FemiNazi Much?

By: Jessica Naa Ahiney Boifio and Jeanne-Barbara Esinam Debre

All over the world, there has been an increase in the number of women who have taken up positions in either in the boardroom or in parliament, thanks to the quota system. Africa certainly is in the thick of it. Rwanda has women taking up 51 out of 80 seats in parliaments thanks to a legislative quota set making it the country with the largest percentage of women in parliament (64%). South Africa ranks 8th with 42% of women in parliament, and the Central Bank Governor being a woman as well. Liberia and Malawi have female presidents too. Nigeria has joined the fray by increasing its quota from 5% to 7% via mandatory quotas.http://econ.st/1pELwox

If you have no idea what quotas are well…http://bit.ly/1pELbCk

In Africa, women play a major role in all aspects of life, especially economically within the agricultural sector. There have been calls and refrains to get women a much stronger voice by giving them a bigger representation in ‘power positions’. Usually these are backed by the need for equality powered by feminists because in the world as we have it, macho men really wouldn’t want to lose even a small part of the power they wield. Don’t get it wrong, there’s nothing wrong with fighting for equality when the intention is right. Imagine people calling for more women with the right qualifications and capabilities to actually make a difference to be represented. Or even suggesting training and honing skills and passion of women who want to serve but do not have the right qualifications to do so. That’s fine. That’s more than fine.

When it crosses over to the absurd where the anthem becomes “throw as many of them in because they are women” and you ask, “well ok…but what qualifications do they have to become board chairpersons, ministers, members of parliament?” and the answers range from “they are women. We need more women” to “equality, equality, equality” or something along the lines of “she sounds nice, looks nice, maybe she can’t talk but she is beautiful” there lies a problem. There’s where the feminazis pitch their camp; where the push for number far outweighs that for people who can actually do the job, and where the point is lost.

Feminazis. Mix of hardcore feminists with Nazi tendencies.

What’s the point of all of this? It’s great that we’re fighting for ‘equality’ for women however, perhaps more resources should be put into training these women to do what is expected of them when promoted or support should be given them in the areas where they excel and thrive. Otherwise really, what is the point?

 

 

Homosexuality in Morocco : To go or stay?

Very recently, Moroccans have moved out of hiding and publicly expressed their sexual feelings for people of the same sex. King of Morocco, King Sidi Moulay was recently outed as being gay. Though he has not come out to publicly declare this rumor true, neither has he denied it. Morocco is one out of 7 Islamic countries that still frown upon this activity. The court has however proven to be very lenient against Lesbianism, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) charges. A few years ago, 2 men were caught expressing their feelings at a police checkpoint. They were arrested and sentenced to 3 months in prison, a charge less than what the Moroccan law, Article 489 of the Penal code with criminalizes “lewd or unnatural acts with an individual of the same sex” and is punishable from 4 months to 3 years.

With all these and more, is there a need to still enforce this law? We think not. Kif Kif is a magazine published by an organization of gay people to protect their freedom of expression. Though being counter attacked, the magazine has been able to capture the attention of many, including the Moroccan government and raises strong arguments in favor of Homosexuality. In an article published in Menassat, a Lebanese writer explains the motivation for Kif Kif, stating “The only thing we can do is add our own voice to the debate in the hope that we will be able to change, even if we realize that such a thing is quite impossible in the near future.”

Looking back from 2007 to today, it has been observed that the Moroccan government has slowly moved from a closed society to a more open one. This is evident from the governments’ refusal to ban Elton Jon, a popular gay singer from performing, stating that, “We did not invite this singer/artist after assessing his private life.” They furthermore explained that his private life was none of their business. Also, the release of the above mentioned gay-interest Magazine is evidence that Morocco’s society is now opening up and developing.

Moreover, the country has entertained especially gay tourists to practice this activity in the country with the most popular event happening some years back where a social gathering was instead a gay party. YouTube videos were posted after this party displaying extremely suspicious gay activities. Even though this party raised legal actions, the activity has more or less, proven to be extremely active in the country.

