
Liberated Africa: Pathways to Self-Transformational Development
March 14, 2017 | 0 Comments
By Ehiedu Iweriebor*
NEW YORK, United States of America, March 13, 2017/ — In the period since independence in the 1950s, Africa has undergone profound social, cultural, economic and political changes. Some inherited and historically rootless colonialist political and social systems have collapsed, been transcended and reconstituted. Different political systems – single party rule, personal rule and military governments have come and gone. New post-independence political and social systems; economic institutions, professional associations and labour unions, various types – traditional and new and varied cultural expressions have all emerged. Creative efforts to foster effective nation-building, develop a sense of belonging and manage diversity productively have also been made. New political systems, different forms of electoral democracy and democratic government; political parties and groups, varied social and intelligentsia organizations, confident youth groups, civil society organizations are also emerging. Disruptive and traumatic political and social crises have occurred. These include civil wars, secessionist wars, famines, elite generated manipulative ethnicity and deadly intergroup conflicts, and recently home grown and imported religious terrorism and their destructive wars, spectacular damaging actions, the creation of refugees and internally displaced peoples and the generation of general feelings of insecurity.
Social development institutions like health and educational facilities that barely existed under colonialism have been built. For example, vast numbers of schools at all levels including universities and other tertiary institutions – conventional and specialized have been established and dot various parts of Africa. They have produced millions of educated Africans as never existed before in African history. New physical infrastructures: roads, railways, water ways and airports have been built. This is a rough profile of profound changes in Africa since the 1950s.
However, given Africa’s size and vast unmet human, social and economic needs there is no question that substantial as what has been built is, the extant physical and social infrastructures are not adequate or abundant enough.
At the same time, it is quite clear that the physical and social landscapes of Africa today are vastly different from what they were 60 years ago such that it is unlikely that people from those times will recognize Africa of today.
Yet it is also true that there are some aspects of African realities that have not changed substantively or for the better during this period because Africa did not regain, recover or assert its ownership and use of its autonomous self-direction capacities in some spheres over the past six decades. These are primarily in the areas of economic sovereignty, development capacitation, self-actuated development and ideological self-direction. This failure is manifested in such conditions as persistent underdevelopment, the pre-eminence of primary commodities production and export in its economic interactions with the world, import dependency, development incapacitation and poverty generation. It is also manifested in Africa’s ideological subordination to external diktat through the acceptance and implementation of the economic management dogmas and prescriptions of the multilateral imperialist agencies – the World Bank, IMF and similar bilateral external agencies. These prescribed non-development dogmas include: privatization, deregulation and African states self-withdrawal from promoting socio-economic development and the simultaneous promotion of the ascendancy of “MARKET FORCES, FOREIGN INVESTORS, FOREIGN DIRECT INVESTMENTS and FOREIGN TECHNOLOGY TRANSFER ” as the primary and indispensable engines of African economic growth.
The forceful application of these disempowering dogmas through the active complicity of psychologically programmed and ideologically defeated African leaders and elite over the past three decades has yielded or in fact consolidated Africa in its status as under- developed, under-equipped and incapable of development self-propulsion. With African economies arrested in primary commodity export and the mass importation of manufactured goods they are mired in the same exocentric rut and this inevitably results in the export of jobs and import of poverty, therefore recurrent poverty-generation.
This condition and its persistence over this period suggest that IT CANNOT BE RESOLVED WITHIN ITSELF. It has to be transcended by African strategies of psycho-cultural recovery and development capacitation. Psycho-cultural recovery will entail the self-conscious efforts of liberated Africans to peel off the layers of self-deceit, self-delusion, psycho-ideological incapacitation, diminution of African self-worth, self-marginalization of African agency in African development. It would also require the expurgation from African leaderships and elite of their worshipful dependence on outsiders and preference for all things foreign including pre-fabricated solutions that have been introduced into Africa as dogmas of disempowerment and mechanisms of control from the slave trade era to the present. In its various incarnations, African disempowerment was partially procured through various seemingly neutral but ultimately destructive external ideological constructs such as “Christianization”, “Islamization”; European “Civilization” during the colonial era; “Modernization” in the neo-colonial period after independence and its latest expression, as multilateral imperialist “globalism” and dictatorial globalization that ideologically and politically dictates a single, global capitalist and liberal democratic system as the only “approved” economic, political and social and order for all times. This would be composite world of the rich and powerful, and the weak and powerless with Africa at the top.
