World Bank Rates Country Low on Business
Source: All Africa Global Media Date: September 27, 2007
| AP/Wide World Photos
Abuja, Sep 27, 2007 (Daily Champion/All Africa Global Media via COMTEX) -- Nigeria's rating in creating a business-friendly
environment has suffered another setback despite the series of reform programmes stretching back to 1999.
Bank and the International Finance Corporation (IFC) have rated Nigeria as number 108 in its latest ranking on Ease of Doing
Business 2008 report released yesterday.
In the report, the fifth in an annual series which was released via video-conferencing
from Washington DC linking Liberia, Nigeria, Kenya among other African countries moderated by World Bank senior communications
officer for the African region, Timothy Carrington, Nigeria came below Ghana and Kenya which ranked among the top 10 reformers
worldwide this year.
The report noted that 24 African countries implemented 49 reforms while in the regional ranking
on the pace of reform, Africa fell from the third place to fifth and was overtaken by South Asia and by the Middle East and
North Africa .
The 10 benchmarks considered include ease of starting a business, dealing with licences, employing
workers, registering property, getting credit, protecting investors, paying taxes, trading across borders, enforcing contracts
and closing business.
According to the report, " Ghana and Kenya both ranked among the top 10 reformers worldwide
this year, and made the most significant advance in the aggregate ease of doing business ranking among countries in Africa
"Mauritius ,with six reforms, tops the ranking in Africa on the ease of doing business and places 27th in the global
ranking. Burkina Faso and Mozambique continue to be more business- friendly.
The report listed that the reformers
made it simpler to start a business, strengthen property rights, enhanced investor protections ,increased access to credit,
eased tax burdens and expedited trade while reducing costs, adding that worldwide 200 reforms in 98 economies were introduced
between April,2006 and June, 2007.
The top ten reformers in order include Egypt , Croatia , Ghana , FYR Macedonia
, Georgia , Colombia , Saudi Arabia , Kenya , China and Bulgaria .
The report however, noted that Nigeria has made
notable reform in African region by computerizing its company registry, speeding up company name searches and increasing efficiency,
adding that "entrepreneurs can now start operating a new business within 34 days and the planning authority now issues construction
permits in 30 days".
The report said that Nigeria has a lot to do in improving trade across boarders, easing customs
barriers and creating healthy business environment.
Currently, World bank and IFC is conducting sub-national research
on doing business in 11 states in Nigeria outcome would facilitate competition among the states.
World bank communication
officer in Nigeria ,Mr.Obadiah Tohomdet said the first phase 2007/2008 of the research involves Cross River , Kaduna , Kano
, Lagos , Abia, Anambra, Bauchi, Enugu , Federal Capital Territory , Ogun, and Sokoto states.
Governance Ranking Expected to Improve in Next Ibrahim Survey
All Africa Global Media Date: September 27, 2007
Cape Town, Sep 27, 2007 (allAfrica.com/All Africa Global Media via
COMTEX) -- The business tycoon whose foundation this week published a new survey ranking Africa''s governments,- in which
Liberia scored poorly,- has stressed that the statistics on which the study was based date back to 2005.
founder of one of Africa's telecommunications giants and the founder of the Mo Ibrahim Foundation, told allAfrica.com in an
interview: "Don't forget this is data for 2005. When we have the data for 2006 and 2007, I think you will see changes."
also said it was more important to track a country's performance against itself over a period of years than to compare it
to other countries.
"I think that what really matters here is where people are moving. You really need to see the
index as a project in progress. The true value of this complete index will become very apparent before maybe five or seven
years, when we can look back and see the development of data."
In the period covered by the survey, 2000 to 2005,
Liberia was ranked among the 10 worst-governed countries in sub-Saharan Africa. A commentary released with the survey noted
that the situations in these countries "highlight the long-running effects of conflict, suggesting the difficulties of rapidly
improving political performance even with improved governmental institutions."
And even for the years 2000 to 2005,
the survey, named the "Ibrahim Index of African Government," showed a mixed picture for Liberia when broken down into its
The survey covered 48 African nations. In 2005, Liberia was ranked in 26th place for "sustainable
economic opportunity", dropping from ninth place in 2000. In that year, it held 20th place for "participation and human rights,-
but then dropped to 10th from the bottom in 2005.
