Friday, November 12, 2010

Diaspora Remittances Up, But Tanzania`s Share Still Small

Africa to get USD21.5bn this year

Remittance flows to sub-Saharan Africa will reach USD21.5bn this year after a small decrease in 2009 due to the global financial crisis, a World Bank study published on Tuesday said.

Despite the increase, Tanzania is not among the top ten African countries likely to benefit most from the remittances.

According to Migration and Remittances Factbook 2011, a World Bank publication that tracks documented private transfers of funds and migratory patterns around the world, Africa-bound flows fell by about 4 percent between 2008 and 2009, marking the first decrease since 1995.

"We estimate that recovery will continue over the next two years, with remittance flows to the continent possibly reaching about 24 billion dollars by 2012," said Dilip Ratha, manager of the Migration and Remittances unit at the World Bank.

Ratha cautioned that these numbers are gross underestimates because millions of Africans rely on informal channels to send money home.

Remittances to Kenya will reach an estimated USD1.7bn in 2010, which is slightly more than money sent to the country the previous year. "Remittances are a critical lifeline for families and entire communities across Africa, especially in the aftermath of the global crisis," Ratha said. "The fact that remittances are so large, come in foreign currency, and go directly to households, means that these transfers have a significant impact on poverty reduction, funding for housing and education, basic essential needs, and even business investments."

Worldwide, remittance flows are expected to reach USD440bn by the end of 2010, up from 416bn in 2009.

About three-quarters of these funds, or USD325bn, will go to developing countries.

The World Bank estimated that flows to developing countries as a whole will rise further over the next two years, possibly exceeding USD370bn by 2012.

According to the study, there is a pressing need to make it easier and cheaper to send and receive remittances in Africa.

The average cost of sending money to Africa is more than 10 percent, the highest among all the regions. The cost of sending money within Africa is even higher.

In absolute dollars, Nigeria is by far the top remittance recipient in Africa, accounting for USD10bn in 2010, a slight increase over the previous year (USD9.6bn).

Other top recipients include Sudan (3.2 billion dollars), Senegal (1.2 billion dollars), South Africa (1.0 billion dollars), Uganda (0.8 billion dollars), Lesotho (0.5 billion dollars), Ethiopia (387 million dollars), Mali (385 million dollars) and Togo (302 million dollars).

As a share of gross domestic product, the top recipients in 2009 were: Lesotho (25 percent), Togo (10 percent), Cape Verde (9 percent), Guinea-Bissau (9 percent), Senegal (9 percent), Gambia (8 percent), Liberia (6 percent), Sudan (6 percent), Nigeria (6 percent), and Kenya (5 percent).

The book estimated that nearly 22 million Sub-Saharan Africans have left the continent.

Africa also has a higher intra-regional migration rate than the rest of the developing world, with three out of four African migrants living in another country in sub-Saharan Africa.

In general, islands and fragile or conflict-afflicted states have the highest rates of skilled emigrants.

Nationals who attended university and left their country the most are from Cape Verde (68 percent), Gambia (63 percent), Mauritius (56 percent), Seychelles (56 percent), Sierra Leone (53 percent), Ghana (47 percent), Mozambique (45 percent), Liberia (45 percent), Kenya (38 percent), and Uganda (36 percent).

Africa's most dynamic migration corridors are Burkina Faso–Cote d'Ivoire (1.3 million migrants), Zimbabwe–South Africa (0.9 million), and Cote d'Ivoire–Burkina Faso (0.8 million).

Others include Uganda–Kenya, Eritrea–Sudan, Mozambique–South Africa, Mali–Cote d'Ivoire, the Democratic Republic of Congo– Rwanda, Lesotho–South Africa, and Eritrea–Ethiopia.

Nearly 460,000 Kenyans are living outside the country in 2010. Among the tertiary- educated population, 38 percent are living outside Kenya as of 2000.

The top destination countries for migrants from Kenya are Britain, Tanzania, the United States, Uganda, Canada, Australia, Germany, India, the Netherlands, and Switzerland.

It is estimated that over 800,000 non-Kenyans are living in Kenya in 2010, primarily migrants from Uganda, Tanzania, Sudan, Somalia, and Ethiopia.

Migration and Remittances Factbook 2011 is the second edition of an initial volume issued in 2008. The Factbook relies on data publicly available from reliable sources.

As a result, data on some important migration corridors - for example, from Zimbabwe to South Africa, are not adequately covered in the book, it says.


Thursday, November 11, 2010

Is It Love That Made Robert Mugabe A Monster?

He was a young firebrand locked up in a Rhodesian jail. She was an exile in London, grieving the death of their only son. Here, nearly 40 years on, letters released under the Freedom of Information Act reveal how Robert Mugabe's battle to save his beloved wife from deportation sowed the seeds of his lifelong hatred for the British government.

By Robert Verkaik

Think of all the famous modern political love stories: Winston and Clementine Churchill; Tony and Cherie Blair; Margaret and Dennis Thatcher; Nelson and Winnie Mandela; or even the amants de nos jours, the French president and Carla Bruni-Sarkozy. To this glamorous list of leaders, whose relationships inspired their rise to power and helped shape their early years in office, can now be added the unlikely name of international hate-figure Robert Mugabe.

