Wednesday, August 31, 2011






Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Mamdani on What Gaddafi's fall Mean for Africa

"The longer they stay in power, the more African presidents seek to personalise power. Their success erodes the institutional basis of the state. The Carribean thinker C L R James once remarked on the contrast between Nyerere and Nkrumah, analysing why the former survived until he resigned but the latter did not: "Dr Julius Nyerere in theory and practice laid the basis of an African state, which Nkrumah failed to do.The African strongmen are going the way of Nkrumah, and in extreme cases Gaddafi, not Nyerere. The societies they lead are marked by growing internal divisions. In this, too, they are reminiscent of Libya under Gaddafi more than Egypt under Mubarak or Tunisia under Ben Ali. Whereas the fall of Mubarak and Ben Ali directed our attention to internal social forces, the fall of Gaddafi has brought a new equation to the forefront: the connection between internal opposition and external governments" - Mahmood Mamdani on What does Gaddafi's fall mean for Africa?


When the people say

Yes they do, with may

Not that they are at bay

They are the oceans’ sway

They have the might

Might that catches the plight

It’s so even without sight

They are the oceans’ sway

Wind moves water ashore

But water don’t give a dire

The wind’s persistence sore

They are the oceans’ sway

Powerful as they are

Gentle is their flare

With humility of power

They are the oceans’ sway

They go back ‘n deep sea

As fast, as one can see

Not harming the wind’s plea

They are the oceans’ sway

They let the wind to enjoy

Test its clout the whole day

Swing however it weigh, BUT

They are the oceans’ sway

People can be very calm

Not that they have n'realm

They do with humility of lamb, BUT

They are the oceans, sway

They, like water, are strong

Strength seen even from throne

Never wish them to be in throng

They are the world’s sway

© Daniel B. Welwel 290811


There is always something new out of African Studies. Being an 'Africanist' one is daily confronted with new ways of describing Africans. Today I have encountered the following description which might actually help me make sense of what exactly is an 'Afropolitan' :

To Think Or Not To Think Africa From The Cape?

Growing up in the Cape, we were taught that we were “Western”. How do we explain and undo this colonial sensibility? From my location at a university, there are two realisations from which to proceed. Firstly, the history of knowledge production, and the history of the organisation of knowledge — the ways we organise disciplines in this country — has a colonial and apartheid genealogy, and is dominated by Enlightenment thinking. We share this with the postcolonial world in the Middle East, in Asia and in Latin America. It is the post-independence inheritance of most of the formerly colonised world.

Secondly, I want to urge that we both accept and reject this feature of our intellectual inheritance. Not either accept or either reject, but both accept and reject. Simultaneously. That is to say, we can objectify our intellectual formation, put it in its place, and in its time — remind it that this a view from a particular part of the world that has become dominant in a rather sordid manner. But we also accept that we have, in the wonderful phrase of an Indian historian, “all been worked over by colonialism”. There is no way out of that history nor out of the Enlightenment. But there is a way through it.

(Surren Pillay on Thinking Africa from the Cape)

I take it that we are all aware of the apartheid version of thinking Africa from the Cape, so let’s fast forward to this postcolonial, post-apartheid moment. From this perspective, the most visible change has been the historic change in political dispensation but has this led to a fundamental shift away from the old manner of thinking of Africa? Has the neo-liberal regime of globalisation (with which the post-apartheid order coincides) helped to enable this shift or has it simply confirmed us in the old ways? In our South African corporations that do business in Africa? (An interesting phrase this!) In our tertiary institutions that encourage links with Africa? Are we simply — as corporations and tertiary institutions — setting up shop(s) in the African countries we deal with or are we committed to a dialogic engagement that deepens ties and fosters genuine knowledge creation and collaboration?

(Harry Garuba on How not to think Africa from the Cape)

Friday, August 26, 2011

More Wikileaks On Tanzania Released - So What?

At last Wikileaks has released 9 pages with links whose "Origin' is referred to as "Embassy Dar es Salaam", they are accessible at those who don't care about the proverbial 'curiosity killed a cat' are now going through these voluminous cables some of which makes a 'somber' reading!