In the other three categories in which countries were judged, Liberia
scored poorly in relation to most other countries but made modest gains against its own record between 2000 and 2005.
an index of 100, it improved from 31.6 points to 34.4 points for "human development." In the area covering the rule of law,
transparency and corruption, the improvement was more dramatic - 21.2 to 32.2 points. Similarly in the "safety and security"
category, where its performance moved up from 54 to 65.1 points in 2005, outscoring Kenya (62.9), Nigeria (62.8) and South
Clearly anticipating vigorous criticism and debate, Mo Ibrahim told allAfrica: "We're inviting every
government and every institution in Africa to, please, if they disagree with any number, please correct us. Each number here
is clearly defined -- where it came from, how to source each sub-category [of data]. We have 58 sub-categories. Maybe some
people will suggest we should have more."
A comprehensive account of how the assessments were made is on the Mo Ibrahim
Egypt to host ITU TELECOM AFRICA 2008
ITU TELECOM to focus on Africa’s growing ICT sector
ITU TELECOM AFRICA 2008, the world class Exhibition and Forum and a major networking platform for ICT players
from across the African region, will take place in Cairo, Egypt, 12-15 May 2008. The venue will be the Cairo International
Convention and Exhibition Centre (CICC).
The African ICT sector has grown steadily in a number of core areas such as mobile, which has
increased at twice the global rate over the past five years. Mobile phones have now surpassed fixed line telephone access
on the continent; the growth fuelled by factors such as market liberalization and increased levels of national and international
competition. Broadband, although still in its infancy, is expected to make the connectivity leap across Africa, leading to
increased convergence and migration to next-generation networks.
"AFRICA 2008 will bring
the region’s top names together to focus on the major issues relating to ICT expansion across Africa," said Dr Hamadoun
Touré, ITU Secretary General. "Cairo is a key business hub. It is an ideal vantage point to observe all the unfolding trends
as well as the wealth of opportunities that this exciting region has to offer. AFRICA 2008 will be a critical milestone for the African ICT sector, offering a unique platform
for the most innovative minds, industry and new technologies to make the right connections."
Dr Tarek Kamel, Minister of Communications and Information Technology of Egypt, said, "Hosting
ITU TELECOM AFRICA 2008 is an honor we will carry through with pride to outdo our previous success in 2004. Egypt welcomes Africa once
again and vows to create a congruous milieu that brings together all stakeholders of the industry from all over the world
to witness Africa’s progress and potential in ICT." Dr Kamel added, "The faith bestowed upon us by ITU will pay off
in what will be one of the most vibrant TELECOM events ever held."
“The ITU TELECOM events have consistently proven their
ability to bring authoritative representatives of national governments, regulators, thought leaders and senior executives
from the ICT sector under one roof for debate, dialogue and to explore growth opportunities in the ICT sector,” said
Mr Reza Jafari, Chairman and Managing Director, NeuStar International and Chairman of the ITU TELECOM Board of Directors.
“I am confident that ITU TELECOM AFRICA 2008 will be no exception and a key ICT event for the entire region. I very much look forward
to being a part of this event in Egypt and exploring many opportunities of mutual benefit and interest.”
The TELECOM AFRICA 2008 Exhibition will showcase the latest ICT innovations while a
high-level Forum will explore and debate areas central to the growth of the African telecommunication industry. ITU TELECOM AFRICA will be the key ICT event for the region in 2008. It will bring together top names in Africa as
well as global leaders from both government and industry to explore growth and investment opportunities offered by the African
For more information, click here or contact:
Chief, Media Relations and Public Information
+41 22 730 6135
Tel: + 41 22 730 5094
The eLA 2008 Call for Papers is now open!