New documents released under the Freedom of Information Act at the National Archives in London reveal for the first time the strength of the bond between the Rhodesian freedom-fighter and his young Ghanaian bride, as Mugabe emerged as a political force in Africa during the 1960s.

In letters and telegrams written to Harold Wilson and his Labour government, Mugabe emerges as a man both sensitive and humble, who was prepared to plead with the British government in order to persuade the Home Office not to deport his wife from London.

The papers also disclose how Westminster mishandled the formative stages of its own relationship with Mugabe and gave the Rhodesian dissident his first lesson in the heartless expediency of British foreign policy. Mugabe watchers will now surely wonder whether this could have been the moment that finally set the Zimbabwean rebel against his former colonial rulers.

Mugabe's political achievements may now be overshadowed by the brutality of his regime, but in his early career he was an inspirational leader among the ranks of the fledgling Zimbabwe nationalist movement in the 1960s.

He was also a man who had recently found love with Sally Hayfron, a Ghanaian national seven years his junior. They had met in 1958 while both were teaching at a college in Ghana, where Mugabe had gone to make something of himself. Friends say that the attraction between the couple

was immediate, though they came from very different worlds. Mugabe's family was poor and his father, Gabriel Mugabe Matibiri, a carpenter, abandoned his wife and Robert in 1934 in search of work in Bulawayo, Rhodesia's second city. Robert is remembered as being bookish and lonely. Hayfron, meanwhile, described by friends as exuberant and beautiful, had been brought up in a political family that was part of the nationalist movement in colonial Ghana. Her family had strong links to Ghana's then-prime minister, Kwame Nkrumah.

It is easy to see why their meeting made such an impression on Mugabe. In Ghana, he had experienced for the first time an African country run by its own people. And in Hayfron, he had met for the first time a woman whose political views were as strong as his own.

In 1960, a proud Mugabe returned home with Hayfron on his arm and immediately introduced her to his mother, to whom he was very close. The next year, with his mother's blessing, the couple were married in a simple church ceremony in St Peter's Catholic Church in Harare, then a black township of Salisbury. Their marriage was not a typical African relationship, where the woman would stay at home cooking and raising children. Rather, a shared political goal for a free Zimbabwe meant they both had key roles to play in Rhodesia's burgeoning independence movement. While Mugabe rose up through the ranks of Joshua Nkomo's Zimbabwe African People's Union (Zapu), Sally helped enfranchise and mobilise the women of Salisbury.

In 1963, Mugabe left Zapu to help establish the rival Zimbabwe African National Union (Zanu), a pan-Africanist movement formed by the Reverend Ndabaningi Sithole and influenced by Maoism. It was an exciting time for the couple and their relationship was strengthened by the news that Sally was pregnant with their first child. Sadly, she lost the baby, but fell pregnant again in 1963 and, to the great delight of Mugabe, gave birth to a boy in Sep-tember, whom they named Nhamodzenyika.

By the mid-1960s, Mugabe's political activism had brought him to the attention of the Rhodesian state government and, in 1964, he was arrested for "subversive speech" and sentenced to 10 years' imprisonment in the country's notorious Salisbury Prison. For the first time since they had met in 1958, the couple were forced to separate.

A year later, on 11 November 1965, Rhodesia's white- minority government led by Ian Smith officially broke from British rule in what became known as the Unilateral Declaration of Independence (UDI).

It was the same year that Nelson Mandela, already three years into his 18-year prison term, published his seminal work No Easy Walk to Freedom. Like Mandela, Mugabe used his time in prison to shape his political thinking. He immersed himself in study and, through correspondence courses, managed to attain seven degrees, including ones in law and engineering to add to his teaching qualifications.

Meanwhile, after her husband's detention, Sally Mugabe had continued to be involved in subversive activities in Rhodesia and spent six weeks in one of Salisbury's prisons for demonstrating against white rule. Later, she was found guilty of organising African women to directly challenge Smith's Rhodesian constitution, which resulted in her being charged with sedition and sentenced to five years' imprisonment, part of which was suspended. '

The political climate made it too dangerous for her to stay in Salisbury and so, in 1963, she escaped the security services by fleeing first to Ghana with her son and then, in 1967, to self-imposed exile in London, where she found work as a secretary at the Africa Centre in Covent Garden. From the safety of Britain, she campaigned tirelessly for the release of her husband and other Rhodesian dissidents. She also supported her husband's studies by researching documents that the Salisbury Prison authorities had banned. Sometimes this meant transcribing very dry texts line by line and then posting them to her husband in prison.

There is no doubt that Sally Mugabe's support for her husband helped sustain him during his time as a prisoner in Salisbury. But, in 1970, while still locked up, Mugabe discovered his wife's immigration status was at risk and that the British government was planning to throw her out of the country because her visa had expired.

Now, documents released at the National Archives show that Mugabe was so enraged by the decision that he went to extraordinary lengths to help her. In March of that year, he wrote to James Callaghan, the then-Home Secretary, about his wife's situation. This letter went unanswered, prompting Mugabe to send a telegram to Harold Wilson on 8 June, asking the Prime Minister to grant his wife British citizenship. Again, there was no official response.

