New African Review/June 2010

African Update – 24/06/10

In this issue of New African: * Impact of the World Cup Bonanza * Pirates and their grievances * The perils of free trade in Africa * Health care in Africa * New African Football

Read the review by Daniel S. Kivairo.

2010 WORLD CUP EXTRAVAGANZA

This is the cover story. New African joins billions of soccer lovers worldwide in celebrating this month-long event that comes to an end on July 11. It is taking place on the African soil for the first time since the founding of the World Cup soccer tournament 80 years ago!

The Significance of this soccer fest

New African looks at the impact the hosting of this event will have on South Africa. Even though New African focuses on the aftermath, it seems appropriate to look at the whole picture, before and after. Evidently, there are two camps: those whose ‘expectations are high about what the World Cup will yield now and later’ and the naysayers with gloomy predictions and skepticism. What is clear though, as New African reports, is that by simply managing to put everything in place for the tournament, in the middle of a ravaging world economic crisis, South Africa has ‘proved that it has economic prowess and durability.’

A case of misplaced priorities?

Was it wasteful of South Africa to spend $6bn on organizing the World Cup instead of channeling this money to uplifting the standards of living of her people? May be it will be necessary to know what part of this came from Fifa and what part was from the South African government. Nevertheless, New African notes that ‘the results of the $6bn look extremely impressive-too impressive in fact.’

However, it adds that this impressiveness is overshadowed by the ‘not-so-positive social realities on the ground amidst the football euphoria’- unemployment, poor housing, income inequalities, widespread HIV and TB, unacceptably high rates of crime, angry communities and dysfunctional schools. Simply put all the marks of poverty!

The right measure of success

Clearly, New African reckons that it is rather difficult to rate the wholesome success of hosting the World Cup in terms of the benefits accrued other than getting the World Cup through. Perhaps an interesting point of view would be to consider the big question, ‘what would have happened if there had been no World Cup [taking place in South Africa].’ That said, one cannot fail to acknowledge the potential benefits of the first class stadia that could be reused many more times in future, and the infrastructure [roads, communication networks and other facilities] around and connecting the different stadia. The answer then lies in looking at the broader and longer term view rather than just focusing on the 30 day period. The lifespan of a World Cup festival!

DO SOMALI PIRATES HAVE LEGITIMATE GRIEVANCES?

‘It is a familiar story,’ notes New African, ‘faceless Somali pirates wreaking havoc and making the Gulf of Aden, along Somalia’s northern coast, one of the most dangerous zones for ships.’ But how much of the reality on the ground do we know from the pirates themselves? As New African puts it, ‘Are they simply criminals or do they have legitimate grievances?’

It appears that behind the distorted narrative of hefty ransoms demanded and paid, ‘in which the media play with traditional images of pirate mythology, is an untold story of men who claim to be reacting to 18years of fatal toxic waste disposal and illegal, unregulated fishing in Somali waters.’

Is Europe and Asia using Somali waters as dumping grounds for hazardous wastes (uranium waste, heavy metals like cadmium and mercury, hospital waste and whatever else there can be)? Is the Italian mafia the disposing agents? It seems so, because there is strong evidence thus. It follows then, that ‘for the international community to limit piracy, it has to help Somalis keep illegal foreign fishing and toxic waste dumping away from their coasts.’

THE PERILS OF FREE TRADE IN AFRICA

Úskalí volného obchodu v Africe

V tomto článku New African zkoumá dopad volného obchodu na africkou ekonomiku. Na základě odhadů organizace Christian Aid informuje o tom, že za poslední dvě desetiletí ztratila subsaharská Afrika 272 miliard kvůli dopadu liberalizace obchodu. Bohužel, co Afrika ztratila bylo “převedeno do bohatých korporátních kapes v rozvinutých zemích.”

In this article, New African examines the consequences of free trade on African economy. Using estimates made by Christian Aid, it reports that ‘over the past two decades, sub-Saharan Africa has lost $272bn from the effects of trade liberalization. Sadly, what Africa ‘lost’ is that which ‘was transferred to wealthy corporate pockets in the developed nations.’

Strikingly, New African also brings to the fore the fact that whereas there has been a consistent drive from developed nations on African economies to liberalize, ‘none of the developed nations achieved their economic status through free trade policies’. Even today, such nations still hold protectionist policies. They urge and push African governments to stop supporting farming activities then go ahead to heavily subsidize their farmers’ efforts. This is just one example. What a contradiction!

The effects of these free trade policies are impoverishing African economies while enriching the west. Industries in Africa are being caused to close so that the African market can be at the disposal of the west. It is sad indeed.

FINDING LASTING SOLUTIONS TO AFRICA’S HEALTH DILEMMAS

This is this month’s special report, focusing on health in Africa. It is a well known fact that ‘Africa bears the brunt of the world’s health burden and most key indicators show that it is lagging behind in realizing the Millennium Development Goals on health.’ So what are the issues central to health and healthcare delivery systems in Africa? What is the cost, state and private, of providing healthcare in Africa? Is affordable basic health insurance possible? What is the state of the drug and pharmaceutical industry? How is professional brain drain affecting Africa’s health sector? These are some of the issues analyzed in this report.

NEW AFRICAN FOOTBALL

In this issue, the focus is on each of the six teams representing Africa at the World Cup. There are predictions and analysis of their strengths and weaknesses. One of the big questions it poses is whether an African team will win the trophy. How close is New African Football’s analysis to what we now know? Find out from New African June 2010.

For these and more, find out from New African.

**********

Reviewed by Swegenyi D.K.S for Humanitas Afrika

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Xoliswa Ndoyiya: Ukutya Kwasekhaya

Xoliswa Ndoyiya: Ukutya KwasekhayaTastes from Nelson Mandela’s kitchen

A collection of recipes by Nelson Mandela's personal chef, this book contains the food served to visiting heads of state, celebrities, politicians for more than 20 years. Featuring some of the favourite former South African president's favourite meals including samp and beans, farm chicken, tripe, this book also features paella, peri-peri chicken, prawn curry, and myriad of other delights. With simple, delicious and nourishing recipes, it will interest those who wish to prepare meals that are both elegant and healthy.More

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Our library has aquired a number of new and interesting books. Here is the list of the latest titles.

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