Now, the question remains…is there a need for homosexuality to be removed, or should it stay? Personally, my colleague author and I suggest that homosexuality is an activity that does not have detrimental effects on humans, Morocco, or the world as a whole. Thus, we feel that the Moroccan government remove the ban on homosexuality and concentrate on much more important aspects within the country. Homosexuality, though some argue as being ungodly must be learned to be accepted by the citizens of Morocco or tolerate the upcoming gay population that are slowly over shadowing the country.

By : Mr. QiChen

Mr. Fred Asiedu

The African Image

What is the one thing that comes to mind when you hear Africa? Poverty, Sickness, Famine, A third world continent right? These things and more are the perceptions most people from the west and other parts of the world have about Africans. Why is this the case? Well, that is what they are made to believe. 90% of the stories being told about Africa are skewed towards negativity. If they are not talking about a war somewhere in Nigeria, then it is about hunger and famine in Somalia. Or it will be (more negative things that are said about Africa). The news hardly ever talks about good things being done here on the Continent. I cannot say I blame them entirely though because after all, bad news sell better than good news. Moreover those foreign media houses have nothing really to loose if they tell our bad stories only instead of the good ones. They also tend to exaggerate issues and make them look worse off than they already are. Whatever the reason is, we cannot tell. It probably is one of their ways to get these negative stories to sell even better.

If there is anyone that is to blame for the terrible images that are being portrayed about us, we should blame ourselves because we sit back and do nothing. We are not able to tell our stories the way we want them to be told and the way they ought to be told. Not to say that we should tell lies or sugar coat the truth, but then we should be able to say for ourselves what really is, and should be able to sell our stories to the rest of the world. Not just the negative or just the positive, but a balance of both, to show the true Africa!

Lets take a look at Aljazeera for example, they are arguably the most credible international media house in the Middle East, run by people of the Middle East but that is the problem. Aljazeera is the only one we know. The only thing Africa has to boast of is a Focus on Africa program on BBC Africa. Even that it was just recently that it Africans began running it. All the rest are probably just local news agencies that tell local news to local people. How about if we had our own versions of BBC, CCN and/or SKY? If we took journalism and the entire media much more serious than we are doing now, if we were able to tell the true African stories and not leave other people to do it for us, I am pretty sure if the same question is asked again, What is the one thing that comes to mind when you hear Africa? Very different answers will be gotten. They would have a better understanding of what the continent really is like, and not just have the perception of Africa being a hopeless continent filled with so much negativity.

By: Wendy Amartey & Frederick Apronti

The African Image

Africa, just like any other continent has its ups and downs, shame and glories, hopes and fears. Africa is not just about AIDS, hunger, poverty, the starving child, monkeys who still live on tress, wars and political instability as perceived by Westerners.

Almost all foreign countries have an area that is deeply affected by either poverty or social vices e.g (Chicago and Detriot). This shows that  every country has its flaw

With that being said, we believe that the perception Westerners have about Africa is not entirely the Westerner’s fault as Africans have a part to play in the way we are perceived by Westerners. At the end of the day, the way you carry yourself, determines the way you will be perceived. Most African countries have a lot of resources which generate revenue, But even with the huge amount of revenue generated, our African leaders have failed to allocate the revenue generated efficiently.

Lets take the country Nigeria which is rich in oil for example. What will you expect to see when you step into the Murtala Mohammed International Airport? I bet you, you will want to see a world class state of the art airport but  will wonder if the country is truly rich in oil. As we all know first impressions matter. Now taking a look at President Goodluck Jonathan’s daughter’s wedding. This is a wedding where over a 1000 guests received a CUSTOMIZED GOLD PLATED IPHONE 5S! as a take home gift for attending the wedding.

