Monthly Archives: September 2010

ARE YOU SERIOUS? MDG IN AFRICA!


NEW YORK. Participants in the Millennium Summi...
Participants in the MDG

The UN is prone to throw challenges here and there to the world.  One of the challenges lingering from its start in 2000 is the Millennium Development Goals (MDG).  All UN Members ceremoniously enlisted for this homework.

The aim of the MDG is to meet 8 poverty reduction goals by 2015.  It is grand, laudable but utopian and unachievable.
I believe that such goals, assuming the world is serious, requires government ethics, accountability and transparency at all levels.  I am sorry, that does not exist in Africa and please let us not generalize on exception.
Furthermore, in general, UN decisions are not binding on its member states. That’s convenient and the core reason of the UN longevity.
Country’s leaders want to be “accountable” to their citizens and not to the world.

The General Assembly is a good venue for world leaders to get acquainted, visit NY and enjoy good food.  They talk but rarely solve issues of extraordinary importance.

Goal 1 – Eradicate extreme poverty and Hunger
The poorest countries are in Africa and the consensus, and mine, is due to endemic corruption and bad governance. Africa unscrupulously loot donors and itself.
It is estimated that over all corruption cost in Africa alone is US $150 billion per year while donors gave sub-Sahara US $22.5 billion in 2008.

Africa not only robs its constituents but as well the nationals from the largest donor countries such as the USA, Germany, UK, France and Japan. Gullible countries like Denmark, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway and Sweden give more than 0.7% of their Gross National Income target set up by the United Nations from member states.
I am wrong! The aforementioned countries do not lose so much. A big chunk of the stolen money is recycled in the bank accounts of the richest countries.

Also, notice that China is scrupulously not among these countries. Simple! They use the well documented colonial methods of direct funding to corrupt African Nations; “That’s for you … Now, give me the resources that I need and you can starve or kill you people for all I care!”. This is their bit in eradicating poverty and hunger.

Africa food import is about US $22 billion per year or 1/6 of what is misappropriated via corruption.
Africa starves its own people!

Goal 2: Achieve Universal Primary Education
Some African countries have been quite avant-garde in providing free primary education.  That’s nice, considering that 40% of African children never attend primary school.  The élite educate their children in expensive schools and foreign universities to acquire the baggage to perpetually lobotomize the small earnings of the uneducated mass.
Who cares about free primary education! When schools are non-existent or dilapidated, teaching materials are in tatters or out of date, school children are subjected to corporal punishment and under age girls are raped and impregnated by their underpaid teachers.
In many cases donor fund provided for education are out rightly stolen by the government, its elites and cronies and the ministries involved.

A nice free primary educations system isn’t?

Good for nicely covered reports, full of figures and nice graphs to satisfy the world community.  Wow, you are doing so good, congratulations!

Goal 3: Promote Gender Equality and Empower Women
Women are second class citizen in the African culture, a way of life and a state of mind from time memoria.
A change of a cultural mentality is a long and tedious gradual process and categorically impossible to meet by 2015.

The women’s right to vote, in the USA, was attained after a 70 years wait, in 1920 in the USA,1928 in the UK, 1944 in France and 1971 in Switzerland.
Who in their right mind can think that’s such process can be effected by year 2015 in Africa?

The culture in general transfers inheritance to sons and not daughters.
In Swaziland the king must marry a woman of each tribe, in South Africa President Zuma wants a sixth wife, Senator Ahmed Sani Yerima of Nigeria married a 13 years old girl and I have an educated Kenyan acquaintance who has two sisters as wives.

Yes, you can “empower” women by setting a certain amount of post in a government.  The result will be only cosmetic, again to satisfy the nicely covered reports and these women will come from the élite, as usual, to satisfy nepotism.

Goal 4: Reduce Child Mortality, Goal 5: Improve Maternal Health and Goal 6: Combat HIV/AIDS, Malaria and other diseases.
In Africa poor do not have access to medical facilities.  When available they are emptied of medicine and skilled staff.
Donated medical equipment can collect dust for years for lack of competent staff to use them. Patients lay two in a bed or can rest on floors.

The medical sector of many African countries is a land mine of probes and scandals. This is a looter’s paradise “par excellence” since donor country like to pour funds in this bottomless pit.
Due to poor governance and lack of public expenditure management, rural Africa gets almost no money to ease child mortality and improve maternal health. Idiotic Governments’ policies “genocides” children dying of preventable diseases.  A woman in labor can walk kilometers to reach a medical facility.

