Africa
9 views | +0 today
Follow
Africa
Curated by Mew
Your new post is loading...
Your new post is loading...
Scooped by Mew
Scoop.it!

Zimbabwe’s multi-currency confusion

Zimbabwe’s multi-currency confusion | Africa | Scoop.it
With the introduction of four more currencies in Zimbabwe, there are concerns it will just cause confusion rather than solve the country's cash shortage, writes the BBC's Brian Hungwe.
Mew's insight:

      This article is about how Zimbabwe has recently adopted four more foreign currencies as a nationally accepted form of payment, adding to the four already in use. Zimbabwe does not have its own national currency; it accepts other currencies as legal tender. Some people do not welcome this change, because it means that they must keep an eye on more currencies now in order to make sure that they are not being swindled by lower exchange rates. Others worry that counterfeit notes may become more commonplace. Zimbabwe formerly had its own currency, but it was victim to severe hyperinflation that led to billion-dollar and even trillion-dollar notes.

      This article helped me to understand Africa because I am currently researching the country of Tanzania and its history. Tanzania has a stable and growing economy due to its policy of privatization, where government industries are sold to private companies. Zimbabwe's economy is struggling, so it must use other currencies to keep afloat.

I am reminded by this article that the economic health of most African countries are not very good.

      I think that having eight currencies as legal tender is a very bad and inefficient way to improve the economy. It simply increases the workload of cashiers and banks; they now have to check daily exchange rates. The price of an item today may be radically different tomorrow. One currency could move up, and another could reduce in value. How will one know whether the price of an item should change? Zimbabwe needs to accept a single currency, perhaps the US Dollar, and move towards enacting that currency as the "real" national currency.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Mew
Scoop.it!

A Rising Tide of Anti-Gay Sentiment in Africa

A Rising Tide of Anti-Gay Sentiment in Africa | Africa | Scoop.it
At a time when gay-rights movements in Africa should be making headway, their leaders are being forced underground.
Mew's insight:

      This article is about how homosexuality is continuing to be shamed as a disgusting thing throughout Africa. In Uganda, President Yoweri Museveni has signed new anti-gay legislation that makes it possible to incarcerate homosexuals. This law follows a month after a similar anti-gay law was passed in Nigeria. A scholar, Sylvia Tamale, suggests that the "mainstream aversion to same-sex relations," is due to the African culture that places great importance on the strength of masculine power within relations. Indeed, Museveni has defended his law by claiming that he was defending "African values" from Western influence.

      This article goes into deeper detail about the resistance to homosexuality that is a part of African culture. It relates to the video that I have seen in Social Studies class where the President of Uganda called homosexuals "disgusting." I understand Africa better because it shows that even over time where cultural diffusion has occurred, traditions persist. As in Algeria where people spoke and kept different languages alive, all over Africa people have kept their deep-seated hatred of homosexuals.

     I personally think that the Ugandan President was too harsh. He attacked homosexuals individually under cover of resisting Western influence. I agree with anti-gay voices in that homosexuality is not natural, but I don't openly attack them either. I see how tradition is very powerful; tradition is very important to keep because it keeps the culture of a civilization alive. However, when culture begins to intrude upon the personal rights of others to choose who they love, that is not just. Everyone is entitled to their opinion, yet Museveni should not have signed the law on behalf of the people—there may be some who support homosexuality.

 

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Mew
Scoop.it!

South Africans in Mine Rescued and Then Arrested - New York Times

South Africans in Mine Rescued and Then Arrested - New York Times | Africa | Scoop.it

Emergency crews in South Africa rescued 11 miners who were trapped while working illegally in an abandoned gold mine near Johannesburg on Sunday, but other miners decided to stay underground to avoid being arrested, emergency workers said.

Mew's insight:

      This article is about the rescue of 11 miners who were trapped in an underground mine. They were treated for injuries, but as they were working illegally, they were then arrested. Over 200 people were initially reported to be in the mine. Emergency workers have said that the rest were staying underground to avoid persecution. The issue of illegal mining is grown recently. The minister for natural resources has said that illegal mining was unsafe for miners and local communities. ER24, the national rescue service, used a crane to remove a large boulder and surrounding rubble from the main entrance.

      This article helps me to understand Africa because the course textbook does not talk about illegal mining. I have learned that mining is an integral part of many African countries. I presume that the mine was abandoned due to safety reasons; the ore could not have run out otherwise the miners would not be in there. Perhaps the company should have demolished the mine entirely, or further reinforced the internal structure of the mine. To abandon a dangerous place without removing the threat posed is a mistake; the miners were fortunate to have escaped without deaths.

      My opinion on the issue is that illegal mining should not take place. If the workers are not qualified and do not have licenses to legally mine, then the government should subsidize the training of these workers because mining is an essential part of the economy. Perhaps the mine was not the miners' property. In that case, the issue would be resolved within the law. However, licensing problems should not come up because African economies need these workers to bolster economic growth. Either the rich companies or the government has to implement an effective solution to combat this issue.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Mew
Scoop.it!

New gold rush flattens Johannesburg's famous mining dumps

New gold rush flattens Johannesburg's famous mining dumps | Africa | Scoop.it
A new gold rush is hitting Johannesburg, literally flattening the South African city whose Zulu name “Egoli” means City of Gold.
Mew's insight:

      This article is about mining companies using modern technology to process gold from mining dumps. As a result of over a century of mining, hundreds of piles of "tailings," or waste created as a byproduct from mining, are located in and around the African city of Johannesburg. The mining dumps are believed to contain harmful waste. However, companies are now carting away the waste and extracting the leftover gold in particle form, simultaneously removing the dumps and producing more gold.

