Comment on Banners Design for Mobile Unlock Base by MichaelImmed        
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          Up And Coming International Vacation Spots        
Things change fast in the international world of travel. From time to time, there are fairly untouched gems, like Mozambique 15 years ago or Cuba 10 years ago. For very different reasons, Germany, Argentina, the Philippines, and Madagascar are destinations to consider or re-consider for your up-and-coming vacation bucket list.
          World: FPMA Bulletin #7, 10 August 2017        
Source: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
Country: Argentina, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Bolivia (Plurinational State of), Brazil, Burundi, Cambodia, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Georgia, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, Malawi, Mexico, Moldova, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Peru, Russian Federation, Rwanda, Somalia, South Africa, South Sudan, Sri Lanka, Swaziland, Tajikistan, Thailand, Togo, Uganda, Ukraine, United Republic of Tanzania, Viet Nam, World, Zambia

Key messages

  • International prices of wheat rose further in July on quality concerns, particularly for higher protein wheat, although upward pressure was limited by prospects of ample global supplies. Export prices of maize remained generally unchanged, while a slowdown in demand capped gains in rice quotations.
  • In East Africa, prices of cereals in most countries declined signi cantly for the second consecutive month in July with the new harvests, but remained generally higher than a year earlier. However, in Ethiopia, prices of maize surged further and reached record levels, underpinned by uncertain prospects for the 2017 crops.
  • In the CIS, prices of staple potatoes declined sharply from the record or near-record highs of June in most countries of the subregion with the beginning of the new harvest. Prices, however, remained higher than in July last year after the sharp increases of the past months.

          World: Food Assistance Outlook Brief, August 2017        
Source: Famine Early Warning System Network
Country: Afghanistan, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Central African Republic, Chad, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Mozambique, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Uganda, United Republic of Tanzania, World, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe

This brief summarizes FEWS NET’s most forward-looking analysis of projected emergency food assistance needs in FEWS NET coverage countries. The projected size of each country’s acutely food insecure population is compared to last year and the recent five-year average. Countries where external emergency food assistance needs are anticipated are identified. Projected lean season months highlighted in red indicate either an early start or an extension to the typical lean season. Additional information is provided for countries with large food insecure populations, an expectation of high severity, or where other key issues warrant additional discussion.


          Mozambique establishes Africa's Largest Marine Reserve        
Picture: 2oceansvibe

The Primeiras and Segundas have been approved as a marine protected area in Mozambique making this diverse ten-island archipelago Africa’s largest coastal marine reserve.

Comprising ten islands off the coast of northern Mozambique, and featuring abundant coral and marine turtle species, the protected area will cover more than 1,040,926 hectares. WWF has worked for eight years to secure this important marine reserve, which has been threatened by overfishing and unauthorised tourism.

Located in the northern region of the country, between Nampula and Zambezia Provinces, the declaration of the Primeiras and Segundas environment protection area represents the second major conservation area to be declared within the last two years.

The archipelago includes the most robust and diverse coral community in Mozambique. It is rich in mangroves, marine life, deep underwater canyons and large seagrass beds. Due to cold nutrient-rich upwellings, the archipelago is spared coral bleaching, a common problem in other coral-rich areas, making these some of the most globally productive and important reefs on the planet.

The area is also of great economical importance. Artisanal, semi-industrial, and industrial fishermen have been carrying out their fishery activities in the same area. Thus, all fishing activity within the archipelago area shows signs of overexploitation, with some species on the brink of collapse.

Read more: http://wwf.panda.org/wwf_news/?206632/Mozambique-creates-Africas-largest-coa
 

          Google Earth, class is now in session        

So much of what students learn in the classroom—from social studies to history, science and literature—relates to a geographic place on Earth. Recently, we announced a new version of Google Earth, and since then, educators have been telling us what a valuable tool Google Earth is for their students. They use the “I’m feeling lucky” feature to inspire writing exercises, do research exercises with Knowledge Cards, and explore satellite imagery and cloud strata with their students. Now, to make it even easier for teachers to use Google Earth in the classroom, we’ve created a new “Education” category in the Voyager section, which includes new stories—complete with classroom activities—from National Geographic Society, PBS Education, HHMI Biointeractive and Mission Blue.

Edu-category600px.gif
Just click the new "Education" category on the Voyager homepage for new stories, complete with classroom activities for teachers

The National Geographic Society stories take students on adventures following explorers through the Middle East, India, and coral reefs. To supplement the experience, National Geographic Society created idea for activities that highlight a range of geographical concepts, such as interpreting land forms and comparing map projections.

With PBS Education, classrooms can go back in time and track the paths of famous explorers, from Lewis and Clark to the Vikings. As students follow along, they, in turn, become modern-day explorers.

HHMI Biointeractive and Mission Blue created Voyager stories more geared towards science and math. With HHMI Biointeractive, students join “Scientists at Work” as they investigate important problems, from endangered coral reefs to the Ebola outbreak. And Mission Blue’s story teaches students about the unique oceanographic conditions of Costa Rica thermal dome. Short videos and questions embedded in the stories will help guide students with their own scientific research.

Educators everywhere can find classroom activities (created by teachers, for teachers) at our new Google Earth Education website, and easily share locations and stories directly to Google Classroom. In addition, this week Google Earth will become an Additional Service for Google for Education users, which can be managed by IT administrators through the Google Admin console.

Google Earth was built to inspire curious minds to explore, learn and care about our vast, fragile planet. With these updates, we’re excited to make it easier for the next generation to see the world from a new perspective.


          Scientists on the Margins        
by
David Nobes
2005-01-30

INTRODUCTION

The World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) was convened in Geneva in December of 2003. When the World Summit was announced, many in the scientific community questioned why there was no clear or central role for science and scientists. Scientists at CERN, in particular, expressed their concerns because CERN, one of the premier international collaborative scientific institutions, is regarded by many as the “birthplace” of the Internet.

As a result of the interventions of scientists, the UN and WSIS Secretariat proposed to hold an additional, but separate meeting ahead of the World Summit - the Role of Science in the Information Society (RSIS). The Role of Science meeting was also held in Geneva, at CERN, immediately before the World Summit. Many who attended RSIS also attended the WSIS. (The RSIS website is still active, as of January 2005).

The RSIS was intended to provide a forum whereby scientists and science administrators could contribute to the ongoing discussions on the Information Society. The discussions focussed on information sharing - the mechanisms for such sharing, and the impact on society that information sharing could have, because it became quickly apparent that information sharing is one of the primary elements in what we have come to call the Information Society, which I will abbreviate here as IS. Information technology is abbreviated as IT.

At this point, it should be noted that many of the participants, this author included, wondered what influence we scientists might have on the larger World Summit. Because of its separateness, many attendees doubted, sometimes publicly, that we would have much impact on the main WSIS “event” (the term used on the website and in the printed material). Many felt that the meeting was nonetheless useful, but more for the informal networks and contacts that we made, rather than for the formal proceedings. This reflects the nature of the Internet and modern electronic communications, which was nicely and concisely described by Tim Berners-Lee, who developed the browser-based interface, the “World Wide Web,” now concomitant with the popular conception of the Internet. He portrayed the “essence” of the Web as “decentralized” and “fractal.” It was originally designed to fill a need to share information (“data”) that was different in nature, format, and style.

[ For a much different conception of a global informational network, albeit one that has yet to be put into popular practice, see the Home Page of Ted Nelson, eds. ]

At the end of the RSIS was a “Visionary Panel Discussion: Science and Governance.” Most of the panel members who discussed the future of the Internet used outdated and outmoded terminology and paradigms, and I think they missed some of the inherent anarchic and democratic aspects of the Internet. Many of us felt that the panel, with the exception of Berners-Lee, showed a lack of understanding of the Internet and the Web. Indeed, the character of the Internet and the Web in many ways reflect how human progress is made, whether we are discussing science or broader societal aspects. We take steps that wander up many blind alleys and false trails before hitting upon solutions to previously unsolved problems. The solutions are almost always imperfect and almost always later superseded by some better approach. It is necessarily unstructured and chaotic, as any creative activity will be. However, those involved directly, such as scientists, are often excluded from the decision-making processes, which tend to be dominated by politicians and bureaucrats who are in general sadly ignorant of science and its methods. I hope to expand on this theme in the report that follows. The issues raised are no less relevant and important a year on from the meeting. The most exciting and innovative projects described during the meeting emphasised the lack of centralized control over the Internet and the Web, and that such control is nearly impossible. We cannot control what people do with the Internet; instead the main issue should be about showing people how to use the Internet effectively and sceptically.

The structure of this report is simple. It follows the structure of the meeting, which was built around the central RSIS “themes”: education; economic development; environment; health; and enabling technologies. I summarise some of the main points and observations from each session, highlighting those talks, presentations and sessions that seem to have best captured the atmosphere of the RSIS and future of the Information Society.

OPENING PLENARY SESSION - “SETTING THE SCENE”

The opening plenary session comprised a series of presentations that ranged widely across the IS spectrum. Adolf Ogi, Special Advisor on WSIS to the Swiss Federal Council, officially welcomed the RSIS participants on behalf of Switzerland, the host country, and challenged the participants to promote “science for all, without boundaries.” He touched on the issues of control of technology and the role of infrastructure, and the costs associated with both. When we say “costs”, we mean both the cost to society as a whole and the cost to the individual. This becomes, then, a major concern in developing countries where personal monetary wealth is limited, and thus access to modern computing tools is limited.

Two speakers put the Role of Science in the context of the World Summit on the Information Society. Adama Samassékou, President of the WSIS Preparation Committee, addressed the gulf between the “haves” and the “have-nots,” using the now common phrase “the digital divide.” However, Samassékou went beyond these almost clichéd terms and viewpoints to discuss the traditional forms of knowledge, and how in the IS world oral traditions, and the information they transmit, are being lost, largely because we have not had a means to incorporate them into the technology of the IS. He emphasised the goal of a lack of boundaries for the sharing of information, and the need to promote the IS within an ethical framework. In this framework, he included environmental ethics. This theme arose again in the special session on the Environment in the IS.

Yoshia Utsumi, Secretary-General of the International Telecommunication Union, emphasised accessibility of IS, but his emphasis was on scientific access. This was perhaps a reflection of the audience, but was then limited in its scope, especially when considered in the light of some of the presentations that came later in the day. He noted the lack of scientific funding in the developing world, and the “problems” in science policy. My opinion is that “gap” may have been a more appropriate word, because few countries, developing or otherwise, have clear policies for the sharing of information, scientific or otherwise. Many that do have such policies, such as the U.S.A., obstruct information sharing for reasons of “security,” even though open access to data and information is often the best defence. However, as Utsumi noted, this was a beginning of the process of discussion and policy formulation.

After the two RSIS context speakers, we listened to three “keynote” speakers, each of whom gave brief talks: Dr Nitin Desai, Special Advisor to Kofi Annan on WSIS; HRH Princess Maha Chakro Sirindhom of Thailand; and Walter Erdelen, Assistant Director-General for Natural Sciences at UNESCO. These talks touched on issues of citizen-to-citizen communication and the “digital divide” (Desai), the lack of access to IT and concepts of sustainability in the IS (Sirindhom), and the environment (Erdelen).

Dr Esther Dyson, the Founding Chair of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), was listed as speaking on “the promise of the Information Society and the role that science and technology have played.” ICANN is the organisation responsible for mediating domain names. They do not assign names, per se, but monitor the process and the circumstances. They have little power, but unfortunately are often seen, incorrectly, as responsible for the current morass over domain names. Dyson did not speak on the listed topic, but instead talked about the role of scientists themselves, rather than some monolithic “science,” in the future of the IS. She also emphasised that we cannot solve the problems of the Internet in a question and answer session.

Finally, Ismail Serageldin, the Director-General of the Library of Alexandria, gave a PowerPoint presentation on the state of IT use at the Library. It is impossible to cover all of the material he (rapidly yet effectively) presented. The Bibliotheca Alexandrina is making use of IT in many ways, and to a large extent (their website is www.bibalex.org). Some of the problems and issues Serageldin identified for the RSIS were, to name a few:

* effective and accessible publication and dissemination of information, specifically research and the results of research;
* peer-review (or lack thereof for online publications);
* copyright and “fair use” of online materials; and
* Internet library loans.

He discussed the rise of anti-science movements, particularly in the context of fundamentalist religious groups, and both here and in his talk he noted that these were not only Islamic but also Christian fundamentalist groups. Some approaches they used to try to counter such movements were:

* the establishment of a BA science “supercourse”;
* reaching children with “My Book”, which placed the child within the book designed and partly written by the child using online resources; and
* the “Hole in the Wall” computer.

This last approach was particularly interesting and revolutionary. The concept is to place a PC secured into a recess in a wall, using a transparent cover to allow visibility and access to the touch screen. Results showed that illiterate people, especially children and young adults, were learning to read by working their way through Internet connections. They would begin by using the symbols to guide their way, but would eventually learn to decipher at least in part the messages that accompanied those symbols.

One unfortunate omission from the programme was the presentation by Tim Berners-Lee, who was delayed by a snowstorm in Boston, and did not arrive until half way through the second day of the symposium.

“THE FUTURE: What the Scientific Information Society Can Offer”

The next session was a bit of a misnomer. It was a mix of topics, ranging from GIS to technological access for urban and rural poor people to sociological aspects. The sociological paper was simply a written paper read aloud, with a singular lack of the use of any of the technology we had been discussing. The sociological presentation simply served to emphasise the growing gap between scientists and some social scientists, and made me uncomfortably aware of why the Sokal hoax had worked so well amongst the social science journals; the presentation was unnecessarily rife with jargon that obscures rather than informs.

As an aside, for those unfamiliar with the Sokal hoax, Allan Sokal is a Professor of Physics at New York University who submitted a hoax article, “Transgressing the Boundaries: Towards a Transformative Hermeneutics of Quantum Gravity” to the journal Social Text. As the Skeptics Dictionary says (http://skepdic.com/sokal.html):

The article was a hoax submitted, according to Sokal, to see “would a leading journal of cultural studies publish an article liberally salted with nonsense if (a) it sounded good and (b) it flattered the editors’ ideological preconceptions?” It would. Needless to say, the editors of Social Text were not pleased.

What Sokal was attacking was the view amongst some social scientists that “physical reality” is a social construct, whereas the existence of an external “world” is an underlying premise in science. There is insufficient space to explore this issue adequately here, but the reader is referred to the many websites dealing with the Sokal “affair” (especially, e.g., http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sokal_Affair and http://www.drizzle.com/~jwalsh/sokal/), and Sokal’s own site ( http://www.physics.nyu.edu/faculty/sokal/)

[ Amato writes at length of the Sokal Affair in sokal text: another funny thing happened on the way to the forum; and it is discussed in Kilgore’s review of Technoscience and Cyberculture, and Ciccoricco’s Contour of a Contour, eds. ]

In that session, nonetheless, were two presentations that stand out in my mind, those by Lida Brito, the Minister of Higher Education, Science, and Technology for Mozambique, and Onno Purbo, an engineer from Indonesia. Purbo talked about how to “Facilitate Fast and Self-Propelled Internet Access: Return to Society,” a presentation that was shifted from the second day into the first day’s programme. His presentation was, in many ways, a useful counterpoint to Serageldin’s, in particular the “Hole in the Wall” PC, noted above. Purbo obtains PC’s at low cost, usually sold cheaply or donated by large companies that are upgrading their computing systems. These PC’s are then made available in “classrooms” placed in poor urban and rural areas so that the local people can use the computers. They also learn to use the Internet. Purbo provides access by, as he put it, “stealing” open frequencies. He uses antennas ingeniously constructed from old tin cans; these are sufficient to provide the signal needed. He uses open source software, and emphasised that mass education is the key to providing a basic education to the broad populace.

His presentation also served to emphasise that education is crucial for informed and useful access to the Internet. Too many people, of whatever socio-economic level, “surf” the Net without any thought about the “information” they are obtaining. The websites they access are often a source of disinformation and misinformation. However, this also serves to reinforce the democratic nature of the Internet. We cannot control how people use the Web, and the fact that there are hundreds of sites devoted to Elvis may or may not be a sad commentary on our society, but it nonetheless also serves to show us how uncontrollable the Internet is.

I present the Elvis example, one noted at the meeting, not to denigrate the use of the Internet and the Web for such purposes. What it shows is that new technologies have become new instruments of entertainment, when the hope was that they would become self-directed teaching tools. My main point is that during many of the RSIS sessions, a number of our “elder statesmen” (and they were almost all male) talked about “control.” They seek to control access, information flow, and the development of the Internet. In this way, our “leaders” show their fundamental ignorance of this creature. I emphasise, again, Berners-Lee’s description of the Internet as a fractal and chaotic thing.

Brito’s presentation was, in contrast, a passionate “wish” list of what she would like to do and see happen, both in Mozambique and beyond. Her list was focussed around the themes of wider literacy and ” relevant ” knowledge.

The session ended with a panel discussion, ostensibly “Reflections on the Role of Science in the Information Society.” The participants each gave a short presentation, with a very brief period at the end for discussion. Most were much as expected, and a number were largely political in nature. One exception was Juergen Renn, of the Max Planck History of Science Institute and ECHO (European Cultural Heritage On-Line), who was concerned that the “core of cultural heritage is largely excluded from information technology” and noted how ECHO was formed to address this. He also briefly talked about the Berlin Declaration on Open Access to Knowledge in the Sciences and Humanities. (The full declaration can be found at: www.zim.mpg.de/openaccess-berlin/berlindeclaration.html). While the goals of the declaration are laudable, a number of participants were concerned about the lack of copyright protection, citing cases where work done by researchers in developing countries was plagiarised by researchers in developed countries.

So concluded the first day of the conference. A number of us noted a general lack of self-criticism in most of the presentations. There was a lot of vague language and abundant use of clichés, much “looking to the future” and long wish lists. The most exciting presentations, for me, were the ones that discussed concrete examples of taking IT to the broader populace, often in quite revolutionary ways, in all of the meanings of that phrase.

PARALLEL SESSIONS

I attended the session on “Contributions to Environment.” Other sessions were on Education, Economic Development, Health, and Enabling Technologies. All of these sessions had quite active online forums for discussion in the months leading up to the RSIS and WSIS symposiums, and the forums can be reviewed at the RSIS website. Most of us contributed to more than one online discussion group, but attended only one parallel session.

In the Environment session, most of the presentations focussed on technical and management issues. David Williams of EUMETSAT talked about the Global Earth Observation Systems and Strategies, focussing on data management and the move toward an Integrated Global Observation Strategy (IGOS), which seeks a comprehensive integrated effort. Such a move needs a “shared strategy,” and involves the participation of the UN, international scientific and research programmes, space agencies, etc. They seek to develop a common approach to surface and satellite observations. The international weather observation and forecasting network is one successful example where a common strategy and approach has been developed. Williams had many interesting and pithy quotes: “The world is full of data and short on information” is probably my favourite.

Patricio Bernal, of UNESCO and the IOC, talked about the Global Ocean Observation System (GOOS). There are regional GOOS “alliances.” New Zealand, where I am based, is a member of one such regional alliance. Bernal noted, however, that there needs to be an adaptation of international norms for data sharing to facilitate the further development of GOOS. This was a common theme that arose a number of times during the Environment parallel session, specifically, and the RSIS more generally. There are often conflicting protocols for sharing data and information and, as Williams’ quote illustrates, a set of data is not always usable information.

Josef Arbacher of the ESA talked about Global Monitoring for Environment and Security (GMES), a programme for monitoring of regional development, management of risk, and the guidance of crisis management and humanitarian aid. The ESA aims to have full capacity by 2012-2015. The EU will be spending 628 million euros in the 2004-2006 fiscal period, rising to 5005 million euros by the 2007-2015 period. Again, the issue of data sharing and accessibility arose, in addition to questions of data verification and transparency of the process.

Stuart Marsh, of the British Geological Survey Remote Sensing Group, talked about Geohazards and the IS. He noted that citizens are the ultimate beneficiaries, and suggested that there are three main user groups of geohazards information: “responsible authorities”, scientists in monitoring and government agencies, and research scientists. They have different needs, e.g., baseline inventory of hazards, monitoring, rapid dissemination of information during a crisis, etc. He noted, as did the others in the session, the need for an integrated approach from surface to space, and the need for but difficulty in bringing together the different types of data. Again, this raised the issue of data management. Marsh’s presentation also highlighted, however, the gap in our knowledge about the scientific literacy of our public “authorities.” Those responsible may well be local or regional officials who are far removed from those who gather and use the data/information. These officials may have no understanding of the processes involved, and their concerns may in fact run counter to the actions that should be taken to avert a crisis. The current crisis in South Asia in the wake of the tsunami illustrates many of these concerns. An early warning system was not in place because of the cost (both for the infrastructure development and for ongoing support) and because of the lack of technical expertise to staff such an enterprise.

This illustrates a major gap in the entire RSIS - there was little or no consideration of how we get technical information to the public officials and to the wider population. The entire issue of scientific literacy was glossed over, and instead most presenters focussed on those who were trained to use the data, when, as I noted earlier, most people are using the Internet in an undirected and uninformed way, so that they are unable or unwilling to distinguish “good” reliable information from poor quality “information” or even from reports that were consciously devised to misinform the “public.”

After Marsh, Stuart Salter, who leads the Species Information Service (SIS) of the World Conservation Union (IUCN), gave probably the most thoughtful of the Environmental presentations. He discussed “appropriate technologies.” As an example to start off his talk, he mentioned an emergency in Belize where large volumes of vaccine were required, but which went bad because of a lack of refrigeration. Those providing the vaccine were unaware of such a lack; it never occurred to them that large parts of the world still lack refrigeration. He used this to highlight the problem when a network of scientists (who he described as “free spirited individuals”), give “information” that needs to be organised in a common format and then propagated up and out into the community. His premise was that complex ICT systems could allow a simple “front end” and often can be configured by users to suit their purposes. He noted the need to change the “paradigm” whereby scientists visit a country, do their research, then leave and publish the results, leaving no net results in the visited country. He emphasised the need for using scientists in regional networks, working in existing well-functioning scientific and conservation networks. Then the data are vertically integrated in a relational database, using a GIS format. This is the mode of operation used successfully by the SIS for decades. The data are controlled by the scientific community, and the quality of the data is overseen by Specialist Groups, of which there are 128 in the SIS. The data are continuously updated. The SIS has thus grown from existing networks, rather than imposed from outside, which explains why it has worked so well.

Finally, Luigi Fusco of the ESA talked about “Emerging Technologies for Earth Observation and Environmental Applications.” He used as his example the wreck of the tanker “Prestige” off the northwest coast of Portugal and Spain. He noted that the satellite data were insufficient to be used alone, and that a wide range of technologies and their associated data, from surface through to satellite observations, needed to be integrated in a complex information management system. This theme of the need for integration of different types of data and information from a range of technologies and scales of observation arose again and again throughout the session.

CLOSING SESSIONS

The closing sessions were in two parts: a series of summaries of the thematic parallel sessions were presented, followed by a “panel discussion,” closing remarks from the Secretary-General of the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) and then the “Key Message” from the RSIS, presented by the Director-General of CERN. Given that the “Key Message” did not differ at all from the text circulated before the RSIS meeting, many of us wondered why we had spent two days talking about the various issues. We concluded that the greatest benefit may well arise from the creation of a network of individuals interested in the issues raised by the RSIS symposium.

The session summaries raised some common themes and issues. One of the primary issues is the integration and sharing of data within complex structures, and the desire to get IT into rural and poor urban communities. The goal to fight illiteracy, generally, and scientific illiteracy, more specifically, is a major obstacle in the building of an Information Society, which requires the wider availability and use of IT, from tertiary institutions everywhere, not just in developing countries, to remote communities.

Finally, the panel discussion amounted to little more than prepared statements from “elder statesmen” (men without exception, all elderly except for Tim Berners-Lee), and was perhaps symbolic of much of the meeting. Berners-Lee spoke for two minutes and encapsulated the essence of the Internet and the Information Society better and more succinctly than any other speaker. It is decentralized and “fractal” in its nature, and inherently uncontrollable and ungovernable. Yet so many of the politicians on the panel, for most were politicians, used outmoded and outdated paradigms and language in their politically motivated speeches. They kept talking about “governance” of the Internet and IT. I can only conclude that our political “leaders” have little or no idea about the Internet tiger they have by the tail. It is fundamentally an anarchic, often revolutionary creature, one that will refuse to be confined and controlled.


          Caterpillar forme des techniciens pour l’Afrique        

Caterpillar, le groupe industriel américain spécialisé dans la fabrication de machines pour les domaines de la construction, des mines et de la forêt, a annoncé le lancement d’une plateforme d’e-learning destinée à tous ceux qui veulent devenir technicien en équipement au Nigeria, au Mozambique et en République démocratique du Congo. Le projet baptisé « technicien […]

Cet article Caterpillar forme des techniciens pour l’Afrique est apparu en premier sur TechOfAfrica.


          Mozambique : Bientôt TDM et Mcel unis        

Le gouvernement de Mozambique envisage une fusion de Telecomunicações de Mozambique TDM et Mcel, tous les deux en difficultés. Des difficultés qui empêchent les deux sociétés, d’investir pour améliorer la qualité de leurs services. Il est plus que nécessaire de trouver une solution à l’échec que représente l’opérateur historique Telecomunicações de Mozambique (TDM) qui semble […]

Cet article Mozambique : Bientôt TDM et Mcel unis est apparu en premier sur TechOfAfrica.


          London Residents Evacuated Over Fire Risk        
Thousands of residents of north London tower blocks are evacuated over a fire risk after the Grenfell blaze last week. Also on the programme: The British opposition Labour party leader speaks to large crowds at the Glastonbury music festival, but not everyone is happy; An audit uncovers $1 billion unaccounted for in Mozambique. (Photo: Residents leave the Taplow tower block on the Chalcots Estate in Camden, north London, as the building is evacuated in the wake of the Grenfell Tower fire to allow "urgent fire safety works" to take place. Credit: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire)
          Maragra        
Emplazamiento Maragra (Mozambique, Mozambique)

          Maragra        
Emplazamiento Maragra (Mozambique, Mozambique)

          Maragra        
Emplazamiento Maragra (Mozambique, Mozambique)

          TGIH        
Thank God I'm Home.

There was a terrible chapa (mini-bus) accident in Gaza province yesterday that injured three volunteers and killed two others.  One of the volunteers that died was going to fill my position teaching biology in the Chimundo secondary school.

It's so tragic, I can hardly believe it.  It's just sickening that in Mozambique, car accidents kill more people than AIDS and malaria combined.  I am grateful to have made it home safely, and almost feel guilty that this happened to the young woman that was going to replace me, that she was robbed of that experience and the innumerable others that happen throughout a lifetime.  I ask that you keep these volunteers and their families in your thoughts and/or prayers.

Much love, and happy holidays.

          Isn't It Pretty to Think So?        
At last, here we are; Erica and I are in Maputo, on our way up and out. Our National Science Fair was a success, my beach vacation with my brother and sister-in-law was delightful, and my last trimester disappeared in a haze of grades and goodbyes. Everything is unraveling and wrapping up, and it’s all a bit overwhelming. As it should be—I am leaving behind two years of teaching, bucket baths, latrines, Portuguese, malaria prophylaxis, unbearable heat, and unforgettable events, taking with me my memories, my souvenirs, my remembrances, my extensive capulana collection, and my… favorite clothing. (After all, I wasn’t planning on coming all the way to Mozambique and looking like a die-hard hiker/camper/REI model for two years.)


To respond to the yet-unasked question that I’m certain to hear, I can’t say that this experience has necessarily changed me, but instead, it’s made certain beliefs and characteristics stronger, like the single frown line inherited from my father that has been etched deeper by the African sun. I can probably say that I’ve become more myself, as we are all wont to do with time, and yet looking at the experiences that tie together all humanity, African, American, Asian, or Australian, I imagine I’ve also become more like everyone else. Which is just fine with me; for the most part, I’d say I’m in good company.


          The End Has No End        
The final trimester has begun! Summer is coming around again and Mozambique is slowly warming up. I'm making packing lists and getting things ready for the next volunteer. Everything in our lives is leading up to our homecoming in another two months. We will be leaving Mozambique in the third week of October and I should hopefully be home just before my 26th birthday. Words can't express how happy I will be to be home for my birthday; the prospect of spending three birthdays in Mozambique was dreary at best. After spending a weekend with family, I'm flying back to NYC to spend a week with Erica, where we'll pamper ourselves, get haircuts and buy new clothes that aren't threadbare from handwashing. These efforts will be preemptive actions to prevent hearing, "You were in the Peace Corps? I could see that."
We have a few more events to squeeze in before saying our goodbyes. I finally made it back to Namaacha to visit my host family this weekend, which was nice. Our first ever National Science Fair will take place in Beira in another week, and things are finally coming together. It will be nice to have an opportunity to make it up to central Mozambique, because with our teaching schedules, we haven't done as much traveling in Mozambique as we'd hoped (this country is huge, and I haven't made it past the southern region since training). My brother and sister-in-law will come to Mozambique in September, and I am thrilled to have one last beach vacation before heading home, especially since Erica and I were sick and didn't get to do any traveling during our week-long trimester break. Hopefully we'll get together with our nearby PCVs for one last get-together in Xai-Xai, and then we'll be packing up our things and our animals, homeward bound!
Thankfully, I think I can say that I'll be leaving Mozambique with few regrets; I wish I would have taken more pictures of my colleagues and students during the first year, I regret not eating more mangoes during the last mango season (neighborhood kids stole all of ours), I wish I would've practiced violin more often, I regret not writing letters this year (postage prices tripled), and I would have liked to spend more time with some PCV friends, particularly those that are already stateside. But, c'est la vie, assím é a vida. So it goes. On the flip side, I learned how to play guitar, did some drawing and painting, baked a cake every Wednesday, read 57 books (and counting), made several pieces of clothing by hand, and formed rewarding relationships with colleagues, neighbors, and students. After two years here, I think that's a respectable assessment.

Things I am looking forward to at home (in no particular order):
  • hot showers and baths
  • cheese and milk
  • ice cream!
  • not feeling like I've narrowly escaped disaster every time I step out of a motor vehicle
  • white Christmas
  • celebrating holidays with friends and family
  • Target
  • coffee
  • public radio
  • fun restaurants
  • snack food, granola bars, and breakfast cereal
  • not having a trail of children asking me for candy and money when I leave the house
  • not having a group of children hollering for candy and crayons when I'm in the house
  • punctuality and accountability
  • playing piano (and on occasion, the accordion)
  • having more than two friends nearby
  • leaving the house past 6 PM
  • having things to do past 6 PM
  • not needing to do sweeping cockroach extermination on a regular basis
  • watching media on something other than a 10-inch laptop screen
Little things I'll miss:
  • the occasional lost chicken that waltzes into the house and sets the dogs into a frenzy
  • walking through the beautiful, underdeveloped matu for 40 minutes every day on my way to and from school
  • the vibrant colors--rust sand, sky blue, verdant fruit trees
  • having ample free time
  • feeling comfortable with silence and utter inactivity
  • fresh papaya, mango, passionfruit, pineapple, tangerines, oranges, coconuts, and... all of the other yummy fruits that don't even have names in English
  • brushing my teeth under the stars every night
    And here's a brief look back, a few pictures from the last few months that fill in some of the gaps:  my boyfriend serenading Erica and the dogs on her birthday (he doesn't actually play the guitar); my students tearing it up with a cultural dance; a woman in the market selling papayas the size of basketballs; Erica cooking by headlamp on a night with no electricity (my headlamp bit the dust--I unfortunately dropped it in the latrine); my Geração Biz students performing their theater piece; three of my students who dropped by for a visit.



              My Extraterrestrial Mozambique        
    Suddenly, I have just three months left in Mozambique, and I once again have to borrow from Kurt Vonnegut, once again from Slaughterhouse-Five, to best describe the feeling. This passage comes from the extraterrestrials’ description of their reading experiences, and aside from the context, it relates pretty well to how I feel while looking back at my time here.

    … There isn’t any particular relationship between all the messages, except that the author has chosen them carefully, so that, when seen all at once, they produce an image of life that is beautiful and surprising and deep. There is no beginning, no middle, no end, no suspense, no moral, no causes, no effects. What we love in our books are the depths of many marvelous moments seen all at one time.
     
    I’ve been feeling nostalgic for the last two weeks, caught in a wash of moments and memories. I am typically awakened from my reverie either by an inquisitive cockroach edging towards my glass or by a small neighbor child hollering for candy or crayons in a shrill voice at our door. So while I am seeing my time in Mozambique slip away, day by day, part of me is also racing towards my imminent return home. I’ve learned and enjoyed many things here, but I’m looking forward to going home and feeling like a whole person again, a fully-functioning member of society, back in the comfort of my familiar cultural context, back in the company of family and friends.

    Things are going just fine here. The second trimester is wrapping up—the exams have been given, the averages have been calculated, and we’ll have our conselhos in another two weeks. We’ll have our provincial science fair this weekend and start planning for the national fair, coming up on its heels in August. My Geração Biz students have been presenting at school events and will do their theater pieces and lectures during their biology lessons next week. When we’re not doing something with our projects or schoolwork, we’re typically just trying to keep warm—this winter has been downright chilly! Fifty degrees Fahrenheit feels much colder when it’s damp and windy and there’s no insulation or heating. I’m going to be in for a brutal shock when I face the first Midwestern winter in 3 years. Good thing I’ll be too busy soaking up everything America to notice.

              Glimpses of the Glittering First World        
    With just four months to go, there is a light at the end of this “dark continent” proverbial tunnel.  (I must say, I think that’s a terrible nickname for Africa, and only appropriate in reference to the widespread lack of electricity and light pollution.)  This light is the beacon of reliable electricity, heralding my return to the developed world.  Throughout these two years, there have been days that Erica and I have thought this experience would never end, and that we’d be suffering with our cockroach infestation in Mozambique forever.  There have been other days, eating tropical fruits and basking in the sun’s rays on one idyllic beach or another, that I’ve wished the days to lengthen and multiply.  But although I’ve toyed with the idea, I’ve never considered extending my service another year; I started my Peace Corps application 47 months ago now, and it’s time for something new.
    So as we lesson-plan, grade tests, organize Science Fair events, visit our up-and-running cultural center, and try to keep the cockroach population under control, we make plans for the future, and the focal point of our plans is entrance into graduate school.  We are in South Africa right now for Erica to take the GRE and both of us are reveling in the luxury of fast, reliable internet and delighting in the ease of obtaining graduate school information that is otherwise a headache to access in Mozambique.  I will be applying to Master’s of Public Health programs, getting my degree in the environmental sciences and global health departments.  In the future, I’d like to work with issues of water supply and sanitation in developing countries.  I am pretty darn excited.  Water quality and availability have interested me since my junior semester abroad in Asia, and my experiences in Mozambique have turned that passing interest into a passion, after spending days without water where I forego a much-needed evening bath, turn a blind eye to a basin full of dirty dishes, and plan a dinner that would involve frying instead of boiling or steaming to conserve water.  As far as I’m concerned, running water is the best thing since sliced bread (so to speak).  And potable running water—well, that’s just too much for words.  So, I’m narrowing down my school choices, working on my Statement of Purpose, and trying to figure out how to best execute the application process when I am always in Chimundo, the Chibuto suburb where you can’t even buy bread, let alone get online.  It’s a work in progress (my applications and Chimundo).

              The Overbos do Barra        
    In the dead of the second trimester, Erica and I had a little shining ray of light in the form of visitors from home. Four of my cousins came to visit with a friend of theirs, and we made plans to meet them in Maputo and then spend a few days at the beach. Naturally, things never go quite as smoothly as they could or should. First of all, my cousins had reserved rooms via the internet, and the receptionist had no record of this and no room for all of us, and evidently no need to be courteous or helpful (to be expected in Mozambique). So when my first cousin arrived early, we switched hotels. The next day, I spent an hour at the airport waiting for them, worrying they were being interrogated or were left stranded in South Africa. Someone mentioned that there was a group in the room for international arrivals, but it was a group of Chinese men—definitely not my cousins. As it turned out, the four of them had taken an earlier flight and had checked into the original hotel, and they’d already arranged a taxi for the next morning, so after tracking them down at that hotel, I was wildly relieved to find that my family had safely made it. Unfortunately, we all felt a little stress the next AM, when we arrived at the hostel where the bus would pick us up and did not see the last four members of our group. I tried to ask another traveler if I could quickly use the hostel computer he was using to look up the phone number for their hotel, but he looked at me as if I were absolutely crazy and after a brief pause, gave me a resolute “no.” OK. Thankfully, there was a phone book lying out, so I called the hotel and asked if my cousins were still there. The receptionist said the taxi had left almost an hour earlier and had taken them to the junta. I think I have omitted descriptions of the junta from earlier posts, so let me quickly explain what the junta is and why those ominous words struck fear into my heart. The junta is the Maputo bus stop where you can get onto a mini-bus that will take you almost anywhere in the country. At any given moment, this lot is filled with 20 or more buses and scores of people milling about, trying to sell you things or get you onto their taxi. It is crowded, smelly, and a little dangerous, particularly for foreigners, and is probably one of the last places on earth you want to be at 5:00 in the morning. I was horrified. Our bus arrived shortly thereafter, and I explained the situation to our driver, asking if he could call a driver at the junta. I told him I was looking for a group of four white people, two men and two women. He punched in a number, said a few words, and handed me the phone. I heard my cousin Renee’s voice on the other end of the line; of course, in Mozambique, you can quickly identify a group of lost-looking foreigners with minimal effort. It’s a rapid process of elimination. Our bus dropped by the junta to pick up my family and a few other passengers to pack the bus to capacity (or past, depending on who you ask). So our collective nightmare ended, and seven hours later we arrived at our resort, cramped, exhausted, and excited. I think this is best summed up in pictures, so here it is.





    It was awesome, and my cousin Joshua uploaded a bunch of gorgeous photos on Facebook that do more justice to the experience.  We also went on an ocean safari and weaved between jellyfish to keep up with whale sharks. They were beautiful, and large. One sort of snuck up behind me and gave me a small heart-attack; they are harmless to humans, but their mouths are still a good two-and-a-half feet wide, so I easily imagined myself getting stuck in there and did double-time to try to maintain the recommended three-meter distance between myself and the inquisitive shark.  Plus, that shark dorsal fin is just plain scary, even on a vegetarian fish.  Aside from our animal encounters, we did some shopping, were beach bums for several hours, and went on a sunset catamaran ride on our last evening. It was delightful.
    We rented a chapa to take us back to Maputo so people could have more space, and it dropped us off at the door to our hotel, where I’d reserved two large rooms for us. Unfortunately, they didn’t actually reserve them for us and gave them to other guests, and I spent the better part of an hour frantically calling ten or more hotels, looking for accommodation for seven people at 4:00 on a Saturday night. It was unpleasant and unsuccessful, and I longingly dreamed of home, the land where the customer is always right. A guest at our hotel saw our troubles, took pity on us, and gave us a number to a hotel where she’d stayed. Miracle of miracles, it was the only hotel that cost less than $400 a night that had room for all of us. We dropped off our things and went out for our last dinner together. It was sad to feel our vacation ending, but after some of our Maputo misadventures, I don’t know how much more vacation we could actually handle. Erica and I had breakfast with our group the next morning, said our goodbyes (mine a little tearful, I have to admit), and hopped on a chapa back to Chibuto. Now we’re back in school, working on our projects, and counting down until our next break. Every trip, we learn something from a new crisis, so if anybody else is still planning on visiting (you know who you are), maybe by then we’ll have perfected the formula and will have a karma payback with a smooth, trouble-free trip. Maybe. If not, well, it will be an adventure.  One can always count on that here.

              March´s Pocket Full of Mumbles        
    Erica and me with students at a ceremony to commemorate Mozambique´s first president, Samora Machel.


    Kids helping us with the messy task of de-feathering chickens.

    Our new sitemate!

    January drag-g-ged along, and I somehow suddenly found myself in the middle of March. February came and went, and was a transient month in general: we went to Maputo for several days to have our mid-service medical check-ups (clean bill of health, no parasites that I know of) and our friend from Cape Town came to visit us for a few days. This visit coincided with a two chickens leaving their lives, ones we had purchased, butchered, and de-feathered with the help of our empregada for a tasty little dinner festa. My fan went out, a victim of certain dogs who like to chew on electrical wires. And my internet phone left my life, lifted on a chapa in Maputo. It’s almost as if with just 28 days, February is an unanswered question, lacking those last few days to punctuate the month and let it form any solid conclusions (aside from the obvious conclusion that any electronics I own in Mozambique will inevitably be stolen or broken). Mozambique is an excellent study in time and its passing. Too bad I don’t have any Proust lying around.

    In the theme of comings-and-goings, I suppose I could say that March came in like a lamb, since it was ever-so-slightly-cooler for a few evenings, but those happy dreams of an early winter died as the mercury rose, and March is going out like a lion, devouring us in an unfortunate heat wave. We fled to Xai-xai for a day trip one weekend with our sitemate Vivienne and her visiting boyfriend; we cooled off in the water, bought souvenirs on the beach, and ate oysters. It was a nice day. One of our Mozambican friends just bought a car, so we’re hoping to hitch a ride with him to the beach sometime again in the near future, because it sure beats hopping aboard an overstuffed, overheated chapa, and Chibuto is an insufferable oven in this infernal heat.

    School is going well. Since I’m teaching the same material as last year, I have minimal lesson-planning to do, and I have a much better grasp on how to use my classroom time. That is to say, I have realized that my students absorb precious little from the two 45-minute lessons we have each week and study less, so I teach fewer concepts and pack more practice problems into their short lessons. Classroom management has also drastically improved, thanks in part to the classes’ daily behavior grade, which I dramatically erase and re-write based on my whims and their noise levels. It’s still exhausting, with larger classes of 60-70 students this year and an inconvenient schedule that leaves me little time to run into Chibuto for internet and errands, but I’m enjoying it more. Also, we have a new director, and having new leadership is motivating other teachers to shape up a little and actually show up for class, thereby minimizing the chaos of hundreds of students running around school in the mid-afternoon. That’s always a plus.

    Science Fair is starting, and since Erica and I are coordinating the project on the national level (Erica as President, me as Financial Coordinator), we are taking the backseat for our local and provincial fairs and having our colleagues plan and facilitate the meetings and fair events. Erica’s school has had volunteers and Science Fairs for the past several years, so there’s no good reason for us to get suckered into doing it when other people actually have more experience with it and would rather just sit back and watch us work. This frees up more time for me to work with Geração Biz, a Mozambican peer-education health program. A few of my more charismatic, energetic students have started coming, which has contributed to a good group dynamic, and we’ve settled on a regular schedule. They are studying the reproductive system and have learned Duck, Duck, Goose, among other things, and I’m overall very pleased with them. We’ll have a training for them in April, and hopefully afterwards they can begin planning presentations and skits to present to their peers. With Science Fair and the ongoing development of our local Cultural Center (slowly, slowly taking shape), Geração Biz is by far my favorite project and what I will be most proud of accomplishing outside of the classroom when I leave.

    Now that we’re well into 2011, Erica and I are beginning to think about the end of our time in Mozambique. We are planning when we will go home (early-mid November, hopefully?), how we will get there (renting a personal chapa to Maputo for us and our homeward bound animals), what we will do when we get there (crash in the Big Apple for a few days), and what we will do in the long run (be impoverished grad students). I’ve become interested in public health for the last few years, in water sanitation and availability in particular, and am looking into different programs and thinking about where I would like to be and where I’d like to study. It’s bizarre, because with the never-ending application process, the unexpected year delay, and the idle transition months, applying for and finally joining the Peace Corps has been the saga of almost the last four years of my life, and all of a sudden, the end is in sight. “The end” is still seven and a half months away, but in the context of the last 45 months, it’s definitely approaching. I’m really ready for the next chapter in my life, but if I’ve learned anything in these last few years, it’s been to enjoy where I’m at and not wish away my time. After all, that’s the stuff life’s made of.


              Vacay, Part Deux        
    With another two weeks ahead of me before classes would start, of course I couldn’t just go back to Chibuto after my family left. What a colossal waste of a perfectly good travel opportunity that would be! So I booked a spot on an overnight bus to Joburg and a cheap airplane ticket to Cape Town, where I would meet Erica and her dad. I met a kind young couple along the way who recommended a neat hostel in Cape Town and, after swapping contact info, pointed me in the right direction. I had a day to get acquainted with our snazzy hostel and most importantly, its pool, as the day I arrived was Cape Town’s hottest summer day yet. Once the hottest part of the afternoon had passed, I wandered in and out of shops on Cape Town’s bustling Long Street, window-shopping, buying things I hadn’t intended to buy, spending money I hadn’t intended to spend, and generally having a good time. I even found a funky hipster restaurant to have a gourmet veggie burger—imagine that! Oh, the delights of the sparkly, shiny developed world. Back at the hostel, I met fellow travelers and was reunited with Erica and her dad later that evening.
    The next day, we took off for the Cape of Good Hope with a new friend from the hostel. Along the way, we stopped to see penguins at the aptly named Penguin Beach and drove past baboons in the road (no namesake beach). It was a gorgeous drive, taking us past bluffs, the Indian Ocean, the Atlantic Ocean, ostriches, and yet more baboons. Since Erica’s dad was suffering from back pain, we three youngsters went out the next morning to hike up Table Mountain. For being a tourist attraction, I have to say, it was a pretty strenuous hike; although being from the Great Plains, I suppose I have a natural tendency toward laziness when it comes to hills and mountains and various slopes. Erica and I forgot to stretch out and felt that hike for days to come, but it was well worth it, and we even rewarded ourselves with slushies at the end of it all. We spent the afternoon recuperating by the pool, eating tropical fruits: mangos, bananas, grapes, papaya, grenadilla, and prickly pear. Later that evening, we went out to eat at a restaurant where the three meat-eaters of our party of four tried ostrich steak, crocodile, and warthog ribs (delicious). Day 2 in Cape Town, summed up: broke a sweat, ate like a king, slept like a log. I love vacation, and oh, do I love the developed world.
    Since we had to eventually drive the rental car back to Joburg, we were crunched for time, so the next day, we left Cape Town to spend a day in the surrounding Winelands. We tasted wine at three vineyards and had a gourmet picnic by the river. We arrived at the last vineyard too late for Erica and I to take its rowboats onto the nearby pond, but considering the low alcohol tolerance we exhibited, it was probably for the best. Skipping stones was much less risky activity. That evening, we barbecued at the hostel, enjoyed the wine we’d bought, passed around the hostel guitar, and shared stories. And I tried my very best not to think of the imminent end of our time in South Africa and the upcoming school year, ever-looming closer. I was more-or-less successful.
    We said goodbye to our friend the next day and began our two-day road trip back to Joburg. In Joburg, we took advantage of the last luxuries the developed world could offer us: fun restaurants, shopping malls, movie theaters, coffee, laundry, television, and internet. Sigh. We said goodbye to Erica’s dad, and later that evening, said goodbye to South Africa. So many goodbyes, but what naturally follows every goodbye is a hello—Hello Mozambique!
    Now we’re back home, starting the new school year. Of course, the schedules for my school weren’t ready on time, so I’ll start teaching next week. As much as I’ve been dreading going back to work, part of me is excited to start a fresh school year. I start this year knowing more about the culture of my school, knowing my colleagues and students better, knowing more about how to be an effective teacher, and knowing more Portuguese. While I now lack the excitement of the unknown that I experienced at this time last year, it will be a pleasure to work feeling more confident about how things work and how I fit into that system.  I may be a cog in the system, but I'm an American cog, and it's good to know maybe not exactly what that entails, but what I can do with it.

              An Old Long Since, and One Year to Go        
    Should old acquaintance be forgot,
    and never brought to mind?
    Should old acquaintance be forgot,
    and auld lang syne?

    For auld lang syne, my dear,
    for auld lang syne,
    we'll take a cup of kindness yet,
    for auld lang syne.

    Over the last few weeks, I got to enjoy the company of some of my oldest acquaintances:  family.  Erica, her sister, and I went to Johannesburg to meet their dad and my mother and sister so we could enjoy our sub-Saharan holidays together.  Unfortunately, their dad's flight had a stop in London and was cancelled due to the "storm" that swept through Europe (note the North Dakotan scorn over the application of that word to two inches of snow), but we met up with their dad just a few days later, in time to drive through the beautiful Blyde River Canyon and to move on to Kruger National Park.
    During our two days in Kruger, we successfully spotted the "big five" from the safety and comfort of our rental van:  lion, leopard, elephant, rhinocerous, and the unexpected fifth, the buffalo.  Other notable viewings included vultures, giraffes, dung beetles, hornbills (the Lion King bird), warthogs, baboons, and approximately 644 impalas (yes, I counted).  Once we'd had our fill of wildlife adventures, we drove to Komatipoort, where our families enjoyed a relaxing Christmas at a small B&B.
    On the 26th, Mom, Anna, and I said goodbye to Erica's family and left for Mozambique.  Our bus incidentally left for Mozambique without picking us up, but one frantic phone call and one overpriced private ride later, we were ushered across the nearby border and onto our idling bus.  In my opinion, adventure-filled Africa wouldn't be the same if everything worked out just as it should.  The three of us spent a day shopping in Maputo and then took the 4 AM bus to Tofo, where we enjoyed two days of blue skies, white sand, and warm ocean water.  Our Ocean Safari was definitely action-packed; we swam with schools of brightly colored fish, we spotted dolphins, and Anna suffered a small head wound.  Here's the quick sum-up:  the story involves getting a "small" cut that later turned out to be not-so-small, getting a hurried ride to the soon-to-close-clinic in the neighboring city from an artist friend of mine, nearly running over pedestrians who "are afraid of rain, but not cars," banging on the clinic door when it closed one minute early, and getting excellent care from the gracious staff who stayed half an hour past closing to give Anna stitches.  This was how we spent our last evening in Tofo--again, I think life would be awfully drab without these unexpected adventures.
    Up to this point, we had traveled by rental car in South Africa and had taken a nice charter bus from Maputo to Tofo. Unfortunately, these nice charter buses have limited routes, so to get back to Chibuto, Anna and Mom got to experience the delightful chapa, the minibus that is crammed to capacity and then half again. Chapas generally are filled with warm bodies, crying children, and oftentimes, chickens. We arrived back in Chibuto feeling slightly cramped but without incident and took a quick walk to my school with the dogs, meeting various friends and neighbors.
    Since Chibuto is essentially a baking sandy oven without a beach, we took a day trip to Xai-xai the following morning. Aside from a brief wedding procession (a common occurrence on Xai-xai beach), the beach was quiet and largely unoccupied all morning. Although Xai-xai doesn’t have the fine, white sand of Tofo, it’s still a lovely beach, and the water is a bit cooler and more refreshing. We enjoyed lunch on the beach and went into town to buy capulanas and have a beer with a friend of mine, a colleague from school.
    We returned to Chibuto for New Year’s Eve, and after having their fill of bucket baths, latrines, and unfortunately, cockroaches (their trip coincided with a sudden infestation during our absence), we took our last chapa to Maputo on New Year’s Day and stayed with Anna’s friend Erica and her family for a few days. We did a little more shopping, a little more wandering, and after a whirlwind trip, Mom and Anna were off again, this time not by chapa, but by plane, back home to the states. After making tracks around sub-Saharan Africa, it was time to head halfway across the world, homeward bound, as I will do in just 10 months’ time.

