by Adrian Joe
Africa is a continent in the world map. It is the second largest and the second most populous continent in the world. Africa is surrounded by the Mediterranean Sea in the North, the Indian Ocean to the South East and the Atlantic Ocean to the West. The continent is blessed with 54 fully recognized sovereign states which include countries like Namibia, South Africa, Nigeria, Ghana, Eritrea, Madagascar, Algeria and Morocco. The word AFRICA originates from the word AFRI-KA, meaning “a sunny place”. According to Wikipedia, it is believed that Africa, particularly the Eastern Africa is the origin of humans. Africa as a continent suffers a great exploitation from the Europeans. The continent was firstly partitioned by the European powers such as Britain, France, Belgium, Portugal e.t.c at the 1884/85 Berlin conference which subsequently paved way for them to take full occupation of the continent. The European powers established different steps in order to capture the Africans, for instance, France introduced policy of assimilation and association in their various colonies while British introduced indirect rule. Faced by this exploitation, Africans although benefit from the policies these Europeans introduces because it gives African citizens the opportunity to be educated but at the receiving end, the Africans are the major losers in the sense that most of their natural resources were been taken abroad to develop the industries of the European powers.
After a long and terrible experience of colonization and the independence of India in 1947, nationalist movements erupted and they embraced the spirit of independence. This action was also spear-headed by Resolution 1514 adopted by the United Nation which could see the end of colonization. Nationalist like Kwame Nkrumah of Ghana, Jomo Kenyatta of Kenya, Nelson Mandela of South-Africa and Julius Nyerere of Tanzania exhale and started the crusade of independence. The year 1960s were regarded to be the years of African countries because 17 countries (with Ghana been the first in 1957) got their independence, though political independence in nature, and later that year 16 of them joined the United Nation. Furthermore, since the end of the cold war and the appreciation or practice of capitalism and globalization making up a Unipolar world, African continent has witnessed a great number of turbulent actions ranging from ethnic crisis, terrorism, deadly disease and politically motivated violence against the state. These issues need to be tackled in order to make the continent a peaceful and conducive environment for its citizenry to fully participate in the development of the continent. However, there have been many issues which are not satisfactory or needed to be addressed urgently within the African continent. Africa as of today is regarded as a “backward continent”, not because they can’t think or implement good and reasonable policies that would move the continent forward, but because of problems such as sit tight syndrome, corruption, and lack of technological knowhow put them in this quagmire. Some of the contemporary issues facing the African continent include:
- Bad, corrupt and autocratic leadership
- Xenophobia in southern Africa
- Migration in Northern Africa
- Terrorism and Ebola epidemic in West Africa
Let us now examine them one after the other: Read more…
Categories: Issues Tags: assimilation, capitalism and globalization, colonization, democratic system of government, Ebola epidemic, eradication of apartheid, European powers, exploitation from the Europeans, indirect rule, jomo kenyatta, Julius Nyerere, kwame nkrumah, MABUTUBUTU MASEKOSUMA KONGUGU, nationalist movements, nelson mandela, origin of humans, politically motivated violence, spirit of independence, terrorism, Unipolar world, United Nation, xenophobia, xenophobia killings in South Africa
by Adrian Joe
Women are the salt of the world, so the Bible says. They are also the mothers of the world, they are created by God to help men and take good care of their families. A critical look at the institutions that help in running and functioning of the state one would begin to wonder and ask the question that: why did women feature insufficiently in key political post and political institutions?, why are they insufficient in holding those offices? Are they not well educated or do they just lack the requisite to get or apply for those offices or they are been incarcerated by poverty or they ignorantly refuse to take profound impact in participating in politics? Is the problem caused by our cultural legacy of our dear country that men are supposedly superior to women? The answers to these framed questions make the core analysis of our discussion.
Since the end of the Fourth Conference on Gender and Development in 1995, held in Beijing, following similar previous conferences in Mexico (1975), Copenhagen (1980), Nairobi (1985), strenuous efforts have been consciously up in place to maximize the development of gender equality in political affairs and International representation by women. To buttress this point, Article 8 of the United Nation laid emphasis on the need for gender mainstreaming and development at all level of political participation and representation. As for Nigeria, a country that got her independent in 1960 has a very low women participation in all branches of government. This is not to say that women have not been working in all these branches of government in Nigeria, but it’s obvious that their representation is very low in holding key political post. During the struggle for self-determination a number of women political activist erupt such as Mrs Magaret Ekpo (a women’s right activist and a social mobilizer), Mrs Janet Mokelu and Mrs Young were all prominent members of the Eastern House of Assembly. There were also political activists such as, the late Mrs Olufunmilayo Ransome Kuti of the Western region and Hajia Gambo Sawaba of the Northern region.
