bulletin of the AFRICA PROGRESS PANELVolume 4, Issue 4 — 24 February 2011
Africa Progress Panel
9-11 rue de Varembé
1202 Geneva, Switzerland
Tel +41 (0)22 919 7520
Retweeter la révolution...
A l’heure où l’on fuit la Libye pour se mettre à l’abri, où le prix du pétrole atteint des cimes sans précédent depuis août 2008, où la communauté internationale examine quelles options il lui reste, le monde entier a les yeux braqués sur l’Afrique du nord. Politiciens et experts essaient de comprendre quelle sera la suite des événements en Libye, Egypte, en Tunisie et dans tout autre pays susceptible de se soulever, laissant planer des questions inquiétantes : quelles seront les conséquences pour cette région du monde, la sécurité internationale et l’économie mondiale ? Une seule certitude : si ces révolutions occupent l’avant-scène, c’est en grande partie parce que les événements ont été diffusés, twittés et partagés par le biais des réseaux et média sociaux à une vitesse sans précédent et malgré tous les efforts déployés pour contrôler ces réseaux.
Ce flux d’informations est à la fois une forte incitation au progrès et une force de dissuasion à l’encontre des freins au développement et de la corruption. Il ne fait aucun doute que si l’on dévoilait les budgets gouvernementaux et les grands marchés octroyés, si la liberté de la presse était effective et les TIC plus aisément disponibles, cela aurait bon nombre d’effets positifs pour promouvoir la bonne gouvernance, lutter contre la corruption, renforcer la transparence et la responsabilité et améliorer, en général, l’accès à une vaste palette de bons services.
Les événements de ces dernières semaines en Afrique du nord ont montré le pouvoir des nouveaux médias, mais ils ont jeté dans l’ombre d’autres événements tout aussi importants sur le même continent, tels que la crise politique en Côte d’Ivoire, les dernières élections en Ouganda, la situation au Kenya et au Zimbabwe ainsi que les inquiétudes de voir ressurgir la crise alimentaire mondiale et les effets du changement climatique.
Au fur et à mesure que le continent va se connecter, les populations vont gagner en autonomie et exiger davantage de la part de leurs dirigeants. Reste à savoir si l’utilisation de la technologie, des médias sociaux et des réseaux sociaux sera plus qu’un phénomène médiatique et conduira effectivement à améliorer la gouvernance, la transparence et le développement en Afrique. Nous verront bien comment seront twittées ces révolutions-là.
- Anti-government demonstrations inspired by uprisings in Egypt and Tunisia turned deadly after Col. Gadhafi called in the military to gun down civilian protesters to preserve his 41-year dictatorship. The Libyan leader’s son, Seif al-Islam, warns of a civil war if the clashes between the security forces and protestors escalate. As foreign oil companies shut down vast amounts of production, the question is no longer if the political crisis will affect the country’s output, but how long the oil disruption will last.
- A Ugandan opposition leader calls for ‘the international condemnation of Uganda's anti-gay laws to be applied to the country's electoral system.’ Opposition groups reject the results of last week's elections which returned President Yoweri Museveni to power with a 68% win, claiming the vote was marred by irregularities.
- After decades of conflict, 98% of voters in South Sudan have elected to split from Northern Sudan. ‘South Sudan’ has been chosen as the name of what will be the world's newest country. Despite daunting obstacles ahead, the people are full of hope.
- With the world’s attention on mass mobilization and historic shifts of power in Tunisia and Cairo, fresh clashes erupted between supporters of Côte d'Ivoire's rival presidents, as four African leaders launched a new bid to break the impasse. This crisis has faded but remains unresolved.
- The people of Kenya show signs of relief as President Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga pledge to work together to end quarrels in the Grand Coalition Government to foster full and closer cooperation after President Kibaki withdrew a list of nominees to four top government jobs which the Prime Minister had opposed.
