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jerryking : africa   333

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For some in Brazil, commemorating slavery is vital - Giving up the ghosts
Print edition | Books and arts
May 23rd 2019| RIO DE JANEIRO
Brazil commemoration life-changing myths Senegal slavery waterfronts
May 23rd 2019| RIO DE JANEIRO
Africa  Afro-Brazilians  ancestry  Brazil  commemoration  life-changing  myths  Rio_de_Janeiro  Senegal  slavery  waterfronts 
october 2019 by jerryking
He Grew Up on a Farm. Now, He Helps Protect Them.
Oct. 3, 2019 | The New York Times | By Norman Mayersohn.

Books: Warren Buffett biography, “Buffett: The Making of an American Capitalist,”

Few livelihoods offer as many paths to failure as agriculture. Throughout history, farmers have been at the mercy of nature — be it weather, pests or crop diseases — even as the survival of people and livestock depended on their success...... Thomas Njeru, is a co-founder and the chief financial officer of Pula, a four-year-old microinsurance firm that serves 1.7 million smallholder farms of 0.6 acres or less in 10 African countries and India. Microinsurance — think of it as an offshoot of the microloan programs that kick-start businesses in impoverished areas — provides protection for low-income individuals who do not have access to conventional coverage....Pula, based in Nairobi, Kenya, partners with government agencies and loan providers to cover the cost of the insurance, which is included in the price of seed and fertilizer; there is no direct charge to the farmer. Among the coverages Pula provides is weather index insurance to cover failures of seed germination, using satellite data to determine whether there has been sufficient rainfall. Longer-term coverage, called yield index insurance, compensates farmers with replacement supplies in the event of a poor harvest......People in Africa don't invest in agriculture because the chance of them losing their money due to the vagaries of the weather is huge.........Pula’s mission is to give farmers confidence by providing risk mitigation. Our solutions protect a farmer’s investment by pairing it with insurance. We build business cases to persuade Fortune 500 companies, seed and fertilizer suppliers, lending institutions, and governments in Africa, that embedded insurance will help deliver better results for both businesses and food security....The sad reality is that farmers are one drought or one disease outbreak away from sliding into absolute poverty......the penetration of agriculture insurance in Africa is less than 1 percent. The reason is that insurance companies’ business models are not set up to serve the unique needs of smallholder farmers......scaling Pula’s business model to the point that insured seed and fertilizer become ubiquitous in the market......The average annual insurance premium per farmer is about $3 to $5. This includes the cost of product development, pricing, underwriting, claim adjustment and, of course, the claim costs. We use artificial intelligence, mobile-based registration systems, remote sensing and automation tools...Agriculture insurance is a cemetery of pilots and trials..
Africa  agriculture  behavioral_change  books  Bottom_of_the_Pyramid  crop_insurance  farming  insurance  Kenya  low-income  microfinance  mobile_applications  poverty  precarious  Pula  seeds  smallholders  start_ups  risks  risk-mitigation  Warren_Buffett  weather 
october 2019 by jerryking
Colin Palmer, Historian of the African Diaspora, Is Dead at 75 - The New York Times
July 11, 2019 | The New York Times | By Neil Genzlinger.

Colin A. Palmer, a historian who broadened the understanding of the African diaspora, showing that the American slave trade was only one part of a phenomenon that spanned centuries and influenced cultures worldwide, died on June 20 in Kingston, Jamaica. He was 75.....Professor Palmer published his first of many books in 1976.....it was called “Slaves of the White God: Blacks in Mexico, 1570-1650,” chronicling a period when the colonies that would become the United States were still in their formative stages. The book set him on a career-long path.....Palmer definitely brought about a deeper, more nuanced understanding of the African diaspora, one that extended well beyond African-American history or the history of the slave trade,” ....Palmer did more than just show that the African diaspora was not a single event; he examined the various strands of it for differences and similarities.....any examination of diaspora began with a study of Africa itself.....Palmer also wrote well-regarded articles and books on the Caribbean countries, including “Eric Williams and the Making of the Modern Caribbean” (2006), about the historian and politician who led Trinidad and Tobago to independence.....Palmer's research showed that the Spaniards had brought in black slaves to Mexico as early as the 1520s.....Palmer identified five streams of African diaspora, the first being the initial spread of humans from Africa in prehistory....There were two other “premodern” streams, as he called them. One involved the movement of Bantu-speaking peoples out of the areas now known as Nigeria and Cameroon to other parts of Africa and India in about 3000 B.C. The other was related to trading in the fifth century B.C.