But all these disempowering political, social, cultural and economic constructs and systems of domination were politically and self-consciously created by organized and mission-driven national and racial elites pursuing the objectives of group ascendancy and global domination. They are not divine constructs imposed on the world. In the same way, liberated Africans can self-consciously choose and work to exit from this state of UNFREEDOM AND INDIGNITY by dismantling and reconstituting the extant world order (as Asians have done) and chose to create and enter the realms of FREEDOM AND SELF-DIRECTION through development capacitation, psychological liberation, cultural recuperation, mental freedom and self-actuated development so as to emerge as powerful participants in the world system as actors not subjects. This is the liberatory imperative.
In order for Africa to assume responsibility for its own transformation and elevation, and be able to undertake self-reliant development and create secure domestic prosperity, it has to create its own specific ideology and strategy of self-development. To do this there are a number of irreducible components that have to be designed and put in place. These are: the recovery and application of African agency in African development, the creation of the liberated African state, establishment of an African development capacitation system, the creation and dissemination of the Affirmative Africa Narrative and African comprehensive military empowerment.
The Centrality of African Agency in African Development
The first requirement of this liberated development strategy and process is the emplacement of African Agency at the centre of African thought and action as the primary psycho-cultural foundation, ideological premise and endogenous propellant for Africa’s self-actuated development. In this context African Agency is the endogenously created psycho-cultural software embedded in societies with which African societies train, organize, motivate, self-activate and direct themselves to accomplish desirable ends individually and collectively. It is the absolute psycho-cultural grounding and ideological ownership of the African project devoid of compromises to any external imperatives. African Agency is grounded on the supremacy of African endocentric thought and motive-forces as the propellants of development as a self-directed imperative.
Without contemporary Africans’ psychological internalization of this understanding and ownership of their development vision and their assumption of complete responsibility for self-actuated development, African societies will remain dependent, underdeveloped and insecure. Therefore the new liberated Africa vision must recognize the absolute necessity of the restoration of African Agency to primacy for any successful African actuated process of transformation. This new perspective is critically important because it has to be realized that one of the major challenges and primary impediment to Africa’s development since independence in the 1960s has been the absence of African Agency in African development as the directive force. This was due to the concerted and largely successful efforts of external multilateral imperialist forces (posing as omniscient advisers) working with psycho-ideologically unprepared and even naive African collaborator-leaders to promote exocentric authority and the corresponding marginalization, diminution and de-activation of African Agency in African development. Consequently, without the unquestioned ascendancy, centrality and directive role of African Agency, African development understood as Africans’ self-equipment for total liberation and radical transformation can never occur.
The Liberated African State
Second, is the imperative of the creation of a new Liberated African State through the rigorous ideological cleansing, psychological re-empowerment and administrative reconstruction of the contemporary politically compromised and disabled neo-colonial African states that are more representative of external forces than national interests.
The decolonization of the colonial African state and the evolution and emergence of the liberated state after independence was disrupted in the 1980s when most African states were captured and disabled by the cancerous ideologies, dogmas and prescriptions of the multilateral imperialist agencies – the World Bank and the IMF and their bilateral supporters in the context of the economic crises of the late 1970s and early 1980s. Embodied in various formulations and policy diktats such as the Structural Adjustment Programme (SAP), and its unvarying conditionalities: currency devaluation, subsidy removal, trade liberalization and others like deregulation, privatization, poverty reduction; these prescriptions have transformed African states into disabled, compromised, neo-colonial political-administrative contraptions that are responsible to neo-imperialist multilateral institutions and not to Africans. They therefore cannot serve Africa’s interests
This is why it is imperative to create the new Liberated African state. It will be a strong and interventionist developmental state. Its raison d’ etre would be the representation and promotion of national interests. This Liberated African state will be grounded on the affirmation and militant expression of its untrammeled sovereignty; and the absolute non-compromise of national interests to any external agencies, formulations, dogmas and imperatives. It would self-consciously assume and assert uncontested ideological ascendancy. In fact the new liberated state will represent the completion of the decolonization of the African states and the emergence of truly endogenous states. It is only such Liberated African developmental states that can lead to the realization of the African citizens’ expectations for defence and protection, advanced development, material prosperity and freedom from want and colonialist philanthropy, psychological security and empowerment, dignity and equity with all other groups in the world.