- Inspired by the recent uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt that led to the ouster of their longtime rulers, opposition groups in Cameroon are planning "Egypt-like" protests to call for the ouster of Cameroon President Paul Biya after almost three decades in power. An opposition member says, people yearn to see a change in government-"We want to take charge of our destiny like the people in Egypt and Tunisia did.
- Nile Basin member states push for a ’Cooperation Framework Agreement (CFA)’ in order to achieve sustainable socio-economic development, noting that cooperation amongst them. The CFA initiative will pave way for the formation of a permanent legal institution for the holistic management and development of the Nile water resources.
- The AfDB announces its readiness to extend between $500m and $1 billion in aid credits to Tunisia to help the country recover from some of the problems it faces, particularly unemployment and regional irregularities
- EAC and World Bank sign a $16 m grant agreement to support the development of the region’s financial services market
- The EIB indicates that it will double its lending to reach €6 billion to countries in the Mediterranean region including Tunisia and Egypt to support transition to democracy
- UNECA and Spanish Agency for International Cooperation for Development launch a programme to enhance creativity and technological innovation in African youth
- The UN outlines a strategy to faciliate women’s acess to and participation in social services
- International Finance Corporation (IFC), the private arm sector of the World Bank, launches Africa Schools Program in Liberia to help improve access to education in the country
- The World Bank is considering lending Kenya $400m before the end of this fiscal year to upgrade informal settlements and road projects
- World Bank injects $120m into rural development for the second phase of the Rural Access and Mobility Project (RAMPII)in Nigeria
- World bank launches a new strategy to strengthen partnership with Tanzania by opening a series of consultations on the country’s development
- The Brazilian company BDG-Vale BFGR Liberia Ltd. is exploring to restore a hydro plant in Liberia that would provide electricity to a vast portion of the country
- China grants €6m to Togo for agriculture, health and education (Article in French)
- Chinese State-owned company signs contract worth $1.2bn to build new airport in Khartoum, Sudan
- The European Union signs a grant agreement of €26m to support social protection, trade, regional integration and business development in Rwanda
- South Africa and France to discuss the French G20 Presidency, South Africa's role within multilateral bodies and South Africa's hosting of COP17
- Following violent evolvements in Libya, French President Nicolas Sarkozy calls for the EU to impose concrete and immediate sanctions on Libya
- South Africa to sign $1.4 billion development agreement with France including a three-year framework for development co-operation and nuclear project
- Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) has committed R25-billion to new investments in South Africa's "green economy" over the next five years by boosting infrastructure and farming sectors
- UK Development Secretary Andrew Mitchell says his government will enter new alliances with emerging economic powers to ‘trade in ideas and expertise’ to reduce world poverty
- The UK's major public funders of national and international food-related research publish a research strategy to help the world avoid a potential food security crisis
- The UK launches the African free trade initiative (AFTi) to boost African trade through reduced bureaucracy, improved transport infrastructure and more efficient border crossings
- US grant $125m to UNHCR towards refugee aid efforts worldwide, from which more than $46 m is directed towards Africa
- According to the commander of the U.S. military's Africa Command (AFRICOM) the partnership between AFRICOM and all the 53 African nations has shown positive growth and successful collaboration in maintaining regional stability and preventing civil strife
Major pro-democracy demonstrations are expected today, and on Twitter I tried to list the countries: Yemen, Bahrain, Egypt, Iraq. But people began telling me about all kinds of others that I didn't know of Jordan, Tunisia, Jordan, Morocco, Kuwait, Sudan, West Bank....hey, even Wisconsin. So may be it's safer to list all the places where demonstrations are NOT expected today. Hmm. (Dramatic pause.) Antarctica?
- Nicholas D. Kristof (Facebook Status 25/02/2011)
In the blogs...
- Owen Abroad: Eight Lessons from three years working on transparency, 22 Feb. 2011
Owen Barder writes about the importance of aid transparency and the priorities for how it should be achieved.
