Friday, September 28, 2007

"Educating for a sustainabe future?"

The ancestors of Africa are angry….it is as if the ancestors had pronounced the
curse of cultural sabotage. This generation of Africans is hearing the ancestral
voice in no uncertain terms proclaiming….

Warriors will fight
scribes for the control of your institutions; wild bush will conquer your roads
and pathways; your land will yield less and less while your offspring multiply;
your houses will leak from floods and your soil will crack from drought; your
sons will refuse to pick up the hoe and prefer to wander in the wilds; you shall
learn ways of cheating and you will poison the cola nuts you serve your own
friends. Yes things will fall apart.
(The Africans – A triple heritage by Ali A. Mazrui).

How ironic therefore, that the call and validation for returning to a natural coexistence with nature in Africa should come from western society; from whence comes also, the horde of tourists and plunderers that have turned Africa’s ecological balance on its head.

The Africa-America Institute's 23rd annual awards Gala (New York) paid tribute to the People of Tanzania for the East African nation's significant progress in education, environmental conservation, and in creating a business-friendly environment for entrepreneurs and investment. (

And so while, we congratulate the Tanzanian government for soothing the wrath of our ancestors a little; the Zambian government must take heed and give up its unrestrained policy of welcoming all manner of mining explorations, sale of national parks and state land without considering the impact on our culture and natural balance.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

A case for diversity and inclusion.

Last year, I attended a company hosted conference on diversity and inclusion; the conference featured a 15 minute video of Mauritius. The video outlined how the diverse population of this small Island, has worked together for national development and social cohesion against diverse origins, religion and culture.
It is therefore no wonder that the Ibrahim index of African governance has ranked Mauritius, as the best governed state in Africa.
Zambia has many diverse ethnic groups however I can not state without doubt that Zambians value, the different attributes each group brings to the national table.
Perhaps it is the size and geographical challenges of our vast land but, extreme differences in rate of human development i.e. public institutions and infrastructure among diverse tribal areas, lends credence to fears of marginalization and exclusion of others.

Just as a company with a diverse workforce, is best suited to meet costumer needs and consequently more successful in business; a nation that values diversity and the inclusion of its diverse population groups in national representation and development is most likely to achieve a higher rate human development and social cohesion.
As Zambians deliberate and seek the ever elusive consensus on the content and nature of our constitution, it is imperative that no section of our population is marginalized or excluded in this all important process.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

There goes Mugabe!!!

Like watching a drunk man walk down a steep flight of stairs against all pleas of caution, from sober onlookers….

Zimbabwe's ruling party has pushed a bill through parliament giving local owner’s majority control of foreign-owned companies including mines and banks.

The ZANU-PF party led by Robert Mugabe, the president, pushed through the bill on Wednesday after members of the main opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) walked out in protest. ( Al Jazeera)

How can Mugabe, possibly think handing out companies and banks to his cronies will redress economic decline and put food in Zimbabwe’s hungry tummies.
If the farms he grabbed from white farmers have not produced any consumables since they were localized, what gives this senile man any hope, localizing companies will change anything.

Mugabe was in Zambia, teaching at Palabana training college in the 70’s; when Kenneth Kaunda’s Zambianisation experiment, was crumbling. There are many more lessons from history, how can there be no sane voice in the entirety of the ZANU-PF membership.

Am at loss for words, I can only empathize with the pain Zimbabwe’s children are being put through; the adults have their own conscience to grapple with.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

President Mbeki - burying his head in sand?

Last week President Bush, when hard pressed to explain the lack of pragmatic leadership in Iraq, posed this question.

"Now, where’s Mandela?” Well, Mandela’s dead because Saddam Hussein killed all the Mandelas." (President Bush).

Of course Mandela, the most virtuous pragmatist out of Africa, still lives. It is his successor’s lack of pragmatism that validates belief in the death of pragmatic leadership in the world.
Mbeki refuses to acknowledge the decimating impact of HIV/AIDS on poor South Africans. Much further, he prefers to deal with Mugabe, with his head buried in sand.

If Mbeki really cared about Aids, he’d do more than recall defective condoms, says A.H Smyth
South Africa's government is recalling 20m condoms and prosecuting their manufacturer - Latex Surgical Products - after a Bureau of Standards (SABS) official was accused of taking bribes in exchange for approving sub-standard products.
With 1,000 Aids-related deaths per day and a national infection rate of more than 20 per cent, the recall and the prosecution are commendable…….But the government's laudably prompt response will doubtless be used to mask bigger, political problems in South Africa's embattled health service. The corruption of a middling official endangers a relatively limited number of lives; the ANC's persistent refusal to acknowledge the scale of the Aids crisis threatens the entire nation.
(The First Post).

And the First Post further speculates, that Mbeki may have his own personal reason for dealing with Mugabe with kid gloves…

How long will it be before South Africa produces its own home-grown Robert Mugabe? Only so long as the Almighty spares Nelson Mandela, since it is his miraculous influence that has stopped such an inevitable calamity already happening. (The First Post)

Monday, September 24, 2007

The Right to dissent.

If the whole world was of uniform opinion but one, the world would be no more justified to silence that one voice than he if he had the means to silence the world.

And thus came to Columbia University the Iranian President….
Mr. Ahmadinejad strode onto the stage in a packed auditorium, smiling slightly. Before he sat down, he held up his hands to the crowd, to some applause.
He then gave a speech that meandered from topic to topic, from science and religion, to creation of human beings, and the misuse of wisdom. But it was during the question-and-answer session that he was confronted with some of his most controversial positions.
He said that as an academic, he questioned whether there was “sufficient research” about what happened after World War II. “We know quite well that Palestine is an old wound” for 60 years, he said at one point, in the earlier part of the question-and-answer portion.
“We need to still question whether the Palestinian people should be paying for it or not.”
He was also asked to answer directly whether he or his government seek the destruction of Israel. He did not. But he said that to solve the “60-year old problem,” “we must allow the Palestinian people to decide on its future itself.” (nytimes).

There are now fears of a backlash against Columbia University especially because Mr. Ahmadinejad used the platform to extraordinary effect even receiving loud applause in a country that has branded him a leader of a terrorist state. Mr. Ahmadinejad seized the opportunity to highlight the unresolved fate of Palestinian refugees; he also explained the Iranian position and intention of its nuclear ambition.

Whatever the pit falls, it is clear that free expression especially the right to present a dissenting opinion is indeed - a right and benefit all governments must support especially African governments.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Beautiful Zimbabwe - lost again?

I found this interesting video ( from Zimbabwe’s past, I think I was made by former settlers forced to leave Zimbabwe at independence.
How ironic that almost 30 years later Britain, the USA and Sweden find themselves at loggerheads with the regime in Zimbabwe. And the inhabitants of the beautiful land are again, forced to leave their country, as a result.
Particularly poignant, is the closing caption of the video.

Once a friendly, civilized nation. Built by brave men of good quality.
It was threatened by Britain, USA and small nations with stupid politicians, like Sweden who was in the front to create a black communist banana republic of Rhodesia.

Rhodesia was defended by brave men of good quality, but they lost.

A result of support from former super power , communist Soviet Union, communist China, communist North Korea, socialist Sweden and other nations with irresponsible politicians and governments of poor quality.