The African Development Capacitation System
The third critical requirement is the development and placement of an African Development Capacitation System as the primary motive-force for Africa’s social and economic transformation and creation of advanced societies. This is proposed against the background of the complete failure of the extant neo-colonial economic system inherited and maintained from colonialism. In over five decades of its use and application as the dominant economic management system and growth strategy it has yielded and maintained Africa in a state of development incapacitation, primary commodity exportation, secondary goods importation, dependency, poverty generation, incapacity for self-propulsion, and subjection to the diktat and control of multilateral imperialist agencies – the World Bank and IMF. It is quite clear that the extant exocentric economic system with its development motive forces externally situated is organically defective, un-reformable and inherently incapable of propelling Africa to the highest levels of development.
Therefore in order for Africa to develop and achieve the highest levels of human development it has to own the instruments and systems of self-actuated development. This perspective is partly based on this author’s succinct definition of Development – as a society’s self-equipment with the resources and capacities for its self-reproduction. Consequently, the African Development Capacitation system is the creation and existence within all African societies of the endogenous capacities to conceive, design, construct, manage and operate projects in ALL sectors of the economy. These include the technological, scientific, managerial and operational capabilities for all facets of modern industrial and agricultural production and development self-propulsion.
Practically, the components of the development capacitation system include the domestic possession and ownership of the following capacities: Project Conception and Design capabilities; Technological Production Capacity or Capital Goods Industries comprising : Engineering Industries for the manufacture of all types and levels of machine tools, industrial machinery and equipment, transport equipment, electrical and power equipment; electronic and professional tools and equipment. Intermediate Goods Industries (Metals, Heavy Chemicals, Petrochemicals, Paper, Rubber etc); Civil Engineering Construction Capabilities for large, medium and small scale projects; and Project management and operation and supervision Capabilities.
This endogenous development capacitation system is found in all successful global examples of societal self-development as the prime movers of any society’s self-actuated transformation from conditions of UN-FREEDOM: material underdevelopment, mass poverty, indignity and colonialist philanthropy to new empowered conditions of FREEDOM: expressed as self-created material abundance and prosperity, psycho-cultural confidence and dignified existence. This is practically expressed in mass industrialization, modernized mass agricultural production, mass mineral exploitation and beneficiation primarily for domestic use; mass employment, mass prosperity generation; cultural elevation, self-actuation, self-agency, human dignity and societal power. This is in effect the enthronement of the strategy and process of endocentricity and its ineluctable creation and production of a state of development.
The Affirmative Africa Narrative
The fourth basic requirement is the creation and permanent dissemination of a self-elevating paradigm or narrative to be known as the Affirmative Africa Narrative. Currently there is no global African created narrative that conceives, presents, projects and widely propagates a truthful, complex and elevating narrative of Africa and Africans. In its absence there exists a universal externally fabricated, pervasive and routinely propagated perverse perspective on Africa that I describe as the Pathological Africa Narrative. This narrative which evolved from the era of the European slave trade; was expansively propagated and consolidated during colonialism and has been fine-tuned and expanded since independence to the present to include other foreign propagators like Asians and even Africans. It presents an image and impression; perception and narrative of Africa as a world of deficits, lack, deprivation, absence, danger, disease, inaction, native incapacity, immobility and a basket charity case that is rescueable only by the self-assigned salvationary efforts of Western multilateral imperialist agencies – World Bank and IMF – their dogmas, experts and prescriptions. This Pathological Africa Narrative is not only inaccurate but it is also dangerous and damaging as it represents the software of African self-denigration, servility, surrender and incapacitation.
In order to pursue the vision of liberated Africa it is imperative to create and propagate the Affirmative Africa Narrative. This would be a robust and unapologetic statement of African accomplishments in all areas of human endeavor since independence despite all internal and external obstacles. It would provide the psychological props and grounding among Africans for their self-representation. The Affirmative Africa Narrative is intended to confront, combat, degrade, pulverize, defeat, eliminate and replace the Pathological Africa Narrative that currently pervades external and internal descriptions and representations of Africa and Africans. In its place, the Affirmative Africa Narrative should become the primary perceptual representation and imagistic projection of an energetic and boundless; resurgent and self-directed Africa.