              No Proselytizing in Pão, Please        
    Classes are done! Maybe that does not accurately convey my immense excitement and enthusiasm—classes are OVER! Fim! Finito! Done-zo! And that makes me so-oo happy. After classes ended, we had a week to prepare students’ grades, copy them onto the various official documents, and decide who would and would not pass. Within the last two trimesters, the national stipulations for passing students changed not just once, but two times, so within one school year, we have had three different systems for passing students into the next grade. Need I say that this week of grades was more than a little confusing and messy? Well, it was. Because students fail many disciplines, but instead of making their classes easier to pass, most teachers assign grades, balk at the number of failing students, and tweak grades after writing them in ink in all of the grade sheets. This is tedious, stressful, and fraudulent work, and when the national passing criteria changed for the second time after the week of doing grades, most teachers did more artful erasing and re-inking in the official documents to help students pass. But what is to be done? The education system here is broken, in my honest opinion, with regulations that change on a whim and don’t really match up. For example, with the newest stipulations, students don’t pass into the next grade if they fail design, agriculture, and physical education. Yet officially, they can pass with failing grades in math, the sciences, and the humanities. So without talking to other teachers, I would have had only four students in my class of 40 pass into ninth grade. In the end, 15 students passed—a whopping 37.5% of my class. And as a result, because my school is fairly new and repeatedly fails its eighth graders, it has almost 1000 eighth graders, while only 500 students have trickled into ninth grade, and 300 have squeaked by into tenth grade. It almost makes me want to be a teacher in the United States for a year or two, just to be able to compare the education systems. Almost... but after this, I think I will be a little burned out on teaching for a while.

    The work in school is not yet done, however. Currently, the tenth graders are taking national exams. These exams are taken very seriously, with all students in Mozambique taking the same tests on the same day at the same time. The tests arrive in sealed packets, which are opened in every classroom at the exact moment when the bell rings. Yet these elaborate anti-cheating measures are nullified when teachers responsible for controlling the exams and responding to questions simply give out answers. All I can say is, ridiculous. Again, this system is broken, and I don’t see anything changing anytime soon without major, major reform. I’m trying not to lay it on too thick, but this is the reality.

    On a lighter note, Erica and I are fleeing Mozambique and these wretched exams to go to Lesotho tomorrow for a three-day pony trek. It could not be better timing for us, as we are both sick to death of school. There will be a second round of national exams in a few weeks, but this trip will give our bodies a break from the heat and give us the boost we need to keep going and not be viciously bitter towards our poor colleagues in the weeks to come. Once December hits, we’re in the clear; we’ll have family coming and will do some traveling around Mozambique and South Africa, hitting the beaches and visiting Kruger National Park to see lions and tigers and bears, oh my! (Although I’m not so sure South Africa has bears, but you get the picture.)

    Meanwhile, in Chibuto and outside of school, things are good. We’re having a small fence built for the dogs so they won’t chase and eat our neighbors’ chickens while unsupervised during our vacation. We just gave our house an interior makeover, throwing out tons of junk left by previous PCVs and even fashioning a couch out of my old mattress. With the temperature rising daily, there is the purchase of a fan in my near future. It’s been a long but good year, and we’re trying to exercise some control over a few small things in our life to close this year on a positive note and carry us into the next year. With that, I leave you with these pictures: me and Erica on my birthday (note the lovely mural left by a previous PCV) and a sandwich menu that features the most delightfully terrible English translation I’ve encountered in Mozambique. When things get rough, we toast simple.

              Winter that Refuses to Fall Gently into Summer        
    August and September have been topsy-turvy months. August brought the start of the final trimester and a string of canine-related incidents, while September brought the regional Science Fair and the dreaded arrival of summer heat. I’m holding out for October, which brings the end of classes, Halloween, and most importantly, my birthday. But first, here’s a rundown of August and this half of September.
    One Saturday afternoon, Erica and I were walking to a nearby shop and suddenly heard a dog yelping as we passed an empty lot. We looked over and saw a group of young boys beating a stray puppy that was hanging upside down from a tree, tied from its back two legs. We immediately began furiously scolding the children, and set out to find a knife to cut down the unfortunate creature. Within a minute of reaching the safe ground, it died. Erica wisely tried using the incident as a teaching moment to tell these boys that even if the puppy was causing problems and stealing food, there are better ways to cull animals. The boys laughed amongst themselves as we walked away. When peoples’ lives are so difficult here, why worry about a dog?
    That same day, our own puppy Shingove became listless and lost interest in food. He soon stopped eating altogether and was quickly reduced to a shaking frame of skin and bones. Erica’s family called several times with different tips and information, so with this guidance, we nursed our sick li’l pup back to health, giving him human medicine and food with a dropper and keeping him hydrated. Come Sunday, he was back to our romping, mischievous Shingove that attacks us as we do exercises; Monday morning, a neighbor girl came to our kitchen window to say that a car had hit our dog. Not just hit, completely ran over our dog with a velocity that should be illegal in a small neighborhood. The bizarre mix of foreshadowing and irony was almost too much, and it was certainly too much for a Monday morning.
    On top of the dog drama, someone stole our shampoo, face wash, sponge, and razors out of our bathroom. And one slightly-off man started coming to the school to jabber English gibberish at me, while another slightly-off man started coming to the house to jabber Portuguese gibberish at us. Evidently, we are magnets not only for canine disaster, but also for theft and mentally instable individuals. Cool.
    Yet just as I was beginning to slide into a jaded, pessimistic funk, a friend gave us a replacement puppy, and although it didn’t leave much time for the death of Shingove to stop smarting, our new puppy, Havu (Shangana for “monkey”), is adorable and oh-so-affectionate. One would think I’d learn to stop being so attached to cute puppies, but what’s the use? Why fight it?
    Science Fair should have happened during the last weekend of August, but due to a few days of unrest for rising fuel and food prices in Maputo and other larger cities, we were forced to push it back a week. (Thankfully, there were no notable demonstrations in Chibuto, so aside from a brief travel ban and fluctuation in bread prices, we were unaffected.) In the date change, we lost the opportunity to have a sound system and one of our guest speakers, but everything else went pretty smoothly. Projects ranged from making electronic doorbells and motorized cars to making coconut oil to making juice… from a package. While that last one was a bit of a stretch, we were happy to have so many participants—50 or so students from around 15 schools in Maputo and Gaza Provinces. This is nothing by American standards, but in Mozambique, nothing is as easy as it seems it should be, and nearly everything that could go wrong often does, so it was a small miracle we pulled it off. Although we were absolutely exhausted afterwards, it was worth it.
    As September slides downhill into October, I’m trying to get a few students mobilized to do some health presentations at school, and Erica has projects of her own at her school. We’re planning our final lessons; I’m in the midst of the reproductive system, and it is just amazing to me how students never tire of saying “vagina,” which by the way is Portuguese for (you guessed it) “vagina.” Even after classes end, we’ll have several weeks of grading national exams and the odious task of writing thousands of grades by hand that will extend into December. But since we have family coming in December and a possible venture into Lesotho in November, and since we are volunteers after all, Erica and I will be able to get out of some of it. Because volunteers without volition make for unhappy PCVs.
    I hope those of you back home are enjoying the fall colors and brisk air for me. Once it gets hotter here and cooler there, I’ll see what I can do about sending some of our heat your way. There’s more than enough around here.


              Sun and Honey Time        
    Looking back at the second trimester and trying to enjoy the last free moments of my break before the inevitable lesson planning, this seems like a good time to type up a new blog post and consequently aid my procrastination.
    Good news—though there is still no trace of anything lost in my robbery, a violin has come back into my life!  By crazy coincidence, a nearby volunteer had brought a violin in intending to learn how to play it, but since she’s been busy lately, she kindly lent it to me.  With so many aspects of my life being different here in Mozambique, I can’t even describe how nice it is to practice and feel a continuity with something that’s been a major presence throughout most of my life.  All I can say is, it’s nice.
    Our modest science fair was a success.  We had our doubts when we arrived and didn’t see another soul for another hour, but that’s just the way things go in Mozambique; eventually, the participants and other facilitators showed up, and everything ran according to schedule (adding an hour, of course).  Only one student actually conducted an experiment—the others did demonstrations that involved fire, chemicals, and melting plastic bottles—but we were just glad they participated and didn’t start the school on fire.  We’re working on organizing the regional fair, and thankfully have the help of an acquaintance working in the Ministry of Science and Technology.  He is very enthusiastic about the project and has been an invaluable help.  It works out well, because although science fair began as a Peace Corps initiative a few years ago, now that we have involvement of an individual in the government, hopefully in the future we can pass it off and it will remain a sustainable, autonomous program.
    My trimester wrapped up a little early because I spent a week in Maputo at a Peace Corps conference to help plan learning objectives and sessions for next year’s trainees.  Afterwards, I was back in Chibuto for a few days to prepare my turma’s grades for conselhos, but [oh, darn!] had to miss the actual conselhos for another Peace Corps conference in Inhambane Province.  Erica and I were pretty thrilled about that timing.  We spent three days in sessions discussing project planning with local counterparts, which hopefully will have productive results; my counterpart and I discussed a model agriculture training for teenage orphans in the community and we may actually implement it.  We’ll see…!
    When the conference ended last Sunday, Erica and I were ideally located in beautiful, coastal Inhambane for our week-long break from school, so we trekked over to nearby Barra with a few other friends.  We had intended to stay for a night or two and then move on to Tofo and then meander home, but after landing on the beach and later meeting up with a group of fun, hospitable South Africans, we ended up staying for five nights.  We had a great vacation—swimming, buying colorful capulana clothing on the beach (capulanas are the colorful, multi-purpose lengths of cloth that women use as skirts or to tie babies to their backs, etc.), body-surfing (which I am terrible at), and good eating, thanks to the generosity and cooking prowess of our new acquaintances.  But every vacation has to end sometime, so we finally came home on Friday to be reunited with our pets and start preparing for classes this week.  With memories of sea and sand behind and prospects of lesson planning and grades ahead, it’s tough to get back into the swing of things, but if nothing else, it’s nice to come back to a house of happy animals who are glad you’re home.

              The Amber of June        
    Now that electricity is a fairly constant aspect of my daily life, I occasionally find myself looking at photos on my computer of my past life, and although I am happy, healthy, and doing well here, I sometimes am grasped by the sudden feeling of what-the-hell-am-I-doing-here?  I have now completed 9 months in Mozambique, which is encouraging and feels good, but it is inevitably followed by the requisite recognition and mathematics of the 18 remaining months, which seems daunting and impossibly long.  But when I feel trapped in the amber of this moment and there is no why (Vonnegut—I cannot take credit for that pretty turn-of-phrase), I think about the few things in my life right now with forward momentum.  In case you were wondering where the momentum of life is blowing me at present, here are some of the details.
    My sitemate and I are putting together a Science Fair at her school, which is rapidly approaching.  Her school has had volunteers and Science Fairs in the past, so this year, I just invited students from my school to participate in a joint fair at her school.  I’d had my doubts about the project, but seeing my handful of favorite students get excited about their lung models and physics demonstrations is a winning experience.  There won’t be any earth-shaking scientific discoveries coming from my 8th graders this year at the fair, but what’s wrong with reinventing the wheel?  The wheel is still lookin’ good.
    In other news, as of last weekend, the Chimundo PCV household has increased by one, consisting now of two American women, two Mozambican kitties, one chicken, and (new addition) one adorable puppy.  Puppy’s name is Shingove, Shangana for “cat.”  We think it’s an ironic little joke, but for people around here, it’s just more evidence that we’re not quite right, that we're weird Americans who talk to animals and what’s more, feed and bathe them.  Shingove is a tubby little squirt, waddling around and trying to initiate play with Bea and suspicious Rocksteady (Erica’s kitty, who is not terribly receptive to these antics as of yet).  We heart Shingove.  The cats are reserving judgment.
    Speaking of our domesticated animals, Clucka has finally settled in, roosted, and started producing eggs.  After wandering through the house and trying out the spare bed, our beds, and our clothing-filled shelves, she decided to roost inside of the bag of charcoal on the porch.  Maybe this would be a good time for me to explain that Erica and I do not have a TV; most of our entertainment comes from our pets.  But I have to say, it’s pretty funny to be on the receiving end of a death stare from a maternal chicken guarding eggs in a sack of coal.  (Come to Mozambique if you want to give it a try!)
    School is going just fine; at my school, we’re already getting ready for our final exams (“final” meaning 4 weeks before the actual end of the trimester to give teachers time to grade and students a few weeks to slack off).  In July, I should have a week off, which should be a welcome opportunity for a bit of travel and a change of scenery.  In the meantime, I’m keeping myself occupied by going to my homeroom’s soccer games.  While they can be little stinkers who skip out on biology on Tuesdays when it’s their last class of the day, I have to admit, they are soccer superstars.  Maybe because they are, on average, one to two years older and 6 to 8 inches taller than the other players, but they do me proud regardless.
    Oh, and no news on the robbery.  I have no hopes or expectations of recovering any of my lost items at this point.  But I do have my new passport, which is complete with a badass-looking stamp saying “THIS PASSPORT IS A REPLACEMENT FOR A STOLEN PASSPORT.”  Don’t you know it.
    Erica's family was here for a week in May, which was a lot of fun.  It was nice to see Chibuto through fresh eyes and be reminded that while America may feel like another world away, family and friends are only a few plane rides away, continuing their lives until we next meet again.

              Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something [Acid-Washed] Blue        
    After months without pizza, shopping, movie theaters, and coffee shops, Maputo seems like heaven on earth.  I've been in Maputo since Sunday to apply for a new passport and was slated to back to Chimundo today, but since the consulate was too busy yesterday to sign my application, I'll have to go home tomorrow [oh, darn] .  Looks like another evening of hanging out with fellow the PCVs who happen to be in Maputo and eating at fun restaurants--we all have to make sacrifices sometimes, don't we?
    Aside from the fact that I bought acid-washed jeans today (something I never thought I would or could do, particularly in Mozambique), that's really all the news there is to report from the last week; I mostly wanted to put up a new post because:  A. I can, with the free and reliable internet at the Maputo Peace Corps office, and B. I never got a chance to upload my April post, which threw off my nice average of one post per month.  I haven't heard any news yet about recovering my stolen belongings, but two things have come back into my life:  our chicken ("Clucka") and a replacement internet phone.  Things are on the up-and-up.

              Boa tarde, Senhora Professora!        
    As I write this blog post, it’s hard to believe that I’ve been teaching for a month already. Whereas I have given and corrected my first biology test, I’m still working on the names of my students. That could have something to do with the fact that teaching 11 classes of eighth graders with 55 students each, I have about 600 students. But I have learned my favorite students’ names, which is a start. (It doesn’t help that I’m not terribly familiar with Portuguese names like Boaventura, Moisés, and Calado). The students only have biology twice a week, so I end up teaching the same two lessons 11 times each during the week. It’s nice that I don’t have to do much lesson-planning, but I start to feel a little crazy after teaching the osseo-muscular system for the eleventh time. And repeating myself over and over, I’ll be darned if I remember any biology vocabulary in English by the end of these two years.
    Yet all in all, things are beginning to gel. I’m getting to know my colleagues a little better and getting to know the ropes. The living situation is challenging at times, being the odd person out in terms of culture and language (the roomies typically speak in Shangana to each other), but improving. I have begun doing my share of the cooking, and although black pepper is too spicy and vegetable skins are widely distrusted, French toast was a hit (syrup, however, is too sweet). You win some, you lose some.
    My cat Bea is in good health and keeping me sane; I identify with him a lot, as we both share language and cultural barriers with our housemates. And although he has the habit of lying in the grass and ambushing my ankles while I’m walking back from the latrine or carting water (on my head, I might add), he’s a good cat.
    My PCV sitemate is also a great help in maintaining my sanity. We are thinking of going to the beach this weekend for the first time since Christmas, and I think it will be a well-deserved break from school, Portuguese, awkward living situations, and… oh, so many more things that I don’t have the time or space to write about in this blog—things like marriage proposals, the surprising difficulty of procuring bread, days with precious little water—things to ask me about in two years. Or when you come visit me in Mozambique.
    Então, ate já—passa bem, nada mão, e beijinhos!

              P.S. Merry Christmas!        
    I keep on forgetting that Christmas is coming in 4 days.  It might have something to do with the 90 degree heat and lack of snow.  And since I have no electricity, when I want to listen to Christmas music, my best options are to sing or whistle it.  I think I will spend Christmas on Xai-xai beach, which, although is as antithetical to my typical midwestern Christmas as possible, will certainly be festive and memorable. 
    I´ve had requests for my new mailing address and care package ideas.  The best mailing address will still be the Maputo address; mail sent there will eventually reach me, and as inefficient as that may sound, I believe it is the best option. 
    Alycia Overbo
    c/o Corpo da Paz
    Av. do Zimbabwe No. 345
    Maputo, Mozambique
    As for care package ideas, I would be thrilled to receive anything, but I´d be especially happy to receive wasabi soy almonds (found at your local Kmart or Target), black licorice, instant pudding mix, stickers for students, ground coffee, granola bars, books, magazines, or maybe a new t-shirt or tanktop, as excessive sweating and handwashing are together killing my clothing.
    Lots of love to you all, and best wishes for your holiday season!

              Chapter V: And Then I Smuggled a Cat into Gaza        
    Life in Mozambique thus far has been fairly eventful (to say the least), but the last two weeks have been particularly noteworthy. On Tuesday Dec. 8, we trainees went to Maputo to be officially sworn in as Peace Corps Volunteers and on Wednesday, we packed up and left Namaacha. It was sad to say goodbye to my PCV friends and host family, but after 10 weeks of Portuguese classes, medical sessions, and culture lectures, it was time for a change.
    And what a change it is; after a short conference in Xai-xai to meet our supervisors, I traveled to Chimundo, Gaza province, which will be my site and my home for the next 2 years. I arrived that Friday morning with my supervisor, my bags and, much to the surprise of my supervisor, my kitten Bea, whom I successfully concealed throughout the entire trip from Namaacha. Bea and I were dropped off at the school and made a short trek to our new home, which is on school grounds. My first impressions of the house were very positive; it is quaint, with a grass bathhouse, outdoor latrine, two bedrooms, and sizeable main room. My second impressions were a little overwhelming; I quickly saw that the only furniture in the house was my bed, a small plastic shelf, and two plastic chairs. Also, the house has no electricity. However, my house has a kerosene lamp, a gas burner, dishes, and notably, a Mozambican roommate, Amelia, who is a fellow teacher at my school. Amelia has been very patient and helpful in the last week, showing me where to get rides to the nearby city of Chibuto, cooking for us, and introducing me to her family in Chibuto. Bea and I have a standing invitation there to wash clothes and take advantage of their electricity, and I fully intend to take them up on that, especially since Amelia and my other colleagues are leaving Chimundo for the holidays. Thankfully, there is another volunteer who lives in Chimundo, so I can easily visit her and her electricity oasis. Meanwhile, since school doesn’t start for another month, Bea and I will start working on furniture acquisition and try our hand at Mozambican foods. We should have plenty to keep ourselves occupied.

              Escultismo        
    Me puedes oir en el susurro de una cremallera de tienda que se abre en una mañana llena de rocío.

    Me puedes escuchar en el griterío de cien voces cantando el "ani-kuni" alrededor del fuego.

    Me puedes ver desde lejos en el círculo multicolor de camisas en el prado.

    Me puedes oler, con un matiz ligeramente mohoso, al entrar en una tienda que se acaba de instalar bajo los árboles.

    Me puedes gustar en el sabor incierto de una comida preparada al aire libre sobre una fogata.

    Me puedes palpar, con mucho cuidado, en el filo de un hacha recientemente afilada.

    Me puedes tocar en la frescura de una camiseta que seca al sol después de lavarla en el río.

    Me puedes ver, si miras bien, entre el desorden de un montón de mochilas junto a la fuente.

    Me puedes notar en la emoción de alguien de 13 años que dice solemnemente: "Por mi honor..."

    Me puedes observar en la actitud de unos niños que van aprendiendo a compartir.

    Me puedes sentir en el grupo de jóvenes que van notando cómo su felicidad consiste en hacer felices a los demás.

    Yo he servido en lugares cercanos y también en sitios como Kosovo, Honduras, Mozambique, ... y aún sigo sirviendo a millones.

    Yo soy el Espíritu del Escultismo.

    PÁSAME A OTROS!!
              Killing us softly         

    A recent public outcry in China, sparked by a damning documentary about air pollution, was based on well-founded fear:

    Of the 100 million people who viewed the film on the first day of its online release, 172,000 are likely to die each year from air pollution-related diseases, according to regional trends.* 

    Worldwide, pollution kills twice as many people each year as HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis combined,** but aid policy has consistently neglected it as a health risk, donors and experts say. 

    Air pollution alone killed seven million people in 2012, according to World Health Organization (WHO) figures released last year, most of them in low and middle-income countries (LMICs) in the Asia Pacific region.*** 

    In a self-critical report released late last month the World Bank acknowledged that it had treated air pollution as an afterthought, resulting in a dearth of analysis of the problem and spending on solutions. 

    “We now need to step up our game and adopt a more comprehensive approach to fixing air quality,” the authors wrote in Clean Air and Healthy Lungs. “If left unaddressed, these problems are expected to grow worse over time, as the world continues to urbanise at an unprecedented and challenging speed.”

    A second report released last month by several organisations – including the Global Alliance on Health and Pollution, an international consortium of UN organisations, governments, development banks, NGOs and academics – also called for more funding towards reducing pollution. 

    “Rich countries, multilateral agencies and organisations have forgotten the crippling impacts of pollution and fail to make it a priority in their foreign assistance,” the authors wrote. 

    Housebound in China 

    A dense haze obstructs visibility more often than not across China’s northern Hua Bei plain and two of its major river deltas. Less than one percent of the 500 largest cities in China meet WHO’s air quality guidelines. Anger over air pollution is a hot topic among China’s increasingly outspoken citizenry.  

    “Half of the days in 2014, I had to confine my daughter to my home like a prisoner because the air quality in Beijing was so poor,” China’s well-known journalist Chai Jing said in Under the Dome, the independent documentary she released last month, which investigated the causes of China’s air pollution.

    The film was shared on the Chinese social media portal Weibo more than 580,000 times before officials ordered websites to delete it. 

    Beyond the silo

    Traditionally left to environmental experts to tackle, the fight against pollution is increasingly recognised as requiring attention from health and development specialists too. 

    “Air pollution is the top environmental health risk and among the top modifiable health risks in the world,” said Professor Michael Brauer, a public health expert at the University of British Columbia in Canada and a member of the scientific advisory panel for the Climate and Clean Air Coalition, a consortium of governments and the UN Environment Programme. “Air pollution has been under-funded and its health impacts under-appreciated.”

    Pollution – especially outdoor or “ambient” air pollution – is also a major drag on economic performance and limits the opportunities of the poor, according to Ilmi Granoff, an environmental policy expert at the Overseas Development Institute, a London-based think tank. It causes premature death, illness, lost earnings and medical costs – all of which take their toll on both individual and national productivity.

    “Donors need to get out of the siloed thinking of pollution as an environmental problem distinct from economic development and poverty reduction,” Granoff said. 

    Pollution cleanup is indeed underfunded, he added, but pollution prevention is even more poorly prioritised: “It’s underfunded in much of the developed world, in aid, and in developing country priorities, so this isn’t just an aid problem.”

    Mounting evidence 

    Pollution kills in a variety of ways, according to relatively recent studies; air pollution is by far the most lethal form compared to soil and water pollution. 
     

    Microscopic particulate matter (PM) suspended in polluted air is the chief culprit in these deaths: the smaller the particles’ size, the deeper they are able to penetrate into the lungs.  Particles of less than 2.5 micrometres in diameter (PM2.5) are small enough to reach the alveoli, the deepest part of the lungs, and to enter the blood stream.  

    From there, PM2.5 causes inflammation and changes in heart rate, blood pressure, and blood clotting processes - the precursors to fatal stroke and heart disease.  PM2.5 irritates and corrodes the alveoli, which impairs lung function - a major precursor to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. It also acts as a carcinogen.

    Most research looks at long-term exposure to PM2.5 but even studies looking at the hours immediately following bursts of especially high ambient PM2.5 (in developed countries) show a corresponding spike in life-threatening heart attacks, heart arrhythmias and stroke.

    Asia worst affected

    The overwhelming majority - 70 percent - of global air pollution deaths occur in the Western Pacific and Southeast Asia regions.  South Asia has eight of the top 10 and 33 of the top 50 cities with the worst PM concentrations in the world.  

     

    WHO says a city’s average annual PM levels should be 20 micrograms per cubic meter.  But cities such as Karachi, Gaborone, and Delhi have yearly PM averages above 200 micrograms per cubic meter. 

    The main source of PM2.5 in indoor air, or household air, is burning solid fuels for cooking and heating, using wood, coal, dung or crop leftovers - a common practice in rural areas of low and middle-income countries that lack electricity.  

    Almost three billion people live this way, the majority in the densely populated Asia Pacific region: India and China each hold about one quarter of all people who rely on solid fuels. For these people, the daily average dose of PM2.5 is often in the hundreds of micrograms per cubic meter. 

    Filling the gaps

    Unlike many other health risks air pollution is very cost-effective to address, Brauer said. Analysis of air quality interventions in the US suggests a return on investment of up to $30 for every dollar spent. 

    “We already know how to reduce these risks, as we have done exactly that in high income countries, so this is not a matter of searching for a cure - we know what works,” he said.

    But the World Bank report said that unless it starts gathering better data on local air quality in LMICs, the amounts and sources of air pollution and the full gamut of its health impacts, “it is not possible to appropriately target interventions in a cost-effective manner.”

    Granoff said there are also gaps in government capacity to monitor, regulate and enforce pollution policy. 

    Beijing hopes to bring PM2.5 concentrations down to safe levels by 2030, and has said it will fine big polluters. 

    The World Bank report said China is also charging all enterprises fees for the pollutants they discharge; establishing a nationwide PM2.5 monitoring network; instituting pollution control measures on motor vehicles; and controlling urban dust pollution.

    But enforcing environmental protections has been a longstanding problem in China.

    “Pollution policy will only succeed if citizens are aware of the harm, able to organise their concern [through advocacy campaigns], and have a responsive government that prioritises public welfare over the narrower interests of polluting sectors,” Granoff said. 

    While more people die from household air pollution than from ambient air pollution, the latter – through vehicles, smokestacks and open burning – still accounted for 3.7 million deaths in 2012, according to the WHO. 

    A change in the air

    Kaye Patdu, an air quality expert at Clean Air Asia, a Manila-based think tank - and the secretariat for the UN-backed Clean Air Asia Partnership, comprising more than 250 government, civil, academic, business and development organisations - said the aid community is finally starting to recognise the importance of tackling air pollution.  

    • Last year’s inaugural UN Environment Assembly adopted a resolution calling for strengthened action on air pollution.  
    • WHO Member States are planning to adopt a resolution on health and air quality at the upcoming World Health Assembly in May. 
    • The proposed Sustainable Development Goals, which will set the post-2015 international development agenda, address city air quality and air, soil and water pollution. 

    None of the experts IRIN contacted could provide a breakdown of total aid spending on all forms of toxic pollution (air, water and soil pollution that is harmful to human health).  So IRIN asked each of the major global donors for their figures.  

    Three responded.  

    A back-of-envelope calculation of all reported spending on toxic pollution by USAID, the European Commission and the World Bank suggests that between them they committed about US$10 billion over 10 years. This does not include aid spending on the diseases that pollution causes. The World Bank’s spending figures eclipsed those of other the other donors. 

    By very rough comparison, HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis, with half the death toll of air pollution, received $28 billion via public sector commitments to the Global Fund – the world’s largest financier of programs that tackle these diseases – over the same period, a fraction of total spending on these diseases. 

    gh/ha/bp

    *Based on WHO statistics for per capita mortality rates in the Western Pacific region in 2012. 

    **The mortality figures for air pollution come from 2012 statistics and were released by WHO in 2014, while the figures for the infectious diseases come from 2013 statistics and were released by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation in 2014 (the Global Burden of Disease study).

    ***Includes deaths from both household air pollution (4.3 million) and ambient air pollution (3.7 million): the combined death toll is less than the sum of the parts because many people are exposed to both. 

    For more: 

    The relationship between household air pollution and disease

    Ambient air pollution and the risk of acute ischemic stroke 

    Cardiovascular effects of exposure to ambient air pollution 

    Particulate air pollution and lung function  

    Long-term exposure to ambient air pollution and incidence of cerebrovascular events: Results from 11 European cohorts within the ESCAPE Project  

    OECD's The Cost of Air Pollution report
     

    101285 200901271.jpg Analysis Health Killing us softly Gabrielle Babbington IRIN HONG KONG Congo, Republic of Djibouti DRC Eritrea Ethiopia Kenya Rwanda Somalia Sudan Tanzania Uganda Angola Botswana Lesotho Madagascar Malawi Mauritius Mozambique Namibia Seychelles South Africa Swaziland Zambia Zimbabwe Benin Burkina Faso Cameroon Cape Verde Chad Côte d’Ivoire Equatorial Guinea Gabon Gambia Ghana Guinea Guinea-Bissau Liberia Mali Mauritania Niger Nigeria Sao Tome and Principe Senegal Sierra Leone Togo Colombia Haiti United States Bangladesh Cambodia Indonesia Iran Kazakhstan Kyrgyzstan Lao Peoples Democratic Republic Myanmar Pakistan Papua New Guinea Philippines Samoa Sri Lanka Tajikistan Thailand Timor-Leste Uzbekistan Vanuatu Vietnam
                      
    If you're a friend of mine on Facebook... I didn't block you. I didn't get my panties all in a wad because you posted something political/controversial and push that little "delete" button.

    I took some time off of Facebook.
    It's not about you.
    It was TOTALLY about me.

    I needed to do some soul-searching.

    I was in a giant funk. Like really big. Like if you took the grouchiness over driving 26 miles to the nearest Kroger with a Starbucks to do your grocery shopping just so you could have your iced coffee made by someone other than your own self only to discover the aforementioned Starbucks was closed for a maintenance check up and COMBINED that with having ANOTHER dead chicken because, clearly, your number one thing on your nightly reminder list (above "did you brush your teeth?" and "did you go to the bathroom" and "you better not be wearing your pajamas over your dirty clothes") is "did you remember to close the chicken coop?" * Yeah. I was in a funk.
     *world's longest barely-coherent sentence. I'm not fixing it. See what a rebel I've become on my Facebook break??

    So what drove me over the edge?
    Well, I feel like I'm a pretty "real" person.
    I suddenly felt like a "real" person drowning in a sea of over-achieving, party-planning, fun-having, happy-go-lucky, sunshine-and-roses, pooping-out-sprinkle-dipped-rainbow-colored-unicorns, life-is-grand, Mother-of-the year types.

    Several of you out there have got this rose-colored-glasses thing DOWN!
    I mean, (in an effort to not offend my Facebook friends, names have been left off to protect the perpetually sunshiney) here is a sampling of what I was reading:
    (Artistic liberty taken, sarcastic flair added...)
    "OHMYGOSH! I could just explode I'm just so in LOOOOOVE with my kid's morning breath! I mean, I'm just so BLESSED! He literally smells like a spring meadow covered in dew! #fabulouslife"

    "My kids are such athletic geniuses!! All they do is WIN WIN WIN! #theygetitfromme #mygeneticpoolisbubblingwithlivingwater "

    "I just love homeschooling! Every day is such a fabulous encounter with knowledge and learning and fabulousness! I just LOVE glitter all over the house! Playdoh is FABULOUS! Look at these paper mache'  busts we made of the founding fathers today in History of every single minute detail of the American Revolution class! Aren't they FABULOUS!? Oh my gosh! This one looks EXACTLY like John Adams! #homeschoolROCKS #INEVERwanttosendmykidstoboardingschool #yousuck #Iwin "

    "I'm just so excited for our gigantic, super expensive, you-and-your-giant-family-will-never-afford-this trip to DisneyVille with our 2 perfect, spoiled children! We only get to go once a quarter, so this is SUCH a treat!! I've hand-sewn these matching pima cotton jumpers in matching micro-Mickey-head swiss dot fabric that I purchased from a fair-trade, free-range, organic leprosy colony in Mozambique! Aren't they PRECIOUS! #notonlyarewegoingtoDisneybutIdoitbetterthanyouevercould"

    I think you catch my drift.

    People, I was in a funk of comparison. 
    "She's a better mom than me. She's NEVER annoyed at her kids. They will arise and call her blessed WAY before she's on her death bed for SURE."

    "She puts her kids in SO many activities! They're going to be so well-rounded. I can barely make sure my kids are wearing clean-ish clothes every day, much less make it to all those practices, games and coaching sessions! I must be a horrible time-manager."

    "She is like the president and CEO of homeschooling. If there was a Nobel prize for this, they'd definitely win. I would not get an invite to be a seat-filler at the Homeschooling Nobel Prize awards show. I'm just glad when we get through the day without someone crying because I told them they reversed their b and d again! What's with the homemade crafty stuff?! Don't these women sleep? Where do they come up with these ideas?? My kids should begin focusing on greeting people with a smile and saying 'would you like to super size that?' because that's about where we are headed if this is the standard."

    "My poor kids. They have so much less than their peers. We've never taken a family vacation that wasn't to visit relatives and we will likely NEVER get to Disney. The tickets alone are ridiculous, not to mention the FOOD these people put away! Are they storing it in their hollow leg in anticipation of the Zombie Apocalypse?? Who eats 5 chicken legs at dinner?  I don't know if they'd have agreed to large-family-life if they'd known what all they'd miss out on."

    So, in a fit of "I'm tired of feeling like a failure AND tired of thinking everyone has their crap together other than me" rage, I deleted the FB app from my phone, then logged in from my computer and deleted my account. I didn't make any big to-do about it, just Poof. Gone. I went radio-silent. I have a separate account for my business (anyone who tried to add me there, I just don't use that page for anything which is why I haven't looked at my friend requests.)

    And here's what I learned.
    Facebook isn't about being REAL.
    It's about FACE value. It's about writing the fairytale BOOK about your life. The parts of the book you WANT people to see. It's not about being REAL in any way, shape or form. AND I'm able to get through the day without knowing what you put in your green smoothie or how much you looooove your new cockapootreiver, LoveBug.

    And so, I was talking with a friend a week or so ago and explaining my epiphany when she said
    "YOU are that person to me. YOU are the one I can't measure up to. YOU are the one I feel like I want to BE when I grow up."
    Uhmmmm... what?
    Suddenly it became very weird for me. The very thing I was avoiding, I had become.
    Was I giving people a false-view of my life? Was I portraying that everything here at Drama Llama Ranch is sunshine and sprinkles? What on earth...??

    So... after giving it some thought, I realized that Facebook is basically hallway talk. It's passing by someone in the hall after church. You're focused on getting your kids out of their classes and getting everyone loaded into the van and hopefully not forgetting anyone and figuring out what you can feed everyone for lunch because FOR THE LOVE it's been 3 whole hours since they've eaten anything and they might DIE... and you say "Hey! Long time no see! How is everyone?" and she replies "GREAT!! The kids and I are loving homeschooling, my husband is able to be home 6 days a week now and we just bought a kiwi berry farm out on 500 acres just outside of town with a barn so we can get a dairy cow! How are YOU??"

    For a moment you stand there and consider dipping it all in donut glaze and rolling it in happiness, but instead...

    "Well, my husband is out of town for the next 10 days, my kids have eaten cereal for 3 of the past 4 meals, I've been plagued by migraines for which I'm blaming the Polar Vortex, I feel like I stink at homeschooling since the majority of my children can't read yet and one of the ones I've had since birth asked me this week if he doubled 1/4 if it was a cup or half a cup, I'm 37 with 12 kids and for some reason I STILL want a baby and I know it will never happen but I can't let it go and it causes me great struggle in my spiritual life, I wish I made more money to do things like vacations and building a barn and a fence so we could have a dairy cow and maybe raise some for beef, too...but... YEAH we are all just FABULOUS!

    What if we stepped out of the hallway every so often and shut the door into a quiet place with our friend and said "but how are you REALLY doing?"

    What IF we all realized that we ALL have good days and bad days, but most days land somewhere in between?

    What if we started to live life OFFline more than ONline?

    What if we suddenly were able to see THROUGH the fog of happy-shroud and see the real life moments behind the madness? What if we read those super over-the-top braggy posts and instead saw the bedraggled mom who really just needs a moment to breathe, pray, have a bite of something yummy and carry on with her day? Maybe she's just a name-it-and-claim-it Facebooker. Faking it until she makes it. It's all good, Rainbow Brite! We feel ya!

    If I've ever given you the impression that I have all my junk together, please let this post destroy that notion.

    If I've ever made you feel inferior in any way by talking about something in my life, please know that there are 800 other things I feel like I fail at EVERY SINGLE DAY behind that one success.

    And to the mommas out there dragging themselves to the coffee pot each day and begging it to percolate faster so that you can MAYBE finish that one cup of joe before the kids are all clamoring for breakfast and fighting for the "best" seat at the table... I'm right there with ya.

    For the mommas who feel like they're failing at raising their children, failing at schooling them at home or failing while sending them off to school...you are NOT alone.

    For the mommas of a bajillionty kids like me who struggle with balancing the feelings we ALL have about what we can and can't provide...repeat my mantra after me "no one ever died from not going to disney." Our kids are growing up with the added benefit of living in a large family. Employers will know they can work well with others, they can be a team-player, and they will take few sick days because they've already been exposed to everything under the sun.

    And with that... I feel healthy enough to come visit you in Facebook land again.

    Until you start with that everyday-is-a-fancy-schmancy-holiday-at-our-home crap again.
    That's the day I block your sunshiney self in the name of my own mental health.


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    “In remote places and countries with a weak tourism industry and a high unemployment rate, it is very difficult – or almost impossible – to run a conservancy like Sango without income from sustainable utilisation,” Pabst said.

    Is that what we are calling conservation?

    Related: What if we gave universal income to people in biodiversity hotpots?

    Related: Cecil's legacy: could the death of one lion start a conservation movement?

    Conservation is a great challenge that can only be achieved if we perceive Africa differently

    Continue reading...
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    • Preferred access to education centers in USA, UK, Europe, Asia, Middle East and Latin America 
    • Access to the IABFM journal published online 
    • Gold Embossed Certificate with your name and designation as MIABFM (Member of the International Academy of Business and Financial Management)
    Who Should Attend?

    This course is suitable for many different types of risk analysts, managers and audit staff. It covers the entire risk management landscape drawing on different aspects of risk and delivers complex topics in an easy to understand manner: 

    • Corporate treasury Managers in banks & corporations 
    • Risk Managers/Analysts 
    • Finance Directors 
    • Financial Controllers 
    • Finance Managers 
    • Accountants 
    • Dealers 
    • Operational Risk Staff 
    • Market Risk Staff 
    • Brokers 
    • Internal Auditors 
    • External Auditors 

    Plus anyone who is responsible for analyzing company financial risk and dealing with the various risk exposures that may affect their organization.

    Cost:

    Discount: Discounts Up to 100% OFF

    Next Session:

    Duration: 5 Days

    Certified


              A Short, Informative History of Cannabis        

    A Short, Informative History of Hemp

    Based off of research done by: T.B. Green


    Cannabis has a very prominent part in the history of mankind. While almost all of us have grown up in a time of near worldwide prohibition, this plant was once broadly recognized for not only its medicinal and recreational purposes, but for its industrial versatility as well. Hemp was used to make sturdy, ropes and canvases. Back before all of the manmade synthetics that now dominate the market, Hemp was seen as one of the strongest, and most durable of textiles available to the world.

    There have been world conflicts over hemp products, and most people think that the only cannabis related conflicts are the drug wars raging in the US, Mexico, and other parts of the world. Sadly, governments push biased school syllabi, instead teaching citizens the history of our civilizations as it honestly happened. History really is told from the point of view of the “victorious” and those still in power.  Just because politicians make the laws, doesn’t mean they can create their own versions of what happened, but they do. Why? It’s Simple. It pushes the agenda of those in power. If the government admitted to the fact that hemp is nutritious, that it is a medicinal powerhouse, that it could easily solve the world’s fuel crisis, and reverse environmental calamities, then the people that the governments supposedly serve may start to question the absurd laws trying to prohibit it out of existence. Then they might learn that the prohibition isn’t based on the best interests of the people, but in the special interests of industries looking to conceal the industrial and medicinal application of a plant that could be grown by anyone. It could cut their profits, and that’s far more important than doing the right thing in their book. So without further ado, here is a short chronological history based on our favorite plant, cannabis.

    A Chronology of Cannabis

    BCE:Before Christ’s Existence

    ACE:After Christ’s Existence

    *Fine hemp production in Russia has lasting effects on world history

    **The modern United States government is the biggest opponent of cannabis legalization and use in the world

    • 10,000 BCE—While we aren’t totally sure when cannabis came upon the Earth, we believe that the first human cultivations of cannabis occurred around this time period, because this is the time period that humanity first started purposefully planting seed in hopes of harvesting their fruits

    • 7,000-6,000 BCE—Hemp oil and seed is used as food in China, The Chinese also started to feed hemp-cake to their livestock.  The Chinese would fill an oil press with hemp seed to extract this oil. What was left was the hemp-cake still rich in protein, fiber and useful vitamins and minerals

    • 5,000 BCE—Woven Hemp product used in China and Turkestan mainly for clothing

    • 2,700 BCE—The Emperor of China Shen Nang uses Cannabis as Medicine

    • 2,000 BCE— In India, Bhang (a drink made of cured cannabis leaves, stems, seeds, and flowers) is spoken of in The Vedas, a multivolume Hindu religious book. It is said that Bhang is the favored food of the god Shiva; it is consumed ritualistically by his followers and even used as an offering. There are several holidays that incorporate its use

    • 1,500 BCE—The Scythians, (Iranian speaking nomads from the black sea region) begin to cultivate the plant to make fine clothing and food. They also enjoy the smoke produced by burning the leaves and flowers. First as incense, but it didn’t take long for it to be loaded into rudimentary pipes

    • 931 BCE—Wild Cannabis is said to have grown naturally on the tomb of King Solomon the Magician. It was said to be gift from Jah to his people

    • 605 BCE—Cannabis is most likely cultivated hydroponically for the first time in the hanging gardens of Babylon

    • 600 BCE—*Ancient Russian tribes start to produce hemp cordage

    • 500-400 BCE—Scythian nomads begin to venture into Europe. They introduce cannabis to many European settlements along the way. Ancient Greek historian Herodotus tells of Scythian cannabis use as both religious and recreational. The Scythians also bring cannabis into northern Europe, introducing it to Germanic tribes. Russian tribes introduce hemp fiber to Scandinavia

    • 100 BCE—Chinese invent paper using hemp pulp

    • 23-70 ACE— Roman naturalist and philosopher Pliny the Elder writes about the use of Hemp to make rope. He also writes about the ability cannabis has to sooth pain

    • 100 ACE—Hemp cordage makes its way to The British Isles via the Roman navy. The Romans most likely brought the seed with them as well. Exploration parties and navies used to bring hemp or flax seed (preferably hemp seed) with them on expeditions. They considered it to be emergency equipment

    • 150 ACE—Greek doctor Galen prescribes cannabis as medicine

    • 200 ACE— Chinese surgeon Hua T’o uses cannabis as an anesthetic with success during surgical procedures

    • 500 ACE—The Jewish Talmud mentions the euphoric effects of cannabis

    • 850 ACE—Vikings take hemp rope and seed with them on their first expedition to Iceland and eventually to Greenland as well

    • 900 ACE—The use of Arab hashish spreads into Northern Africa and Europe

    • 1100 ACE—Recruited Assassins of Hassan Ibn Al-Sabbah, from Persia, reportedly utilize the psychedelic effects of cannabis in their assassinations

    • 1200 ACE—1,001 Arabian Nights makes detailed description of the use cannabis as an aphrodisiac

    • 1300 ACE—Arab traders bring cannabis with them to the Mozambique coast of Africa. Archaeologists find gourd pipes in Ethiopia dating back to this time frame that has evidence of burnt cannabis resin

    • 1533 ACE—King Henry requires British farmers to grow hemp to supplement hemp cordage and sails needed for the British naval fleet

    • 1550 ACE—Angolan slaves brought to Brazil by the Portuguese bring cannabis seeds with them, and are permitted by their masters to grow it between rows of sugar cane on the plantations. They are allowed to smoke it in between grow seasons

    • 1578 ACE—Li Shih-Chen of China writes of cannabis’s application as antibiotic and its use in treating nausea

    • 1600 ACE—*Great Britain and starts to import hemp from Russia

    • 1606 ACE—Europeans (mainly the British, French, and Spanish) start cultivating much greater amounts of hemp in their colonies ranging from New England to the Caribbean and South America

    • 1621 ACE—British writer and scholar Robert Burton publishes his book called The Anatomy of Melancholy which for the first time describes cannabis as an effective treatment for depression

    • 1753 ACE—Swedish Botanist Carolus Linnaeus makes the first classification of cannabis; Cannabis Sativa L

    • 1776 ACE—The American colony of Kentucky begins to cultivate large quantities of hemp for the use in America’s war for independence, also an American seamstress named Betsy Ross makes the first Stars and Stripes U.S. flag, and she does so using hemp. The flag is presented to General George Washington in the late spring of 1776

    • 1781 ACE—The first drafts of the US constitution are written on hemp paper

    • 1785 ACE—French naturalist and botanist Jean-Baptiste Lemarck classifies a second variety of cannabis; Cannabis Indica L

    • 1799-1815 ACE*/** The Napoleonic wars were hugely centered on hemp trade, its exportation from Russia to England, to the US, and it necessity to naval powers at that time.  Post French Revolution, the British feared the spread of a similar revolution to their side of the channel. To Squash the notion and to stand firm the British began to blockade the French via the English Channel and the strait of Trafalgar.  In response Napoleon tried to get Russia to stop exporting its prized hemp sails and cordage to the British.  Which succeeded briefly, but ambitious US traders helped the British to get around the embargo. Soon the Russians stopped the embargo which caused Napoleon to invade Russia. The British tried to block US from trading with all of Europe, to avoid any hemp or other trade good from getting to the French. Since the Americans didn’t care about whom they traded with as long as there was profit to be made. At which point the US decided to declare a semi-victorious second war on Britain, and Britain was forced to fight two wars at once. Eventually Napoleon was defeated by Britain and her allies. He was dethroned, and all sides signed treaties. Such was the Hemp Wars

    • 1840 ACE—**In the US, pharmaceutical medicines widely start to include cannabis

    • 1890 ACE—Greece and The Ottoman Empire try to prohibit the importation and use of Hashish. Sir J.R. Reynolds, chief doctor to the British Queen Victoria, prescribes her medicinal cannabis.

    • 1914 ACE—**The Harrison Act tries defines cannabis and other drug use as a crime in the US

    • 1915 ACE—**The US prohibits use of cannabis, except for in medicine

    • 1924 ACE—Russian Botanist D.E. Janichevsky classifies the third type of cannabis; Cannabis Ruderalis J.

    • 1928 ACE—Britain bans recreational use of Cannabis

    • 1936 ACE—**US propaganda film Reefer Madness is produced

    • 1937 ACE— **On October 2nd the US enacts the Marijuana Stamp Act. The US prohibits all cannabis cultivation, distribution, and consumption in its own borders by requiring farmers to go to Washington DC to purchase a Marijuana tax stamp. However going to D.C. and requesting the Stamp is illegal and punishable by law. That same day the FBI arrests the first cannabis criminals in the US.  They conduct a raid on the Lexington Hotel in Denver Colorado, and arrest 58 year old Samuel Caldwell and Moses Baca

    • 1941 ACE—**the US removes cannabis from the US Pharmacopeia; It no longer recognizes the medicinal utilization of cannabis.

    • 1942 ACE—**US propaganda produces pro hemp video, Hemp for Victory at the beginning of WWII, essentially encouraging its citizens to break the anti-hemp laws to assist in the war effort. Also in the US, the OSS (war time predecessor to the CIA) develops a ‘truth serum’ to use against captured enemy spies. The main active ingredient in the ‘truth serum’ is concentrated THC from cannabis

    • 1951 ACE—**The US resumes its anti-cannabis stance with the Narcotics Control Act and gets most other countries to follow suit by getting the newly formed United Nations to take an anti-cannabis /anti-narcotic stance. These laws are almost ineffective and hard to enforce, there for they don’t take priority to most law enforcement units world-wide. However when governments and law enforcement were able to make an easy bust, they usually made a horse and pony show out of it and made examples of the culprits

    • 1960 ACE—Czech scientists are able to confirm the antibiotic and pain treating properties of cannabis. They publish their findings and are ignored by the world

    • 1967 ACE—**Cannabis strain Red Lebanese, is brought to California. It is the first strain to be cultivated for smoke alone in the US. Red Lebanese was the first selectively bread strain for smoke-ability in the US, and grown solely for smoking

    • 1970 ACE—**Richard Nixon is the first US president to talk about a war on drugs. He does so while encouraging congress to pass the CSA (Controlled Substance Act) of 1970. Many believe his reason for doing so is because of his anger with the counter culture movement and their liberal use of cannabis and a few other drugs. He hated their public protests and open defiance, and was sure that cannabis was the root of their unscrupulous actions. Also, NORML, National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, is created. Its most notable member is renounced US astrophysicist Carl Sagan

    • 1971 ACE—First credible reports of Marijuana being able to medically treat glaucoma.

