Pray for Malawi's former president, 21st century Pan-Africanism, Google sponsors African students , and Donor aid raises questions

Malawi is reviewing its Republican constitution and hot issues on the table relate to the executive and term limits. As reported here before, Malawians are busy discussing the possible return of former president Dr. Bakili Muluzi. Based on how one understand the constitution, the debate is whether the Malawian constitution allows him or not to stand for presidential election after he served two five-year terms. The blog Malawi Politics is running an appeal for prayers so that he may not stand:

Please pray and ask everyone you know to pray for this Muluzi Guy not to stand again, remove all of all desires in his body and mind so he may enjoy all that former presidents benefits, and that MALAWI has to continue to be the wonderful country to its citizens,neighbours and visitors.

The power of Prayer is unsurpassed, unsurpassed. I want the whole world to have her (Malawi) in their prayers the next few weeks. God will hear our cry. Please do not be offended by my plea. This is only a request for your help. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for reading this and helping with our request.. No words can express how much power we have when we do a little extra to come together.

GV Author finally finds own copy of The New African

When Malawians in diaspora travel back home, they are faced with an opportunity to see relatives and old friends, read the mushrooming publications in the country and enjoy new discussions on the political scene. But for Global Voices author, Steve Sharra, his recent trip back made him buy a much-missed copy of The New African, which he had last read ten years ago.

The latest issue of this London-based pan-African monthly magazine features among others people like Lovemore Munlo, a Malawian serving at the Special Court in Sierra Leone. Munlo is a Malawian attorney who once served as Minister of Justice in the dying days of Dr. Banda’s rule. There is also “Confessions of a CIA AGENT: How the imperial powers control Africa.” But Sharra liked the magazine for one reason: Its focus on the path to the renaissance, from a social justice and an Afrikan epistemological perspective in which he sees hope for Malawi:

As for Malawi, there is a growing sense of optimism amongst the middle class, who see a new Malawi emerging before their eyes. While some of this optimism is being generated by government policies that stress fiscal discipline, food security and economic stability, some of the vitality is also being generated by ordinary Malawians who have never stopped working hard, despite popular beliefs to the contrary held by the educated elite. Some have asked if Malawi will also experience a rebirth as the rest of Africa does, and my response has been that it will take a pan-Africanist perspective that asserts our place on the continent. Obviously that needs further redefinition, but I am glad to say The New African appears to me to be a part of that process to redefine pan-Africanism for the 21st century.

Blogger campaigns for AGLOCO

New things always take time to be accepted. Clement Nyirenda feels he has to challenge internet users to sign up for AGLOCO which is a short form for “A GLObal COmmunity. This is an Internet based economic network, which enables members to get their share of the InternetAGLOCO reveals that advertisers, search companies, online merchants and other businesses currently pay lots of companies to deliver attention and commerce. In light of this, promises to be a global community of Internet users whose active members can be paid for all their online activity. It is said one does not have to do anything extraordinary to be part of this revolution. Why is it wise to sign up?:

When a good thing is coming up, there will always be negative sentiments. Even Lotfi Zadeh, the father of fuzzy logic, encountered criticism in connection to the fuzzy logic theory which he proposed some decades ago. Some sections of the society still regard fuzzy logic as controversial maybe because the principles enshrined in it are a threat to their own career orientations. Despite all this, nowadays, there is a wide acceptance and a broad track record of successful applications of fuzzy logic. I hope that with this observation, you can now agree with me that it is really wise to sign upfor AGLOCO.

Blogger's critical look at international aid

Malawi is one world's least developed countries heavily dependent on donor aid. Economists, politicians, and policy makers are challenged by the problems the country faces. While Malawians generally praise donors for the support, few ever take time to critically examine the intentions behind some aid initiatives. A Malawian UK-based blogger Cryton Chikokohas has explored this subject. In his post, “My Lamentations on donor aid,” he cries out on behalf of his country.

He first looks at recent plans by Madonna who was reported to be assisting Malawi orphans with money. On this Chikoko questions Madonna's financial support to Malawi and offers advice to the pop singer:

In reference to Madonna I believe if you give, give openly with no strings attached. To put a proviso that her funding comes with the condition that her religion is taught is not charity in the true sense. It is using charity to further her own ideology on some of the poorest people in the world who do not have the luxury of choosing to accept her cash or not.

The abuse to the poor are diverse and take many forms. Because poor people often don’t know what’s good for them, they are assigned to the tutelage of richer people. It is difficult for the poor to bite the hand that feeds them. They are venerable to abuse therefore need protection. In fact some of the rich amass their riches from the poor! They pretend to help. These are the rich who are shrewd, manipulative, and brilliant and there is always something they want to control and get from the poor at the end.

Then Chikoko takes a swipe at Bretton Woods institutions:

By the way do you know that IMF receives much of its income from loan repayments from poorer nations? As a result, that leaves nation like Malawi stuck in a vicious circle of misery.

Google sponsors African students

A regular Lilongwe-based blogger Soyapi Mumba welcomes Google's Summer of Code program, where they sponsor students to work on open source projects. Each student receives a stipend of 4500 USD in total. Soyapi says recently, Google accepted 900 students from 6,200 students’ applications and out of these successful students, 2 are from Africa: one from South Africa, another from Nigeria. But Mumba has a question:

But what do you think about this number of accepted students from Africa? Is it representative of the number of capable Computer Science or Engineering students in Africa? I believe there are a lot more potential Dare Obasanjos out there who deserve to get on this program but weren't aware of this opportunity. So how do we help them get on the program next year? Congrats to the 2 successful students! I hope this number grows exponentially in the following years.

1 comment

  • On Madonna giving with strings attached, is not strange with any aid Malawi has ever received.If one recalls during Muluzi’s ten years of power (midn you I don’t say government because malawi was the country without government for ten years), all the aid received has strings attached. Hence the mushrooming of mosques even where there are no moslems. This was to fulfill the request of the donors. The only money that could be without strings is the one from within the country.

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