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AfricaFocus Bulletin: Latest six bulletins
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September 18, 2019 Horn of Africa: Interview with Kassahun Checole
For over 36 years, Kassahun Checole has shepherded hundreds of manuscripts into publication through his twin publishing houses Africa World Press and Red Sea Press. He is widely respected among scholars and activists in Africa and around the world as one of the giants of African and African American publishing. Yet his own keen insights on Africa´s past and present, particularly on Eritrea and Ethiopia, are hardly to be found in print or on-line.
September 12, 2019 South Africa: Xenophobia, Deep Roots, Today´s Crisis
“In the early years after I got 'home,' it took me some time to figure out how to respond to the idea that Africa was a place that began beyond South Africa's borders. I was surprised to learn that the countries where I had lived -- the ones that had nurtured my soul in the long years of exile -- were actually no places at all in the minds of some of my compatriots. … Though they thought themselves to be very different, it seemed to me that whites and blacks in South Africa were disappointingly similar when it came to their views on 'Africa.' … This warped idea of Africa was at the heart of the idea of South Africa itself. Just as whiteness means nothing until it is contrasted with blackness as savagery, South African-ness relies heavily on the construction of Africa as a place of dysfunction, chaos and violence in order to define itself as functional, orderly, efficient and civilised.” - Sisonke Msimang
September 12, 2019 South Africa: Spotlight on Gender-based Violence
“Our nation is in mourning and pain. Over the past few days, our country has been deeply traumatised by acts of extreme violence perpetrated by men against women and children. These acts of violence have made us doubt the very foundation of our democratic society, our commitment to human rights and human dignity, to equality, to peace and to justice. … Violence against women has become more than a national crisis. It is a crime against our common humanity.” - President Cyril Ramaphosa, September 5, 2019
August 12, 2019 Africa/Global: Tax Avoidance 101
Aircastle Ltd., a Connecticut-based global company specialized in leasing airplanes, is not alone among large American companies lowering their taxes through creative accounting, which also include well-known giants such as Amazon and Apple. But the recent revelations on Aircastle´s use of Mauritius as a tax haven provide a helpful window into how such tax dodges can make use of off-shore companies set up primarily for that purpose.
August 12, 2019 Africa/Global: #MauritiusLeaks Reveals Tax Dodges
“Based on a cache of 200,000 confidential records from the Mauritius office of the Bermuda-based offshore law firm Conyers Dill & Pearman, the investigation reveals how a sophisticated financial system based on the island is designed to divert tax revenue from poor nations back to the coffers of Western corporations and African oligarchs, with Mauritius getting a share. The files date from the early 1990s to 2017.” - International Consortium of Investigative Journalists
July 29, 2019 Africa/Global: Agribusiness vs. Agroecology
“It is not surprising, of course, that those with financial interests in the current input-intensive systems are responding to growing calls for agroecology with attacks on its efficacy as a systematic approach that can sustainably feed a growing population. What is surprising is that such responses are so ill-informed about the scientific innovations agroecology offers to small-scale farmers who are being so poorly served by ´green revolution´ approaches.” - Timothy A. Wise