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Monthly Archives: February 2012

Election round

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  Mali – Four candidates lead the race to the presidency. If all goes according to plans, on 29 April Malians will vote, confirming the stability of democracy twenty years after the army overthrew General Moussa Traore’s despotic government. President Amadou Toumani Toure will step down in May as required by the constitution. The most…

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Turkey/Africa – Sweet ballade

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  India and China are not the only new entries in the rush towards Africa. Turkey is also trying to cash in the dividends of the Arab spring, and become one of the centres of reference for African countries south of the Sahara. Supported by an economic renaissance, the government of Ankara is pursuing an…

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EU/2 – Corporate interests

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On 27 January the European commission released a statement entitled Trade, Growth and Development – Tailoring Trade and Investment Policy for Those Countries Most in Need. The policy reduces development goals to a narrow set of statistics, ignoring the needs of millions of poor people. Worse than that, and despite the failure of the banking…

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EU/1 – Trade is not aid

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  At the end of January, Karel De Gucht, EU Trade Commissioner, announced a new initiative to boost trade development and growth in the developing countries urging countries to finalize trade talks by end 2013. In Karel De Gucht’s view the negotiations for Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) which aim at introducing gradually free trade between…

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Cocoa – Halt to child labour

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  The European Parliament is concerned about child labour in Africa’s cocoa plantations. The influential International Trade Committee is warning producing countries that trade preferences could be withdrawn in the event of violations of international conventions of children’s rights. The International Trade Committee of the European Parliament approved in January a resolution proposed by Portuguese…

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Niger – The curse of uranium

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The World Nuclear Association says Niger is the world’s fifth producer of uranium with an output of 4,256 tons in 2010, accounting for 7.82%.of the world total, after Kazakhstan (17,803), Canada (9,783), Australia (5,900) and Namibia (4,496). Uranium is mined close to the twin mining towns of Arlit and Akokan, 900 km north-east of Niamey.…

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Women in pieces

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You must pay for all the evil you have done to me”, Joy repeats relentlessly, with tears in her eyes. The same phrase, overflowing from the swamp of suffering, fear, anger and pain that goes into it. She was repatriated to Lagos, Nigeria. She accepted this solution because she had no other choice. Joy went from Brescia to Rome,…

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Haiti – Restaveks

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The whole world was moved and indignant when it learned of the presumed kidnapping of 33 children during the full-blown crisis of the Haitian people caused by the powerful earthquake of January 12, 2010. The government of Haiti was annoyed by the public media attention that this news received. Perhaps unconsciously, this governmental reaction revealed…

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Kenya – Trafficking is a reality

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Two young women hoping for a job answered a newspaper advert and went to Nairobi for the interview. They were never seen again. Two years on no one knows where they are. Are they alive or dead? This is the sad story of many Kamba women. The Kamba people are talented artists, industrious workers and…

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Modern-Day Slavery

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We need to acknowledge that slavery still exists and that the majority of its victims are women and children who do not choose to become prostitutes, but are forced into the trade by a variety of different circumstances. I am aware that “trafficking in persons” does not refer just to women involved in the sex…

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South Sudan – Critical conscience

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  The struggle for the vindication of human dignity, continued obstinately and marked by the blood of martyrdom, was the mark of the Catholic Church in Sudan since its inception. It emerged clearly at the symposium A single Church from every ethnicity, language and people, which was held last October at the Nyakuron Cultural Centre in…

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Zambia – Witch hunt

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  Last October, along with a small group of Christian leaders, I was visiting Msuka, one the most isolated outstations of Kanyanga Parish in Eastern Zambia where I work. We wanted to meet the families and then to celebrate the Eucharist with the local community at the end of the day. These visits are one…

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Advocacy

A Museum for advocacy?

A Museum can surely be an action of advocacy, if it provides awareness towards empowerment. The National Museum of African American History and Culture that ex…

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Baobab

Why the sea is salty.

Long ago, the sea was not salty. People got their salt from the mountain of salt across the sea. One day, the people in the village…

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Youth & Mission

Bennie was the wrong person, in the wrong place at…

Bennie had a thin, hollow face, the picture of malnutrition at 22 years of age, he had never been to school for more than a few…

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