Ten days later, he pursued this request with a three-page, handwritten letter to Wilson setting out the case for reconsideration on the grounds of exceptional circumstances, pleading with the Prime Minister to understand his wife's predicament: shortly before Sally had come to England in 1967, tragedy struck the Mugabes when Nhamodzenyika died after succumbing to a severe attack of malaria. He was just three years old. With her husband in prison, Sally was left to bear the emotional burden of the loss alone. The confidential papers show that she later suffered a mental breakdown while living in London.

One of her supporters, Tony Hughes, secretary of the African rights group Ariel Foundation, wrote at the time that the strain of the bereavement, combined with the stress of her imminent deportation, had taken a great toll on Sally's mental state, and in a letter to the government, he wrote of the proposed deportation: "It is certainly unfair for the British government to add to the misery of her already broken life."

In his letter, Mugabe had told Wilson of the effect the death of his son had had on his wife, explaining that: "My wife, whose health has never been satisfactory since the loss of our son in 1966, is at present suffering serious emotional upset as a result of the decision by the Home Office. Surely then, the fact of my detention is enough suffering for her already. As I stated in my letter to Mr Callaghan, the reason my wife decided to work for the year (September 1969-June 1970) was to enable her to earn a little money for herself until October when she should enter university to do a degree in Household Science. The Home Office decision wrecks even this wholesome plan."

He asked Wilson to reconsider the decision to refuse Sally permission to stay in Britain by politely explaining that his wife had a right to British citizenship because of their marriage, "under Christian rites", in 1961. He added that it was "sheer force of circumstance" that meant his wife had had to use a Ghanaian passport to enter Britain, proclaiming, "She is first and foremost a Rhodesian citizen."

Mugabe explained that, "When I and other nationalist leaders decided in 1963 to return from our temporary exile in Tanganyika, I could not bring my wife, who had just given birth to our late son, back with me as she was liable for imprisonment for a political offence she is alleged to have committed... I therefore decided to take my wife to Ghana, where she was to remain with her parents until our son was about four... When our son died in December 1966 the whole purpose of her stay no longer existed so I arranged that she should go to Britain for her studies."

The letter not only displays Mugabe's incisive intellect but also a talent for elegant and persuasive writing. "Since the British government asserts that it has legally assumed administrative authority for Rhodesia," he added, "then it must place at the disposal of those who come under that authority, as my wife and I do, the procedures it considers valid for the acquisition of nationality as British Rhodesians... More than that, sir, I hold that the British government owes definite moral responsibility not only to persons in my circumstances but their wives and dependents as well... Am I to conclude that merely by virtue of the technicality of her possessing a Ghanaian passport, my wife's Rhodesian citizenship by virtue of her being married to me must cease? Has she ceased being my wife merely because she... cannot produce Rhodesian papers in support of her being Rhodesian?"

Mugabe's brooding frustration and indignation, which would later develop into a naked hatred of all things British, is already clearly marked. "I pose these questions, Mr Prime Minister," he concluded, "because it is clear to me that the Home Office is hanging on to legal technicalities completely deprived of morality."

Mugabe closed his request by appealing to Wilson's sense of humanity, and then apologised for posting the letter from Salisbury Prison, which means that Downing Street had to pay a surcharge for its receipt.

The confidential papers reveal that the Mugabes' case left the Labour government deeply divided. The Foreign Office secretly urged a compassionate approach, while the Home Office insisted on a strict observance of the letter of the law consistent with Labour's immigration policy.

The case of Mrs Mugabe's deportation was taken up by Maurice Foley, a young minister in the Foreign Office who had been corresponding with her supporters. Foley, known for being quick-witted and passionate about his politics, had already served in the Home Office as a minister responsible for immigration, where he was instrumental in introducing measures to help thousands of economic migrants and asylum seekers from post-colonial Africa. Foley even featured in the launch of a BBC TV programme for immigrants, called Apna Hi Ghar Samajhiye (meaning "Make Yourself at Home") that was broadcast on 10 October 1965.

The junior Foreign Office minister decided to raise the matter of Mrs Mugabe with the then-Home Secretary Merlyn Rees. But Rees, who had a reputation for an unbending interpretation of policy and law, wrote back saying that while he sympathised with her "personal problems" he was not prepared to reverse his decision to expel her.

He told Foley: "We deal with large numbers of cases of Commonwealth citizens where there are compassionate elements, and we give full weight to them, but they rarely justify our taking action outside the ordinary rules of immigration control."

After news broke of the Home Office's latest rejection, Sally Mugabe wrote to Foley from her address in Madeley Road, Ealing Broadway, west London. "I am surprised at this decision in spite of my plight," she said. "I am completely at a loss to know how else I could have written to touch the hearts of the decision makers... My employer has already indicated that she cannot keep me for long and I can understand her fears. But I must live whilst this scrutiny goes on."

Robert Mugabe had every reason to believe the Prime Minister would consider his request favourably. While Mandela had given up believing that South Africa's former colonial rulers would ever come to his aid, Mugabe still clung to the hope that a Labour government would deliver him from Ian Smith's oppressive regime.

His spirits had been raised by Wilson's response to Smith's declaration of UDI in 1965: the British government had adopted a policy of no compromise until there was a commitment to black-majority African rule, dictating that colonies with a substantial population of white settlers would not receive independence except under conditions of universal suffrage and majority rule. And it was at the behest of Wilson that the United Nations Security Council authorised the first use of sanctions.