The Atlantic slave trade, which he said began in earnest in the 15th century, was the fourth stream; the fifth began after slavery’s demise and continues today.
Africa  Afro-Latinos  Caribbean  Diaspora  historians  history  Mexico  obituaries  PhDs  scholars  slavery  UWI 
july 2019 by jerryking
Will Tanzania's Drone Industry Take Off?
January 28, 2019 | Business Daily podcast | By BBC World Service.

Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio streamed directly from their servers.
Drones have been used increasingly in Africa for survey and mapping, but will cargo drone delivery companies be the next big thing? Jane Wakefield visits Mwanza on the banks of Lake Victoria to speak to African and international companies hoping to cash in on the drone delivery market. During a trial for a big World Bank project called The Lake Victoria Challenge Jane speaks to the Tanzanian drone pilot making waves across the continent, to the global start ups innovating rapidly, and to one drone company helping to map Cholera outbreaks in Malawi. Jane hears from Helena Samsioe from Globhe, Edward Anderson from the World Bank, Frederick Mbuya from Uhurulabs, Leka Tingitana Tanzania Flying Labs and others. (Photo: A delivery drone in Tanzania, Credit: Sala Lewis/Lake Victoria Challenge)
3-D  Africa  delivery  drones  flu_outbreaks  Malawi  podcasts  start_ups  Tanzania 
january 2019 by jerryking
France urged to return museum artefacts to Africa
November 23, 2018 | Financial Times David Pilling, Africa Editor.

France should permanently return tens of thousands of cultural artefacts plundered from Africa during colonialism, according to a report commissioned by President Emmanuel Macron that could send tremors around the museums of Europe.

In the report, submitted to the French leader on Friday, the authors accused museums with large African collections — much of which was ransacked or purchased under duress — of being part of “a system of appropriation and alienation” that deprived Africans of the “spiritual nourishment that is the foundation of their humanity”.

....more than 90 per cent of the “material cultural legacy” of sub-Saharan Africa — including palace doors, thrones, carved heads and bronzes — was outside the continent. Europeans, it said, were straining to justify their continued possession of such treasure, while “Africans find themselves struggling to recover the thread of an interrupted memory”.

France alone, the report said, had at least 90,000 African objects, including from modern-day Chad, Cameroon, Madagascar, Mali, Ivory Coast, Benin, Republic of Congo, Senegal and Guinea. French collections also had artefacts from Ethiopia and the former British colonies of Ghana and Nigeria. Many items labelled as “gifts” were the spoils of war, it said.
colonialism  France  restitution  museums  Africa  sub-Saharan_Africa  Emmanuel_Macron  artifacts  repatriation  heritage  antiquities  art  art_history  collectibles  cultural_institutions 
november 2018 by jerryking
Sterling Stuckey, 86, Dies; Charted African Culture in Slavery - The New York Times
By Sam Roberts
Aug. 28, 2018

Sterling Stuckey, an eminent black historian who challenged his white colleagues by documenting how uprooted Africans not only retained their culture while they survived slavery but eventually suffused the rest of American society with their transplanted folkways, died on Aug. 15 in Riverside, Calif. He was 86.....He had recently finished the manuscript of his latest book, “The Chambers of the Soul: Frederick Douglass, Herman Melville and the Blues.”.....Through meticulous research, Professor Stuckey sought to discredit the white academics who had dominated and, in his view, devalued the field of African studies.