    • 1972 ACE—**Richard Nixon appoints The Shafer Commission to evaluate the effects of cannabis and to hopefully reinforce his anti-cannabis policies. The Shafer Commission, however, finds that cannabis is ultimately harmless and could possibly have medicinal properties. They also conclude that a total prohibition and war on the drug would be a useless waste of money. Their findings are ignored, and Nixon has Shafer fired.

    • 1973 ACE—Nepal and Afghanistan make hashish consumption and production a capital offense

    • 1976 ACE—The Netherlands decriminalizes cannabis use and growth

    • 1980 ACE—The government in the Netherlands authorizes small amounts of cannabis to be sold in local coffee shops

    • 1986 ACE—**US President Ronald Reagan, starts the US’s official war on drugs, and signs the Anti-Drug Abuse Act. The Just say No campaign begins

    • 1992 ACE-- **US Presidential candidate and eventual President-Elect Bill Clinton admits in an interview to having smoked cannabis, but famously says that he “Never Inhaled it.” Somehow he felt that the public would see the distinction, and astonishingly, he was right

    • 1996 ACE—**California, the first US state to ban the use of cannabis (in 1915), becomes the first US state to legalize medical marijuana

    • 1998 ACE— **US states Oregon, Washington and Alaska also legalize the use of medicinal marijuana use. The movement no longer seems like a flash in the pan. Other states start to consider it

    • 1999 ACE—**US state Maine legalizes medical marijuana use, it is the first eastern seaboard state to do so

    • 2000 ACE—**US states Colorado, Nevada and Hawaii legalize medical marijuana use. Medical marijuana is catching fire in western US states

    • 2001 ACE—There is a growing change in the way many countries worldwide are viewing cannabis use. This is a big year for cannabis; British Home Secretary David Blunkett proposes lowering cannabis from class B to class C. Canada, as a nation legalizes medical marijuana use; And Portugal decriminalizes use of ALL drugs, including cannabis. Viewing drug use not as a punishable crime but as a medical health issue

    • 2004 ACE—**After four years of slow down, the medical marijuana movement picks up two more states; Vermont and Montana

    • 2006 ACE—**US state Rhode Island legalizes medical marijuana use

    • 2007 ACE—**US state New Mexico legalizes medical marijuana use

    • 2008 ACE—**US state Michigan legalizes medical marijuana use

    • 2010 ACE—**US capital Washington DC and two other US states; New Jersey and Arizona legalize medical marijuana use

    • 2011 ACE—**US state Delaware legalizes medical marijuana use

    • 2012 ACE—**US states Connecticut and Massachusetts legalize medical marijuana use. Two US states vote to outright legalize, regulate and tax cannabis.  Those states are: Colorado (our home) and Washington. This is big, because while other places such as the Netherlands and Portugal have decriminalized its use. No place in the world has voted for outright legalization of cannabis 

    • 2013 ACE--** US states New Hampshire and Illinois legalize medical marijuana use, bringing the total number of medical marijuana states in the US to 20. That’s nearly half of the states in the US   

    KEEP GROWING- T.B. GREEN

    This Chronological History has been adapted from these sources:

    1. The Emperor Wears No Clothes- By Jack Herer

    2. Cannabis: A History- By Martin Booth

    3. Marijuana Growers Handbook: By Ed Rosenthal

    4. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Medical_cannabis

    5. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/cannabis

    6. http://www.advancedholistichealth.org/history.html

    7. http://medicalmarijuana.procon.org/view.resource.php?resourceID=000143






              HUMAN RIGHTS IN 2010: THE CIRI REPORT        
    In conjunction with Human Rights Day, 2011, the CIRI Human Rights Data Project releases its ratings of government respect for 16 internationally-recognized human rights in almost every country in the world for the year 2010. The CIRI project's data stretch back, annually, to 1981 and can be freely accessed at www.humanrightsdata.org

    The CIRI data are used by governments, scholars, international organizations, businesses, think tanks, and students the world over for a wide variety of purposes. The project is Co-Directed by Dr. David L. Cingranelli (Binghamton University) and Dr. David L. Richards (University of Connecticut) and assisted by Senior CIRI Associate K. Chad Clay (University of Georgia). Any inquiries may be addressed to info@humanrightsdata.org

    Below, we present four types of stories from this year's released data:


    THE BEST AND WORST of 2010

    All 14 of CIRI's indicators of particular human rights can be summed into an overall human rights score for each country in the world. The top (best) score a country can receive is 30, while the worst score would be 0. The world average was 18 and the USA scored 26 (tied for 5th place). Below are the best and worst of 2010.

    Top 13 Countries:

    Denmark [30]
    Iceland [30]
    Austria [29]
    New Zealand [29]
    Norway [29]
    Australia [28]
    Belgium [28]
    Finland [28]
    Liechtenstein [28]
    Luxembourg [28]
    Netherlands [28]
    San Marino [28]
    Sweden [28]


    Bottom 10 Countries:

    Burma [2]
    Eritrea [2]
    Iran [2]
    China [3]

    Korea, Democratic People's Republic of [3]
    Yemen [3]
    Zimbabwe [3]
    Saudi Arabia [4]
    Congo, Democratic Republic of [5]
    Nigeria [5]


    THE UN HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCIL

    On May 20, 2011, the United Nations elected 15 new members of the UN Human Rights Council. Here are their total CIRI human rights scores for 2010, out of a possible 30 points. Six out of the fifteen new members had scores below the world average of 18 for the year 2010. Below are the scores for each new member:

    Austria         [29]
    Benin          [16]
    Botswana     [22]
    Burkina Faso    [20]
    Republic of Congo  [18]  
    Chile             [26]
    Costa Rica     [26]
    Czech Republic   [24]
    India               [10]
    Indonesia        [13]
    Italy               [24]
    Kuwait          [11]
    Peru              [18]
    Philippines     [15]
    Romania        [17]


    DECLINE IN RESPECT FOR PHYSICAL INTEGRITY RIGHTS

    The CIRI Index of Physical Integrity Rights measure's a government's overall level of respect for four rights: torture, extrajudicial killing, political imprisonment, disappearance. The index ranges from 0 (no respect for any of these four rights) to 8 (full respect for all four of these rights). In 2008-2009, the world saw an overall average increase in these rights of .047. However, a reversal of this improvement was seen from 2009-2010, with it's overall average decline in respect of -.031. In particular 2009-2010 saw the following dramatic changes:

    Three Countries Lost 3 Points (Violations Increased)

    Croatia
    Georgia
    Panama

    Seven Countries Gained 2 Points (Violations Decreased)

    Angola
    Chad
    Chile
    Guinea
    Italy
    Kenya
    Seychelles

    The fact that the CIRI data stretch back in time to 1981 allows for longitudinal comparison. For example, the graph below shows how regional averages of respect for physical integrity rights have changed over the years:



    MORE TORTURE

    An important part of this overall decline in respect for physical integrity rights comes from a continuing degradation, globally, of respect for the right not to be tortured. For example, 2009-2010 saw 17 countries engage in more torture, while only 8 engaged in less torture. Below is the list of these countries. CIRI's indicator of government respect for torture is as follows: (0) Frequent/systematic torture, (1) Moderate/occasional torture (2) No reported/confirmed episodes of
    torture.

    Increased Torture, 2009-2010

    Austria
    Bahrain
    Canada
    Congo, Republic of
    Croatia
    Georgia
    Hungary
    Japan
    Korea, Republic of
    Kyrgyz Republic
    Marshall Islands
    Mozambique
    Nicaragua
    Senegal
    Sierra Leone
    Slovenia
    Thailand

    Decreased Torture, 2009-2010

    Chile
    Czech Republic       
    Denmark       
    Dominica       
    Italy       
    Micronesia, Federated States of       
    Seychelles       
    Spain

    This trend in the greater use of torture is not a post-9/11 phenomenon, however. The chart below shows the increased use of torture beginning in the early 1980s. The extent of the drop in respect for this right differed by region and is seen to be particularly acute in Africa.


              ADVISORY: New Online Platform on Indigenous and Community Territories to Help Secure Land Rights Worldwide        

    ADVISORY: New Online Platform on Indigenous and Community Territories to Help Secure Land Rights Worldwide

    As Paris climate change talks approach, new web resource promises opportunities to protect human rights and limit emissions from deforestation

    WHAT
    The launch of LandMark, the first online, interactive global platform that provides maps and other information on lands collectively held and used by Indigenous Peoples and communities. The platform was created to fill a critical gap in information on indigenous territories and community lands, and provide a reference guide on the legal rights to these lands. LandMark was developed under the guidance of a 13-member Steering Group including indigenous coalitions and land rights and research organizations around the world.

    Launch events are also taking place in Jakarta, Indonesia, and Lima, Peru.

    Watch livestream: http://www.wri.org/events/2015/11/launch-landmark-global-platform-indigenous-and-community

    SPEAKERS

    • KEYNOTE: Liz Alden Wily, Independent Land Tenure Specialist, Kenya
    • Alda Salomão, Director General, Centro Terra Viva-Estudos e Advocacia Ambiental, Mozambique
    • Andy White, Coordinator, Rights and Resources Initiative
    • Barun Mitra, Director, Liberty Institute, India
    • Brian Keane, Adviser for Indigenous Peoples Issues, U.S. Agency for International Development
    • Fabrice Dubertret, World Atlas of Indigenous Peoples Territories
    • Katie Reytar, Research Associate, World Resources Institute
    • Mark Robinson, Global Director, Governance, World Resources Initiative
    • Samuel Nguiffo, Secretary General, Centre pour l'Environnement et le Développement, Cameroon

    WHEN
    Tuesday, November 10, 2015, 9:00-11:00 AM

    WHERE
    Capitol View Business and Conference Center
    101 Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20001

    WHY
    Indigenous and community forest rights that are legally recognized and protected by governments translate to low rates of deforestation and the maintenance of healthy forests with high carbon storage. Research finds that while Indigenous Peoples and local communities live and rely on up to 65 percent of the global land area, they only have ownership rights to 10 percent, leaving the vast majority of their territories at risk of predatory and environmentally destructive development.

    Many governments today acknowledge customary land rights, but few have established the strong legal protections needed to secure tenure systems. Without strong legal protections, Indigenous Peoples and communities – especially in Africa, Asia and Latin America – are at risk of losing their land for economic development and commercial purposes, including mines, palm oil plantations, and timber concessions.

    As we draw closer to the Paris climate talks, the LandMark platform will help shine a light on collectively-held lands around the world and provide an interactive look at where indigenous and community tenure rights are strong. This new tool will be continuously updated with additional maps and information as new data is collected.

    To schedule an interview with a speaker at the conference, contact:
    Jenna DiPaolo Colley, RRI, +1 202-412-0331, JDiPaolo@rightsandresources.org
    Lauren Zelin, WRI, +1 202-729-7736, lzelin@wri.org


    LandMark (Beta) was developed under the guidance of a 13-member Steering Group, including indigenous coalitions and land rights and research organizations around the world: Aliansi Masyarakat Adat Nusantara (AMAN, Indonesia), Forest Peoples Programme (FPP, UK), Foundation for Ecological Security (FES, India), Instituto del Bien Común (IBC, Peru), International Land Coalition (ILC, Rome), Liz Alden Wily (Kenya), Philippine Association for Intercultural Development, Inc. (PAFID, Philippines), Rainforest Foundation UK (RFUK, UK), Red Amazónica de Información Socioambiental Georreferenciada (RAISG, Brazil), Rights and Resource Initiative (RRI, USA), Union of Indigenous Nomadic Tribes of Iran (UNINOMAD, Iran) / Centre for Sustainable Development (CENESTA, Iran), World Atlas of Indigenous Peoples' Territories (WAIPT, France), and World Resources Institute (WRI, Global).

    Contact

    Advisory
    Governance

              Up And Coming International Vacation Spots        
    Things change fast in the international world of travel. From time to time, there are fairly untouched gems, like Mozambique 15 years ago or Cuba 10 years ago. For very different reasons, Germany, Argentina, the Philippines, and Madagascar are destinations to consider or re-consider for your up-and-coming vacation bucket list.
              Cats Hd Wallpapers         
    Source(google.com.pk)
    Cats Hd Wallpapers Biography
    The HD Cat has two estrus periods, one in December–February and another in May–July.[59] Estrus lasts 5–9 days, with a gestation period lasting 60–68 days.[60] Ovulation is induced through copulation. Spermatogenesis occurs throughout the year. During the mating season, males fight viciously,[59] and may congregate around a single female. There are records of male and female wildcats becoming temporarily monogamous. Kittens usually appear in April–May, though some may be born from March–August. Litter size ranges from 1-7 kittens.[60]
    Kittens are born blind and helpless, and are covered in a fuzzy coat.[59] At birth, the kittens weigh 65-163 grams, though kittens under 90 grams usually do not survive. They are born with pink paw pads, which blacken at the age of three months, and blue eyes, which turn amber after five months.[60] Their eyes open after 9–12 days, and their incisors erupt after 14–30 days. The kittens' milk teeth are replaced by their permanent dentition at the age of 160–240 days. The kittens start hunting with their mother at the age of 60 days, and will start moving independently after 140–150 days. Lactation lasts 3–4 months, though the kittens will eat meat as early as 1.5 months of age. Sexual maturity is attained at the age of 300 days.[59] Similarly to the housecat, the physical development of African wildcat kittens over the first two weeks of their lives is much faster than that of European wildcats.[47] The kittens are largely fully grown by 10 months, though skeletal growth continues for over 18–19 months. The family dissolves after roughly five months, and the kittens disperse to establish their own territories.[60] The species' maximum life span is 21 years, though it usually only lives up to 13–14 years.[59]
    The Hdcat's distribution is very broad, encompassing most of Africa, Europe, and southwest and central Asia into India, China, and Mongolia.[2]
    The northern African subspecies, F. s. lybica, occurs across northern Africa, extending around the Arabian Peninsula's periphery to the Caspian Sea, encompassing a wide range of habitats, with the exception of closed tropical forests. It occurs in small numbers in true deserts such as the Sahara, particularly in hilly and mountainous areas, such as the Hoggar. In North Africa, the subspecies occurs discontinuously from Morocco through Algeria, Tunisia, Libya and into Egypt. It occurs throughout the savannahs of West Africa, ranging from Mauritania on the Atlantic seaboard, eastwards to the Horn of Africa, Sudan and Ethiopia. In the south, F. s. lybica is replaced in all East and southern African countries the southern F. s. cafra. The border range between the two subspecies encompasses Tanzania and Mozambique. The Asiatic wildcat, F. s. ornata, ranges from the eastern Caspian into western India, and north to Kazakhstan and into western China and southern Mongolia. The Chinese F. s. bieti is indigenous to western China, and is particularly abundant in the Quinghai and possibly Sichuan provinces. The European subspecies, F. s. silvestris, was once very widely distributed in Europe, being absent only in Fennoscandia and Estonia. However, between the late 1700s and mid 1900s, the species underwent declines and local extirpations, resulting in a fragmentation of its range. It is now extinct in Holland, and possibly extinct in the Czech Republic. It is considered regionally extinct in Austria, though vagrants from Italy are spreading into Austrian territory. In the Pyrenees, the wildcat occurs from sea level to 2,250 m. It is possible that in some areas, including Scotland and Stromberg, Germany, pure wildcats have crossbred extensively with domestic cats. The only island in the Mediterranean to house wildcats is Sicily, with other populations in Sardinia, Corsica and possibly Crete possibly being descended from feral populations introduced there from Neolithic times.[2]The Hdcat is considered an icon of the Scottish wilderness, and has been used in clan heraldry since the 13th century.[82] The Picts venerated wildcats, having probably named Caithness (Land of the Cats) after them. According to the foundation myth of the Catti tribe, their ancestors were attacked by wildcats upon landing in Scotland. Their ferocity impressed the Catti so much, that the wildcat became their symbol.[84] A thousand years later, the progenitors of Clan Sutherland, equally impressed, adopted the wildcat on their family crest.[12][84] The Chief of Clan Sutherland bears the title Morair Chat (Great Man of the Cats). The Clan Chattan Association (also known as the Clan of Cats) is made up of 12 different clans, the majority of which display the wildcat on their badges.
    Cats Hd Wallpapers 
    Cats Hd Wallpapers 
    Cats Hd Wallpapers 
    Cats Hd Wallpapers 
    Cats Hd Wallpapers 
    Cats Hd Wallpapers 
    Cats Hd Wallpapers 
    Cats Hd Wallpapers 
    Cats Hd Wallpapers 
    Cats Hd Wallpapers 
    Cats Hd Wallpapers 
    Cats Hd Wallpapers 
    Cats Hd Wallpapers

              Les Soviétiques et l’Otan en Afghanistan: des différences qui importent        

    Le 15 février dernier marquait le 20ème anniversaire du retrait soviétique d’Afghanistan. A tort ou à raison, le conflit actuel est souvent comparé à l’expérience de l’URSS dans les années 1980. Une telle comparaison est par essence teintée de pessimisme, et sert généralement à soutenir la thèse d’un retrait urgent des troupes otaniennes d’Asie du sud, sous prétexte qu’aucune forme de succès ne peut être atteinte et que l’échec est inévitable. Pourtant, s’il est intéressant de souligner les points communs entre les deux opérations en Afghanistan, afin d’apprendre des erreurs du passé, il est tout aussi primordial d’insister sur les différences qui peuvent laisser entrevoir une (légère) touche d’optimisme.

    Au rayon des comparaisons, on notera que l’URSS considérait dès 1985, comme les Etats-Unis aujourd’hui, que les objectifs initiaux ne pourraient jamais être atteints, que « le temps n’était pas de notre côté [soviétique] » pour citer Gromyko en 1986 (via les National Security Archives de la George Washington University), alors président du Soviet Suprême, et qu’un retrait s’imposait. Côté américain aujourd’hui, le rêve d’établir une démocratie occidentale à Kaboul s’est effacé, mais l’ambition d’installer un régime stable (quitte à négocier avec les Taliban « modérés ») et d’atteindre une certaine forme de « victoire » revue à la baisse demeure (plus de bannière « Mission Accomplished » cette fois-ci).

    Le retrait soviétique planifié dès 1985 était empêché par la peur d’une retraite humiliante vis-à-vis de l’ennemi américain. Aujourd’hui, les Etats-Unis on également peur d’une retraite humiliante, mais davantage vis-à-vis d’al-Qaïda que de n’importe quelle autre puissance rivale.


    En outre, les Soviétiques posaient comme condition préalable à leur retrait la mise en place d’un gouvernement stable, reposant sur un large soutien populaire, et disposant d’une armée et d’une police équipées pour faire face aux moudjaheddines. La similarité avec l’objectif annoncé de la mission des forces de la coalition en Afghanistan aujourd’hui est évidente. Mais cela ne veut pas dire pour autant que l’échec est inévitable.

    Le point commun fondamental entre les deux expériences, comme le souligne Bruce Riedel dans le dernier numéro de CTC Sentinel, tient dans le rôle joué par le Pakistan. En effet, dans les deux cas, le Pakistan constitue la « zone de sécurité » (safe haven, en anglais) à partir de laquelle les insurgés opèrent et s’approvisionnent. Les Soviétiques n’avaient jamais réussi à convaincre le Pakistan (et donc les Américains) de mater l’insurrection (et pour cause : l’objectif américain était d’affaiblir l’URSS en finançant les insurgés via les services secrets pakistanais). Aujourd’hui, les Américains sont pris à leur propre piège : les connections qu’ils ont contribué à créer entre renseignements pakistanais et djihadistes et Taliban empêchent tout engagement crédible du Pakistan (lequel qui plus est table sur un retrait des Américains, et donc préfère garder une forme de contrôle sur l’Afghanistan).

    L’autre point commun essentiel tient sans doute dans cette phrase de Gorbatchev, prononcée en novembre 1986 (toujours via les National Security Archives) : « Nos généraux n’apprennent pas leurs leçons. (…) Nous avons eu des expériences passées en Angola, en Ethiopie, au Mozambique. Il doit y avoir une courbe d’apprentissage. (…) Nous devons trouver les clés de cette guerre ». Le récent remplacement du général McKiernan en Afghanistan ne fait qu’illustrer ce même problème.

    Malgré ces quelques similitudes, des différences majeures persistent qui laissent entrevoir une meilleure issue au conflit. Tout d’abord, la raison de l’intervention américaine (défense nationale, sécurité collective) est bien plus légitime que celle qui avait poussé l’invasion russe (installer un régime communiste, sécuriser la frontière sud). Résultat : la mission de l’Otan bénéficie d’un bien plus large soutien international que celle de l’URSS. En outre, cela offre une plus grande marge de manœuvre à la coalition. En effet, le type de régime mis en place importe peu (du moins en théorie) et seul compte désormais le besoin d’éviter de créer un nouveau havre de paix pour al-Qaïda ou d’autres organisations terroristes. Enfin, les opérations contre-insurrectionnelles soviétiques étaient extrêmement brutales et non adaptées à ce type de conflit asymétrique, ce qui rendait toute victoire impossible.

    En conclusion, retenons qu’il y a au moins autant de différences que de similarités entre les expériences soviétiques et otaniennes en Afghanistan. Dès lors, il est erroné d’élaborer des comparaisons hâtives entre les deux conflits, même s’il est intéressant et important de tirer des enseignements des erreurs du passé pour ne pas les répéter. Une victoire reste possible en Afghanistan, même si cette victoire n’est en rien semblable à celle qui était espérée à la genèse du conflit.

    Cet article est simultanément crossposté sur Alliance Geostratégique.

    Image 1: Retrait soviétique d’Afghanistan. Crédit: Wikimedia Commons.
    Image 2: Hélicoptères et tanks russes en Afghanistan. Crédit: Wikimedia Commons.

              Top Five and Bottom Five Countries in U.N. Ratings        

    The post Top Five and Bottom Five Countries in U.N. Ratings appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


              preparing beds, fencing and planting        
    I'm quite unaccustomed to the density of weeds that i have had to contend with when preparing a vegetable bed. At our old place preparing a vegetable bed was a breeze as long as there was no couch grass around. I have used several methods to try to fast track the soil preparation. One method we have use is to invert the top soil to the bottom in weedy chunks and line the bottom of the beds with chicken manure. I once read about this method as a way to convert a lawn to a vegetable garden.

    inverted bed step 1 - dig out chunks and move aside


    inverted be step 2 &3 - add chicken manure then place chunks grass side down on the manure.
     hopefully the manure will speed up the rotting of the weeds. We have also gone through beds the old fashioned way and removed all weeds. this is a good one for beds that you want to plant in in a hurry. we have also inverted the weedy chunks, piled more soil on top in the course of terracing beds and them piled on worm filled horse manure and covered that in cardboard.

    Another project completed a while ago now was the reinforcement and repair of the chicken run.
    
    The new and improved chook fence
     As there were many holes in the fence we raised the old wire and used it to make a floppy top on the fence that makes it hard for foxes to climb. We then used new tougher wire for the bottom of the fence and a small skirt. We also realigned the fence line so that it wasn't so close to tree trunks.

    So what has gone in the ground?
    A row of climbing beans (Dutch pole, Zebra) and peas (Sno and telephone)

     A row of dwarf beans consisting of Helens white seeded bush bean, Borlotti and Cherokee wax. These were hammered a bit by the baby grasshoppers. I have also been liquid fertilising in an area of the beds where wood chips had been dug into the soil by previous gardeners, resulting in a nitrogen deficiency.

    Salad greens have gone in including Endive, Cos lettuce, rocket, Tat tsoi and Paak Tsoi and some Iranian Dill.

    Lots of other things have done into pots in the temporary nursery.

    A small sample of the pot plantings include:
    Westralia climbing bean
    Calico Lima bean
    Fennel Zefa Fino
    Zinnia
    Echinacea
    German scarlet runner bean
    Tree lucerne
    Shallots
    Raddicio red verona

    Another bed has been sown with Parsnip, Beetroot, Coriander and Mizuma.

    Then there's the potato bed. This has been planted with Dargo goldfields, Tasmanian pink eye, Kipfler, and King Edward.(All thanks to Graeme George at our first Yarra Valley Seedsavers meeting)

    Rhubarb and Strawberries have gone in another bed.
    Mozambique maize has also gone into a bed of nice friable soil on the orchard side of the garden but they are yet to peep their heads above the ground.
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              Maka aina zaho! ( I'm "taking in" some life)        





























    Just wanted to get some pictures up of my fun Gasy music filled night last night and from vacation last month, while I have good (and free, thanks to Peace Corps!;)) internet. Jayne was a health PCV a year before me, here in Mada, and got evacuated with me, but immediatly came back to be with Mika, her Gasy rock-star man...Mika and Davis is their names' -look out for them, they'll be heading to Europe to tour soon, and who knows, maybe America could be in their future!?. They're a great, guitar pickin, great drumming beats, some boogie blues, some slow rhythmic feel good chill tunes Gasy music. It was sooo great to get to see Jayne and catch up with someone who knows Madagascar from the first time around and get a good dose of soom good live world music at the same time!:)

    Yes, my travels up to the northern tip of Madagascar- Antsinanana, then heading off to the mid-south of Mada afterwards, did start off the craziest, tragedy, pain, and sad-ness filled month I've ever experienced, but it all has made me stronger. These pics illustrate some of the beauty that intertwined with the shock of dealing with the car accident (which I'm soooo happy and relieved to relay , all 4 victims are doing well, the mother is actually going back to teach her middle-schoolers next week!:)), followed by witnessing a sick man die on a too- slow moving train, follwed by getting back to site and immediatley witnessing a stillbirth (the lifeless body of a perfectly shaped wee human being was heart-breaking: this was the topper that really made me believe in the power of bad things coming in 3's...but it didn't stop!!) and watching a teenager, from my village of Antetezambaro, slowly pass away from excruciating stomach pains and seizures, which my doctor thought was caused from some sort of poison but they don't really know, coulda been appendicitus I was thinking??? It sure was testing my emotional strength to have to witness these tragedy's , but really made me think about my own future and the fragility of life in general. Working at the CSB has made me realize how into the medical field I really am..it's exciting! But then again, health workers are constantly have to witness these sad, painful sicknesses and deaths, and that's a life that needs some positively strong emotional courage and strength. But I think I have it! And have only gained more through these experiences!
    I put up this wicked chamelion who was obviously getting enragd by our close presence, as is illustrated in his bright, vivacious green body quickly changing to fire-truck red! Then these lemurs were adorably curious(in the national park of Ranomafana). I think about 5 got quite close...some were ring-tailed, others were the brown lemur. The wee boy pictured(in the tiny train town of Andrambovato), with his friends, was sooo excited to show my this wasp-looking bug that he caught. I guess it didn't sting cuz he played with it for a while! And the red, clay-boulder filled rushing river (on the road north, coming home from Antinanana)picture is evidence of whyMadagascar is also known as "the big red island". And this gorrrrrgeous sunset was in the northern tip of Antsinana, where the Indian Ocean collides with the Mozambique Channel. Sooo many deep variations of warm colors, highlighting the "sugar loaf" mountain in the distant center. And finally, the top picture, is one of my best friends, Perline, a 17year old girl who I got to know from seeing her pick up her tuberculosis meds daily, before she hit her death bed. She looked kinda skinny, but was still up and active, fairly healthy before I left for Antsinanana but when I came back from vacation, she was all skin and bones and hardly able to stand on her own. Her body stopped absorbing the meds or nutrients from food. But Thankfully, she's on the up, with lotsa prayers and a strong will to live, on her part. She's such a kind-hearted soul, seen in this pic after giving me my kapa trano (house shoes) that she weaved just for me! She still needs all the strong, healthy vibes she can get!!!!
    So, mazatoa sary, zaho handeha maka aina (enjoy the pics! I'm going to "take" some life in) As I'm also preparing to organize the 2nd Cirque de SIDA at Lake Montasoa , that is Thursday, May 20th. It should be quite a huuuge festival for all 12 surrounding villages, which could be a few thousand people who show..the more the merrier! Another health PCV and I were busy a couple days ago making 22 posters advertising the festival, which may also include HIV/STI testing right there, for those interested! I"m in charge of organizing, with the mayor of the village, students, the organization Population Services International (PSI) that's bringing their cinemobile video equipment (I did it with them last January, when they came to Antetezambaro to talk about prevnting malaria) to show an AIDS film/ music videos, and delegating jobs for th 35 PCV's that are having their 3 month in-service training. A lotta stuff to think about, but I'm sure everything will work out, it always does!!! :) Cheers* amy menarka!






              On the road again..just CAN"T WAIT to get on the road AGAIN!.....        
    Wow...sorry y'all that's it's been soooo long that I've updated my writings...but hasn't really been much to say on my part. I've lived my past 6 weeks, since getting evaucated from my Homeland of Madagascar, in Johannesburg and Pretoria (the administrative capital), S. AFrica. I mean...it definitely hasn't been a horrible time, getting put up in a super fancy bed n' breakfast, behind walled gates, in a city that has malls comparable to America, but I have to say....it's surely been the worst part of my Peace Corps service. I came to Africa, in the hopes of living with the bare minimum and amonst the villagers that are focused on how to survive on what they have until the sun rises the next day...and I've been placed in this super rich city against my will. I know many of you reading this could use the relaxing atmosphere that I've been forced into, but it's been stressful for me, not having any sort of job or routine, because (since my evacuation) I was really hoping to get placed in Guinea, which was quickly rejected with my visit to the dentist (which turned into getting a root canal and my wisdom teeth extracted..YUCK!!!) Sure..I have to say that Peace Corps has been gracious enough to take care of my pearly whites but the fact is that I know my glory days in my Malagasy village and my bamboo hut in the sand, may never return to me again (at least never in the same form as before), I'm still not willing to throw in the towel. I'm just not done with Africa, and I need to experience this land and its people before I can go back to the States and say I'm satisfied with my service. So...Tuesday, I'm heading on to Vilanculos, Mozambique, to check out an orphanage that really needs my help. I've gotten to know the family that runs this mercy home, that currently houses 24 children, and they are needing another person willing to give their heart to their home. Coming from my beautiful hut in Madagascar, which was only 1 kilometer away from the Indian Ocean...I feel as if God was answering my prayers on this one. Since I grew up on Lake Erie, I know I need water...and Vilanculos is right on the water of the Mozambique Channel/ Indian Ocean. The owners of the orphanage want me to make a trial run and see if I'm up for it, so I'm heading there for a couple weeks, then will be returning to good ol' Merica mid- May. If all goes well during my visit in Mozambique, I'll be coming back to Africa to work there for a year, in mid July. So....after all this waiting..I just can't wait to get ...."on the road again, just can't WAIT to get on the road again" as Willie Nelson says...who I CAN"T WAIT to see. A suuper fantastic thing I have to look forward to coming back to the States is, May 14, a couple days after I arrive in Columbus, OH, I'll be jamming out to Willie Nelson's music at a festival in beauuutiful foothills of the Appalachian Mountains, in Nelsonville, OH with my man...what could be better than that???! I love y'all...and please keep on spreadin' the love, I still need lots of it! CHEERS*
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              Tara – The terrier who sailed around the world        
    IN STOCK: “Tara, the terrier who sailed around the world” is the exciting and touching story of a Jack Russell who had at least nine lives – and many more adventures – with her owners, Rosemary and Robert Forrester, as they sailed around the world on a yacht.

    The story begins when Robert flies from Columbia to Florida to buy some essential boat parts, and returns with a six-week-old puppy. Rosemary is both delighted and anxious: how will a dog as lively as a Jack Russell adapt to living at sea? This tiny dog has to learn how to keep her balance on a boat which is tilting sideways one minute, then crashing down on a wave the next; how to find a way to play ball without being washed into the ocean; how to learn to eat fish instead of meat; how to swim in the sea and get back on the boat; how to see-off all potential intruders, including marauding seagulls and customs officials.

    Above all, Tara has to learn how to survive when she is washed overboard – not once, but twice. Rosemary recounts their incredible adventures as they sail from the Panama Canal to Australia, and on to Malaysia and Thailand, where they survive the Boxing Day Tsunami. Finally, their journey takes them through the Indian Ocean to Mozambique, where Tara ends her days.

    For animal lovers everywhere – especially those who like travel and sailing boats – this is an emotional and uniquely entertaining tale. More info.


               Thủ tướng Nguyễn Xuân Phúc hội đàm với Thủ tướng Mozambique         
    Về thương mại, đầu tư, hai bên phấn đấu đưa Mozambique trở thành đối tác hàng đầu của Việt Nam tại châu Phi Nam Sahara và Việt Nam trở thành cầu nối của Mozambique với khu vực Đông Nam Á.
              Comment on Syria: A View from Africa by Lindsay KÄ°PTÄ°NESS        
    I do not agree that Africa has great experience in resolving conflicts. I also do not agree that ''African solutions to African problems'' in the current state of affairs in Africa(many African leaders are yet to embrace human security virtues in their countries). The AU has been a dismal and hopeless performe that cannot be relied upon to save poor Africans from decimation by state violence(read the case of Darfur, which it claims it has helped). Africa leaders or former African Presidents cannot therefore purport to advice others. The AU failed the people of Siera Leone, Liberia, Rwanda, DRC, Chad, CAR, Mozambique, Uganda(Northern Ugandans under LRA terror). Shame on the likes of some of the former and sitting Presidents for dining with ICC war criminals and yet they cannot tell them to stop genocide against its own citizens. I agree that tit-for-tat does not necessarily end conflicts hence the need for diplomatic pressure and isolation. Why hasn't the AU isolated Bashir for the crimes in Darfur, why didn't they deal with Foday Sankoh and Charles Taylor before they could kill more?. The above views do not therefore represent me as an African from Africa but represent the views of African Oligarchs. As for Syria, the IC has failed the Syrian poor, just like the AU has failed and there are the only two ways to the problem: 1. Negotiations- all the fighting groups, including al qaida affiliated ones should come together to a negotiating table without conditions. There is a stalemate now. Plan B- The stale can only be broken if the opposition groups are fully armed so as to tilt the balance of military power to their side and the IC(including Russia and China) imposes an air blockade on Syrian air force.
              First Proof That Wild Animals Really Can Communicate With Us        
    When humans speak up, the little African birds called honeyguides listen—and can understand, a new study confirms for the first time.  Honeyguides in northern Mozambique realize that when a man makes a special trilling sound, he wants to find a bees’ nest—and its delectable honey.  Birds that hear this trill often lead human hunters to a nest, receiving a reward of honeycomb.

              Descuben en Mozambique un bosque        

    Descubierto en Mozambique un bosque que atesora nuevas especies

    El territorio fue hallado por un científico británico cuando buscaba zonas boscosas en Google Earth

    EFE - Londres - 24/12/2008

     


    Una expedición dirigida por un científico británico ha descubierto un bosque perdido en la cima de un monte en Mozambique, un territorio que alberga en su interior nuevas especies animales y vegetales. El hallazgo de este bosque, conocido por los nativos del lugar pero que no se encuentra en los mapas, demuestra que "aún quedan cosas por descubrir y documentar en el mundo", ha declarado el botánico Jonathan Timberlake, líder de la expedición al Monte Mabu mozambiqueño.

    El pasado octubre, un equipo internacional de expertos se desplazó al Mabu para explorarlo, por primera vez, desde el punto de vista ecológico. Los científicos se enteraron de la existencia de esa zona boscosa a través de un miembro del equipo, el zoólogo británico Julian Bayliss, quien la localizó por Internet. En 2005, Bayliss, que tiene su base en Mozambique, buscaba en Google Earth bosques a cierta altura para integrar en proyectos de conservación cuando se topó, vía satélite, con una masa de vegetación no identificada. Tras varios viajes de reconocimiento, Bayliss preparó el terreno para que 28 exploradores de seis países africanos y europeos, con Timberlake a la cabeza, se desplazaran al territorio para examinarlo.

    "Se trata de un bosque de media altitud de unos 60 kilómetros cuadrados, situado entre los 1.000 y los 1.600 metros de altura de la montaña (que tiene unos 1.700 metros)", ha explicado el jefe de la expedición. "Hay árboles altos de hoja perenne, muchas lianas, monos, pájaros volando alto, pequeños antílopes, camaleones pigmeos...", ha contado el experto, fascinado por su descubrimiento.

    El equipo halló en ese bosque al menos tres nuevas especies de mariposa, una de ellas una cymothoe marrón y amarilla; una especie inédita de víbora, de la familia de lasatheris, y una orquídea polystachya songaniensis que se pensaba que sólo existía en Malawi. Los botánicos trajeron 500 muestras de plantas que tardarán varios meses en clasificar y de las que, según ha dicho Timberlake, "es posible que salgan dos o tres especies nuevas".

    El bosque del Monte Mabu debe su inadvertida existencia en parte a los efectos del conflicto en la antigua colonia portuguesa. Una guerra civil de 1975 a 1992 destrozó los accesos y aisló esa zona del norte de Mozambique, al tiempo que provocó la marcha de sus pobladores, excepto algunos que optaron por refugiarse en el bosque. Actualmente, los antiguos habitantes están repoblando la zona y "existe el peligro de que la presión para generar campos de cultivo acabe con la biodiversidad", advierte Timberlake.

    Para evitar la destrucción del entorno, el equipo liderado por Timberlake, que trabaja en colaboración con el Instituto de Investigación Agrónoma de Mozambique, Birdlife International y la fundación de conservación de la montaña Mulanji de Malawi, planea publicitar su descubrimiento e involucrar a las autoridades mozambiqueñas. El botánico británico cree que la solución más viable no es convertir el bosque en un parque natural, sino protegerlo mientras permanece integrado en su entorno. Para Timberlake, uno de los aspectos más importantes del hallazgo, además de confirmar la existencia de un mundo por explorar, es que pone de manifiesto "la importancia de la botánica en los proyectos de conservación", a menudo marginada en favor del estudio de, por ejemplo, los grandes mamíferos.





    -------------------------------------------------
    Ir al Sitio principal Escritos críticos / Ensayos
    www.majfud.50megs.com
    Reflexiones sobre nuestro tiempo
    -------------------------------------------------
              Website to expose local icons to the world        
    An information revolution is launching which will finally give Namibia’s Performers and entertainment establishment’s freedom from the costly search engines and social networking websites who currently control which entertainment options the locals and tourists are exposed to. Mitch St. Pierre, a former Canadian political Candidate/World Traveler and,Calistro Nhavotso from Maputo, Mozambique, both knew of the […]
              Natural Capital in Decisions: From Lagoons to Coastlines to Entire Countries        

    The glamour of my first field work remains personally unsurpassed. Snorkelling in turquoise waters among shimmering oyster beds in the Cook Islands, I had a creeping suspicion this was uncommon territory for economists. I was working with pearl farmers who insert a small ball into each oyster. To protect itself, the oyster coats the ball with layer upon layer of iridescent nacre, creating a beautiful black pearl.

    The setting in Manihiki Lagoon was idyllic. But the oyster farmers were in trouble. Profits had fallen after severe disease outbreaks, caused by poor water quality due to overstocking oysters. My job was to assess the costs and benefits of better lagoon management, demonstrating to pearl farmers how good management of their ‘natural capital’ was in everyone’s interests.

    I was trained as an economist, but in the field I quickly realized that to value nature’s benefits I needed skills and insights from other disciplines. With limited time, scant data, no interdisciplinary team or funds for consultants, I cobbled together the best assessment I could. A lagoon management plan was put in place. I was inspired by the power of economic arguments for environmentally-sound decisions.

    On my return, I read the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (MA). I was alarmed by its evidence: global biodiversity and two-thirds of ecosystem services were in decline. I saw my work was just a drop in the ocean of what was needed. And it motivated me – and many others – to devote our careers to reverse these declines.

    A decade later, and in large part inspired by the MA, there are tremendous advances in science and tools that make it easier to quantify, map and value nature’s benefits to support better decisions. The Natural Capital Project, co-founded by WWF with Stanford University, The Nature Conservancy and the University of Minnesota back in 2006, is a leader in these efforts. Its founders were inspired to turn the powerful concept of natural capital into reality. It advances science, creates tools (such as InVEST) and works closely to integrate nature’s benefits to humanity into decisions by governments, businesses and communities. What a boon its water quality model would have been in Manihiki!

    WWF and Natural Capital Project scientists, along with other researchers and practitioners just published a Special Feature on ‘Nature as Capital’ in the 100th Anniversary Edition of The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA (PNAS). The Special Feature reflects advances in the science and application of information on ecosystem services in policies and plans – such as Belize’s coastal zone management plan, China’s ambitious ecosystem service protection policies, and market-based conservation strategies in Sumatra.

    We must celebrate emerging success stories, but we know it also takes time to change people’s understanding about how we depend on nature. Crafting better plans involves intense negotiations among multiple, often conflicting groups. Uptake by businesses and governments is nowhere near what is needed given how fast we are losing our natural capital. The Special Feature sets out an agenda for future research and action.

    A lagoon. An island. A country’s coastline. These are just a few green dots on the globe. Can we improve decisions across entire countries or regions? How? Myanmar and Mozambique are blazing a trail with a level of ambition that is inspirational. Myanmar’s President and the Mozambican Government have requested WWF’s support to map their entire countries’ natural capital as the basis for better development planning. Watch this space.


              â€œNweti”, a light in the dark for women suffering violence in Mozambique        

    In Mozambique, we are still building respect for women’s rights and working to end violence against them. Read Virginia's story and support our work there.

    “Nweti”, a light in the dark for women suffering violence in Mozambique

    Virginia Machuene is a survivor of domestic violence; she says the efforts of civil society are helping reduce violence in her community. Photo by Brett Eloff/Oxfam America

              Codes for making International Calls        

    What is a Country Code?

          Country codes are used to make International Phone calls.Every country has a unique country code. Country codes are the prefixes you need to dial before calling to the country.This short alphabetic or numeric geographical codes (geocodes) are developed to represent countries and dependent areas.The International Dialing codes of a country is called "Country Code" or  International Area Code(IAC) or International Calling Codes.

    International Calling codes of all countries



    Country Codes List




    CountryCountry Code
    Abkhazia+995 44 +7 840, 940
    Afghanistan+93
    Albania+355
    Algeria+213
    American Samoa+1 684
    Andorra+376
    Angola+244
    Anguilla+1 264
    Antigua and Barbuda+1 268
    Argentina+54
    Armenia+374
    Aruba+297
    Ascension Island+247
    Australia+61
    Australian Antarctic Territory+672 1x
    Austria+43
    Azerbaijan+994
    Bahamas+1 242
    Bahrain+973
    Bangladesh+880
    Barbados+1 246
    Belarus+375
    Belgium+32
    Belize+501
    Benin+229
    Bermuda+1 441
    Bhutan+975
    Bolivia+591
    Bonaire+599 7
    Bosnia and Herzegovina+387
    Botswana+267
    Brazil+55
    British Indian Ocean Territory+246
    British Virgin Islands+1 284
    Brunei+673
    Bulgaria+359
    Burkina Faso+226
    Burundi+257
    Cambodia+855
    Cameroon+237
    Canada+1
    Cape Verde+238
    Cayman Islands+1 345
    Central African Republic+236
    Chad+235
    Chile+56
    Christmas Island+61 8 9164
    Cocos Islands+61 8 9162
    Colombia+57
    Cook Islands+682
    Costa Rica+506
    Côte d'Ivoire+225
    Croatia+385
    Cuba+53
    Curacao+599 9
    Cyprus+357
    Czech Republic+420
    Democratic Republic of the Congo+243
    Denmark+45
    Djibouti+253
    Dominica+1 767
    Dominican Republic+1 809 / 829 / 849
    East Timor+670
    Ecuador+593
    Egypt+20
    El Salvador+503
    Equatorial Guinea+240
    Eritrea+291
    Estonia+372
    Ethiopia+251
    Falkland Islands+500
    Faroe Islands+298
    Federated States of Micronesia+691
    Fiji+679
    Finland+358
    France+33
    French Guiana+594
    French Polynesia+689
    Gabon+241
    Gambia+220
    Georgia+995
    Germany+49
    Ghana+233
    Gibraltar+350
    Global Mobile Satellite System+881
    Greece+30
    Greenland+299
    Grenada+1 473
    Guadeloupe+590
    Guam+1 671
    Guatemala+502
    Guernsey+44 1481
    Guinea+224
    Guinea-Bissau+245
    Guyana+592
    Haiti+509
    Honduras+504
    Hong Kong+852
    Hungary+36
    Iceland+354
    India+91
    Indonesia+62
    International Freephone UIFN+800
    International Premium Rate Service+979
    Iran+98
    Iraq+964
    Ireland+353
    Isle of Man+44 1624
    Israel+972
    Italy+39
    Jamaica+1 876
    Japan+81
    Jersey+44 1534
    Jordan+962
    Kazakhstan+7 6xx, 7xx
    Kenya+254
    Kiribati+686
    Kosovo+377 44 / 45 +386 43 / 49 +381 28 / 29 / 38 / 39
    Kuwait+965
    Kyrgyzstan+996
    Laos+856
    Latvia+371
    Lebanon+961
    Lesotho+266
    Liberia+231
    Libya+218
    Liechtenstein+423
    Lithuania+370
    Luxembourg+352
    Macau+853
    Macedonia+389
    Madagascar+261
    Mainland China+86
    Malawi+265
    Malaysia+60
    Maldives+960
    Mali+223
    Malta+356
    Marshall Islands+692
    Martinique+596
    Mauritania+222
    Mauritius+230
    Mayotte+262 269 / 639
    Mexico+52
    Moldova+373
    Monaco+377
    Mongolia+976
    Montenegro+382
    Montserrat+1 664
    Morocco+212
    Mozambique+258
    Myanmar+95
    Nagorno-Karabakh+374 47 / 97
    Namibia+264
    Nauru+674
    Nepal+977
    Netherlands+31
    New Caledonia+687
    New Zealand+64
    Nicaragua+505
    Niger+227
    Nigeria+234
    Niue+683
    Norfolk Island+672 3
    North Korea+850
    Northern Mariana Islands+1 670
    Norway+47
    Oman+968
    Pakistan+92
    Palau+680
    Palestinian territories+970
    Panama+507
    Papua New Guinea+675
    Paraguay+595
    Peru+51
    Philippines+63
    Poland+48
    Portugal+351
    Puerto Rico+1 787 / 939
    Qatar+974
    Republic of China (Taiwan)+886
    Republic of the Congo+242
    Réunion+262
    Romania+40
    Russia+7
    Rwanda+250
    Saba+599 4
    Saint Helena+290
    Saint Kitts and Nevis+1 869
    Saint Lucia+1 758
    Saint Vincent and the Grenadines+1 784
    Saint-Pierre and Miquelon+508
    Samoa+685
    San Marino+378
    São Tomé and Príncipe+239
    Saudi Arabia+966
    Senegal+221
    Serbia+381
    Seychelles+248
    Sierra Leone+232
    Singapore+65
    Sint Eustatius+599 3
    Sint Maarten+599 5
    Slovakia+421
    Slovenia+386
    Solomon Islands+677
    Somalia+252
    South Africa+27
    South Korea+82
    South Sudan+211
    Spain+34
    Sri Lanka+94
    Sudan+249
    Suriname+597
    Swaziland+268
    Sweden+46
    Switzerland+41
    Syria+963
    Tajikistan+992
    Tanzania+255
    Telecommunications for Disaster Relief by OCHA+888
    Thailand+66
    Togo+228
    TokelauAfrica is the second-largest continent in the world.Here is the list of 55 countries in Africa and their capitals.
    Africa
    Africa






    S.no.
    Countries
    Capitals
    1.
    Algeria
    Algiers
    2.
    Angola
    Luanda
    3.
    Benin
    Porto-Novo
    4.
    Botswana
    Gaborone
    5.
    Burkina Faso
    Ouagadougou
    6.
    Burundi
    Bujumbura
    7.
    Cameroon
    Yaoundé
    8.
    Cape Verde
    Praia
    9.
    The Central African Republic
    Bangui
    10.
    The Comoros
    Moroni
    11.
    Cote d'Ivoire
    Yamoussoukro
    12.
    The Democratic Republic of the Congo
    Kinshasa
    13.
    Djibouti
    Djibouti
    14.
    Egypt
    Cairo
    16.
    Equatorial Guinea
    Malabo
    17.
    Eritrea
    Asmara
    18.
    Ethiopia
    Addis Ababa
    19.
    Gabon
    Libreville
    20.
    The Gambia
    Banjul
    21.
    Ghana
    Accra
    22.
    Guinea
    Conakry
    23.
    Guinea-Bissau
    Bissau
    24.
    Chad
    N'Djamena
    25.
    Kenya
    Nairobi
    26.
    Lesotho
    Maseru
    27.
    Liberia
    Monrovia
    28.
    Libya
    Tripoli
    29.
    Madagascar
    Antananarivo
    30.
    Malawi
    Lilongwe

    31.
    Mali
    Bamako
    32.
    Mauritania
    Nouakchott
    33.
    Mauritius
    Port Louis
    34.
    Morocco
    Rabat
    35.
    Mozambique
    Maputo
    36.
    Namibia
    Windhoek
    37.
    Niger
    Niamey
    38.
    Nigeria
    Abuja
    39.
    The Republic of the Congo
    Brazzaville
    40.
    Rwanda
    Kigali
    41.
    Sao Tome and Principe
    São Tomé


    42.
    Senegal
    Dakar
    43.
    The Seychelles
    Victoria
    44.
    Sierra Leone
    Freetown
    45.
    Somalia
    Mogadishu
    46.
    South Africa
    Pretoria
    47.
    Sudan
    Khartoum
    48.
    Swaziland
    Mbabane
    49.
    Tanzania
    Dodoma
    50.
    Togo
    Lomé
    51.
    Tunisia
    Tunis
    52.
    Uganda
    Kampala
    53.
    Western Sahara
    Laayoune
    54.
    Zambia
    Lusaka
    55.
    Zimbabwe
    Harare

              On the Death of Mikhail Kalashnikov, Who Invented a Gun So Simple a Child Could Use It        

    Mikhail Kalashnikov, the Russian armorer credited with inventing the AK-47 “Kalashnikov” automatic rifle, has died at age 94. Kalashnikov was a self-taught inventor and Soviet soldier when, in 1947, he lent his name to what is perhaps the most iconic firearm of the 20th century. A recent estimate suggested that there are approximately 100 million Kalashnikovs in existence today—one-fifth of the world’s total gun supply. “There are a dozen or so words that are the same in every language of the world,” Elena Joly wrote in the preface to 2006’s The Gun that Changed the World. “They include the words ‘taxi,’ ‘radio,’ ‘Coca-Cola’—and ‘Kalashnikov.’ ”

    Born in 1919, Mikhail Kalashnikov spent much of his boyhood in Siberian exile before he was conscripted into the Soviet Army in 1938. Injured in the Battle of Bryansk in 1941, Kalashnikov spent months convalescing in a military hospital. Though he had little formal education, Kalashnikov had an innate talent for tinkering, and spent his days lying in bed and pondering the Nazi forces’ superior firepower. He would later say that “here, in spite of the pain of my injury, I was obsessed night and day by a single thought: inventing a weapon to beat the fascists.”