Meanwhile there are over thousands of people suffering who require basic needs such as health care and food but do not have access to them and an airport which is crying for help. 

We should focus on how to grow and improve our continent to change the perceptions people have of Africa. Africa is a country of great economic potential. 

 

By Funmilola Okokuro-Francis and Zeina Kowalski 

The Danger of Africa’s Single Story

Posted by Anna Tetteh and James Amoakohene

James: Charle Anna wasup?

Anna: I’m cool ooo, fresh boy. Shieee, AIS eh! Ok, any ideas

James: Honestly I’m out of ideas. The topic is GM foods right?

Anna: GM foods? Me I couldn’t find much about Gabon and GM foods ooo. Why don’t we do Friday’s topic, African Image?

James: Ok…. so what can you say about the African Image?

Anna: Well some time back, a friend who went on an exchange programme to the US mentioned how the Americans asked her questions about Africa, whether we live on trees and if we have wild animals for pets. So I think that these questions reflect Western perception about Africans.

James: Yea that’s true. I also have friends studying abroad who say the same thing. A friend who was playing basketball with his mates was asked how he learnt to play so well because they know that we don’t play such games here. The other questions they asked clearly showed that they thought Africa to be a village. My friend was hurt, but then he understood that they were ignorant. Personally, I think Africa is a place of great opportunity; a place where you can call home and a place where liberty is really felt. Unfortunately our dear brothers and sisters in the western part of the world do not see it from that angle, but see it as a “jungle.” I do not blame them for their misconceptions about this great continent, but rather I believe the western media must shoulder the blame. Now if one should go on the internet to BBC news and should go to the section that gives news on Africa, I can guarantee the first three stories would be on wars, poverty and starvation. I do not dispute the fact that Africa has more than its fair share of problems; but to judge a book by its cover, and not what really is in it, brings a whole lot of issues to the table. With a lack of understanding of the African continent, the western world has a one dimensional view of Africa and may not see Africa as profitable to live in. I think if the media shows some of the luxurious and beautiful cities that we have then Africa will be seen as a place to visit, and not a place full of misery.

Anna: Hm! Well said James, but I disagree with you on some points. Why blame Western media? If there is any blame at all, I think we also have our own share in it. I remember when Atta Mills died in 2012; the radio stations could not carry out their own investigations to give us an accurate report of his death. Most, if not all, were relying on hearsay and BBC News, a foreign media body, to report the news to Ghanaians. I know this for a fact because the following day, Kwame Sefa Kayi held a discussion on Peace fm and mentioned this and how appalling it was that our journalists first heard of the President’s death on BBC. So you see to some extent we have allowed them to report what they think about our issues.
Also, I believe presenting just the luxurious side of Africa is not the way forward. In fact, your mention of the BBC reporting bad news for Africa reminds me of Chimamanda’s TEDTalk video on the Danger of a Single Story. Let’s Google it and see what we can draw from it.

Readers please watch the video while following what ensues in our conversation below.

Video link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D9Ihs241zeg

Commenting on 3:00- 4:12 (of the video): about Fide the houseboy and his family.
James: You seee! If people have a negative perception about something created from the negative story they have heard, they would not know of the positive side of the story if they do not dig deep into it.

Commenting on 4:13-5:20: about American room-mate
James: I told you, I told you. What’s your take on this?

Anna: I think everyone, black or white, is in a danger of making opinions based on a single story. Even though our focus is about the single story of negativity being presented by Western media, we, and most Africans, also have a single story about America; that all is rosy in America. Ever hear of the American dream?

James: (while nodding head) Yea…. that’s nice.

Commenting on 6:00 – 6:34
James: I knew she was going to link Fide’s story to the roommate’s story and infer that one must not judge a book by its cover. Until you have read the book, you can’t tell the complete story.

Commenting on 8:20-9:25
Anna: You see the point I was making earlier about everyone being a victim of to the danger of a single story.