The 3rd International Conference on ICT for Development, Education and Training will take
place from May 28 to 30, 2008 in Accra, Ghana under the Patronage of the Ghanaian Minister for Education, Science and Sports,
the Hon. Prof. Dominic K. Fobih.
eLearning Africa has established itself as the largest and most comprehensive capacity-development event
for technology-enhanced education and training on the Continent. Initiated in May 2006 in Addis Ababa under the Patronage
of the Ethiopian Minister for Capacity Development, H.E. Ato Tefera Waluwa, the pioneer event attracted more than 830 participants
and 250 expert speakers.
The 2nd eLearning Africa was hosted by the Kenyan Ministry of Education
in Nairobi in May 2007. It attracted 1406 participants, with nearly 80% coming from Africa. The conference programme featured
the input of 308 speakers and chairpersons from 55 countries and offered 69 presentation sessions
and 17 pre-conference events. Major international and African corporations, as well as development
agencies and foundations supported the conference.
eLearning Africa addresses the whole of Africa. A rotating event hosted by a different African government
every year, it supports and reinforces the growing pan-African eLearning community. Through its Open Call for Papers, resulting
in the engagement of a widely distributed international community of experts, industry partnerships, governments, initiatives
on the ground, and the development partner community, a solid capacity-development framework has been established.
The sheer magnitude of the event and its innovative conference features provide an unprecedented opportunity for African
professionals and stakeholders to benchmark, learn, share and network, thus strengthening the Continent’s many and varied
educational technology initiatives and projects.
This year’s patron, the Hon. Prof. Dominic K. Fobih, and all members of the conference committees welcome you to
join us in Accra in May 2008.
Ghana se'w Akwaaba!
Chinua Achebe is today, 13th June, announced as the winner of the second
Man Booker International Prize.
The Man Booker International Prize is worth £60,000 to the winner and is awarded once every two years
to a living author for a body of work that has contributed to an achievement in fiction on the world stage. It was first awarded
to Ismail Kadaré in 2005.
Achebe is probably best known for his first novel, Things
Fall Apart, written in 1958 and Anthills of the Savannah, shortlisted for the
Man Booker Prize in 1987.
Chinua Achebe comments:
was 50 years ago this year that I began writing my first novel, Things Fall Apart.
It is wonderful to hear that my peers have looked at the body of work I have put together in the last 50 years and judged
it deserving of this important recognition. I am grateful."
Achebe was born in 1930 and educated at the Government
College in Umuahia and at the University College of Ibadan, Nigeria. He joined the Nigerian Broadcasting Company in Lagos
in 1954 and during 1956 studied broadcasting at the BBC, in London.
A diplomat in the ill-fated Biafran government
of 1967-1970, Achebe's work is primarily centred on African politics, the depiction of Africa and Africans in the West, and
the intricacies of pre-colonial African culture and civilization, as well as the effects of colonialisation on African societies.
has lectured at many universities worldwide and is now Charles P Stevenson Jr Professor of Languages and Literature at Bard
College, Annandale, New York State.
Many African writers have been inspired by Achebe’s work. Chimamanda Ngozi
Adichie, who won the Orange Prize for Fiction last week for Half A Yellow Sun is one
of them, recently commenting: “He is a remarkable man. The writer and the man. He's what I think writers should be."
judging panel for the 2007 Man Booker International Prize is: Professor Elaine Showalter, academic and author; Nadine Gordimer,
writer and novelist; and writer and academic, Colm Tóibin. The panel each had the following comments to make:
June 11 , 2007 For Immediate Release
For an interview: Michael Harper (801) 863-7046
Students and Faculty Travel to Africa in an Effort to Preserve Local History
In a country where the oral tradition-based history is being disrupted – and possibly lost – due to the AIDS
pandemic, students and locals are working to ensure the survival of African heritage in Namibia.
Utah Valley State College is teaming up with Polytechnic of Namibia (PoN) in an effort to educate local Namibians on the
collection and storing of historical and cultural information. Starting July, two digital media faculty and five students
from UVSC will travel to Namibia for the summer to start the first phase of a five-year project.
“Our goal as educators is to make an impact on our students and prepare them for life-long learning,” said
Michael Harper, project director and digital communication associate professor. “I can’t think of a better way
to do this than to offer our students a truly unique international experience that contributes in a positive way to the future
of a young nation and influences future generations of Namibians.”
