AfricaFocus Bulletins with Material on Health
Last 20 Bulletins
January 23, 2023 Update from Editor on Future Plans
When President Barack Obama hosted his US-Africa Summit in August 2014, my roundups in AfricaFocus Bulletin featured critical analysis of the likely outcome and the issues that were likely to be ignored, as well as alternate viewpoints by civil society groups.
November 15, 2022 Africa/Global: "Daughter of Africa" Steps Up to Lead on Global Crises
At the climate summit in Egypt last week, President Biden pledged that the United States would take the lead on the climate crisis. But his speech was eclipsed the same day by a powerful call to action by Prime Minister Mia Mottley of Barbados.
October 10, 2022 AfricaFocus 3.0: Not ´A Nation of Immigrants´
Coming in 2023: AfricaFocus 3.0
July 20, 2022 Africa/Global: Oligarchs of All Nations
"Biden Concedes Defeat on Climate Bill as Manchin and Inflation Upend Agenda" - New York Times, July 16, 2022
June 9, 2022 Africa/Global: Ukraine, Africa, and Our Planet
“An end to this terrible war based on dialogue must be the international community’s highest priority. Support to the
people of Ukraine must be matched by efforts to advance Russian/Ukrainian negotiations, European security dialogue,
and wider risk-reduction measures to prevent nuclear escalation.” - The Elders, May 25, 2022
May 11, 2022 Africa/Global: Debt, IFFs, and Inequality in Africa
“43 African governments are facing expenditure cuts totalling $183 billion
(equivalent to 5.4 percent of GDP) over the next five years, reveals new
analysis from Oxfam and Development Finance International (DFI) today. If
these cuts are implemented, their chances of achieving the UN’s Sustainable
Development Goals will likely disappear.” - Oxfam International and
Development Finance International
April 21, 2022 Africa/Global: Climate Put on Back Burner by War
While media attention focuses on the cost in human lives on the ground in Europe, the direct and indirect effects are also leading to many more lives lost around the world, not least in vulnerable countries on the African continent, according to a report issued on April 13 by the United Nations. The direct effects alone are projected to devastate the world economy (https://reliefweb.int/report/world/global-impact-war-ukraine-food-energy-and-finance-systems).
March 25, 2022 Africa/Global: Updates from AfricaFocus
This is the first AfricaFocus Bulletin since January. Towards the end of that
month, major issues with my home office computer systems crippled the
interface which I normally use to publish the Bulletin, and catching up on a
variety of medical issues also limited what I could do. Nothing life
threatening, but lots of doctor appointments.
January 19, 2022 USA/Africa: Bronx Fire Devastates Gambian Community
“This is the heart of the problem. If housing vulnerable people is an asset
class – not a social good, or a human right – then generating returns for
investors will always be in a zero-sum relationship with providing safe
housing for those people. Landlords will always be in the middle; and when
they’re taking sides, as they must in housing for profit, investors will
always win.” - Annia Ciezadlo
December 23, 2021 USA/Africa: Pandora Papers Keep Giving
2021 was a banner year for attention to national and international tax reforms to reduce tax evasion and avoidance, with legislation in the United States spearheaded by the FACT Coalition and a global reform deal proposed by the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). But the Pandora Papers also demonstrated the pervasive scale of illicit financial flows that siphon off wealth into an “offshore” world of secrecy.
November 23, 2021 Africa/Global: From Climate Denial to Deceit and Delay
Asad Rehman of War on Want spoke to the presidency of COP26 with words that
resonated far from Glasgow: “The rich have refused to do their fair share,
more empty words on climate finance. You have turned your backs on the poorest
who face a crisis of Covid, economic and climate apartheid because of the
actions of the richest. It is immoral for the rich to talk about the future of
their children and grandchildren when the children of the Global South are
dying now.” Less than 2 minutes.
November 2, 2021 Africa/Global: The Heat is On! Time to Act!