Consequently, for Africans committed to racial upliftment and continental advancement and empowerment embodied in the new liberated Africa vision, the requisite framework of self-representation, self-projection and self-activation is the Affirmative Africa Narrative. This is thus a necessary and indispensable accompaniment and organic adjunct to the determined pursuit of the liberated African vision and mission.
The Imperative of African Military Empowerment
A fifth requirement of the liberated Africa vision is the imperative of Africa’s military empowerment through deliberate provisions for continent-wide development of military capabilities. In order to meet the defence needs of a self-conscious people and continent determined to assume responsibility for its own self-advancement, self-protection, self-projection and emergence as a powerful and dynamic participant in global affairs, two range of actions are minimally imperative.
First is the establishment and development of military industries throughout Africa to ensure that virtually all military equipment from the most basic to the most advanced are manufactured (not assembled) in Africa. This is will free Africa from its current pathetic situation of dependency for military wares from the countries which participated in the past in Africa’s conquest and colonization as well as from new armament producers and traders. To be militarily none self-equipped and self-reliant is to reside in a state of UNFREEDOM.
The second aspect of African military empowerment is the revival, re-steaming and realization of the long-standing grand visions from the 1960s for continental defence institutions and systems. The founding nationalist and pan Africanist leaders of the 1960s and 1970s, had canvassed and proposed the development a comprehensive continental military defence system. This is was to be known as the African Military High Command. These pioneer leaders envisaged it as a powerful continental defence force for self-protection, internal security issues, intra-continental intervention, conflict resolution, contributions to continental and global peace keeping and management as needed and as a force of self-projection that announces Africa’s global presence. It would also be responsible for the security of African geo-political and oceanic spaces against foreign powers desirous of containing, controlling and constraining Africa by the establishment of their military cordon around the continent.
The over-all rationale for the prescription of Africa’s military empowerment is due to the historical purblindness and psychological incapacitation of African leaderships and dominant elite since independence. In the light of the rapid conquest, colonization and exploitation of African communities after the Berlin Conference between the 1880s-1900s, self-conscious Africans should never have the luxury of forgetting that Africa was conquered primarily because of Western military superiority in arms and armaments. Thus it would seem minimally patriotic, psychologically imperative, behaviourially logical and eminently sensible that such a people and continent should give premium attention to the establishment of a powerful military capacity for defence and offense as indicated by its historical experiences and new status as sovereign states.
Therefore a fulsome strategy for African military self-equipment and a powerful and expansive African Military High Command should be developed and incorporated as part of the liberated development strategy to equip Africa to defend, protect and project itself and to play a dynamic role in global affairs.
The various elements outlined above constitute a new strategy and process of endocentric development or African Liberated Development and their application would produce Liberated Africa. This Africa would be truly self-made: developmentally transformed, ideologically self-directed, politically stable, technologically advanced, industrially developed, socially prosperous, culturally renascent, psychologically assertive, militarily powerful, a globally ascendant continent with self-restored human dignity, an Africa of which all Africans will be duly proud.
*Ehiedu Iweriebor, Ph.d (Columbia) is a Professor and former Chair of the Department of Africana and Puerto Rican/Latino Studies, Hunter College, City University of New York, USA.
The 2017 AFRICA CEO FORUM AWARDS Recognise Business Leaders and Companies that Shaped the Year in Africa
March 14, 2017 | 0 Comments
‘Wind of change blowing in African football’
March 14, 2017 | 0 Comments
By Piers Edwards*
“It’s time we introduce a new regime,” says Liberian Football Association president Musa Bility ahead of what has been described as the most important Confederation of African Football elections for almost three decades.
African football goes to the polls on Thursday to choose a new Caf president and for the first time since he came to power in 1988, incumbent Issa Hayatou faces a serious challenge.
Only twice before has the Cameroonian run against another candidate and he swept aside both with ease: Angola’s Armando Machado in 2000 (by 47 votes to 4) and Ismail Bhamjee of Botswana in 2004 (46-6).
Bility, who has long been a thorn in Caf’s side after speaking out on several issues, told BBC Sport. “The reality is that football has come to be more active, more democratic, more involving – and we have to do that.
“We have to follow the path of the rest of the world, as Africa cannot afford to be left behind. I believe that Africa is ready for change. This is the first time in the history of (Hayatou’s) Caf that there is a real and possible challenge to the leadership.”
