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Monthly Archives: May 2013

Niger – Threats to the country

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Mali’s political crisis of 2012 has had a strong impact on neighbouring countries: especially Niger. Mali is not Niger’s only neighbour facing problems, tensions in Libya also worry Niamey. Safeguarding its own security has therefore become a priority for a nation with great potential and weakness at the same time.Since 2010, Niger has become an…

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Africa – non-food based biofuels

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The announcement by the European Commission at the end of 2012 that the use of food-based biofuels to meet the EU 10% renewable energy target will be limited to only 5% of the total consumption for transport purposes, has generated morosity in the sector. Yet, perspectives are not so bad for African producers of non-food…

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Nigeria – A long journey to peace

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  Insecurity, attacks on oil companies, corruption, poverty in the Niger Delta, the disbanding of many armed groups, amnesty to Boko Haram members. We talked with Ukoha O. Ukiwo, director of the Department of Political and Administrative Studies at Port Harcourt University. What has president Goodluck Jonathan achieved and what has he failed to achieve?…

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Somalia – The fall of piracy or a change of strategy?

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  For many months, Somali pirates haven’t attacked ships in the Gulf of Aden and the Indian Ocean. The most recent seizures date back to the first six months of 2012, a year that marked a decline in Somali piracy. For the mercantile business in the Indian Ocean and in the Mediterranean Sea – roughly…

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Foreign Policy

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  The Morales government has, to a great extent, consolidated previous policies. Geopolitically, it has realigned Bolivia according to a multi-polar axis through important international relations with states supporting particularism. Russia stands out among these. Together, they have created a strategic partnership based on multiple bilateral agreements in energy, commerce, and arms. They centre on…

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Economy

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  Bolivia remains one of the poorest states of the region. In recent years, it has created much economic growth backed by the export of gas and the exploitation of lithium. This is in line with the main Latin American economic powers which, up to now, do not seem to have suffered the economic crisis…

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Internal Policies

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  One of the priorities of the Morales government has been to nationalise all the country’s oil and gas reserves, imposing state control on the entire production system. While he granted foreign companies guarantees for the land with their installations and infrastructure needed to extract and refine hydrocarbons, he withdrew their privileges on deposits. From…

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Bolivia – The Rocky Road to Democracy

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  After the end of the cold war, qualified analysts foresaw the inevitable marginalisation of Latin America. It would be gradually absorbed by a globalisation led by the United States. However, the emerging multi-polar framework rearranged the global geopolitical balance allowing the continent to re-emerge. It worked out its own role, a clear break with…

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Film – The patience stone

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  The young woman talks to the man. He is motionless, he doesn’t answer. He can’t. He has been wounded in a fight with a bullet in his neck and is now in a coma. The woman, his wife, has been assisting him for weeks. Healing him as she can and following the mullah’s advice,…

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Music – Tcheka, batuque revisited

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World music has become, during the years, a label used for artists with sometimes little in common, except that they don’t belong to mainstream western music genres. It might seem strange that this word fits (as it does) an artist that is actually part of a mainstream tradition – barely known by Westerners. Tcheka (whose…

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Mexico – “When the moon taught us to weave”

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  “In the beginning of the world the moon climbed into a tree. And there – runs a Mexican legend – it began to weave and embroider”. This is the ancient taste of the cloth. Hands move rapidly across the loom, repeating gestures that have been performed every day from time immemorial. Doña Yolanda smiles;…

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The African Harp – mystery and mystique

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The African harp with its thousand sounds and uses takes the listener into the magical world of the music of the African continent. Whether large or small, the African harp almost always carries within itself a fundamental paradox: It is both simple and complex. The strings of the African harp, intended first of all to…

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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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