I hope you understand, now, why more than half of the children are delivered at home!
How can you pay for medical care or buy condoms on an income of slightly over one dollar per day?

Any improvement in this sector is due, in great part, to the direct involvement and the work done on the field by trusted NGO or benevolent organizations. These guys deserve the medals.

President Yahya Jammeh from Gambia claims he cures AID, not more than ten patients per day, and that’s what he does besides running his Government.
Can’t the international community stop this quack?

Goal 7: Ensure Environmental Sustainability
In Africa, according to statistic, 42% lack access to clean water and 64% have little or no sanitation.
Do you know that Africa, as a continent, holds the second largest capacity of fresh water in the world?
Also, it suffers from a depletion of agricultural and natural land areas and unmanaged exploitation of natural resources. 

The answer for that is again and again bad governance and corruption.

Goal 8: Develop a Global Partnership for Development
Africa is loaded with natural resources. You don’t know! Then ask China!

A Global Partnership for Development is last because of its monstrosity, that’s the coffer African statesmen want to loot.
It is a vicious circle and will offer no good result unless effective good ethic and governance is implemented.

Nice graft! MDG happy!

I see peculiar similarities between the Dodo bird and the MDG.  The MDG will push lots of Dodo dropping called documents, reports, statistic and specialized papers about causes and effects.  The Dodo is extinct and the other will follow a similar fate.

 Please, smell the coffee!  The obvious result will be the widening of the divide between the poor and the rich.  Maybe fading sparks of hope will be achieved here and there but nothing substantial. 

Coluche was right when he stated that “God said: I will share in two; the food shall be for the rich and hunger for the poor”.

Patrick-Bernard

DECEITFUL POLITIC, EDDIE LONG AND THE JAIL BIRDS


Politicians from the black community are doing quite well!
Thank you!
That’s what I found out reading the list of shame from the “Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington” (CREW).
These fine specimen of our society are all questioned on various unethical practices.
Without delay! They are (rolling of the drums) … Voila! ;

Sen. Roland Burris (D-IL)
Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. (D-IL)
Rep. Charles B. Rangel (D-NY)
Rep. Laura Richardson (D-CA)
Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) 

   

    

 Not bad for excellence isn’t!    

  

Oops! Before, I forget, let me add another ethically challenged, selectively forgetful politician and that’s Eddie Bernice Johnson, a member of the US House of Representative from Texas’s 30 district.
If you need a student loan, no problem, she will give you one if you are a relative, from her circle of friend and live far away from where the intended school is. 

“Excuse me! You need someone more involved!
Ah! Which Governor?
You mean William Jennings Jefferson the Democrat from Louisiana.
I am very sorry, but if you want to see him, I can set up an appointment 13 years from now.  That’s when his sentence for racketeering should expire.
You welcome !” 

Notice, I mention only Democrats but hold your horses! The Republican list is even longer.
I chose Democrats because I do have a soft spot for them and it does pisses me off to mention their  names in such an un-illustrious way. 

   

Do you know who can pray for Eddie Long in his time of trouble?

That’s Bishop Terry Hornbuckle from Texas; he raped some members of his congregations and was “awarded” a 14 years jail term.  But the best preacher is Anthony Hopkins, from Alabama, arrested in church while preaching for forgiveness. A jury found him guilty of his wife’s murder and rape and incest on his daughter. 

Nice job parishioners! You are quite selective in choosing your preachers. 

 

Teenagers are never sure to see concerts of their fine and successful “role models”, no one knows when they are in or out of jails.  Well, isn’t true with T.I and Lil Wayne

Where is the dust bin?

Patrick-Bernard

BLACK CHURCH EDDIE LONG IS A BIGOT


   

Eddie Long

 Bishop Eddie Lee Long of the “New Birth Missionary Baptist Church” stands accused of coercing four young men into a homosexual affair.   He is the pastor of a mega church in Atlanta.  Well, I have never been to his or any mega or mini black church in my life, they worry me for the bias they preach about homosexuality. At least Eddie Lee Long does, he is vocal about his homophobia but speechless about  is involvement in a fruit cake affair.     

 Suddenly, I hear voices telling me; “You have no right to talk about us like that! … You don’t belong to our churches! … You are not a Christian! … You aren’t black!”     