Under the 70-year-old Haytou’s control, African football has changed immensely.
He has, among several measures, overseen the expansion of the Africa Cup of Nations from eight teams to 16, the increase in the number of Africa’s World Cup representatives (from two to five), remodelling and financially boosting club competitions as well as greatly boosting Caf’s finances.
The 2007 introduction of the African Nations Championship, which is like the Nations Cup but only using footballers who play in their domestic league, has proved very popular while it was also on the Cameroonian’s watch that Africa staged its first World Cup in 2010 (in South Africa).
Despite the myriad achievements, Bility believes time is up for veteran Hayatou and that a new leader should steer African football into the future.
He believes Ahmad, who outlined a desire for improved governance, with a commitment to increased transparency and reinvestment in his manifesto, is the right man.
“He’s presented a programme to all 54 countries – I’ve never seen this before,” added Bility.
“Normally, we go to elections and there are no promises. There is nothing to hold the president against. This time around, we have a guy who is running on something we can hold him to.
“The other candidate (Hayatou) does not care to give a programme. He just goes through election after election, acclamation after acclamation. There is no promise made to us, therefore there are no obligations nor broken promises. This is what we need to change.”
With Hayatou’s critics saying he runs African football with an iron fist while relying on a handful of close advisers, Bility believes Caf will benefit from different personnel and fresh ideas.
“It’s not to say that Hayatou has not done much for Africa – African football has come of age – it’s to say that there is no way that you can keep an individual in authority for over 29 years. There is nothing new expected,” he claimed.
“Ahmad is from a country that is struggling to develop football. He understands the difficulties we go through as presidents.”
The southern African football region Cosafa, which encompasses Madagascar, has said it will vote for Ahmad – which accounts for 14 votes (a tally that might be less given Comoros has offered its vote to Hayatou) – while Nigeria and Djibouti have also publicly backed the Malagasy.
Nigeria’s federation president Amaju Pinnick told BBC Sport he believes there is a need to change the “tiny cabal” that runs Caf, so echoing Ahmad who spoke of the need to reconcile the African football family in his manifesto.
There is also a need to repair relations with Fifa, which frayed after Caf instructed all its members to vote for Bahrain’s Sheikh Salman in the football’s world governing body’s February 2016 elections.
When Gianni Infantino assumed the Fifa presidency instead, Caf was left exposed.
“You can see clearly that Caf and Fifa are not moving in the same direction,” says Bility.
“If President Hayatou wins, there will be rancour and I would foresee a period of uncertainty.”
Despite his desire to see Hayatou replaced, Bility is adamant the Cameroonian should be afforded a befitting send-off.
“We’d like to see President Hayatou retire honourably. We’d like to thank him for everything he has done for African football. We want to respect and make sure his time is recorded in history – with due honour given,” he said.
“But at the same time we want to move forward to a new development and a new generation of leaders. This is not a campaign in which we are going to get involved in mud-slinging and bad-mouthing – we just want change.”
South Africa launches hate crime unit with Nigeria
March 14, 2017 | 0 Comments
‘Early warning’ system established between two countries after spate of xenophobic attacks on migrants in South Africa.
South Africa says it will launch an “early warning” system with Nigeria to track and deter xenophobic attacks following a surge in violence in the rainbow nation.
South Africa’s Foreign Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane said the new monitor would “help prevent violence” against foreigners and their businesses as she met with Geoffrey Onyeama, her Nigerian counterpart on Monday.
Last month, more than 20 shops were targeted in Atteridgeville, 120km west of Pretoria, while in Rosettenville, an area south of the commercial capital Johannesburg, residents attacked at least 12 houses.
In response to the violence, the Nigerian government called for the African Union to step in and stop the “xenophobic attacks”, claiming 20 Nigerians were killed in South Africa last year.
South African authorities have declined to confirm the figure which may have been the result of other criminal activity, not just anti-immigrant violence.
Nkoana-Mashabane told reporters it was untrue that the attacks were specifically “targeting Nigerians”, adding citizens of other countries were also affected.
She said the monitor would meet every three months and would be made up of representatives from both countries including immigration officials, business associations, and civil society groups.
Onyeama said he had received assurances that Nigerians in South Africa would be able to live in peace and called for an end to “mass attacks”.
According to the Nigerian Union in South Africa, there are about 800,000 Nigerians in the country, many of them living in Johannesburg.