With this, one can easily conclude that women participation in pre-independence era was quiet impressive despite the fact that men dominated the entire liberation struggle mentioned above. Yet women still scramble to participate and eventually got involved. However, there was a dramatic change to women’s participation in politics during Babangida’s regime. This manifested when his wife Maryam Babangida institutionalized the office of the First lady in 1987. She became the first lady to hold such political post and then launch the “Better Life for Rural Women” program. Since then, the office of the First lady has been assigned to the wife of the President up to date, though the office is not constitutionally recognized. Other women who impart in Nigeria politics include the Harvard University scholar and economist Dr Ngozi Okonjo Iweala who saved the nation’s record of billions of naira. Patricia Olubunmi Etteh also impacted in politics before she got involved in the corruption scandal involving her renovation of her official residence in 2007. Another woman active in Nigeria politics is Princess Stella Odua who was the disposed Minister of Aviation. Others include Mrs Obi Ezekwesili who is the chairman of Nigeria Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative (NEITI) and Professor Dora Akunyili. Moreover, with the explanation above one begins to ask what led to the paucity of women’s representation in Nigeria politics of today despite the fact that they have impacted in politics. There are many factors that led to this, but I am going to expatiate on three of them.
Categories: Issues, politics Tags: ACCESS TO EDUCATION, equal representation, Gender and Development, gender equality, gender mainstreaming, political participation, self-determination, violence against women, women participation, women’s right activis
It is no longer malaria and tuberculosis.
In the past, the two diseases dominated any healthcare conversation when the subject was about Africa. Times have changed. Today, diabetes, cancer, and heart and respiratory diseases are emerging as the top killers in Africa. Though infectious diseases remain a threat, the trendline is changing due to the rise of non communicable diseases (NCD). These used to be called the diseases of the rich but urbanization, smoking and the intrusion of western diets have broken the insulation African used to enjoy against these diseases. What is alarming is that African healthcare infrastructure are not currently able to manage these non communicable diseases.
In the weeks ahead, I will be delving into the issues of non-communicable diseases in Africa, the case for more funding of research to understand the rise NCDs and what governments need to do to avoid NCDs becoming the next malaria and TB.
By Yinka Ogunlana
Elections! Elections!! Elections!!! On the 28th March, 2015 Nigeria once again witnessed another wrestle of power in her political space, but this time, it was the battle of the fittest as the people’s choice determined the winner.
Many Nigerians became enthusiastic about the election process as some attended rallies, some stayed glued to their television set, some to their radio set, some to the newspapers and some even surfed the internet rigorously to stay turned with political events such as campaigns, rallies, conferences and news of political actors such as their decamp, comments, speeches among others.
Of a truth, the election was never as heated compared to what the electorates and even the politicians used to experience. However, we heard promises upon promises, several manifestos among other good will messages from different political parties. Though it’s not a surprise because many Nigerian politicians have always been desperate to either retain power or assume power. Politically, speaking, this is what ought to be as political parties are meant to keep the nation politically alive and active, though we cannot over-emphasize the fact that many of these political parties in their quest for power have bridged the rules guiding the game of polities as molestation, threat, blackmail, political violence and assassination of political opponents has gradually become a norm in our current political dispensation, most especially during the pre-election exercises of the 2015 general election. Read more…
by Olurotimi Odejayi
Recall the recently concluded World cup held in Brazil wherein players at different times scored and their goals were overruled. The linesman would simply raise up the flag. The reason most times was the timing of the player when the strike was made, who was probably in the offside position. During the first half of the Nigeria match against France in the round of 16 matches during which Emmanuel Emenike’s goal was disallowed. The goal was scored, but the player was adjudged offside, the strike was taken at the wrong time. This is to tell you that every important strike must be done at the right time. It is wrong, if a good step is taken at the wrong time. Every important step in life has it definite time. And this connotes that thing must be done at its appointed time. Doing that thing at the right time is an imperative for the young leader. You are wrong whenever you do something good at the wrong time. Whatever every youth has to do must be prompt and done at the right time. Read more…
In my almost 4 decades on the surface of the earth, I have never visited a dentist! I am sure most of you may be surprised. My path and that of a dentist have never crossed. As a child I had a lot of issues with my teeth stemming from eating of sweet things. It was an excruciatingly painful experience, yet I did not have the luxury of being attended to by a dentist. It was not because I did not want to see a dentist, but for paucity of financial resources. My barely educated, but resourceful late mother (the one I fondly call my ‘rich teacher’) came up with options so that I would not lose any of my teeth. She gave me ‘orin ata’ (literally translated as pepper chewing stick) each time I complained of toothache. And it worked like talisman of India, as I never lost any of my teeth. As effective as ‘orin ata’ was for my case, can I offer the same to my children in this 21st Century, when we are more westernised than the westerners themselves? The answer is obviously ‘no’!
