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Priority Issues


Focus on African Countries


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


AfricaFocus Bulletin

September 21, 2016  USA/Africa: From #BlackLivesMatter to #StopTheBleeding Africa
    The direct and indirect toll resulting from illicit financial flows reflects the unequal value today's world places on human lives by race and place ... Reflecting the legacy of the slave trade and colonialism, the African continent and Black people around the world are disproportionately located at the bottom of a global system that systematically sucks wealth upward, toward the top "1 percent." ... there can be no doubt that the number of deaths caused by these structural economic inequalities rivals or likely even exceeds those lost due to bombs, guns, or machetes.

September 14, 2016  Gabon: High Demand for Democracy, Short Supply
    "Among 36 African countries surveyed in 2014/2015, Gabon ranks at or near the bottom on every indicator of election quality and fairness, according to citizen responses collected in September and October 2015. ... Gabon ranks dead last in public trust in the election commission. ... [at the same time] Gabon ranks near the top in favoring multiparty competition and term limits on presidents, as well as in disapproving of one-party and one-man rule." - Afrobarometer

September 7, 2016  South Africa: From #FeesMustFall to Budget Battles
    "The most inspiring and surprising social movement to shake the South African state since the Treatment Action Campaign of the early 2000s was #FeesMustFall in October 2015. The primary demand -- free tertiary education -- is audacious." But, argues South Africa academic and commentator Patrick Bond in a newly published chapter, achieving that goal requires confronting the ideology of austerity and the dominance of corporate capital as well as corrupt public officials on the South African government budget.

September 7, 2016  South Africa: Post "Post-Apartheid"?
    The "post-apartheid" period is now over, it seems. Whether one dates the change from the massacre of miners at Marikana in 2012, the death of Nelson Mandela in 2013, student protests in 2015, or the municipal elections last month, a generation has now passed since the high hopes of the first democratic elections in 1994. South Africans, particularly the generation known as the "born-frees," are coping with the realization that that political victory was only the beginning, not the achievement of the hopes for social and economic transformation so many had hoped and died for.

More on: politics&human rights|peace&security|health|economy|ict

AfricaFocus Archive: by date | by place | by topic

July 26, 2016  
    Africa/Global: Not Yet "End of AIDS"
July 15, 2016  
    Zimbabwe: #WageTheft
July 15, 2016  
    Zimbabwe: #ThisFlag
July 6, 2016  
    Cuba/Sierra Leone: Reclaiming Slave-Trade History
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?

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Africa News
Sep 26, 2016
AllAfrica | Debt
South Africa: We Owe Comrade Winnie Enormous Debt of Gratitude - ANC
South Africa: SA's Debt to GDP Highest Among Emerging Market Peers - Report
Tanzania: PM Gives Firm 10 Days to Pay Sh100 Million Council Debt
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