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Posts Tagged ‘Africa’

As policy-makers, scientists, and persons living with HIV/AIDS convene this week at the International AIDS Conference, some are taking a closer look at AIDS policy in the United States. Since 2004, when President George W. Bush created the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief program (PEPFAR), the US has spent $19 billion to combat HIV/AIDS in Africa. These funds have provided 2.5 million Africans with anti-retroviral treatment and have contributed to the decline in new infections. Archbishop Desmond Tutu, in Tuesday’s New York Times opinion section, argues that President Obama is not living up to his campaign pledge to increase PEPFAR’s budget, nor is he doing well by other disease prevention programs. Read his full opinion here.

Learn more about the Obama administration’s AIDS prevention and treatment efforts on Wednesday, July 28 when the Council hosts Ambassador Eric Goosby, US Global AIDS Coordinator. Register for the program here.

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American policy on fighting AIDS in Africa is having a dramatic impact on survival rates and is rapidly changing the way Africans are thinking about the disease. Learn more about the United States President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) on Wednesday, April 14 when the Council hosts the US Global AIDS Coordinator, Ambassador Eric Goosby.

Last night 60 Minutes aired a story about the positive outcomes of PEPFAR in Uganda. Watch it here.

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Award winning photojournalist Paolo Woods joined the Council last night to share a stunning visual account of the economic, social, and environmental impact of Chinese investment in Africa. His photographs, published in the recently translated book China Safari: On the Trail of Beijing’s Expansion in Africa, reveal a lesser-known story of Chinese economic success and uncover how “Made in China” has become increasingly synonymous with “Extracted in Africa.” Woods’ photographs also highlight Chinese contributions to infrastructure and development across the continent where colonial powers before them had failed. Perhaps the most intriguing photographs in the series are those that capture everyday life of Chinese in Africa. Despite the success of economic cooperation, social and cultural isolation persists. A full video recording of the program, including Paolo Woods’ complete series and commentary, is now avaliable here on our online archive. Below is one of the amazing photographs from China Safari and a quick video clip of the event.

Mr. Wood was born in Shanghai in 1948 and arrived in Nigeria at the end of the 70¹s were he stared an industrial empire that includes today about 15 factories with more then 1600 workers, construction companies, hotels and restaurants. He is an official adviser to the president and has obtained the title of African chief and the authorization to use police cars as his own which helps in the monstrous Lagos traffic jams. He uses as well the police as private bodyguards, like here on the construction site of 544 villas built at record speed on the Lekki peninsula near the headquarters of the Chevron oil company.

Mr. Wood (pictured above) was born in Shanghai in 1948 and arrived in Nigeria at the end of the 70's were he stared an industrial empire that today includes about 15 factories with more then 1600 workers, construction companies, hotels and restaurants. He is an official adviser to the president and has obtained the title of African chief and the authorization to use police cars as his own, which helps in the monstrous Lagos traffic jams. He uses as well the police as private bodyguards, like here on the construction site of 544 villas built at record speed on the Lekki peninsula near the headquarters of the Chevron oil company.

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The summer 2009 edition of the Stanford Social Innovation Review is up now online. This season’s publication includes a review by Jane Wales, our CEO & President, of the much publicized book by Dambisa Moyo, Dead Aid: Why Aid is not Working and How there is a Better Way for Africa. Read an excerpt from the article below:

“As the global financial crisis unfolds, those least responsible– our world’s poor – will be most affected.  Many have called upon President Obama to uphold his campaign commitment to double foreign assistance.  But Dambisa Moyo’s book, Dead Aid, challenges us to think again.  Although we can all agree that ending poverty is an urgent necessity, there appears to be increasing disagreement about the best way to achieve that goal.

Born and raised in Lusaka, Zambia, Moyo has spent the past eight years at Goldman Sachs as head of economic research and strategy for sub-Saharan Africa, and before that as a consultant at the World Bank.  With a Ph.D. in economics from Oxford University and a master’s from Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government, she is more than qualified to tackle this subject.

In Dead Aid, Moyo comes out guns blazing against the aid industry – calling it not just ineffective, but also “malignant”.  Despite more than $1 trillion in development aid given to Africa in the past 50 years, she argues that aid has failed to deliver sustainable economic growth and poverty reduction – and has actually made the continent worse-off.  To remedy this, Moyo presents a road map for Africa to wean itself off of aid over the next five years and offers a menu of alternative means of financing development…”

Read the full article here on SSIR’s website.  There is also a colorful debate going on at The Huffington Post between economists Jeffrey Sachs and William Easterly related to their thoughts on Moyo’s book, and on aid more generally.

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Morgan Tsvangirai, leader of Zimbabwe’s opposition party MDC, announced today that he will join President Mugabe in a power-sharing deal drafted in September. This comes after months of deadlock, and while there is much celebration, many are worried that the deal was signed too hastily without sufficient certainty in its terms. An AllAfrica article today quotes an MDC Member of Parliament saying, “His [Tsvangirai’s] own political future will be compromised. ZANU-PF will use Tsvangirai to resuscitate their party: if people say they’re hungry – blame it on Tsvangirai. He came in promising change, and he won’t be able to deliver. If he says his hands are tied, people will say, ‘Why did you go in knowing your hands would be tied?'”

According to the NY Times, the opposition voted unanimously for joining the power-sharing agreement, and many are celebrating the end to the stalemate – though it remains to be seen if the deal will bring positive change. Western governments may maintain their sanctions, despite the growing toll on the country’s population from rampant hunger and a raging cholera epidemic, until President Mugabe shows himself to be true to his word.

Watch Jane Wales discuss the situation in Zimbabwe with Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Gareth Evans, and Helene Gayle last April at GPF. And read our previous posts on Zimbabwe here and here.

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