"Kikwete pointed out that Tanzania is surrounded by countries of much greater population density, whereas Tanzania possesses vast areas of fertile land with little or no agriculture. Kikwete expressed the concern that neighbors would exploit East Africa Community structures to grab significant amounts of TanzaniaQs arable lands, which he said explains TanzaniaQs motivation to act as a brake on regional integration" -

Monday, August 22, 2011

It Takes a Village Library to Educate a Girl Child

A recent article on A Professor Raise a Library in His Native Town in Zambia has reminded me of a professorial couple's initiative in Tanzania. As far back s 2009 they have been working on building a girls education centre that "will be used as a community library for everybody while focusing on girls". Let's hear from them as we follow their 'Long Walk to Readership':

"As a young girl, my parents did not like to send me to school, but my father decided to teach me reading the Bible. Through this, I was able to read at the age of five. One day I saw a magazine, which was promoting education as part of United Nations [UN] efforts to implement Universal Primary Education [UPE]. By then, I just read it and understood that a girl can study. Then I went back home I told my parents to send me to school. They refused at first and agreed later, and then I started school because there was such a magazine donated by UN efforts. In the magazine, there was Nyerere, our president giving a speech on the UPE policy. Reading gave me good news, I started self-development, and since then things had never been the same. This is a long story of mine, but currently I am doing my PhD and a University lecturer. If there were no such books, I would not be writing to you." - Aurelia N. Kamuzora, 14 October 2009

"Anybody who like to know the impact of Nyerere policies of Ujamaa and equality, I am a good case study and I like to use it to impact parents and the young girls not only in Karagwe, but also in any grassroots communities of Tanzania. The message is about the pro-poor families to invest in education, morally and social support of their children. Building schools everywhere is nothing if there is no participatory approach like what Nyerere did. I like to support the government efforts in education provision. Without Nyerere's policies of government interventions, people like us would have been somewhere else." - Aurelia N. Kamuzora, 15 October 2009

“For some of us who have been fortunate enough we have an obligation to try to give back to our communities. Aurelia (with very scant help from me) is about to complete construction of a similar, but definitely smaller, library building project in one of our villages in Karagwe. It is our hope that once the construction is done we will conduct a "book"raising event to get books, particularly the local ones” – Prof. Faustin R. Kamuzora, 20 August 2011

"We started with construction and the second step will be mobilizing resources to fill it with relevant books. We are also promoting green movement where people in the village plant trees to restore Mother Nature. Also, Green Movement gives the villagers an opportunity to benefit from carbon credit of the polluters. We are doing this through Green for Education and Poverty Alleviation Trust (GEPAT). GEPAT is a purely voluntary organization that focuses on future generation and clean air. We invite anybody to contribute to our efforts, not only in Karagwe but somewhere else in Tanzania. Our activities are available at: Thanks a lot for the story from Zambia. Our initiative in our home village is still ongoing. The "Girls Education Center" is under construction. We are currently finishing. We are working together with different donors, but our own effort is almost 50% contribution. We hope it will give an impact to some young children, especially girls. It is located in Kituntu Village, Kituntu Ward, Karagwe District and Kagera region. At the beginning it was a nightmare, but now it seems that we have been able make a change. Thank you for encouragement through the Zambian Case" - Dr. Aurelia N. Kamuzora, 21 August 2011

"These are the photos sent by one of the volunteer working with us. These volunteers are among the young children we have been supporting (sponsoring) to acquire education. He is a boy waiting for the selection to join the university. The girls are still not doing well when it comes to examination performance. We believe that with the Girls' Education Centre (GEC) which will be full of books while we will continue with role modeling, many girls with similar background like us will be motivated to perform well in their respective schools. Ultimately, they will pursue it further to universities and beyond - Dr. Aurelia N. Kamuzora, 22 August 2011

"Anybody who donates a book does more than a person who donates money in Africa" – Aurelia Ngwira Kamuzora

Karibu kwenye ulingo wa kutafakari kuhusu tunapotoka,tulipo,tuendako na namna ambavyo tutafika huko tuendako/Welcome to a platform for reflecting on where we are coming from, where we are, where we are going and how we will get there

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