The Great Debate UK
from Reuters Soccer Blog:
The bloody attack on Togo's team bus in Angola is a huge tragedy for African football and like it or not, has cast a shadow over the World Cup in South Africa in five months time -- the biggest sports event ever staged on the continent.
It is highly debatable whether the attack, which killed two members of the Togolese delegation as they arrived for the African Nations Cup and forced the squad's evacuation on Sunday, really increases the risk to teams and spectators in South Africa.
Without a doubt, however, it has struck a blow against Africa's concerted efforts to improve its image and reverse decades of gloomy stereotypes painting the entire continent as racked by conflict, disease and despair. Both the Nations Cup, held in a country which only emerged from a 27-year civil war in 2002, and the World Cup were intended to help the process of rehabilitating the continent's image.
South African organisers reacted with undisguised irritation to immediate suggestions that the Angolan attack should raise concerns over the globe's most watched event. Over the weekend, Hull City Manager Phil Brown was quoted as saying the attack threw a question mark over the World Cup and other Premier League coaches were said to have called for their expensive African players to be called back from Angola. In contrast, Arsenal's Arsene Wenger said the players should stay, suggesting other managers were motivated more by club self interest than a genuine security concern.
Senegal has a reputation for harmony between its Muslim majority (about 90%) and Christian minority (about 6%). President Abdoulaye Wade ranks as a Muslim champion of dialogue with Christians and even with Jews. So it came as a surprise over the holiday period that the 83-year-old leader provoked separate protests by imams and Catholics, including the country's cardinal. Even stranger, the dispute was sparked by a huge Stalinist-style statue that North Korean workers are constructing on a hill overlooking the capital Dakar.
from The Great Debate:
The world is witnessing a shift in the balance of power, from the West to the East. This shift will take place over decades, and the winners will be:
- Those economies that have financial clout, such as China
- Those economies that have natural resources, whether it be energy, commodities or water, and will include countries, some in the Middle East, some across Africa, Brazil, Australia, Canada and others in temperate climates across, for instance, northern Europe
- And the third set of winners will be countries that have the ability to adapt and change. Even though we are cautious about growth prospects in the U.S. and UK in the coming years, both of these have the ability to adapt and change.
-Arvind Ganesan is the Director of the Business and Human Rights Program at Human Rights Watch. The opinions expressed are his own.-
Equatorial Guinea is a tiny country of about half a million people on the west coast of Africa, but is the fourth-largest oil producer in sub-Saharan Africa.
from The Great Debate:
-- John Simon was recently U.S. Ambassador to the African Union and former Executive Vice President of the Overseas Private Investment Corporation. He is currently a Visiting Fellow at the Center for Global Development in Washington DC. The views expressed are his own. --
President Obama's trip to Ghana highlights one of Africa's leading success stories - a country that has held five consecutive democratic elections, recently transferring power peacefully to the opposition after it won a razor thin victory.
-Michael Keating is director of the Africa Progress Panel. The opinions expressed are his own.-
After a decade of solid progress Africa is now facing the daunting task – at a time of economic crisis – of maintaining stability, economic growth and employment, addressing food security and combating climate change. No country on the continent is escaping the impact of volatile fuel and commodity prices, the drop in global demand and trade.
from For the Record:
Kidnapping isn't funny.
Neither are extortion, hijacking or murder threats.
So why have some in the media been laughing—or at least winking—at people who have been doing precisely that—the criminals who have been hijacking ships and crews off the Horn of Africa and holding them for ransom?
from The Great Debate:
- Jorge Maia is head of Research and Information for Industrial Development Corporation of South Africa, established in 1940 to promote economic growth and industrial development. The opinions expressed are his own -
Serious shockwaves are hitting Africa's shores as the global economic crisis unfolds.
– Ray Chambers is a philanthropist and humanitarian who has directed most of his efforts towards children. In 2008, the U.N. Secretary-General appointed him as his first Special Envoy for Malaria. The views expressed are his own. –
Malaria infects one quarter of a billion people each year. Nearly one million of those afflicted die, taxing overburdened health infrastructures and decreasing productivity in Africa, where 90 percent of cases occur.
from Africa News blog:
The reception would have done justice to royalty or a movie star when Nigerian novelist Chinua Achebe paid a rare visit to his homeland recently, some 50 years after penning his book “Things Fall Apart”.
That book has a firm place on school syllabuses in much of Africa and is studied around the world. Achebe, now 79, has been acclaimed as the father of modern African literature and as the continent’s greatest living writer – his books being very accessible as well as giving a penetrating insight into the struggles of his people.