But Mugabe was not to know that his letter was not processed by Downing Street until 16 July, a full month after Wilson had been defeated by the Conservatives in the snap election of 1970, meaning that the case fell instead to the consideration of Edward Heath's government.

A confidential memo written by a Foreign Office diplomat set out the situation in plain terms: "We know very little about Mr Mugabe except that he is in detention and is the former founder and secretary general of Zanu." Nevertheless, the Foreign Office urged the Home Office to adopt a sympathetic approach on the grounds that they could ill-afford to alienate a potential ally in the road to black independence in Rhodesia: "If Mrs Mugabe has to leave Britain this would have a bad effect on her husband and could be politically embarrassing."

Further correspondence written by Foreign Office minister Lord Lothian to Lord Windlesham, a minister of state at the Home Office, reveals that the Foreign Office had now recognised Mugabe's importance to the nationalist movement in Rhodesia and wanted to bend the immigration rules to preserve good relations, in case he be of use to Britain in the future. Another Foreign Office memo warned that if his wife was not allowed to stay, Mugabe's attitude to the British government could "change completely".

Then, in August 1970, a damaging story appeared in The Observer concerning another politically sensitive immigration case that could be compared unfavourably with the Mugabe request: the Home Office had granted a work visa to Ian Smith's stepson, Robert, a Rhodesian citizen.

Lord Lothian wrote to his colleagues: "The recent agreement by the Home Office that Mr Ian Smith's stepson should be allowed to take up work in the UK can be cited as an example of possible racial discrimination... At the present time we want to avoid as much as possible additional controversy over Southern African issues."

Robert Mugabe, stewing in prison and still without any British government response to his request, must have been incensed by news of the treatment of Ian Smith's stepson.

By now even Number 10 could see the political dangers. "This case," wrote one of Heath's advisers, "is now getting a little ancient. It seems only too likely to me that Mr or Mrs Mugabe may well write to the leader of the Opposition's office to ask what has been done and I think the story we would have to tell would be, to put it mildly, embarrassing."

Towards the end of 1970, Sally Mugabe received further upsetting news that her father had died, and Lord Lothian once again wrote to Lord Windlesham to urge reconsideration of the case: "It is quite evident that this will be a very difficult matter and that topics which bear on Rhodesia will continue to cause us great trouble," he wrote. "We shall not, I think, be assisted in this search for a settlement if any Rhodesian issue attracts more publicity than can be reasonably avoided. There are some new factors in the case of Mrs Mugabe which, in our view, alter its merits to some extent and may well result in further adverse publicity if the present decision is maintained. We would therefore be grateful if you would reconsider the decision in light of these factors and that you would see your way to agreeing that Mrs Mugabe should be treated as a Rhodesian citizen even if... she is not legally so for reasons outside her control."

The need to curry favour with the imprisoned Mugabe was regarded by Lord Lothian as a critical factor. "The issue of detainees in Rhodesia and what we can do for them as part of any settlement is likely to become more sensitive when talk of negotiations is in the air," he wrote. "Critics of the present decision will be able to make some play with the argument that by working in the United Kingdom Mrs Mugabe will be doing the best she can to help her detained husband, and to send her back to Ghana would reduce the possibilities of this and hence cause both him and her further suffering."

Despite mounting pressure, the new Home Secretary, Reginald Maudling, refused to budge, and it was not until after a high-profile media campaign, and a petition signed by more than 400 parliamentarians, that the government finally relented and allowed Sally Mugabe to stay.

Yet, Robert Mugabe would never forget the attempts by the British to deport his wife at a time when she was at her most vulnerable. When his personal entreaties to Britain went unacknowledged for almost a year, the suspicion that neither a Labour nor Conservative government would be prepared to help him topple the Smith government, and install black-majority rule in Zimbabwe, must have hardened. (Indeed, Wilson later famously recounted that he knew the British public would never have countenanced an armed conflict with its "kith and kin" in Rhodesia.)

It was not until 1975 that Mugabe was finally released from prison, and was reunited with his wife in Mozambique, where he had fled to begin a guerrilla war of independence. If anything, however, the years apart had made their relationship stronger, and they set about accomplishing their dream of recreating a free Zimababwe with renewed energy. While he focused on preparing his forces for an armed struggle, his wife found herself in the new role of a mother figure to thousands of Zimbabwean refugees fleeing Smith's regime. Her efforts later earned her the title Amai ("Mother").

Five years later, Mugabe became Zimbabwe's first black Prime Minister, and Sally took her place by his side. As the first lady of Zimababwe, she launched the Zimbabwe Women's Cooperative in the UK and was an active supporter of other London-based African women's organisations.

In the early years of Mugabe's rule, it was his wife who was credited with helping to temper his excesses. She could lighten his mood, said one of his former colleagues, just by entering the room. But the relationship began to falter when they discovered they were unable to have any more children and, as Sally's health failed, Mugabe began to have affairs.

Sally Mugabe died on 27 January 1992 from kidney failure and four years later Mugabe married his South African mistress, Grace Marufu. Without his first wife there to caution him against his extreme politics, Mugabe began to emerge as a tyrant. But that has not stopped Sally Hayfron from still being remembered affectionately, as the founding mother of the nation of Zimbabwe.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Interview - Mwalimu Julius Nyerere

1 June 1998
Alliance magazine

In Africa peace, unity and people-centred development are inextricably linked. The newly established Mwalimu Nyerere Foundation will aim to promote dialogue in these areas. Caroline Hartnell talked to Mwalimu Nyerere about who would be involved in that dialogue and in the process of development in Africa.