Early on he was bitterly critical of “numerous white experts on black Africa,” as he described them, who “have elaborated a fabric of untruths to rationalize continued white control over African studies.”.... his breakthrough essay, “Through the Prism of Folklore: The Black Ethos in Slavery,” published in 1968 by The Massachusetts Review, Professor Stuckey maintained that political and cultural studies of Africa must encompass people in North America and the West Indies.

...Professor Stuckey’s books included “Slave Culture: Nationalist Theory and the Foundations of Black America” (1987) and “Going Through the Storm: The Influence of African American Art in History” (1994).
Africa  African-Americans  black_nationalism  books  Colleges_&_Universities  history  historians  obituaries  PhDs  scholars  slavery 
august 2018 by jerryking
Aliko Dangote, Africa’s richest man, on his ‘crazy’ $12bn project
July 10, 2018 | Financial Times | David Pilling 11 HOURS AGO.

On his yacht in Lagos, he talks about his ambitious oil refinery — and his dream of buying Arsenal
Africa  Arsenal  moguls  Nigerians  Nigeria  entrepreneur  Aliko_Dangote  Lagos  oil_industry  oil_refiners  cement  big_bets 
july 2018 by jerryking
US abdication in Africa hands political opportunities to China
| FT | by David Pilling

America’s shrinking influence in Africa, the second-largest continent geographically and epicentre of a gathering population explosion, did not begin under Mr Trump. The commitment of Barack Obama, his Kenyan roots notwithstanding, fell short of that shown by George W Bush, whose conversion to African causes — particularly the fight against HIV — made him a hero on the continent.

The sense of US withdrawal has accelerated with this administration. Mr Trump’s threat to cut the US aid budget by 30 per cent signals a massive scaling down of its commitment to a health and poverty-reduction agenda that has enjoyed bipartisan support in Washington for decades. A year into the US president’s administration, he is still without an ambassador to Pretoria or an assistant secretary of state for Africa. ....The US business relationship with Africa is almost exclusively extractive. Oil majors, such as Chevron and ExxonMobil, secretary of state Rex Tillerson’s old company, are the biggest investors....GE, Google and Citigroup are among a handful of non-extractives.....there are non-commercial reasons to think harder about Africa. By 2050, the number of Africans will have doubled to more than 2bn and may double again by the end of the century. Within a generation or so, Nigeria is expected to surpass the US to become the world’s third-most populous country.

The danger is that Africa will become home to a restless, jobless urban youth tempted to join the swelling flow of emigrants to Europe or prone to radicalisation at home. The persistence of Africa-based militant Islamist groups, from Boko Haram in north-east Nigeria to al-Shabaab in Somalia, is a worrying omen.

As the US presence fades, that of China — and, to a lesser extent, of India, Turkey and Morocco — has grown. China’s influence is everywhere: in roads, rail, telecoms, infrastructure and in Djibouti, in a naval base.
Africa  benign_neglect  Chevron  China  China_rising  Donald_Trump  epicenters  ExxonMobil  India  influence  mass_migrations  migrants  Nigeria  population_movements  refugees  South_Africa  threats  Turkey  U.S.foreign_policy  Zimbabwe 
february 2018 by jerryking
The perilous path up Congo’s Mt Stanley
OCTOBER 13, 2017 | FT | Martin Fletcher.

the southern section of Virunga, Africa’s oldest national park, reopened after two decades of near-constant conflict in 2014. Happily that section contained two of Virunga’s great glories — its 300-odd mountain gorillas, nearly a third of all those left in the world, and the Nyiragongo volcano, in whose crater the world’s largest lava lake bubbles and spurts like some malign, sinister being.

But I heard stories while there of Virunga’s third glory — the mysterious, snow-capped Rwenzori Mountains at its northern end, the original “Mountains of the Moon” Ptolemy identified as the source of the Nile some 1,800 years ago.
************************************************************
In a 1964 children's book by Willard Price called Elephant Adventure, the story takes place in the Mountains of the Moon, where the wildlife, including the elephants, the trees and other vegetation are supposed to be of sizes at least one third larger than in the rest of Africa. Price cites a March 1962 article in National Geographic Magazine as the basis for his premise.
Uganda  Africa  travel  nostalgia  Congo  mountaineering 
january 2018 by jerryking
From climate change to robots: what politicians aren’t telling us
OCTOBER 26, 2017 | FT| by Simon Kuper.

