Talking Points on Economy and Development
Politicians and investors in Africa and around the world speak of
creating good jobs. In practice they most often promote a market-fundamentalist development model that sheds jobs while increasing profits for the 1%.
The "Africa Rising" narrative celebrating rapid economic growth
in many African countries contains a partial truth. New investment
in extractive industries to serve world markets is growing, and there
is rapid growth in information and communication technology as well.
But most Africans, whether in the rural areas or the burgeoning cities,
have little access to the wealth created. Jobs in the formal sector do not
come close to keeping up with expansion of the labor force. And government
policies marginalize the interests of workers and small farmers.
Sustainable development depends on public investment in health, education, and infrastructure, but these investments fall far short
of what is needed.
Significant change in economic policies, in Africa and around the world,
will only come if there is active transnational mobilization for economic justice
for the 99%. Such action must include not only political groups, but also
unions, farmers' organizations, human rights groups, churches, and others
in all sectors of society.
South African platinum miners organize a wildcat strike in October 2012.
T-shirts refer to massacre of striking miners at Marikana in August that year.
Recent bulletins on economy and development
July 26, 2016 Africa/Global: Not Yet "End of AIDS"
At the 21st International AIDS Conference in South Africa last week,
"optimism faded as delegates arrived to news that donor countries
had reduced global HIV funding by more than $1 billion from 2014 to
2015. ... Nearly 20 million people are [still] in need of
antiretroviral therapy. [and] nearly half of the $44 billion cost
could be unfunded between 2016 and 2020." - Washington Post, July
July 15, 2016 Zimbabwe: #WageTheft
"An astounding 80,000 Zimbabwe workers in formal employment--out of
some 350,000 workers--did not receive wages and benefits on time in
2014, according to a new Solidarity Center report, 'Working Without
Pay: Wage Theft in Zimbabwe,' released today in Harare." -
July 15, 2016 Zimbabwe: #ThisFlag
"The Zimbabwean regime did not expect Pastor Evan Mawarire to be set
free on Wednesday night. But unprecedented public pressure forced
the magistrate's hand, with a little help from blundering police.
Look away now, Comrade Bob, because Zimbabwe will never be the same
again." - Daily Maverick, July 14, 2016
July 6, 2016 Cuba/Sierra Leone: Reclaiming Slave-Trade History
As recognition grows that the legacy of slavery and the slave trade
is still embedded in the structural inequalities of today's world,
scholars are finding new ways to make the lost connections visible.
One dramatic and inspiring illustration, featured in this issue of
AfricaFocus Bulletin, is the film "They Are We," showing the
rediscovery and re-connection in person with their African relatives of an Afro-Cuban community
which still celebrates their heritage with dances and songs in a
language almost forgotten by current generations even in its
villages of origin in Sierra Leone. The film, first released in Cuba
in 2013, features the story of this rediscovery, in the voices and
faces of the communities who collaborated in the making of the
by date | by place | by topic
June 30, 2016
Africa/Global: Air Pollution Threats & Solutions
June 22, 2016
Africa/Global: "Stop the Bleeding" Updates
June 13, 2016
Africa/Global: Don't Be a Fossil Fool
Jun 2, 2016
Liberia/Global: Financial Secrecy at Work
May 26, 2016
Africa/Global: Migrants' Rights Roundup
May 13, 2016
Mozambique: Debt Crisis & the Panama Papers
May 5, 2016
Uganda: Accountability and Child Soldiers
April 27, 2016
Nigeria: Shapes of Violence, 2
April 27, 2016
Nigeria: Shapes of Violence, 1
April 11, 2016
Africa/Global: Panama Papers Tip of Iceberg
Apr 5, 2016
USA/Global: When Elephants Fight
March 23, 2016
Namibia: Meeting Expectations?
March 16, 2016
Africa: Tolerance and Intolerance in Perspective
March 9, 2016
Africa/Global: Making Choices on Climate Future
February 29, 2016
USA/Africa: Rising Opposition to Tax Evasion
February 16, 2016
Africa: Ghosts at the African Union Summit