The roughly $400,000 project will be themed each year based upon the needs of the project. Every year will begin with a
training series that is meant to bring faculty and staff up to speed on technology for that year’s goal. The project’s
overall goal is the preservation of the history of Namibia.
In addition to the cultural benefits to Namibia, individuals from UVSC and PoN will increase their technical skills and
have life-changing cultural experiences. The success of a program like this could also lead to additional engaged and experiential
project-based instructional activities at UVSC.
# # #
College Marketing Contact: Megan Laurie (801) 863-7149
Written by: Scotty Spjut (801) 863-7205
Fifth session of COMEST held in Dakar, Senegal
The World Commission on the Ethics of Scientific Knowledge and Technology (COMEST), will hold its Fifth Ordinary Session
in Dakar, Senegal, from 5 to 9 December. The meeting is jointly organized by UNESCO and the Ministry of Scientific Research
of Senegal and will be an opportunity to discuss the ethical issues concerning science and technology on the African continent,
to establish a network of experts and to set up a platform for future activities in the whole region. The
COMEST session will be opened on 7 December at 10 am by the President of Senegal, Abdoulaye Wade, the Minister of Scientific
Research, Yaye Kene Gassama Dia, and COMEST Chairperson Pilar Armanet Armanet from Chile.
During the session the following
areas will be addressed: ethics education and consultation on the draft core curriculum for the teaching of the ethics of
science and bioethics; environmental ethics, consultation on the draft policy advice on environmental ethics and the problem
of toxic waste in Africa; African views on the relationship between biodiversity, genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and
biotechnology. There will also be a regional consultation on science ethics, scientists' responsibilities and codes of conduct.
On 6 December, a Youth Forum of young African researchers on the social responsibilities of scientists will be held.
Alongside the COMEST session, a meeting of regional ministers of science and technology will take place on 7 December.
The ministers will discuss the incorporation of the ethics of science and technology into African public policies and they
are expected to adopt a declaration on the ethics of science and technology in Africa - the Dakar Declaration - which will
be presented by the Minister of Scientific Research at the closing session of the COMEST meeting on 9 December at 2.30 pm.
Student / Scholars - Report
LANDLOCKED DEVELOPING COUNTRIES NEED MORE EQUITABLE
Handicaps Keep Them from Being Competitive, Says Delegate
Lack of territorial access to the sea, combined with isolation
from world markets and high transit costs made trade especially difficult for landlocked developing countries, the representative
of the Lao People’s Democratic Republic told the Second Committee (Economic and Financial) this morning as it continued
its general debate.
Speaking on behalf of the Group of Landlocked Developing Countries, he stressed
that such geographical handicaps barred those countries from being equally competitive in the world trading system.
Calling for a universal, rule-based, non-discriminatory and equitable trading system, he said trade was a perfect tool for
mobilizing resources and stimulating investment and economic development. The World Trade Organization (WTO) must consider
the needs and interests of such vulnerable countries as the landlocked developing States. continue [ see this ]
Kenya - 01 February 2007 - Solio Rhino Sanctuary is one of
the most successful rhino sanctuaries in Kenya; with a population of over 80 black rhinos it carries the largest single black
rhino population in East Africa. Initially stocked with 23 black rhinos in the early 1970s, Solio has so far bred more than
100 rhinos, many of which have been translocated to other sanctuaries within the country. Indeed most of the successful rhino
sanctuaries in Kenya were initially established with a founder population from Solio.
Currently Solio has a surplus
of over 30 black rhino; these will be translocated to Ol Pejeta and Ol Jogi where recent expansion programmes have created
the opportunity to further expand their existing populations. It is important to regularly remove rhinos from overstocked
sanctuaries to maximize breeding rates and maintain adequate food resources.
The translocation will be run by two
teams, one headed by Richard Moller and the other by Ian Craig, each with a KWS vet and 10 capture staff. Each team will use
an aircraft to help find the animals identified as candidates for translocation. Once immobilized, each rhino will be fitted
with a radio transmitter embedded into the horn and then loaded into a custom built box for transport to either Ol Pejeta
or Ol Jogi.
