Ageism against young people in Africa
One of our favorite lists to publish on CP-Africa is the list of Africa’s sit tight leaders. The list dramatically tells a tale of the fact that the world’s youngest continent is mostly led by the world’s oldest leaders. See below.
- Ben Ali of Tunisia – 23 years – 1988 – 2011
- Hosni Mubarak of Egypt – 30 years – since 1981
- Laurent Gbagbo of Ivory Coast – 11 years+ – since 2000
- Moummar Ghaddfi of Libya – 42 years – since 1969
- Mbasago of Equatorial Guinea – 32 years – since 1979
- Jose Santos of Angola – 32 years – since 1979
- Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe – 31 years – since 1980
- Paul Biya of Cameroon – 29 years – since 1982
- Yoweri Museveni of Uganda – 25 years – since 1986
- Blaise Campore of Burkina Fasso – 24 years since 1987
- Mswati III of Swaziland – 24 years – since April 1986
- Omar Bashir of Sudan – 21 years – since 1989
- Idrissu Deby of Chad – 21 years – since 1990
- Isaias Afewerki of Eritrea – 18 years – since 1993
- Yahya Jammeh of Gambia – 17 years – since 1994
- Meles Zenawi of Ethiopia – 20 years – since 1991
- Pakalitha Mosisili (Lesotho) – 13 years – since 1998;
- Ismail Omar Guelleh of Djibouti – 12 years – since 1999
- Mohammed VI of Morocco – 12 years – since 1999
- Abdoulaye Wade (Senegal) – 11 years – since 2000
- Paul Kagame (Rwanda) – 11 years – since 2000
Now, it is not clear that there is a causal relationship between being led by relatively old leaders and not having pro-youth policies but it does make sense these set of leaders would overall be less in touch with the plights and concerns of the continent’s young people. It is terribly heart breaking that the concerns of seventy percent of the continent is being put in the back burner.
By some estimates, the continent’s population boom means that 1 million new jobs need to be created every month. Many young people are embracing entrepreneurship, but beyond pep talks about the value of taking one’s destiny in one’s hands and creating employment for oneself, starting a business in many parts of the continent can be incredibly difficult especially for young people with no collateral, credit histories or safety nets.
Ageism against young people in Africa has many faces. One face is the long list of sit tight leaders in many African countries who continue to advance policies that are not in touch with the present realities and pace of innovation of today’s world. Another face is the ugly reality of runaway unemployment and even worse still underemployment amongst youth. With such odds stacked against young people, many African youths are unable to in a sense, “find their feet” until they turn 35 or older. With a life expectancy of around 50 years, it is a travesty to waste the potential of so many young people.
Many are already talking about a “lost generation” of young people unable to find meaningful and rewarding work despite repeated effort.
Amidst the constant refrains of a rising Africa across the world, it is important to remember the consequences of ageism against young people on the continent. Ageism against young people refers to environments that do not foster the employment and skill acquisition of the young and that limits access to opportunity. Unfortunately many African countries have these environments. What a travesty. It is the true shame of the continent.
As I was coming over here, I was hearing about a guy named Willie. Where’s Willie? There’s Willie right here. Now, in case you haven’t heard of him, they actually call him ‘Pretty Willie.’ Now, I got to say you got to be pretty tough to have a nickname like “Pretty Willie.” He’s tough.
On Wednesday, Willie will celebrate 60 years working at Detroit Diesel—60 years. Willie started back on December 12, 1952. I was not born yet. Wasn’t even close to being born. He made $1.40 an hour. The only time he spent away from this plant was when he was serving our country in the Korean War. So three generations of Willie’s family have passed through Detroit Diesel. One of his daughters works here with him right now—is that right? There she is.
In all his years, Willie has been late to work only once. It was back in 1977. It’s been so long he can’t remember why he was late—but we’re willing to give him a pass.
