In the News: “The King Said ‘Kwere-Kwere’ Must Go!”: Xenophobia as South Africa’s Politic Mirror

by Chammah J Kaunda 

Chammah J Kaunda (PhD) is from Zambia. He is a minister in Pentecostal Assemblies of God. He is currently a Postdoctoral Fellow in the College of Humanities, University of KwaZulu-Natal. His research focus is theo-decolonial discourse within an overarching theoretical framework of African theology. Functioning within this theory, he engages with issues of African Christianity and politics, theological education, missiological ecumenical and systematic theological thoughts.

In abstract, the key argument of this article is that xenophobia is a way of resisting the mutilation of black South African lives by neo-capitalist politicians; it is a scream of rage, a scream of disgust, a scream of anger, a scream of resentment, a scream of negation of political oppression and economic exploitation.  It is an atrocious, brutal, heinous revolutionary war and murderous revolt against political barbarianism and injustice in South Africa.

Xenophobia, by all accounts, is growing in South Africa and receiving much attention in media and among scholars.  However, we need to understand its underlying causes, or rather how it is rooted in or exacerbated by socio-political problems engendered by political injustice and economic exploitation. Foreigners are being used as hostile spaces of contestations against democratic casualties. The post-apartheid, undemocratic democracy has satisfied a few black elites and dissatisfied the majority living materially disgraceful lives. Xenophobic attacks on foreign nationals in townships do not contradict contemporary South African political mis-values; they merely exaggerate the domination, inequality and exploitation already present in political spheres. P Continue reading

In the News: A Positive African Story for a Change

posted by Robert Nyenhuis

A recent article in The Guardian by Patience Akumu, “Measles vaccination rates in parts of Africa surpass those in North America,” reverses the roles of narratives we are usually fed from western media– that Africa is in dire need of American and Western intervention. Per the norm, we typically see images of stricken children receiving inoculations from young, ebullient white helpers on their latest round of “voluntourism”. However, Akumu illustrates that 16 African countries have near 100% measles vaccination rates while Canada (84%) and the US (91%) lag behind, with both countries having recently experienced serious outbreaks. These African success stories debunk the widely held notion that the region is a “dying continent”, a characterization still held in many parts of the west. Perhaps young North Americans interested in “helping to save people” should look to their own communities first.

 

Gunther H. Wittenberg Memorial Lecture

posted by Bangirana Albert

Upcoming lecture sponsors, the University of KwaZulu-Natal and Ujamaa Center, announce the Gunther H. Wittenberg Memorial Lecture, Earth-Theology and Humanitarianism: Lessons Yet Learnt. Information about the lecture will follow for those who are unable to attend. We will also post the paper following the lecture. Continue reading

In the News: Higher Education in Africa

posted by Akosua Adomako Ampofo

An African Higher Education Summit was recently held in Dakar from March 10-12.  The three-day continental summit focused on revitalizing higher education for Africa’s future. The event provided a forum for discussions on themes such as policy harmonization across African universities, sustainable investment models, diversity, graduate employability, gender, governance, and the role of research. It will also delve into the ways in which Africa’s higher education institutions can be more active players in the fields of Science, Technology, and Innovation (STI).Engaging a wide-range of active stakeholders from across the continent, the summit presented a unique platform for participants to collectively determine a common vision geared towards transforming Africa’s higher education system in the next 50 years. Attendees included heads of state, ministers of education, entrepreneurs, academics and international development partners.

In the News: The U.S. Role in Somalia’s Ongoing Humanitarian Saga

posted by Bangirana Albert, Cilas Kemedjio, and Cecelia Lynch

George Monbiot, in a piece for The Guardian, with the incendiary title of “The careless, astonishing cruelty of Barack Obama’s government,” argues against what seems to be the inhumane currency control measure instituted by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) – a US federal agency tasked to prevent currency inflows into Somalia.

“The US, it seems couldn’t care less if it causes a humanitarian crisis in Somalia, one of the world’s poorest countries” says George Monbiot.

The US treasury emphasizes that such monies could be fueling terrorism in the region. However, with such remittances accounting for almost 50% of Somalia’s GDP – a surmountable percentage sustaining many vulnerable Somalis, such a move could trigger a national humanitarian catastrophe or even perpetuate what the US desperately intends to prevent – terrorism. This is because remittances help pay for not only immediate supplies such as food, but also get money circulating in the economy, which produces jobs for people who would otherwise be unemployed. Continue reading