On reaching their destination the rhinos will be “free released” and left to establish a new
home range, a process that will be intensively monitored from the outset, both from the air and on the ground.
the translocation is complete the Ol Pejeta Conservancy will hold a breeding population of 79 black rhino; this will be the
largest breeding population of black rhino in East Africa. The overall carrying capacity on Ol Pejeta is estimated at 120-130
individuals, achievable within the next 8-10 years.
|Sweetwaters Tented Camp|
P.O. Box 48690
(254 62) 31970
Fax: (254 62) 31965
E-mail: Send an e-mail
|> Find out more on Sweetwaters Tented Camp|
> Serena Hotels website
SINGLE LARGEST RHINO TRANSLOCATION UNDERTAKEN IN EAST
AFRICA STARTS ON 1st of FEBRUARY
Ol Pejeta Conservancy, Kenya Wildlife Service and Lewa Wildlife Conservancy Team Up
Kenya, January 26, 2007 --/WORLD-WIRE/-- On the 1st of February the Ol Pejeta Conservancy, the Kenya Wildlife Service
(KWS) and Lewa Wildlife Conservancy will commence the single biggest rhino translocation ever undertaken in East Africa. In
total 34 black rhino will be translocated: 4 from Ol Jogi to Ol Pejeta, 4 from Solio to Ol Jogi and 26 from Solio to Ol Pejeta.
Solio Rhino Sanctuary is one of the most successful rhino sanctuaries in Kenya; with a population of over 80 black
rhinos it carries the largest single black rhino population in East Africa. Initially stocked with 23 black rhinos in the
early 1970s, Solio has so far bred more than 100 rhinos, many of which have been translocated to other sanctuaries within
the country. Indeed most of the successful rhino sanctuaries in Kenya were initially established with a founder population
Currently Solio has a surplus of over 30 black rhinos; these will be translocated to Ol Pejeta and Ol
Jogi where recent expansion programmes have created the opportunity to further expand their existing populations. It is important
to regularly remove rhinos from overstocked sanctuaries to maximize breeding rates and maintain adequate food resources.
translocation will be run by two teams, each with a KWS vet and 10 capture staff. Each team will use an aircraft to help find
the animals identified as candidates for translocation. Once immobilized, each rhino will be fitted with a radio transmitter
embedded into the horn and then loaded into a custom built box for transport to either Ol Pejeta or Ol Jogi.
their destination the rhinos will be "free released" and left to establish a new home range, a process that will be intensively
monitored from the outset, both from the air and on the ground.
When the translocation is complete the Ol Pejeta Conservancy
will hold a breeding population of 79 black rhino; this will be the largest breeding population of black rhino in East Africa.
The overall carrying capacity on Ol Pejeta is estimated at 120-130 individuals, achievable within the next 8-10 years.
Ol Pejeta Conservancy occupies approximately 360 square kilometers of African savannah within the Laikipia District of Kenya
and incorporates the Sweetwaters chimpanzee sanctuary. Laikipia carries large and growing wildlife populations and is home
to almost 50% of Kenya's black rhino population. The Ol Pejeta Conservancy works to conserve wildlife, provide a sanctuary
for great apes and to generate income through wildlife tourism and complementary enterprise for reinvestment in conservation
and community development.
+254 / (0) 623-2408
firstname.lastname@example.org T-F 10:30
Africa: Poetic Voices at the World Social Forum
Poets from south and east Africa will participate in a remarkable cultural initiative at this year's World
Social Forum. The WSF, this year hosted in Kenya – it's first time in Africa – will see more than 80 000 people
from global civil society descend on Nairobi to actively engage with the social struggles facing the world today.
A Kenyan Blogger Reports from WSF 2007 Secretariat
That is exactly how many days remain between now, when I am keyboarding
these lines, and next Saturday when a Peace March segues into the opening ceremony of the 2007
world Social Forum at Nairobi’s historic Uhuru (Freedom) Park.
All three offices of the WSF 2007 Secretariat located at Lavington,
Yaya Centre and Kasarani respectively in the Kenyan
capital are teeming with activity.
