Beyonce does ‘African’ for March issue of l’Officiel 2011

February 21, 2011 § 1 Comment

But what’s up with her face being painted black?…

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African women politicians in Europe

June 27, 2009 § 3 Comments

The media (African/African American?) has missed highlighting – as a group – a bunch of African women that are making a lot of progress in Europe in their political careers and serving to show their capability while opening doors for others. We have been so focused on our news here in the US that we sometimes forget that there are milestones being made by others elsewhere. So this is a mention of some of the women (I’m sure there are many more) in European politics…..interestingly most of them (perhaps all mentioned here are moderate conservatives or conservatives – of course this has distinction from republicanism in the US and refers more to old definitions !)

Nyamko Sabuni (Congo) - Minister for Integration and Gender Equality, SWEDEN

Nyamko Sabuni (Congo) - Minister for Integration and Gender Equality, SWEDEN

Rama Yade (Senegalese) - Secretary of State for Human Rights, FRANCE

Rama Yade (Senegal) - Secretary of State for Human Rights, FRANCE

Ayaan Hirsi Ali (Somali) - was member of the House of Representative in Holland

Ayaan Hirsi Ali (Somali) - was member of the House of Representative in Holland

Seybah Dagoma (Chad) - was running for one of elected offices in Paris

Seybah Dagoma (Chad) - recently ran for one of the elected offices in Paris, France

China in Africa

June 6, 2009 § Leave a comment

Africa

For a time in the beginning there was much excitement that China provided an option from the ‘West’ for Africa in terms of trade and investment. Afterall, China investments were not heavy with conditions – they want what they get and you get your end of the deal. And, this was exciting for a little while. My fear is that Africa is not making enough demands on China. Especially considering the original excitement was based on the idea that Africa no longer has to kowtow to all west’s demand since they can always revert to the Chinese option. We all understood this. Most people that even pay attention to the news understand all this.

Somehow as time passes Africa is letting China make deals that only benefit her (China) while on the African end only a few statesmen and businessmen, at best, are benefitting case in point Sudan, DRC, probably Somali and Chad. No real job creations (in many cases they bring their own labor). No enforcements of certain standards be it mining, road building, or drilling. Quite honestly, if Africa does not buckle up I don’t think it will benefit from a post-West pro-Chinese relationship deal any more than what it has and whines about now. It could even be potentially worse given that China makes no pretenses about her intentions. Africa does not need to play a victim in this situation – it’s not upto China, it’s upto Africa to make demands and conditions that are workable. This was supposed to be part of the reason we were excited to have the option of China. There is a song by a Congolese singer Shiko Mawatu (in his album Kimbanda Nzila) that I really like called ‘Afrique’. The song talks to Africa as if it were a woman telling her to wake up its mid-day and she’s still asleep and her children are hungry and … you get the idea. It’s a very African metaphor (although its the men running Africa – maybe that’s what needs to change). Sigh, just thinking out loud, randomly. I don’t know…

Foreign ‘land grabbing’ in Africa

May 18, 2009 § Leave a comment

I saw this on BBC last night – Chido Makunike was interviewed regarding the issue of a new open season of land grabbing in Africa. First was colonial, then post-colonial by Africans in power, and now its international. Apparently food-insecurity is one of the reasons being cited by experts as to why S.Korea, the Middle East and even Asia – among others – have set out to and are buying huge plots of land in Africa sometimes under dubious deals. Some investors such as from the middle east are looking at growing food that they can in turn supply back to their own countries.

I also found the story on IRIN News.

The problem with Africa is that we sit on real estate that has something that everyone else wants and all kinds of events happen so that access to it is gained. I think someone put it well when they stated “Africa is a victim of its riches”.

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