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Monthly Archives: August 2012

ZIFF – Images for a global cinema

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  What remains of the 15th edition of the Zanzibar International Film Festival (ZIFF)? Certainly an experience of cinema and culture one cannot forget. As every year, directors, artists but also development projects operators shared ideas and visions for an increasingly democratic continent, peaceful and at the service of the last and of which the…

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History – Slave of trade

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  One of the most remarkable figures in Eastern Africa in the XIX century was Hamed bin Mohammed bin Juma bin Rajab el Murjebi (ca. 1840-1905). Al Murjebi was a Zanzibari land owner and trader who extended his influence into mainland Africa as far as the Congo region. He was born into a merchant dynasty at…

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Architecture – Tata somba

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  Along the Atakora Mountains, northern Togo and Benin, nature is pristine. Yet, hidden in the valleys there is one of the best example of local architecture one can find in Africa. In 2004, Unesco declared this area a World Heritage Site. The Betammari-be, known also as Somba, live here. They follow their traditional religion…

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Kenya – University in the slums

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  On Sunday 19th August, a colourful celebration in Kariobangi ? a slum area in the Eastlands of Nairobi – inaugurated a new university diploma in civic and development education. The programme is offered by the Institute of Social Ministry (Tangaza College ? The Catholic University of Eastern Africa) with a view of bridging the…

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Asia – A shift in the centre

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The change from the colonial period to an era of free nations was so radical that we have hardly gotten over it. In the meantime, the world has changed again in an unforeseen manner from the 1980s with the fall of Berlin’s Wall. At the same time, we saw the rise of the Asian Tigers…

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Morocco – Witnessing hope

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  The events that took place in Tunisia and whose spirit has spread in the Middle East took us by surprise. In a few weeks, the whole of Northern Africa was affected. We started to hear the expression ‘Arab spring’. Spring is the time when nature comes back to life, the time in which we…

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DRC – Lost opportunity

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              With the fall of the Eastern bloc at the end of the 1980s, many African countries experienced a brief democratic spring. In DRC – then called Zaire – President Mobutu allowed popular consultations on the future of the country, giving people some hope of a democratic change. However,…

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South Africa – Caring for abused children

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  The Alphonso Children’s Home and Place of Safety is run by the Sisters of St John the Baptist. These nuns are in daily touch with children who have experienced abuse. They try to provide the necessary healing conditions for them. The stories of child abuse and abandonment stunned me as I listened to the…

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Uneasy alliance

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  Since the arrival of the Portuguese Jesuit Father Luis Mariano in 1613, followed in 1820 by Anglican and Presbyterian ministers, Christian Churches have plaid an increasing role in the country, especially after the Queen Ranavalona’s conversion in 1867. They contributed sizeably to the alphabetization of the local people through the translation of the Bible…

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Environmental carnage

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  Widespread poverty has provided an easy ground for the increasing illegal exploitation of protected areas of Madagascar. The island boasts a unique fauna and flora, including the famous lemurs and no less than seven different kinds of baobab trees (as against one in the entire African continent). Today, this treasure is under threat. Over…

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A strangulated economy

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  “The suspension of aid following the unconstitutional power change has had a considerable impact on the education, health and food security sectors”, observes Fatma Samoura, UN Development Programme representative in Madagascar, According to a report tabled by the Prime Minister’s office with UNDP’s support, development aid flows fell by 43% to US $ 405…

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Still looking for a way out

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  “The crisis has lasted for too long”, says Jean-Omer Beriziky, Prime minister of the coalition government appointed last November. His job is to bring the transition to a safe end after free and fair elections which would restore the constitutional order interrupted in 2009 with the coup which overthrew President Marc Ravalomanana. The roadmap…

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Advocacy

Meetings and Words empower advocacy.

From the 16th to the 19th February, 2017 took place in Modesto, California first U.S. regional World Meeting of Popular Movements (WMPM).  Even though, Popular movements have…

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Baobab

The Goodness of Rice

A long, long time ago, on the island of Java there were no rice plants. The people of the earth had only grown cassava for their…

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Youth & Mission

God of Nonviolence.

Thank you for the gift of your love and your peace. Give me the grace to live the life of Gospel nonviolence that I might be…

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