So Willie believes in hard work. You don’t keep a job for 60 years if you don’t work hard. Sooner or later, someone is going to fire you if you don’t work hard. He takes pride in being part of something bigger than himself. He’s committed to family; he’s committed to community; he’s committed to country. That’s how Willie lives his life. That’s how all of you live your lives.
And that makes me hopeful about the future, because you’re out there fighting every day for a better future for your family and your country. And when you do that, that means you’re creating value all across this economy. You’re inspiring people. You’re being a good example for your kids. That’s what makes America great. That’s what we have to stay focused on.
— President Obama yesterday at the Daimler Detroit Diesel Facility in Redford, Michigan (via barackobama)
I’m like ‘the Tea Party is racist’ and my friend is like ‘Kamau, you can’t call the Tea Party racist. They’re not all racist.’ And I was like, you know what, I don’t need the Tea Party to be 100% racist for me to feel perfectly fine calling them racist. I don’t need 100% racism in the group. It could be way less than 100%. 10% is plenty for me. If the Tea Party is 10% racist I feel comfortable labeling the whole group racist. Let me explain how that works. If I offer you a shake, a milkshake. I say ‘would you like a milkshake?’ You go “yeah, sure I’d like a milkshake.” I go, ‘okay, here you go, but just so you know it’s 10% shit.’ Oh, now you suddenly you understand how it works. 10% is kinda a lot ain’t it. You go ‘uh oh, that’s too much shit in my shake.
I’m like ‘the Tea Party is racist’ and my friend is like ‘Kamau, you can’t call the Tea Party racist. They’re not all racist.’ And I was like, you know what, I don’t need the Tea Party to be 100% racist for me to feel perfectly fine calling them racist. I don’t need 100% racism in the group. It could be way less than 100%. 10% is plenty for me. If the Tea Party is 10% racist I feel comfortable labeling the whole group racist.
Let me explain how that works. If I offer you a shake, a milkshake. I say ‘would you like a milkshake?’ You go “yeah, sure I’d like a milkshake.” I go, ‘okay, here you go, but just so you know it’s 10% shit.’
Oh, now you suddenly you understand how it works. 10% is kinda a lot ain’t it. You go ‘uh oh, that’s too much shit in my shake.
[TW: Torture, Racism] The Reuters report says that the city is under siege because it still harbors pockets of pro-Gaddafi elements. But as usual this is a distortion and ignores firstly the fact that the tribe of Bani Walid, the Werfalla, which is also Libya’s largest tribe, has always been united ideologically as they were and remain throughout this ongoing crisis. Their position has unwaveringly been to resist the NATO-rebel insurgency, and had it not been for the unity of the Werfalla, then the militias would never be able to enter Bani Walid without heavy bombardment.
Lizzie Phelan, Libyan City Under Siege by Militias via Black Agenda Report
The same militia that erased the Black town ofTawergha and has terrorized dark-skinned Libyans and African immigrants, is threatening to attack the city of Bani Walid, which has been under artillery siege and encirclement for over a week. The NATO-backed militias claim to be targeting “pro-Gaddafi” elements.
There is so much I would like to say but I do not even know where to start. But I would simply say in a nutshell that the Arab Spring highlighted for me how extremely dangerous and devastating Arab imperialism was for Black Africans and for this reason, I will never again support any Arab movement of liberation! NEVER AGAIN - unless they openly and actively fight anti-blackness, otherwise, they will only strive off it. This is the reason why I do not support white movement of resistance like OWS, because they do not challenge the racism at their core, so if successful, will only lead to the creation of another racist society.
It is extremely difficult to explain Arab anti-blackness with western-centric notions of race because a lot of it has to do with colorism and anti-blackness also manifest itself through the oppression of native, indigenous African peoples. One can be Arab and black. There is no such hard rule like the one drop rule in the US that defines blackness clearly in the Arab world. But unlike in the US, the Arab slave trade of black Africans has NEVER STOPPED, outlawed or not!!! It is still widely practiced all over the middle East and in some parts of North Africa. I am posting this, Ethiopia woman lived modern day slavery at hands of Dubai couple, which happened just few days ago and this, Saudi prince beat his black sex slave to death, as a reminder that we black people are still seen as less than human and slaves in the Arab world.