The Nyerere Foundation has been set up as a permanent tribute to you. What do you hope it will achieve?

As a founder leader of my country, I was interested in the development of the continent, the unity of the continent, and the link between that and the peace of the continent. So really because we need the development -- Africa is now the poorest area of the world -- and because that agenda is there, the agenda of unity, the agenda of peace, perhaps the Foundation can make some kind of contribution to the dialogue in these areas.

One of the objectives of the Foundation is people-centred development. Can you say a bit more about what you mean by ‘people-centred development’?

Well, this has always been a belief of mine, that we can talk about development ‘in the air’ so it is development of things, rather than development of people. Our development requires that we build roads and factories and so forth. You know that we have to have growth. And we now talk of development in terms of GNP and we say this country is developing because its GNP is x, and another one is not developing well because its GNP is lower than that. We’ve always said ‘Yes, fine; the building of roads is right’, but how does this relate to the well-being of the people? Because development must really concern the well-being of the people -- that’s number one.

Secondly, it has always been my belief that you can’t develop people -- poor people have to develop themselves. So how are people developed? How do people relate to the decisions that are made about the development of a country, the development of a community? Who makes these decisions, how are the people involved? This is what I mean. That people must be involved in the decision-making in areas which concern their own lives, and development has to be about the well-being of a people. And because that is not always so, this needs to be said all the time.

How do you see the three key objectives of peace, unity and people-centred development as being linked together?

Well, in Africa they are very linked. In the sense that how can you have development without peace? And also how can you have peace without development? Especially the kind of development I’m talking about. You can’t have peace, in any country, in my view, without justice because I believe peace is a product of justice. Therefore, if your development is not people-centred, you can produce wealth while at the same time you’re producing poverty. But this creates social tension in the community and then you cannot have peace. That’s why I’m saying ‘people-centred development’ because peace and justice have to go together. So those are linked, and in the case of Africa, of course, some of these countries are so small and vulnerable, so unviable, that I can’t see how you can have development without these countries working together in some way. Either they cooperate economically or they move even beyond economic cooperation. Unity is necessary for the development of the continent, necessary for peace I think also.

So perhaps you should have added justice as a fourth objective?

Well, I’m putting justice into people-centred development. That covers it, that contains my justice for me.

These are very large aims that the Foundation has. How do you think that you can attempt to promote them?

I don’t believe the Foundation can really achieve these objectives. We can articulate them, we can help governments to think about them – we don’t want governments to forget about justice. I keep on saying in my own country that one of the things we need is to have a dialogue about development. So if we can stimulate dialogue about development, that is a help.

I hope we can play a role in getting, for instance, East Africa or the southern countries of Africa -- that’s actually where my own thinking is concentrated at present – to discuss together. And not simply the governments of these countries. I think we can also stimulate community thinking and community working together. People being involved. In East Africa, where we had a very advanced structure of organized economic cooperation – the ‘East African Community’ -- I believe one of the reasons why we lost the initiative was that it was very much an official initiative. The governments and the bureaucracy were building this unity. It did not involve the people very much. I think we need to involve the people at different levels.

The Foundation’s literature talks about governments, people and local institutions being involved in this dialogue. Do you see the business sector as playing any part?

Yes -- certainly. I can’t see in the modern world any kind of development that doesn’t involve the business sector, the business community and, in a sense, I think now there is no way in which we can push unity on the continent without involving the business community. I keep on saying, in Europe the business community is more positively pushing about unity than the politicians. The politicians are the conservatives, they’re the ones who are very nationalistic, but the business community pushes for unity. I think what is true in Europe is going to be true in Africa also. The business community will have to play their own role in demanding the wider markets, for instance. I think it is the business community which is going to be pushing the governments.

Looking at the process of development in Africa, know you focus a lot on the importance of African countries getting together and doing it themselves and not having their agenda dictated from outside, but do you see countries outside Africa as having any part to play in the process?

They will, but I believe, myself, their part is going to be limited. People emphasize a great deal that ‘these countries’ must attract foreign direct investment, for instance. I keep on saying that there is a limit to this, especially in Africa now. Foreign direct investment will go to areas where the conditions for making money are ripe. This means big markets -- those are in the process of being created in Africa, they’re not there now.

Eastern Europe has a much more developed infrastructure than any part of Africa, perhaps with the exception of South Africa. The infrastructure has to be a given before the foreign investment can come in. And the skills -- you have to have the skills. Lots of investors move out of Europe or move out of North America and go to Asia. One of the attractive things there is that you’ll get good quality work because the skills are there, but it’s cheaper. You move out of Europe and you get the same kind of work, the training is there. And this you’re not likely to find in many parts of Africa. In Africa, when it comes to minerals, it’s different: if in Tanzania some investor discovered a lot of gold somewhere, they’d come, they’d bring the training and put in the infrastructure -- they’d do the necessary things. But in normal investment, the conditions are simply not there.