      This article relates in part to the Europeans sailing to the East African coast for easier access to gold. Many inventions such as the lateen sail and the astrolabe helped the Europeans explore Africa's coasts. Likewise, technology enabled the mining companies to further refine gold from the waste dumps. It also reinforces the concept of humans wanting forms of money throughout history. People want money and will develop technology to help towards that cause.

      I fully support the mining companies carting away the waste and refining for gold. Gold is not only used for jewelry; it has applications in the electronics industry. The article cites some locations having up to 15 times more radioactivity than normal because the dumps have contaminated the water supply. Not only is water hard to find in Africa, but water is now being rendered dangerous by waste. Therefore, the move initiated by the companies to remove the "tailings" is a smart one.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Mew
Scoop.it!

Ghana: Keeping one of Africa's stars of democracy shining - CNN International

Ghana: Keeping one of Africa's stars of democracy shining - CNN International | Africa | Scoop.it

CNN International
Ghana: Keeping one of Africa's stars of democracy shining
At that moment, to the cheering of an ecstatic crowd, Ghana became the first African country south of the Sahara to break the chains of colonialism.

Mew's insight:

      This article is about how Ghana is hailed as a model for successful democracy in Africa. The article talks about the history of Ghana and its independence from Britain, as well as the nation's growth into a successful country. On March 6 1957, the Gold Coast colony became known as Ghana. The liberation movement soon swept the continent, leading to the fall of colonialism in Africa. Ghana's road towards development was fraught with economic and leadership problems. There was a military coup and violent transfers of power but currently the President of Ghana is stable and rules the country fairly. Ghana is diversified into mining of gold and oil as well as agriculture of cacao.

      This article helps me to understand Ghana better because my assigned country for Jigsaw Teaching is Ghana. I have gained knowledge about the state of the country after independence; the textbook chapter mostly talks about the lead-up to independence. Additionally, I now know that Ghana was called a "model for democracy" in Africa by President Obama. Ghana is one of the most stable and prosperous countries in Africa.

      I think that this CNN article provides a thorough overview about Ghana. It will help me create better teaching materials for my group in Social Studies class. The article has given me insight that the nation's first few decades were bumpy as leaders changed but now conditions are stable and Ghana is held as an example of successful democracy in Africa.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Mew
Scoop.it!

The situation is still out of control, as Christian militiamen (pictured) hunt ... - The Economist

The situation is still out of control, as Christian militiamen (pictured) hunt ... - The Economist | Africa | Scoop.it

The Economist
UNRELENTING religious violence across the Central African Republic (CAR) is forcing Muslims out of the country in droves.

Mew's insight:

      This article is about how Muslims in the Central African Republic are being targeted on the basis of their religion. Many Muslims have left CAR because they were attacked by others and the military. In the north-western part of the country where there was a large Muslim presence, Muslims have deserted the cities. Due to the lack of people, traders have left the markets and cattle-herders have fled, meaning that meat prices along with the prices of staples have greatly risen.

      This article helps me to understand Africa by connecting to the War Dance film we are currently watching in Social Studies. In the film, Acholi people are the target of violence by the Lord's Resistance Army. In CAR, the Muslims are deliberately targeted on religious grounds. As a result, most have to flee the country as refugees, either to Cameroon or Chad. In Uganda, the Acholi flee to camps as internally displaced persons.

      I think that violence upon religious grounds is unjustified. There is no reason for widespread prejudice against a religious group. According to the UN, 1.3 million people in the country need food aid. Chaos is present in the capital. If there were no religious violence, then the chaos affecting those unrelated to those incidents would disappear. 

more...
No comment yet.
Rescooped by Mew from Ag Biotech News
Scoop.it!

Fertilizer nutrient imbalance to limit food production in Africa - IIASA (2014)

Fertilizer nutrient imbalance to limit food production in Africa - IIASA (2014) | Africa | Scoop.it

 

A growing imbalance between phosphorus and nitrogen fertilizer use in Africa could lead to crop yield reductions of nearly 30% by 2050... Underuse of phosphorus-based fertilizers in Africa currently contributes to a growing yield gap—the difference between how much crops could produce in ideal circumstances compared to actual yields.


Via Alexander J. Stein
Mew's insight:

      This article is about how a continental study of soil in Africa found that fertilizer usage is imbalanced, currently causing reductions in crop yields of around 10% compared to optimal circumstances. Farmers in Africa generally do not have money to buy expensive phosphorus-based fertilizer, so instead they only use nitrogen-based fertilizer. Using solely nitrogen-based fertilizer in the short term is acceptable, but over time it changes the nutrient balance causing less fertile land; both nitrogen and phosphorus fertilizer need to be used.

      This article helps me to understand Africa because the textbook only talks about the impact of water accessibility on agriculture. It is widely accepted that fertilizer helps to bolster crop growth. Before, I was not aware that there were two types of plant fertilizer. This study is extremely important to Africans because most Africans are farmers. Farming is the most important economic activity in Africa so this find helps to justify spending upon phosphorus fertilizer as well.

      My opinion is that this study is useful for all farmers. Before, local and national surveys were conducted but this is the first continental study. Perhaps, because most of the phosphorus mined in Africa originates from Morocco, the country of Morocco could collaborate with other countries that rely upon agriculture. Government spending on behalf of the farmers would be well justified because this effect will continue to compound if no more phosphorus-based fertilizer were used along with nitrogen fertilizer.

more...
Nevermore Sithole's curator insight, January 29, 2014 7:04 AM

Fertilizer nutrient imbalance to limit food production in Africa - IIASA (2014)