A protest march against “migrant crime” was held in Pretoria on February 24 and resulted in violent clashes between crowds of young South African men and migrants from elsewhere in Africa, including Nigerians and Somalis.
Attacks against foreigners and foreign-run businesses have erupted regularly in recent years in South Africa, fuelled by the country’s high unemployment and poverty levels.
President Jacob Zuma called for calm and restraint, saying that migrants should not be used as a scapegoat for the country’s widespread crime problem.
South Africa’s ANC says must end corruption, infighting to curb decline
March 13, 2017 | 0 Comments
Ruling ANC acknowledges it faces ‘declining fortunes’
* Says must tackle infighting, corruption and poverty
* Zuma succession fight set to cause further divisions (Adds details, ANC leader, analyst quotes)
By Mfuneko Toyana and Joe Brock
JOHANNESBURG, March 12 (Reuters) – South Africa’s ruling African National Congress (ANC) needs to end corruption and party divisions, and deliver on promises to tackle poverty if it is to halt a decline in voter support, a party policy document said on Sunday.
The report was produced by the party leadership and comes as the ANC prepares to select a successor to President Jacob Zuma this year. It warned that the party which has ruled virtually unopposed since the end of apartheid in 1994 now faced “declining fortunes”.
The ANC has been under severe pressure to respond with new policies after municipal elections last year when it lost its grip on cities including Pretoria and Johannesburg.
More than two decades after the ANC ended white-minority rule with Nelson Mandela at its helm, inequality festers. Black people make up 80 percent of the 54 million population, yet the lion’s share of the economy in terms of ownership of land and companies remains in the hands of white people, who account for around 8 percent of the population.
The ruling party has also been damaged by deep discontent over high unemployment as well as scandals surrounding Zuma, who was alleged in a government corruption report last year to have granted undue influence over his cabinet and state companies to a business family. Zuma has denied the allegations and is set to challenge the report in court.
“The ANC faces declining fortunes,” said the strategy paper, released publicly ahead of a policy conference on June 30. “Internal squabbles, money politics, corruption and poor performance in government all conspire to undermine its legitimacy in the eyes of the broader public.”
While the discussion paper talked broadly about reducing unemployment and inequality, as well as ending government corruption and improving economic growth, it contained few specific policies.
Zuma called this month for the constitution to be changed so white-owned land could be redistributed to black South Africans without compensation for owners, a measure long-proposed by the left wing Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), and supported by many poor voters.
The ANC, which lost some votes in last year’s municipal elections to the EFF, has not made this an official party policy in a sign of divisions within the party.
In the policy documents the ANC acknowledged that it was in the grip of the “insidious impact of” factional fighting.
Zuma’s term as ANC leader ends at the end of the year, and the party will hold a conference then to chose a new leader. The party’s constitution does not bar him from standing for a third term, but he has repeatedly said he will not.
Analysts say jockeying between factions backing rival candidates to replace Zuma as party leader has seen the ANC government take its eye off much-needed policy implementation.
They say this has played a role in the country is teetering on the brink of a credit downgrade, with all three major rating agencies citing political uncertainty and low economic growth as major risks.
Zuma is widely expected to back outgoing African Union chairwoman, and his ex-wife, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma for the leadership of the party and ultimately the country, while some in the party regard Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa as the rightful heir.
“There are a number of competing discourses inside the ANC, with the more populist message coming from Zuma and his supporters, versus a centrist group that sees the constitution as the final arbiter,” said director of Political Futures Daniel Silke.
“These voices will get louder as we move closer to succession, and will almost certainly lead to serious factional schisms by year-end.”
Africa theme park stakeholders to gain from ‘DEAL 2017’: International Expo Consults (IEC)
March 13, 2017 | 0 Comments
|Growing theme parks to reap profits from the amusement exhibition to be held at Dubai World Trade Centre this month|
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates, March 12, 2017/ — The African stakeholders of the theme park industry will stand to benefit from the largest show in the amusement industry – DEAL 2017 , as per International Expo Consults, the organisers of the show. With people patronizing theme parks across Africa and the growth of the amusement sector in the region, shows like DEAL can help the stakeholders of the amusement and leisure industry to come under one roof and discover the best kept secrets of the industry.