The Egyptian revolution started off with reports of massacres of Somali migrants, the Lybian revolution culminated with the mass murder and genocide of 30,000 Tawergha people, wiped out with the support of the west and I frequently see casual anti-blackness on this website with pro-Palestine partisans who have no scruples exploiting the plight of black people in Israel, as simple rhetoric device to further their anti-Israel agenda. Yet none of them will ever address the lingering anti-blackness in Palestine or the rest of the Arab world. So, as a black African, simply by self-preservation, I can not get down with this kind of savagery.
All of this just proves two things to me. First of all, the world do NOT give a flying fuck about the lives of Black African people, I already knew this. And when I say the world, I am not only talking about white people, I am talking about the whole fucking planet, POC included. This leads me to my second point, POC solidarity is the phoniest shit ever!! THERE IS NO SUCH A THING! And I see it as even dangerous because I know that many do not expose and address Arab imperialism because of it. Because Arab people are victims of white supremacy, they somehow get a pass for the supremacist system they have imposed on black and indigenous Africans. Being unchallenged, it can only strive!! THEY ARE STILL ENSLAVING US GODDAMNIT!! IN 2012!! I cannot denounce the barbaric anti-blackness of white supremacy and not address Arab imperialism. Especially since as a black person, I will always be a million times safer in the west than I will ever be in any Arab country!!(via dreams-from-my-father)
A refreshing new site that will unbiased, non-partisan reporting on Ghana’s presidency. The site’s launch coincides with the country’s election on December 7th and we’ll be working with the team to feature current news on the country’s top leader. www.reportingghanapresidency.com
“Once you start to speak, people will yell at you. They will interrupt you, put you down and suggest it’s personal. And the world won’t end. And the speaking will get easier and easier. And you will find you have fallen in love with your own vision, which you may never have realized you had. And you will lose some friends and lovers, and realize you don’t miss them. And new ones will find you and cherish you. And you will still flirt and paint your nails, dress up and party, because, as I think Emma Goldman said, “If I can’t dance, I don’t want to be part of your revolution.” And at last you’ll know with surpassing certainty that only one thing is more frightening than speaking your truth. And that is not speaking.”
Truth, Lies & Politics
can you be a conservative and a true Christian?
i read this article that compared the republican party ideals with the philosophy of ayn rand - a known objectivist who disregarded socialism/social justice/helping others and held self-sufficiency over everything. to be fair, there needs to be historical context: she grew up in communist Russia, therefore the idea of equality of wealth, despite how hard you work, was less than appealing to her, especially with the prospect of death looming if you didn’t work hard enough.
historical context aside… it’s very true. most of the truly rich are republicans - who pay less taxes than those who have less money (on average, 18%) so they are allowed to keep on getting richer at a more exponential level compared to the poorer. these republicans also support the tax cuts, they hate obamacare (which we pay more taxes to help our fellow brothers in their health), the inherent prejudice and assumptions that if you’re poor, it’s your fault (failure to realize privilege and blessings) and so on. they don’t want to help the less fortunate, because they have theirs and they feel like the less fortunate need to work harder so maybe they can become fortunate.
they don’t see the need in helping others - failing to realize that if everyone is doing well, the economy will do well and won’t implode on itself. instead, they want to raise the interest on student loans, abolish subsidized loans, instead of just taxing the rich more.
what conservatives fail to realize is that their Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, He preached about helping the poor, the meek, your fellow impoverished brother… sermon on the mount, anyone? Jesus would not be a modern-day republican, Jesus would be a liberal.
you can’t use Biblical arguments for why you don’t support gay marriage yet don’t use Biblical practices for your economic policies. the Bible doesn’t work that way, you don’t get to pick and choose your poison.