That what worked for me is no longer fashionable now played out when my first son complained of toothache. I could not give him orin ata as he would have bombarded me with litany of questions. So, I opted for the option of a dentist since I can afford it. Hence, my first visit to the dentist. At least, when you are in Rome you behave like the Romans. The kernel of this piece is not the visit, but the lessons of life I learnt from the experience. Read more…
By Darasimi Oshodi
In my last post, I started giving reasons why I think Nigeria is a case study in absurdity. The first reason I gave was the way our politicians change parties without caution. They even seem to get a kick out of their actions. I cited the examples of Nuhu Ribadu, Atiku Abubakar, Femi Fani-Kayode, Rotimi Amaechi and many others. I mentioned the governor of Ondo State, Olusegun Mimiko and likened him to Nicolas Anelka due to the way he has been hopping from one party to another. And to justify this name I gave him, the governor last week decamped again. He has returned to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). In a related development, former governor of Plateau State, Joshua Dariye has revealed he is also returning to PDP. With the rate at which defections are taking place now in Nigeria, it seems the political transfer window is now open and the political clubs with the biggest offers are likely to sign on new players for the 2015 political season. Didn’t our president go for medicals in Germany recently? I am not insinuating that he wants to transfer to another political club but maybe his current club wants to be sure of his fitness in order to avoid a very costly mistake it made some seasons, sorry, years, ago when it fielded an obviously physically unfit person as its presidential candidate.
In this post I will be exemplifying another phenomenon which makes our country a case study in absurdity. A senior friend had suggested that instead of ‘absurdity’ in the title of the last post I should have used ‘wrong norm’. His argument was that I can only call a situation ‘absurd’ if I can provide counterfactual evidences. He posited that what we have in Nigeria is the acceptance of wrong norms. That is, we have come to acknowledge the wrong norms as right. So anyone who attempts to observe the right norms will be seen as the abnormal person. But I am sticking to ‘absurd’ in the title of this post because it’s a continuation of the last post. So my second reason for saying Nigeria is a case study in absurdity is because in Nigeria we celebrate questionable characters, corruption and criminality. I present below instances to substantiate my assertion. Read more…
By Darasimi Oshodi
Could it have ever occurred to Hillary Clinton to defect from the Democratic Party to the Republican Party when she lost her presidential bid to Barack Obama? I am almost certain it couldn’t because theirs is a rational society where decisions are taken based on principles. So, former Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Mallam Nuhu Ribadu, recently defected from the All Progressives Congress (APC), the party that emerged from the merger among some political parties including the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) which fielded him as its presidential candidate in the last presidential election in Nigeria and some Nigerians are still reacting to his action. While the legality of Ribadu’s action is not in question, I am not totally sure about the morality.
When a senior colleague asked me what my take on the defection was, I told him I had come to a point where I didn’t allow anything to surprise me about Nigeria’s politics. Yes, I don’t allow anything to surprise me again in this nation just like I cannot be surprised by developments in the football transfer market. The day David Beckham left Manchester United – despite the circumstances that surrounded his exit – was the day I ceased to allow myself to be surprised by football transfers. So as a fan of Arsenal FC, I was not surprised when the legendary Thierry Henry left Arsenal for FC Barcelona or when the hugely talented Cesc Fabregas left the club, also for Barcelona. But I must confess that though I still have huge respects for Henry, it is not the same about Fabregas. I still admire Cesc though because of his undeniable talent but within me, I am wishing that he does not ‘click’ at Chelsea FC. Read more…