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Monthly Archives: September 2012

South Africa – At the cross roads

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  Recently we witnessed the bloodiest labour strike in post-Apartheid South Africa. Thirty four Lonmin miners at Marikana Mines in Rustenburg were shot dead by the police. Earlier two policemen and two security guards were allegedly killed by the striking miners. The thirty four miners were part of a group of about three thousands rock…

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Economics – Surprising results

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  Europeans are so busy talking about their ‘global’ crisis that cannot realize how the present economic slump is a Western affair. Certainly Europe and the USA are the main engines of the World economy; and the present crisis is a case in point: its effects are felt everywhere else. Yet, Africa’s growth of the…

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Somalia – Mammoth task ahead

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  Hassan Sheikh Mohamud’s election as president of Somalia could be a sign of a new era for the troubled Horn of Africa state, mired in conflict for over two decades. Residents of the capital, Mogadishu, say the new president has his work cut out for him. The new head of state, Hassan Sheikh Mohamud,…

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Angola – Follow the script

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  At the end of September, Angolans went to the polling stations for the third time in their history. The first elections, in 1992, ended up in a bitter civil war; those of 2008 did not bring conflict, but highlighted the chasm between those in power and the majority of the population. The People’s Movement…

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AU – To the bitter end

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The election of Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma to the position of Chairperson of the African Union Commission is significant in a number of ways: she is the first woman to hold the position; the first South African to do so; and only the second politician from one of the big African states to be chosen. Dr Dlamini-Zuma…

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At the side of the poor

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  “Our work there has been a spiritual presence and an action for the human promotion. In 2002, we have started a movement, the Kutoka Network, to reflect and act on what we do in the slums of Nairobi. We are not an NGO, yet we do things for the people and for the people.…

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Rooted in the community

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  Malindi is a coastal town known for the beauty of its beaches, as well as for the unconventional delights it offers many of the tourists. Behind the sexy and carefree facade, however, there is the sad life condition of many children and young adults. Poverty and unawareness compound to create the breeding ground for…

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Social Apostolate

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  Saint Martin is a Catholic group of social apostolate. It was born after a priest realized how disabled people were ostracized in society in Nyahururu, Kenya. Through the years, from the initial project taking care of physically disabled persons, a much larger organization has developed. The programs we are running now are five: people…

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Preparing for ministry

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  The idea of having a university level institution to prepare people for social ministry emerged during the first Special Assembly of the Synod of Bishop dedicated to Africa. That meeting, often referred to as the African Synod, took place in 1994. I was in Rome to work on some documentation and facilitate discussions related…

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The force of faithfulness

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  The numerical growth of the Church in Africa is a reality of great importance not only for the changes it could mean for the countries in which the growth is taking place, but also for the life of the Church as a whole. Yet, when speaking of a spiritual reality like the “people of…

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Caritas – Things are changing

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Sister Margaret Jedrzejczak welcomes me in her office at the Catholic Secretariat in Malindi, Kenya. She has been working here since 2007. This used to be the development office, “the Episcopal conference requested to change it into a Caritas office”, she says. The local Caritas is responsible for all the projects and social services of…

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New Evangelization – African provocations

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  Africa has a right to intervene in the debate towards a new evangelization, and offer a vision, apostolic methodology and plan of action. Today, Christianity in Africa is growing like nowhere else. The religiosity of this continent is deep, and it has reached far in space and time. Think of the voodoo in Latin…

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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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