Most politicians bang on about identity while ignoring automation, climate change and the imminent revolution in medicine. They talk more about the 1950s than the 2020s. This is partly because they want to distract voters from real problems, and partly because today’s politicians tend to be lawyers, entertainers and ex-journalists who know less about tech than the average 14-year-old....Ironically, given the volume of American climate denial, the US looks like becoming the first western country to be hit by climate change. Each new natural disaster will prompt political squabbles over whether Washington should bail out the stricken region. At-risk cities such as Miami and New Orleans will gradually lose appeal as the risks become uninsurable......American climate denial may fade too, as tech companies displace Big Oil as the country’s chief lobbyists. Already in the first half of this year, Amazon outspent Exxon and Walmart on lobbying. Facebook, now taking a kicking over fake news, will lobby its way back. Meanwhile, northern Europe, for some years at least, will benefit from its historical unique selling point: its mild and rainy climate. Its problem will be that millions of Africans will try to move there.

On the upside, many Africans will soon, for the first time ever, have access to energy (thanks to solar panels) and medical care (as apps monitor everything from blood pressure to sugar levels, and instantly prescribe treatment). But as Africa gets hotter, drier and overpopulated, people will struggle to feed themselves, says the United Nations University. So they will head north, in much greater numbers than Syrians have, becoming the new bogeymen for European populists....The most coveted good of all — years of life — will become even more unfairly distributed. The lifespans of poor westerners will continue to stagnate or shorten, following the worldwide surge in obesity since the 1980s. Many poorer people will work into their seventies, then die, skipping the now standard phase of retirement. Meanwhile, from the 2020s the rich will live ever longer as they start buying precision medicine. They will fix their faulty DNA and edit their embryos, predicts Vivek Wadhwa, thinker on technology. ...Troubled regimes will also ratchet up surveillance. Now they merely know what you say. In 10 years, thanks to your devices, they will know your next move even before you do.
2020s  Africa  automation  Big_Tech  climate_change  climate_denial  imperceptible_threats  life_expectancy  mass_migrations  migrants  politicians  precision_medicine  refugees  Simon_Kuper  slowly_moving  surveillance_state  unevenly_distributed  uninsurable  Vivek_Wadhwa 
november 2017 by jerryking
Trump, Niger and Connecting the Dots
OCT. 31, 2017 | The New York Times | Thomas L. Friedman.

It is easy to ignore the recent story of four U.S. servicemen killed in Niger, the giant state in central Africa, because the place is so remote and the circumstances still so murky. That would be a mistake. Niger highlights a much larger problem — just how foolish, how flat-out dumb President Trump is behaving.

Trump is a person who doesn’t connect dots — even when they’re big, fat polka dots that are hard to miss. ..... To understand why groups affiliated with ISIS and Al Qaeda are popping up in that region of central Africa, you have to connect a lot of dots, and recognize the linkages between a number of different problems....As defense systems expert Lin Wells once put it: To ameliorate problems in places like Niger, you must never think in the box. You must never think out of the box. “You must always think without a box.” [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Linton_Wells_II]

Why? Because what is destabilizing all of these countries in the Sahel region of Africa and spawning terrorist groups is a cocktail of climate change, desertification — as the Sahara steadily creeps south — population explosions and misgovernance.....Desertification is the trigger, and climate change and population explosions are the amplifiers. The result is a widening collapse of small-scale farming, the foundation of societies all over Africa. And that collapse is leading to a rising tide of “economic migrants, interethnic conflicts and extremism,”......Trump’s response to this reality? It’s to focus solely on using the U.S. military to kill terrorists in Africa while offering a budget that eliminates U.S. support for global contraception programs; appointing climate-change deniers to all key environmental posts; pushing coal over clean energy; and curbing U.S. government climate research.

