Ikke alle køber idéen om et afrikansk EU

Afrikas to største økonomier skrev ikke under på en ny frihandelsaftale, som den Afrikanske Union vil bruge til at skabe et slags afrikansk EU.

44 af Den Afrikanske Unions 55 medlemslande underskrev den 21. Marts frihandelsaftalen African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), som afslutningen på et ekstraordinært topmøde i Rwandas hovedstad Kigali. Read more of this post

Julehjælp til Afrika spreder uvidenhed

Swaziland PUDEMO (2) 090”Det er meget skuffende, når de mennesker som hævder at ville hjælpe os afrikanere, er dem der udviser så stor uvidenhed om vores forhold”.

Ordene er Mcolisi Ngcamphalalas, en ung studerende og aktivist fra det fattige enevældige kongedømme Swaziland, og er en kritik af en af de mest solgte og spillede julesange nogensinde, Do They Know It’s Christmas.

Sangen blev skrevet af Bob Geldof og Midge Ure, og indspillet af ”superbandet” Band Aid Read more of this post

Ved de at det er jul, i Afrika?

Vi danskere ved at julen er på trapperne når julepynten er hængt op på gader og stræder, når alle taler om at vi skal være gode mod hinanden, og når julesangene begynder at blive spillet sådan nærmest på repeat i radioen.

Det er 30 år siden en af de mest spillede og mest solgte julesange nogensinde, ”Do They Know It’s Christmas?” blev udgivet.

Sangen blev skrevet af popsangerne Bob Geldof og Midge Ure og indsunget af det såkaldte superband, Band Aid, med kendisser som Sting, George Michael og Bono. Året efter fulgte rock-koncert-eventet Live Aid, hvor et væld af popstjerner optrådte for fulde stadions over hele verden, og over 1,5 milliarder mennesker så med på TV. Read more of this post

De rigeste én procent ejer halvdelen af verdens rigdomme

Verden oplever en rekordstor og hastigt stigende ulighed, selvom verdens samlede rigdomme øges år for år, siger den nye Global Wealth Report, der er udgivet at en af verdens førende banker, Credit Suisses researchinstitut.

Halvdelen af verdens befolkning ejer mindre end en procent af verdens samlede rigdomme. Samtidigt ejer den rigeste procent næsten halvdelen, og de øverste ti procent 87 procent af verdens rigdomme, har man regnet sig frem til i Global Wealth Report, der blev udgivet mandag. Read more of this post

Vi tager røven på Afrika

En milliard mennesker lever for under en dollar om dagen, 380 millioner af dem i Afrika. Over 20.000 mennesker dør af sult hver dag, mange af dem i Afrika. Og i mange lande i Afrika og andre steder på jorden styres befolkningerne af meget lidt demokratiske regimer.

For mange af jordens beboere, ikke mindst på det afrikanske kontinent, er verden således et brutalt og uretfærdigt sted at leve. Men behøver det være sådan?

Holdningen hos nogle mennesker er at de fattige selv er skyld i dette. Holdningen hos andre er at vi ikke kan gøre noget ved det, selv om vi gerne ville. Men vi der lever i den rige del af verden, i en historisk enestående grad af luksus, skylder fattige mennesker at hjælpe dem, ikke mindst fordi vores rigdom og deres fattigdom hænger sammen – og fordi vi kan hvis vi vil. Read more of this post

Pre-colonial Africa

Before Africa was colonised, the continent was characterised by a large degree of pluralism and flexibility.

The continent consisted not of closed reproducing entities, equipped with unique unchanging cultures, but of more fluid units that would readily incorporate outsiders (even whites) into the community as long as they accepted its customs, and where the sense of obligation and solidarity went beyond that of the nuclear family. Read more of this post

The development of Africa: outsourcing poverty

I asked the question in a previous article, as to whether history showed that humanity is gradually, but irrecoverably, moving forward and becoming more developed, and answered it rather superficially by saying that we are getting there slowly.

But who is getting where and who determines what being developed is? And is development inevitable, as modernization theorists from Rostow to Fukuyama have claimed, as long as the developing nations follow the path of the so-called developed West, is development possible in a more than one way, and is development interconnected or unconnected with European development and wealth accumulation? Read more of this post

African communalism

Before Africa was colonised, the continent was characterised by a large degree of pluralism and flexibility. The continent consisted not of closed reproducing entities, equipped with unique unchanging cultures, but of more fluid units that would readily incorporate outsiders (even whites) into the community as long as they accepted its customs, and where the sense of obligation and solidarity went beyond that of the nuclear family. An example of such inclusiveness were the South African Xhosa who limited Xhosadom not along ethnic or geographical lines but along political. All persons or groups who accepted the rule of the paramount chief became Xhosa. Pre-colonial African societies were of a highly varied nature. They could be either stateless, state run or kingdoms, but most were founded on the principles of communalism in that they were self-governing, autonomous entities, and in that all members took part, directly or indirectly, in the daily running of the tribe. Read more of this post

Multidimensional development

The interrelation or interdependence of the various areas that make up any development strategy is increasingly important, also bearing the cultural or psychological aspects of development and the partnership ideal in mind.

That the focus in the development world as a whole has widened somewhat in recent years, from a rather narrow and one-dimensional focus that saw economic and financial remedies as sufficient, to one that more willingly includes other areas such as culture and identity, is here apparent. This is so, although the overall focus is still largely upon economic remedies. Such one-dimensionality pre-supposes that all human beings behave in more or less the same way, something that seems unlikely in all but the most fundamental matters. Read more of this post

Neo-colonialism

The deeply embedded nature of colonialist discourse in the colonial period meant that the psychological transcendence of colonialism was not simple and straightforward. Much of the complexes and tendencies of the colonial period continued after the de-colonisation period, in Africa as well as the West, proving the need for psychological liberation on top of the (partial) physical liberation achieved at independence.

Post-independence African rulers, most of whom had Western university degrees, might have condemned the West publicly but they secretly admired it, denigrating African history, culture and indigenous institutions in much the same way as had the colonialists, eagerly modernising their countries along Western lines. Along with the “obsession with grandeur” that most of these leaders showed, this demonstrated both a lack of psychological liberation from colonial discourse and an inferiority complex. Kenya’s former president Moi’s claim (in 1991) that Kenya was “at least 200 years behind the West”  exemplifies this. Moreover, many of these leaders were seemingly as elitist as the colonisers, dismantling little of the oppressive colonial administrative machinery and employing the same instruments of coercion and tyranny that colonialists had widely used. Read more of this post