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Archive for the ‘Unreported world’ Category

photograph of the week – Female African entrepreneurship

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The infographic, by Afrographique,  depicts the percentage share of formal firms that are owned by women in Africa. Data from the World Bank.


Written by Eliza

November 15, 2011 at 4:23 pm

Posted in Unreported world

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A tale of two Cameroons – should we be calling for two elections?

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On Sunday 9 October, Cameroonians will cast their vote in a presidential election few believe to be free or fair. Many have already commented on the tactics used to undermine the opposition’s campaigns or the fact that with only days until the election, the incumbent, President Paul Biya is yet to be spotted on the campaign trail. But precious little has been said of an open wound at the heart of this failed democracy. That is of course, until reports emerged over the weekend of the alleged arrest of 200 people who gathered to celebrate more than 50 years of independence in Southern Cameroons.

According to a Facebook post, shared on the blog ZoFem, Mola Njoh Litumbe, an activist campaigning for the restoration of Southern Cameroons, was on October 1, placed under house arrest, though it is unclear from the post if he was involved in the independence day celebrations. The unnamed writer, a journalist, said: “I write to confirm that Mola Njoh is under house arrest. It is in front of his residence that police men have just beaten me [and] seized my identification (ID) card.”

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Written by Eliza

October 5, 2011 at 7:19 am

What is Libya’s new democracy if it is built on racial hatred?

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With the support of the great and the good, Libya is inching ever closer to what we hope will be a democratic future.

On 1 September 2011, leaders from some 60 countries gathered in Paris for a conference on the future of Libya and to deliberate on ways to support Libya’s government-in-waiting – the National Transitional Council (NTC).

The “friends of Libya” meeting hosted by French President, Nicholas Sarkozy and the British Prime Minister, David Cameron, pledged to maintain military pressure of Colonel Gadaffi and to release funds to support the NTC and a transition to democracy in Libya. Speaking at the event, Sarkozy said: “We are all committed to returning to Libya the money of yesterday for the building of tomorrow.

Much would have surely been discussed at the event, not least, as the Russian media suggests, the scramble for Libya’s oil. But one important issue would have surely been ignored: the ongoing racially-motivated attack on Libya’s black population by the rebel forces. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Eliza

September 12, 2011 at 8:03 am

#civnext: the beginning of the campaign not the end of the cause

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CC: Department for International Development

We now know what war is. It is up to us to make sure our children do not live that hell ever again. #civ2010 #civnextThu Apr 14 19:59:29 via Twitter for iPhone

Scanning my Twitter feeds, a new hashtag brings a smile to my face. After months of a political stalemate which led to a rapidly deteriorating humanitarian crisis, Ivory Coast is pulling back from the brink of war with a seven-letter hashtag: #civnext.

With the capture of Laurent Gbagbo, there is a palpable and understandable desperation to move on. The #civnext hashtag, is both the collective virtual exhale of a country that’s narrowly escaped civil war and a call to action: to reconcile Ivorians and rebuild Ivory Coast. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Eliza

April 14, 2011 at 10:47 pm

Open letter to Not on Our Watch: are you watching Ivory Coast?

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The celebrity as activist is a phenomenon that is here to stay.

A development campaign is hardly complete without some celebrity being given a guided tour through crowds of people, in far-flung places, whose lives have been devastated by acts of God or the cruelty of men.

And an entertainer’s portfolio is hardly complete without a humanitarian campaign. Celebrities seem to be lining up to get into bed with almost any NGO, for almost any cause, no matter how improbable the relationship. I doubt anybody would have guessed Ronan Keating was passionate about and well-versed in global agriculture issues – until of course the Boyzone singer, in his capacity as FAO goodwill ambassador, writes the forward for a UK Parliamentary Inquiry on Food Security. No, didn’t see that one coming either. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Eliza

March 25, 2011 at 8:23 pm

Witches. By virtue of being women

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In the 100 years since more than one million women took to the streets, honouring the first International Women’s Day and demanding the right to work, vote, be trained, to hold public office and end discrimination, so much has changed.

And so much hasn’t. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Eliza

March 10, 2011 at 9:00 am

A protest diary – “the power is within us”

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Kah Walla, the presidential candidate for Cameroon Ô’Bosso, who led yesterday’s peaceful protests that was brutally quelled by the army sent this dairy of events leading up to and during the protest and reflects on lessons learned.

Wednesday, 23 2:30 a.m. We left our strategy room feeling quite good.  We were convinced we had a surprise itinerary which the police did not know about and we would be able to march for at least a half hour before they fell upon us.  We were also thrilled with the symbolism of our start point: Um Nyobe’s house in Nkolmondo (one of Douala’s poorest neighbourhoods) was full of both historic and current day symbolism and would get us off with the type of energy we needed for the day. We had met with the family and they were in full agreement.  Off we went to catch a few hours of sleep before our scheduled start time of 9:00 a.m.

8:00 a.m. The first part of our organization team arrived the site.  Water sachets and 200 t-shirts in tow, they were busy setting up things for all to march non-violently and determinedly.  The gendarmes show up, arrest 6 of our members and 1 journalist from AFP and confiscate our 200 t-shirts and our water.  Our close to 300 protestors panic.  The march has not even started and people are being arrested.  The majority of them desist.  A handful of about 20 diehards persist. We start figuring out possible new itineraries. On the spot we decide to print 50 new t-shirts. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Eliza

February 24, 2011 at 10:35 am