Phones from all over the world and across the country are ringing off the
hook as anxious participants bombard front-line staff and volunteers with questions about registration, programming, visas,
accommodation and a myriad other questions-notwithstanding the fact that a fair chunk of the answers to these questions reside
at the www.wsf2007 site.
If you were to venture into Kasarani today you will be awed at the ongoing transformation: tents for the Youth
Camp sprout on your left as you drive or walk via Gate One; just in front of the stadium itself the pavilions for the Kenya Social Forum, Africa Social Forum, Caritas/Ecumenical Platform and others are at various
stages of completion; inside the stadium itself, the terraces where spectators usually ogle the athletes and other sports
people are rapidly being modified into meeting rooms courtesy of the miles of tarpaulin covers; all over a bee-hive of activity:
over here a staffer seconded from Tunisia and detailed to the youth, culture and media commissions types away on his lap top
while yakking to an IT geek loaned from Dakar but born in Bangui; a thirtysomething Honduran who handles publicity is giving
a brief to the local coordinator of an online social justice newsletter which reaches over 60,000 people on a weekly basis;
at their side a visiting Ghanaian programme officer working for a US-based progressive charity drinks it all in; above them,
in one of the Secretariat offices at Kasarani, a recently arrived organizer and WSF veteran from Brazil pores over information
on her computer; on the ground floor a meeting for the content, programme and methodology commission is in progress featuring
Kenyans, Indians, West Africans, Brazilians, Italians and other members of the International Council of the WSF; just outside
that room on your way outside, the Ugandan development worker bottom-lining the activities of the logistics commission is
consulting with the young Kenyan woman who has been covering the phones at the second WSF office in the Hurlingham/Kilimani
suburb- where you will find the national coordinator consulting with councilors planning the parallel but related local authorities
forum- that is when he is not fire fighting over delayed visas for Indymedia activities threatened with non-arrival and non-participation
because they are citizens from the so called “referred countries”.
And today is a Saturday in mid January,
on the eve of Martin Luther King’s public birthday/holiday in other climes further
west across the Atlantic.
Yesterday a high powered delegation from the WSF 2007 Secretariat
met an equally formidable team from the Government of Kenya led by the Head of the Civil Service
himself flanked by senior police officers, various permanent secretaries and senior state officials to cover all the remaining
bases concerning security, safety and protocol. The week has been good to the organizers of the forthcoming global gathering
with the largest selling daily in East Africa providing very positive coverage, one of the most watched Kenyan television
channels sending overtures around live transmission of the proceedings, another leading newspaper unleashing a magazine piece
on the forum this coming Sunday and respected international media houses like IPS unleashing one WSF 2007 curtain raiser after
the next- a process likely to have a multiplier effect as the stories are picked up by other news agencies around the world.
a dynamic twenty something Maasai woman who was one of the key organizers of the Kenya Pastoralists’ Week held at the
Kenyatta International Conference Centre at the tail end of November is preparing to unleash her cultural troops and troupes
to organize the welcoming Kenyan caravan from Namanga at the Tanzania/Kenya boarder that will meet a similar caravan snaking
its way north from Malawi, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
At the same time, 250 South African social activists are emailing the
WSF 2007 Secretariat through their representatives indicating that they will be arriving early next week- around the same
time a container load of alternative interpretation equipment lands in Kenya from Athens, Greece where the European Social Forum has shipped them from.
Across town on the fourth floor offices of a progressive
grant making international organization, artists, activists, programme officers, event managers and other civil society actors
meet daily to put the final touches on the much anticipated opening and closing ceremonies that will feature artistes like
Oliver Mtukudzi from Zimbabwe well known Kenyan songbirds and entertainers like Suzzana Owiyo and Eric Wainaina together with their
counterparts from West, South, North and other parts of eastern Africa.
The often-stressed out family of workaholics
which makes up the WSF2007 team are steadily witnessing the fruits of their year-long (for some of the veterans, more than
four years) labours and endeavours.