Anyone who believed your voice could make a difference, I want to reaffirm your belief: You made this happen.
An increasingly familiar sight in London are posters on public transit that invite residents and workers to “Get ahead of the Games.” The message is that the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic games are happening, like it or not, but life for the average Londoner should continue as normal — or at least as normal as possible. Yet one particular poster sums up well the lack of regard for London’s poorest, and an ignorance of the difference between the mild inconvenience some will face due to the games and the stark reality that, for many, the period will mean getting to work becomes nearly impossible. “Walking part of your journey may be quicker during the Games,” it reads. With jobs in London heavily concentrated in the city’s center, where housing is least affordable, many are already forced to embark on long commutes from the peripheries of the city. If they could avoid some of London’s expensive transit fees by walking, they already would.
The games themselves, meanwhile, are helping to erode what public housing there is in Inner London. Since the announcement in 2005 that the city had won its host bid, there has been much talk of the legacy that the Olympics will leave once the summer is over. While some people who are more detached from life in east London imagine an abundance of publicly accessible sporting facilities — though recent host cities such as Athens suggest that debt and derelict buildings are more likely — it has been abundantly clear for residents of London’s East End for some time that the true legacy will be a city cleansed of its poor.
For a case in point, consider the Olympic borough of Newham. There, 32,045 households (nearly double that of most other Inner London boroughs) were on the waiting list for public housing in 2011, yet the council continues to decant and demolish its existing stock under the guise of regeneration. New commercial projects proceed, however, including its own brand new £111.5 million offices complete with designer lighting, often hand-in-hand with companies that make the standard no-show promise of “affordable housing.”
Gentrification sold as regeneration is nothing new and certainly it isn’t a stranger to Olympic host cities. But with London and the U.K. facing a housing crisis already, this latest assault on people’s homes has become a focus for activists in the city. One particular site where organizing to defend homeowners and tenants has begun is the Carpenters Estate in Stratford, Newham. The estate finds itself adjacent to the Olympic site, including the main stadium and aquatics center. If one has seen the beautiful aerial photos of Olympic Park, they were no doubt taken from atop one of the Carpenters high-rises, and these views present a tempting opportunity for businesses and developers. It has already become clear that University College London (UCL) has its eyes on at least part of the Carpenters Estate, hoping to join other institutions, such as the University of London’s Birkbeck College, which have already expanded east from their central London home of Bloomsbury.
Universities, despite what their spokespeople might suggest, are unlikely to bring new jobs for residents. But what they have brought are students fresh from fighting battles with university management over course closures, low wages, redundancies and tuition fee changes, and who are more than willing to provide solidarity with residents threatened by the likes of UCL. Those living on the Carpenters Estate and students from universities around Bloomsbury have already been organizing together through Carpenters Against Regeneration Plan (CARP).
For now, they’ve focused on ensuring people know what Newham council and UCL plan to do. While delegates from the International Olympics Committee were going on tours of the Olympic sites, CARP held its own public tour of the Carpenters Estate, which made it impossible not to see a still thriving community left to rot and placed under threat.
(more at the link)
Sudanese protest against austerity measures
Sudan’s government is facing growing public anger over its austerity measures.
The country lost $2.5bn worth of oil revenue a year when South Sudan gained independence last year, causing Khartoum to introduce a number of cutbacks
Inflation has soared, with food and fuel prices increasing by over 30 per cent overnight, after the government stopped subsidising basic commodities.
In the last two weeks, hundreds of protesters have taken to the streets over the rising food and fuel prices.
Al Jazeera’s Mohamed Vall reports from Khartoum.
A migrant worker looked out of a bus on his way to Ben Gurion International Airport in Israel Monday.
Israel is expelling an additional 150 South Sudanese as part of its campaign to reduce the number of African migrants who have slipped illegally into the Jewish state.
I couldn’t agree more. (Taken with Instagram)
If you missed it yesterday, watch President Obama’s announcement about a fairer immigration policy here.