Anna & James both laugh at the joke from 10:53-11:33

Commenting on 13:13
Anna: You see. So the effect of a single story is that it creates stereotypes and that is what we have. Africa is being stereotyped in the west as being poor, hungry etc.

Some minutes later
Anna & James both agree about there being an African network that tells balanced stories.

Reaction to 18:32: Anna joins the video audience in clapping

Anna: (looking at the course outline) So, what can we say to conclude? Why have the international media representations of Africa been so negative?

James: I think they have been negative because they do not dig deep into the story by researching about it. They just pick what others say.

Anna: Hmm…true. And just like that game “Chinese whisperers,” when it gets to the final listener (in this case the American), the story’s message is completely distorted. I also think that for media everywhere, bad news sells more than good news. However, consider the fact that it is this negative news that is giving us this foreign aid attention and may also be why Ghana for instance, had its foreign debt cancelled during the Kufuor administration.

James: Yea, what you are saying is very true and it is weird how people want to hear the bad news first.

Anna: (with a skeptical look) are you sure about that?

James asks two people in the class which news they want to hear first and both say the bad.

Anna: (laughing) Ok.

James: But then, on a more serious and final note, at the Literary Art and Social Change talk held here on campus, I asked M.anifest about what strategies musicians can use to break the barriers of how Westerners see Africa, and I side with what he said: that he had stopped thinking about the stories the West is presenting about Africa and is focusing on playing his role to help develop Africa.

 

DEVELOPMENT OR CORRUPTION? – AFRICAN’S DILEMMA

BY DANIEL KWESI ADU AND HARRY COKER.

Africans are the strongest people I have ever come across on earth but on the other hand, we have the weakest speculations imaginable. We live in a continent where people break rules just to get the cut irrespective of the long-term impact it may pose on our national development. We muddle through our unpredicted days on earth hoping to move a step forward in attaining development but fail to realize the fact that our foot is stuck in the mud of corruption. Are we privileged to be used as scapegoats when issues of corruption are raised anywhere in the world? Obviously No is the only bell that chimes in the conscience of every rational person. So, why engage in these activities then?

President John Mahama, upon reviewing the results of an intensive investigation conducted by Manasseh Azure, an investigative analyst of JOYFM, to clarify the alleged corruption in Ghana Youth Employment and Entrepreneurial Development Agency (GYEEDA), terminated most GYEEDA contracts with its service providers irrespective of the fact that his actions were going to render over 450,000 youths under the program unemployed. It is quite disturbing why leaders should continue to pump so much money in an agency that has so many allegations of corruption being leveled against them. Research has it that GYEEDA receives about GH950 million annually from the government to help train youths with the aim of reducing unemployment. An amount that is apparently more than the profits generated by three top banks in Ghana namely Barclays, Standard Chartered and Eco bank.

           Going to the extreme of terminating operations in GYEEDA has not fully tackled corruption in Ghana. “Whenever there are lots of money in Africa, there is corruption“ and this is the stereotype Africa is being attributed to if her members do not join in the fight against corruption. Our forefathers shed their blood in the struggle for independence from the corrupt and evil hands of colonization in the light that the black man might attain development. Do we think they will be proud of what we have transformed Africa into? We have allowed foreign cultures to corrupt our rich and true African heritage. If anyone doubts this fact, he or she should conduct a random survey purposely to know the favorite designer of Africans and I can bet my last cedi that foreign designers will dominate. Our resources have been used as leverage for settling huge government debts but the question we constantly pose to ourselves is “Which sector are these borrowed monies including foreign aids reflecting?”