In short, he’s sending soldiers to fight a problem that is clearly being exacerbated by climate and population trends, while eliminating all our tools to mitigate these trends.
That’s just stupid, reckless and irresponsible — and it evinces no ability to connect the dots or think without a box......Nothing Trump ever says has a second paragraph. His whole shtick is just a first paragraph: Build a wall, tear up the Iran deal, tear up TPP, defeat ISIS, send troops to Niger and Afghanistan to kill terrorists, kill climate policy, kill family planning, cut taxes, raise military spending. Every box just marks an applause line he needed somewhere to get elected. Nothing connects — and we will pay for that.
Donald_Trump  Niger  ISIS  climate_change  Tom_Friedman  Africa  connecting_the_dots  the_Sahara  terrorism  the_Sahel  misgovernance  desertification  sub-Saharan_Africa  weak_states  failed_states  farming  population_growth  U.S._military  mismanagement  destabilization 
november 2017 by jerryking
Shanghai surprise
19 August/ 20 August 2017 | Financial Times | Helen Roxburgh.

It was this frustration that pushed Sy, who graduated with a masters in international business in France, to start making her own skincare products in 2015. Like many entrepreneurs in China, she chose to forego prolonged levels of planning and instead bounced straight on to social media platform WeChat to launch the business.

In Europe, you’d prepare everything first. In Shanghai you just try it and see what happens

WeChat has more than 900m monthly users, and is used not only for messaging but everything from paying bills, buying coffee, giving to charity and taxis. According to a report in 2016, 200m users have linked payment cards with their accounts, and a third spend more than Rmb500 a month via the platform. WeChat has been pushing its in-app payments and mobile-optimised digital stores to draw in businesses.

“It’s fantastic for entrepreneurs,” says Sy. “I had this idea, posted on WeChat, that I was going to be selling my own scrubs and body creams for Christmas, and was surprised at how quickly I started to get orders. Then of course I panicked because I didn’t actually have anything yet — but within a week a friend made me some simple packaging and I was off. I ended up selling out.” After six months, she started to run Lalu full time, selling mostly through online platforms. As well as expanding Lalu, Sy also launched a clothing brand, Nubien, inspired by bright African fabrics and clothing.
women  Africa  entrepreneur  China  Shanghai  personal_care_products  product_launches  beauty  WeChat  Lalu  start_ups  MBAs 
august 2017 by jerryking
The Race to Solar-Power Africa | The New Yorker
June 26, 2017 Issue
The Race to Solar-Power Africa
American startups are competing to bring electricity to communities that remain off the grid.

By Bill McKibben
Africa  energy  solar  green  start_ups  renewable  alternative_energy  power_grid 
july 2017 by jerryking
Modern African Art Is Being Gentrified
MAY 20, 2017 | The New York Times | By CHIKA OKEKE-AGULU.

.Sotheby’s held its first auction of modern and contemporary African art on Tuesday, where 83 pieces by artists from Cameroon to South Africa sold for a total of nearly $4 million.....The sale at Sotheby’s, the granddaddy of auctioneers, most likely signals the beginning of a more serious interest from Western museums, which may finally start to consider such work worthy of inclusion in their permanent collections........Now that it is seen as high culture, the art and artists are gaining value, investors are jostling to get a piece of the action, and private collections are growing in Africa and around the world.....African contemporary artists have also moved beyond nationalism and are more likely to sound off about globalization and complex identities. But the continent’s masses will be the biggest losers. ...That’s because whole countries in Africa cannot boast of a single art museum of any renown......During the colonial era, bands of looters — missionaries, scholars, security forces and fortune hunters — fanned out across the continent and, by force or guile, carted away vast quantities of Africa’s artistic heritage. Many of these masterpieces of ancient and traditional African sculpture now reside in major private and public collections in the West, with little chance of ever returning to Africa......We cannot let this history repeat itself. But what is to be done?