But even if that was not true, my own theory is that countries develop themselves, just as individuals develop themselves. The responsibility for developing Africa is an African responsibility. Most of the resources to develop Africa will have to come from Africa. And it is completely wrong for Africans to think that the resources for developing their countries will come from outside Africa. So I urge, I have always urged, a spirit of self-reliance: that every country will have to mobilize its own internal resources to the maximum and the countries of Africa will have to cooperate to the maximum and enhance their capacity to develop. The rest of the world will come in, they’ll come in and help. They’ll come in and fit in. But the major effort has to be made locally.

You’ve talked about investment from outside not going in at the moment because the situation isn’t right in terms of infrastructure. But what about foreign aid agencies or foreign foundations, non-profit organizations. Do you see any role for them in Africa?

Yes, they can play a role but it’s always going to be a limited role for us because, frankly, you can’t develop a continent on the basis of charity. So there is going to be a role for the humanitarian organizations, NGOs going in helping individual communities and so forth. This will continue, and I think it’s very useful. But one shouldn’t exaggerate the importance.

How important do you feel education is in contributing to the process of development?

Education is key. Was it in the last election in the United States that President Clinton said, ‘If you ask me priority number one I’ll say education, priority number two I’ll say education, priority number three I’ll say education.’ It isn’t Clinton who should be saying that, it should be heads of government in Africa who should be saying that. Education should be priority number one, number two, number three. You can’t develop those countries without education. This is the key instrument of development, and resources should be spent on education.

Looking back over your very long career in African politics, do you feel the direction in which countries are going now is positive. Rather a large question.

It is a large question. I’m very optimistic about what is happening in Africa now. The continent has gone through stages. We went through the stage when I and my colleagues, those of us who had led the liberation movements, were extremely exuberant and very hopeful about the continent. We went through a period which was no good at all, what I call the neo-colonial period, when soldiers took over the continent, encouraged sometimes, often, by ex-colonial powers. I mention Mobutu as the worst example but Mobutu was not the only one -- we had a lot of these people in West Africa and Central Africa. That phase is going out now. I believe firmly that the phase of these African leaders -- unelected, unaccountable to the population, a bunch of looters -- that age is on the way out now.

A new leadership is coming out in Africa, very confident about themselves, and I think they are going to be accountable to the population; they are part of the population and they want to help the development of the continent. If you look at the continent of Africa and see what is happening, there is a completely new development there. The governments are different kinds of government. We still have pockets -- we have Somalia, that’s a question mark, and you have other question marks that I’m not going to mention -- but there is the whole of a chunk of Africa, from the Red Sea to Cape Town and now from Dar es Salaam right across to the Atlantic, to the new Congo. If the Democratic Republic of Congo holds, if the promise that the Congo is to the rest of us, if that actually proves to be correct, then there is a tremendous positive change taking place and that will mean a lot.

Known throughout Africa as ‘Mwalimu’ – the Swahili word for teacher – Julius Nyerere was the first President of the United Republic of Tanzania after Tanganyika and Zanzibar united to form one sovereign state in April 1964. He was re-elected as President four times but refused to stand again in 1985. Since leaving office he has continued to work for the principles he had always espoused. In 1987 he became Chairman of the South Commission, set up to look at the developmental problems of the South and what the South can do to solve them. Since 1990 he has been Chairman of its successor organization, the South Centre.

The Mwalimu Nyerere Foundation

The Foundation, set up in 1996 as a permanent tribute to Mwalimu Nyerere, has its main object the promotion of Peace, Unity and people-centred Development. To this end it will seek to promote dialogues within Africa involving governments, peoples and local institutions. Mwalimu himself has agreed to be its first Chairman.

The Tanzanian government has given the Foundation two plots of land in Dar es Salaam. On these it plans to build a headquarters large enough to contain offices, flats and conference facilities which can be leased or rented out to earn income to carry out the Foundation’s objectives.

An Executive Director, Joseph Butiku, has been appointed by Mwalimu, and he is currently working to establish an organizational structure and recruit core staff. While the vision and objectives of the Foundation are clear, its pressing need is to draw up concrete and detailed plans for inaugural programmes which will hopefully attract funds to the organization.

For further information, contact the Mwalimu Nyerere Foundation, 6 Sokoine Drive, PO Box 71000, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. Tel: +255 51 113 431. Fax +255 51 112 790.

Unstable Utopias: The Global Spread of Socialism

At the end of the 19th century, socialism was an idyllic dream among intellectuals. Sixty years later it had become a reality for much of the world. This program describes the expansion of socialist and Communist rule into Asia, Africa, the Middle East, and western Europe—showing the weaknesses that developed in the practice of socialism even as it reached the apex of its popularity. Documenting the ascendancy of Clement Atlee in Britain and the challenges of democratic socialism, the program also surveys Mao’s brutal reign in China, Julius Nyerere’s slide into dictatorship in Tanzania, and a problematic socialist experiment in Israel. (58 minutes)

To watch the video click here
Tanzania & Nyerere part begins at the 28th min.

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Fears Of Rape In Kenya's Slums 'Trap Women'

Fear of sexual violence is keeping poor Kenyan women away from communal toilets, and increasing the risk of disease, Amnesty International says.

In a report on Kenya's slums, the human rights group said women and girls were afraid to leave their shacks at night.

As a result they were risking contracting diseases such as dysentery and cholera, the report said.

60% of Nairobi residents, about two million people, live in slums with limited access to water and sanitation.


