The infographic, by Afrographique, depicts the percentage share of formal firms that are owned by women in Africa. Data from the World Bank.
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.”
On Friday, 9 September, I hosted the Africa Fashion Guide book launch on behalf of its author, Jacqueline Shaw. The evening consisted of two panel discussions, the first on ethical fashion and the second on African fashion. The latter sparked debate about what is ‘African fashion’? Was is style over substance without a satisfactory focus on developing skill in garment making or in building an industry. My views on this will be blogged later.
But what also came across from the former was how little people understood the benefits of ethical fashion. Like the general public, much of the audience – though involved in the fashion in some way – were uncertain about how organic cotton, for example, differed from conventional and what the point was. Last year, I wrote a piece for the Ecologist highlighting the development benefits of organic cotton. Read the rest of this entry »
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 »