African collectors and those based in Africa must participate in this market, for it is more likely that their collections will stay on the continent......As Africa overcomes years of dictatorships and civil wars, its fledgling democracies have seen the rise of a wealthy, cosmopolitan class interested in supporting art and culture........The spread of private collections is, however, not the long-term goal. Rather, it is a step toward a future in which well-run public collections are supported by governmental and nongovernmental institutions.....and thus serve the greater cultural good........Even so, Africa cannot solely rely on the good will of individual collectors. State agencies and municipal governments must foster a richer cultural experience for their citizenry. And they can do this by building and maintaining museums in major cities. The usual practice of treating art and culture as a superfluous aspect of the human experience undeserving of public support is not tenable.

If museums exist and are run well, the art will come.
Sotheby's  Africa  museums  collectors  collectibles  human_experience  patrons  art  artists  artwork  auctions  contemporary_art  gentrification 
may 2017 by jerryking
‘Beneficial opportunities’ are all in China’s favour
25 February 2017 | FT | Sir Christopher Ruane

This is disingenuous. Africa provides dozens of examples of lopsided investment that bolsters China politically and provides little or negative local economic benefit, from its dangerous copper mines in Zambia to the decimation of Nigerian textile manufacturing by Chinese imports. A similar pattern emerges globally.
China’s outward investment has been politically charged, socially disruptive and environmentally damaging in many ways.
disingenuous  China  Africa  textiles  letters_to_the_editor  FT  exploitation  deindustrialization  asymmetrical  dangers  predatory_practices  Zambia  Nigeria  neocolonialism  imperialism  FDI  environment  lopsided 
march 2017 by jerryking
The History the Slaveholders Wanted Us to Forget - The New York Times
By HENRY LOUIS GATES Jr.

Except for the relatively few African-Americans who saw through such racist fictions of Africa, drawn upon to devalue their humanity and justify their relegation to second-class citizenship — people such as Garvey, Henry Highland Garnet, Martin R. Delany, W.E.B. Du Bois (who would die a citizen of Ghana), Langston Hughes and Maya Angelou — far too many of us felt that “Africa” was something of an embarrassment. Richard Wright, the great novelist, published a book titled “Black Power” in 1954 about feeling that way.
historical_amnesia  historians  history  slavery  Africa  ignorance  slaveholders  Henry_Louis_Gates  African-Americans  second-class_citizenship  humanity  W.E.B._Du_Bois  Black_Power  erasures 
february 2017 by jerryking
Africa Bruised by Investor Exodus - WSJ
By MATINA STEVIS
Feb. 21, 2016 5:30 a.m. ET

Fund managers say assets in African nations are being punished because of their disproportionate reliance on resources and failure to use the commodity boom of recent years to industrialize their economies. In Angola, Nigeria and Equatorial Guinea, oil counts for more than 90% of export revenue, while copper counts for more than 70% of export revenue in Zambia.

“There’s a reaction to a year ago, to the euphoria of new investors coming into Africa,” said Stuart Culverhouse, an economist with Exotix, a London-based frontier fund and advisory firm. “They are trying to get out now, and they are being quite indiscriminate.”

The upshot is that frontier investors are moving their money from Africa to Asian countries like Pakistan, Bangladesh and Vietnam; net energy and commodity importers which have shown more commitment to industrialization.
Africa  investors  private_equity  commodities  China  Barclays  exodus  frontier_markets  natural_resources 
february 2016 by jerryking
In Nigeria, Chinese Investment Comes With a Downside - The New York Times
By KEITH BRADSHER and ADAM NOSSITERDEC. 5, 2015