    The AK-47 was that weapon. (Though Kalashnikov was always credited as the sole designer of the AK-47, this may have been Soviet propaganda—an effort to make a hero out of an individual who had done great things in service of the state.) “I designed a machine gun for a soldier,” Kalashnikov said years later. While the AK-47 wasn’t the first “assault rifle,” it was certainly the most simple. It was light. It did not jam. It was easy to understand and inexpensive to manufacture. As John Forge wrote in 2012’s Designed to Kill, “Compared to any similar weapon, the AK is very easy to use, and thus, even a poorly or barely trained soldier—or one wearing gloves in Siberia—or, sadly, even a child, can use one effectively at close range.”

    The rifle soon became standard Soviet Army issue, and, over the next two decades, the USSR freely licensed the gun to its allies. Versions of the rifle were soon being manufactured in Poland, Hungary, East Germany, China, North Korea, and many more countries. As the gun spread, it assumed symbolic properties. As Phillip Killicoat noted in a 2007 working paper for the World Bank, “an image of the rifle appears on the Mozambique national flag, and ‘Kalash,’ an abbreviation of Kalashnikov, is a common boy’s name in some African countries.”

    Reliable and simple, the AK-47 allowed an inexperienced fighter to match up against a better-trained opponent. During the Vietnam War, for instance, the Vietcong used AK-47s to repel American forces, equipped with inferior M-16s. As such, the gun became immensely popular among guerrillas and rebels worldwide. But it would be naïve to think of the gun as an unalloyed symbol of liberation. As C.J. Chivers wrote in his book The Gun, the AK-47 “was repression’s chosen gun, the rifle of the occupier and the police state.” The gun was put into service in Prague, in East Germany, at Tiananmen Square: “almost any place where a government resorted to shooting citizens to try to keep citizens in check. It would be used by Baathists to execute Kurds in the holes that served as their mass graves. It would shoot the men and boys who were herded to execution in Srebrenica in 1995.”

    The gun became popular among terrorist groups, too, and this bothered Kalashnikov. In a 2002 interview with a German newspaper, he expressed regret over the weapon that made him famous. “I’m proud of my invention, but I’m sad that it is used by terrorists,” he said. “I would prefer to have invented a machine that people could use and that would help farmers with their work—for example a lawnmower.”


              The Grinch’s not-so-festive guide to food ration cuts        

    Across much of the world, the festive season is a time of indulgence. But what if you’re too busy fleeing violence and upheaval, or stuck in a refugee camp on reduced rations?

    It’s been a hard year for the most vulnerable among us. This is partly due to tightening aid budgets, but it’s also the result of there simply being so many more people in crisis who need help.

    “It's not just a question of falling donor funding; most donors have continued to be generous, providing funds at relatively consistent levels for years,” World Food Programme spokeswoman Challiss McDonough told IRIN.  “But the number of [those in need] is much larger.”

    A prime example is Uganda, where 602,000 South Sudanese refugees are sheltering. As a result of the conflict in neighbouring South Sudan, “we are now supporting nearly twice as many refugees as we were just six months ago”, explained McDonough.

    WFP, as the global emergency food responder, is feeling the strain. “I'd say there are probably very few countries where we have not had to make some kind of adjustment to our assistance plans because of a lack of funding,” said McDonough.

    The following is a not-so-festive guide to where WFP has been forced to make cuts to already minimal food rations in Africa. It includes some non-refugee national programmes, which have also been impacted by funding shortfalls.

    Burkina Faso

    Rations have been reduced and cash assistance suspended for the 31,000 Malian refugees in Burkina Faso. As a result, about a quarter of refugees do not have enough food to meet their basic nutritional needs.

    “Most refugees in the camps depend solely on humanitarian assistance to survive,” said WFP country director Jean-Charles Dei. “When assistance is interrupted or insufficient, the food security and nutrition situation dramatically deteriorate, especially for women, children, and elderly people.”

    Burundi

    Lack of funding has impacted a range of activities targeting vulnerable communities. Food-for-training for Congolese refugees and Burundian migrants expelled from Tanzania and Rwanda has been suspended. The number of children reached through an anti-stunting campaign has been reduced by 70 percent, with the programme halted entirely in Ruramvya and Rutana provinces.

    Cameroon

    Monthly food rations for Central African Republic refugees in Cameroon was cut by 50 percent in November and December. The 150,000 refugees are entirely dependent on international aid.

    In May, WFP also halted its meals programme to 16 primary schools in northern Cameroon due to a lack of funding.

    Central African Republic

    WFP has been unable to assist more than 500,000 people in urgent need of aid and has been forced to halve the amount of food it has provided to those it can reach. Emergency school meals have been suspended in the capital, Bangui, and rations to displaced people in the violence-hit central town of Kaga Bandoro have been slashed by 75 percent. “WFP needs to urgently mobilise flexible contributions to cover for distributions from January onwards,” the agency has warned.

    Chad

    For the past two years, refugees in Chad have survived on monthly rations well below the minimum requirement. For some, the cuts have been by as much as 60 percent. A joint assessment released in November by WFP and the UN’s refugee agency, UNHCR, found more than 40 percent of the 400,000 refugees in Chad are malnourished and the majority of children are anaemic.

    Ethiopia

    Since November 2015, ration cuts have affected more than 760,000 refugees, the bulk of them from South Sudan and Somalia. Although there was an improvement in general food rations from June this year, UNHCR has warned that households still face difficulties. The cuts have, in particular, affected children aged under the age of five, with global acute malnutrition above the 15 percent emergency threshold in 10 out of 22 assessed refugee camps.

    Gambia

    All nutrition and livelihood related activities have been suspended due to a lack of funding.

    Kenya

    In December, WFP cut monthly rations by half for the 400,000 refugees in Kenya’s Dadaab and Kakuma camps. It warned that unless urgent new funding is received, it will completely run out of food by February. Most refugees in Dadaab have already had their rations cut down to 70 percent of June 2015 levels, and UNHCR has warned of a likely increase in malnutrition as a result of the new squeeze.

    Human Rights Watch said in a statement: “Given Kenya’s threat to deport Somalis has already triggered illegal forced refugee return, the UN ([World] Food Programme’s decision to further reduce refugee food rations could not have come at a worse time.”

    Malawi

    Ration cuts to 27,000 refugees meant that at the beginning of 2016 they were only receiving 40 percent of the recommended minimum number of daily kilocalories. Those shortages began six months earlier. By March, only three out of seven food items – maize, beans, and cooking oil – were being supplied. The Dzaleka camp hosts people mainly from the Great Lakes and Horn of Africa regions, with new arrivals escaping unrest across the border in Mozambique.

    Mauritania

    In November, WFP halved food rations to 42,500 Malian refugees. Without fresh funding, it says it will be forced to suspend general food distributions, including cash transfers, from next month. A school meals programme for vulnerable Mauritanian children has also been put on hold and will only partially resume in January.

    Rwanda

    A nationwide prevention of stunting programme for children aged six-23 months, pregnant women, and breastfeeding mothers has been discontinued due to limited funding.

    Somalia

    WFP will “significantly scale down” its livelihoods programmes in December 2016. If no additional resources are confirmed, it will only be able to continue with minimal programmes (mainly nutrition) from February 2017. WFP is targeting 1.4 million vulnerable Somalis in food-insecure areas.

    Uganda

    Rations have been cut by 50 percent for some 200,000 refugees who arrived in Uganda prior to July 2015. Low levels of funding, together with the large numbers of new arrivals fleeing fighting in South Sudan has left WFP workers “with no choice but to re-prioritise their focus on those refugees in greatest need.” The humanitarian response to South Sudanese refugees in Uganda was already severely underfunded even before the latest outbreak of violence in Juba in July.

    (TOP PHOTO: Residents of an IDP camp in North Kivu, Democratic Republic of the Congo receive food rations distributed by WFP. WFP)

    oa/ag

    Residents of an IDP camp in North Kivu receive food rations distributed by WFP News Aid and Policy Food The Grinch’s not-so-festive guide to food ration cuts Obi Anyadike IRIN NAIROBI Africa Burundi Central African Republic Ethiopia Kenya Rwanda Somalia Uganda Malawi Burkina Faso Cameroon Chad Gambia Mauritania
              Comment on Fennell’s Long Run Gives Dawgs Lead Late by http://www.energytribune.com/66761/gas-fired-power-station-in-mozambique-inaugurated        
    One thing I have actually noticed is that often there are plenty of misconceptions regarding the lenders intentions while talking about foreclosures. One misconception in particular is the fact that the bank prefers to have your house. The lending company wants your cash, not the house. They want the bucks they gave you having interest. Steering clear of the bank is only going to draw a new foreclosed summary. Thanks for your write-up.
              Up And Coming International Vacation Spots        
    Things change fast in the international world of travel. From time to time, there are fairly untouched gems, like Mozambique 15 years ago or Cuba 10 years ago. For very different reasons, Germany, Argentina, the Philippines, and Madagascar are destinations to consider or re-consider for your up-and-coming vacation bucket list.
              Mozambique U-16 – Egypt U-16 maçını canlı izle        

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              Aider l’Afrique à mieux négocier ses ressources minérales        

    Helping Africa win better deals for its minerals © jbdodane
    Pétrole au Niger et en Ouganda, gaz naturel au Mozambique et en Tanzanie, minerai de fer en Guinée et Sierra Leone : les découvertes d’abondants gisements miniers et d’hydrocarbures se multiplient en Afrique et attirent la convoitise des entreprises internationales désireuses de profiter de l’aubaine que représentent les richesses souterraines du continent.


              The Pope’s message in Bolivia and to the world: Report by a Canadian participant        

    Introduction
    by Richard Fidler

    In retrospect, it must be said that the College of Cardinals made an astute decision in 2013 when they chose Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Argentina as the Vicar of Christ. Pope Francis, as he is now called, has emerged as a world leader in speaking out on the major social and humanitarian issues ranging from climate crisis to poverty and social exclusion. 

    Francis, the first Pope from the Western Hemisphere, is especially popular in Latin America, where the Church of Rome is contending with burgeoning evangelical sects and emerging secular movements around such issues as abortion and gay rights. 

    Early on in his papacy, Francis indicated his close affinity with President Evo Morales and the “Process of Change” that Morales and the Movement Toward Socialism (MAS) are spearheading in Bolivia. When the initial World Meeting of Popular Movements was held at the Vatican in October 2014, Morales was the only elected head of state who attended.

    In December, following the failure of the United Nations Cop20 climate talks in Lima to take meaningful actions to prevent catastrophic climate warming, Morales urged the environment ministers of the ALBA countries to organize a “world encounter of social movements” in 2015 that would develop “a proposal to save life and humanity.”[1]

    It seems that the Pope’s scheduled visit in July to Ecuador, Bolivia and Paraguay — three relatively peripheral nations with large Indigenous populations — became the occasion for this encounter. The Bolivian government and its supporting popular movements collaborated with the Vatican and the social movement organizers of the First World Meeting to organize a Second World Meeting, this time in the Bolivian city of Santa Cruz de la Sierra. Held July 7-9, it drew 1500 participants. It coincided with the Pope’s 48-hour visit to Bolivia, and was the major event of both his visit and the meeting of the popular movements. 

    The Pope’s closing speech at the Santa Cruz assembly, a powerful statement of identification with the major objectives of the social agenda being pursued, unevenly, by the social movements and a few progressive governments of Latin America, continues to be cited and debated in the Bolivian media. 

    Among the 1500 participants at the Santa Cruz meeting gathering were two Canadian women: Susana Deranger, an Indigenous environmental activist from Regina, and Judith Marshall of Toronto, recently retired after two decades working on global labour exchange through the Steelworkers Humanity Fund. Judith contributes the following guest column reporting on their experiences in Santa Cruz and analyzing with insight the ways in which Pope Francis is helping to advance a progressive global agenda among broad circles seldom reached by the traditional left.[2]

    * * * 

    Pope Francis and the Protagonism of the Excluded
    by Judith Marshall

    Since his election in 2013, Pope Francis has arguably become the most articulate and critical leader of today’s global institutions. He is fearlessly and forthrightly tackling the urgent questions of our times. 

    His much-anticipated Papal Encyclical on climate change, Laudato Sí, does not disappoint. He tackles the “structurally perverse economic system” that creates a world of obscene rich-poor disparities. He makes a damning critique of a global economic system in which power and wealth are concentrated in the hands of the few while the many struggle for basic needs. He calls attention to how the poor and excluded have become, in effect, the discards from the game plans of the rich. 
    Pope Francis is forthright about how the global economic system and the throw-away culture it has spawned are destroying not only the lives of the poor but also the planet itself, turning the earth into “an immense pile of filth.” 

    Pope Francis is now well-known for speaking out on global issues — Syrian war refugees, hunger, migration of Africans to Europe, austerity politics, Cuba. Less well-known are his organizational initiatives, many carried out jointly with the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, headed by Cardinal Peter Turkson. Reaching out organizationally to the poor and excluded is one of the most striking initiatives. 

    In 2013, the leaders in the Landless People’s Movement (MST) in Brazil began to hear signals that Pope Francis was interested in building working links with popular movements. [3] As Bishop Bergoglio in Buenos Aires, Francis had been a constant figure among poverty activists, building strong ties with precarious workers and the solidarity economy. 

    Argentine activists like Juan Grabois, a lawyer based in the University of Buenos Aires who is on the coordinating committee of the Confederation of Popular Economy Workers, are long-time collaborators with Pope Francis. Grabois and other popular movement leaders like Joao Pedro Stedile from the MST were invited to the Vatican for consultations. 

    An initial seminar was organized at the Pontifical Academy of Sciences in Rome in December 2013 to focus on global inequalities as experienced and understood by the excluded themselves. Plans were made for a larger gathering. 

    The First World Meeting of Popular Movements with more than 150 participants took place in Rome in October 2014. Grabois and Stedile, working with Via Campesina, became the co-organizers. They identified more than 100 activists around the world working on three key issues — land, housing and work. These activists from amongst the poor and excluded were invited to come to Rome to be heard and seen. They brought with them a broad plurality of religious beliefs, ethnic origins, gender, age and sexual orientations. The church co-organizers did not vet the activists list. Their own list included thirty bishops known for accompanying and support to struggles of the poor. A dozen representatives of labour and rights organizations vetted by the activists were also invited, myself included. 

    Undoubtedly the most striking memory of the first meeting was the day when our motley crew invaded St. Peter’s Basilica. Meeting with us in the Old Synod Hall, Pope Francis thanked the participants, acknowledging them as men and women who actually suffered poverty and exclusion in the flesh. He told them that their presence in Rome had huge importance. The fact that the poor existed was known by all. The fact that the poor were on their feet, organized, active, planning, inventing, and resisting — this was what was new and made visible for all to see by their presence. 
    He focussed on the fact that the poor were not waiting with arms crossed for either NGOs or governments to solve their problems. Their protagonism was strong and creative. While some of it was simply to survive, in many cases, the survival strategies had in them the seeds of new ways of living on the planet, with greater social solidarity and more care of the earth. 

    Popular Movements Gather in Bolivia

    The much-expanded Second World Meeting of Popular Movements held in Santa Cruz, Bolivia followed the same organizational logic as in Rome, It was a gathering to listen to the poor and discarded themselves, their stories of exploitation and exclusion but also their plans and strategies and proposals, We were to meet on the final day with Pope Francis who had committed himself to take these voices and proposals of the poor with him when he addresses the United Nations next September. Happily the organizers readily agreed to the inclusion of an indigenous delegate from Mother Earth Action Cooperative in Regina. 

    Land, housing and work had been the overarching themes in Rome. In Bolivia these became the “3 Ts” of Tierra, Trabajo and Techo, rendered not quite so happily from Spanish into English as the “3 Ls” of Land, Labour and Lodging. The approach to these basic themes was broadly conceived. The theme of labour, for example, differed strikingly from the very narrow conception that prevails all too often in trade union circles. 

    In Rome last October, a million people had flooded the streets the day we arrived for the first meeting, protesting austerity budgets. In Italy, the youth unemployment figure stood at 40%. In neighbouring Greece, it was even higher. Poverty and discarded people are not just a phenomenon of the South. Whole generations of young people in Europe are being sacrificed in the name of re-stabilizing the economic system. 

    At the Bolivia meetings, the reality of colonial conquest and the endemic poverty of Indigenous peoples throughout the Americas were highlighted. Holding the meeting in the “Plurinational State of Bolivia” where Evo Morales is the first elected Indigenous head of state made a powerful statement in and of itself. The participants came from situations where loss of livelihoods through land grabs by mining or agro-business companies are common, where precarious work is endemic, where situations of migrant labour, guest labour, temporary labour and even slave labour and trafficking are prevalent. 

    Susana and I got an unexpected call to address the plenary during the first day. A surprise visit by Evo Morales resulted in cancellation of the scheduled discussions in smaller groups. Testimonials from the participants were substituted. Susana got the opportunity to put First Nations issues in Canada on the agenda, from residential schools, missing and murdered Indigenous Peoples, and resource extraction on Indigenous Territories. I got the chance to highlight the role of big mining, companies like Barrick and Vale today operating in a tight embrace with national governments in the North and the South to carry out widespread destruction of both ecosystems and livelihoods. To the surprise of the Latino delegates, Susana spoke in Spanish, an acquisition from living and working in Latin America, and I spoke in Portuguese, acquired after many years of work in Mozambique and Brazil. 

    The two of us had been housed with the church delegation. Cardinal Turkson, who is originally from Ghana, joined us for breakfast on the second morning, and we were able to tell him about the thousands of Indigenous children in Canada who 1had been torn from their families and communities and forced into Church-run residential schools where they were deprived of their languages and cultures — the last school closing in 1996 in Saskatchewan. We also told him of the sexual abuse and torture in many schools. We spoke to him of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, its conclusion naming cultural genocide and its recommendation that the Pope be invited to Canada to apologize for the Catholic church. Cardinal Turkson listened with attention and compassion. 

    Being housed and transported around Santa Cruz with the church delegation left me with different impressions of how the initiatives of Pope Francis play out in his own institution. The speech in Ecuador was being watched on TV during supper the first night. Every time Pope Francis made a strong point, cheers erupted around the table, almost as if a ref had shouted “goal.” A fellow priest from Argentina revelled in Francis’ transformation from the quiet, dedicated Bishop of Buenos Aires into a fearless, prophetic voice on the world stage. For those who lamented the demise of liberation theology, Pope Francis brought hope of its reincarnation. I asked some of the church delegates about how Pope Francis’ reaching out to the poor on the periphery was resonating in their parishes. Their responses left me with the impression that for many, it was pastoral care for the faithful as usual rather than hearing a radical call for systemic change and taking on new roles, reaching out to accompany and support the protagonism of the poor. 

    After two days putting together our perspectives on the questions of land, housing, work, global warming and peace, the participants prepared a statement of our concerns and proposals. We presented this document to Pope Francis during a meeting with him at the Santa Cruz Expo Fair on the final day where our contingent of 1500 had been joined by another 1000 activists from Bolivia. 

    His legendary simplicity and humanity were once again in evidence in Santa Cruz. The huge trade fair auditorium had constructed a walled off aisle down the middle through which he would enter. The participants vied for seats close to the shoulder-high wall with the hope that they might reach out and touch Pope Francis’ hand. When he passed by our section, a Latino activist across the aisle from us held out a calabash gourd of mate tea with metal straw. Pope Francis paused and took a sip, to the utter delight of the participants, and possibly to the absolute horror of those responsible for his security! 

    Bolivia was the second stop on a visit to Ecuador, Bolivia and Paraguay, each fraught with delicate politics among church, state and civil society actors. Despite a grueling schedule, Pope Francis gave a lengthy and powerful address to the popular movements, full of love and encouragement for the poor and excluded who were gathered, lauding them for the importance of their struggles and their care of Mother Earth. 

    He ended by challenging the popular movements to make a decisive and shared contribution to three great tasks. The first was 
    to put the economy at the service of people. Human beings and nature must not be at the service of money. Let us say NO to an economy of exclusion and inequality, where money rules rather than service. That economy kills. That economy excludes. That economy destroys Mother Earth.
    The second great task was to “unite our people on the path of peace and justice.” He spoke of the world’s people wanting to be “artisans of their own destiny. 
    They do not want forms of tutelage or interference by which those with greater power subordinate those with less. They want their culture, their language, their social processes and their religious traditions to be respected. No actual or established power has the right to deprive peoples of the full exercise of their sovereignty.
    He talked of historical restrictions on independence through colonialism and contemporary restrictions on sovereignty through a new colonialism driven by corporations, loan agencies, “free trade” agreements and “austerity” agendas. 

    The third great task he charged the popular movements with taking on was defence of Mother Earth. 
    Our common home is being pillaged, laid waste and harmed with impunity. Cowardice in defending it is a grave sin. We see with growing disappointment how one international summit after another takes place without any significant result.... We cannot allow certain interests — interests which are global but not universal — to take over, to dominate states and international organizations and to continue destroying creation.
    Apology to Indigenous people for Church’s Role in “Conquest” of the Americas

    The most startling moment in the speech came as Pope Francis developed the theme of old and new colonialisms. He did not spare his own institution. 
    Some may rightly say, “When the Pope speaks of colonialism, he overlooks certain actions of the Church.” I say this to you with regret; many grave sins were committed against the native peoples of America in the name of God.
    After referencing acknowledgement of this by some of his predecessors, Pope Francis went on to say “I humbly ask forgiveness, not only for the offenses of the Church herself, but also for crimes committed against the native peoples during the so-called conquest of America.... 
    To our brothers and sisters in the …Indigenous movement, allow me to express my deep affection and appreciation of their efforts to bring people and cultures together... in a form of coexistence … where each group preserves its own identify by building together a plurality which does not threaten but rather reinforces unity. Your quest for an interculturalism, which combines the defense of the rights of the native peoples with respect for the territorial integrity of states, is for all of us a source of enrichment and encouragement.
    Susana had travelled to Bolivia tasked by her fellow-activists in Canada with lobbying the Pope to visit Canada and apologize for residential schools. She was seated in the front row when this unexpected and totally forthright admission of guilt was made. The apology and request for forgiveness for the role of the Catholic church in the conquest of the Americas had her jumping to her feet and joining others in embraces of joy. Susana later reflected on the experience: 
    I never thought I would hear these words in my lifetime. It was extraordinary. I know many will say that these are only words and that there is still much work ahead such as rejecting the Papal Bull along with the Doctrine of Discovery and Terra Nullius. This is true, but the Pope’s words are a first step. His words were not just read off a piece of paper. They seemed genuine. Let’s embrace the hope. Let’s move with the passion and hope he comes to Canada to meet with the same people he met with in Rome — the grassroots, the poor, the people on the front lines, and those affected the most by the colonialism he asks forgiveness for.
    Pope Francis and Global Organizing

    On their return to Rome, Pope Francis and Cardinal Turkson embarked on yet another organizational initiative, taking on the contentious question of mining. They had already engaged in conversations with mining company executives in 2014 and will do so again later this year. This time, they worked very closely with “Iglesias y Mineria” (Churches and Mining), a network of about 70 Latin American Christian base communities that have been accompanying communities affected by mining for many years. 

    The gathering was entitled “United with God, we hear a cry.” It was hosted in Rome by Justice and Peace from July 17-19 and attended by community leaders from mining areas in Asia, Africa and Latina America. In a hard-hitting message to the opening session, the Pope urged the participants to “to echo the cry of the many people, families and communities who suffer directly and indirectly as a result of the consequences, too often negative, of mining activities.” He spoke of 
    a cry for lost land;  
    a cry for the extraction of wealth from land that paradoxically does not produce wealth for the local populations who remain poor;  
    a cry of pain in reaction to violence, threats and corruption;  
    a cry of indignation and for help for the violations of human rights, blatantly or discreetly trampled with regard to the health of populations, working conditions, and at times the slavery and human trafficking that feeds the tragic phenomenon of prostitution;  
    a cry of sadness and impotence for the contamination of the water, the air and the land;  
    a cry of incomprehension for the absence for inclusive processes or support from the civil, local and national authorities, which have the fundamental duty to promote the common good.
    The Pope called on the mining industry “to effect a radical paradigm change,” listing the many who needed to heed this call: 
    A contribution can be made by the governments of the countries of origin of multinational companies and those in which they operate, businesses and investors, the local authorities who supervise mining operations, workers and their representatives, the international supply chains with their various intermediaries and those who work in the markets of these materials, and the consumers of goods for whose production the minerals are required. All these people are called upon to adopt behaviour inspired by the fact that we constitute a single human family, that everything is interconnected, and that genuine care for our own lives and our relationships with nature is inseparable from fraternity, justice and faithfulness to others.
    While the mining activists gathered in the Salesian Conference Centre to testify to the destructiveness of extractivism, the Pope was engaged in yet another organizational initiative among the powerful. As another follow-up to Laudato Si, the Vatican had invited 60 mayors from around the world (including Gregor Robertson of Vancouver) to a two-day conference aimed at keeping the pressure on world leaders before December’s climate talks in Paris. The conference’s final declaration, reports the Toronto Star, demands that national leaders take bold steps in Paris, possibly “the last chance to keep the Earth’s warming levels still safe for humanity.” It states that “human-induced climate change is a scientific reality and its effective control is a moral imperative for humanity.” 

    California Governor Jerry Brown had won applause earlier when he denounced the climate change deniers in the US who are “bamboozling the public and politicians.” Stockholm Mayor Karin Wanngard said the Paris talks must take fossil fuels off the table. NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio, a founding member of an alliance of world cities committed to an 80 percent reduction in emissions by 2050 or sooner, characterized the months until the Paris summit as a sprint to the finish line during which it would be necessary to “take every local action we can…to maximize the chance that our national governments will act boldly.” 

    Globalizing Resistance, Globalizing Hope

    What are the most striking features of these gatherings in which Pope Francis is reaching out to the excluded and linking their fate to the fate of our common home? 

    First, perhaps, is the strength and forthrightness of his language, abandoning the diplomatic posture and deference to the powerful that has characterized the Papacy in times past. Pope Francis does not hesitate to lay the blame for global poverty and exclusion on corporate greed, irresponsible banks and international financial institutions, a culture of consumerism and individualism, a worship of money and a loss of compassion and humanity. 

    He names the inverted logic that normalizes societies being sacrificed to stabilize the economy, as in contemporary Greece, and calls for economies to be organized so that they safe-guard the well-being of society. Activists in popular movements derive hope and courage when a world leader of Pope Francis’ stature and integrity names the world as they experience it. 

    We discovered in Bolivia how challenging it was to craft a popular movement statement in which we were not outflanked to the left by the Pope! While our Santa Cruz statement contained important points, my first take on it found it a little prosaic, especially compared to the pungent prose, scope and challenges of the Pope’s speech. Susana reminded me, however, of how far-reaching it was: 
    The unity it called for and committed to was inspiring. They said when something goes down in one country, they will all stand up. They also said that they must turn to Indigenous Peoples to learn how to take care of Mother Earth….
    Another striking aspect of these meetings is the framing of the issues The exploration of global poverty and exclusion through the lenses of land, labour and housing, with care of our common home as a cross-cutting theme, is instructive. Faced with the global reach and seeming impunity of transnational corporations, and their willingness to discard most of the world’s people from their game plans with full connivance of national governments, all concepts are up for redefinition. Take the theme of work, for example. At the First World Meeting, in Rome last October, the opening presentation on the theme of labour was expressed not in ILO parlance about decent jobs and labour rights but about cardboard recyclers in Argentina, many of them “illegal” migrant workers from Bolivia. 

    In Buenos Aires, they had been scavenging refuse, working in dangerous and dirty conditions for middle-men who bought the cardboard or plastic for a pittance and made profit from it by having a monopoly on transport and marketing. These cardboard recyclers had organized themselves into a cooperative and managed to take over the recycling business. Now they earn a little more, have proper recycling carts, uniforms with reflective tape for safety, a modicum of health benefits and the contacts with the buyers including Danone, which buys up the plastic for yogurt containers. 

    It is a far cry from a full-time, secure, well-paid, pensioned job. It is, however, work that feeds families and meets a basic need of Buenos Aires for recycling. The workers themselves are the protagonists who made it happen and control it. They are still poor but have regained a measure of dignity. They know the Pope well from times past when he both supported their cooperative and sorted out the red tape for baptizing their children. They were much in evidence again during the event in Bolivia, promoting the idea of a popular economy with autonomous groups inventing ways to provide for their own basic needs through self-employment. 

    The discussions on work left me with all the questions that movements in Latin America and organizations like Syriza in Greece or Podemos in Spain throw up. What does work look like when your starting point is a basic needs agenda and how to provide your citizens with food, water, housing, transport, education, health care — and income-generating activity? 

    Clearly any notions of “limitless growth” need to be set aside definitively. The same for any “development” fantasy that, with enough time and investment, all people on the planet can — or should — attain the material consumption levels of the 1%. Are there important lessons to be learned from aboriginal cultures or from peasant cultures about simpler ways of living on and caring for the earth? 

    Another striking theme from the two meetings is the moral project being promoted by Pope Francis and the centrality of human beings themselves. How much have we normalized the ideological trappings of neoliberalism that suggest that human beings are genetically competitive and greedy, hard-wired to be individualistic? How much have we internalized the idea that “having” more is “being” more, with annual acquisition of the latest Nikes or “smart” phone or tablet as the measure? What if “being” more is actually “having” more — being more compassionate, being more collective, being more in tune with Mother Earth? 

    Pope Francis locates these questions and their answers squarely in Christian teachings. Chilean social scientist Marta Harnecker in her new book on 21stCentury Socialism, “A World to Build,” locates them in the classic Marxist texts about “integral human development” and “human beings as social beings.” She holds out a vision of the 21st century socialism in the imaginary and actual practice of several countries in Latin America. It is a socialism built from the bottom up by collectivities of socialists, women and men, elders and youth, as active participants and protagonists in their own rural communities, urban neighbourhoods, workplaces and classrooms. It is a vision of robust democratic spaces where citizens assume responsibility jointly for initiatives and projects to create the social life around them and to care for the earth that sustains them. 

    Another striking theme from the meetings was the reality of social exclusion as a global feature of contemporary capitalism. To be exploited is still to be integrated into the system, albeit negatively. Contemporary capitalism, however, expands and creates profitable enterprises and global supply chains while excluding and discarding more and more of the earth’s population, dispossessing them of their lands, their water, their air, their traditional livelihoods. It creates sacrifice zones from Detroit to Damascus, from rural wastelands to urban slums.

    Some of the popular movement leaders are seeking to theorize more adequately this new protagonism of the poor and the importance of social movements as new social actors. Juan Grabois has recently written an essay entitled “Exclusion in Contemporary Capitalism.” He speaks as a Latin American from a generation forged not from fighting against military dictatorships as in Brazil, dirty wars as in Argentina, or a US-backed coup against an elected socialist head of state as in Chile. His generation grew up after the “democratic transition” and lived through the full-blown capitulation of government after government to the neo-liberal mantras of deregulation, privatization, cuts in social sector spending. 
    The consciousness of my generation was born as wave after wave descended into the hell of exclusion. We saw our fathers lose their employment and never get another job. We saw our mothers go out to look for chicken carcasses in the shops to fill the cooking pot. We saw the plague of drugs, depression and alcoholism destroy families and damage lives until this became part of the landscape. Those living in the shantytowns and working class neighbourhoods suffered these things in their own flesh — or in the flesh of their brothers who, frightened to death by their own “insecurity,” watched from the barred windows of their middle class homes as people rummaged in garbage cans in search of scraps of food.[4]
    Grabois argues that his generation was forged at a moment in history when the labour power of the proletariat was of little or no interest to capital. The political education of his generation came not through striking industrial workers but through the struggle for the basics, forged on picket lines of the unemployed, soup kitchens of the hungry, informal settlements of the homeless, occupations of abandoned factories by workers, barricades of peasant farmers confronting land grabs, occupations by indigenous communities fighting for their territories. 

    These new forms of exploitation operate through a wall of exclusion. People were first dispossessed of their land. Then they were dispossessed of their jobs in factories. As Occupy Wall Street made starkly visible, 99% of humanity today lives on the side of this wall characterized by poverty, homelessness, with jobs that are at best precarious, dangerous, without legal protection. 

    Grabois goes on to argue that an important new social actor is being formed from this historical moment, an actor that has been dispossessed of land and livelihood but refuses to cease struggling. Barricades and blockades against mining companies are a good example. Many of the struggles focus on resolving basic needs for land and housing and for work that generates enough income to feed a family. 

    The poor and discarded are inventing forms of self-employment, cooperatives and worker-owned factories. The robust popular economy that has emerged in Argentina is one example of this new protagonism. The solidarity economy network that was constructed in Greece to withstand the extremities of the austerity measures is another. The community resistance from below that makes South Africa the protest capital of the world is part of the same phenomenon. 

    These initiatives of Pope Francis provide an opportunity for the Church and the world to listen to the voices of the poor and excluded. They give visibility to the iniquity of a global system that discards human beings as waste. For activists in the popular movements, these initiatives not only globalize resistance. They also globalize hope. 



    [1] For major excerpts of Evo Morales’ address at the COP20 summit, see “Environmental Destruction is a Result of the Capitalist System.” ALBA, the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America, seeks to consolidate regional economic integration based on a vision of social welfare. Initiated by Venezuela and Cuba in 2004, it now includes 11 member countries. 

    [2] Judith Marshall reported on the First World Meeting of Social Movements, which she also attended as an invitee, in this article first published in Links, International Journal of Socialist Renewal. Another recent article by Marshall is “Contesting big mining from Canada to Mozambique.” 

    [3] See the recent article by Joao Pedro Stedile, Landless People’s Movement, Brazil, entitled “The Importance of a Historic Reaching Out: Pope Francis and the Popular Movements.” 

    [4] â€œLa exclusión en el capitalismo contemporáneo,” in Francisco y los movimientos populares: Tierra, Techo y Trabajo.

              Demand for logistics services in Africa - PwC study        
    According to an in-depth research report by PwC, South Africa remains at the apex in terms of transport and logistics, whereas, countries in both East and West of Africa are striding in improving their overall infrastructure in order to gain greater shares of the market.    Several companies are keenly looking towards Kenya in East Africa as their most preferred entry point, while countries like Ghana and Nigeria are of popular interests in the west.    Klaus-Dieter Ruske, the global industry leader in transport and logistics at PwC says that, there are not many transport and logistics companies that focus on Africa. However, Africa is home to about 1-billion people who are inclined to becoming consumers, and thus this aspect is set to change as various growth prospects on the continent improve and progress for the better. It will also require different goods and services to be delivered to them. Hence, one can see the immense potential for transport and logistics companies in Africa.     Today, massive international logistics companies tend to set up their agencies in the region as opposed to subsidiaries. However, a few South African companies like Grindrod and Imperial have expanded its horizon and entered into the continent to capitalize on this particular demand. This aspect will specifically accelerate the rough road and virtually nonexistent railway networks especially in West Africa where Nigeria is investing an amount of $2bn to reconstruct about 2,000 km of railway lines.    Africa also has several standing plans to build and expand the five major ports in the east at Musoma in Tanzania and Lamu in Kenya, and in the west at Barra do Dande and Lobito in Angola, and Lekki in Nigeria.    The roads in Africa have remained as the key to the transport of freight in Africa, and very little investment has been made to maintain this overall network, adds Andrew Shaw, PwC’s associate director for infrastructure and capital projects in South Africa.    According to PwC’s investigation report, there has been an adequate absence of railway network in Africa, rather very little co-ordinated railway investment plans. Hence, today, the road maintenance is taken up as an alarming challenge as more and more freight moves by heavy truck and transportation in comparison to the railway network.      It is seen that Africa’s transcontinental highway network plan looks much better on paper than on the ground. This business plan has many investments in the network too. According to Mr Shaw, one such route is the Beira-Lobito corridor that connects Angola and Mozambique. At present, this stretch of road is not a viable freight route as some sections are still unfinished and others are often subject to flooding.    In addition, due to the security concerns, transporting air freight and air infrastructure remains difficult and underdeveloped. Nonetheless, the two new international airports that are planned for a set up in Angola’s capital, Luanda, and in Abuja, Nigeria, are likely to address this issue.

    Original Post Demand for logistics services in Africa - PwC study source Twease
                      
    Joe Calafato: A late twentieth century South African precious metal artist.                                                                           

    Fred van Staden

    Department of Psychology, University of South Africa, PO Box 392, Pretoria, 0003


            (Published in the South African Journal of Cultural History, Vol24(1), June 2010, pp.126-150. Copyrighted by the SAJCH)

    Summary
    Thirteen semi-structured interviews with colleagues and some family members of Joe Calafato (1912 -1991) were held in order to compose a systematic profile of his contributions to the development of precious metal artistry in South Africa between 1947 and 1984. This information was integrated with available archival documentation, a sketch book, order books, autograph book, newspaper reports, along with photos of private collections of his work. Whereas specific attention was paid to his jewellery output, other lines of design in which he worked were also recognised. The development over time in his designs from Western oriented motifs to South African inspired designs is also highlighted. 

    Key words: goldsmith; Joe Calafato; late twentieth century, Pretoria; precious metal artist; manufacturing jeweller; silversmith.



    Introduction

    Over the past thirty years, the South African government has given increasing support to the development of the jewellery manufacturing sector through incentives and formal training programmes.[1]  At present, at least 6 active jewellery manufacturing training programmes are on offer at local tertiary institutions: Tshwane University of Technology, Stellenbosch University, Cape Peninsula University of Technology, the College of Cape Town, the  Central University of Technology in the  Free State and the University of Johannesburg.[2] In 2009, the industry has grown to around 350 manufacturing workshops all over the main centres of South Africa, some employing large numbers of staff and others remaining small studios.[3] Though they are still mostly supplying the local market, some agreements have been made to export mass produced products such as chains.[4]
    However, up until the 1970’s South Africa’s jewellery manufacturing sector has been largely ignored and even suppressed by the state.[5] For most of the twentieth century the jewellery manufacturing industry in South Africa remained small, possibly also because international markets were highly competitive and not likely to be positively inclined towards South African manufactured products. The fledgling nature of the industry during this time is also reflected in a lack of systematic information about its past. Whereas some composite reference work on old Cape Silver[6] is available, the last 100 years of jewellery manufacturing in South Africa has yielded only a few tributary works.[7] [8]
    One designer-manufacturer of the late twentieth century whose work has not been comprehensively recorded, is Joe Calafato (1912 -1991). He designed and manufactured jewellery and other precious metal artifacts for 37 years (1947 – 1984) in Pretoria. His work made an important contribution to the development of a uniquely South African precious metal art manufacturing tradition. 

    Method
    After initial interviews with his wife and daughter, their referrals to Calafato’s colleagues and employees led to a purposive snowball sampling process where altogether 13 persons were interviewed – they included die sinkers, enamellists, apprentices, engravers and jewellers. A semi structured interview schedule was used where interviewees were requested to talk chronologically about the time they worked with Calafato. Follow-up interviews to clarify, extend or to compare some information were done (in some cases up to two follow up interviews were recorded). The interviews were then transcribed and the content integrated with other sources of information.
    The Calafato family made available a portfolio of some of his documents such as letters, invoices, an autograph book and a sketchbook which added significantly to the information base. Mr J. Erasmus, the present owner of the Calafato business granted access to order books and photos. As with all qualitative descriptive research, the various sources of information were compared and corroborative information, anomalies and gaps were identified. This information was then used to compile the story of Guiseppe (Joe) Leonardo Calafato’s precious metal artistry (Figure 1)



    Figure 1: Guiseppe (Joe) Leonardo Calafato (1912-1991)
    (Photograph: Velia Calafato, Pretoria)[9]

    Biography
    Of Sicilian parentage, Calafato was born on 10 July 1912 in the then Lorenço Marques in Mozambique. His father died when he was still a young boy after which his mother moved with her children in the late 1920s to Johannesburg. Calafato considered becoming a couturier. Nevertheless, even though he was as a child not directly exposed to any specialized schooling in art, or to precious metal manufacturing (his parents were merchants), his instinctive sense of composition, thematic content and style soon led him to a career as a gold- and silversmith instead. In 1934 he was accepted as an apprentice by Jack Friedman who owned Friedman Jewellers in Braamfontein. Friedman was a Latvian immigrant who opened his workshop in Johannesburg in 1933 and later became a well known jewellery manufacturer and watchmaker  on the Witwatersrand.
    After his apprenticeship, Calafato worked for seven years (from April 1938 until June 1945) at the South African Mint as silversmith.[10] [11] He specialised as designer in the jewellery section of the Mint.[12] To augment his income, he started designing and making jewellery during lunch hours at work. Soon other workers at the Mint joined him with mutual training taking place.[13] He continued designing and manufacturing jewellery at home in the evenings. Initially, as a South African of Italian ancestry, his work at home was investigated by the wartime security forces who thought the hammering from his work place may be clandestine morse code messages. But when his activities were revealed to be nothing more than the first steps of a very promising jewellery designer manufacturer, he was left alone to sharpen and develop his jewellery making skills at night.[14]
    In addition to being a fine metal artist and manufacturer, Calafato was also a businessman. In 1947 he formed a partnership with a former colleague at the South African Mint, Mr Bob Campbell (who was a ‘die sinker’ by trade)[15] and together they opened a jewellery workshop close to the corner of Potgieter and Schoeman streets in Pretoria. In the same year they employed Messrs Schalk Vorster[16], Lorenzo Scribante and George Xanthides as apprentices.[17] They called the business Metal Art Creations (Figure 2) and used the name ‘Candida’ as maker’s mark on their jewellery (Figure 3).[18]
    In 1951 a number of jewellers in Pretoria joined as partners in Calafato and Campbell’s business and they established a new workshop in Watt street in Pretoria West which they simply named Metal Art. Amongst the partners were names such as Messrs Becklake, Percy Cave (engraver, specializing in mace making) and Bill Myburg (specializing in medal and badge designs), Boet de Lange, Rumpelman (engraver) and Hendriks from the South African Mint, as well as Mssrs Bob Taylor (engraver) and Frenchie Gatticchi (apprentice).[19] It developed into a big workshop with nearly 200 workers amongst whom were at least seven die sinkers, four engravers and a fair number of soldering specialists[20]. However, there were too many partners and in 1953 Calafato and his original partner, Bob Campbell left Metal Art and opened a new business on their own in the city centre in Church street, Pretoria. Here they continued to produce a wide range of jewellery designs under the Candida name. They registered the business as Precise Die Makers and Engravers (Pty) Ltd. The dies they produced were cut by hand.[21]

    Figure 2: Metal Art Creations: The first precious metal manufacturing business established in 1947 close to the corner of Potgieter and Schoeman streets in Pretoria.
    (Photograph: Mrs. Velia Calafato, Pretoria)


    Figure 3: The two forms of the Candida maker’s mark that were used in Calafato’s workshops.
    (Photograph: Hellmut Wilhelm, Pretoria, 2009-04-23)

    In 1966 the government lifted many of the import controls and tariff duties on imported jewellery and the increased competition severely affected the Candida sales. Whilst it was bad for business, it also meant that the workshop could import mass produced clasps (consisting of a matching catch, pin and joint) which they used in lieu of having to make their own hooks and pins.  Consequently, brooches made with mass manufactured clasps represent the last Candida period from 1966 - 1972. The workshop continued to manufacture its own earring clips though. Possibly to keep his prices competitive, the jewellery manufactured for the retail market after 1966 was thinner than before, using less silver. Their commissioned work continued to flourish. For example, the wives of a number of cabinet ministers and a director-general as well as a number of corporate economists continued to order jewellery from them.[22]
    In 1968 Campbell and Calafato dissolved their partnership. Campbell opened his own workshop in Visagie Street specializing in medal, pin and badge making.[23] Calafato moved his workshop to a house at 232 Bloed Street and registered it under the name of Joe Calafato (Pty) Ltd.[24]
    From 1972 he began to use new maker’s marks on his jewellery and flatware namely Velia, Carina and Dawu. He only occasionally still used the Candida mark on his jewellery.[25] Some of the Candida, Velia and Dawu marked work shared the same original dies which were adapted by adding different backgrounds or replacing parts of the dies with new content. He also introduced the JC mark (the initials of his name JC within the outline of a shield). This was  primarily used on hollow ware, and curios such as wall hangings and ash trays. He further diversified his output by designing badges, pins and some medals on which he his name, Joe Calafato, as a maker’s mark (Figure 4). For a decade he traded his work in Bloed street[26] before moving to 730 Voortrekkers Road in 1982 where he sold the business in 1984 to Mr and Mrs  A. P. J. Dique and their son in law, Mr  J. Erasmus.[27] The new owners retained the name of Joe Calafato for their business and because of government incentives for establishing businesses in the homelands, they moved the workshop to Ga-Rankuwa. They did not use the Carina, Velia and Dawu marks but continued for a while using his JC as well as the Joe Calafato maker’s marks. Later on they moved the workshop to Ekandustria. Because of low profitability, they stopped manufacturing jewellery and began to concentrate on producing sport medals, pins and badges. At present the workshop uses the mark ‘Metal Art’ and has employed a goldsmith to manufacture a limited line of jewellery. Some of the dies used over the years are still with the workshop[28], while a number of dies are scattered amongst the artisans who worked for Calafato.[29]
    After a long battle with cancer of the esophagus, the ‘King of Silver’,[30] Joe Calafato died on the 30th of December 1991 at the age of 79.[31]


    Figure 4: Examples of the Dawu, JC, Joe Calafato, Velia and Carina marks.
    (Photograph: Hellmut Wilhelm, Pretoria, 2009-04-23)

    Maker’s marks: Format, place and medium

    In Table 1 a summary is provided of the maker’s marks used during Calafato’s career. It is not clear why such a range of marks was used – perhaps in order to distinguish to some extent between his copper and silver work as well as to distinguish amongst his badge/medal work, curios/souvenirs for the tourist market and his more specialised jewellery work.[32] Not one of his maker’s marks were registered with the South African Companies and Intellectual Property Registration Office.[33]
    Some gold was used under the Candida, Velia and Carina marks. Gold products were however mostly manufactured on commission,[34] hence the scarcity of examples of gold jewellery. Nevertheless, Calafato’s portfolio contains a photo and a few sketches of a number of sophisticated golden scrolled cameo pendant casings. 
    Some souvenir spoons contain both the Carina and Kruger Park marks or the Velia and Kruger Park marks. Some copper souvenirs also contain both the JC and the Kruger Park marks. This indicates that some of his merchandise was sold to the National Parks Board who required that the mark Kruger Park be added to the merchandise sold in the park.. This was produced during the broad period of around 1972 – 1984.[35]

    Table 1: Maker’s marks used by Joe Calafato

    Name of mark
    Format of maker’s mark
    Years in manufacture
    Place
    Medium
    Candida

    CAndidA in calibri font and STER SILV  imprint.

    1947 – 1951
    - c/o Schoeman & Potgieter Sts, Pretoria
    Sterling silver and some enamel work.
    Candida

     CANDIDA and
    STER SILV in arial font imprint. Sometimes also S.AFRICA and the name of some individual pieces.
    In gold: 9CT or 18CT
     1947 – 1951


    1951 - 1953
    1953 – 1966
    1966 - 1972
    (Occasionally after 1972)
    - c/o Schoeman & Potgieter Sts,
    -Watt St,
    - Church St,
    -Bloed St,
    Pretoria
    Sterling silver,
    Some semi-precious stones as well as enamel. Some gold and platinum.
    Mostly jewellery. Some souvenir spoons.
    Carina

    Carina in cursive along with STER-SIL or SILVERPLATED and sometimes S.AFRICA or SOUTH AFRICA (arial font).
    1972 – 1982
    1982 – 1984
    - Bloed St,
    - Voortrekkers Rd, Pretoria.
    Sterling silver, silver plate and sometimes enamel. Mostly souvenir spoons and cutlery. Some jewellery.
    Velia

    Velia in cursive or in capitals (arial font) along with STER-SIL or SILVER PLATED or GENUINE COPPER and S.AFRICA or SOUTH AFRICA.
    1972 – 1982
    1982 - 1984





    - Bloed St,
    - Voortrekkers Rd, Pretoria.
    Silver, oxidised silver, silver plate, nickel plate, copper and sometimes enamel.
    Mostly jewellery, souvenir spoons and cake forks.

    Information about Yvonne Chaka Chaka is included in the summary of this video.

    Selected comments from this video's discussion thread are included in this post.

    The content of this post is presented for cultural, entertainment, and aesthetic purposes.

    All copyrights remain with their owners.

    Thanks to Yvonne Chaka Chaka for her musical legacy and thanks to all those who are quoted in this post. Thanks also to the publisher of this video on YouTube.

    ****
    SHOWCASE VIDEO: Yvonne Chacka chacka – Mamaland



    yaz oshea Published on Mar 10, 2011

    Yvonne has been on the forefront of South African music for over 15 years and still going strong.

    Yvonne Chaka Chaka is always spinning gold. In 1985, when she was only 19 years old, Phil Hollis of Dephon Records discovered her in Johannesburg. Soon after she was introduced to record producers Rick Wolfe and Attie van Wyk. Her debut album "I'm in Love With a DJ" was released. It became tremendous hit.

    Songs like "I'm burning Up" |"I'm in Love With a DJ"| "I Cry for Freedom" |"Makoti" |"Motherland" and the ever-popular, "Umqombothi" immediately insured Yvonne's status as star in South Africa music scene. Continuing to release hit after hit, her subsequent award winning albums were : "Burning Up" |"Sangoma" |"Who's The Boss" "Motherland" |" Be Proud to be African"| "Thank You Mr DJ" |"Back on my Feet"|"Rhythm of Life" |"Who's got the Power" |"The Best Of Yvonne Chaka Chaka" |"Bombani ( Tiko Rahini)| "Power of Afrika"|"Yvonne and Friends" and "Kwenzenjani"..

