April
21
 

Can Africa find joy in suffering?

tags: suffering, tragedy

Is there something about Africa and its history that endears it to tragedy? I have often wondered why some of greatest Box Office successes that have to do with Africa lean towards tragedy as a genre. Think of Cry Freedom, Hotel Rwanda, Lord of War, Blood Diamond, Black Hawk Down, Tears of the Sun and most recently, 12 Years a Slave. Notice the tragic connotations that these titles contain – Weeping, War, Blood, Darkness, Tears, Slavery...

Aristotle, one of the greatest Greek philosophers, in his Poetics defined tragedy as a work of art containing a series of events with incidents arousing pity and fear, wherewith to accomplish a catharsis of such emotions. He went on to say that tragedy is a more serious genre than comedy and that therefore, unlike comedy it can only be fully… click here to read whole article and make comments


 
April
10
 

Is Nigeria Africa’s hidden tiger?

tags: rebasing, nigeria, economic growth

Ordinarily the trajectory of a country’s gross domestic product (GDP) determines its place among the community of nations. Last weekend, Africa’s most populous nation suddenly became its most dominant economy.

What does GDP rebasing mean? Nonso Obikili captures it in this fictional story about Emeka while Chuba Ezekwesili’s essay weighs the merits and demerits of rebasing.   

However, the miraculous assent of Nigeria over night into the big nations club is not rocket science. Uri Friedman in this post in the Atlantic explains this rational miracle:

It was, in fact, a miracle borne of statistics: It had been 24 years since Nigerian authorities last updated their approach to calculating gross domestic product (GDP), a process known as "rebasing" that wealthy countries typically carry out every five years. When the Nigerian government finally did it this week, the country's GDP—the market value of all… click here to read whole article and make comments


 
April
06
 

Nigeria makes $6 billion from home videos

tags: movie, nollywood

Nigeria's home video industry popularly called "Nollywood" is second only to India's "Bollywood" in terms of number of movies produced.  Both beat Hollywood.  The industry earned six billion dollars in 2013.  The graphics below show how it compares to both the Indian and US film industries.

 

 

Thanks to Tayo Fagbule for the links.

click here to read whole article and make comments

 
April
01
 

Africa is still hungry

tags: hunger, agriculture, food security

Over the last decade Africa’s annual total GDP has doubled from 2.1 percent to 4.8 percent. Improved governance and human development have accompanied this and as a result, seven out of the top ten fastest growing economies in the world are found in Africa. The IMF projects an economic growth of 6.1 percent for the continent in 2014.

However, its agricultural growth has remained relatively stagnant with an increase of only 0.2 percent. It therefore remains the world’s most food insecure continent, with low rural incomes and high rates of malnutrition as pointed out by the FAO. Thus, from the 24th to 28th of March this year, the Organisation held its 28th Regional Conference for Africa in Tunis, calling upon African ministers of agriculture to increase investment in priority areas and in the support of small-scale farmers,… click here to read whole article and make comments


 
March
10
 

Modupe Cole Memorial - A special world

tags: life, down syndrome

Modupe Cole Memorial School in Lagos is home to mentally and physically challenged people 8 years old and above.  Members have multiple schelorsis, Down Syndrome and after effects of either congenital polio or Jaundice.  The care they receive in this home is reminiscent of the African's respect for the dignity of human life.  Though some children with disabilities may be abandoned after birth or given up for adoption, African mothers prefer this to denying the children a chance to life.  

Nneoma Anieto paid her first visit to the school in order to deliver some donation to the school on behalf of her brother, and here she kindly shares her impressions.

 

Apparently, a lot of people knew the location of the… click here to read whole article and make comments


 
February
25
 

Museveni tutors Obama in Gay Rhetoric

tags: homosexuality

If it weren't a serious matter, Museveni’s letter to Barack Obama on homosexuals would be funny.  Uganda has just joined the growing list of African countries to criminalize homosexual unions and public displays. It is also increasing the tally of African countries making a choice for poverty rather than betray their consciences, seeing some western countries (US, France, etc.) threaten to withdraw economic aid on account of their stance on gay unions.  What is however novel for me was the Ugandan president's apparent dominion of both logic and rhetoric in his counter-barb to US Barack Obama, the supposed master of words and double-speak.

If Obama stands on respect for public opinion, Museveni stands on public morality.  In the latter’s view Obama has no right dictating what happens in an African setting, if Africans (though they disagree with much going… click here to read whole article and make comments


 
January
08
 

Nigeria will be a world economic giant, says BRIC inventor

tags: MINT, BRIC, Nigeria, economic growth

Jim O’Neill, the economist who coined the BRIC acronym, has invented another one, MINT, predicting Nigeria as one of four countries that will be the next world economic giants.  The countries are Mexico, Indonesia, Nigeria and Turkey. 

The four MINT countries have several things in common, their large population, an asset of human resources seen by some in the west as retrogressive, but a treasure which the countries in question guard jealously.  With 250 million people Indonesia is the fourth largest country in the world, while Nigeria has 170 million. 

O’Neill also believes that within the next 20 years, these four countries will see an improved “inner” demographics where the number of people eligible to work outpace those without work. 

Another common feature of three of the countries apart from Turkey, is that they are big commodity producers, another huge plus. 

click here to read whole article and make comments

 
December
28
 

Light from Africa

tags: best of, Harambee, lists, MercatorNet

Africa has a bright future, with its young and growing population and strong social ties. The media highlights the dark side of the world's fastest growing continent; MercatorNet is far more optimistic in its unique blog Harambee. Here are the year's top posts. 

Making sense of Kenya’s Westgate terror attack 

At 95, Nelson Mandela shows how good can drown evil

How to rewrite Africa's history

Africa stands up to Obama against gay unions

Despite modernization Nigeria retains her kings

Nigerian village celebrates 2 year record of zero infant, zero maternal mortality

Digital innovations on the heels of Kenya's Westgate terror

Europe ignores Africa to its peril

Mugabe et al: Power that kills!

Enugu Book Project founder dies

The Vibrant Faith… click here to read whole article and make comments


 
December
02
 

Building Africa’s Silicon Valley in Kenya

tags: silicon valley, kenya

Over the last decade Kenya has experienced a boost in its economy. This can be attributed to a shift from a largely agricultural and tourism based economy to a service and technology based one, especially in the area of telecommunications. But just as the face of a clock hides behind it a complex mechanism of gears and moving parts, each interacting in a cause-effect relationship, Kenya´s economic growth has had several factors behind it.

For one, the increasingly accessible primary and secondary school education has led to a higher literacy level among both urban and rural youth, with the added result that more boy and girls between the ages of 16 and 19 are sitting for the annual national examinations required for university admission.  This translates to more than 750,000 students per year. 

There is a problem with this however since the public… click here to read whole article and make comments


 
November
26
 

Toys for Africa

tags:

Danie van Loggerenberg had his own company, he was rich but he was not happy.  He then thought of doing something unique for African children, most of whom were often in need of food and clothing.  He thought that children really should not have to worry about these, but should also play.  How about giving an African child a toy - not just any used toy, but a brand new toy of the child's choosing.  He founded "Toys for Africa" to do just that.

“Four years ago I had a marketing company and was making a lot of cash, but I wasn’t happy. I prayed about it and felt that I needed to start working with children. I wanted to make a difference to people who cannot repay you; children appreciate everything.”

He goes to orphanages and… click here to read whole article and make comments


 

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