Thursday, April 15, 2010

Belief In Witchcraft In Tanzania Is The Highest In Africa

The Pew Research Center has just released one of the biggest ever studies on attitudes to religion and morality in Africa, which has revealed a host of interesting facts.

Here are 10 things we have learnt from the study, which surveyed 25,000 people in 19 countries.

1. 75% of South Africans think polygamy is "morally wrong" - bad news for their president, as Jacob Zuma took his third wife earlier this year and is engaged to a fourth. However, the survey also revealed some possible double-standards. While only 7% of Rwandans approved of polygamy (although this did include women), a rather higher number - 17% - of men said they had more than one wife.

2. An overwhelming majority of respondents disapproved of homosexual behaviour. In three countries - Zambia, Kenya and Cameroon - this was a massive 98%. Interestingly, one of the countries with the highest numbers of people - 11% - accepting homosexuals is Uganda, where an MP is trying to get legislation passed which would punish homosexual acts with life in prison and even death in some cases. The former Portuguese colonies of Guinea-Bissau and Mozambique were also relatively tolerant of homosexuality.

3. Africa is probably the world's most religious continent, with more than 80% saying they believed in God in most countries. At least half of the Christians questioned expect Jesus Christ to return to earth during their lifetimes. In Ethiopia, 74% of Christians say they have experienced or witnessed the devil or evil spirits being driven out of a person and in Ghana, 40% of Christians say they have had a direct revelation from God. About half of all Muslims expect to see the reunification of the Islamic world under a single ruler, or caliph, in their lifetimes.

4. Zimbabwe, where the Lemba people say they are the lost tribe of Israel, was not one of the countries surveyed. But 26% of Nigerian Christians said they traced their origins back to Israel or Palestine.

5. Belief in witchcraft is also common - about 40%; a similar percentage also visit traditional healers to cure sickness. Belief in witchcraft is highest in Tanzania with 93% - this is the country where witchdoctors say that magic potions are more effective if they contain body parts of people with albinism. Ethiopia had the lowest levels of belief in witchcraft - at just 17%. Belief that juju or sacred objects can prevent bad things happening was generally lower - between 20 and 30%. In Senegal, however, 75% thought such things worked - far higher than in Tanzania (49%). It may come as a surprise to learn that South Africa had the highest number of people - 52% - saying they took part in ceremonies of traditional religions, or honoured or celebrated their ancestors.

6. Predictably, there was also a religious split concerning alcohol, banned by Islam. Surprisingly, however, more Muslims in Chad (23%) approved of booze, than Ethiopian Christians (5%).

7. Attitudes to divorce showed a strong divide along religious lines in Nigeria. A massive 79% of Christians thought it was "morally wrong", while among Muslims, a narrow majority (46-41%) accepted divorce.

8. In recent years, Islamist hardliners in Somalia and Nigeria have introduced strict punishment based on Sharia law, such as amputating the hands of thieves and even stoning to death for adultery. The majority of people disapproved of such Sharia punishments. In Nigeria, they were backed by about 40% of Muslims and less than 10% of Christians. However, a majority did approve of whippings and amputations in Senegal and Mali. In nearby Guinea-Bissau, even 50% of Christians backed them. This was double the rate among Muslims in Ethiopia (25%) - maybe it feels like a more realistic prospect to them, as they share a border with Somalia and most Muslim Ethiopians are ethnic Somalis.

9. The survey also asked about material well-being in the world's poorest continent. Not so long ago, Cameroon regularly topped surveys of champagne consumption per head. However, a shocking 71% of Cameroonians surveyed said there were times in the past year when they did not have enough money to buy food. In Ethiopia, which is commonly seen as a country struggling to feed itself, the rate was far lower - at 30% - the lowest of all countries surveyed.

10. Ethiopia did, however, have the lowest numbers of people - 7% - who said they regularly used the internet. Rwanda's President Paul Kagame is striving to turn his country into Africa's answer to Silicon Valley and is being helped by the arrival of several new fibre optic cables off the east coast of Africa. He will be encouraged by the finding that 30% of his countrymen - the highest number - regularly browsed the web. Mobile phones, were far more common - with 81% of respondents in Botswana owning one. Many countries reported more than 50% having phones but here, Rwanda lagged behind at just 35%.

Story from BBC NEWS:

Thursday, April 01, 2010

Friday, March 26, 2010

Bill Gates On Mosquitos, Malaria And Education

Bill Gates hopes to solve some of the world's biggest problems using a new kind of philanthropy. In a passionate and, yes, funny 18 minutes, he asks us to consider two big questions and how we might answer them.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

The Crime Of Aggression

Ottilia Maunganidze of the ISS discusses the International Criminal Court and the definition of the crime of aggression.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Africa And The Curse of Foreign Aid

The Poynter Fellowship in Journalism at Yale presents Andrew M. Mwenda:

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Govt To Protect Jobs For Citizens Despite EA Common Market

Tanzania would continue to protect jobs for her citizens despite the anticipated free movement of labour in East Africa after coming into force of the EA Common Market Protocol later this year.

A survey carried out by the East African Trade Unions Confederation (EATUC) indicated that unlike other partner states in the region,Tanzania would rationalise employment of foreigners in the country so that her qualified citizens are not marginalised.

