“How to digest the reality of 1,500 dead migrants when most of the victims are lost to the sea; their hopes, dreams and even their names drowned with them?
Blame is of course being assigned; or rather deflected, divided, avoided. British stinginess, smugglers’ greed, ISIL’s savagery, European racism, the oppression of the Amazigh and the vagaries of war – each has its measure of truth. And however tragically dramatic, the present large-scale migration across the Mediterranean is only the latest in at least half a dozen cycles of mass global migration in the modern era.
Global capitalism and global war have always driven large-scale human migration…”
April 24, 2015
April 20, 2015
The town of Farafenni in the North Bank Region of the Gambia has been identified by DHL as one of Africa’s ‘boom towns’ and cities that are enjoying growth on the back of growing industries and providing opportunities for African businesses.
In a statement issued in Cape Town, South Africa, on Thursday, DHL Express Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) described Farafenni as being situated on the north bank of the Gambia River, about 120 kilometres inland from the capital Banjul.
It said the town is home to numerous banks and insurance firms and that it is experiencing fast growth mainly due to its geographical location on the main road between Dakar and Casamance (the southern area of Senegal), and its close proximity to the ferry crossing on the Gambia River….
February 23, 2015
Reports this year of illicit moneys from African countries stashed in a Swiss bank – indicating that corruption lies behind much of the income inequality that affects the continent – have grabbed international news headlines.
Secret bank accounts in the HSBC’s Swiss private banking arm unearthed this year by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) were said to hold over 100 billion dollars, some of which came from Africa, including some of the poorest nations on the continent.
When these funds leave the region, they deny the very nations that need them most…
February 2, 2015
Africa loses at least $50 billion a year to illicit practices like tax fraud, corruption and organized crime, a worrying situation that is hurting the continent’s economies, a UN-mandated study group warned Sunday.
Illicit financial flows — which range from international corporations dodging taxes to the trafficking of weapons and minerals — are a barrier to creating jobs on the world’s poorest continent, according to the group headed by ex-South African president Thabo Mbeki.
“Large commercial corporations are by far the biggest culprits of illicit outflows, followed by organized crime,” said Mbeki in the report commissioned by the United Nations and African Union to study illicit cash flows.
“We are also convinced that corrupt practices in Africa are facilitating these outflows.”…
December 26, 2014
UNITED NATIONS — Under intense pressure from the government of Sudan, the United Nations is planning to shrink its floundering peacekeeping force in Darfur, even though renewed fighting there has chased more people from their homes this year than during any other in the past decade.
The withdrawal plans come right after the chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, Fatou Bensouda, announced that she had decided to suspend the genocide case against Sudan’s president, Omar Hassan al-Bashir, because world powers have done nothing to secure his arrest.
The twin retrenchments are emblematic of the limits of international attention at a time when Darfur has been overshadowed by newer crises and conflicts around the world, from the civil wars in Syria and South Sudan to the Ebola epidemic…
November 1, 2014
War on Poverty is 50 years old. Over that time, federal and state governments have spent more than $19 trillion fighting poverty. But what have we really accomplished?
Although far from conclusive, the evidence suggests that we have successfully reduced many of the deprivations of material poverty, especially in the early years of the War on Poverty. However, these efforts were more successful among socioeconomically stable groups such as the elderly than low-income groups facing other social problems. Moreover, other factors like the passage of the Civil Rights Act, the expansion of economic opportunities to African Americans and women, increased private charity, and general economic growth may all have played a role in whatever poverty reduction occurred.
However, even if the War on Poverty achieved some initial success, the programs it spawned have long since reached a point of diminishing returns. In recent years we have spent more and more money on more and more programs, while realizing few, if any, additional gains. More important, the War on Poverty has failed to make those living in poverty independent or increase economic mobility among the poor and children. We may have made the lives of the poor less uncomfortable, but we have failed to truly lift people out of poverty.
The failures of the War on Poverty should serve as an object lesson for policymakers today. Good intentions are not enough. We should not continue to throw money at failed programs in the name of compassion…
November 1, 2014
The New York Times and other media are reporting a drop in Ebola infection rates and empty beds in the emergency field hospitals set up by the U.S. military in Monrovia. While there is Ebola all along the border between Liberia and Ivory Coast, Abidjan has not reported any cases. The World Health Organization has stated that Nigeria and Senegal are Ebola free. Perhaps even more important, no new Nigerian cases have been announced since the WHO’s declaration. Especially in Liberia, a public communications campaign on Ebola has taken off.
But, it is too soon to break out the champagne…