    For her artistic achievement Yvonne has won the "Ngomo Award" (the "Grand Prix Pan African de la Chanson" in Zaire), as well as the "FNB/SAMA Awards" for the best female singer. Yvonne has also worked with noted producers Sello 'Chicco' Twala and Gabi LeRoux. The African Music Encyclopedia says of Yvonne, "Chaka-Chaka's powerful alto voice, along with her finely-crafted and arranged material, account for her wide popularity."
    -snip-
    Statistics (as of July 27, 2017 at 8:07 AM)
    total views: 1,418,900
    likes: 3,420 ; dislikes: 257
    total # of comments: 556

    ****
    SELECTED COMMENTS FROM THIS VIDEO'S DISCUSSION THREAD
    These selected comments document commenters' high opinions of Yvonne Chaka Chaka and this song.

    These selected comments also are a small sample of the expressions of affection that commenters wrote about their own African nation as well as expressions of a desire for African unity. In addition, these selected comments demonstrate the wide reach of recorded music from a specific African nation throughout the entire African continent.

    Numbers are assigned for referencing purposes only.

    2013
    1. Chica Delarosa
    "I Love my Mamaland Congo/Afrika"

    **
    2. Kweku Takyi-Annan
    "Africa/Ghana"

    ****
    2014
    3. lord isaac
    "This song give me power when i hear it.....because i remember where i come frome, i really miss you mama Africa... for Africa forever..!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

    **
    4. Anna Andreas
    "I am born free ,but i am great fan of old school .BIG FAN OF IVONNE CHAKA CHAKA LOVE FROM NAMIBIA."

    **
    5. Sydonia3 years ago
    My grandma had the entire VHS of all her songs! This was all that played in our house. 1997, good times

    ****
    2015
    6. abdiaziz ahmed osman
    "southafrica people dont respect othere african people they kill them naglet them they forget there fredome were give by othere african country shame to south african people i heat them"
    -snip-
    "Heat" here is a typo for "hate".

    **
    Reply
    7. Solomon Modisha, 2016
    "+abdiaziz ahmed osman please don't "heat" us man, not all South Africans are xenophobic.come to the Madiba land you will see."

    **
    Reply
    8. raan chol, 2016
    "+Solomon Modisha I know majority of South African people are good people who love Africa and their African brothers and sisters. When the apartheid was being practiced, all African people were supporting brothers and sister from South Africa but the incident that happened in South Africa by killing other Africa is big embarrassment and betrayal to all Africa people in this world."

    **
    9. Gabriel Komango
    "my land.... TANGANYIKA / TANZANIA"

    **
    10. Shell Winchester
    "mama land África, my first mama i really miss you, and i love you so much... Áfricaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa... Angolaaa!!!"

    **
    11. Vidakon Jemusse
    "Chokwe at Gaza, South of Mozambique,.... Makweniu wa Maxangane..... Peace From Mozambique"

    **
    12. Ismael Botan
    "My mamaland somalia africa am proud to be african where our culture teach us to respect the old and the young ones am realy proud of whom i am"

    **
    13. hlaloso moreri
    "my mamaland-Botswana/Africa"

    **
    14. M.S K
    "Zambia✊ Africa Mamaland"

    **
    15. Evans Machera
    "A celebratory song by African greatest song bird."

    **
    16. Silver Back
    "One Love mama Africa. From S.Leone Westside Africa."

    **
    17. thadmans
    "Africa is indeed our mamaland. Travelled from Kenya to RSA in June for the first time and still felt that I was still at home."

    **
    18. Bint Mohammed
    "Ethiopia , Africa mamaland"

    **
    19. Martila Omba
    "I luv my mamaland Congo DRC/Zambia"

    ****
    2016
    20. Nona Ford
    "This song reminds me of those turn up weddings and parties!"

    **
    21. Chol Akuany
    "My Mamaland Africa, Yvone Chacka Chacka has said it all. Stop fighting yourselves my people. Why is this tribal division among some Africans tribes? South Sudan, Dinka and Nuer used to inter-marry and did barter trade with one another until the money came along which in turn made some individuals like Riek Machar lust for even more. The 1991 & 2013 episodes are just examples. Greed is dividing my people and blinding them from realizing the truth. And what is the truth? There is no truth when you pick up a gun and kill innocent people. To the peaceful African nations, I thank you for being there for Africa, our Mamaland"

    **
    Reply
    22. ntege samuel, 2017
    "Chol Akuany
    Also i wish S. Sudan people can wake up & stop murdering Ugandans like insects. We have taken you in as refugees & no one has been killed in here by a Ugandan. I the same way you should treat us well. Stop hooliganism its not the way to go in this modern era. If Ugandans werent good to you then you wdnt have come in here. Ugandan are peaceful & hospitable....& so should be you S. Sudanese. Treat us well...we sell food to you not because there no other markets but we know you are a desert helpless country. Finally we wish you well S.Sudan no matter how you kill us in your land."

    **
    23. Loice Mukandi
    "Oh yes my mama land lots of love from Zimbabwe"

    **
    24. Jossey Kibebe
    "you are such amazing lady,queen of africa i like the song truely africa is our mother land,it is our home and we are home to stay,lets practice peace,love and unity to our mother land God bless africa"

    **
    25. GLORIA 256
    "Am from Uganda and I love Africa ma mama land God bless South Africans the freedom fighters 👏👏👏👏👏"

    **
    26. Social Streaming
    "Stop killing, stop killing, it's our motherland Africa, very iconic music!"

    27. Baba Theo Chriss
    "Am Tanzanian my mamaland country. proud to be African.."

    **
    28. Daniel Boateng
    "Her songs really contributed South Africa freedom. Big up Yvonne"

    **
    29. Givemore Chiguvare
    "YAAAH wenever i go to a NEW AFRICAN PLACE I PLAY THIS ONE."

    **
    30. migxgy
    "Always played this song at parties"

    **
    31. morenikespring #apple
    "these were our beyonces"

    **
    32. Rufus J. Kerkulah
    "From Gbarnga, Bong County, Liberia to South Africa with love."

    **
    33. Kenny Chukwu
    "In character, in manner, in style, in all the things, the supreme excellence is simplicity. Like all magnificent things, she is an epitome of beauty and class. #Naija."

    **
    34. Jacob Paulo
    "my thanks giving from Angola, love this song so much Chaka"

    **
    35. thamsanqa nyathi
    "I waz young by then in rural areas listening to radio 2 before it waz named radio Zimbabwe,gne are the day's"

    **
    36. BE8Y LUBEGA
    "I miss my mama land, just thought of Chaka Chaka one of the music icons of the 90s. Missing you Africa..."

    **
    37. Annah Makhoshi
    "I am happy to be at African. I'm coming from Ghana I love south Africa it make me happy here"

    **
    38. Kbc Construction
    "the time wen she was young looking good that we fighting apartheid in Namibia remind me my fellow whose gone with war"

    **
    39. samantha gloria
    "Kbc Construction She still looks good,watched her on BBC hard talk one day ago"

    **
    40. jimmy heguye
    "♨❤ l should give huge all Mother in Village!😀&dance with them😀My heart fired to Mother land home village! l feel so much to them!"

    **
    41. rumbie portia
    "My roots are here in Africa....nyc song"
    -snip-
    “nyc song” = “nice song” and not New York City song

    **
    42. Regina Drescher
    "Those were the good old days were no internet or mobile existed,millenials will never know how good it felt. Thank you Yvonne,you have no idea how many hearts you changed during your time.I give thanks to you..Thank you princess of Africa"

    **
    43. Femme Fatale
    "yvonne chaka chaka in ZAÏRE ♥♥"

    **
    44. Bertin Ngindu
    "So proud to be an African...my mamaland Tanzania/DRC"

    **
    45. Sidiki Fofana
    "I am not from sudafrika but I love it realy all afrika are brothers"

    ****
    2017
    46. Charles Lotara
    "Those were more than just musicians but were iconic freedom fighters through their songs! You made us proud of our motherland, we love you, we love Africa!"

    **
    48. James Ndula
    "Yvonne was actually asking African countries to stop fighting and unite to become one, unfortunately that didn't happen"

    **
    49. Gabriel Mandlenkosi Vundla
    "africa start from cape town to cairo,so all countries which are in this continent must get united not fight,nigerians are my brothers,zimbabweans are my sisters,so stop fighting guys"

    **
    50. polycap orina
    "produced at the height of Racism...I listened to this as a kid,And will still bomb to hit"

    **
    51. stephen mugisha
    "mam land so great,am Rwanda and proud to be so, i love ur music!!!"

    **
    52. Chris Tifana chikafa Tifana
    "Yoh! aunt you suppose to continue singing please, i like all your songs maam"

    **
    53. Sebongile Nkachela Baggio
    "my mamaland a better land, my home town. before cell phones take over"

    **
    54. Julius Chacha
    "I remember those days 1992 when my uncles used to play kinanda."

    **
    55. jiya jalaqsan
    "I love my motherland in somali"

    **
    56. Onasis Kanika Since88
    "Am from Zambia Africa is my motherland let's not kill each other Africa unite. One love brothers and sisters"

    **
    57. Mula chain
    "I am proud to be Congolese (DRC)"

    **
    58. ispm quartoano
    "sory abaut my inglish im Mozambican. I love this song i rember my infacnc 7 year s old mamaland from Yvone .i never forget you."

    **
    59. Gisele Belole
    "part of the video done in Kinshasa -Zaïre (DRC)"

    **
    60. Vannuge Jiiko
    "I remember this song when I was young back in Malawi I feel so emotional now I miss you mama land the warm heart of Africa"

    **
    61. Vhuramai Chimbindi
    "its true this Africa is our mama land why are we fighting for. lets not divide our selves"

    **
    62. maikano Rabe
    "You contributed a lot in saving south Africa from the apartheid ruling. Great and tremendous zulu voice. It me remembered Dabezitao un Chakra zulu movie."

    **
    63. james pa92
    "Childhood jam!!!"

    **
    64. Tracy Justice
    "my mama land Tanzania, proud to be Tanzanian watching from the USA"

    **
    65. Lucy Leopold
    "i real mic my home town my mama land Tanzania...from sweden"

    **
    66. JDOUG757
    "being a black american, I envy u guys so much. we don't know where we are from. we are so lost...MAMA AFRICA I LOVE YOU!!! I MISS U!!!"

    **
    67. Willy Kabuya EL GANADOR
    "i love africa proud To be congolese. my land"

    **
    68. Vivi Cruz
    "Hi, I'm Cape Verdean, I love this rhythm, how I wanted to understand the lyrics, Kisses"

    **
    Reply
    69. Tonny Okello
    "Ni we nakupenda , ni we Mamaland - It a swahili phrase that translates literally : It is you I love, it is you my motherland."

    **
    70. Lionel Pessi Aka El Vomito
    "BURUNDI forever"

    **
    71. mike koechner
    "my mama land Kenya. watching from Doha Qatar. I miss my home Africa..."

    **
    72. OMBENI MIHWELA
    "i love and i proud with african mucian who was sing the song of liberazation"

    ****
    Thanks for visiting pancocojams.

    Visitor comments are welcome.
              Tutufa nigrita        
    Tutufa nigrita
    Not public

    Mozambique, Cabo Delgado, by diving, at 12 m depth, ex coll. A. van Es. Image by Joop Trausel and Frans Slieker.
              Fears grow over global food supply        
    In Mozambique, where a 30 per cent rise in bread prices triggered riots on Wednesday and Thursday, the government said seven people had been killed and 288 wounded.
              Commentaires sur Occlusions veineuses rétiniennes par MichaelNex        
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              CDC reports progress, innovations and challenges in scaling-up Prevention of Mother-to-Child-Transmission (PMTCT) efforts in Africa        
    Research and analysis from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Preventing Mother-to-Child Transmission (PMTCT) presented at the XIX International AIDS Conference reveal mother-to-child transmission has decreased in South Africa, provides insights into new clinical and laboratory data in resource-limited settings, and highlights the application of best practices in Mozambique.
              Homenagem Musical ao Futebol Brasileiro        

    Homenagem Musical ao Futebol Brasileiro - The Ambassador

    Welcome back people! Sorry for the absence here on Soul Spectrum. There's been a lot happening back on the ranch that unfortunately nudged this fun diversion to the back burner for the past couple months. But as I've been getting caught up in the excitement of the World Cup I was galvanized last night to make a mix in honor of the first Brazil game I've been able to watch in this tournament. It was a good, close game with Brazil's colonial rivals that just ended in a 0-0 draw, but the shelf-life of this mix will last at least into the next round, if not longer. I'm of course cheering for the USA, but last time I checked there aren't too many songs about American soccer, or at least not yet.

    Brazil, on the other hand, has a passionate and enduring love affair with the sport that borderlines insanity, especially around any big tournament. I remember being in Sao Paulo during an American's Cup in a relatively sleepy artsy neighborhood in a 5th floor apartment with the windows open and every time Brazil scored (or almost scored) you could hear cheers, screams, fireworks erupting from every direction throughout the city. I'm sure you can find a Brazilian that doesn't give a damn about Futebol, but your odds are about as good as finding an actual North Korean fan cheering on the Axis of Evil's lone World Cup contending team.

    Brazilian soccer and music have a very special relationship as you'll hear from the selections in this mix. I'm going to be so bold as to ignorantly proclaim that Brazil has more popular songs about the sport than any other nation. As such, it's no surprise that you'll see Brazilian music stars on the pitch in uniform, sporting their team colors, marrying famous soccer stars or singing about their favorite team. Samba's diva supreme, Elza Soares, married Garrincha, a player as famous as Pele within Brazil for his leadership and dominance in the 1958 and 1962 Brazilian World Cup victories. FIFA claims that he is the second best player in the history of the game, following Pele. On the back of this 1970s Elza Soares LP you can see Elza, Garrincha and their baby.

    I'm certain my selections on this mix are only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Brazilian soccer anthems, but I'm pretty content with it for a spontaneous mix made last night. If any of you know of any other great tunes, please let me know in the comments. Seeing Chico Buarque in his jersey here makes me want to scour his LPs for some hidden soccer homages buried in his deep catalog.

    Jorge Ben, on the other hand is solidly represent in this 20-song mix with two of his own recordings ("Sem Essa no. 5" & "Camisa 10 de Gavea"), both Wilson Simonal tunes were composed by Ben and my most recent acquisition brings us the killer version of Ben's futebol classic "Fio Maravilha". And I left off the obvious selection "Ponta de Lança Africano - Umbabarauma" because I figure most of you already know that one. Jorge Ben's club team is Flamengo as you can see by the red & black emblem on his guitar.



    The greatest player of all time teamed up with Sergio Mendes in the late-seventies for a documentary about himself. I can't speak to the quality of the film and the soundtrack is easily the worst Sergio album of his first two decades, but the soundtrack cover is possibly the best image capturing the intersection of Brazil's obsession with music and futebol. I did include a funky percussion groove from the soundtrack, the best moment from my opinion.



















    At the same time as this Sergio "solo" soundtrack project he did a fantastic album with the "New Brazil '77" featuring a couple exclusive Stevie Wonder compositions and the funky dancer "Mozambique" but it's also notable for having Pele making a cameo on the back cover as the doctor attempting to repair Sergio's band of wounded and dirty soccer players.

    In Brazil even hippies like soccer as evidenced by Novos Baianos' third album and this clip. "F.C." means Futebol Club and by looking at their colors, they might be Flamengo fans as well. I love how Moraes Moreira just wanders off the practice pitch mid-game to sing a song and slowly but surely the rest of his team/band joins him:



    Here's the track-list with some notes:

    1. Ritmo de Abertura - Explosao de Samba
    (I'm not sure who the band is here, but I've always loved crazy samba mixed with electronics)
    2. Praia e Sol - Bebeto
    (Bebeto, the poor man's Jorge Ben which is not so poor given Ben's musical wealth, sure has his priorities figured out: Beach, Sun, Girls, Soccer. Nuff said.)
    3. Soccer Game - Eumir Deodato e os Caterdraticos '73
    (A cool little instrumental from one of Brazil's most famous musical expats - this one was recorded in Brazil around the same time as his mega-hit remake of the theme to 2001)
    4. Paz e Futebol - Marcos Valle
    (the first of two appearances from Marcos Valle, this one from his Garra album - dig the outro scatting)
    5. Pais Tropical - Wilson Simonal
    (a classic Jorge Ben tune in the definitive version by Simonal. Nobody does a nationalistic pop-samba quite like Simonal. The soccer reference is "Sou Flamengo e tenho uma nega chamada Tereza", which means "I'm Flamengo and I have a black chick called Tereza"
    6. Flamengo - Tim Maia
    (A rare Tim Maia instrumental also praising the Rio team Flamengo)
    7. Aquele Abraço - Osvaldo Nunes
    (this is a new aquisition, a single-only version of the Gilberto Gil classic that also has a Flamengo reference: "Aia, torcida do Flamengo - aquele abraaco!")
    8. O Samba da Minha Terra - Novos Baianos
    (From the Novos Baianos album "Novos Baianos F.C." this is more of a tribute to Bahia, but it's killer and can be interpreted as generally patriotic.)
    9. Sem Essa no. 5 - Jorge Ben
    (there's a soccer reference in this Jorge Ben rarity, not found on any albums of his, but just on a label compilation from the early 70s)
    10. Brasil, Eu Fico - Wilson Simonal
    (another Jorge Ben nationalistic tune helmed by Simonal)
    11. Fio Maravilha - Explosao do Samba
    (love this version with the weird guitar and announcer effects)
    12. Grito de Gol - Serginho Meriti
    (a great tune about the "Scream of the Goal" by Samba-Soulster Serginho Meriti)
    13. Se Meu Time Não Fosse o Campeão - MPB-4
    (A late 70s tune from the MPB-4 about "if my team is not the champion")
    14. Camisa 10 de Gavea - Jorge Ben
    (A tribute to the guy wearing the number 10 jersey on Gavea's team, from the same album as "Ponta de Lança Africano - Umbabarauma", Africa-Brasil)
    15. A Tristexa do Adeus (The Sadness of Goodbye) - Sergio Mendes
    (Groovy instrumental from the Pelé soundtrack)
    16. Maracana - Azymuth
    (an instrumental tribute to the greatest Soccer stadium in the world)
    17. Futebol de Bar - Cesar Mariano & Cia.
    (an interesting piano ditty that turns into a stomping, funky groove for the song's outro)
    18. Happy Brasilia - James Last
    (the only non-Brazilian in the mix, this is a surprisingly authentic batucada jam from Germany's Herb Alpert)
    19. Flamengo Até Morrer - Marcos Valle
    (I considered putting this song in at spot #8 to have four Flamengo tunes in a row from four different princes of MPB, but the song fit better at the end of the mix. Find me a better love song to a soccer team, I dare you. "Flamengo until death.")
    20. Aquarela Brasiliera - Nostalgia Electrônica Orchestra
    (cheesy, yes, but it seemed a fitting nationalistic outro in a disco style from a weird album by keyboardist and arranger Daniel Salinas)


              Mozambique orders Camcopter UAVs for its patrol vessels        
    Mozambique will operate Schiebel Camcopter vertical takeoff and landing unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) from its Ocean Eagle 43 offshore patrol vessels, and has ordered three of the aircraft.
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              Comentario en Yamaha PW-X, Bosch y Brose : motores eMTB 2017. por MichaelRam        
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              [Resources] Pedro Cabral        
    File:Pedro alvares cabral 01.png
    Pedro Cabral (c. 1467 - c. 1520) was the Portuguese explorer who discovered Brazil on April 22, 1500. He was born into a noble family (with a family coat of arms of two purple goats on a field of silver) and a family story that their ancestor was Caranus, the first king of Macedonia, who was himself a descendant of Hercules.

    As a young nobleman, he learned to fight and campaigned in North Africa for his king and country. Reputed to have been vain and overly concerned with his position and honor, he was also known for courtesy, a generous and prudent nature, was well-educated and tolerant to his enemies.

    Appointed commander-in-chief of a fleet of 13 ships by the King of Portugal in 1500, he landed on the coast of Brazil in April with only the loss of one ship on the voyage to the New World. Cabral's men erected a large wooden cross to celebrate Portugal's claim to the land and one of his ships was sent back to inform the King of the discovery.

    The fleet continued sailing along the coast of Brazil then crossed the Atlantic to Africa in May but a storm sank four ships, with a loss of nearly 400 men, one ship became lost and the remaining six regrouped. Although damaged, the fleet made repairs along the east coast of Africa before reaching Calcutta in September.

    Cabral's stay in Calcutta was less than ideal. Fifty of his men were killed in a confrontation in the streets and Cabral seized 10 Arab merchant ships, killing 600 crewmen, looting the ships and then burning them as a reprisal.

    The Portuguese fleet sailed to Kochi, a city beholden to Calcutta and forged an alliance with it's king, exploiting the king's desire for independence from Calcutta. Cabral filled his ships' holds with spices and sailed for Africa.

    Along the way, they lost another ship, burning it where it ran aground with the loss of the cargo. At Mozambique, the fastest ship was sent ahead to the King, one was sent on another errand, while a third became lost.

    Cabral's remaining two ships met up with another Portuguese fleet (and found the lost ship from the Atlantic crossing with only seven men left alive). Part of that fleet sailed to Brazil with Amerigo Vespucci (the navigator credited with naming the Americas) while Cabral sailed for home.

    Five of the original 13 came home with full holds, two returned empty and six were lost. All told, the profit from the voyage more than made up for the cost, making Cabral (and the Crown) wealthy.

    Cabral was chosen for a new voyage but was replaced with a rival nobleman and he lost favor with the King. He married a rich woman in 1503, had four children and remained estranged from the royal court. He was knighted in 1518 and he died two years later.

    Pedro Cabral would be an excellent NPC in any exploration game set around 1500, either as a patron or an enemy (especially in India).
              Swimming with dolphins and whale sharks in Tofo — Praia do Tofo, Mozambique        
    Africa - Three weeks of Mountains, Diving and Sharks !!
              V. S. Naipaul : Magic Seeds        


    "It is wrong to have an ideal view of the world.  That's where the mischief starts. That's where everything starts unravelling.  But I can't write to Sarojini about that"

    With this sad-but-wise conclusion, Willie brings an end to "Magic Seeds", the sequel to "Half a Life".

    And I disagree -  at least with regards to Willie's life.  It could not begin to unravel because it was never raveled together in the first place.  As Naipaul has told his story, he was a lost soul  the moment he  was conceived by a Brahmin father and a Dalit mother.  He has never cared about anything but himself - and even regarding himself - he  only cares about sexual urges.   He is a cockroach - albeit a very intelligent and introspective one.

    This novel begins in Berlin where Willie had fled Mozambique to finally begin living his own life.  I had predicted that he would just continue his sexual adventures, but I was wrong.  Instead, his sister sends him to join the Maoist insurgents in India.  Given his absent personality, he has a natural ability to hide in plain sight - but that is his only martial ability.  Eventually he manages to half-heartedly kill some hapless peasant -- and then as the local insurgency collapses, he finds himself in jail.

    I'm not sure that we can rely Naipaul to know anything about Indian prisons (or Maoist insurgents) -- but if his depiction is accurate, those prisons exemplify a wrong-headed compassion where captured rebels are encouraged to organize their own ideological activities.   



              V.S. Naipaul : Half a Life        


    Alas, poor Willie.

    His father a Brahmin - his mother a Dalit - and he's a talented writer with opportunities but no idea of what to do with life except fuck.

    Compassionate - sharply observant - but ultimately self centered - just as the  book is Willie centered -  with secondary characters that are fascinating but sketchy.  How does his wife spend her time? How did Willie himself spend his time before he became more curious about his sexuality? We are told  nothing about whatever challenges he faced in agribusiness or as a husband. Would he have lived in Africa his entire life if the insurrection had never happened?

    Presumably this novel  targets readers with a taste for colonial guilt and sexual perversity.


    Yet the story breathes with life -- the narrative is unpredictable and exciting. It seems to diverge - instead of converge - as the story progresses.  When we're told that Willie has left London for Mozambique and will stay there for 18 years -- it's like jumping off the high board at a swimming pool. 

    The story ends abruptly as Willie leaves Mozambique without career, family, or cash.  There is a sequel that begins in Berlin - so I suppose I'll next be reading about his German girlfriends.







                                                                                                                                                                               
              Match amicale en plein coupe du monde!??        

    FichierMozambique_Tunisia_match_2009la Tunisie a battu le Soudan de 6-2. Mais il est important de noter que la date de ce match était inacceptable pour les tunisiens, car elle arrive en parallèle avec l’événement mondial le plus intéressant (en plein coupe du monde). Outre à cette date je ne pense pas que le score marqué peu supprimer les fautes de la fédération tunisienne de football et l'ancien Roger Lemère. Ce match entre dans les préparations pour les éliminatoires de la coupe d'Afrique des nations 2012. La Tunisie se trouve dans la poule "K" avec Boutswana, Togt, Malawi et Tchad. 


              Community radio encourages girls’ education in Mozambique        
    UNICEF’s Patricia Souza discusses Mozambique’s new Erive Community Radio station.
              Denise’s story: Small grant brings wealth of knowledge to Mozambican youth        
    Denise Milice, 16, talks to UNICEF Radio about the youth-empowerment group she founded in Mozambique.
              Coastal town in Mozambique reeling but on the move after Cyclone Favio        
    UNICEF Water and Sanitation Officer Antero Pina talks about efforts to help families in cyclone-affected Vilanculos, Mozambique.
              Report finds nearly half of all children in Mozambique living in extreme poverty        
    UNICEF Representative in Mozambique Leila Pakkala explains the findings of the UN report ‘Childhood Poverty in Mozambique’.
              TerraSonic 09-13-2014 with George Figgs        
    Playlist:

    Noura Mint Seymali- Tzenni - Tzenni
    John Issa Band- Matabixo - Wired For Sound Mozambique
    - voicebreak -
    Los Hacheros- Azucar - Pilon
    Adrian Raso Fanfare Ciocarlia- Django - Devils Tale
    Meridian Brothers- Jefe Indio Vengar - Salvadora Robot
    Transgressors- La Marche Des Smith - Beyond Addis Contemporary Jazz Funk Inspired By Ethiopian Sounds From The 70s
    - voicebreak -
    Stank- God Pavo - Kafund Vol 1
    - Nesthel - 1970s Algerian Folk And Pop
    Zongo Junction- Longtooth - No Discount
    William Onyeabor- Body And Soul Scientist Remix - What
    Quantic Anita Tijoux- Entre Rejas - That Thing Single


    playlist URL: http://www.afterfm.com/index.cfm/fuseaction/playlist.listing/showInstanceID/81/playlistDate/2014-09-13
              MGWCC #208 -- Friday, May 25th, 2012 -- "Lost Island"        
    Good afternoon, crossword fans -- welcome to Week 208 of my contest. If you're new to the contest and would like to enter, please see the site FAQ on the left sidebar for instructions.

    THE WEEK BEFORE LAST WEEK'S RESULTS:


    OK, I'm back from my honeymoon and within about a week of getting caught up on work and life. So please bear with me -- I'm behind on sending prizes and answering e-mails, but will be back on track soon.

    I forgot to pick a winner to MGWCC #206, so let's do it now: the winner of an autographed copy of Natan Last's new book Word, whose name was chosen at random from the 168 correct entries received, is James Hopkin of Orinda, Calif.

    LAST WEEK'S RESULTS:


    "Oh, It's a Clue!" read the title of last week's puzzle, and indeed the five theme answers were actually clues leading to a linked group of alternate answers. They were:

    HIGHLANDER = [SUV MADE BY TOYOTA]
    BRAZIL = [LUSOPHONE NATION]
    HOLA = [GRANADA GREETING]
    BROCCOLI = [FOOD WITH FLORETS]
    RICHARD GERE = [PRETTY WOMAN STAR]

    Solvers noticed the clueyness of these five answers, and 90 of them found the common strain among the five: another Toyota SUV is the SEQUOIA, another Lusophone nation is MOZAMBIQUE, another Granada greeting is BUENOS DIAS, the other main food with florets is CAULIFLOWER, and the other main star of "Pretty Woman" was JULIA ROBERTS.

    What do those five have in common? They're "supervocalics," or words/phrases that contain each of the five main vowels exactly one time. The only cabinet department with this same quality is EDUCATION, which was last week's contest answer. Note that the title is supervocalic itself.

    LABOR was an interesting try submitted by 36 solvers. The logic is that Toyota also makes an SUV called the LANDCRUISER, ANGOLA is a Lusophone country, BUENOS DIAS is the same greeting in Spanish, OREOS may be said to have a design with florets on them, and the other star of "Pretty Woman" was of course Julia ROBERTS. Take those emboldened five letters above and you've got LABOR.

    Two problems, though: that an Oreo's design features "florets" is highly debatable -- I can find a small handful of sites that refer to the cookie's design with that specific word, but it wouldn't make many people's list of "food with florets" so it'd be an unreasonable thing to expect a solver to find. And then choosing the R over the J is arbitrary in JULIA ROBERTS, since the clue references RICHARD GERE full name, not simply GERE. So no dice, but I'll admit that was pretty close (and completely unnoticed by me until people began submitting it).

    Jonathon Brown sends this slice of irony from his Peace Corps post:

    Oh no! I wasn't able to do the puzzle this week because I spent the
    entire weekend overlanding in the back of pick-up trucks and other
    vehicles one good bump from falling apart on my way to and from
    Malawi. Of course the EDUCATION volunteer in MOZAMBIQUE would be
    denied internet access this week due to travel!

    This week's winner, whose name was chosen at random from the 90 correct entries received, is Andrew Sackman of Tallahassee, Fla.

    THIS WEEK'S INSTRUCTIONS:

    This week's contest answer is a famous one-named person.
    E-mail it to me at crosswordcontest@gmail.com by Tuesday at noon ET. Please put the contest answer in the subject line of your e-mail.

    To print the puzzle out, click on the image below and hit "print" on your browser. To solve using Across Lite either solve on the applet below or download the free software here, then join the Google Group (1,725 members now!) here.




    Solve well, and be not led astray by words intended to deceive.



              How the AK 47 beats drones, smart bombs        
    New Delhi: Mikhail Timofeyevich Kalashnikov died on December 23 at the ripe old age of 94. Long before he passed away, the lieutenant-general's name had become synonymous with the most popular weapon of all time. His greatest invention, the AK-47 assault rifle, and its variants, will find mention in any history of armed conflict since the 1950s.

    Along with its successors, the Avtomat Kalashnikova 1947, as it is officially designated (from its year of induction), has been manufactured under licence, or ripped off, in at least 30 countries. Over 100 million of these weapons are in existence.

    It is standard issue for armed forces in over 100 countries. It is also the weapon of choice for guerrillas and terrorists. The AK features on the flag of Mozambique, commemorating its role in that nation's independence struggle. It also features on the Hezbollah flag.

    It is the strictly utilitarian concepts underlying the design that makes the rifle special. It was designed by a citizen soldier, for use by raw conscripts with little or no formal training. It is light enough at under four kg, fully-loaded to be lugged around by anyone and unfortunately, it has been used a lot by child soldiers.

    The rifle can be dropped in mud, or water, or used in sub-zero conditions or blazing desert heat without recourse to cleaning, or special lubricants. It can be disassembled and put back together by anyone with two hands and 15 minutes training.

    Kalashnikov hailed from a family deported to Siberia in one of Stalin's purges. The mechanically gifted teenager was conscripted into a Red Army tank brigade in 1938. His tinkering rapidly attracted attention. By the time Germany invaded the Soviet Union in June 1941, the young tank commander had already invented an automatic ammunition counter for tank shells.

    He was shot up in October 1941, and hospitalised until mid-1942. In hospital, Kalashnikov fraternised with wounded infantrymen, who complained about the poor quality of Soviet rifles. These were heavy with slow rates of fire; they required frequent cleaning and often jammed.

    That feedback led him to design a better weapon. He knew that the Red Army was conscripting pretty much every able-bodied human being and throwing them into battle with an average of a fortnights worth of training. As a Siberian, he knew all about the famous Russian winter when engine oil and gun lubricants froze, and the less-famous Russian spring, when snowmelt turned roads into six feet deep rivers of mud. The weapon had to be cheap and easily mass-produced as well.

    Those constraints drove design. Kalashnikov studied the best German weapons. He borrowed the gas-regulator from the German Mp43 and Mp44 (Maschinen Pistole 43, 44). He also adapted the trigger and safety mechanism of the American M1 Garand. It took him several years and multiple iterations before he got the design right, and the rifle entered service in 1947.

    The AK-47 was one of several Soviet weapons that used the mass produced 7.62 mm cartridge. It had a gas-regulator, which uses the recoil from a bullet to chamber the next round. The gas selector allowed single-shot (one bullet per trigger pull), burst fire (a specific number of bullets per pull) or automatic mode (bullets fired so long as the trigger is held down).

    The gun was relatively light. Later versions got lighter. It was built with a lot of play between moving parts. The curved shape allowed ammunition to load smoothly from the 30-round magazine to the firing chamber. The bore, chamber, gas-piston, etc, were chromium-plated to resist corrosion from cartridge gases. These features adjusted for the tendency of most precision weapons to jam. That reliability turned into a USP for the AK-47 which proved impervious to dirt, mud, water and climatic vagaries.

    The rifle isn't very accurate. But as Kalashnikov knew, most firefights are at close range where volume of fire counts more than pin-point accuracy. It could be fitted with a launcher or a cup to fire grenades. The stock could be modified or folded to shorten the weapon for easy carriage and concealment. The action could be redesigned to lie behind the trigger, "bullpup" fashion, to shorten the weapon more. Special sights could be mounted.

    By the time Vietnam came around, the AK-47 was used in most Soviet client states, including China. The Israelis adapted the design for the Galil assault rifle. India's INSAS is also based on the same principles. US soldiers in Vietnam often preferred using captured AK-47s to their standard issue M-16 since the AK-47 was more reliable in the jungle and fired a bullet with more stopping power.

    From China to Indo-China and Korea, to North East India and Bangladesh, the weapon was ubiquitous by the mid 1970s. It also flooded into Africa with its multitudes of civil wars, and into Latin America, where the drug lords loved it. After the Soviet Afghanistan adventure, it was used by both the Taliban and the Northern Alliance.

    The cartridges have got smaller. Modern AK variants chamber 5.56 mm. The materials used include carbon composites, plastics, etc., which reduce weight. But most modern assault rifles continue to borrow from the AK-47 design.

    Kalashnikov is once reputed to have said that he wished he had "also" designed a better lawn mower. The operative word is "also". While he regretted that the rifle was so often used by terrorists, he had created it at a time of great need during the "Great Patriotic War". The AK-47 is perhaps the iconic symbol of the last 60 years of conflict. Drones and smart bombs are be more fancy and high-tech but the "populist" AK-47 has killed more people than all of those.
              Highway 61 revisited        

    As I sit here with a Cesária Évora CD on in the house, I have an update to the car AV system issue, wherein it couldn’t stop playing Bob Dylan. That is, I found out why it’s playing a disproportionate amount of Dylan.

    I noticed, as it played more songs, that it was not just playing a lot of Bob Dylan and the Beatles, but that it wasn’t playing anything beyond C in the alphabet. I have the files on the microSD organized in folders (directories) based on the artists and albums, so at the root level there’s a Bob Dylan folder, and that has sub-folders called Blonde On Blonde, Blood On the Tracks, Desire, and so on. In those folders are the MP3 files for the songs. I used the touch-screen interface to look in the folder of the current song, then went up to the artist level, and then to the root. I scrolled the list of artists, which should have gone from 10,000 Maniacs to Youssou N’Dour. But the list stopped somewhere near the end of the Cs.

    Ha! There appears to be a limit to the number of directories. And with only around 1000 songs active, instead of the 4000 on the chip, the chances of Dylan had been multiplied by 4 for each play. No wonder I was getting so much! OK, I can work around that limit.

    I took the chip into the house, put it in my computer, and wrote a script to pull all the files out to the root level, so there are no directories/folders. /Bob Dylan/Desire/03 Mozambique.mp3 became /Bob Dylan-Desire-03 Mozambique.mp3, and now I have 3984 files in the root directory, and no folders. Pop the chip back into the car system, and try it out.

    Great! There’s a D... now an L... a G. Much better!

    But it didn’t take too long to notice that it never played anything beyond L. I went to the list and scrolled again (and was happy that one can scroll backward, and it wraps around).

    This time, it was easy to tell exactly: the files in each directory are numbered sequentially by the system, and with everything in the root directory I could see what the actual limit is: 2500 files, exactly. That’s horrid!

    2500 files might be a reasonable limit when microSD chips only went up to 2 GB. But that was a while ago, and it’s perfectly easy to have 8000 files or more now, and higher-capacity chips are coming out all the time. It’s absolutely ridiculous to build in limits like this, considering how the technology is moving forward. Any reasonable file system has tossed such limits away long ago.

    I’m trying to delete 1500 files from the microSD card, but it’s tough: the music on my computer is already selected from my far more extensive CD collection, and represents my favourites. How do I pick 1500 favourites to eliminate? The first 500 went gradually, but it wasn’t too awful. The second 500 were a real challenge. I’m still working on the last 500, and it’s very tough!

    I’ll be writing to Pioneer, to express my displeasure and to see if there’s anything that can be done. And I guess I’ll go back to streaming the music from my BlackBerry, which still has all the songs, and for which there’s no such limitation.


    Update, 4 p.m.: Pioneer's customer service gave me a prompt response, which confirms what I saw:

    The maximum number of files on USB or SD that this unit will support is 2500. Currently there are no plans to change that specification. Your feedback is appreciated and will be passed along to product planning.


              Malaria Vaccine for Children's Lives        
    Introduction:
    Millions of children's lives could be saved by a new vaccine shown to halve the risk of malaria in the first large-scale trials across seven African countries.The long-awaited results of the largest-ever malaria vaccine study, involving 15,460 babies and small children, show that it could massively reduce the impact of the much-feared killer disease. Malaria takes nearly 800,000 lives a year - mostly children under five. It damages many more.The vaccine has been in development for two decades - the brainchild of scientists at the UK drug company GlaxoSmithKline, which has promised to sell it at no more than a fraction over cost-price, with the excess being ploughed back into further tropical disease research.
    Keywords: immunization, vaccination
    "This data brings us to the cusp of having the world's first malaria vaccine, which has the potential to significantly improve the outlook for children living in malaria endemic regions across Africa," said GSK's chief executive, Andrew Witty.
    "The addition of a malaria vaccine to existing control interventions, such as bed nets and insecticide spraying, could potentially help prevent millions of cases of this debilitating disease. It could also reduce the burden on hospital services, freeing up much-needed beds to treat other patients who often live in remote villages, with little or no access to healthcare."
    Mitchell said a vaccine "offers real hope for the future", adding: "An effective, long-lasting and cost-effective vaccine would make a major contribution to malaria control … but we must not lose sight of the fact that over 2,000 people die from malaria every day and they need help now. Britain's focus remains on driving down this terrible loss of life by preventing and treating malaria with the tools we have now and tackling resistance."
    Small-scale studies, in a few hundred children, have shown promising results in the past, but a trial of this size is needed to prove the vaccine's usefulness across populations. It is being carried out in Burkina Faso, Gabon, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique and Tanzania.
    The early data from five- to 17-month-old children is the first of three important results; the outcome from the vaccination of newborn babies will be published next year. These figures are crucial, because the malaria vaccine needs to be incorporated into the infant immunisation schedule, alongside the usual diphtheria and measles jabs. Earlier small-scale trials suggest the results in six- to 12-week-old babies will also show around 50% protection.
    The third important outcome, on how well the protection lasts, will not be known until 2014. The data so far, over 22 months, suggests there may be a drop in the numbers protected from severe malaria.
    The WHO has said that if the results are satisfactory, it will recommend its use and the vaccine may begin to be rolled out as early as 2015, but it will need to be used in conjunction with all the other existing tools of malaria prevention, such as bed nets and insecticide spraying on the inside of homes.
    Questions remain over the price of the vaccine and whether donors will be willing to pay. Dr Regina Rabinovitch, from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, declined to say if they would fund it, saying they would want to look at the final data on efficacy, duration and safety. "Would I prefer to see a 100% effective vaccine? Certainly," she told a press conference.
    Witty says he is exhorting everybody involved in the vaccine's production to pare their costs to the bone. "We are absolutely dedicated to making it as low as possible," he said.
    Bill Gates said a vaccine is the simplest, most cost-effective way to save lives. "These results demonstrate the power of working with partners to create a malaria vaccine that has the potential to protect millions of children from this devastating disease," he said.

    Severe malaria affects the brain, kidneys and blood and can kill. Most children still suffered malaria, but fewer and less serious bouts. For every 1,000 children who received the vaccine there were 750 cases of malaria over a year, compared with 1,500 per 1,000 children who were given a dummy jab. Side-effects were roughly the same in both the vaccine and placebo groups and relatively high, at around 20%, but investigators say this has to do with other health problems among rural African children.

    by Omicsjournals
              Urbanization and Electricity Not to Be Blamed for Insomnia        
    by Hannah Joy on July 20, 2017 at 1:22 PM Lifestyle News The sleeping patterns of people from two neighbouring communities in Mozambique have been exa...
              Archivos sonoros de Mataparda: Ris Ras 1986        
    1986 RisRas 01 

    Aproximadamente entre 1977 y 1988 dediqué una buena parte de mi tiempo a grabaciones sonoras. No soy músico, y mis grabaciones fueron siempre experimentos de estudio. En esa época -tenía 14 años- me influyó poderosamente el punk y el after-punk en su actitud y la música techno-industrial en sus formas. escuchaba entre otros a Kraftwerk, Cluster, Tangerine Dream, Brian Eno, The Residents, SPK, Chris and Cosey, Throbing Gristle, Tuxedomoon, Cabaret Voltaire, Aviador Dro, Esplendor Geométrico, Macromassa, Neo Zelanda, Comando Bruno, Interacción, La Otra Cara de un Jardín, Melodinámika Sensor. Un artículo bastante completo sobre la escena de la música industrial española de esos años se puede leer aquí.
    Fue una época de muchos experimentos personales, la primera recopilación grabada con resultados mínimamente audibles llegó en 1984. Pero como escribió Domi en la cinta Vakaciones en Afrika vol.2 citando a Robert Fripp:
    Donde haya una buena grabación casera pasa de todas esas mierdas industriales fabricadas en serie.
    En el momento es que tenía construido un sonido personal utilizaba una serie de instrumentos electrónicos, sobre todo un sintetizador Korg MS20, mi primer teclado: el VL1, varios sampler como el Casio SK1, o el SK5, un Roland MC202, pedales, guitarra eléctrica, radio, percusiones analógicas y electrónicas, etc.
    Tascam Ministudio PortaOne Las grabaciones las hacía en un Miniestudio TASCAM casero de 4 pistas.



    En 2009 tuve un fructífero intercambio con Jorge, del extinto blog Hand Beanies (ahora Spain in Pain): yo le cedí una pequeña colección de cintas del panorama de la electrónica española de los años 1980 que le interesaban para digitalizar y publicar, y entre ellas digitalizó y remasterizó las 6 cintas que forman mi historia sonora. Además fue publicando los archivos digitalizados en su blog. Como aquí: Mataparda - Ris Ras (Autoedición, 1986, C30). Su blog es un sitio imprescindible si te interesa la música electrónica underground en España.
    Quiero agradecerle, de nuevo, su trabajo. No fue solo digitalizar las viejas cintas de casette, remasterizar es un trabajo de creación. Esa restauración sonora de mis casettes solo podía haberlos hecho alguien como él, que ama la música electrónica.

    Ris Ras 
    Es una colección de piezas explorando ritmos y texturas sonoras. Fue un paso intermedio, sin muchas pretensiones, un poco minimalista pero muy personal. Al final es uno de mis trabajos preferidos, por eso mismo y por su brevedad (30 minutos). Sin textos que acompañen y con un solo gráfico, la letra G saliendo de un volcán. La portada fue un pirograbado directamente sobre la tapa de la cinta.
    Utilicé casettes totalmente transparentes.

    1986 RisRas 03 

    Lista de archivos:
    01. La Mandolina al revés
    02. Suaves golpes de ruido blanco
    03. Los toletes
    04. Tenerife 0 - Las Palmas 2
    05. Las Palmas 2-Tenerife 1
    06. Dominguito y Javier
    07. Por las fronteras de Mozambique
    08. Barco Manche
    09. T.V
    10. El goro de cochinos
    11. Guitarra rascada
    12. Tasagaya
    13. El rápido
    14. Santa Cecilia
    15. No convence del todo
    16. Don Ángel
    17. Me llena la cachimba
    18. Uno-dos
    19. Dibujos animados
    20. Ritmo marcado variaciones
    21. Mozambique de fronteras las por
    22. Melodía mandolina
    23. Improvisación
    24. Revés al mandolina la

    Los archivos sonoros se pueden escuchar en el reproductor incrustado o bien descargándolos desde aquí:

     

    Mataparda - Ris Ras por José Mesa / Remaster Jorge J. Soler Molina se encuentra bajo una Licencia Creative Commons Reconocimiento-NoComercial-SinObraDerivada 3.0 Unported. Basada en una obra en handbeanies.blogspot.com
    .
              Women of the Web 3.0 #121 Silvia Tolisano        

    61:51 minutes (28.32 MB)
    Sharon Peters, Cheri Toledo and Peggy George had an energizing, delightful conversation with one of our favorite people, Silvia Tolisano (Langwitches) in this webcast. We had a wonderful conversation about Skype in the Classroom and her global projects. Her newest project is "Around the World in 80 Schools" and she has created a Ning network for teachers interested in participating in the project to collaborate and learn from each other. There are some fantastic resources on her blog about using Skype including job descriptions for students managing all of the various Skype tasks, and some excellent classroom posters that can be downloaded and printed explaining all of the literacy skills students are using for podcasting, blogging, wikis and other tools involved with the global projects. Thanks to Sharon's newly developed streaming skills we were able to stream most of the session on ustream so we could view some of Silvia's resources for her student projects. Special thanks to Lorna Costantini for capturing the audio and streaming on Shoutcast for us! The ustream version starts about 10 minutes into the session but it is well worth watching.
    A bonus in the session was Sharon's announcement that she is taking a new position in Mozambique.

     

    Chat log

    read more


              Elizabeth Sheldon has launched a new film distribution and sales company, Juno Films        

     
    Licinio Azevedo’s Train of Salt and Sugar and Cahier Africain Are Lead Acquisitions
     

    Elizabeth Sheldon has launched a new film distribution and sales company, Juno Films, to partner with agents, producers and filmmakers to execute bespoke investment, sponsorship and distribution strategies in North America. Sheldon brings two decades of experience in film distribution and international sales, with a specialty in distribution to the educational and non-profit market, to her partners.
     
    Juno Films’s focus is to curate select critically-acclaimed films for all rights releases in North America, including theatrical and festivals, educational, digital and broadcast. The distribution model’s strategy brings together specific films with organizations or individuals to financially support the film’s release in addition to community outreach that will result in greater audience engagement for any film.
     
    One of Juno’s initial acquisitions, Train of Salt and Sugar by Licinio Azevedo, will be financially supported by Railroad Development Corporation (RDC) with a national theatrical release in early 2018. The film, which won the Independent Italian Critic’s Prize at Locarno in 2016 and the Best Film trophy at the Joburg Film Festival, is based on historical events during the civil war in Mozambique on the rail line connecting the northern cities of Nampula and Cuamba. Henry Posner III, chairman of RDC, says, “As the former operator of this railway, which served as the region’s lifeline during the civil war, we see supporting the film as a way of honoring its historic legacy. This builds on our initial support of publication of the English language version of the screenplay as a book in 2007.”
     
    Juno has also acquired the North American rights to the Swiss and German award-winning documentary Cahier Africain by Heidi Specogna. Filmed over seven years, the filmmaker captures the testimonies of 300 Central African women, girls and men revealing what Congolese mercenaries did to them in the wake of the last armed conflict in 2008. The film was awarded the German National Film Award (Lola) for Best Documentary and the Swiss National Film Award for Best Documentary. Juno will offer the film for festivals and a limited theatrical campaign as well as to the educational market via Juno’s educational portal Cinedu.com  with Public Performance Rights and EVOD beginning in September, 2017 followed by a consumer digital release in early 2018.
     
    Both films were licensed from RushLake Media, with whom Juno is looking to co-acquire world-wide rights for select films.
     
    Philipp Hoffmann, Founder and Managing Director of Rushlake Media: “I’m glad to kick-off a long-term cooperation with Juno Films, by bringing two outstanding titles from our current line-up to North American markets. Elizabeth and I share the share the same passion for arthouse films, particularly from the African continent, and the potential a changing distribution landscape can offer for quality cinema.”
     
    About Elizabeth Sheldon
    Elizabeth Sheldon is the founding partner and Chief Executive Officer of Juno Films. She implements a collaborative approach with feature and  documentary filmmakers and producers to secure funding and develop and execute bespoke all-rights releases.

    Prior to launching Juno, Elizabeth was Chief Operations Officer of BOND/360 where she oversaw the release of The Settlers, Strike a Pose, Karl Marx City and The War Show. Prior she was the Senior Vice President at Kino Lorber, Inc, a leading North American independent distributor of critically acclaimed films such as A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night, Jafar Panahi's Taxi, 5 Broken Cameras and A Touch of Sin. 
    While Vice President at Lorber HT Digital she launched the Alive Mind Cinema label. The early stage of her career was built in the educational market, where she oversaw acquisitions and business development for two of the leading North America educational distributors. She has been recognized as one of the '50 Most Powerful People' in the documentary world by POV, is the recipient of three NEH Grants for film development and is a frequent industry panelist and guest speaker.
    About Rushlake Media
     
    Rushlake Media is a digitally oriented sales and distribution company and has been developing its international sales arm with a strong focus on African films and the African market.
     
    Founded in 2014, Hoffmann's Rushlake Media licenses content for the VOD market via the major digital platforms, develops custom digital distribution plans, and provides VOD consulting services both technical and strategic.


              Scholas Ciudadanía reúne a 180 jóvenes en Mozambique para trabajar sobre problemas que les preocupan como drogas y acoso        

    La primera experiencia de Scholas Ciudadanía ha concluido Missao Mangunze (Mozambique) donde 180 jóvenes provenientes de diversas escuelas de las comunidades de Mangunze, Manjacaze, Chongoene y Xai Xai que se han reunido durante una semana para trabajar de forma conjunta las problemáticas que más les preocupan.