The smile of optimism often beams through the streaming perspirations of preparation.
this mix throw in your motley crew of naysayers, wet blankets and party poopers, not to forget the Afropessimists (some Africans
to their very core) who are convinced that nothing good, nothing professional and nothing productive will ever come out of
the much maligned darkest continent.
We have been in the kitchen, juggling, filling and rearranging the organizational
cauldrons planning and executing the vision of the first ever full edition of the World Social Forum to be held in Africa.
We are convinced that whatever else happens, we will deliver on our promise to our fellow Africans and the rest of progressive
humanity that this WSF will be a memorable and historic event not just for Kenya, Tanzania,
Uganda, Ethiopia and Somalia who share the hosting duties, but the rest of Africa and the Global South.
the traffic to and from Kasarani via Thika Road will be a logistical nightmare and there is no guarantee that a national pickpockets
festival will not infiltrate the spaces of the World Social Forum.
Over here at the WSF 2007 Secretariat we have said
to participants that the biggest responsibility for security will be borne by the delegates themselves. Nairobi shares common
issues and concerns with other major cities around the world- crime being one of those perennial pains in the neck. The police
and the forum organizers will work hard to provide adequate security. But this will be very ineffectual in safe-guarding a
visiting WSF delegates who insists on sleeping under the night sky in the great outdoors. Nor will it help very much to insulate
a reckless visitor who prefers to schlep all their cash, jewelry and other valuables on their person at all times.
other international gatherings, we will not attempt to sanitize underdevelopment or criminalize poverty in Kenya by locking
up all the street kids, beggars, hookers or carting off other members of society who are on the margins of the Kenyan neo-colonial
periphery, locked out from sustainable development and denied a chance of thriving; there will be no attempt to stifle those
vocal voices of protests who yearn for a Kenya and an Africa that is peaceful, democratic, progressive and prosperous.
through the avenues, lanes and cul-de-sacs of Kenyan blogosphere I spy a smattering of Kenyan bloggers sharing their often
ironical and cynical takes on the upcoming World Social Forum 2007.
For instance there is the prolific Nairobi-based
Al Kags asking, somewhat scornfully, about who exactly CARES that the World Social Forum is coming to Africa; then there is Majonzi fuming about apparent poor planning; “Every Gals Man” over at kadhat fretting about accommodation while the toiled-mouthed Potash dubbing the event the “world social scrotum” in an forced, if smug bid to impress his/her loyal teenage browsing fans with his/her stream of obscenities and expletives.
The vapid Kenyan petit bourgeois wannabe class venom is vividly apparent to even the most comatose cyber lurker.
be said, even the most die-hard cheerleaders of the WSF do NOT contest the need for some rejuvenation. The present writer/blogger
recently wrote a piece for the Pambazuka Newsletter bigging up the efforts of African Social Movements to deepen
the process of using the WSF space to confront imperialism and its attendant neo-liberal toxins.
The Sao Paolo-based Brazilian Institute for Social and Economic Analysis (IBASE) headed by WSF guru Cándido Grzybowski
has just completed a research indicating (based on participants’ views from the Caracas and Bamako Polycentric) that “defending human rights,
democracy and diversity are the WSF’s strongest point, but its main defect is lack of public visibility.”
South African progressive academic and activist Patrick Bond reiterated the need for the WSF to be more action oriented in an IPS interview a few days ago to wipe out the “talk shop” tag.
At the same time you find his fellow South African Hassen Lergat looking forward to the Nairobi forum with hope and enthusiasm.
A group of anti-imperialist activists from El Salvador see the efficacy of the World Social Forum. That is why they are
bringing their campaign against international financial consortia to Nairobi this January.
Same with members of the UK-based Tax Justice Network who are coming to Kenya to launch the
Africa chapter of the network.
And for those who think that nothing tangible comes out of the WSF process, sample these reflections from those who participated in the January 2006 Polycentric in Bamako.
Penning off, let me say that as we count down
to next Saturday we hold our heads high, certain that we did our bit in putting together a once in a life-time global experience.
leave the evaluation to those who will feast on what we have been cooking in the kitchen.
Social Forum @ WSF Secretariat in Nairobi.
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