            It is quite suspicious how the governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Lamido Sanusi accused the state oil company, Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC), of failing to account for $20 billion in oil revenues and was sacked shortly after for alleged financial recklessness. Nigeria is currently branded as the most corrupt country in the whole of Africa and I do not see any efforts being made to help eradicate corruption in Nigeria. In other news, Nigeria’s Minister of Finance, Ngozi Okonjo- Iweala was interviewed on British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), where she was asked why $100 million a month in the kerosene subsidy had not been budgeted for. All she could say was “it just was not budgeted for, that is all”. This reason is not tangible. What we need is a tangible reason why the kerosene subsidy was not budgeted for. For a country that strives to tackle corruption, I believe it should be tackled from the pioneers of corruption in Nigeria, being the leaders before narrowing down to the citizens of Nigeria. Africa is tarnishing its image to the outside world. We are projecting ourselves as a weak and hopeless continent and this is making foreigners take advantage of us to exploit the rich resources we have.

            There is however a big trade off between Africa being corrupt and developing in the sense that we have allowed the love of money to interfere in our way of sustainable development. Until we get rid of that impediment, we will have no development. It is high time we sacrificed our love for money for the love for development.

The one story that comes out of the mouth of every flag bearer of any political party in Africa is the promise to fight corruption. They say this just so the people give them the mandate to head their various countries; once they get in power all promises of fighting corruption is forgotten. Focus is rather drawn to the apportioning of state money between officials and executives of the political party in power. These leaders who stand before us and promise us to eradicate corruption are themselves corrupt.

It is sad to note that our beloved continent is filled many leaders who only think of filling their pockets with the monetary wealth of the continent. There are only a few who have the interest and development of the continent as a whole at heart. Speak of the late Nelson Mandela of South Africa and the late Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah of Ghana and you would have mentioned great leaders of Africa who had the development and interest of their country, people and Africa at heart.

Every leader gets up and speaks of development of his or her respective country and Africa as a whole. Where is this development you talk about? Where are the roads, the health care centers, schools, jobs, recreational centers etc.? Where is all the money acquired from foreign aid being channeled? In the name of saving our people who are dying of hunger, these monies obtained from foreign aid are used to enhance the luxurious living of our leaders. Why Africa??

 

 

 

Is Our Oil Going To Catch The Disease? (What’s Next?)

BY DANIEL KWESI ADU

As though we were not blessed enough with all our abundant mineral resources such as gold and diamond, we recently discovered that the Big Man above had also blessed us with oil. What we wish and pray for is for us not to end up like many other oil producing countries. Despite the benefits derived from the possession of this mineral, there are many downsides to it thus the saying “every advantage comes along with a disadvantage too”. Nigeria has its own share of the various problems associated with oil; Libya on the other hand is no exception. 

By Grace, Ghana has not yet experienced any of these problems until quite recently. I use the word yet because from the way we happen to be going about the management of our oil, it is so evident that the worse is yet to come. If only we had paid attention to the advise of the Norwegians we would not have to be living in fear of contracting this disease referred to as the Dutch Disease. Government earnings from oil for the first eight months of the year 2013 rose above the end year target while that of cocoa and gold have slumped, further intensifying fears that the country is inching closer to the much dreaded Dutch Disease.

Our country budgeted to collect GH 1.12 billion from oil in 2013 however the eight-month period earnings of GH 1.15 billion meant that the country had already exceeded its end of year target from petroleum by about 2.68 percent according to the Minister of finance and Economic Planning ( MoFEP ) , Mr. Seth Terkper.  Although this is a positive development for the nation, it is important to note that this development comes at a time period where there are shortfalls in total revenue and grants resulting mainly from delayed disbursement of grants from our development partners and lower than anticipated domestic tax collections.

These together with rising expenditures, have put government budget off gear while reigniting the debate on the existence or otherwise of the Dutch Disease. This disease is an economic ailment that boosts growth in the petroleum sectors of oil rich countries causing them to limit investments and attentions to non-oil sectors such as cocoa and gold. This often leads to a contraction in the agriculture and manufacturing sectors as well.

 

REFERENCE

http://www.ghanaweb.com/GhanaHomePage/NewsArchive/artikel.php?ID=289557