              Scholas Ciudadanía reúne a 180 jóvenes en Mozambique para trabajar sobre problemas que les preocupan como drogas y acoso        

    La primera experiencia de Scholas Ciudadanía ha concluido Missao Mangunze (Mozambique) donde 180 jóvenes provenientes de diversas escuelas de las comunidades de Mangunze, Manjacaze, Chongoene y Xai Xai que se han reunido durante una semana para trabajar de forma conjunta las problemáticas que más les preocupan.


              2017-11-16 - 2017-11-17 - Maputo-Mozambique (LUXEMBOURG)        
    Ort: Rotondes (Luxembourg, Centre / Zentrum, LUXEMBOURG)
    Datum: 2017-11-16 - 2017-11-17

    Maputo-Mozambique bringt gleichzeitig die ganze Kunst der Bewegung, des Jonglierens, des Singens und der Perkussion zum Ausdruck. Der äußerst einfallsreiche Regisseur Thomas Guérineau zeigt hier eindrucksvolle und faszinierende Szenen. Die Zuschauer kommen in den Genuss von getanzten Improvisationen, Jonglieren von Bouncingballs auf Perkussionsinstrumenten, Vokalperkussionen, Jonglieren mit Plastiktüten und Hantieren mit Rhomben, die die Bühne richtig zum Glühen bringen.

    Alter: 8+
    Dauer: 60'
    ohne Sprache
     

              2017-11-18 - LABO MAPUTO-MOZAMBIQUE (LUXEMBOURG)        
    Ort: Rotondes (Luxembourg, Centre / Zentrum, LUXEMBOURG)
    Datum: 2017-11-18
    Uhrzeit: 15:00

    Pendant le Labo Maputo-Mozambique les participants apprennent à manipuler balle(s), sac(s) plastique et autres, passant du jonglage « classique » à des formes plus élaborées qui reflètent directement l'univers de Guérineau. Le jonglage comme régulateur de sensations entre corps et matière, où la concentration, le souffle, le rythme, la souplesse et l'anticipation ne font plus qu'un.

    encadrement artistique : Compagnie Thomas | Guérineau avec Thomas Guérineau, José Joaquim | Sitoe et Lourenço Vasco

    Âge : 8+
    Durée : 60'
    Langue : en français
     

              Guatemala, Mozambique and California: Earthquakes 22-28 June 2017        

    This week there were earthquakes in Guatemala and Mozambique and an earthquake swarm in eastern California. And did anything happen in Santa Barbara?

    The post Guatemala, Mozambique and California: Earthquakes 22-28 June 2017 appeared first on Decoded Science.


              Gaining credibility a ‘chicken and egg thing’        
    The ASADI conference rounded up today with a brief roundtable session to discuss lessons learned and the way forward. Boaventura Cuamba of the Academy of Science of Mozambique said the conference had revealed to him the difficulty for individual academics to find resources to do research on expanding electricity access but noted that if African […]
              Joining up science and energy policymaking        
    As my blog co-pilot Munya and I were looking around for evidence of joint African policymaking on energy (ahead of the policy roundtable this morning) we stumbled across something interesting. Last week, the pan-African ministerial grouping on energy – the Conference of Energy Ministers of Africa – met in Maputo, Mozambique. Keen to raise the issue of […]
              Travel to Algeria – Episode 566        

    Hear about travel to Algeria as the Amateur Traveler talks to Ric Gazarian from GlobalGaz.com about travel to this “off the beaten path” destination. Ric, who is also the host of the […]

    The post Travel to Algeria – Episode 566 appeared first on Amateur Traveler Travel Podcast.


              Comment on Saudades: a few of the things I’ll miss about Mozambique by Marjorie        
    I am late to the blog. A great read.
              Comment on Saudades: a few of the things I’ll miss about Mozambique by Steve Wattenmaker        
    I might add the red (aromatic!) dust that covers everything in the dry season, but maybe that would have been #26! As your big U.S. family awaits your return, my list has only one item: my thanks for sharing the last two years in ways that helped us experience it with you through your writing and our visit. That was true gift.
              Comment on Happy Birthday PEPFAR: Thoughts on HIV and Health in Mozambique by Dan        
    I always knew peanut butter could be a true force for good :)
              Comment on Finish line by Laura        
    Absolutely! PCVs talk a lot about reverse culter shock, reintegration back home, and the feeling of isolation/disconnect when you see friends' and family members' eyes glaze over after a few minutes of talking about Mozambique. I've gotta work on my "elevator" short answer to the dreaded "So, how was Africa?" question. But bringing our experience home is part of our job as volunteers, so I'll have to work at it!
              Comment on Challenges by Laura        
    Hi Sue, that's exactly what I was trying to convey in this post! My Mom has always done a great job of emphasizing the relationship between money and choices-- simple things like the added costs of waiting until the last minute, or bigger things like her hope that my major life choices won't be constrained by finances. The reality in Mozambique is obviously on a whole different level. We will definitely have to have a conversation comparing JVC and PC upon my return!
              List of African Countries by region        
    List of countries of East Africa Burundi Comoros Djibouti Eritrea Ethiopia Kenya Madagascar Malawi Mozambique Rwanda Seychelles Somalia South Sudan Tanzania Uganda Zambia Zimbabwe List of countries of West Africa Benin Burkina Faso Cape Verde Gambia Ghana Nigeria Guinea Guinea Bissau Ivory Coast Liberia Mali Mauritania Niger Senegal Sierra Leone Togo List of countries of ...
              List of countries of Africa by Region        
    The countries of Africa by region are as follows; Angola Cameroon Central African Republic Chad DR. Congo Equatorial Guinea Gabon Republic of Congo Sao Tome and Principe Burundi Comoros Djibouti Eritrea Ethiopia Kenya Madagascar Malawi Mozambique Rwanda seychelles Somalia South Sudan Tanzania Uganda Zambia Zimbabwe  Algeria Egypt Libya Morocco Sudan Tunisi Botswana Lesotho Maurtius NamibiaSouth ...
              Friday Fragment: T I A        

    Originally posted July 25, 2008

    You know that joke about the employee who takes time off because he would like to attend his mother-in-law's funeral, only to ask for time off again the next month for the same reason? (The punchline is that she isn’t dead yet.)

    Well, in Mozambique I don't think people would get the joke.

    For starters, people refer to extended relatives as brothers, sisters, mothers, and fathers. So when someone tells you his “sister” has died, it might be his cousin. And his “mother” might be his mother’s cousin. Seems sweet, but it’s a little disconcerting from an employer’s perspective when one tries to be sympathetic and keeps giving time off and funds for employee family funerals.

    Remember our gardener, Antonio? The beanless guy? Yesterday he informed me that his wife just died, and he needs 2 weeks off and some travel money to fetch his son.

    What? His wife died late last year – he took a month off then. Did he marry again already?

    No, no. That wife was his second wife, his Maputo wife. His primary wife lived 3 days travel up north. And his son now has no one to care for him. The grandparents are dead, too.

    How many more wives does he have????

    Just these two. No more. Now he has no wives left.

    My heart grieves for the motherless son. And once again I’m troubled by my lack of sympathy and compassion as an employer.

    [Click here to continue reading]


              Photo retouching logo design and print custom made stickers        
    My name is Audrey and I am an expert in photo editing using Adobe Photoshop. I've been a photo editor for 2 years and worked in big online store such as GILT, Weddington Way and Hautelook. I operate a family owned business here in Mauritius island and we work on different aspects of designing. We have clients in neighbouring countries, including Mozambique, Kenya and more importantly, Madagascar. We also have important customers in France, Spain, Belgium and Italy. We are now planning to expand to English-speaking countries like the US and Australia. For picture retouching and editing, please see my specialties below: • Photo manipulation • Extraction of product to white background • Cleaning backgrounds,shadow,rough edges,dust and scratches • Retouching skin imperfections • Removing reflections and wrinkles • Color correction For photo samples, please visit my FB page: https://www.facebook.com/1865458017059124/photos/pcb.1912983352306590/1912982838973308/?type=3&theater We also work on the followings: Design LOGO (Please feel free to convey me an idea of what you are looking for and we are going to design a Logo which will convey your concept) and can print Print custom-made stickers, Etiquettes or hang tags (you can send us a file with the exact sizes, form and numbers (1,000 units minimum) and we will be reverting back to you. Thanks, Audrey
              Photo retouching logo design and print custom made stickers        
    My name is Audrey and I am an expert in photo editing using Adobe Photoshop. I've been a photo editor for 2 years and worked in big online store such as GILT, Weddington Way and Hautelook. I operate a family owned business here in Mauritius island and we work on different aspects of designing. We have clients in neighbouring countries, including Mozambique, Kenya and more importantly, Madagascar. We also have important customers in France, Spain, Belgium and Italy. We are now planning to expand to English-speaking countries like the US and Australia. For picture retouching and editing, please see my specialties below: • Photo manipulation • Extraction of product to white background • Cleaning backgrounds,shadow,rough edges,dust and scratches • Retouching skin imperfections • Removing reflections and wrinkles • Color correction For photo samples, please visit my FB page: https://www.facebook.com/1865458017059124/photos/pcb.1912983352306590/1912982838973308/?type=3&theater We also work on the followings: Design LOGO (Please feel free to convey me an idea of what you are looking for and we are going to design a Logo which will convey your concept) and can print Print custom-made stickers, Etiquettes or hang tags (you can send us a file with the exact sizes, form and numbers (1,000 units minimum) and we will be reverting back to you. Thanks, Audrey
              Photo retouching logo design and print custom made stickers        
    My name is Audrey and I am an expert in photo editing using Adobe Photoshop. I've been a photo editor for 2 years and worked in big online store such as GILT, Weddington Way and Hautelook. I operate a family owned business here in Mauritius island and we work on different aspects of designing. We have clients in neighbouring countries, including Mozambique, Kenya and more importantly, Madagascar. We also have important customers in France, Spain, Belgium and Italy. We are now planning to expand to English-speaking countries like the US and Australia. For picture retouching and editing, please see my specialties below: • Photo manipulation • Extraction of product to white background • Cleaning backgrounds,shadow,rough edges,dust and scratches • Retouching skin imperfections • Removing reflections and wrinkles • Color correction For photo samples, please visit my FB page: https://www.facebook.com/1865458017059124/photos/pcb.1912983352306590/1912982838973308/?type=3&theater We also work on the followings: Design LOGO (Please feel free to convey me an idea of what you are looking for and we are going to design a Logo which will convey your concept) and can print Print custom-made stickers, Etiquettes or hang tags (you can send us a file with the exact sizes, form and numbers (1,000 units minimum) and we will be reverting back to you. Thanks, Audrey
              Photo retouching logo design and print custom made stickers        
    My name is Audrey and I am an expert in photo editing using Adobe Photoshop. I've been a photo editor for 2 years and worked in big online store such as GILT, Weddington Way and Hautelook. I operate a family owned business here in Mauritius island and we work on different aspects of designing. We have clients in neighbouring countries, including Mozambique, Kenya and more importantly, Madagascar. We also have important customers in France, Spain, Belgium and Italy. We are now planning to expand to English-speaking countries like the US and Australia. For picture retouching and editing, please see my specialties below: • Photo manipulation • Extraction of product to white background • Cleaning backgrounds,shadow,rough edges,dust and scratches • Retouching skin imperfections • Removing reflections and wrinkles • Color correction For photo samples, please visit my FB page: https://www.facebook.com/1865458017059124/photos/pcb.1912983352306590/1912982838973308/?type=3&theater We also work on the followings: Design LOGO (Please feel free to convey me an idea of what you are looking for and we are going to design a Logo which will convey your concept) and can print Print custom-made stickers, Etiquettes or hang tags (you can send us a file with the exact sizes, form and numbers (1,000 units minimum) and we will be reverting back to you. Thanks, Audrey
              Photo retouching logo design and print custom made stickers        
    My name is Audrey and I am an expert in photo editing using Adobe Photoshop. I've been a photo editor for 2 years and worked in big online store such as GILT, Weddington Way and Hautelook. I operate a family owned business here in Mauritius island and we work on different aspects of designing. We have clients in neighbouring countries, including Mozambique, Kenya and more importantly, Madagascar. We also have important customers in France, Spain, Belgium and Italy. We are now planning to expand to English-speaking countries like the US and Australia. For picture retouching and editing, please see my specialties below: • Photo manipulation • Extraction of product to white background • Cleaning backgrounds,shadow,rough edges,dust and scratches • Retouching skin imperfections • Removing reflections and wrinkles • Color correction For photo samples, please visit my FB page: https://www.facebook.com/1865458017059124/photos/pcb.1912983352306590/1912982838973308/?type=3&theater We also work on the followings: Design LOGO (Please feel free to convey me an idea of what you are looking for and we are going to design a Logo which will convey your concept) and can print Print custom-made stickers, Etiquettes or hang tags (you can send us a file with the exact sizes, form and numbers (1,000 units minimum) and we will be reverting back to you. Thanks, Audrey
              Photo retouching logo design and print custom made stickers        
    My name is Audrey and I am an expert in photo editing using Adobe Photoshop. I've been a photo editor for 2 years and worked in big online store such as GILT, Weddington Way and Hautelook. I operate a family owned business here in Mauritius island and we work on different aspects of designing. We have clients in neighbouring countries, including Mozambique, Kenya and more importantly, Madagascar. We also have important customers in France, Spain, Belgium and Italy. We are now planning to expand to English-speaking countries like the US and Australia. For picture retouching and editing, please see my specialties below: • Photo manipulation • Extraction of product to white background • Cleaning backgrounds,shadow,rough edges,dust and scratches • Retouching skin imperfections • Removing reflections and wrinkles • Color correction For photo samples, please visit my FB page: https://www.facebook.com/1865458017059124/photos/pcb.1912983352306590/1912982838973308/?type=3&theater We also work on the followings: Design LOGO (Please feel free to convey me an idea of what you are looking for and we are going to design a Logo which will convey your concept) and can print Print custom-made stickers, Etiquettes or hang tags (you can send us a file with the exact sizes, form and numbers (1,000 units minimum) and we will be reverting back to you. Thanks, Audrey
              Photo retouching logo design and print custom made stickers        
    My name is Audrey and I am an expert in photo editing using Adobe Photoshop. I've been a photo editor for 2 years and worked in big online store such as GILT, Weddington Way and Hautelook. I operate a family owned business here in Mauritius island and we work on different aspects of designing. We have clients in neighbouring countries, including Mozambique, Kenya and more importantly, Madagascar. We also have important customers in France, Spain, Belgium and Italy. We are now planning to expand to English-speaking countries like the US and Australia. For picture retouching and editing, please see my specialties below: • Photo manipulation • Extraction of product to white background • Cleaning backgrounds,shadow,rough edges,dust and scratches • Retouching skin imperfections • Removing reflections and wrinkles • Color correction For photo samples, please visit my FB page: https://www.facebook.com/1865458017059124/photos/pcb.1912983352306590/1912982838973308/?type=3&theater We also work on the followings: Design LOGO (Please feel free to convey me an idea of what you are looking for and we are going to design a Logo which will convey your concept) and can print Print custom-made stickers, Etiquettes or hang tags (you can send us a file with the exact sizes, form and numbers (1,000 units minimum) and we will be reverting back to you. Thanks, Audrey
              Photo retouching logo design and print custom made stickers        
    My name is Audrey and I am an expert in photo editing using Adobe Photoshop. I've been a photo editor for 2 years and worked in big online store such as GILT, Weddington Way and Hautelook. I operate a family owned business here in Mauritius island and we work on different aspects of designing. We have clients in neighbouring countries, including Mozambique, Kenya and more importantly, Madagascar. We also have important customers in France, Spain, Belgium and Italy. We are now planning to expand to English-speaking countries like the US and Australia. For picture retouching and editing, please see my specialties below: • Photo manipulation • Extraction of product to white background • Cleaning backgrounds,shadow,rough edges,dust and scratches • Retouching skin imperfections • Removing reflections and wrinkles • Color correction For photo samples, please visit my FB page: https://www.facebook.com/1865458017059124/photos/pcb.1912983352306590/1912982838973308/?type=3&theater We also work on the followings: Design LOGO (Please feel free to convey me an idea of what you are looking for and we are going to design a Logo which will convey your concept) and can print Print custom-made stickers, Etiquettes or hang tags (you can send us a file with the exact sizes, form and numbers (1,000 units minimum) and we will be reverting back to you. Thanks, Audrey
              Photo retouching logo design and print custom made stickers        
    My name is Audrey and I am an expert in photo editing using Adobe Photoshop. I've been a photo editor for 2 years and worked in big online store such as GILT, Weddington Way and Hautelook. I operate a family owned business here in Mauritius island and we work on different aspects of designing. We have clients in neighbouring countries, including Mozambique, Kenya and more importantly, Madagascar. We also have important customers in France, Spain, Belgium and Italy. We are now planning to expand to English-speaking countries like the US and Australia. For picture retouching and editing, please see my specialties below: • Photo manipulation • Extraction of product to white background • Cleaning backgrounds,shadow,rough edges,dust and scratches • Retouching skin imperfections • Removing reflections and wrinkles • Color correction For photo samples, please visit my FB page: https://www.facebook.com/1865458017059124/photos/pcb.1912983352306590/1912982838973308/?type=3&theater We also work on the followings: Design LOGO (Please feel free to convey me an idea of what you are looking for and we are going to design a Logo which will convey your concept) and can print Print custom-made stickers, Etiquettes or hang tags (you can send us a file with the exact sizes, form and numbers (1,000 units minimum) and we will be reverting back to you. Thanks, Audrey
               Five Go To Mozambique         
    Macdonald, Iain (2015) Five Go To Mozambique. [Art/Design Item]
               Género, Cultura y Desarrollo: Límites y oportunidades para el cambio cultural pro-igualdad de género en Mozambique         
    Rodríguez Blanco, Eugenia (2009) Género, Cultura y Desarrollo: Límites y oportunidades para el cambio cultural pro-igualdad de género en Mozambique. [ Policy Papers; nº 01, 2009, ]
              Documento de posición de Nigeria en relación al Africa        
    Revista de Relaciones Internacionales Nro. 2
    La dimensión económica de la política exterior de Nigeria
    Prof. Dr. Okon Edetuya (Embajador de Nigeria)
    Introducción
    Permítanme comenzar agradeciendo a las autoridades de esta institución por la oportunidad de encontrarme nuevamente aquí para interactuar en este magnífico medio académico. Esto es testimonio de las crecientes y confiablemente beneficiosas relaciones entre su institución y la Embajada, en primer término, y la Argentina y Nigeria, en segundo lugar.
    Les felicito, en particular, por la decisión de inaugurar un programa de Estudios Africanos, a nivel de postgrado en vuestra institución. Como probablemente sabrán, postulo firmemente que las emergentes y crecientes relaciones entre Africa y América Latina en los campos político, diplomático y económico deben aclararse sólidamente en conocimientos concretos, intelectualmente convalidados y firmes acerca de las mutuas condiciones actuales. Es mi firme convicción que relaciones perdurables y significativas solo pueden conformarse superando la ignorancia mutua, que lamentablemente, aún caracteriza ampliamente nuestro enfoque recíproco.
    Al embarcarse en la tarea de estudiar a Africa. permítanme solicitarles tener en cuenta lo siguiente:
    I. Que los estudios africanos han madurado enormemente en los últimos 30 años y que, por lo tanto, no pueden ser ya considerados como un área de curiosidad de turismo intelectual, sino como un asunto digno de rigurosa y seria atención académica.
    II. Que, ampliamente, si bien europeos y norteamericanos continúan realizando excelentes investigaciones acerca de Africa, los africanos, tanto en el continente como fuera de el, han surgido como los intérpretes más confiables de su realidad ante el mundo exterior, mediante la investigación rigurosa. Es, entonces, importante que los puntos de vista de estos investigadores africanos sean considerados ante asuntos importantes que se refieran al continente.
    III. Que se ha producido una gran revolución en las perspectivas y enfoques metodológicos aplicados al estudio de Africa, debida al creciente reconocimiento de que la naturaleza de sus sociedades, incluyendo las perspectivas culturales y las cosmologías, debe influir significativamente en la selección de las perspectivas y los métodos para el estudio del continente. En realidad, se acepta actualmente en general que nadie puede llamarse investigador de la realidad africana, sin incorporar deliberadamente una perspectiva afrocéntrica y una metodología multidisciplinaria.
    Espero que tengan presente los comentarios generales precedentes al estructurar los programas de enseñanza e investigación de los estudios africanos. De todos modos, pueden siempre contar con el apoyo intelectual y la cooperación de la Embajada de Nigeria y la Comunidad Académica Nigeriana en esta digna empresa.
    Sobre la base de lo antedicho, permitanme compartir con ustedes algunos de mis pensamientos acerca de un importante aspecto de la política exterior de Nigeria; tal es, la dimensión económica en su concepción, articulación y práctica. En primer término, hare un breve comentario acerca de los parámetros generales de la diplomacia nigeriana, dentro de los cuales puede apreciarse mejor el componente económico.
    PARAMETROS GENERALES
    A pesar de haberse producido variantes en estilo de una administración a otra y a pesar de los frecuentes cambios de liderazgo y la alternancia entre regimenes civiles y militares en el país, los intereses de la política exterior de Nigeria han mantenido suficiente consistencia, si bien algunos aspectos han recibido mayor énfasis en determinadas circunstancias, reflejando las necesidades del momento, los intereses y las cambiantes alianzas a nivel nacional, regional y global. Las preocupaciones que han dominado las relaciones de Nigeria, tanto en el plano bilateral como multilateral, fueron así identificadas: protección de la soberanía e integridad territorial del Estado Nigeriano, principalmente mediante la promocion del bienestar socio-económico y político de los nigerianos, respeto por la integridad territorial y la soberania de otros estados africanos; promoción de la unidad y solidaridad de los estados africanos; incluyendo la total emancipación política, económica, social y cultural y el rejuvenecimiento de Africa; el apoyo a la autodeterminación de todos los pueblos, incluyendo el compromiso inquebrantable con la eliminacion del colonialismo, el apartheid y el racismo en todo el mundo; la promoción de la cooperación y la comprensión internacionales en los campos económico, social y político, conducentes a la consolidación de la paz y la seguridad esenciales para el rápido desarrollo de nuestra aldea global; garantizar la dignidad y la promoción del bienestar de los africanos y los pueblos de ascendencia africana en todo el mundo; y finalmente, compensar los desequilibrios en las estructuras de poder internacionales que han tendido a frustrar e invalidar el desarrollo adecuado y ordenado y la maduración de los pueblos del mundo en desarrollo.
    Los teorizadores de la política exterior de Nigeria han postulado que esta puede representarse cabalmente como operando dentro de tres círculos concéntricos. El núcleo interior corresponde a las actividades de Nigeria dentro de la sub-región del Africa Occidental, principalmente a traves de la ECOWAS (Comunidad Económica de Estados del Africa Occidental). El círculo medio representa la preocupación de Nigeria por, y sus actividades dentro de Africa, frecuentemente descriptas como la pieza central de su política exterior. El círculo exterior corresponde a las relaciones de Nigeria con el mundo no Africano. En años recientes, especialmente en vista de que la política exterior de Nigeria ha sido identificada como el principal instrumento para el desarrollo económico del pais, se ha volcado un esfuerzo conciente para dividir al mundo no africano en dos categorías mayores, a saber, los paises recientemente industrializados de Asia y América latina, especialmente Argentina, Brasil, Malasia, las dos Coreas, Indonesia e India, que son vistos actualmente como zonas preferenciales para la adquisición de nuevas tecnologías; y las naciones de más larga historia industrial, aún consideradas como fuente importante de capital para el desarrollo.
    Se considera actualmente, en general, que aún durante las dos primeras décadas de vida independiente, cuando el multilateralismo era visto como un refugio para las naciones débiles, con el objeto de encarar con efectividad a los fuertes y poderosos, la política exterior de Nigeria siempre fue una saludable combinación de bi- y multilateralismo, especialmente en materia económica. Un cuidadoso análisis de las actividades de Nigeria en organismos multilaterales tales como la ECOWAS, la OAU (Organización de la Unidad Africana), el Commmonwealth británico de naciones y las Naciones Unidas y sus varias Agencias, confirma que, dada su envergadura y su enorme base de recursos naturales, minerales y humanos, Nigeria ha surgido como líder en Africa y como miembro de equipo respecto de temas fundamentales en la escena mundial. Esto es particularmente así en asuntos relativos a la descolonización, la lucha contra el apartheid, y, quizás lo más importante dentro de este contexto, los problemas de atraso social y económico y la continuada y expansiva disparidad económica entre las naciones ricas y las pobres del mundo.
    Naturalmente, los temas relativos a la descolonización, el apartheid y el racismo y la necesidad de sensibilizar a la comunidad internacional respecto de su recurrencia en el mundo, especialmente en Africa, dominaron la diplomacia nigeriana de los primeros años. En realidad, el país asumió la carga de un liderazgo autoimpuesto en esta materia, especialmente respecto de la lucha para terminar con el apartheid en sus variadas manifestaciones en Africa del Sur, con la sincera convicción de que la independencia de Nigeria no habría de tener sentido hasta tanto Africa se liberara del flagelo del colonialismo y el racismo.
    En 1963, a pesar del continuado énfasis puesto sobre los asuntos políticos, el compromiso de Nigeria de aplicar la diplomacia como importante instrumento para el desarrollo económico del continente africano, había pasado al frente. En el contexto africano, esto tomó forma mediante el apoyo a la incorporación de un componente económico a la doctrina, y posteriormente, a la Carta de la naciente Organización de la Unidad Africana. Así, en una presentación ante la Conferencia Cumbre Africana de Mayo, 1963, el Primer Ministro de Nigeria, Alhaji Abubakar Tafawa Balewa insistía en que, mientras algunos líderes africanos compartían el punto de vista acerca de que la unidad africana debería alcanzarse mediante la fusión política de los diferentes Estados africanos, la posición de Nigeria era que "la unidad africana podría alcanzarse tomando algunas medidas prácticas de cooperación económica, educativa, científica y cultural". Más aún, mientras Nigeria apoyaba la idea de un Mercado Común Africano, mantenía el punto de vista que era de aplicación práctica entonces, "un Mercado Común Africano basado sobre ciertos agrupamientos tales como el de Africa del Norte, el de Africa Occidental y el de Africa Oriental" Nigeria se constituyó en un de los principales promotores del enfoque práctico y progresivo para la cooperación e integración en Africa, que ha pasado a ser el modus operandi de la Organización de la Unidad Africana para asuntos económicos. En realidad, Nigeria ha continuado insistiendo en que una integración exitosa del continente africano sólo podrá tener lugar mediante agrupamientos sub-regionales o regionales basados sobre la cooperación entre los Estados miembros en áreas específicas tales como comercio, transporte, comunicación, y recursos naturales. La carta de la OAU, aprobada en mayo de 1963, específicamente obliga a los estados africanos a "coordinar e intensificar su cooperación y esfuerzos para alcanzar un mejor nivel de vida para los pueblos de Africa, armonizando sus políticas generales en el campo de la cooperación económica, incluyendo transporte y comunicaciones".
    En 1976 se hizo cada vez más obvio que la recientemente ganada independencia de los países africanos no tenía sentido sin el concomitante desarrollo económico y la autosuficiencia. Nigeria fue uno de los países que insistió en realizar una Sesión Extraordinaria del Consejo de Ministros de la Organización de la Unidad Africana dedicada exclusivamente a asuntos económicos. El foro multilateral, que tuvo lugar en Kinshasha, Zaire, recomendó la formación de una política energética común para el continente; la promoción de la Cooperación Inter-Africana para completar el emergente nuevo Orden Económico Internacional y el establecimiento de un Banco de Datos Económico, por la Comisión Económica para Africa (ECA), y la OAU. Nigeria también desempeñó un activo rol en varios symposios destinados a analizar y desarrollar una perspectiva más panafricanista y afrocéntrica del desarrollo africano, durante las décadas de 1970 y 1980. El symposiun de Monrovia de 1979, uno de los más exitosos, reclamó una nueva pedagogía orientada hacia la unidad africana; la necesida de apoyar el desarrollo africano sobre valores científicos, culturales y sociales; el control de los instrumentos vitales técnicos y financieros para alcanzar tal desarrollo, y un nuevo enfoque de la cooperación internacional destacando los lazos entre los países en desarrollo. En 1973, los Jefes de Estado africanos suscribieron la Declaración Africana de Cooperación, Desarrollo e Independencia Económica que compromete explícitamente a las naciones africanas a actuar para redimensionar el compromiso económico del continente y prestar especial atención a los temas económicos en reuniones subsiguientes. En una de las sesiones, Nigeria insistió en que "en la búsqueda de soluciones a los actuales problemas económicos mundiales, nosotros, como africanos, debemos realizar nuestra contribución positiva reorganizando nuestras prioridades económicas y promoviendo el contacto y la cooperación". Era la firme convicción de Nigeria que "la cooperación económica africana no es simplemente un ideal excelso. Es una realidad de la vida, es una necesidad de nuestro tiempo". Estas variadas actividades culminaron en la cumbre de la OAU en Lagos, Nigeria, en 1980, que fue testigo de la adopción del Plan de Acción de Lagos (LPA), para el Desarrollo Económico de Africa, así como del Acta Final de Lagos, considerada como el anteproyecto del desarrollo económico de Africa.
    El plan de Acción de Lagos, por ejemplo, preveía el establecimiento de un Mercado Común Africano para el año 2.000 sobre la base de una economía continental autosustentada y autoregulada, fundada sobre agrupamientos económicos sub-regionales. El desarrollo de la alimentación y la agricultura, la industria, la ciencia y la tecnología, el transporte y las comunicaciones, el comercio y las finanzas y los recursos humanos y naturales fueron identificados como las principales áreas de interés. No es necesario decir que el optimismo con que se recibió la adopción de estos documentos fundamentales no se materializó debido a la mala administración interna, el medio económico internacional desfavorable, la corrupción nacional, la caída en los ingresos por exportaciones, el colapso de los precios del mercado internacional para los productos primarios, el declinante flujo de recursos y el proteccionismo de las economías desarrolladas, y, quizás, lo más importante, el peso de la deuda. Estos serían algunos de los temas fundamentales que ocuparían a la diplomacia nigeriana en las décadas de 1980 y 1990.
    Indeclinablemente, Nigeria ha continuado defendiendo y articulando nuevos enfoques para abordar los problemas económicos. Por ejemplo, en 1984, Nigeria convocó a una cumbre de la OAU para revisar los progresos realizados en la implementación del Plan de Acción de Lagos y el Acta Final de Lagos, así como formular una programa de emergencia ante la crisis económica africana. Se estableció un Comité de Conducción Permanente, conformado por Argelia, Côte D'Ivoire, Senegal, Tanzania, Zimbabwe y Nigeria. También se constituyó un Fondo Especial de Asistencia de Emergencia (SEAF) para Sequías y Hambrunas en Africa, al que Nigeria contribuyó con U$S 3 millones. Finalmente, la 21a. Cumbre convocada subsiguientemente, dedicada exclusivamente a temas económicos, adoptó el Programa Prioritario Africano para la Recuperación Económica (APPER), para 1985-1990, el que, entre otras cosas, reclamaba la convocatoria de una conferencia internacional sobre la deuda externa africana, bajo los auspicios de la Asamblea General de las Naciones Unidas que tuviera lugar en New York, desde el 27 de mayo al 1º de junio de 1986. La conferencia adoptó el Programa de Acción de Naciones Unidas para la recuperación Económica y el Desarrollo, que comprometía a los gobiernos africanos a implementar reformas políticas y a reunir U$S 82.5 mil millones para la ejecución del proyecto y la provisión por parte de la comunidad internacional de U$S 46.1 mil millones para financiar el proyecto. Los focos principales eran alimentación y agricultura, desarrollo de recursos humanos, industrialización y temas afines, el medio económico internacional y sequías y desertificación. Nigeria, que jugó un rol catalítico en los pasos conducentes a la convocatoria de la conferencia, encabezó la discusiones sobre los temas relativos a alimentación y agricultura.
    Como es sabido, en gran parte debido a la incapacidad de la comunidad internacional para cumplir con su compromiso con el programa, a pesar de los programas de ajuste estructural en los que se embarcaron muchos países africanos, la crisis económica africana ha continuado siendo una de las mayores preocupaciones de todos los Estados africanos, Nigeria incluída, ante numerosos foros multilaterales tales como la OAU, las N.U., el Grupo de los Quince, y otros. Como miembro activo de tales grupos, Nigeria continua aplicando su músculo diplomático para llamar la atención sobre, y articular soluciones para la crisis económica africana, que es realmente la crisis económica africana, que es realmente la crisis de los paises en desarrollo vis-a-vis el mundo desarrollado, particularmente el problema de la deuda externa. En realidad, Nigeria participó activamente en la Sesión Extraordinaria de la Asamblea de Jefes de Estado y de Gobierno de la OAU realizada en Addis Abeba en diciembre de 1987, que adoptó una Posición Africana Común sobre la Deuda Externa de Africa, la que, en 1986 se estimaba en U$S 200 mil millones alcanzando el 45% del Producto Bruto interno combinado del continente. Entre las propuestas se contaba con el mejoramiento del medio económico internacional, un incremento en el flujo de recursos, un tope en los pagos del servicio de la deuda pendiente. Nigeria se mantiene como miembro del Grupo de Contacto Permanente establecido por la conferencia para controlar el desarrollo de tales temas.
    Las iniciativas diplomáticas de Nigeria y su apoyo a la aplicación de las relaciones exteriores entre los países de Africa para promover el desarrollo económico rápido y la integración del continente culminó en la 27a. Cumbre de Jefes de Estado y de Gobierno de la OAU, concluida recientemente en Abuja, nueva Capital Federal de Nigeria, en junio de 1991, que finalmente aprobó el acuerdo de constitucion de una Comunidad Economica Africana. Los objetivos de la comunidad incluyen:
    I. promoción del desarrollo económico, social y cultural e integración de las economías africanas, a fin de incrementar la autoregulación y un desarrollo endógeno autosuficiente.
    II. establecimiento, a escala continental, de una estructura para el desarrollo, la movilización y el aprovechamiento de los recursos humanos y materiales de Africa con el objeto de alcanzar un desarrollo autoregulado.
    III. promoción de la cooperación en todos los campos del quehacer humano con el objeto de elevar el nivel de vida y mantener y garantizar la estabilidad económica, promover relaciones estrechas y pacíficas entre los estados miembros y contribuir al progreso, al desarrollo y la integración económica de Africa.
    IV. coordinar y armonizar políticas entre las comunidades existentes y las futuras con el objeto de promover el gradual afianzamiento de la Comunidad Economica Africana.
    Sin pecar de inmodestia, la adopción del tratado y su pendiente ratificación por los Estados miembros marca un hito importante en la búsqueda de la integración económica de Africa. Es aún más importante, en cuanto no podemos olvidar que las expotencias coloniales han probado todo recurso posible para mantener sus reductos de influencia, especialmente económica, en Africa y han manipulado frecuentemente tales influencias para frustrar la aspiraciones africanas de unidad e integración, superando el elegado separatista linguístico y cultural del colonialismo. A pesar de los obvios problemas de implementación, el tratado puede considerarse como el comienzo de una nueva alborada en la cooperacion e integración económica de Africa. Dentro de este contexto, el tratado convalida la correción del enfoque gradual, práctico y concreto para la integración de Africa promovido por Nigeria desde 1963. En este sentido, se lo puede considerar un triunfo de la diplomacia nigeriana en Africa.
    En las Naciones Unidas, la principal organización multilateral del mundo, la voz de Nigeria en apoyo de los temas referidos al desarrollo económico, especialmente respecto del mundo en desarrollo, no ha sido menos sonora y efectiva. Cuando Nigeria se constituyó en el 99 miembro de la Organización en 1960, existía un creciente reconocimiento de la necesidad internacional de prestar especial atención a la transformación económica, social y política de las emergentes nuevas naciones en desarrollo de Africa y Asia. De particular importancia fue el reconocimiento del rol de las Naciones Unidas para encarar problemas de seguridad económica, la reestructuración del orden económico internacional, la autoregulación y la cooperación entre los países en desarrollo. Nigeria, que ha destacado en forma consistente los logros de Naciones Unidas y sus organismos especializados en áreas tales como educación, alfabetización, alimentación, agricultura y asistencia técnica para el desarrollo, se ha sentido igualmente perturbada por lo que percibe como "el peligro de la paz y estabilidad mundiales ante un orden económico caracterizado por la existencia en un mismo mundo de pequeñas islas de abundancia en medio de un océano de pobreza y privaciones". Desde el punto de vista de Nigeria, la independencia política de las nuevas naciones no tiene sentido sin una adecuada seguridad económica, dado que su continuada dependencia económica las hace vulnerables ante ideologías y otras formas de presión externas.
    Con una firme convicción e independencia nacional; y no alineamiento positivo, Nigeria apoyó activamente la adopción de la Primera Década de Naciones Unidas para el Desarrollo (1961- 1970), propuesta para acelerar la evolución de las naciones en desarrollo, reduciendo así la brecha entre el mundo desarrollado y el mundo en desarrollo. Es así que Nigeria participó activamente en las actividades conducentes a la convocatoria de la primera Conferencia de Naciones Unidas sobre Comercio y Desarrollo (UNCTAD) realizada en Ginebra en 1964. El grupo de los 77, que se constituyó en foro de coordinación de puntos de vista de los países en desarrollo, preparatorios de la reunión de Ginebra, fue aceptado por Nigeria como importante plataforma y fuerza vital para armonizar las posiciones de estos paises ante cuestiones de economia internacional. Del mismo modo, Nigeria participó efectivamente en el desarrollo de los aspectos doctrinarios de la Segunda Década para el Desarrollo, especialmente en cuanto a la adopción de la Estrategia Internacional para el Desarrollo, que definió metas específicas de crecimiento en educación, comercio, empleo, finanzas, salud, vivienda, y producto nacional en 1980. Estas metas, como es sabido, no fueron alcanzadas, especialmente con posterioridad a la caída de las instituciones de Bretton Woods en 1971 y el abandono del patrón oro como medida de intercambio por los EE.UU. Nigeria denunció cambios unilaterales en el sistema monetario, insistiendo en que tales "medidas financieras, tomadas por países avanzados y poderosos, con economías altamente desarrolladas, han causado incertidumbre que provocara graves efectos sobre los países cuyas economías no son tan avanzadas". Nigeria reclamó consultas entre las naciones desarrolladas y en desarrollo para examinar la situación y participó en la reafirmación de la posición de la Cumbre de No Alineados que tuvo lugar en Argelia en 1973, sobre el mismo tema. A posteriori, en la primavera de 1974, la Sesión de la Asamblea General sobre Materias Primas y Desarrollo adoptó la Declaración y Programa de Acción para el establecimiento de un Nuevo Orden Económico Internacional (NOEI), que entre otras cosas, proclamó la determinación de los Estados miembros de Naciones Unidas de trabajar mancomunadamente por la evolucion de un nuevo orden que eliminara desigualdades, redujera injusticias y, finalmente, eliminara la brecha de desarrollo entre las naciones desarrolladas y las en desarrollo. El programa contempla las relaciones entre los precios de los productos básicos exportados desde los países en desarrollo y los de las manufacturas que importan, la reforma del sistema monetario internacional, involucrando a los países en desarrollo en los procesos de toma de decisiones por parte de las instituciones financieras internacionales, el mejoramiento de los términos de intercambio de los países en desarrollo y el incremento en la producción y exportación de alimentos desde estos países.
    Si bien Nigeria recibió con beneplacito estos avances, continuo reclamando mayores medidas para encarar estos asuntos, tales como el derecho de los Estados a controlar sus propios recursos, y la regulación y supervisión de las corporaciones transnacionales. Esta posición fue compartida por la mayoría de los Estados miembros, los que, en diciembre de 1974, aprobaron la Carta de Naciones Unidas sobre Derechos y Deberes Económicos de los Estados. La Carta, entre otras cosas afirma los derechos de los Estados al control soberano de sus recursos naturales y a establecer procedimientos para la regulación, nacionalización, expropiación y transferencia de la titularidad de empresas extranjeras en tales países. Este interés en la interdependencia entre las naciones desarrolladas y las en desarrollo, basada sobre el respeto a las respectivas soberanías y la necesidad de modificar las estructuras económicas existentes y las disposiciones para facilitar el desarrollo de las naciones de Africa, Asia y America Latina, ha continuado siendo un importante elemento de la política exterior nigeriana. En realidad, en los ccomienzos de la crisis de las economías de la mayoría de las naciones africanas en la década de 1980, caracterizada por el colapso de los precios de la mayoría de los productos básicos, incluído el petróleo; declinantes ingresos nacionales, escasez de alimentos, hambrunas, sequías, reducción en el flujo de recursos; términos de intercambio comercial en deterioro, resultando una pérdida de alrededor de U$S 50 mil millones entre 1986 y 1990; y el enorme peso de la deuda, estimada actualmente en U$S 272 mil millones o el 109% de su Producto Bruto Interno; estas preocupaciones han adquirido mayor significatividad y prominencia.
    Como señalara anteriormente, Nigeria jugo un rol importante al sensibilizar a la comunidad mundial ante estos problemas y al buscar y articular soluciones para ellos dentro de la OUA y las NU y sus organismos especializados. La posición de Nigeria continua sosteniendo que, a pesar de los valerosos profundos ajustes estructurales, que acarrean considerable riesgo político y costo social a partir de los sacrificios que se pide de los pueblos africanos, la fortuna económica del continente continúa siendo abismalmente descorazonadora dado que " las contribuciones de la comunidad internacional para la implementación del Programa han quedado muy por detrás de las expectativas de los paises africanos". Queda en claro que esta preocupación por el desarrollo económico de Africa se mantendrá como plataforma fundamental de la política exterior de Nigeria durante varios años por venir. En realidad, se cuenta con que sea el tema dominante de la contribución de Nigeria a las deliberaciones de la próxima Conferencia del Grupo de los 15 a realizarse en Caracas, Venezuela.
    Mientras Nigeria ha enfocado correctamente su accionar en foros internacionales para la articulación y promoción de la dimensión económica de su política exterior afrocéntrica, no ha ignorado los foros bilaterales. Nigeria cuenta actualmente con convenios de cooperación económica bilateral con muchos países africanos y no africanos. Los ejemplos mejor conocidos de ellos son la Comisión Conjunta con Niger y los acuerdos de joint-venture con las Repúblicas de Guinea y Benin para la explotación de uranio, producción de cemento, refinado de azucar y construcción vial. A ellos podemos agregar la Comisión de la Cuenca de Lake Chad que reune a Camerun, Chad, Niger y Nigeria para la exploración y desarrollo conjunto de los recursos de Lake Chad y la Comunidad Económica de los Estados de Africa Occidental (ECOWAS) que agrupa a 16 países de la sub-región del Africa Occidental. Muchos países de Africa, incluídos Benin, Botswana, Burundi, Cabo Verde, Côte D'Ivoire, Etiopía, Gambia, Guinea Bissau, Guinea, Lesotho, Liberia, Madagascar, Mauricio, Mali, Mozambique, Niger, Rwanda, Senegal, Somalia, Tanzania y Togo se han beneficiado con el Fondo Fiduciario de Nigeria administrado por el Banco Africano de Desarrollo para la ejecución de proyectos específicos de desarrollo.
    Mas recientemente, en 1986, la Administración Babangida organizó el Esquema de Cuerpos de Asistencia Tecnica (TAC) cuyo objetivo es abordar las cruciales necesidades técnicas de los países receptores, así como "promover la cooperación y el entendimiento, de importancia crítica en las relaciones internacionales contemporáneas". El esquema también ha sido diseñado para facilitar "contactos significativos entre grupos de jovenes nigerianos dinámicos y otros africanos, así como con poblaciones de ascendencia africana en las regiones del Pacífico y el Caribe, con el objeto de establecer un punto de apoyo, a partir del cual forjar relaciones interpersonales entre Nigeria y otros pueblos africanos". Como explicara el Presidente, Comandante en Jefe de las FF.AA. de Nigeria, General Ibrahim Babangida, en ocasión del lanzamiento formal del Esquema, el 7 de octubre de 1987:
    El esquema de Cuerpos de Asistencia Técnica forma parte de nuestro compromiso con nuestra política exterior que coloca a Africa como pieza central. Esta administración considera que, por ser parte del interés nacional de Nigeria, debe considerarse como un deber sagrado, el dignificar el status de toda persona negra en el mundo. Intentamos alcanzar este objetivo sin interferir en los asuntos de otros pueblos, ni haciendo el papel de Papa Noel, sino incorporando mayor realismo a nuestra política, brindando asistencia sobre la base de las necesidades de sus beneficiarios en tanto son percibidas y evaluadas, sin descuidar nuestro interés nacional.
    El objetivo del Esquema es compartir know-how tecnológico disponible y experiencia en areas claramente identificadas, con las naciones menos afortunadas de Africa, el Pacífico y el Caribe. El gobierno de Nigeria se hace cargo de los gastos y pasajes de voluntarios cuidadosamente seleccionados asignados a estos países por dos años. Desde 1991, los siguientes países se han beneficiado con este Esquema: Cabo Verde, Guinea Ecuatorial, Fiji, Gambia, Jamaica, Kenya, el Reino de Lesotho, Mozambique, las Seychelles, Sierra Leona, Tanzania y Zambia. Las áreas de especialización de los participantes incluyen Medicina, Ingeniería, Contaduría, Investigación, Enseñanza de las Ciencias, Leyes, Historia y Enfermería. El Esquema de Cuerpos de Asistencia Técnica ha sido recibido calurosamente por los países beneficiarios "como una demostración práctica de la Cooperación Sur-Sur dentro del contexto de la Cooperación Económica Universal entre los Países en Desarrollo (ECDC)".
    Diplomacia Económica
    Como señalara al principio de esta presentación, una de las principales preocupaciones de la política exterior de Nigeria ha sido el aplicarla como instrumento fundamental para promover el bienestar de los nigerianos, que es considerado esencial para la protección de la soberanía y la integridad territorial del Estado nigeriano. Si bien esta preocupacion de la soberania y la integridad territorial del estado nigeriano, siempre estuvo presente, fue la Administración actual del General Babangida que la bautizó como "Diplomacia Económica" en 1987. En este sentido amplio, la Administración Babangida considera a la diplomacia económica significativa en la circunstancia actual, sólo si contribuye a resolver los acuciantes problemas económicos que agobiaron al país desde principios de la década de 1980. Así, ademas de los intereses tradicionales panafricanistas y los temas relativos a la paz y la seguridad, desde 1987 en adelante se tomó la decisión deliberada de enfatizar la dimensión económica de las relaciones de Nigeria con otros países. En realidad, la designación de los Jefes de Misión ha estado determinada ampliamente por una evaluación de su capacidad para contribuir a este proceso. La medida en que se logre atraer la participación externa a las actividades económicas de Nigeria es criterio fundamental para evaluar su desempeño.
    La Diplomacia Económica implica el reconocimiento explícito por parte de Nigeria de que la diplomacia sin el componente económico no es más que la retórica vacía. Además, involucra la decisión de abrir la economía nigeriana, hasta entonces ampliamente controlada por el Estado, a la empresa privada, incluyendo empresas extranjeras. En realidad, el proyecto integra deliberadamente al sector privado en el plano de la política exterior. Tercero, la diplomacia económica incluye el deseo expreso de redimensionar los desequilibrios en los sistemas económico y monetario internacionales, que fueron identificados como parte responsable de las contínuas dificultades económicas de las naciones en desarrollo. Finalmente, especialmente en cuanto a la adquisición de tecnologías de producción apropiadas, se tomó la decisión de otorgar mayor prominencia a las naciones de potencia intermedia, recientemente industrializadas de Asia y América Latina, con la convicción de que tales naciones estarían mejor dispuestas a compartir su know-how tecnológico en el espíritu de la cooperación Sur-Sur.
    Para apreciar plenamente este postulado de la política exterior de Nigeria, es importante tener en cuenta que, a pesar de sus ampliamente conocidos vastos recursos naturales, minerales y humanos, capaces de transformar a Nigeria en una nación altamente industrializada, el país no ha logrado aún desarrollarse plenamente en toda su potencialidad. Como la nación negra más populosa del mundo, con una población estimada en 110 millones de personas, núcleo del mercado de la ECOWAS que abarca una población superior a los 200 millones de personas, 6º productor mundial de petróleo, con reservas estimadas en 17.1 mil millones de barriles, contando al mismo tiempo con reservas de gas natural, oro, piedra caliza, manganeso, estaño y uranio, con su inmenso espacio geográfico, tanto físico como humano, capaz de generar una razonable demanda interna, indispensable para un crecimiento autocentrado y autosuficiente, Nigeria no ha logrado aún satisfacer las expectativas de su ciudadanía y de la comunidad internacional. La diplomacia económica fue concebida como un importante paso para revertir esta situación inaceptable.
    La intención fue instaurar políticas e incentivos que atrajeran el know-how tecnológico y capital necesarios para la rápida transformación del país en una economía vibrante y garantizar la autosuficiencia en el área crítica de la alimentación.
    En el terreno de la industrialización, el énfasis actualmente está puesto sobre la creación de un clima apropiado, que sea propicio a la incorporación de capital y tecnología extranjeros para la industrialización del estado nigeriano. Se ha dispuesto un paquete de incentivos, incorporados a un documento titulado Nueva Política Industrial de Nigeria. Estos incluyen: la creación de un departamento de coordinación del desarrollo industrial, como agente de diligenciamiento en un sólo paso de solicitudes y aprobaciones, eliminando así los cuellos de botella burocráticos; la eliminación de licencias de importación, otra de las trabas fundamentales de nuestro comercio; privatización y comercialización de las empresas públicas; libre acceso a la divisa extranjera, a través del Mercado de Cambios; garantías para la libre repatriación de beneficios, dividendos, honorarios de consultoría, derechos y por servicios técnicos y de administración, revisión del Decreto de Promoción de Empresas para permitir al capital extranjero ser titular de hasta el 80% de participación en empresas que requieran gran inversión de capital y/o tecnología sofisticada; el establecimiento de una zona de opción libre donde los extranjeros pueden participar hasta con el 100% de la titularidad; así como generosos incentivos impositivos, incluyendo la exención para inversiones en sectores pioneros de la economía.
    Los principales objetivos de la política industrial son la expansión de oportunidades laborales, incremento de exportaciones del sector no petrolero, dispersión de industrias a las áreas rurales del país, perfeccionamiento de la capacidad tecnológica, creciente uso de materias primas locales, atracción de capital extranjero y el incremento de la participación del sector privado, tanto nativo como extranjero.
    Las áreas industriales pioneras, donde los incentivos son particularmente atractivos y generosos son las siguientes: cultivo y procesamiento de alimentos, vegetales y frutas; manufactura de productos sobre la base de cacao; procesamiento de oleaginosas para la producción de aceites vegetales; producción láctea integral; cría de ganado en general; triturado de huesos; pesca, ya sea de altura, costera o en aguas interiores; procesamiento de sal; explotación de plomo y zinc; manufactura de hierro y acero a partir de mineral de hierro; fundición y refinado de metales no ferrosos y manufacturas en sus aleaciones; explotación de minerales varios; manufactura de materiales para perforación petrolera; cemento; vidrio y artículos de vidrio; cal a partir de piedra caliza, mármoles; manufactura de productos cerámicos, productos químicos industriales básicos; productos farmacéuticos, instrumental quirúrgico; almidón vegetal; producción de levaduras; alcohol y derivados; alimentos para animales; producción de papel; curtidos de cuero y manufacturas en cuero; fibras textiles naturales y sintéticas ; artículos de metal; maquinaria; productos total o parcialmente de caucho; redes de pesca con materia prima local; cultivo y procesamiento de trigo local; cultivo y procesado de aceite de palma; cultivo y procesado de caucho; de goma arábiga; producción integral de madera; producción de fertilizantes y fabricación de vehículos comerciales. Otros sectores que reclaman la inversión extranjera son el petróleo y la explotación de las enormes reservas de gas natural. La política exterior de Nigeria actualmente, y en los años por venir, continuará orientando sus esfuerzos a la mejor aplicación de la diplomacia para atraer capitales y know-how tecnológico necesarios para la rápida transformación del Estado Nigeriano. La diplomacia económica es, por lo tanto, considerada como importante componente de nuestro proyecto de recuperación económica.
    Aludí anteriormente al hecho que, buscando las fuentes de tecnología de producción adecuadas, Nigeria ha enfocado su interés sobre las naciones recientemente industrializadas del mundo, especialmente en América Latina, especialmente con Argentina y Brasil.
    Nigeria cree firmemente que los lazos económicos fuertes y la interacción económica entre Africa y América latina redundarán en el beneficio mutuo de ambas regiones, especialmente dentro del contexto de la problemática del intercambio y el comercio internacionales durante el período posterior a 1992. Lo que es más importante aún, es que las tecnologías de producción existentes en países como la Argentina en áreas tales como alimentos, fármacos, maquinaria industrial, servicios y mantenimiento, transporte y energía nuclear para fines pacíficos, son más adecuadas a nuestra circunstancia presente que aquellas tecnologías más sofisticadas que ofrecen las naciones altamente industrializadas. Uno de los objetivos más importantes en nuestras relaciones con este país es el atraer e involucrar a estas tecnologías en el desarrollo económico de Nigeria.
    Para tal fin, el 17 de agosto de 1988, Nigeria y Argentina firmaron un Acuerdo de Cooperación Económica, Científica y Técnica, ya ratificado por parte de la Argentina. Este acuerdo de resguardo, entendido como para insuflar vida y confianza a la cooperación económica, establece claramente las áreas específicas de cooperación económica y científica, tal como indique antes y, quizás lo más importante, estipula las modalidades para la incorporación de los sectores privados de ambos países para la implementación del acuerdo. El mismo facilitara el incremento de las actividades de joint-venture, a las que se están incorporando en forma creciente empresas privadas argentinas y nigerianas. Sea como fuere, Nigeria cree firmemente que se impone una mayor cooperación económica entre nuestros países, por el hecho de ser vecinos y por la complementaridad existente entre la tecnolgía argentina y las necesidades de Nigeria. Creemos también que los empresarios aún no han sacado el máximo provecho de las oportunidades que ofrece Nigeria para la inversión de su experiencia y capital, si bien hay indicios de que el ritmo se ha acelerado en los últimos dos o tres años.
    Conclusión
    En esta reseña he intentado destacar la dimensión económica de la política exterior de Nigeria, tanto en el plano bilateral como el multilateral. De ello surge que, aún cuando los temas relativos a la descolonización, el racismo y la lucha contra el apartheid han dominado las relaciones de Nigeria con el resto del mundo, el componente económico ha sido persistente y contínuo. Es así que, durante la gestión del actual Presidente Ibrahim Babangida y su actual Ministro de Asuntos Exteriores, General I.O.S. Nwachukwu, que esta dimensión económica de la política exterior ha sido manifestada explícita y expresamente como el componente más importante de nuestra política exterior, que ha sido bautizado como "la diplomacia económica". En tanto persistan los actuales dilemas económicos de Africa y otras naciones en desarrollo este énfasis continuará dominando la diplomacia nigeriana en los tiempos por venir. En este aspecto recae el peso del contenido del mensaje dirigido por el Presidente Ibrahim Babangida en ocasión del sexto aniversario de su administración, el 27 de agosto de 1991. Decía el Presidente:
    "Deseo aprovechar la ocasión de este aniversario para destacar los fuertes lazos que unen a nuestras políticas interna y exterior dentro del programa de transición. Estamos conformando un nuevo orden socio-político según el cual el país no se mantendrá aislado de Africa ni del resto del mundo. Al mismo tiempo, deseamos garantizar que Nigeria se encuentre mejor equipada que en el pasado para interactuar con otros países. El objetivo es continuar promoviendo el bienestar y la amplitud de horizontes para nuestro pueblo como así también, contribuir a la paz y seguridad internacionales. Nuestro punto de partida es una economía nacional sólida y una situación política democrática estable sobre la base de la justicia social y la autorregulación, que sustente una política exterior dinámica.


