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The Kenyatta challenge: "Milking the state"

The Kenyatta challenge: "Milking the state" | Daraja.net | Scoop.it

Memories of the violence after Kenya’s last general election, in December 2007, are still fresh: 1,200 people died and 300,000 were displaced. So the candidates in this year’s presidential election, on 4 March, were keen to reassure the people as much as investors. During the election campaign, the Kenyans were both actors and spectators in “a general act of repentance, cunningly orchestrated in a kind of Pentecostalisation of the political scene,”saidDominique Connan, a Sciences Po doctoral student based in Nairobi. On 24 February a huge peace rally was held in Uhuru Park, at which the presidential candidates held hands during hymns and sermons delivered by the fashionable prophet Dr David Edward Owuor.

The election resulted in a win for Uhuru Kenyatta of the Jubilee Alliance. His rival, the outgoing prime minister Raila Odinga, of the Orange Democratic Movement, has presented to the Supreme Court a list of alleged irregularities in a number of areas: Kenyatta was elected at the first round by a margin of only 8,400 votes. His success has also caused some embarrassment overseas, as he has been indicted by the International Criminal Court over alleged involvement in the post-electoral violence of 2007.

Kenyatta told a meeting of the Kenya Private Sector Alliance in Nairobi on 13 March that the new government plans to work closely with the private sector to make Kenya competitive. Investors have exhorted Kenyan companies to reopen their offices (closed due to fears of post-electoral unrest) and get the economy running again to achieve the objectives of Vision 2030, the reform programme launched in 2008 and described as a “long-term development blueprint to create a globally competitive and prosperous nation”. This enthusiasm clashes with the figures published by the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics, which is concerned over galloping inflation, the collapse of the national currency and high lending rates at the end of 2011. Kenya is one of the 10 most unequal countries in the world, with a ratio of 1:56 between the incomes of its poorest 10% and richest 10% (1).

Its directors see the Lapsset Corridor project as a good way to consolidate national sentiment, but as yet it is only a digital document, with pictures of Dubai-style towers and Chinese-built high-speed trains superimposed on photos of the Kenyan landscape. To protect the future port complex and help ensure that the dream becomes a reality, the authorities did not hesitate to send troops into Somalia, whose border is only a few tens of kilometres away. It used the presence of the Islamist militant group Al-Shabab in the area as a pretext to set up a buffer zone.

A Nairobi journalist looked around to check nobody was watching, then pretended to milk an imaginary cow. Lowering his voice, he said: “The Lapsset Corridor is designed to create avenues for corruption. The politicians are there to drink the milk of the state, which is labelled with an S with two vertical lines through it.” A researcher close to the project was just as direct: “Vision 2030 measures development in terms of the number of cubic metres of concrete poured. The aim is to misappropriate investor and state funds.”

The project was giving cause for concern even before the cement mixers began turning. The first issue was the feasibility study, which was the most expensive in Kenya’s history. In May 2009 the transport ministry engaged Japan Port Consultants to conduct it, for around $37m. Two years later a 35% reduction was negotiated, after the Treasury intervened.

“The elites have an interest in the project going ahead, because they have personally invested heavily in the region. So I don’t think it’s a white elephant,” said Hervé Maupeu, a political scientist at the University of Pau and Pays de l’Adour and specialist on Kenya. “Many politicians knew about the Lamu project well before it was made public,” confirmed Ambreena Manji, director of the British Institute in Eastern Africa. “It’s a kind of insider trading: theyhave taken the opportunity to buy land and engage in real estate speculation.”Now the government will have to buy it back.

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Emerging threats in cybersecurity and data protection legislation in African Union countries

Emerging threats in cybersecurity and data protection legislation in African Union countries | Daraja.net | Scoop.it

In January 2015, heads of state met at the 24th African Union Summit to discuss the “African Union Agenda 2063” with the goal of enabling “a continent on equal footing with the rest of the world as an information society.” The summit, which is attended by 54 African governments, occurred at a critical time for cyber security after the AU approved the African Union Convention on Cyber Security and Personal Data Protection in June. While Access applauds the human rights protections enshrined in the convention, we are deeply troubled by draft legislation that has emerged across the continent that tramples rights in the name of implementing the convention.

The Convention was originally scheduled to pass in January 2014, but was delayed for modifications after protests by the private sector, civil society organizations, and privacy experts—all of whom had very little involvement in the drafting process. But a number of countries promulgated harmful new cybersecurity legislation after it was improved in June.

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Mali: Accaparements des terres à l’office du Niger : Le PDG est-il complice ?