 “I am not black?” Now, I have lost my blackness.  That’s what happens when cognitive dissonance hits a religious throng. You are excommunicated!     

 Nothing is new about religious communities and sex. The Catholic Church is facing massive charges of pedophilia and homosexuality among their ranks.  The accusers were silenced, ostracized, vilified then with time the public realized; “Wow that’s true!”     

 Assuming that Eddie Long is gay or bisexual, his alleged actions would be most reprehensible for using his “position” to coerce these young men into homosexual acts. That’s a moral rape with a physical impact!  
A preacher of love for the almighty, actually having alleged man to man oral sex with some emotionally weak young men of his congregation.  He presumably used his body sculpted by his Samson gym to steal sexual gratification from the weakest.      

 “Is he accepting or denying the fact in front of his congregation?”  
“No!”     

 Instead he provides suspense “holy book” style with “I’ve been accused, I’m under attack….but this thing, I’m gonna fight.”… “like David against Goliath…but I’ve got five rocks and I haven’t thrown one yet.”     

 His congregation sheers. I don’t know why! He has not said what they want to hear … Did you or not do it?     

 They sheer out of reflex.  Maybe they presume him innocent before being judged?     

 It is difficult to gauge a self-righteous mass mesmerized by a man’s charismatic spell waving the holy book’s wand of rightful conservative “beliefs”.     

 The black church perceives homosexuality as a sin and, in my mind, negates human diversity.  That’s black people marginalizing black people etched from a different mold.     

 To what a conversation between Eddie Long and Peter J. Gomes, a gay ordained American Baptist minister and Professor of Theology and Christian Morals at Harvard University’s Divinity School would lead to?
“Repent!”
“Repent what? I am born like that”
“No you are not! I can save you, look at my testimonials!”
“Save me from what? That’s me, and what are you?”
“I will divulge it as soon as the court decides.”     

 Personally, I don’t give a hoot about people sexual preference as long as it is between consenting adults.  However, I admire the one out of the closet. It shows character and reconciliation with oneself.     

  The black church was actively involved in the American Civil Right Movement. Does that mean that Bayard Rustin (1912-1987) one of the organizer of the first Freedom Rides during the civil right movement is less than a freedom fighter because of his homosexuality.    

 The banning and burning of books has been an issue with churches.
So, will the black church drop the writings of Langston Hughes, James Baldwin, Lorraine Hansberry and Alice Walker because of their gayness?   

 I hope the black churches will allow me to “Take the “A” train” out of their bigotry.  Understand,  I like Jazz and it was composed by William (Billy) Strayhorn, a gay black musician.     

 Patrick-Bernard     

ENGLISH SPEAKING AFRICAN MEDIA! WHERE ARE YOU?


What really annoys me is the lack of reliable news coming from the African continent.  Well, let me be more precise; I mean information, be it politic, investigative, social, cultural, sport, science, economic and financial written by Africans.
Again, let me be more specific; in English, free of censorship and influence of any type.

I don’t want a tabloid with a compilation of the best, most relevant or interesting articles from different part of the continent.
No! I want one, with its own purely diverse African character and personality.  I want verve, pizzazz  with controversial unabashed provocative colorful zings and twists. 

I am looking for an all-inclusive world authoritative media outlet about what is Africa by Africans. The continent, to the contrary, does not lack qualified journalists which can take up this challenge.
However, most are located where press freedom is gagged, muffled or, and yes it still exist, eradicated and replaced by only State sponsored Media.
On this topic does Italy falls into the last category? Hmmm!

Anyway, the natural instinct of humans is preservation. Justifiably, journalists working from reluctant press freedom countries, to make a living write what is asked and in the requested manner. It is understood and, at the least, self-censorship switch to auto pilot and flows as a way of life.

Therefore, I will not insist for such product to come from the continent but the obvious challenge is with its Diaspora.

It is important for African journalist to pen to paper their own articles; they have a better understanding of their society, culture and thinking. They feel and sense what outsiders minimize or overlook.

European, American or Asian journalists have a keen insight when writing about their continents.  But, the “accent” is foreign and sometimes the flavor is tinged with the incorrect amount of seasoning when writing outside their cultural areas.