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              Resoluciones de Naciones Unidas sobre los derechos del niño. Noticias de la especial situación de Irak        
    Aquí vemos resoluciones de la ONU que pueden guiar para la comprensión del problema y sobre como hacer resoluciones en modelos de naciones unidas. Especialmente se tiene en cuenta la situación de los niños de Irak para iluminar la problemática

    Julio Daniel Nardini

    GENERAL
    A/54/601
    30 de noviembre de 1999
    ESPAÑOL
    Original: ÁRABE




    Quincuagésimo cuarto período de sesiones
    Tema 112 del programa

    Promoción y protección de los derechos del niño


    Informe de la Tercera Comisión


    Relator: Sr. Naif Bin Bandar Al–Sudairy (Arabia Saudita)


    I. Introducción
    1. En su tercera sesión plenaria, celebrada el 17 de septiembre de 1999, la Asamblea General, por recomendación de la Mesa, decidió incluir en el programa del quincuagésimo cuarto período de sesiones el tema titulado “Promoción y protección de los derechos del niño” y asignarlo a la Tercera Comisión.
    2. La Tercera Comisión examinó el tema en sus sesiones 23ª a 28ª, 35ª, 41ª y 43ª, celebradas los días 27 a 29 de octubre y 1°, 5, 10 y 11 de noviembre de 1999. La reseña de las deliberaciones de la Comisión figura en las actas resumidas correspondientes (A/C.3/54/SR.23 a 28, 35, 41 y 43).
    3. Para su examen del tema la Comisión tuvo ante sí los siguientes documentos:
    a) Informe del Secretario General relativo a la situación de la Convención sobre los Derechos del Niño (A/54/265);
    b) Nota del Secretario General por la que se transmite el informe de la Relatora Especial de la Comisión de Derechos Humanos sobre la venta de niños, la prostitución infantil y la utilización de niños en la pornografía (A/54/411);
    c) Nota del Secretario General por la que se transmite el informe del Representante Especial del Secretario General encargado de la cuestión de los niños en los conflictos armados (A/54/430);
    d) Carta de fecha 17 de mayo de 1999 dirigida al Secretario General por el Representante Permanente de Bangladesh ante las Naciones Unidas por la que se transmite el Programa del Siglo XXI por la Paz y la Justicia aprobado por la Conferencia del Llamamiento por la Paz, celebrada en La Haya del 12 al 15 de mayo de 1999 (A/54/98);
    e) Carta de fecha 28 de septiembre de 1999 dirigida al Secretario General por el Representante Permanente de Islandia ante las Naciones Unidas por la que se transmite la Declaración de los Ministros de Relaciones Exteriores de los países nórdicos contra la utilización de niños soldados (A/54/419);
    f) Carta de fecha 15 de octubre de 1999 dirigida al Secretario General por el Representante Permanente de Sudáfrica ante las Naciones Unidas por la que se transmite el comunicado de la reunión de Ministros de Relaciones Exteriores y Jefes de Delegación del Movimiento de los Países No Alineados celebrada en Nueva York el 23 de septiembre de 1999 (A/54/469–S/1999/1063);
    g) Carta de fecha 3 de noviembre de 1999 dirigida al Secretario General por el Representante Permanente de Turquía ante las Naciones Unidas (A/54/528–S/1999/1126).
    4. En su 23ª sesión, celebrada el 27 de octubre, formularon declaraciones introductorias el Representante Especial del Secretario General encargado de la cuestión de los niños en los conflictos armados, la Relatora Especial de la Comisión de Derechos Humanos sobre la venta de niños, la prostitución infantil y la utilización de niños en la pornografía, el Director General de la Organización Internacional del Trabajo, el Director de la oficina de Nueva York del Alto Comisionado de las Naciones Unidas para los Derechos Humanos y la Directora Ejecutiva del UNICEF (véase A/C.3/54/SR.23).



    II. Examen de propuestas


    A. Proyecto de resolución A/C.3/54/L.46
    5. En la 35ª sesión, celebrada el 5 de noviembre, el representante de Namibia, en nombre del Afganistán, Alemania, Andorra, Angola, Argelia, la Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Azerbaiyán, las Bahamas, Bangladesh, Barbados, Bélgica, Benin, Bhután, Botswana, el Brasil, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Cabo Verde, el Camerún, el Canadá, Chile, China, Chipre, Colombia, el Congo, Costa Rica, Côte d'Ivoire, Croacia, Cuba, Dinamarca, el Ecuador, Eritrea, Eslovenia, Etiopía, la ex República Yugoslava de Macedonia, Fiji, Filipinas, Finlandia, Francia, Ghana, Grecia, Guatemala, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Guinea Ecuatorial, Guyana, Haití, Hungría, Indonesia, Irlanda, Islandia, las Islas Salomón, Israel, Italia, el Japón, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Liechtenstein, Luxemburgo, Malasia, Malawi, Malí, Mauricio, Mónaco, Mongolia, Mozambique, Namibia, Nepal, Nigeria, Noruega, Nueva Zelandia, los Países Bajos, Papua Nueva Guinea, el Paraguay, el Perú, Polonia, Portugal, el Reino Unido de Gran Bretaña e Irlanda del Norte, la República Democrática del Congo, la República Dominicana, la República Unida de Tanzanía, Rumania, Rwanda, Santa Lucía, el Senegal , Seychelles, Singapur, Sudáfrica, Suecia, Suriname, Swazilandia, Tailandia, Ucrania, el Uruguay, Venezuela, Viet Nam, Zambia, Zimbabwe presentó el proyecto de resolución titulado “La niña” (A/C.3/54/L.46). Posteriormente Antigua y Barbuda, Australia, Belarús, Belice, Camboya, España, Granada, Jamaica, la India, Madagascar, Panamá, la República de Corea, la República de Moldova, San Marino, San Vicente y las Granadinas, Uganda y Uzbekistán, se sumaron a los patrocinadores del proyecto de resolución.
    6. En su 43ª sesión, celebrada el 11 de noviembre, la Comisión aprobó el proyecto de resolución A/C.3/54/L.46 sin someterlo a votación (véase el párrafo 12, proyecto de resolución I).


    B. Proyecto de resolución A/C.3.54/L.49
    7. En la 41ª sesión, celebrada el 11 de noviembre, el representante de Finlandia en nombre del Afganistán, Alemania, Andorra, Argelia, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Azerbaiyán, Bangladesh, Belarús, Bélgica, Benin, Bhután, Bosnia y Herzegovina, Botswana, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Cabo Verde, el Camerún, el Canadá, China, Chipre, Côte d'Ivoire, Croacia, Dinamarca, Egipto, Eslovaquia, Eslovenia, España, Estonia, la ex República Yugoslava de Macedonia, la Federación de Rusia, Filipinas, Finlandia, Francia, Georgia, Grecia, Guinea, Hungría, la India, el Iraq, Irlanda, Islandia, Israel, Italia, el Japón, Kazajstán, Kenya, Kirguistán, Lesotho, Letonia, Liberia, Liechtenstein, Lituania, Luxemburgo, Madagascar, Malasia, Malí, Malta, los Estados Federados de Micronesia, Mónaco, Mongolia, Namibia, Nigeria, Noruega, Nueva Zelandia, los Países Bajos, el Pakistán, el Perú (en nombre de los Estados Miembros de las Naciones Unidas que pertenecen al grupo de Estados de América Latina y el Caribe), Polonia, Portugal, el Reino Unido de Gran Bretaña e Irlanda del Norte, la República Checa, la República de Corea, la República de Moldova, Rumania, San Marino, el Senegal, Sierra Leona, Sudáfrica, Sudán, Suecia, Tailandia, Túnez, Turquía, Ucrania y Uzbekistán presentó un proyecto de resolución titulado “Los derechos del niño” (A/C.3/54/L.49). Posteriormente, Camboya, el Congo, Eritrea, Ghana, Guinea Ecuatorial, Indonesia, Jamaica, Malawi, Mozambique, la República Unida de Tanzanía, Swazilandia, el Togo, Uganda, y Zimbabwe se sumaron a los patrocinadores del proyecto de resolución.
    8. En la 43ª sesión, celebrada el 11 de noviembre, la Secretaria del Comité leyó una declaración del Contralor sobre las consecuencias para el presupuesto por programas del proyecto de resolución A/C.3/54/L.49 (véase A/C.3/54/SR.43).
    9. En la misma sesión, la Comisión aprobó el proyecto de resolución A/C.3/54/L.49 sin someterlo a votación (véase el párrafo 12, proyecto de resolución II).
    10. Tras la aprobación del proyecto de resolución, formularon declaraciones los representantes de Singapur, los Estados Unidos de América y el Uruguay (véase A/C.3/54/SR.43).



    C. Proyecto de decisión propuesto por el Presidente
    11. En su 43ª sesión, celebrada el 11 de noviembre, a propuesta del Presidente, la Comisión decidió recomendar a la Asamblea General que tomara nota del informe del Secretario General sobre la situación de la Convención sobre los Derechos del Niño (A/54/265) (véase el párrafo13).



    II. Recomendaciones de la Tercera Comisión
    12. La Tercera Comisión recomienda a la Asamblea General que apruebe los siguientes proyectos de resolución:



    Proyecto de resolución I

    La niña


    La Asamblea General,

    Recordando su resolución 53/127, de 9 de diciembre de 1998, y todas las resoluciones anteriores sobre la cuestión, incluidas las conclusiones convenidas de la Comisión de la Condición Jurídica y Social de la Mujer Documentos Oficiales del Consejo Económico y Social, 1999, Suplemento No. 7 (E/1999/27), cap. I, secc. B.IV., en particular las pertinentes a la niña,

    Recordando también todas las conferencias anteriores pertinentes de las Naciones Unidas y la Declaración y el Programa de Acción del Congreso Mundial contra la Explotación Sexual Comercial de los Niños, celebrado en Estocolmo del 27 al 31 de agosto de 1996 A/51/385, anexo., así como el reciente examen y evaluación al cabo de cinco años de la ejecución del Programa de Acción de la Conferencia Internacional sobre la Población y el Desarrollo,

    Profundamente preocupada por la discriminación contra las niñas y la violación de sus derechos, como consecuencia de lo cual las niñas suelen tener menor acceso que los niños a la educación, la nutrición y la atención de la salud física y mental y disfrutar de menos derechos, oportunidades y beneficios de la niñez y la adolescencia y con frecuencia son víctimas de diversas formas de explotación cultural, social, sexual y económica y de violencia y prácticas perjudiciales como el infanticidio, el incesto, el matrimonio precoz, la selección prenatal por el sexo del feto y la mutilación genital femenina,

    Reconociendo la necesidad de lograr la igualdad de género de modo de asegurar un mundo justo y equitativo para las niñas,

    Observando con profunda preocupación que en situaciones de pobreza, guerra y conflicto armado las niñas figuran entre las víctimas más perjudicadas, lo cual limita sus posibilidades de pleno desarrollo,

    Observando con preocupación que la niña ha pasado además a ser víctima de enfermedades venéreas y de contaminación con el virus de inmunodeficiencia humana, lo que afecta la calidad de su vida y la deja expuesta a mayor discriminación,

    Tomando nota de que en 1999 se cumple el décimo aniversario de la Convención sobre los Derechos del Niño Resolución 44/25, anexo. y el vigésimo aniversario de la Convención sobre la eliminación de todas las formas de discriminación contra la mujer Resolución 34/180, anexo.,

    Reafirmando la igualdad de derechos de mujeres y hombres consagrada, entre otros instrumentos, en el Preámbulo de la Carta de las Naciones Unidas, la Convención sobre la eliminación de todas las formas de discriminación contra la mujer y la Convención sobre los Derechos del Niño,

    1. Subraya la necesidad de que se materialicen de manera cabal y urgente los derechos que se garantizan a la niña en todos los instrumentos de derechos humanos, en particular la Convención sobre los Derechos del Niño3 y la Convención sobre la eliminación de todas las formas de discriminación contra la mujer4, así como la necesidad de que esos instrumentos sean ratificados universalmente;

    2. Insta a todos los Estados a que tomen todas las medidas necesarias y adopten las reformas jurídicas para garantizar el disfrute pleno y en condiciones de igualdad por parte de la niña de todos los derechos humanos y libertades fundamentales, a que tomen medidas eficaces contra las violaciones de esos derechos y libertades y a que utilicen los derechos del niño como base de las políticas y los programas relativos a la niña;

    3. Insta a los Estados a que promulguen y hagan cumplir estrictamente leyes que estipulen que sólo se podrá contraer matrimonio con el libre y pleno consentimiento de los futuros cónyuges, a que promulguen y hagan cumplir estrictamente leyes relativas a la edad mínima para expresar consentimiento y contraer matrimonio y a que eleven la edad mínima para contraer matrimonio cuando sea necesario;

    4. Insta además a los Estados partes a que cumplan las obligaciones que han contraído en virtud de la Convención sobre los Derechos del Niño y la Convención sobre la eliminación de todas las formas de discriminación contra la mujer, así como el compromiso de llevar a la práctica la Plataforma de Acción de la Cuarta Conferencia Mundial sobre la Mujer Informe de la Cuarta Conferencia Mundial sobre la Mujer, Beijing, 4 a 15 de septiembre de 1995 (publicación de las Naciones Unidas, número de venta: S.96.IV.13), cap. I, resolución 1, anexo I.;

    5. Insta asimismo a todos los Estados a que promulguen y apliquen leyes que protejan a las niñas contra todas las formas de violencia, con inclusión del infanticidio y la selección prenatal por el sexo del feto, la mutilación genital femenina, la violación, la violencia en el hogar, el incesto, el abuso sexual, la explotación sexual, la prostitución infantil y la utilización de niños en la pornografía, y a que establezcan programas y servicios de apoyo médico, social y sicológico adecuados a la edad, seguros y confidenciales para ayudar a las niñas que son objeto de actos de violencia;

    6. Exhorta a todos los Estados y a las organizaciones internacionales y no gubernamentales a que, en forma individual y colectiva, sigan aplicando la Plataforma de Acción de la Cuarta Conferencia Mundial sobre la Mujer, en particular los objetivos estratégicos relativos a la niña;

    7. Insta a los Estados a que adopten medidas especiales para proteger a los niños y, en particular, a las niñas, de la violación y de otras formas de abuso sexual y violencia por motivos de sexo en situaciones de conflicto armado, prestando especial atención a las niñas refugiadas y desplazadas, y a que, al ofrecer asistencia humanitaria, tengan en cuenta las necesidades especiales de las niñas;

    8. Insta además a los Estados a que formulen planes, programas o estrategias nacionales completos, multidisciplinarios y coordinados, para eliminar todas las formas de violencia contra las mujeres y las niñas, a los que deberán dar amplia difusión y en los que habrán de fijar objetivos y calendarios para la aplicación, y procedimientos nacionales eficaces para hacer cumplir las normas pertinentes mediante mecanismos de supervisión en que intervengan todas las partes interesadas, incluidas las consultas con las organizacio- nes de mujeres, y a que, al hacerlo, tengan en cuenta las recomendaciones relativas a la niña formuladas por la Relatora Especial de la Comisión de Derechos Humanos sobre la violencia contra la mujer, con inclusión de sus causas y consecuencias;

    9. Exhorta a los gobiernos, a la sociedad civil, incluidos los medios de difusión, y a las organizaciones no gubernamentales a que fomenten la educación en materia de derechos humanos y el pleno respeto y disfrute de los derechos humanos de la niña mediante, entre otras cosas, la traducción, la producción y la difusión en todos los sectores de la sociedad, y en particular entre los niños, de material informativo sobre estos derechos adecuado a la edad de los destinatarios;

    10. Pide al Secretario General que, en su calidad de Presidente del Comité Administrativo de Coordinación, vele por que todas las organizaciones y los órganos del sistema de las Naciones Unidas, tanto por separado como colectivamente, en particular el Fondo de las Naciones Unidas para la Infancia, la Organización de las Naciones Unidas para la Educación, la Ciencia y la Cultura, el Programa Mundial de Alimentos, el Fondo de Población de las Naciones Unidas, el Fondo de Desarrollo de las Naciones Unidas para la Mujer, la Organización Mundial de la Salud, y la Oficina del Alto Comisionado de las Naciones Unidas para los Refugiados, tengan en cuenta los derechos y las necesidades particulares de la niña en sus programas de cooperación por países, de conformidad con las prioridades nacionales y con el Marco de Asistencia de las Naciones Unidas para el Desarrollo;

    11. Pide a todos los órganos creados en virtud de tratados sobre derechos humanos, procedimientos especiales y otros mecanismos relativos a los derechos humanos de la Comisión de Derechos Humanos y a la Subcomisión de Promoción y Protección de los Derechos Humanos que adopten permanente y sistemáticamente una perspectiva de género en la ejecución de sus mandatos e incluyan en sus informes análisis cualitativos sobre violaciones de los derechos humanos de la mujer y la niña, y alienta a aumentar la cooperación y coordinación a ese respecto;

    12. Exhorta a los Estados y las organizaciones internacionales y no gubernamentales a que movilicen todos los recursos, el apoyo y la acción necesarios para alcanzar las metas y los objetivos estratégicos y aplicar las medidas que se proponen en la Plataforma de Acción de la Cuarta Conferencia Mundial sobre la Mujer;

    13. Destaca la importancia de realizar una evaluación sustantiva de la aplicación de la Plataforma de Acción dentro de una perspectiva del ciclo de vida, de modo de determinar cuáles son las lagunas y los obstáculos con que se ha tropezado en el proceso de puesta en práctica y plantear nuevas medidas para el logro de las metas de la Plataforma de Acción;

    14. Insta a los gobiernos, los organismos del sistema de las Naciones Unidas, en particular la División para el Adelanto de la Mujer de la Secretaría, las organizaciones no gubernamentales y las organizaciones de mujeres a que procuren que en los preparativos del período extraordinario de sesiones de la Asamblea General titulado “La mujer en el año 2000: igualdad entre los géneros, desarrollo y paz en el siglo XXI”, se tomen debidamente en cuenta las necesidades en los derechos de la niña y se los integre en todas las actividades;

    15. Pide al Secretario General que vele por que se evalúen concretamente las necesidades y los derechos de la niña en el examen de cinco años de aplicación del Programa de Acción de la Cumbre Mundial sobre Desarrollo Social Informe de la Conferencia Internacional sobre la Población y el Desarrollo, El Cairo, 5 a 13 de septiembre de 1994 (publicación de las Naciones Unidas, número de venta: S.95.XIII.18), cap. I, resolución 1, anexo. que se realizará en junio del año 2000;

    16. Pide además al Secretario General que, en consulta con el Programa de las Naciones Unidas para el Desarrollo, la Organización de las Naciones Unidas para la Educación, la Ciencia y la Cultura, el Fondo de Población de las Naciones Unidas, el Fondo de las Naciones Unidas para la Infancia y el Banco Mundial, vele por que se preste atención especial a las necesidades y los derechos de la niña en todos los preparativos a escala nacional, regional e internacional, incluido el informe sobre Evaluación de la Educación para Todos en el año 2000 Véase A/54/128–E/1999/70. y el programa del Foro Mundial de la Educación, que se celebrará en abril de 2000;

    17. Pide asimismo al Secretario General que se asegure de que las necesidades y los derechos de la niña se tengan en cuenta en la labor preparatoria del período extraordina- rio de sesiones de la Asamblea General sobre el seguimiento de la Cumbre Mundial en favor de la Infancia que se celebrará en el año 2001, entre otras cosas, presentando a la Asamblea General un informe completo basado en las experiencias y resultados de los exámenes de cinco años de aplicación del Programa de Acción de la Conferencia Internacional sobre la Población y el Desarrollo, la Plataforma de Acción de la Cuarta Conferencia Mundial sobre la Mujer y el Programa de Acción de la Cumbre Mundial sobre Desarrollo Social, y en la labor preparatoria del Foro Mundial de la Educación.



    Proyecto de resolución II

    Los derechos del niño
    La Asamblea General,
    Recordando sus resoluciones 53/127 y 53/128, de 9 de diciembre de 1998, y la resolución 1999/80 de la Comisión de Derechos Humanos, de 28 de abril de 1999 Véase Documentos Oficiales del Consejo Económico y Social, 1999, Suplemento No. 3 (E/1999/23), cap. II, secc. A.,
    Teniendo presente la Convención sobre los Derechos del Niño Resolución 44/25, anexo., destacando que las disposiciones de la Convención y otros instrumentos pertinentes de derechos humanos deben constituir la norma en la promoción y la protección de los derechos del niño y reafirmando que el interés superior del niño ha de ser una consideración primordial en todas las medidas que se adopten en relación con los niños,
    Reafirmando, la Declaración Mundial sobre la Supervivencia, la Protección y el Desarrollo del Niño y el Plan de Acción para la aplicación de la Declaración Mundial sobre la Supervivencia, la Protección y el Desarrollo del Niño en el decenio de 1990, aprobados en la Cumbre Mundial en favor de la Infancia, que se celebró en Nueva York el 29 y 30 de septiembre de 1990 A/45/625, anexo., en particular el compromiso solemne de asignar alta prioridad a los derechos del niño, su supervivencia, su protección y su desarrollo, y reafirmando asimismo la Declaración y Programa de Acción de Viena que aprobó la Conferencia Mundial de Derechos Humanos, celebrada en Viena del 14 al 25 de junio de 1993A/CONF.157/24 (Part I), cap. III., en que, entre otras cosas, se indica que deben reforzarse los mecanismos y programas nacionales e internaciona- les de defensa y protección de los niños, en particular de los niños en circunstancias especialmente difíciles, con inclusión de medidas eficaces para combatir los casos de explotación y el maltrato de niños, como el infanticidio femenino, el empleo de niños en trabajos peligrosos, la venta de niños y de sus órganos, la prostitución infantil y la utilización de los niños en la pornografía, y en que se reafirma que todos los derechos humanos y las libertades fundamentales son universales,

    Observando con profunda preocupación que la situación de los niños en muchas partes del mundo sigue siendo crítica como resultado de la pobreza, las dificultades sociales y económicas en una economía cada vez más mundializada, las pandemias, los desastres naturales, los conflictos armados, el desplazamiento de la población, la explotación, el analfabetismo, el hambre, la intolerancia, la discriminación y la protección jurídica inadecuada, y convencida de que es preciso adoptar medidas urgentes y eficaces en los planos nacional e internacional,
    Destacando la necesidad de integrar la dimensión del género en todas las políticas y programas relacionados con los niños,
    Reconociendo la necesidad de lograr un nivel de vida adecuado para el desarrollo físico, mental, espiritual, moral y social del niño, así como de proporcionar un acceso universal a la enseñanza primaria en condiciones de igualdad,

    Reconociendo también que la colaboración entre los gobiernos, las organizaciones internacionales y todos los sectores de la sociedad civil, en particular las organizaciones no gubernamentales, es importante para el ejercicio de los derechos del niño,
    Destacando la importancia del décimo aniversario de la Convención sobre los Derechos del Niño para la movilización y adopción de nuevas medidas a fin de lograr el pleno ejercicio de los derechos del niño,
    Acogiendo con satisfacción los preparativos del período extraordinario de sesiones de la Asamblea General, dedicado al seguimiento de la Cumbre Mundial en favor de la Infancia, que ha de celebrarse en 2001,


    I
    Aplicación de la Convención sobre los Derechos del Niño
    1. Insta una vez más a todos los Estados que aún no lo hayan hecho a que, como cuestión prioritaria, firmen y ratifiquen la Convención sobre los Derechos del Niño9 o se adhieran a ella, a fin de lograr el objetivo de la adhesión universal para el décimo aniversario de la celebración de la Cumbre Mundial en favor de la Infancia y de la entrada en vigor de la Convención en el año 2000;
    2. Reitera su preocupación por el elevado número de reservas a la Convención e insta a los Estados partes a que retiren las reservas que sean incompatibles con el objeto y propósito de la Convención y que revisen periódicamente sus reservas con el fin de retirarlas;
    3. Exhorta a los Estados partes a que apliquen plenamente la Convención y subraya que la aplicación de la Convención contribuye al logro de los objetivos de la Cumbre Mundial en favor de la Infancia;
    4. Insta a los Estados a que hagan participar a los niños y a los jóvenes en las actividades para lograr los objetivos de la Cumbre Mundial en favor de la Infancia y la Convención;
    5. Exhorta a los Estados partes a que cooperen estrechamente con el Comité de los Derechos del Niño y cumplan puntualmente la obligación de presentar informes que les impone la Convención, ateniéndose a las directrices elaboradas por el Comité, y alienta a los Estados partes a que tengan en cuenta las recomendaciones formuladas por el Comité en la aplicación de las disposiciones de la Convención;
    6. Exhorta asimismo a los Estados partes a que promuevan la capacitación en materia de derechos del niño de quienes participan en actividades relacionadas con niños, por ejemplo, por conducto del programa de servicios de asesoramiento y cooperación técnica en materia de derechos humanos;
    7. Pide al Secretario General que facilite el personal y los medios necesarios para que el Comité pueda cumplir de manera eficaz y rápida sus funciones, y toma nota del apoyo temporal proporcionado por el plan de acción de la Alta Comisionada de las Naciones Unidas para los Derechos Humanos para reforzar la importante función del Comité en la promoción de la aplicación de la Convención; y le pide que presente información sobre las medidas complementarias del plan de acción;
    8. Exhorta a los Estados partes en la Convención a que adopten las medidas apropiadas para que la enmienda del párrafo 2 del artículo 43 de la Convención sea aceptada a la mayor brevedad posible por una mayoría de dos tercios de los Estados partes a fin de que entre en vigor y el número de miembros del Comité pueda aumentar de 10 a 18 expertos;
    9. Invita al Comité a que siga intensificando su diálogo constructivo con los Estados partes y la transparencia y eficacia de su funcionamiento;
    10. Acoge con satisfacción la atención que presta el Comité al logro de los niveles más altos posibles de salud y de acceso a la atención de la salud y a los derechos de los niños afectados por el virus de inmunodeficiencia humana/síndrome de inmunodeficiencia adquirida y exhorta a los gobiernos a que, en cooperación con los órganos y las organizacio- nes de las Naciones Unidas, tomen todas las medidas que corresponda con el fin de hacer efectivos esos derechos;
    11. Insta a los Estados a que protejan todos los derechos humanos de los niños migrantes, en particular los niños migrantes no acompañados, y que garanticen que el interés superior del niño sea, por tanto, la consideración principal, y alienta al Comité, al Fondo de las Naciones Unidas para la Infancia y a otros órganos pertinentes de las Naciones Unidas a que, en el marco de sus mandatos respectivos, presten especial atención a las condiciones de los niños migrantes en todos los Estados y, según convenga, formulen recomendaciones para fortalecer su protección;
    12. Recomienda que, en el marco de sus mandatos, todos los mecanismos competentes de derechos humanos y otros órganos y mecanismos pertinentes del sistema de las Naciones Unidas, así como los órganos de supervisión de los organismos especializa- dos, presten especial atención a las situaciones particulares que pongan a los niños en peligro y en que sus derechos sean violados y que tengan en cuenta la labor del Comité, y alienta a seguir desarrollando el criterio basado en los derechos del niño que ha adoptado el Fondo de las Naciones Unidas para la Infancia y a adoptar nuevas medidas a fin de incrementar la coordinación a nivel de todo el sistema y la cooperación interinstitucional para la promoción y la protección de los derechos del niño;
    13. Alienta al Comité a que, en su labor de supervisión de la aplicación de la Convención, siga prestando atención a las necesidades de los niños en circunstancias especialmente difíciles;
    14. Alienta a los gobiernos, a los órganos competentes de las Naciones Unidas, a las organizaciones no gubernamentales competentes y a las personas dedicadas a las actividades en pro de la infancia a que, según corresponda, contribuyan a la base de datos que ha establecido en la red el Fondo de las Naciones Unidas para la Infancia (UNICEF) a fin de continuar proporcionando información sobre leyes, estructuras, políticas y procesos adoptados a escala nacional con el objeto de llevar a la práctica la Convención;


    II
    Prevención y erradicación de la venta de niños y de su explotación y maltrato sexual, en particular la prostitución infantil y la utilización de niños en la pornografía
    1. Acoge con satisfacción el informe provisional de la Relatora Especial de la Comisión de Derechos Humanos sobre la venta de niños, la prostitución infantil y la utilización de niños en la pornografía A/54/411. y expresa su apoyo a la labor de la Relatora Especial;
    2. Pide al Secretario General que proporcione a la Relatora Especial toda la asistencia necesaria en materia de recursos humanos y financieros para que pueda cumplir plenamente su mandato;
    3. Invita a que sigan aportándose contribuciones voluntarias por conducto de la Oficina del Alto Comisionado de las Naciones Unidas para los Derechos Humanos y a que se preste apoyo a la labor de la Relatora Especial para que pueda cumplir su mandato con eficacia;
    4. Apoya decididamente la labor del grupo de trabajo entre períodos de sesiones de composición abierta, de la Comisión de Derechos Humanos, encargado de elaborar un proyecto de protocolo facultativo de la Convención sobre los Derechos del Niño9 relativo a la venta de niños, la prostitución infantil y la utilización de niños en la pornografía e insta al grupo de trabajo a que concluya su labor antes de la celebración del décimo aniversario, en 2000, de la entrada en vigor de la Convención sobre los Derechos del Niño;
    5. Reafirma la obligación de los Estados partes de impedir el secuestro, la venta o la trata de niños para cualquier fin o en cualquier forma y de proteger al niño de todos los tipos de explotación o abuso sexual, de conformidad con los artículos 34 y 35 de la Convención sobre los Derechos del Niño;
    6. Insta a los Estados a que tipifiquen como delito y castiguen eficazmente todas las formas de explotación y abuso sexual de los niños, en particular dentro de la familia o con fines comerciales, la utilización de niños en la pornografía y la prostitución infantil, incluida la explotación de niños en el turismo sexual, garantizando al mismo tiempo que los niños víctimas de esas prácticas no sean penalizados; y a que adopten medidas eficaces para garantizar el procesamiento de los delincuentes, tanto locales como extranjeros, por las autoridades nacionales competentes, en el país de origen del delincuente o en el país de destino, respetando las garantías procesales;
    7. Insta también a los Estados a que en los casos de explotación de niños en el turismo sexual aumenten la cooperación internacional entre las autoridades competentes, en particular las autoridades policiales, y a que compartan los datos pertinentes a fin de erradicar esa práctica;
    8. Pide a los Estados que intensifiquen la cooperación y la acción concertada a nivel nacional, regional e internacional, incluido en el contexto de las Naciones Unidas, por parte de todas las autoridades e instituciones competentes, a fin de adoptar y aplicar medidas eficaces para la prevención y la erradicación de la venta de niños y su explotación y abuso sexual y para prevenir y desmantelar redes de trata de niños;
    9. Destaca la necesidad de combatir la existencia de un mercado que fomenta ese tipo de prácticas delictivas contra los niños, incluso mediante la adopción de medidas preventivas y coercitivas dirigidas contra los clientes o las personas que explotan o maltratan sexualmente a los niños;
    10. Insta además a los Estados a que promulguen, apliquen, examinen y revisen, según proceda, la legislación pertinente e implanten políticas, programas y prácticas para proteger a los niños de todas las formas de la explotación y abuso sexual, incluida la explotación sexual con fines comerciales, y eliminar esas prácticas, teniendo en cuenta los problemas específicos que plantea la utilización de la Internet en este sentido;
    11. Alienta a los gobiernos a que faciliten la participación activa de los niños víctimas de explotación o abuso sexual en la formulación y aplicación de estrategias para proteger a los niños de todas las formas de explotación o abuso sexual;
    12. Alienta a seguir tratando de determinar a nivel regional e interregional las mejores prácticas y las cuestiones que exigen una respuesta particularmente urgente para dar seguimiento a la aplicación de medidas acordes con las indicadas en la Declaración y el Programa de Acción del Congreso Mundial contra la Explotación Sexual Comercial de los Niños, celebrado en Estocolmo del 27 al 31 de agosto de 1996 A/51/385, anexo.;
    13. Invita a los Estados y órganos y organismos pertinentes de las Naciones Unidas a que asignen recursos suficientes para la rehabilitación de los niños víctimas de la explotación y el maltrato sexual y a que tomen las medidas correspondientes para promover su plena recuperación y reintegración social;


    III
    Protección de los niños afectados por los conflictos armados
    1. Acoge con beneplácito el informe del Representante Especial del Secretario General sobre el efecto de los conflictos armados en los niñosA/54/430.;
    2. Expresa su apoyo a la labor del Representante Especial del Secretario General, en particular sus esfuerzos por crear mayor conciencia de la cuestión en todo el mundo y por movilizar a la opinión oficial y pública en favor de la protección de los niños afectados por los conflictos armados, a fin de promover el respeto de los derechos y las necesidades de los niños en los conflictos y en las situaciones posteriores a ellos, y recomienda al Secretario General que prorrogue su mandato por un nuevo período de tres años, conforme a lo estipulado en los párrafos 35, 36 y 37 de la resolución 51/77 de la Asamblea General, de 12 de diciembre de 1996;
    3. Insta al Secretario General y a todas las partes pertinentes del sistema de las Naciones Unidas, incluido el Representante Especial y el Fondo de las Naciones Unidas para la Infancia, a que intensifiquen sus esfuerzos por elaborar un enfoque concertado de los derechos, la protección y el bienestar de los niños afectados por los conflictos armados, incluso, según proceda, en los preparativos de las visitas al terreno del Representante Especial y en el seguimiento de dichas visitas;
    4. Exhorta a todos los Estados y otras partes interesadas a que sigan cooperando con el Representante Especial, cumplan los compromisos que han contraído, y examinen atentamente todas las recomendaciones del Representante Especial y se ocupen de las cuestiones señaladas;
    5. Celebra el apoyo constante que se ofrece a la labor del Representante Especial y las contribuciones voluntarias efectuadas a ese respecto;
    6. Insta a todos los Estados y otras partes en los conflictos armados a respetar el derecho internacional humanitario, a poner fin a cualquier forma de agresión dirigida a los niños y a los ataques a lugares en los que suele haber un número considerable de niños, exhorta a los Estados Partes a que respeten plenamente las disposiciones de los Convenios de Ginebra de 12 de agosto de 1949 Naciones Unidas, Recueil des Traités, vol. 75, Nos. 970 a 973. y los Protocolos Adicionales de 1977 Ibíd., vol. 1125, Nos. 17512 y 17513., y exhorta a todas las partes en los conflictos armados a adoptar todas las medidas necesarias para proteger a los niños de los actos que constituyen violaciones del derecho internacional humanitario, incluso mediante el enjuiciamiento por los Estados, en el marco de la legislación nacional, de los responsables de dichas violaciones;
    7. Reconoce, a ese respecto, que el establecimiento de la Corte Penal Internacional contribuiría a poner fin a la impunidad de los perpetradores de ciertos crímenes cometidos contra los niños, tipificados en el Estatuto de Roma de la Corte Penal Internacional Véase A/CONF.183/9, art. 8., que incluyen, entre otros, los que entrañan violencia sexual o la utilización de niños soldados, y tendrá también un efecto preventivo;
    8. Condena el secuestro de niños en situaciones de conflicto armado o con el fin de involucrarlos en conflictos armados e insta a los Estados, a las organizaciones internacionales y a otras partes interesadas a que adopten todas las medidas que sean apropiadas para obtener la liberación incondicional de todos los niños secuestrados, e insta a los Estados a someter a los perpetradores a la acción de la justicia;
    9. Toma nota de la importancia del segundo debate público sobre los niños y los conflictos armados, celebrado por el Consejo de Seguridad el 25 de agosto de 1999 Véase S/PV.4037., y del compromiso del Consejo de prestar especial atención a la protección, el bienestar y los derechos de los niños, al adoptar medidas encaminadas al mantenimiento de la paz y la seguridad Resolución 1261 (1999) del Consejo de Seguridad., y reafirma el papel fundamental que corresponde a la Asamblea General y al Consejo Económico y Social en la promoción y protección de los derechos y el bienestar de los niños;
    10. Exhorta a todas las partes en los conflictos armados a que velen por que el personal humanitario tenga acceso seguro y sin restricciones a todos los niños afectados por los conflictos armados, y por que se preste asistencia humanitaria a esos niños;
    11. Celebra la decisión del Consejo Económico y Social Documentos Oficiales de la Asamblea General, quincuagésimo cuarto período de sesiones, Suplemento No. 3 (A/54/3), cap. VI, párr. 5, conclusiones convenidas 1999/1, párr. 22. de exhortar a una acción interinstitucional sistemática, concertada y amplia a favor de los niños y pedir que se asignen recursos suficientes, en forma sostenible, para prestar a los niños asistencia inmediata de emergencia y financiar medidas a largo plazo a ese respecto durante todas las etapas de una emergencia;
    12. Insta a los Estados y a todas las otras partes en los conflictos armados a poner fin a la utilización de niños como soldados y asegurar su desmovilización y desarme efectivo, y a adoptar medidas eficaces para la rehabilitación, la recuperación física y sicológica y la reinserción en la sociedad de todos los niños que han sido víctimas de situaciones de conflicto armado; invita a la comunidad internacional a prestar asistencia en ese empeño; y subraya que no se debe prestar a quienes utilicen niños soldados ningún apoyo que haga posible o que facilite esa práctica;
    13. Exhorta a los Estados y a los órganos competentes de las Naciones Unidas a que continúen prestando apoyo a las actividades nacionales e internacionales de remoción de minas, incluso mediante contribuciones financieras, programas de información sobre el peligro de las minas y programas de asistencia a las víctimas y de rehabilitación dedicados especialmente a los niños, y celebra también los efectos positivos que tiene para los niños la adopción de medidas legislativas concretas respecto de las minas antipersonal;
    14. Toma nota con preocupación del efecto de las armas pequeñas y ligeras sobre los niños en situaciones de conflicto armado, en particular como consecuencia de su producción y tráfico ilícitos, e insta a los Estados a ocuparse de ese problema;
    15. Recomienda que, cada vez que se impongan sanciones, se evalúen y vigilen sus efectos en los niños, y que las exenciones por motivos humanitarios tengan especialmente en cuenta a los niños y se formulen con unas claras directrices de aplicación;
    16. Exhorta a los Estados, a los órganos y organismos pertinentes de las Naciones Unidas y a las organizaciones regionales a que integren los derechos del niño en todas sus actividades durante los conflictos armados y en las situaciones posteriores a ellos, incluidos los programas de capacitación y las operaciones de socorro de emergencia, los programas en los países y las operaciones sobre el terreno encaminadas a promover la paz y a prevenir y resolver conflictos, así como en la negociación y aplicación de los acuerdos de paz, y, teniendo en cuenta las consecuencias a largo plazo para la sociedad, subraya la importancia de incorporar disposiciones específicas para los niños, incluso disposiciones relativas a la aportación de recursos, en los acuerdos de paz y en los acuerdos negociados por las partes en los conflictos;
    17. Acoge con beneplácito las gestiones que realizan, entre otros, las organizaciones regionales, las organizaciones intergubernamentales y las no gubernamentales para poner fin a la utilización de niños como soldados en los conflictos armados, y reafirma la necesidad urgente de aumentar la edad mínima límite establecida en el artículo 38 de la Convención sobre los Derechos del Niño9 para el reclutamiento y la participación de cualquier persona en los conflictos armados, con el objeto de poner fin a la utilización de niños soldados;
    18. Apoya decididamente la labor del grupo de trabajo entre períodos de sesiones de composición abierta, de la Comisión de Derechos Humanos, encargado de elaborar un proyecto de protocolo facultativo de la Convención sobre los Derechos del Niño relativo a la participación de los niños en los conflictos armados, y las consultas que dirige el presidente del grupo de trabajo para seguir avanzando con el fin de concluir su labor antes del décimo aniversario de la entrada en vigor de la Convención;


    IV
    Los niños refugiados y desplazados en el interior del país
    1. Insta a los gobiernos a mejorar la aplicación de políticas y programas para la protección, el cuidado y el bienestar de los niños refugiados y desplazados en el interior del país, con la cooperación internacional necesaria, en particular la de la Oficina del Alto Comisionado de las Naciones Unidas para los Refugiados, el Fondo de las Naciones Unidas para la Infancia y el Representante del Secretario General sobre los desplazados internos, en consonancia con las obligaciones contraídas en virtud de la Convención sobre los Derechos del Niño;
    2. Exhorta a todos los Estados y otras partes en los conflictos armados, así como a los órganos y organizaciones de las Naciones Unidas, a que presten atención urgente a la protección y asistencia a los niños refugiados o desplazados en el interior del país, que están especialmente expuestos a riesgos relacionados con los conflictos armados, como los de ser reclutados forzosamente o ser objeto de violencia, maltrato o explotación sexual;
    3. Expresa su profunda preocupación por el número cada vez mayor de niños refugiados y desplazados no acompañados, y hace un llamamiento a todos los Estados y a los órganos y organismos de las Naciones Unidas y otras organizaciones pertinentes para que den prioridad a los programas para la búsqueda y reunificación de las familias y continúen supervisando las disposiciones en materia de cuidado de los niños refugiados y desplazados no acompañados;


    V
    Eliminación progresiva del trabajo infantil
    1. Reafirma el derecho del niño a la protección respecto de la explotación económica y la realización de cualquier trabajo que pueda ser peligroso para él o constituir un obstáculo para su educación o que pueda resultar nocivo para su salud o su desarrollo físico, mental, espiritual, moral o social;
    2. Acoge con satisfacción la aprobación por la Organización Internacional del Trabajo, en el 87° período de sesiones de la Conferencia Internacional del Trabajo, celebrado en Ginebra del 1° al 17 de junio de 1999, del Convenio No. 182 sobre la prohibición de las peores formas de trabajo infantil y la acción inmediata para su eliminación, y alienta a todos los Estados a considerar, como cuestión prioritaria, la posibilidad de ratificarlo, con miras a que entre en vigor lo antes posible;
    3. Exhorta a todos los Estados que aún no lo hayan hecho a que consideren la posibilidad de ratificar los convenios de la Organización Internacional del Trabajo relativos al trabajo infantil, en particular el Convenio No. 29, de 1930, sobre la abolición del trabajo forzoso u obligatorio y el Convenio No. 138, de 1973, sobre la edad mínima de empleo, y los exhorta a que apliquen esos Convenios;
    4. Exhorta también a todos los Estados a que traduzcan en medidas concretas su compromiso de eliminar progresiva y efectivamente las formas de trabajo infantil que contravengan las normas internacionales aceptadas y los insta a que, como cuestión prioritaria, eliminen de inmediato las peores formas de trabajo infantil, enumeradas en el nuevo Convenio No. 182 de la Organización Internacional del Trabajo;
    5. Exhorta además a todos los Estados a que evalúen y examinen sistemáticamente la magnitud, la naturaleza y las causas del trabajo infantil y a que elaboren y pongan en práctica estrategias para la eliminación del trabajo infantil que contravenga las normas internacionales aceptadas, prestando especial atención a los peligros concretos a que hacen frente las niñas, así como a la rehabilitación y la reinserción social de los niños afectados;
    6. Reconoce que la educación primaria es uno de los principales instrumentos para reintegrar a los niños que trabajan e insta a todos los Estados a que reconozcan el derecho a la educación, haciendo obligatoria la enseñanza primaria y garantizando que todos los niños tengan acceso a la enseñanza primaria gratuita como estrategia fundamental para prevenir el trabajo infantil, y reconoce, en particular, la importante función que cumplen a este respecto la Organización de las Naciones Unidas para la Educación, la Ciencia y la Cultura y el Fondo de las Naciones Unidas para la Infancia;

    7. Exhorta a todos los Estados y al sistema de las Naciones Unidas a que incrementen la cooperación internacional como medio de ayudar a los gobiernos a prevenir o a combatir las violaciones de los derechos de los niños y a alcanzar el objetivo de eliminar las formas de trabajo infantil que contravengan las normas internacionales aceptadas;

    8. Exhorta a todos los Estados a que fortalezcan la cooperación y coordinación en los planos nacional e internacional, para abordar efectivamente el problema del trabajo infantil, cooperando también estrechamente con la Organización Internacional del Trabajo y con el Fondo de las Naciones Unidas para la Infancia, entre otros organismos;


    VI
    La difícil situación de los niños que viven o trabajan en la calle

    1. Exhorta a los gobiernos a buscar soluciones amplias a los problemas que dan lugar a que los niños trabajen o vivan en la calle y a aplicar políticas y programas apropiados para la protección y la rehabilitación y reinserción de esos niños, teniendo en cuenta que son particularmente vulnerables a todo tipo de violencia, maltrato, explotación y abandono;

    2. Exhorta a todos los Estados a velar por que se presten servicios a los niños para evitar que se dediquen a actividades que puedan acarrearles daño, explotación y maltrato y atender a las necesidades económicas apremiantes que motivan su participación en tales actividades;

    3. Insta encarecidamente a todos los gobiernos a que garanticen el respeto de los derechos humanos y las libertades fundamentales de todos, en particular el derecho a la vida, a que adopten con carácter urgente medidas eficaces para evitar que se mate a los niños que viven o trabajan en la calle, combatir la tortura, el maltrato y los actos de violencia contra ellos y someter a los perpetradores de tales actos a la acción de la justicia;

    4. Hace un llamamiento a la comunidad internacional para que, mediante una cooperación internacional eficaz, incluida la prestación de asesoramiento y asistencia técnicos, apoye la labor de los Estados encaminada a mejorar la situación de los niños que viven o trabajan en la calle;


    VII
    Niños con discapacidad

    1. Celebra que, de conformidad con la decisión del Comité de los Derechos del Niño, se haya establecido un grupo de trabajo con el fin de elaborar un plan de acción en favor de los niños con discapacidad, en estrecha colaboración con el Relator Especial sobre Discapacidad de la Comisión de Desarrollo Social y otros sectores pertinentes del sistema de las Naciones Unidas Véase CRC/C/84, párrs. 219 a 222.;

    2. Exhorta a todos los Estados a que adopten todas las medidas necesarias para asegurar que los niños con discapacidad gocen plenamente y en condiciones de igualdad de todos los derechos humanos y las libertades fundamentales y a que promulguen y hagan cumplir leyes contra la discriminación de esos niños;

    3. Exhorta también a todos los Estados a promover para los niños con discapacidad una vida plena y decorosa, en condiciones que aseguren la dignidad, fomenten la autosufi- ciencia y faciliten la participación activa del niño en la comunidad, incluido el acceso efectivo a la educación y los servicios de atención de la salud;


    VIII

    Decide:

    a) Pedir al Secretario General que le presente en su quincuagésimo quinto período de sesiones un informe sobre los derechos del niño que contenga información sobre la situación de la Convención sobre los Derechos del Niño9 y los problemas a que se hace referencia en la presente resolución;

    b) Pedir al Representante Especial del Secretario General para la cuestión de los niños y los conflictos armados que presente a la Asamblea General y a la Comisión de Derechos Humanos informes que contengan información pertinente sobre la situación de los niños afectados por los conflictos armados, teniendo en cuenta los mandatos actuales y los informes de los órganos correspondientes;

    c) Seguir examinando esta cuestión en su quincuagésimo quinto período de sesiones en relación con el tema titulado “Promoción y protección de los derechos del niño”.
    ***

    13. La Comisión también recomienda a la Asamblea General que apruebe el siguiente proyecto de decisión:



    Informe del Secretario General sobre la situación de la Convención sobre los Derechos del Niño
    La Asamblea General toma nota del informe del Secretario General sobre la situación de la Convención sobre los Derechos del Niño A/54/265
    Iraq: ONU califica de intolerable situación de niños



    25 de abril, 2008 La representante especial de la ONU para Niños en Conflictos Armados, Radhika Coomaraswamy, consideró que la situación de los niños en Iraq es intolerable debido a la violencia.
    Al concluir una visita de cinco días a ese país, la enviada dijo hoy que los menores son víctimas silenciosas del entorno violento que impera

    en Iraq.