Mali: Accaparements des terres à l’office du Niger : Le PDG est-il complice ? | Daraja.net | Scoop.it
Il ressort de notre enquête plus d’un million de victimes de l’accaparement des terres au Mali, écrit Lassana Coulibaly.
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Senhuile : Manifestation des employes licenciés, demandent le depart de Massimo Castellucci

Senhuile : Manifestation des employes licenciés, demandent le depart de Massimo Castellucci | Daraja.net | Scoop.it
Sénégal : 83 employés licenciés d'une manière abusive par la nouvelle direction de SENHUILE (20 000 ha) manifestent contre Massimo Castellucci et Giovani Tampieri
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Climat : l’agriculture doit être au coeur des négociations

Climat : l’agriculture doit être au coeur des négociations | Daraja.net | Scoop.it
Les fausses solutions contre le changement climatique provoquent une importante pression foncière et un accaparement des terres, explique Jean Vettraino
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Modibo Keïta, PDG de GDCM : Ou la mafia qui fait des ravages à l’Office du Niger

Modibo Keïta, PDG de GDCM : Ou la mafia qui fait des ravages à l’Office du Niger | Daraja.net | Scoop.it
Depuis 2009, les villageois mènent un bras de fer avec le patron de GDCM autour de l’accaparement des terres de culture à l’Office du Niger au Mali.
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Colonial plantations are making a comeback in Mozambique

Colonial plantations are making a comeback in Mozambique | Daraja.net | Scoop.it
New survey of land deals shows that since 2006 dozens of deals have been reached with foreign investors for the production of food crops, covering over 1.5 million ha.
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Despite hunger, Mozambique leases huge land holdings to foreigners

Despite hunger, Mozambique leases huge land holdings to foreigners | Daraja.net | Scoop.it
Mozambique, a country wracked by hunger, has signed away land concessions three times larger than Greater London to outside investors in the past decade, displacing thousands of farmers in the process.
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Somalis need to learn lessons from the legacy of land grabbing in Africa

Somalis need to learn lessons from the legacy of land grabbing in Africa | Daraja.net | Scoop.it
Somalia’s farmland similar to its neighbouring countries is in danger of falling into the hands of transnational companies often in partnership with governments sometimes supported by the local elites.
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Tunisia wants agribusiness partnerships with Brazil

Tunisia wants agribusiness partnerships with Brazil | Daraja.net | Scoop.it
Tunisia is interested in partnering up with Brazil for agribusiness, according to the CEO of the Arab country’s Agency for Agricultural Investment Promotion.
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"Agroecology is in our hands! We are building it further together!"

"Agroecology is in our hands! We are building it further together!" | Daraja.net | Scoop.it
Today, the sun has risen brighter than ever in Mali to warm the more than 250 delegates of the first International Forum on Agroecology hosted by Confederation of Peasants Organizations of Mali (CNOP) and La Via Campesina, at the Nyéléni Center in Sélingué, south Mali. There are women and men, from diverse constituencies, among them farmers, fisherfolks, indigenous people, pastoralists and urban consumers from all corners of the world, arrived to the center in buses from Bamako and other regions of Mali
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The disappeared: Chicago police detain Americans at abuse-laden 'black site'

The disappeared: Chicago police detain Americans at abuse-laden 'black site' | Daraja.net | Scoop.it
Exclusive: Secret interrogation facility reveals creeping aspects of war on terror in US city as accounts describe shackling and brutality without basic rights
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Is Africa rising? A critical perspective

So while their “Africa Rising” means salivating over rising GDP and the profits to be made by transnational corporations, the reality is that in Africa we have rising unemployment, rising amputation of natural and non-renewable resources, rising dispossessions of land, rising profits of the transnational corporations, rising landlessness, rising inequality, rising food prices, and rising pauperisation of the majority.

As a recent report highlights, the rest of the world is draining Africa of resources. “While $134 billion flows into the continent each year, predominantly in the form of loans, foreign investment and aid; $192 billion is taken out, mainly in profits made by foreign companies, tax dodging and the costs of adapting to climate change. The result is that Africa suffers a net loss of $58 billion a year.”
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How Euphemisms Absolve Pillage and Mass Murder » CounterPunch: Tells the Facts, Names the Names

Words hold tremendous power, and if we don’t reclaim our language and start seeing people instead of “militants”, drone victims instead of “bug splats”, or natural splendor instead of “green infrastructure”, then the voiceless are destined to be silenced forever.
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In Memory of Ozgecan Aslan: Sexual Violence and the Juridical System in Turkey

In Memory of Ozgecan Aslan: Sexual Violence and the Juridical System in Turkey | Daraja.net | Scoop.it
This piece is written as a farewell to Ozgecan Aslan, a twenty-year-old university student, who was stabbed to death after she was raped. Her remains were found on 13 February, burnt and thrown into a river by three men.
I slept with a heavy heart ...
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Madagascar grenier de l’océan indien occidental : La COI passe à l’action