The outcome is striking, as an example, Al Jazeera speak of the Muslim experience in the USA with different eyes than CNN does.
That’s normal; Al Jazeera talks about their people, while CNN talks about these people.  It is not an outsider looking inside but an insider exploring its inside and that’s what makes the difference.

The format for the interview by BBC journalist Zeinab Badawi of John Garang on Hardtalk was better arranged than if it had been conducted by Tim Sebastian who is born in England.
Zeinab Badawi and John Garang are both from Sudan, one from the North and the other from the South. The interview, controversial or not, was a challenge of the mind, like a Democrat versus a Republicans.
Zeinab Badawi, raised and schooled in England, always kept her Sudanese cultural heritage and the interview was African.

When a South African journalist mentions the polygamist marriages of  President Jacob Zuma, he understands, he is part of the culture.
French may write with epicurean delight about eating snails.  An outsider is clueless in the pleasures of eating slimy creatures carrying their home on their back.  No amount of positive reinforcement will produce a pleasurable experience on such a foamy topic.

African Media by African on African issues do exist.  But not in the English language which provides a wider global audience.
One of the acceptable, to me, media coming to mind is “Jeune Afrique”, but it caters to French-speaking.

That’s why I ask in English!  I want more of the world to know and experience it from Africans within an African format and uncensored.

Patrick-Bernard

OBSERVE RAMADAN OR STAND TRIAL:THE DILEMMA OF CHRISTIANS


I have translated a recent article from “Jeune Afrique” and click on the title to access the original version.
It should be noted that other Algerians, of the Muslim faith, have been arrested for breaking fast during Ramadan.
I look at this situation as what a country (government) can do to religion or what a religion can do to a country.
The article reaffirms my conviction that religion and government are not compatible. 

I have no other comments, I just want to share this article with others;

 Observe Ramadan or stand trial: the dilemma of Christians
22/09/2010 at 11am: Jeune Afrique
Two Algerian Christian workers are being judged in Ain el Hammam, eastern Algeria, for breaking fast during Ramadan. The prosecutor is requesting a three years prison sentence.

“I have no regrets; I am a Christian and assume my responsibility”, said Hocine Hocini, upon leaving the court in Ain El Hammam, on Tuesday.
He may look “optimistic”, but he faces three years in prison, as per the prosecutor’s request made on Tuesday.

What is his crime?   – Breaking the fast with a colleague, during Ramadan, on August 13. According to his statement, this family man and a colleague, Salem Fellak, took a break for a snack “in a hidden place” at their work site when the police arrested them.
Both were charged with interfering with a tenet of Islam and immediately brought before the court of Ain el Hammam, but remained free.

Symbol for liberties
Their case has become a symbol of the libertarians and the small Christian minority (11,000 persons from the Ministry of Religious Affairs, but more than 30,000 according to the President of the Protestant Church of Algeria).

On Tuesday, according to the AFP correspondent, hundreds of people gathered outside the court in this small mountain town of Kabylia to support the accused.
“I am pleased by the supports we are getting and of the many lawyers who have come to our defense.” said Hocine Hocini.

The president of the Protestant Church of Algeria, Pastor Mustapha Krim, also came to support the two men, and to show his “concern” for Christians in Algeria.  According to him the affair is “ridiculous”.
The defendants’ lawyers argued for their release, stating that no specific law prohibits breaking the fast during Ramadan.

Another lawyer, Mr. Mokrane Ait Larbi, said that these charges were a violation of the Constitution in accordance with the “International Conventions on Freedom of Worship” ratified by Algeria.
The judgment shall be rendered on October 5. (With AFP)

UPDATE

2 Christians acquitted in Algeria Ramadan case

GENERAL ASSEMBLY SPEECH TRANSLATED


United Nations General Assembly chamber.

UN General Assembly chamber

I like the General Assembly of the United Nations.  It provides, once a year, a platform for African Presidents (Africa is my favorite topic, so I stick to it) to have fun and convey how well a country is doing under their leadership.

 They stand in front a green marble podium facing delegates with multi plugs in their ears translating non-sense in the 6 official languages of the United Nations.

The podium is far and high enough so, according to new trends, no shoes can hit them.

During the president’s speech the wife, the co-wife and the children together with the co-children and the confusing special entourage of the families of the various families’ ministries, sip tea or coffee while getting ready in their hotel suit for the day outing and shopping in the big stores of Fifth Avenue. It is Christmas in September and without the snow.

