In the News: Rethinking Food Aid Programs

posted by Jolene McCall

The detrimental effects of food aid programs are not a recent realization. In fact, a variety of reports highlight the necessity to rethink the food aid industry, drawing attention to how these programs ultimately hurt local industry while those providing the aid profit. In an article published by IRIN News titled, “US Food Aid: Charity Begins at Home,” Tamara Leigh discusses debates surrounding the US Food for Peace program, launched more than 60 years ago, and the difficulty in reforming the food aid system. Continue reading

In the News: MDGs to SDGs and Development Summits

posted by Jolene McCall

In our ongoing coverage of the move from the MDGs to SDGs, including our recent “In the News” piece, “MDGs to SDGs – New Goals, Similar Failings?”, we aim to raise questions about the ability of development initiatives to address poverty. In a recent article featured in Pambazuka News titled, “Financing for Development: A Pan-African perspective”, the author, Odomaro Mubangizi, highlights a number of development issues the SDGs will seek to address while also asking, “Will the SDGs be another list of goals for the next 15 years?”

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In the News: Serious Inequalities in the Humanitarian Industry

posted by Cecelia Lynch

The following report and articles detail how the big NGOs, both faith-based and non-faith-based, continue to rake in most humanitarian and development funding to the detriment of national and local organizations. A growing number of observers from different quarters are now criticizing this increasingly institutionalized aspect of the aid architecture, demonstrating its ongoing paternalism and neocolonial characteristics. Continue reading

In the News: MDGs to SDGs – New Goals, Similar Failings?

posted by Cecelia Lynch

Over the next several years, we will certainly hear and read a lot about the “SDGs.” People might understandably ask, “Whatever became of the MDGs?” Either we have learned a lot about poverty and development, such that we know that “sustainability works,” as both a concept and a policy guide, or we are trying to cover for the fact that we don’t know that much after all, that insufficient progress has been made in achieving the elusive thing called “development,” and that the idea of “sustainability” is sufficiently grand and yet ambiguous to cover a range of possible goals and outcomes.

A. Bayo Ogunrotifa’s piece, “Grand Developmentalism: MDGs and SDGs in Sub-Saharan Africa,” is a first step at analyzing the new nomenclature.  Stay tuned for more!


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