- World Bank’s Africa can end poverty Blog: A Rice-based Green Revolution in Africa? 16 Feb. 2011
Africa can draw important lessons from the Asian Green Revolution and to bring about a rice based Green Revolution in Africa, emphasis should be on policy, institutions, technological development and infrastructure.
- Daily Independent (Nigeria) : Crude oil exports – Looming dark cloud, 22 Feb. 2011
As the U.S. plans to to reduce its oil imports by about 20 percent over the next five years,The author fears for Nigeria’s future and recognizes the vulnerability of the country as the U.S. accounts for more than 40 per cent of Nigeria’s oil exports, and argues against Nigeria staying a mono-product economy.
- The Observer (UK): A fresh chapter is opening in Africa’s history, 19 Feb. 2011
As Africa begins to recover from two centuries of injustice, the West is encouraged to play a role in ensuring that it is protected from another egregious raid on its natural resources.
- Pambazuka News: The World Social Forum and the battle for COP17, 17 Feb. 2011
In a world plunged ever deeper into an uncivilized global capitalist condition, the World Social Forum is a crucial beacon of hope. But while news of Egypt and Tunisia’s revolutions electrified activists at this year’s gathering in Dakar, author asks whether progressive civil society is powerful enough to organize for a genuine climate change solution at COP17.
- Financial Times (UK): To end the food crisis, the G20 must keep a promise, 17 Feb. 2011
- Soaring food prices now pose severe economic, political and social risks in developing countries. Jeffery Sachs writes that to end the food crisis, the G20 must promote increased food production especially in poor and food deficit regions; ‘Africa should be top of the list.’
- Basta Mag: l’aide au développement, ennemie de l’émancipation, 9 Feb. 2011
In an interview at the World Social Forum, Firoze Manji, editor-in-chief of Pambazuka News, discusses the problems of the ‘aid industry’, the resurgence of Africa’s popular movements and the need for a new people-centered ideology (Article in French).
What can the G20 can do for Africa?
Eight members of the Africa Progress Panel (Kofi Annan, Michel Camdessus, Peter Eigen, Bob Geldof, Linah Mohohlo, Olusegun Obasanjo, Bob Rubin, and Tidjane Thiam) met with President Sarkozy in Paris on Tuesday (February 15th) to discuss what this year’s G20 can do for Africa. With expectations high for the French G8/G20 presidency, the Panel asked President Sarkozy to put Africa’s development at the heart of his G20 presidency, arguing that France has a historic opportunity to show leadership – by driving forward the development agenda agreed at last year’s G20 Summit in Seoul.
During its discussion with President Sarkozy, the Panel emphasised four clear priorities:
1. Development of transport, energy and communication infrastructure
2. Improving food and nutrition securitz
3. Reforming the global economic system
4. Promoting good governance, accountability and transparency
|27 Feb||Benin Presidential Elections: 1st Round|
|28 Feb||ECOSOC Special event on “ Partnering with the Philantrophic Community to promote Education for All: New York, U.S.A|
|28 Feb-2 Mar||Africa Investment Conference London 2011: London, U.K|
|28 Feb-25 Mar||16th session of the Human Rights Council: Geneva, Switzerland|
|1-2 March||Corporate Council on Africa (CCA)’s Forum on “Building Partnerships to Expand African Agricultural Development: Washington D.C., U.S.A|
|1-2 Mar||Commonwealth Business Council ‘s Power Summit 2011: London, U.K|
|2 Mar||Assemblee General du Conseil Français des Investisseurs en Afrique: Paris, France|
|8 Mar||International Women’s Day|
|8 Mar||5th Annual Africa Trade & Export Finance Conference: Cape Town,South Africa|
|8 Mar||5th African Economic Forum: Cape Town, South Africa|
|8-31 Mar||Women Make the News 2011 (UNESCO): Worldwide|
|9-10 Mar||UN 3rd Annual Event on the Women’s Empowerment Principles: New York, U.S.A|