In the News: “Saving” Africa

With hashtag activism working to “raise awareness” of the plight of various groups in Africa (see The CIHA Blog’s coverage of #Kony2012 here and #BringBackOurGirls here, here, and here), Adam Taylor asks in The Washington Post, “The West is obsessed with ‘saving’ Africa. Is that the problem?” He describes a Kickstarter-funded film project, Framed, which “investigates the images and myths that cast a continent as a victim.” As of now, the project’s Kickstarter has been fully funded, and the film is in production.

In the News: Fighting Ebola in West Africa

For about four months, the West African countries of Guinea, Sierra Leone, and Liberia have been facing the worst-ever epidemic of Ebola in the capital cities as well as rural areas, and neighboring countries are also enacting policies to fight the disease’s spread.

Kim Yi Dionne writes in The Washington Post, “Why West African Governments Are Struggling in Response to Ebola,” about the complications of responding to Ebola, particularly when health professionals, already spread thin, might face cultural contexts different from their own.

Umaru Fofana writes in “How to Ignore a Plague” for Medium.com of Sierra Leone ‘s response and how church and mosque leaders, among others, are adapting their practices to the disease.

In the News: African Migrants in the Middle East and North Africa

In an article written for Pambazuka Magazine and republished on AllAfrica.com, Kelsey Norman writes about how African migrants in the two regions are treated is determined by a number of factors, which should be examined for comprehensive understanding, including the domestic political and economic conditions in the host state, relations between neighboring countries and the sending state, and relations between the migrants and the local population.

In the News: West African Drug Policy Proposal

A blog post written on the Peace & Collaborative Development Network site titled “Bold West African drug policy proposal should be taken up, and taken further” describes a new West African Commission on Drugs report. The blog post is an excellent overview of the report, which seems to be quite balanced between the need to secure aid and the refusal of dragging West Africa in the endless militaristic approach that seems to be the only solution for the U.S. and its allies.

In the News: The rights of sexual minorities – Africa in the spotlight

Jane Nishimwe, in her article, ‘Uganda: Away with unnatural, unafrican and ungodly beasts of the forest’, published in Jambonews.net, offers a critical analysis of the recently enacted law against sexual minorities in Uganda. She sees through the justifications and arguments undergirding the debate and the consequent endorsement of this rather controversial law.

Visu Kamor, in another article, ‘Homosexuality Campaign: A New Form of Western Imperialism’, published in the Daily Independent, rigorously argues against the West’s modus operandi vis-a-vis the homosexuality debate. He sees it as the West’s utilitarian catch-point to reinforce imperialist–paternalism toward Uganda and continuing to other African countries that may share legal and critical religio-cultural sentiments against such a practice.

Similarly, Uganda government spokesman Ofwono Opondo, quoted in the New Vision article ‘Uganda dismisses US sanctions for anti gay law’, defiantly postulates that the “US sanctions slapped on the country for tough anti-gay law would have little impact” and rejects the rights groups’ reports that such a legislation had led to a rise in assaults.

It is therefore becoming very critical to Africa that its positioning in question, within the global development fraternity, remains a vulnerable one, just like the livelihoods of millions of people still under development aid assistance.

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