shoddy or counterfeit products are a national problem in Nigeria, Africa’s largest economy, where impoverished consumers have few alternatives. Some shoddy goods are benign, like the Chinese-made shirts, trousers and dresses with uneven stitching and stray threads that fill street markets. But electrical wiring, outlets and power strips from China, ubiquitous in new homes and offices, are connected to dozens of fires a year in Lagos alone.
China  Africa  Nigeria  copycats  counterfeits  manufacturers  quality  hazards  Chinese  unintended_consequences 
december 2015 by jerryking
African entrepreneurs see training as vital - FT.com
August 28, 2015 2:25 pm
African entrepreneurs see training as vital
Adrienne Klasa
training  Africa  entrepreneurship 
september 2015 by jerryking
Rivalry intensifies between South Africa and Nigeria - The Globe and Mail
It’s not quite as ferocious as the China-Japan feuding that destabilizes Asia. But the often-bitter rivalry between Nigeria and South Africa is continuing to intensify, and it’s…
Nigeria  South_Africa  rivalries  Africa 
april 2015 by jerryking
Ebola is no longer just Africa’s problem - The Globe and Mail
THOMAS HOMER-DIXON
Special to The Globe and Mail
Published Thursday, Sep. 18 2014,
Thomas_Homer-Dixon  Africa  Ebola 
october 2014 by jerryking
You can’t stop Ebola at airports - The Globe and Mail
ANDRÉ PICARD
The Globe and Mail
Published Tuesday, Oct. 07 2014

Ebola is spread by direct contact with a sick person’s bodily fluids – meaning saliva, feces, urine, blood, vomit or semen....For the past 600 years, quarantine has been used with varying degrees of success, and it has an unhappy history. It raises myriad political, ethical and socioeconomic issues.

Quarantine derives from the Italian word quaranta (forty); its origins date back to 1348, when Venice ruled that ships must lay anchor for 40 days to avoid spread of the plague. (Forty days was arbitrary; it was inspired by the biblical 40 days of travails of Jesus.) Draconian measures didn’t stop the Black Plague, or smallpox, or tuberculosis or SARS or successive waves of pandemic influenza, and it won’t stop Ebola. Quarantine has some public health benefits, but it has been used, throughout history, to repress and stigmatize minorities, and to quash political dissent.

What works most effectively for quelling outbreaks of disease like Ebola is not quarantining huge populations, but isolating those who are sick and those in direct contact with them and at risk of infection....The lesson there is that disease containment requires swift, decisive action. It means focusing on the sick and those at high-risk.

Casting a too wide net, such as invoking travel bans and treating everyone who has travelled to or lives in West Africa as a modern-day Typhoid Mary, does not make us safer.

On the contrary, it only provides an illusion of security, and an excuse for prejudice to come bubbling to the surface.
Ebola  airports  Africa  public_health  travel  quarantines  André_Picard  dangers  false_confidence  viruses  illusions  embargoes  biblical  arbitrariness 
october 2014 by jerryking
Ebola: Can we learn from SARS? - The Globe and Mail
RICHARD SCHABAS AND NEIL RAU
Contributed to The Globe and Mail
Published Wednesday, Aug. 27 2014

here are four key things to know about Ebola:

1. It’s fundamentally spread from animal to human, not human to human.
This is an animal outbreak, with humans as collateral damage. The driving force is new infections acquired from animals. Human-to-human outbreaks are short-lived. This is not a single human outbreak starting from a “case zero.”

The specific animal reservoir for Ebola is unknown but is probably a jungle animal used for food, known as “bush meat.” The large number of cases in West Africa must be the result of more human contact with infected animals, either because there are more infected animals or because they are consumed or hunted more aggressively in West Africa than elsewhere. While identifying a specific animal host would certainly aid in prevention efforts, bush meat remains an important source of dietary protein and won’t be abandoned overnight as a food source. Ebola is a disease of poverty – a potentially deadly meal is better than no meal at all.

2. Unlike SARS, this outbreak won’t end quickly.

This is bad news for West Africa, which should expect a steady stream of new human infections.

3. Quarantine was abandoned a century ago.

There is an essential difference between quarantine and case isolation. Quarantine targets well people potentially incubating an infection; it’s impractical, ineffective and economically disruptive. Case isolation, on the other hand, targets individuals showing symptoms of disease and is the cornerstone of effective infection control.
4. Ebola may cause a scare, but it can’t cause an outbreak in Canada.
Ebola  SARS  flu_outbreaks  lessons_learned  disease  viruses  zoonosis  short-lived  collateral_damage  bad_news  Africa  West_Africa  infections 
september 2014 by jerryking
Argentina Rediscovers Its African Roots - NYTimes.com
SEPT. 12, 2014 | NYT |By MICHAEL T. LUONGO.