    En este sentido, instó a los líderes religiosos, políticos, militares y comunitarios del país a enviar un mensaje claro a la niñez iraquí para que se mantengan el margen de las hostilidades y vuelvan a la escuela.

    Coomaraswamy urgió a todas las partes en conflicto a apegarse estrictamente a los estándares humanitarios internacionales sobre la protección de los niños y a liberar de inmediato a los menores de 18 años que estén asociados a cualquier organización combatiente.

    Señaló que más de la mitad de los desplazados y refugiados iraquíes son niños que afrontan grandes dificultades en los lugares donde llegan a asentarse ya sea en su propio país o en uno ajeno.

    “La comunidad internacional debería asistir a los países anfitriones para garantizar que se protejan los derechos de los niños y que tengan acceso a servicios básicos como la educación y los servicios de salud”, enfatizó la representante especial.


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    Kadhum Al-Sahir, nuevo Embajador de la oficina de UNICEF en Iraq, habla sobre las necesidades de los más pobres
    BAGDAD, Iraq, 9 de mayo de 2011. Kadhum Al-Sahir, el cantante iraquí mundialmente reconocido como uno de los más grandes representantes de la música árabe contemporánea, se convirtió hoy en el primer Embajador de la oficina de UNICEF en Iraq. Al regresar a su país tras 14 años de ausencia, Al-Sahir destacó la necesidad de luchar por la igualdad en pro de los niños más necesitados de Iraq.

    VÍDEO (en inglés): 5 de mayo de 2011. El famoso cantante Kadhum Al-Sahir, recientemente nombrado Embajador de la oficina de UNICEF en Iraq, compuso una nueva canción, titulada "Juntos por los niños", en la que convoca a todos los segmentos de la sociedad de su país a que ayuden a poner fin a las penurias que afrontan los jóvenes y niños.
    "Los niños y niñas de Iraq han sufrido penurias indescriptibles en las últimas dos décadas, en las que cientos de miles de menores sufrieron las consecuencias brutales de la violencia y las privaciones inhumanas", dijo. "Ha llegado la hora de poner fin a esa situación".
    Al-Sahir es uno de los más destacados músicos en la historia de Iraq y uno de los artistas más populares de la región.
    El cantante aboga por los niños y jóvenes desde hace mucho tiempo. Ese apoyo comenzó en 1998, cuando compuso e interpretó "Tathakkar" ("Recuerda"), una canción sobre los niños en las situaciones de conflicto. El tema recibió un premio de UNICEF por tratarse de una contribución sobresaliente al mejoramiento de las vidas de los niños en situación de necesidad. En 2004, Al-Sahir ofreció un concierto a beneficio de más de 50.000 niños y niñas de Oriente Medio.



    Juntos por los niños
    Continuando en la misma vena, Kadhum Al-Sahir presentó hoy "Juntos por los niños", una nueva canción que es también un llamamiento a la acción.



    © UNICEF Iraq/2011/Arar
    Kadhum Al-Sahir, el famoso cantante recientemente nombrado Embajador de la oficina de UNICEF en Iraq, regresa a su país tras una ausencia de 14 años.
    La canción rinde homenaje al coraje de los niños de Iraq en versos que dicen, por ejemplo, "¿Hay alguien que haya sufrido las penurias que sufrieron ustedes? Porque ustedes han superado los límites del temor y las privaciones".
    El cantante convocó a todos los segmentos de la sociedad iraquí a que ayuden a mejorar la situación de sus niños. "Unámonos a UNICEF, y marchemos juntos para poner fin a las muertes, las enfermedades, el abandono y la pobreza", añadió. "Ayudemos a los niños que son víctimas de las guerras. Vengan y hagamos algo para que sus penurias se conviertan en prosperidad. Vengan, trabajemos todos juntos".
    Las cuestiones que afectan a los niños de Iraq
    En el decenio de 1970, Iraq era uno de los mejores países de Oriente Medio y África septentrional si se era niño, pero tras varias décadas de guerra y abandono, hoy es uno de los peores. Entre las cuestiones más graves que afectan a los casi 15 millones de niños y niñas iraquíes figuran las siguientes:
     Unos 35.000 lactantes mueren anualmente durante su primer año de vida.
     Más de 1,5 millones de niños menores de cinco años sufren desnutrición.
     Unos 700.000 niños y niñas en edad escolar no asisten a clases, mientras que cientos de miles de niños que inician sus estudios no los terminan.
     Unos 2,5 millones de niños carecen de acceso al agua potable y unos 3,5 millones no cuentan con instalaciones de saneamiento adecuadas.
     Unos 800.000 niños y niñas de 5 a 14 años de edad trabajan.


    © UNICEF-Iraq/Arar/2011
    El cantante Kadhum Al-Sahir se dirige a un grupo de periodistas tras el anuncio en Bagdad de su nombram
              It's Not a Shortcut Unless You Know Where You're Going        

    In Namibia, there are three school holidays – four weeks in April/May, one week in August and 6 weeks in December/January.  Most of the time, PCVs use these breaks as an opportunity to travel around Namibia and southern Africa; Swakopmund (on the coast), Cape Town, Victoria Falls, Malawi and Mozambique are all popular destinations.  I’ve done my fair share of traveling, so this past April/May, I decided to keep it local and avoid the typical tourist traps.  Instead, I answered the invitation to do two hiking trips – Naukluft and Fish River Canyon, both national parks.  Quite a non-traditional holiday, but it sounded like an interesting adventure so I was game. 

     Our Fish River Canyon hiking group

    Almost immediately, I realized the irony of my decision to go on two hiking trips. First, I’d never hiked before.  Despite the abundance of (probably beautiful and well-groomed) hiking trails in Wisconsin, and America in general, I’d never hiked before.  It’s a bit like deciding to do a marathon when one’s never run before.  Second, I despised hiking-type activities in my previous life in America.  In college, I was once dragged along on a walk through the woods in some of central Wisconsin’s public hunting land.  At the time, I thought that was the most boring, most pointless two hours I’d ever spent in my life.  Thinking back, the longest “hike” I’d ever been on was probably the time I’d begrudgingly followed my mom up some large hill to a lookout point somewhere out West. 

    But hiking it was…and I was not going to be caught with my pants down, either.  In the months leading up to the holiday, I tried to jog several times a week so I’d be in peak physical condition.  On a trip to Windhoek, I enlisted the help of the trip leader, an experienced hiker, to assist me in picking out some hiking boots.  I knew I had to break the boots in, but I had difficulty finding the opportunity.  Due to some small sliver of latent fashion sense, I couldn’t bring myself to wear the black monstrosities to school with my flowing hippie skirts.  Nor did I like wearing them with jeans – or really at all.  Subconsciously, they reminded me of high school and the aptly named “shitkickers” that kids used to wear.  Finally, however, I managed to get in an 18 km walk that gave me two nice blisters on the balls of my feet.  I felt satisfied.  I was prepared.

    It’s walking, not mountain climbing, I thought, how hard can it be?  But I was wrong.  Naukluft is 7 days and 120 kilometers (74.5 miles) of open plains, rolling hills, river beds, canyons, cliffs and mountains; quite different than the flat expanses of Owamboland where I’d done my pre-hike preparation.  Following the advice of a friend, and experienced hiker, I packed as light as possible – minimal clothing, no books, no journals, no playing cards, no hairbrush, no perfume – nothing but the necessities.  But those extra pounds, no matter how small, plus changing topography still add extra pressure to a hiker’s most valuable asset – her feet. 

    That trail blaze is not confusing...not at all!

    Then came the first day – 12 kilometers (7.4 miles) spent winding around the sides of huge hills.  By the time the day was over, I wondered if my lilt to the right, to avoid tumbling to my death off the side of the mountain, would be permanent.  These hiking trails were rugged, just as I imagined African hiking trails would be: sometimes steep, sometimes winding; uneven, with obtruding rocks strewn about; poorly marked; simple dirt paths, probably unchanged from the time when early explorers first walked them.  But I survived.  Despite the two massive blisters that had formed on my feet, I felt good. 

    And then came day two.  It’s one thing to walk with a blister while it’s forming, but it’s another ballgame to walk with two raw, quarter-sized wounds on your feet.  Through a riverbed.  For 12 kilometers (7.4 miles).  And then to realize that, the next day, you have to walk right back up the canyon you just walked down.  No, seriously.  You go down the canyon, with its river rocks, boulders and chains (for near-vertical ascents and descents), and then go right back up it the next day.  It was on day two that I started to feel panicked.  I was 24 kilometers (14.9 mils) away from civilization and I now had FOUR huge blisters on my feet that stung with every single step.  The next morning I was told that I’d been moaning in my sleep, probably because I could still feel the open wounds stinging, even without shoes to rub against them. 

    As the days went on, I got better at wrapping my blisters, but I soon came to realize that I was quickly running out of gauze and tape.  As we walked, I’d often joke about how a helicopter was coming to rescue me.  Or that I was going back to base camp with the park worker who’d come to the shelter to drop more food for us on day four.  I was always at the back of the pack because I simply couldn’t go any faster.  Every single step, on flat ground or steep hillside, was painful.  As we moved along, I often came close to tears – out of pain, out of frustration, out of anxiety.  I wanted to scream.  I wanted to stop.

    And then on day four, the stars aligned.  At about 1:00, after 14 kilometers of trail (8.7 miles), we ran into a park worker just a few hundred meters from the shelter.  If I wanted to go back, it had to be now. 

    Two of four blisters (3 months later)

    A few hours later, I was back at the base camp.  That night, I slept alone in the hiker’s house.  Fourteen beds and just one occupant.  I had no headlamp (dead batteries), no matches (left them with the others), no cell phone (no reception), no iPod (batteries died), and no book (I packed light, remember?).  I managed to scrounge up a piece of paper with one blank side and wrote a letter in the tiniest handwriting imaginable.  I worked on some friendship bracelets.  And I waited.  Until morning.  When I waited again.  Just after sunrise, I was already sitting patiently by the park entrance, hoping some tourist heading to Windhoek would have sympathy on me and give me a ride.  And lady luck struck again.  At noon, I got in the only vehicle going east that day; two German brothers dropped me in the tiny, dusty outpost of Reitoog, the site of another PCV, Caitlin, whose house keys I had.

    The next 3 days was just me, some books, peanut butter and bread, chocolate pudding and my raw bloody feet.  By the time of the rest of the group arrived on Sunday, I was tipping dangerously close to insanity.  Even for an introvert like me, 72 hours is a long time to be alone with your thoughts – no TV, no radio, no cell phone, no iPod, no other humans (which is really my fault because I locked myself in the house, but I couldn’t go very far hobbling around like an arthritic centenarian anyways). 

    In the end, calling it quits was the best decision I could’ve made.  As my friend Ben told me, making the decision to turn back when conditions get too difficult takes more courage than pushing forward (that’s why so many people die on Everest).  And I never would’ve made it through the 25 kilometers (15.5 miles) on the last day.  No way Jose!  Obviously, I wanted to finish, but I wanted to enjoy my vacation, not just survive it.  I didn’t let pride trump pragmatism.  Admitting defeat and bowing out gracefully is not easy (just ask Brett Favre), but it’s a necessary part of life; it allows us to move on to bigger and better things.  Which is just what I did…Fish River Canyon. 

    The extra few days of rest allowed my feet to heal to a tolerable level, and then it was off on another 4 day, 85 kilometer (52.8 mile) hike through the world’s second largest canyon.  After Naukluft, Fish River seemed like a breeze!  Minus the long, precarious descent into the canyon (which cost me seven toenails), it was fairly pain free.  The most challenge moments were the river crossings (there’s nothing more demoralizing than getting ¾ of the way across a 15 meter-wide river only to slide off a slippery, underwater rock and feel your boots fill with river water), and the time we got lost (in an attempt to take a shortcut we ended up wandering through the arid hillside without water for 5 kilometers (3.1 miles) until we got to the edge of the park and turned around, following a dry riverbed that finally led us back to the river/trail.  Needless to say, that “shortcut” did not save us any time).    


     As the doctor put best, "traumatic toenail loss"

    Though it was neither glamorous nor relaxing, my April holiday was the most meaningful vacation I’ve ever taken.  By golly, did I learn a lot – about hiking, of course, but also about pain, perseverance and failure.  Will I hike again?  You betcha!  Yes, it’s challenging and exhausting, but a day on the beach can never compete with putting supplies on your back and heading out into the wilderness – rising with the sun and sleeping under the Milky Way, building fires and sharing stories with friends.

              Mozambique's ocean ambassadors        

              Scientist falls in love with manta rays, finds new species        
    When Andrea Marshall began studying the manta rays of Mozambique for her dissertation five years ago, she never expected to discover a new species, let alone a globally cosmopolitan, highly migratory ocean wanderer. She was “awestruck by their beauty,” studied the rays, and then gradually noticed subtle differences between them. Species can be cryptic; hard […]
              Soirée de témoignages et de prières avec des jeunes missionnaires du Mozambique        

    RDV dimanche 9 décembre à 18h à l’ERF-Annonciation, 19 rue Cortambert, 75016 Paris (RER avenue Henri Martin ou métros de la Muette, Trocadéro, et rue de la Pompe) : une petite équipe de six jeunes adultes de plusieurs pays différents viennent suite à leur formation missionnaire avec l’association IRIS au Mozambique pour témoigner de leur expérience et prier avec nous. Le Mozambique est un des pays le plus pauvre au monde, et la mission IRIS prend soin des plus pauvres du pays. Ils hébergent et nourrissent des dizaines de milliers d’orphelins et veuves chaque jour, puis ils construisent des écoles, des cliniques, et des puits d’eau, afin que l’amour [...]

              Projets de volontariat au Mozambique        
    Recherche volontaires pour le Mozambique.Asso non commerciale
              An Unfogettable Train Ride        
    The melancholy sound emanating from the whistle of a steam train rushing through the night always fascinated me.  As a child, I recall going to the Canadian National Railway Station in Edmonton to watch my Grandma board an old C.N. steamer bound for Vancouver.  The steam and smoke rising from the engine swirled around the platform and the air smelt of burning coal.  We were allowed to board the train to help Grandma settle in.  As the train chugged out of the station and into the night, I wished that I could have been a passenger too.

    My wish to ride a train pulled by a steam locomotive came about in my adult years while I was serving in South Africa as a missionary and lived in Louis Trichardt in the Northern Transvaal province.  It was necessary for me to travel to Pretoria to pick up my renewed Passport and make tentative reservations with Sabena Belgian Airlines for my soon return trip to Canada.  I decided I would take the train.  It would be an overnight run to Pretoria with the next day allowing plenty of time to do my business and then return the same evening.  The train was on, what we use to call in Canada, 'a milk run' meaning it stopped at most of the towns between Louis Trichardt and Pretoria.  This particular train was in no  way comparable to South Africa's famous 'Blue Train' but the ticket agent did suggest a first class ticket which put me in a compartment with berths so I would not have to sit up all night,  Sharing my compartment was a person I had met previously and so we talked, read, and enjoyed the passing scenery before the porter came to make up the two lower berths.  The train lacked a dining car so you could not enjoy a meal or get a nice hot cup of tea which is so much part of South African hospitality.  Sleeping on the train was uneventful except for my waking up at every stop to see where we were.  By this time,  the smell of the burning coal from the engine had permeated the entire train. and I thought the train needed a better ventilation system.  The train pulled into Pretoria just as the sun was rising.  In the station, there was a kiosk where you could buy breakfast and a restroom where you could have a shower and change clothing.

    That evening, when I arrived at the station having completed my business, I noticed there were  fully equipped soldiers milling around the station and I wondered why.  I learned that they were on their way to postings up north along the boarders that South Africa shares with Namibia, Zimbabwe and Mozambique.  Terrorism was a constant threat in South Africa and they were always on guard.  This deployment was a few months after the incident at Entebbe Airport in Uganda when Israeli soldiers swooped  in totally unexpected  to rescue the passengers from a hijacked airliner.  The soldiers occupied a day coach but when night fell. they were allowed to occupy any empty berths on the train.  My compartment was suddenly filled with three fully armed soldiers who, without a word of explanation, bunked down for the night.  When I left the train at Louis Trichardt the next morning, they were still asleep but I felt that terrorists  would not have a chance against that crew.

    SAR Locomotive


    credit:  bing.com images




              Visiting Mother's Love        


     

    Country: 
    Mozambique

              From on-the-ground hurdles to the online experience        
    Student crossing the railway as we drive by in search of a borrower's house

    Entry filed under: 
    Country: 
    Mozambique

              Johannesburg Restaurants        
    I'm glad to hear you enjoyed some of it. Thanks for the feedback on Parreirinha; I know it's not worth the trip now. I don't know why I didn't think to recommend Codfather to you... I just had some beautiful king prawns from Mozambique there this weekend that were definitely not frozen when I saw them (although possibly previously frozen; I did not check). Although it's probably because they don't always have them in, as it was the first time I'd seen them there. Let's hope you can return to try more!
              Mozambique Situation - Outflow into Zimbabwe and Malawi as of end of April 2017        
    Publisher: UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) - Document type: Maps
              Mozambique Refugee Situation - Outflow into Zimbabwe and Malawi as of end of March 2017        
    Publisher: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) - Document type: Maps
              Mozambique Refugee Situation - Outflow into Zimbabwe and Malawi as of end of January 2017        
    Publisher: UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) - Document type: Maps
              Endgame or bluff? The UN's dilemma with the FDLR militia in DRC        

    Endgame or bluff?




    The UN's dilemma with the FDLR militia in DRC

    The Rwandan Hutu militia FDLR (Democratic Forces for the Liberation if Rwanda) in DRC has offered to disarm voluntarily, the states of the region have set an ultimatum and the clock is ticking. The UN mission in DRC (MONUSCO) has an intervention force in Eastern DRC to fight rebels. But not a single shot has been fired against the FDLR, because its fighters hide among the population. This dilemma recently forced the UN to the negotiating table. So is this FDLR offer just a tactical ruse? In the past, the FDLR always used negotiations and promises of disarmament to convert military weakness into political strength – a dangerous game.


    A briefing paper by
    Dominic Johnson, Foreign Editor & Africa Editor of the German daily TAZ (die tageszeitung)
    Simone Schlindwein, TAZ correspondent in the Great Lakes region.

    This paper is based on research conducted by the authors in Kinshasa and Goma in July 2014 as well as insights gained through years of working on this region and the FDLR in particular. TAZ monitors the trial against the FDLR political leadership in Stuttgart, Germany which began 2011. See  http://taz.de/!t28/  

    Berlin and Kampala, August 2014



    1 A dubious meeting in Sant'Egidio

    On 26 June 2014, a memorable meeting took place in Rome on the invitation of the lay Catholic Sant'Egidio community.  Four delegates of the FDLR (Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda), the Rwandan Hutu militia stationed in the Democratic Republic of Congo, met with UN Special Representatives Martin Kobler and Mary Robinson as well as the special envoys of the US, the EU and Belgium and delegates of the DRC government. It was the first such round of talks with the FDLR since 2005 and the highest level meeting in the group's 14-year history[1].

    This meeting was the culmination of the FDLR's attempt to turn itself from a "negative force“ in Congo into a political force in Rwanda – with the hope of winning international support.

    The meeting took around four hours, its preparation was a secret enterprise. In the morning of 24 June a UN helicopter landed on a football pitch in Buleusa, a remote jungle village in Eastern Congo's North Kivu province. "Our president, his chief of staff and two high ranking commanders were invited to fly to Kinshasa. From there they should go on to Rome", FDLR spokesperson Laforge Fils Bazeye said[2].
    Since the arrest of Ignace Murwanashyaka in Germany in November 2009, Brigadier-General Victor Byiringiro, also known as Gaston Iyamuremye or Rumuli, holds the office of FDLR Interim President. His chief of staff David Mukiza runs the presidential administration. Both belong to the political wing of the FDLR; Byiringiro is a career soldier, but he always wears civilian clothes and does not carry arms.
    However, Byiringiro is subject to an international travel ban – imposed 2007 by the UN Security Council. At that time he was already the 2nd Vice-President of the FDLR. Despite this, the UN Mission on DRC (MONUSCO) had now granted him a UN travel permit to enable him to board the white UN helicopter. "It is totally within the UN rules for him to travel inside Congo",  MONUSCO head Martin Kobler later said in defence of this measure[3].

    Byiringiros journey ended abruptly in the Congolese capital Kinshasa. The government of Rwanda, currently a member of the UN Security Council, protested vehemently. For the president of its sworn enemies, among them possible genocide perpetrators of 1994, to travel to Europe on a UN free ticket was too much for Kigali. The request of the UN Peacekeeping department DPKO to the competent UN Sanctions Comittee to grant a waiver to Byiringiro's travel ban was „highly questionable, on both the procedure and on the motivation“, said Rwanda's permanent mission at the UN and spoke of „a gross violation of relevant resolutions of the Security Council“ as „part of a pattern, over the last two decades, of a series of maneouvres that attempt to deny and diminish the criminal essence of the FDLR“ und „treat this genocidaire group as notable group with legitimate political grievances“[4]. Rwanda's protest put a stop to the enterprise, as Rwanda leaked it before the end of a 24-hour period of confidentiality. Byiringiro could not travel further. He was stuck in Kinshasa.

    On to Rome on 25 June went Byiringiro's chief of staff David Mukiza and the FDLR military commanders Col Jean-Paul Muramba and Col Andre Kalume. Their names do not figure on the UN sanctions list. They flew to Italy via Belgium with DRC travel documents – the Rwandan rebels do not have passports –, Italian visa provided via the UN, and Brussels Airlines flight tickets, paid for by Sant'Egidio.

    The two FDLR commanders are presumed war criminals, responsible for massacres, systematic terror and mass rapes in Eastern Congo. Colonel Kalume – his real name is Lucien Nzabamwita – commands the FDLR Reserve Brigade whose official task is the protection of the headquarters and top commander and which is deployed on the battlefield for special operations only. The Reserve Brigade is under direct orders of FDLR military leader, General Sylvestre Mudacumura, commander of the FDLR's armed wing FOCA (Forces Combattantes Abacunguzi) – orders which generally are not co-ordinated with the political leadership, as former FDLR Reserve Brigade commanders have testifed at the trial against president Ignace Murwanashyaka and 1st vice-president Straton Musoni in Germany.[5]

    As head of the Reserve Brigade, Kalume was the executive commander responsible for the massacre in the village of Busurungi during which FDLR fighters brutally killed at least 96 Congolese in a revenge attack in the night to 10 May 2009. They cut foetuses out of pregnant women's bodies and decapitated people. It was one of the FDLR's worst crimes during that time. Kalume prepared and planned the attack in detail and gave the orders on the ground: "Shoot them all, burn Busurungi down!", Kalume told his soldiers at the operational planning meeting, deserted fighters of his brigade said later.[6] As Busurungi's huts went up in flames, Kalume sent a report to military leader Sylvestre Mudacumura who forwarded the news to Germany[7].

    Colonel Muramba, alias Junior Hamada or Harerimana, commands the now rather desolate FDLR units in South Kivu. In this capacity he is directly responsible for all FDLR attacks in this province: massacres, rapes, terror, illicit taxes, pillage. Both commanders are members of the FDLR Comité Directeur, the body of the FDLR's 32 most important military and civilian functionaries which meets once a year and decides on war and peace, attack and defence.

    The other FDLR participant in Rome was the commissioner for foreign affairs, Djuma Ntambara Ngirinshuti. The FDLR's „foreign minister“ lives in France and is an important member of the FDLR's European network, in charge of contacts with the international community.

    In Rome, this delegation presented the FDLR's political demands, as a participant recalls: dialogue with the Rwandan government and reform of the Rwandan security forces permitting FDLR representation at a leadership level. „SADC must put pressure on Rwanda“, FDLR spokesman Laforge later summarised his organisation's demands. If Rwanda's government refused to sit down with its opposition, „nobody will return to Rwanda, neither the FDLR nor the refugees“, he said.[8]

    According to a participant, the international participants answered that their mandate was not to bring about dialogue in Rwanda but to „neutralise“ the FDLR. However, the FDLR would be supported in disarming and was encouraged to pursue this process[9].

    A representative of Sant'Egidio explained that all participants – he presumably meant the international ones – agreed on „some non-negotiable principles“: Extradition of wanted FDLR leaders; complete FDLR disarmament within three months; no support for FDLR fighters beyond repatriation or transfer into other countries; and „absolute and unmistakeable refusal of attempts to make disarmament conditional on any kind of demand for political dialogue with the Rwandan government[10]“.

    Is the Sant'Egidio meeting the beginning of a process to end the 20-year-old war of the Rwandan Hutu fighters on Congolese soil? Or is it an obstacle to peace in the Great Lakes Region? Peace in the region depends on the answer to these questions. This paper attempts to offer elements of a response.

    2 The FDLR's new political strategy

    2.1 Context: The FDLR diplomatic offensive

    There is a prehistory to the Sant'Egidio meeting. On 30 December 2013, the FDLR in a declaration signed by president Major-General Byiringiro had announced it was „committing“ itself to „lay down its arms and lead a political struggle“[11]“.  This declaration was known forthwith as the „Lusamambo Peace Offer Declaration“.

    What looked like a commitment to peace was in fact the follow-up to a threat: "Warning to the UN and the international community“ had been the title of a 20-page political document of the militia exactly a month before.[12] This contained the threat that „any attempt of using armed confrontations with intention to annihilate FDLR is more likely to fail“ as it would be „identical to forcing Rwandan peoples down to sqaure one“, back into „the various perpetuating conflicts which have been tearing the Rwandan social fabric apart for the worse, mostly since the 1990s to date“ – a veiled threat of a new genocide. The world should now exert pressure on Rwanda to negotiate with the „freedom fighters“ of the FDLR.

    This confidence was no accident. Just a few weeks before, the war of the Tutsi-led rebel movement M23 (Movement of 23 March), arch-enemy of the Hutu militiamen in the FDLR, in North Kivu had come to an end with a military defeat. The M23 had taken up arms against the DRC government in May 2012 – with backing from Rwanda, according to UN investigators – and had briefly taken control of the provincial capital Goma in November 2012, thus forcing the government to the negotiating table. But one year later, in November 2013, it gave up the fight faced with  overwhelming superiority of the Congolese army FARDC and the UN forces.

    The victory over M23 was the direct consequence of a new strategy of the UN mission in Congo (MONUSCO) against armed groups. The conquest of Goma by the M23 was embarrassing not just for the Congolese army but for MONUSCO too. The blue helmets watched passively as the rebels marched past their tanks and waved. Clearly a completely new strategy and new instruments were needed.
    So on 28 March 2013 the UN Security Council in Resolution 2098 set up for the first time an  „offensive“ intervention force (FIB – Force Intervention Brigade) with the mandate to „neutralise“ armed groups. Around 2000 blue helmet soldiers from South Africa, Tanzania and Malawi (all members of SADC – Southern African Development Community, of which the DRC is a mamber but not Rwanda) were subsequently sent to Goma. They brought with them heavy artillery and combat helicopters – equipment for conventional warfare. In the summer of 2013, the soldiers went into action against the M23 for the first time, on the frontline at the northern edge of Goma. A further offensive followed in October 2013. After just three weeks of fighting against combat helicopters, artillery and snipers the M23 conceded defeat and withdrew to Uganda on 5 November 2013. It was the Congolese army's first victory – with FIB help – against a rebel movement for almost a decade. Essentially it was a symbolic victory: The M23 was seen at the time as the best equipped and most disciplined militia in DRC.

    Ongoing peace negotiations between M23 and the DRC government in the Ugandan capital Kampala subsequently ended with largely non-committal separate „declarations“ by the two parties and the mediators, signed in Nairobi on 12 December 2013[13]. Since then, the over 1000 M23 fighters and their commanders have been practically stranded in Uganda. They were disarmed by the Ugandan army UPDF and transferred to a military camp in Bihanga. The M23 leadership was taken to a safe house in Kampala. Officially the M23 has mutated into a political party.

    The end of the M23 forced the FDLR to reposition itself. The FIB's offensive mandate was directed against the FDLR too: at the very least, Rwanda expected that after the end of the M23 it should be the FDLR's turn. On the other hand, the 18-month war between the DRC government and the M23 had given the FDLR breathing space to gather new strength, as during this period all offensive operations against the Hutu militia were on hold. „A window of opportunity“ FDLR Colonel Ezekiel Gakwerere alias Stany called the situation at the end of 2012, boasting of hundreds of fresh Hutu recruits from Rwanda[14].

    As the M23 held Goma at the end of November 2012, hopelessly overstretched, Stany's units had marched into Rwanda through the M23-occupied border strip further north and had killed five Rwandan park rangers before withdrawing under heavy losses.

    With the end of the M23 peace negotiations in December 2013, the FDLR's breathing space was over. The M23 was vanquished, now the FIB should pick the next target – that was what everyone assumed. But it came otherwise: Behind closed doors at MONUSCO in Goma it was decided to attack not the FDLR but the Ugandan ADF (Allied Democratic Forces) which has been based in the Rwenzori mountains of Beni territory in the North of North Kivu for many years. Various sources confirm that the deputy force commander and head of the MONUSCO police, General Pascal Champion, pushed to target ADF rather than FDLR. General Champion is French. France is a traditional adversary of the RPF government in Rwanda; it actively supported the Hutu militia in Rwanda during the 1994 genocide and has granted asylum to many high ranking FDLR members in Europe. Many sources in MONUSCO privately accuse France of protecting the FDLR[15]

    The ADF with a few hundred Ugandan fighters on the Ugandan border was seen as a relatively marginal problem. Nevertheless, operations against ADF began around Christmas 2013: the DRC army at the front, the FIP as back-up. The operations continue to this day. There were fewer direct engagements than against M23 and according to a UN report despite the ADF losing all its bases its structure remained intact and it took hundreds of civilian Congolese hostages, but by 7 May 2014 217 FARDC soldiers and 531 ADF fighters were killed[16].

    Against the FDLR there was only symbolic action. On 11 March 2014, MONUSCO head Kobler declared that military operations „to neutralise the FDLR and its allies“ and „permit the restoration of state authority“ had begun[17]. DRC government spokesman Lambert Mende said: „We will not stop until they lay down their arms. We alone, or with the support of our partners in MONUSCO, must put an end to this threat against our populations.[18]“ But there was no direct engagement. Blue helmets cleared FDLR roadblocks on the road from Goma to Pinga, around 150 kilometres north-west. A few UN tanks were deployed. The FDLR fighters withdrew from the road to the hills. Not a single shot was fired. The same thing was repeated on the road Kashebere-Tongo where the FDLR had always exacted road tolls. Until now serious military operations have not taken place. This gave the FDLR an opportunity to reorient itself.

    For by this time, the FDLR was actively working on repositioning itself as a political umbrella for the Rwandan opposition in exile and on staking an explicit political claim in Rwanda itself. Immediately after the „Peace Offer Declaration“ of 30 December 2013, on 12 January 2014 the FDLR announced the „official start“ of activities of its new alliance FCLR-Ubumwe (Common Front for the Liberation of Rwanda) with the Rwandan opposition party PS-Imberakuri (Socialist Party). The FCLR was said to have come into existence on 1 July 2012 and made public on 4 February 2013, and its goal was „peaceful change of power in Rwanda“ and that was why the FDLR had „freely decided to lay down its arms. But if the international community continues to ignore its suffering, it will have no choice but to use all means at its disposal“, according to the declaration signed by PS vice-president Alexis Bakunzibake and FDLR interim president Byiringiro[19].

    A few days later, former Rwandan prime minister Faustin Twagiramungu in exile in Belgium declared that his new party RDI (Rwanda Dream Initiative), not registered in Rwanda, had gone into alliance with the FCLR[20]. And on 1 March, FDLR, PS, RDI und four other groups announced the formation in Brussels of the umbrella group CPC (Coalition of Rwandan Political Parties for Change), with Twagiramungu as president and a FDLR representative – interim president Byiringiro,as it turned out – as 1stvice-president[21]. The most important new member of CPC was the unregistered Rwandan party FDU (United Democratic Forces) of the politician Victoire Ingabire, jailed in Kigali, a successor organisation of the exile party RDR (Republican Assembly for Democracy in Rwanda) from which the political arm of FDLR had originally emerged. The other three members made their participation in the alliance subject to conditions.
    At the same time, the Rwandan government increasingly pointed to contacts between the exile group RNC (Rwandan National Congress) in South Africa, led by former Rwandan army chief and former Kagame friend General Kayumba Nyamwasa, and the FDLR leadership. Both groups were said to be jointly responsible for armed attacks in Rwanda[22]. The RNC also works together with FDU.
    Relations between South Africa and Rwanda have suffered due to South Africa giving shelter to leading Rwandan dissidents, especially since Kayumba Nyamwasa only just escaped an assassination attempt in 2010 and his colleague Patrick Karegeya, former Rwandan intelligence chief, was killed by unknown perpetrators in South Africa on New Year's Eve 2013-14. In South Africa, Rwanda is held responsible for both acts.

    Tanzania, the second FIB troop contributor in the DRC besides South Africa, is also seen as an ally of Rwandan exiles. Tanzania's president Jakaya Kikwete told Paul Kagame publicly at the AU summit on 26 May 2013 to negotiate with the FDLR.[23] FDLR deputy military chief of staff General Stanislas Bigaruka is said to be living in Tanzania since the beginning of 2013, voluntarily or involuntarily. Faustin Twagiramungu has held political talks in the Tanzanian capital in his capacity as CPC president. Tanzania's government officially regards the FDLR as „freedom fighters“[24]. This sounds like a gauntlet thrown down at Kigali. The East African Community (EAC) is already suffering from the bad relations between Rwanda and Tanzania.
    Seen from Rwanda, it suddenly looked as if the country was „sandwiched“ politically and militarily, with Tanzanian troops on both sides of Rwanda's territory - FIB troops in DRC and an ally of the arch enemy FDLR which had successfully gathered all important adversaries of the Kigali regime around a table, at least theoretically. Furthermore the FDLR had managed to bring SADC – and thus Tanzania and South Africa – on side as protector of its interests. With this it hoped to position itself as a negotiating partner for the Rwandan government, just as the M23 had been imposed by ICGLR on the Congolese government as a legitimate partner for negotiations.

    Through this alliance the FDLR tried to buttress its claim to exist as a political force within Rwanda. This new political approach was carefully timed, in the run-up to the 20th anniversary of the genocide against the Tutsi which Rwanda's government was busy commemorating with a large-scale remembrance campaign since January 2014. On 7 April 2014, the official commemoration day, the whole world looked at this small country in the heart of Africa. But in the following days various arrests were made in different places in Rwanda for collaboration with the FDLR or the RNC, among them the famous musician Kizito Mihigo and several office holders in the north-west of the country. Rwanda's civilian and miltiary opposition in exile was drawing attention to itself inside Rwanda in a way which could not make the Rwandan government happy.

    2.2 Prelude: „Voluntary disarmament“ - demobilisation or a tactical ruse?

    The days of remembrance in Rwanda were hardly over when the FDLR moved to the next step of its diplomatic offensive. On 18 April 2014, in a letter signed by interim president Byiringiro to UN, SADC, EU, AU, ICGLR and the DRC president, the group announced that on 30 May it would „hand over its weaponry to the internatioal-African relevant authorities, namely SADC“ at two locations in North and South Kivu. The militia „would like to request a favour from SADC as it intends to commit all its ex-combatants under its (SADC) protection by means of quartering them in safe place under SADC management, until the wished and hoped for 'inter-Rwandan political dialogue', frank, sincere and highly inclusive, between RPF-Inkontanyi current Rwandan regime and FDLR together with all Rwandan political opposition organisations will have taken place and have yielded substantial outcomes“. The result of this „peace process“ depended on „your respective ability to make RPF-Inkontanyi current regime to realise both the need and necessity“ of this[25].

    On 30 May, in Buleusa village in North Kivu 105 FDLR fighters handed over 90 weapons in the presence of Byiringiro, other FDLR leaders and high-ranking UN and SADC representatives. In a speech to the assembled diplomats, the FDLR interim president thanked the Congolese population „for its hospitality in the last twenty years despite all the difficulties the Congolese had to suffer“[26]. 97 of the fighters let themselves be taken to a UN camp near Kanyabayonga. A second smaller similar ceremony with 84 renditions of FDLR fighters followed on 9 June in Kigogo, South Kivu. The fighters handed over did not include a single higher ranking officer; they were all simple foot soldiers.

    Initially, the international special envoys criticised this harshly as insufficient. In a joint declaration released on 1 June, the special envoys Mary Robinson, Russ Feingold, Boubacar Diarra, Koen Vervaeke and Martin Kobler referred to the handover of Buleusa as „an insignificant number of low-ranking combatants“, recalled „that the FDLR is an illegitimate armed group“and urged „further and complete surrender of all FDLR combatants and senior leaders in the coming days“. Those who chose not to surrender, renounce violence and surrender to a DDRRR process „will remain subject to military action by the FARDC and MONUSCO“.[27]

    In line with this, neither negotiations with Rwanda as demanded by the FDLR nor SADC protection for FDLR fighters materialised. SADC representatives present in Buleusa are said to have told the FDLR that it was completely out of the question for SADC intervention forces in the DRC to protect combatants of armed groups. They asked the militia to trust the DRC government as a SADC member and also the UN „to which we all belong“[28].

    Until now the fate of the FDLR combatants quartered in UN camps in Kanyabayonga (North Kivu) and Walungu (South Kivu) remains unclear. They have been questioned and screened according to the guidelines of the UN demobilisation programme DDRRR. There are different accounts of the result of this, but most them do appear to be able fighters. The usual DDRRR question about a willingness to return to Rwanda and contacts at home remained unanswered as the fighters have not officially joined the DDRRR programme for voluntary and individual return to Rwanda.[29]

    MONUSCO originally planned to bring the two groups of disarmed FDLR from South and North Kivu to a transit camp in Kisangani with UN vehicles and then fly them to Irebu in Équateur province in Western DRC; more than 1500km from the Rwandan border and their not yet demobilised comrades in Eastern Congo. But the FDLR leadership rejected this. Even the catonment in a transit camp in Kisangani remains subject to discussion.[30]

    2.3 History: God and the warriors

    The history of previous peace negotiations with the FDLR is almost as long as the history of the organisation itself. Until now every attempt to get the FDLR to give up as an organisation has failed dismally – especially when church representatives offered to mediate.

    The Catholic community Sant'Egidio has a long history of engagement in African wars. It facilitated the peace negotiations in Mozambique's civil war 1992 and was active in the Balkans. For many years the Italian churchmen have been involved in Congo's wars as peace mediators. The FDLR regards them as trustworthy. There are reasons for this.

    The Rwandan Hutu fighters were close to the Catholic Church even before the FDLR came into being. The close institutional relationship between the Rwandan Catholic church and the single party regime of president Juvénal Habyarimana before 1994 are well known. During the genocide, many Catholic priests had helped the murdering Hutu militia to slaughter terrified Tutsi who had sought shelter in churches. Even today most Rwandan Hutu are deeply Catholic – as is the FDLR.

    It is rare to see a FDLR combatant without a rosary around his neck. On Sundays, prayers are said in headquarters and all frontline positions – even military operations have to cease for a few hours. The Hutu militia has its own priests who do not only conduct baptisms and weddings or serve the last rites on the severely wounded; they also preach the FDLR's Hutu ideology in church services and FDLR schools. „God gave Rwanda to the Hutu only, so the Tutsi have to disappear out of our  promised land“, an ex-fighter in charge of organising Sunday mass at the frontlines said.[31]

    According to the FDLR's version of history, the Hutu are „God's chosen people“ which has been chased out of the „holy land“ and is now enslaved in exile in Congo, a bit like the Israelites in Egypt in the Old Testament. The 1st FDLR combat sector – the frontline units – is called „Sinai“, after the Egyptian peninsula. Its commander, whose nom de guerre was „Omega“, called himself „Israel“, and with this name he signs and stamps his soldiers' ID cards.[32] The 2nd sector – behind the frontlines – is called „Canaan“ after the piece of land which the Bible calls the „promised land“.

    In FDLR church sermons, God leads the way back to the promised land. This sectarian ideology is the basis for the FDLR's fight against the so-called Tutsi government in Kigali which in press releases is occasionally described as „satanic“.[33] For die FDLR, the reconquest of Rwanda is a „holy“ war on divine command.

    It is thus no surprise that the FDLR trusts religious institutions and likes to be invited to talks by churchmen. They trust God to influence the outcome in their favour.

    .

    2.4 Precursor: The first Sant'Egidio talks 2005

    The Sant'Egidio community has been in close contact with the FDLR leadership for over ten years. Pater Matteo Zuppi was continuously in touch with FDLR president Murwanashyaka in Germany.[34]

    At the beginning of 2005, Sant'Egidio already invited the FDLR to negotiations. FDLR leaders came to Rome from all over Europe, including Germany, and out of the Congolese jungles. FDLR president Murwanashyaka, 1st vice-president Musoni and 2ndvice-president Byiringiro spent weeks in the beautiful monastery in the centre of Rome, praying, giving speeches and negotiating for their organisation. With them: External commissioner Christophe Hakizabera, the president's chief of staff David Mukiza and several commanders. Murwanashyaka often left the room to phone military commander Mudacumura in the jungle, according to participants.[35]

    The Sant'Egidio talks of 2005 took place in a similar context to those of 2014. As today, in 2005 the FDLR was confronted with the threat of serious military strikes by international intervention forces in DRC. After the smooth formation of a unified national Congolese army had failed in 2004 due to a mutiny of the Tutsi generals Laurent Nkunda and Jules Mutebutsi, the presence of Rwandan Hutu fighters in Eastern Congo had been recognised as an obstacle to peace in the region and in November 2004 Rwanda had conducted a series of limited military strikes against FDLR bases in North Kivu.

    At the end of November 2004, Rwanda had suggested to the UN that either the mandate of the UN mission in Congo (MONUC) should be extended to include forced disarmament of the FDLR, or an African force should be mandated to disarm „the ex-FAR/Interahamwe“, or joint operations with the Congolese army should be permitted, or Rwandan troops should be allowed to pursue the FDLR on Congolese territory either alone or under Congolese command[36]. In reaction, the AU Peace and Security Council confirmed „the imperative need to resolutely tackle the problem of the ex-FAR/Interahamwe and other negative forces“ in the DRC and undertake their „disarmament and neutralisation“[37], and EU Special Envoy Aldo Ajello proclaimed the EU's readiness to finance an AU force for this task[38].

    The regular AU summit in Abuja at the end of January 2005 formally decided such an AU deployment, the size of which was estimated at 5.000 soldiers. At an AU meeting in Addis Abeba on 15 und 16 March 2005, the DRC government laid out its plans: first political dialogue with the FDLR as an incentive for it to voluntarily renounce armed struggle; then, military pressure on such forces which refused to join this process. Around 30.000 to 45.000 soldiers were deemed necessary for such military operations against all foreign armed groups in Eastern Congo, including the then 11.000 UN blue helmets – either as a joint UN-AU force or as two separate forces[39].

    During this whole time, parallel talks were ongoing in Rome under the aegis of Sant'Egidio. The political FDLR leadership offered to renounce armed struggle – on condition that Rwanda's government accepted dialogue with the FDLR, to recognise it as a political force and grant security guarantees for its return to Rwanda. In that case, the FDLR would return home peacefully to become a political party. Exactly the same demands as today.

    For the DRC, the minister for regional cooperation Mbusa Nyamwisi led the negotiations. Rwanda's special envoy for the Great Lakes region, Richard Sezibera, said in an interview that he was „optimistic“: At last the international community had understood the need to disarm the FDLR by force, and „the noose around the negative forces is tightening“[40]. But, he added, Rwanda was still waiting to be informed of the results of the talks of which it was not an official participant.

    On 31 Marc
              TÓMBOLA SOLIDARIA        

    TÓMBOLA SOLIDARIA PARA MOZAMBIQUE.


    Ha tenido lugar en nuestro colegio, durante la semana cultural, y del libro na bonita actividad. Se trata de que los niños aporten o donen libros de su nivel lector que ya hayan leído, y en buen estado. Con ellos hacemos una tómbola durante toda la semana en el tiempo de recreo. Como a cada alumno le corresponde un "amigo invisible", deberá comprar y regalar uno o dos libros. El último día, viernes, se lo regalará con una rosa, tal y como viene siendo tradición en San Jorge.









              Best Global Music of 2014        

    I know, there's been a paucity of posts on SoundRoots of late. 2014 turned out to have a lot challenges and distractions that took me away from writing, but I'm optimistic that 2015 will find us having more good conversations here about music, culture, and other fun stuff. I'll start it all off with a roundup of what I (and listeners) found to be the best, most engaging, most interesting global music of 2014. 
    If I missed your favorite artist or album, leave a comment and your reasons it should have been included. Or heck, leave your own entire list! It's a big world, and while our tastes may differ, we can certainly learn from each other.
     Happy New Year!
    Best global albums 2014
    Noura Mint Seymali1.     Noura Mint Seymali:  Tzenni
    2.     Gypsy Hill:  Our Routes
    3.     Adrian Raso & Fanfare Ciocarlia:  Devil’s Tale
    4.     Nistha Raj:  Exit 1
    5.     The Paradise Bangkok Molam International Band:  21st Century Molam
    6.     Alsarah & The Nubatones:  Silt
    7.     Aurelio: Lándini
    8.     Mamani Keita:  Kanou
    9.     Amsterdam Klezmer Band:  Blitzmash
    10.  Aziza Brahim:  Mabruk
    11.  Bassekou Kouyate & Ngoni Ba:  Jama Ko
    12.  The Toure-Raichel Collective:  The Paris Session
    13.  Toumani Diabati, Sidiki Diabati:  Toumani & Sidiki
    14.  Bombay Rickey:  Cinfonia
    15.  Hijaz:  Nahadin
    16.  Joe Driscoll and Sekou Kouyate:  Faya
    17.  Ana Tijoux:  Vengo
    18.  Kiran Ahluwalia Sanata: Stillness
    19.  Korrontzi: Tradition 2.1
    20.  Bossacucanova:  Our Kind of Bossa

    Favorite compilations 2014
    25 Years of Brazilian Beats (Mr. Bongo Presents)
    20 Years Sheer African Jazz
    Beyond Addis:   Contemporary Jazz & Funk Inspired By Ethiopian Sounds from the 70's
    Wired for Sound – Mozambique
    South Africa (Celebrating 20 Years of Freedom)
    Real World 25




              Imperio Colonial Portugues        




         

    Imperio portugués

    (Redirigido desde «Imperio colonial portugués»)
    Imperio portugués
    1415–1975
    BanderaEscudo
    BanderaEscudo
    Ubicación de
    Máxima extensión del Imperio portugués (diacrónico)
    CapitalLisboa
    Idioma principalPortugués
    ReligiónCatólica
    GobiernoMonarquía:1415–1910
    República1910–1975
    Período históricoMercantilismo â€“Imperialismo
     â€¢ Batalla de Ceuta1415
    El Imperio portugués es el nombre que recibe el conjunto de Portugal y sus colonias en los siglos XV