Wednesday, February 25, 2009

judicial murder

A UN investigator has called for the removal of Kenya's police commissioner and attorney general over a wave of alleged extrajudicial killings.

Philip Alston said: "Kenyan police are a law unto themselves. They kill often, with impunity...There exists in Kenya a systematic, widespread and well-planned strategy to execute individuals, carried out by the police"

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

horror tours

The historic slave port ,Badagry, Nigeria , is to be transformed through the bizarre combination of a $3.4bn (£2.4bn)slave history theme park and a museum dedicated to double Grammy-winning pop-soul group the Jackson Five. The idea is that the band will help attract African-American tourists keen to trace their roots back to Nigeria.

The African-American history trail is worth billions of dollars, the developers say. Ghana and Senegal have successfully turned slave ports into tourist attractions. The developers say the Badagry Historical Resort will be marketed to African-American tourists as a mixture of luxury tourist attractions and historical education.
Visitors will be able to see the route their ancestors walked, shackled together as they were whipped toward the "point of no return". They can then retire to their five-star hotel to drink cocktails by the pool.

But critics have dismissed the project as a cynical money-making scheme, inappropriate for the subject of such seriousness as the transatlantic slave trade.

"It's like dancing on the graves of dead people and telling them you're honouring them" C Don Adinuba Writer

Saturday, February 14, 2009

china africa

Chinese President Hu Jintao said he wanted to deepen Beijing's trade and investment links in Africa despite the global economic slowdown.

China's trade with Africa has shot up 10-fold since 2000, soaring 45 percent to nearly $107 billion last year alone. China's investments in and imports from Africa are dominated by minerals and oil -- Angola is China's single biggest crude supplier. Chinese companies are expanding sectors such as mobile telephones as well as food and agricultural businesses, such as fisheries and sesame production in Senegal. Tanzania and Mali are also Africa's third and fourth biggest gold miners and Senegal has a burgeoning gold and iron ore sector. China's Sinopec is looking for oil in northern Mali, while the state-owned China National Petroleum Company signed a $5 billion deal to produce oil in neighbouring Niger. China has invested heavily in Africa, building parliaments, stadiums, bridges and roads in numerous countries. But critics say the hastily built infrastructure is nothing more than a bribe for access to Africa's vast mineral wealth, natural resources and bountiful coastline.
Fishermen in neighboring Guinea-Bissau say after their government accepted China's gift of a new parliament, their coastline was invaded by Chinese trawlers who have fished their waters dry.

Sudan claims China is working with it to head off a possible International Criminal Court arrest warrant for President Omar Hassan al-Bashir for alleged war crimes in Darfur. China, whose firms pump Sudan's oil, says a warrant would worsen instability. This trip , according to some observers , is also to counter the accusations that they only do business with resource-rich autocracies

South Africa - New policy on HIV/AIDS

South Africa's health minister promised a dramatic increase in treatment for AIDS victims to overcome the legacy of a decade of governmental denial of the epidemic.
Barbara Hogan said the government wanted to provide AIDS drugs to 1.5 million people over the next three years—up from 700,000 at present, conceding that thousands were without the treatment they desperately need.
South Africa has an estimated 5.7 million people infected with HIV—the most of any country in the world—and nearly 1,000 people die every day of AIDS-related diseases. But former President Thabo Mbeki and his health minister downplayed the crisis. Since 1996 life, expectancy in South Africa has fallen by 12 years, maternal mortality is higher than in Iraq, and three times more children under five die than in Brazil.

"We cannot let the economic crisis paralyze us," said Sidibe,head of UNAIDS . "Stimulus packages and economic adjustments should be made with a human face in mind. A mother should not have to choose between continuing AIDS treatment and feeding her children. We cannot let down the 4 million people on treatment and millions more in need today."

Friday, February 13, 2009

It's the poor who suffers

The world's poor are bearing the brunt of the global recession and finance ministers from the Group of Seven rich nations meeting in Rome this week must take action to help them, poverty campaigners said.
"They (world leaders) meet to discuss the environment and achieve nothing. They meet to tackle world hunger and achieve nothing. I think the more they meet, the more problems they create," said Anna Stroppiani. We can only agree with those sentiments .

An economic crash that may empty Congo's state coffers within weeks has saddled the country's poor masses with rising prices and a sliding currency, threatening yet more instability in the vast African state.
"The prices have all gone up, and the economy is on its knees," said a woman haggling for bread with a kerb-side vendor at the chaotic central market in Kinshasa, the dilapidated capital and home to over 8 million people. "A child can't just eat bread. It's not enough," she said
A loaf that cost 100 Congolese francs just two months ago today sells for 150 francs. Essentials like flour, rice, and meat have been subject to similar price hikes. For many of Congo's poor, paying more is not an option. They must simply eat less.