Madagascar grenier de l’océan indien occidental : La COI passe à l’action | Daraja.net | Scoop.it
Antananarivo abritera les 19 et 20 février la conférence des bailleurs relative au projet régional de sécurité alimentaire de la Commission de l’Océan Indien.
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SwissLeaks : Modibo Keïta, le nabab du riz au Mali

SwissLeaks : Modibo Keïta, le nabab du riz au Mali | Daraja.net | Scoop.it
Le nom de Modibo Keïta, qui contrôle 20 000 ha dans l'Office du Niger, figure dans les documents SwissLeaks auxquels a eu accès Le Monde Afrique, provenant de HSBC Private Bank à Genève
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Nourrir l'humanité

Nourrir l'humanité | Daraja.net | Scoop.it
Malgré l'accaparement des terres ou la production d'agrocarburants au détriment des aliments, les solutions existent pour que tous mangent à leur faim
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USD$10 million investment to boost food production (i.e. profits) and security in Ghana

USD$10 million investment to boost food production (i.e. profits) and security in Ghana | Daraja.net | Scoop.it
Magcor is investing $10 million USD to boost food production and security in Ghana after investing in Agricon Global last year.
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UN, banks and oil palm giants feast on the stolen land of Uganda's dispossessed

UN, banks and oil palm giants feast on the stolen land of Uganda's dispossessed | Daraja.net | Scoop.it
UN Agency IFAD is robbing poor farmers and farming communities of their land and livelihoods, leaving them destitute, and handing over their wealth for plunder by foreign corporations and profiteering financiers.
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Battle to feed the world pits small farmers against big agriculture

Battle to feed the world pits small farmers against big agriculture | Daraja.net | Scoop.it
Large-scale agricultural production will benefit private-sector firms rather than poor people, Grain says, noting that financial companies and sovereign wealth funds are responsible for about a third of the deals.
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Megan Becker's curator insight, February 26, 7:28 PM

This was a very interesting article, that shed light on the millennium and sustainable development goals of Kenya.

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World Bank dam and foreign land-grab force out Ethiopian tribes

World Bank dam and foreign land-grab force out Ethiopian tribes | Daraja.net | Scoop.it
World Bank and China join Ethiopia's government to relocate 200,000 villagers of the Omo River and Lake Turkana Valley to replace them with super-irrigation plantations.
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Open Letter: Racism, Militarism, Poverty: From Ferguson to Palestine

Open Letter: Racism, Militarism, Poverty: From Ferguson to Palestine | Daraja.net | Scoop.it
[The following open letter was issued by the below signatories on 4 February, 2015.]
We support and congratulate UC Santa Cruz on their selection of Angela Davis for UCSC’s 31st annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Convocation The undersigned ...
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America's Secret War in 134 Countries

America's Secret War in 134 Countries | Daraja.net | Scoop.it
They operate in the green glow of night vision in Southwest Asia and stalk through the jungles of South America. They snatch men from their homes in the Maghreb and shoot it out with heavily armed militants in the Horn of Africa. They feel the salty spray while skimming over the tops of waves from the turquoise Caribbean to the deep blue Pacific. They conduct missions in the oppressive heat of Middle Eastern deserts and the deep freeze of Scandinavia. All over the planet, the Obama administration is waging a secret war whose full extent has never been fully revealed—until now.
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Paying the price of a failed Libya: Entissar al-Hasaari murdered

Paying the price of a failed Libya: Entissar al-Hasaari murdered | Daraja.net | Scoop.it

"Amid chaos caused by mismanagement, intervention, international rivalries and civil war, ordinary people who hoped for a better Libya are dying." It does not do justice to the sadness.: Amid chaos caused by mismanagement, intervention,... who would want to kill 35-year-old Entissar al-Hasaari?

Hasaari was a cultural activist who organised festivals and reading groups and founded the Enlightenment Group, which held small protests against the militia's stranglehold of her city. - See more at: http://www.alaraby.co.uk/english/comment/5e79e8ac-5e19-440f-be32-fc145ce90f5d#sthash.7C62W2X5.dpuf

 

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What’s Left in Africa? An analysis of the failure of the left in Africa

The early 1950s witnessed an extraordinary sweep of popular mobilisations across the continent inspired by aspirations for emancipatory freedom – an end to the colonial yoke. Across the continent, nationalist parties convinced people that the path to freedom was through political independence. Since then, many of the gains of independence, which cost the blood and lives of millions in Africa, have been reversed with the privatisation of the commons and public utilities, as well as by dispossessions of land, by unemployment and by the increasing costs of food, rent and other necessities of life. In response, discontent has been growing across the continent, with spontaneous eruptions and mass uprisings that have in some cases resulted in the overthrow of regimes nurtured and nourished by imperialism (e.g. in Tunisia, Egypt and Burkina Faso). In such circumstances, one would have thought that there would have been fertile grounds for the emergence of strong left working class movements across the continent. But why has this not happened?
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