The warnings are consistent and devastating, across the political spectrum
from the International Monetary Fund from climate activists mobilizing at the
climate summit in Glasgow and around the world. There are only eight years to
have any chance of bending the curve of fossil fuel emissions sufficiently to
avoid mounting climate chaos. Predictions are also consistent that the
government officials gathered at the summit will continue to let promises and
belated minimal policy shifts substitute for significant action.
October 15 , 2021 Africa/Global: Hardly a Dent in #VaccineApartheid
“Millions of people remain at risk of dying from COVID-19 because high-income
countries (HICs), including the US, continue to hoard excess vaccine doses,
warns a new report released [on October 11] by Doctors Without
Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF). The international medical humanitarian
organization is calling on governments to commit to a concrete plan to
redistribute vaccine doses to low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) via
COVAX or regional procurement bodies by the end of October.”
August 26, 2021 Mozambique/Global: “Most Egregious Corruption Case of the 21st Century”
“In my view the hidden debt scandal is the most egregious corruption case of the 21st century. In dollar terms, the Malaysian 1MBD case is larger, but Malaysia is far wealthier than Mozambique, ranked 47th out of 185 countries on GDP per capita whereas Mozambique ranks 180.“ - Richard Messick, senior contributor to the Global Anticorruption Blog and pro bono legal counsel to the Budget Monitoring Forum, a civil society coalition in Mozambique.
July 27, 2021 USA/Global: Let Cuba Live!
The Biden administration has now been in office for six months,
along with a narrow Democratic majority in Congress. So it seems an
appropriate time for a report card. I offered my evaluation in another AfricaFocus Bulletin sent out today, entitled “Building Back Better? Or Not?” But as I was finalizing that Bulletin, I realized that the rising U.S. attacks on Cuba are a key indicator of how things are going.
July 27, 2021 USA/Africa: Building Back Better? Or Not?
Last week marked six months for the Biden administration and for the
narrow Democratic majority in Congress. So it seems an appropriate
time for a report card on U.S. Africa policy. And that also means a
review of U.S. policies on today's most pressing global issues, on
which the negative effects fall disproportionately on Africans on
the continent and in the diaspora.
May 17, 2021 Africa/Global: Decolonizing Medical Technology
“A continent of 1.2 billion people should not have to import 99% of its vaccines. But that is the tragic reality for Africa. Fixing the lack of home-grown manufacturing capacity has become a top priority for Africa’s policymakers. Last week, 40,000 people, including researchers, business leaders and members of civil-society groups, joined heads of state for a two-day online summit designed to share the latest developments and kick-start fresh thinking on how to bring vaccine manufacturing to Africa.” - Nature magazine editorial, April 21, 2021
April 19, 2021 Confronting Global Apartheid Demands Global Solidarity
"The COVID-19 pandemic has both revealed and deepened structural
inequalities around the world. Nearly every country has been hit by
economic downturn, but the impacts are unevenly felt. Within and
across countries, the people who have suffered most are those already
disadvantaged by race, class, gender, or place of birth, reflecting
the harsh inequality that has characterized our world for centuries."
April 6, 2021 Africa/Global: People's Vaccine vs. Vaccine Apartheid
Despite the vast disparity in the pace of vaccinations for Covid-19, currently at over 20% having one dose in North America, 5% in the world, and less in 1% for Africa, the United States, other rich countries, and pharmaceutical companies are still rejecting growing demands to waive patents and transfer technology. See chart below and data by country at https://ourworldindata.org/covid-vaccinations.
February 22, 2021 Africa/Global: The Inequality Virus
“COVID-19 has been likened to an x-ray, revealing fractures in the
fragile skeleton of the societies we have built. It is exposing
fallacies and falsehoods everywhere: The lie that free markets can
deliver healthcare for all; The fiction that unpaid care work is
not work; The delusion that we live in a post-racist world; The
myth that we are all in the same boat. While we are all floating
on the same sea, it’s clear that some are in super yachts, while
others are clinging to the drifting debris.” – António Guterres,
UN Secretary General