There have been other attempts to examine Argentina’s African roots in Buenos Aires, including a now-closed maritime museum discussing the slave trade in the La Boca neighborhood. And during Argentina’s 2010 bicentennial, cultural institutions sought to mark the country’s diverse past. The National Historical Museum grouped paintings from the museum’s permanent collection of the five-decade-long Emancipation era. The exhibition center Casa Nacional del Bicentenario occasionally surveys African influences in Argentine music. Outside the capital, in San Antonio de Areco, there are exhibits on Argentina’s black gauchos, or cowboys, in the Museo Ricardo Güiraldes and Museo Las Lilas de Areco. Near Cordoba, the Museo de la Estancia Jesuítica de Alta Gracia, part of Unesco’s slave trail list, also contains exhibitions on the relationship among Jesuits, natives and African slaves.

But those attractions all look backward. As part of the shift toward embracing Afro-Argentine culture, the country is beginning to welcome contemporary African influence.
Argentina  travel  things_to_do  Diaspora  Africa  slavery  history  invisibility  tango  Buenos_Aires  African  tunnels  Afro-Latinos  exclusion 
september 2014 by jerryking
China in Africa: how Sam Pa became the middleman - FT.com
August 8, 2014 7:01 am
China in Africa: how Sam Pa became the middleman
By Tom Burgis with additional reporting by Demetri Sevastopulo in Hong Kong and Cynthia O’Murchu in London
China  Africa  middlemen  Angola 
august 2014 by jerryking
‘The Bright Continent,’ by Dayo Olopade - NYTimes.com
By LYDIA POLGREEN APRIL 11, 2014

“The Bright Continent” resists broad-brush solutions when imposed from outside, and is largely dismissive of the role of governments in transforming the continent. But transformation tends to come when people push powerful institutions to change.
Africa  books  book_reviews  Ghana  Nigeria  cosmopolitan  entrepreneurship  institutional_change  institutions 
june 2014 by jerryking
The Real Africa - NYTimes.com
MAY 8, 2014
Continue reading the main story

David Brooks
Africa  David_Brooks 
may 2014 by jerryking
How Africa’s wealthiest nation is spiralling out of control - The Globe and Mail
GEOFFREY YORK
How Africa’s wealthiest nation is spiralling out of control Add to ...
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JOHANNESBURG — The Globe and Mail
Published Wednesday, Apr. 16 2014

Africa’s biggest and wealthiest country is being torn apart by a violent insurgency. Its government has repeatedly failed to control the threat, and its deadly revenge attacks by murderous soldiers are turning the crisis into a far worse disaster.

This is the deteriorating situation in Nigeria, newly crowned as Africa’s richest country (and the 26th biggest economy in the world) after a revision of its economic data this month. With its oil wealth and the biggest population on the continent, Nigeria should be capitalizing on Africa’s economic boom. Instead its future is in jeopardy.
Nigeria  Africa  Geoffrey_York  insurgencies  Boko_Haram 
may 2014 by jerryking
Assassination in Africa: Inside the plots to kill Rwanda’s dissidents - The Globe and Mail
GEOFFREY YORK AND JUDI REVER
PRETORIA and BRUSSELS — The Globe and Mail
Published Friday, May. 02 2014
Geoffrey_York  Africa  Rwanda  assassinations  dissension  targeted_assassinations 
may 2014 by jerryking
‘Bring Back Our Girls’ - NYTimes.com
MAY 3, 2014 | NYT | Nicholas Kristof.

Mothers and relatives of kidnapped schoolgirls in northern Nigeria gathered late last month.
Continue reading the main story
Nicholas_Kristof  Africa  women  insurgencies  Nigeria  Boko_Haram  human_trafficking  education  schools  counterinsurgency  extremism  Muslim  kidnappings 
may 2014 by jerryking
Bye-Bye Barbar
March 3, 2005 | The LIP Magazine |by Taiye Tuakli-Wosornu.
Africa  Diaspora  emigration  writers  cosmopolitan 
january 2014 by jerryking
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