I understand their favorite place is the Millennium hotel and the Waldorf Astoria which, during the General Assembly period sets you back a nifty US$5,000 per night.

The president of a famous African country is ready for his speech;
“But Africa has an efficient brotherhood called the Organization of African Unity African Unity (Oh!Ah!Uh!)in Ali Baba Addis Ababa and the 53 thieves members could send one consigliere on their behalf, wouldn’t that be cheaper?”
“No! That’s against the secret oath.”
“Ok!”

“Mr. President, Mr. Secretary General, fellow delegates, ladies and gentlemen, it is my honor to address you.
More children are going to schools because it is now free.”
“Actually, it is true! Schools are very free of everything; free of books, teachers, desks, teaching material and chalk.  It is only hunger and uniforms which are not free.”

“The economy is recovering and the problems due to internal difficulties has been resolved.”
“Listen, “recovering” , he said it in one syllable (reeeeving), like a cough, so it is not clearly understood.  Others, will pronounce the word slowly (re- one, two, three co- one, two, three ve-  one, two, three RING) in the hope you forget the earlier syllable.”
“That’s a lie then!”
“Presidents omit the truth which is not a lie in diplomatic language. It is more polite to say “internal difficulties” instead of “my election rigging was a total fuck up”.”

“The environment is doing very well”.
“The presidents must look up, that’s a cue to allow enough time for the startled audience to clap.”
Applause
 “Thank you!”
This part is technical for novices and means “the country provides no clean water and electricity to avoid pollution.
 Presidents trick delegates to applaud as a defensive tactic allowing enough time to look out for any shoes being thrown.”

“Also, the health sector is improving.”  ….
 “ Understand,  Africa is a looter’s paradise. He is actually saying “We are doing a brisk job selling the mosquito net donated by  NGOs and are now importing fake generic drug cheaper than the original.”

“… and we are tackling poverty quite efficiently”.
“Now,  you are on your own. Translate  …”
“So…he says that all the poor may die because his government stole the maize stock and sold it to another country. 
“Very good, now you understand! That’s how they eradicate poverty!”

“However, our country and continent needs more fair trade.”
“We need more investments to get our kick back.”
“Perfect!”  

“And now since you know the facts, I am sure you will give me some good news to take back to my people.
Thank you very much”
Applause

Patrick- Bernard

MUSIC FROM AFRICA – 50 YEARS AND GOING STRONGER


I want to be the second one, in tune with the prime Minister of Bhutan, to add happiness on the United Nations Millennium Development Goal.
Music makes me happy and since Africa is my topic, Voila!   

    

 Nice things are going on the African music scene. The first one, noblesse oblige, is ” Africa: 50 Years of Music: 50 Years of Independence“. It is the biggest collection of African music presented in an 18 CDs set with 183 artists.  Three CD each per geographical zone of the best artists which pioneered the African music of West, Central and East Africa, Portuguese Africa, the Indian Ocean and the Maghreb.  
I truly believe that African music has fared a lot better in 50 years of independence than their governments.  Music is the true ambassador of independence and happiness.     

Maurice Kirya

 As usual French are pro-active when it comes to culture. So, out of 500 entries from Africa, the Indian Ocean and the West Indies, Ugandan musician Maurice Kirya won the 2010 RFI Discoveries Music Award. 
His prize consist of 18,000 Euros to develop his career, a year tour in Africa and a live performance in Paris. He is not new on the musical scene and he realeased his first album ” Misubbaawa” in 2009 .  Please, listen to that song. Believe me, this talented musician deserves the award.      

Danyel Waro / ravine 38

 Danyel Waro from the Reunion, don’t forget this small island behind Madagascar, will be soon awarded the Womex Award 2010 in Copenhagen.  The Womex award honors world musical excellence with social importance. I have put a direct link to one of his live performance. Oh! I forgot! Don’t use his colour as a criteria. He is a proud African.

 For people thinking that African music is only about beating drums then think again because you are wrong!    

l’Orchestre Symphonique Kimbanguiste

Check out, l’Orchestre Symphonique Kimbanguiste conducted by maestro Armand Diangienda Wabasolele from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). It is the only Classical Orchestra in Sub-Sahara.    Click on the name of the maestro for a tease. Listen, it is outrageously fantastic!

 Have a nice “any style you want” music day full of happiness.    

Patrick-Bernard