Tourism in Africa is booming as reports which state that in 2014, 65.3 million international tourists visited the continent – around 200,000 more than in 2013 . The numbers were meagre in 1990’s where the recorded number was 17.4 million. The tourism sector has leaped and boomed in size thanks to the infrastructure projects undertaken by government entities. According to the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), Africa’s strong performance in 2014 makes it one of the world’s fastest-growing tourist destinations, second only to Southeast Asia.
Amusement parks in Africa offer more than fun as they induce historical and educational attractions to engage the whole family in unlimited immersive fun. Parks in Africa are known to inculcate fun mixed with learning. Most of the rides include looping rollercoaster rides, bumper cars, and exciting wildlife centered shows to historical attractions which form the base enabling a plethora of entertainment activities for all age groups.
“DEAL 2017 is at the right juncture as it will help African investors to catapult their business to the next area of growth. DEAL has been supporting the industry and its stakeholders, year on year and has grown from strength to strength. This is the only show in the Middle East and Africa region to provide stakeholders with several billion dollar opportunities. International Expo Consults, the organizers of the DEAL show are set to welcome African exhibitors and trade visitors to one of the colossal shows in the amusement vertical in the MENA Region,” said Mr. Sharif Rahman, CEO, IEC.
The Dubai Entertainment Amusement and Leisure (DEAL) show has shaped the region’s entertainment industry for the past two decades and it has brought together great minds and their world class innovations all under one umbrella. DEAL has led the amusement and entertainment space during this period and the testimony to this is the fact that exhibitors at DEAL 2016 have signed multi-million dollar contracts in just 3 days. Foraying into the 23rd edition, DEAL 2017 expects to witness an even larger gathering of key players and visitors in the amusement industry from Middle East, US, Mediterranean, Asian, and especially African countries.
DEAL, since its inception in 1995 has developed into an unparalleled platform that gathers exhibitors, buyers, and professionals from the international amusement and entertainment industry. DEAL is the region’s most anticipated and leading attraction for global and local stakeholders in the amusement and entertainment industries. The show is slated to be held from 27th – 29th March 2017 at Halls 1, 2, 3 & 4 at the iconic Dubai World Trade Centre.
“Developments in the region with regards to entertainment and leisure are seen to be believed and the outcomes are very encouraging. Entertainment and leisure projects within the MENA region have boosted the confidence of the amusement and leisure industry manifold. The growth of theme parks has spurred towards the organising of events such as DEAL within this region and bringing the industry experts and stakeholders together. ‘DEAL 2017’ is definitely set to don the mantle of the entertainment launch pad for amusement operators in this region. Like before we are all arms open to welcome delegates from Africa to our show,” concluded Mr. Sharif.
International Expo-Consults LLC (IEC) is an internationally recognized trade show management company with an impressive track record of over 21 years of operations in the Middle East and Asia Pacific region. The Exhibition arm of the Dubai-based conglomerate, the Falak Holding; IEC is the organizer of key exhibitions including Sign and Graphics Imaging (SGI), and the Dubai Entertainment, Amusement and Leisure show (DEAL). Falak Holding has been an industry pioneer for the last 34 years having diversified business interests including real estate development; retail – sports, fashion, home furnishings; exhibitions, medical diagnostics, trading and many more as part of its portfolio.
UAE releases ‘unlawful sex’ couple and drops charges
March 10, 2017 | 0 Comments
A couple jailed for a month in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) over “unlawful sex” have been released and the charges against them dropped.
Ukrainian Iryna Nohai and her South African fiance Emlyn Culverwell were arrested in Abu Dhabi after a doctor discovered Ms Nohai was pregnant.
Sex outside marriage is illegal in the religiously conservative Gulf nation.
Mr Culverwell’s mother had pleaded for their release, saying “the only thing they did wrong was fall in love”.
Describing the phone call she received from her son on Friday to say that the charges had been dropped, Lynda Culverwell told South African media: “I didn’t know if I wanted to scream or cry.”
“I’m dreaming about my grand-baby‚” she added in an interview with the Times Live news website. “I have to resist calling them every two minutes.”
Iryna Nohai, 27, had gone to hospital, suffering from stomach cramps.
But a local doctor reported her to the authorities after discovering she was pregnant.
When the pair failed to produce a marriage certificate they were arrested in the hospital.
South Africa’s International Relations Department, which had said it was unable to offer the couple any help in the case, confirmed news of the release to local media.