The government would only allow hiring of foreign workers for the use of technologies and skills that are not available locally. Such foreign workers would be required to facilitate the acquisition of the required skills by the local personnel.

read more:

Thursday, February 11, 2010

The Fight Against TB"

Despite the fact that tuberculosis afflicts a huge number of people it's not on the radar screen in terms of public awareness. Normal tuberculosis, if diagnosed and treated diligently, is very inexpensive and doesn't take very long to cure. But if normal TB is not treated, it mutates and becomes 100 times more expensive, requires a two-year cure and a long stay in the hospital, which many of those infected cannot afford. The thought of XDR getting out of control is truly frightening:

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

This Documentary shows you once again how Europeans try to kill in order to get natural resources from Africa. This nation in Africa has immense wealth in oil. The American & European Governments tried to kill the president of that African nation and put there own ruler in order to gain control of the oil.

Sunday, February 07, 2010

Africans... Stand Up and Save Africa

Wars, Tribalism and the arrogance of greedy and selfish leaders must end now.
warning: -The video below contains graphic images, some viewers may find distressing

Thursday, February 04, 2010

Rethinking Africa's Growth Strategy

Africa's growth strategy is developing new plot lines as the International Monetary Fund expects growth in sub-Saharan Africa to be 1% above the global average; trade with China now tops US$ 100 billion a year.

Witch trials in Africa

A prisoner jailed for allegedly practising withcraft in the Central African Republic says his case highlights some of the failures in the judicial system.

Friday, January 29, 2010

In modern day South Africa there is problems with poverty and corruption. Most of this is directed at immigrants from other African states. An undercover team videos the corruption of the police force. They find that you can be freed regardless of your crime, if you have the money.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Cleaning up Africa's largest slum

An inspiring story of one young man: nineteen-year-old David Were lives in Africa's largest slum where polluted water, disease and safety are daily concerns. He tells his story in his own words.

Congo Approves Economic Stimulus Package Of AK-47 For Every Citizen

Bomb Squad Rats - Mozambique

After decades of civil war, and years of work clearing up after it, Mozambique is slowly moving towards being declared free of land mines. All thanks to man's unlikely new best friend: the rat.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Gay Couple Face 14 Years In Malawi Prison

A new crackdown on homosexuality in parts of Africa has forced gay communities into hiding, fearing for their lives.

In Malawi, two men who dared to go public with their relationship by holding a traditional "marriage" ceremony are on trial for indecency, and face 14 years in jail.

"It's so scary," one gay man, who didn't want to be identified, told Sky News in the city of Blantyre, where the trial is taking place.
"We are not feeling free and are worried about being arrested.

It is the first case to be brought under Malawi's longstanding legislation banning homosexuality in years.

The rise of US style evangelist preachers has contributed to a hardening of attitudes in the tiny southern African state.

"Biblically it is demonic," pastor Stanley Ndovi said, flipping through the pages of his bible to show me the passages that condemn homosexuality.

"It is wrong and these people should be counselled and helped."

Inside his church on the outskirts of Blantyre, his congregation laughed when he told them that Sky News had come to talk to him about "gay rights".

At best, homosexuality is viewed as a mental illness in Malawi, at worst a form of Satanism with the power to infect the entire population.

"In the West you have allowed homosexuality and it has spread," pastor Ndovi said.

The gay couple on trial are considered such a risk to the public that they have been denied bail and are handcuffed every time they appear in court, jeered by the crowds as they're led to the dock.

"Sometimes I think it would be better to kill myself," another gay man said. "We are not even treated as human."

Malawi is not alone in its new hardline approach to gays and lesbians. Uganda is considering introducing legislation that would result in the death penalty for some "homosexual offences".

The Ugandan government has tried to distance itself from the plan after criticism from its biggest donor, the United States.

Rwanda is also seeking to tighten the laws banning homosexuality.

The crackdown has alarmed human rights campaigners and health workers who are trying to combat the spread of HIV and Aids.

In Malawi, 10% of the general population is HIV positive, with the figure rising to 25% among homosexual men.

There are fears that the gay community will be too scared to come forward to be tested, fearing reprisals from the state.

Just one African nation, South Africa, specifically safeguards the rights of lesbians and gays.

But even there, there have been attacks on gay men, and lesbians have been subjected to so-called "corrective rape".

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Sudan: The Comprehensive Peace Agreement and Its Aftermath

Southern Sudanese share their perspectives on the Comprehensive Peace Agreement and its aftermath. What progress has been made and what have the flashpoints been? Is Sudan on a tenuous path towards peace, and stability, or has the peace agreement fragmented to the point where a return to civil war is inevitable?

Thursday, January 07, 2010

Diamonds are Forever

For many African countries the discovery of diamonds has turned into a curse, with blood or conflict diamonds fuelling exploitation, subversion and division. But in Botswana, its a different story.

The diamond has transformed Botswana from one of the poorest countries in the world, to one of the most prosperous and stable countries in Africa. An inspiring initiative has seen Botswanas vast diamond reserves, worth about three billion US dollars a year, being used to share wealth throughout the nation.

Trade Consultant Ntetleng Masisi says they used diamonds to bring about health facilities, education and a markedly improved quality of life, Masisi says that the partnership is a necessity, The earnings from our exports of diamonds have really done a lot for us. But Botswanas reliance on diamond revenue means that the whole of the countrys future is now in the hands of the diamond dealers.

Horn Of Africa Events

Scholarship Programme for African Students - UK and South Africa