Monthly Archives: September 2013

Kagame: “Our Guy” or His Own Man?

This is one of the many questions, people ask, reflecting on who the Rwandan president works for particularly looking at the scale of atrocities he is responsible of in the Great Lakes region for so many years. Continue reading

Barriers to African regional integration: the international aid system and corporate interests

 

Who is rethinking African development?

Who is rethinking African development?

By Alex de Waal

Why is the entire African continental economy no larger than Spain’s, at $580 billion? Why is the combined GDP of the 40-plus countries that lie between South Africa and Egypt scarcely bigger than the annual turnover of ExxonMobil? There’s a weary consensus that blames low prices for Africa’s agricultural exports, corruption, cash-starved infrastructure and, increasingly, the devastating economic impact of AIDS. But less explored is the perverse logic of dividing Africa’s small economic space into fifty sovereign entities. Regional economic integration is an absolute prerequisite for poverty reduction: expanding markets, attracting investment, and increasing savings. Unfortunately, there are powerful interests that stand in its way – mainly the politicians and bureaucrats who extract rent from their possession of sovereign privileges to tax and regulate. Continue reading

The world needs peace – but not a Pax Americana

by Cynthia McKinney

Cynthia McKinneyFormer Georgia Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney, who last week completed a peace mission to Syria along with former U.S. Attorney General Ramsey Clark and others, delivered the following address to the IBON Conference on Democracy, Self-Determination and Liberation of Peoples. The conference was held Sept. 23 at the European Parliament in Brussels, Belgium. Continue reading

Message of Solidarity with Kilombo 2013 Conference

Kwame Nkrumah

Kwame Nkrumah

As the 2nd Annual Kilombo Conference starts this Friday 27th September 2013 in Peki Ghana, it is critical for the African Diaspora and Africans all over the continent to be with our brothers and sisters discussing the right way forward for our motherland.

In February 2013 while researching about the history of Pan Africanism I found out that from the initial Pan-African Conference held in Manchester in 1945 at which Nkwame Nkrumah took part, 12 years passed before Ghana became independent in 1957.

In 1958 at the first All African People’s Conference which invited leaders of already independent African states and those of African movements of liberation from across the continent, participants learnt from Nkrumah a big deal in freeing the continent and efforts of uniting it against the then colonialist powers and future neo-colonialist forces.

It is more than a half century since those years of the continent’s political independence and early organizing for African unity, but the context seems not to have changed drastically. Our countries are still seen from outside through the loops of the heart of darkness of Joseph Conrad. Only actors and strategies of exploitation of the continent from that past appear today different, but the fundamentals remain the same as those of back then.

The spirit of our forefathers lives on in some of us. We are today seeking solutions to the real problems of poverty and freedom of Africans at the grass root level in rural and cities. Kilombo Centre is one of such examples.

Patrice Lumumba. He was among the participants of the All African Peoples' Conference held in Accra in 1958 and organised by Nkwame Nkrumah.

Patrice Lumumba. He was among the participants of the All African Peoples’ Conference held in Accra in 1958 and organised by Nkwame Nkrumah.

Though some of us are far from the continent physically, we are totally with you in spirit. Please consider this as a testimony of our total support and commitment to what Kilombo is doing to improve Africans’ lives radically, no matter how long it will take and all the sacrifices to be endured to get there. 

Ambrose Nzeyimana, Co-ordinator
Organising for Africa
United Kingdom

Video

Rwanda: Presidential Advisory Council members meet on Sunday 22/09/13 in New York

From a national strategic perspective, the Presidential Advisory Council [PAC] structure in itself and initial conception would be a significant means for the development of Rwanda.

Unfortunately, since its launch in 2007, what it has achieved is primarily to reinforce apartheid types of policies which exclude the majority of Rwandans, prioritizing a separate development benefiting a tiny minority consisting mainly of Tutsi elites while the rest of the Hutu population is in the process dispossessed of the little assets it had, its children are excluded from education, is unemployed, and health is only available to the wealthy.

Another important aspect of the PAC structure and its neo-liberal tendency – apparently linked to its selective particular foreign membership – is that it has become an instrument for the Rwandan president in gaining support for his regional or national misdeeds, either for his interference in Congo to plunder mineral resources or his crackdown on political dissidence and stifling democracy.

As of 2009 the list of PAC members was as follows. Obviously many names do not appear anymore in the present membership or new others do for different particular reasons. Others have changed positions or allegeances.

The members Presidential Advisory Council as of 2009:

  1. Scott Ford – President and CEO of Alltel
  2. Sir Tom Hunter – Scottish entrepreneur, philanthropist, co-founder Clinton-Hunter Development Initiative
  3. Dr. Donald Kaberuka – President of the African Development Bank Group, former Minister of Finance, Rwanda
  4. Dr. Clet Niyikiza – GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) Vice President of Worldwide Research & Development
  5. Kaia Miller – founder of Aslan Global, Inc.
  6. Joe Ritchie – Rwanda’s Honorary Consul in Chicago, founder Fox River Financial Resources, Inc and CEO of Rwanda Developement Board.
  7. Michael Roux – Rwanda’s Honorary Consul General in Australia, Chairman, Asian Markets, KPMG; Roux International Pty Ltd; RI Group;
  8. Bishop John Rucyahana – Retired ex-Bishop of Shyira Diocese of Rwanda
  9. Tribert Rujugiro Ayabatwa – Rwandan Entrepreneur, Board President of Rwanda Investment and Export Promotion Agency
  10. Dr. Eliane Ubalijoro – Assistant Professor at McGill University, Canada
  11. Pastor Rick Warren – Religious leader, founder Saddleback Church, and PEACE Plan.
  12. Prof. Michael Porter is also a member of PAC though he did not attend the launch.
  13. Tony Blair, former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.

Others PAC members are:

  1. Bel Dowson
  2. James Musoni, Rwanda’s minister of Finance
  3. Rosemary Museminari, Rwanda’s Foreign Affairs minister
  4. Gatare Francis, new Personal Representative of President Kagame to the NEPAD Steering Committee
  5. Himbara David, Private Secretary to President Kagame
  6. Kanimba François. Governor, Rwanda National Bank
  7. Michael Fairbank, Chairman Emeritus and founder of The OTF Group, a software and strategy consulting firm based in USA.