A lot has happened within the last few weeks on this island nation, which until very recently has been plagued with blockades, strikes, and isolated violence following the disputed December 16, 2001 presidential election. Now, the rallying cry is for business. Africanews' managing editor Cathy Majtenyi travelled to Madagascar, courtesy of Catholic Relief Services. To start with, a big conference is scheduled to take place in Paris, France on the 26th of July. This will bring together businessmen around the world with the World Bank, the European Union, and American business. Marc Ravalomanana and Wanda Nesbitt, U.S. Ambassador to Madagascar told Africanews.
Much has been happening in Madagascar these past few weeks, as the struggle for power between Marc Ravalomanana and Didier Ratsiraka for the leadership of this island nation in the southern part of Africa winds down. Cathy Majtenyi and Franne Van der Keilen, communications associate, sub-Saharan Africa, at Catholic Relief Services (CRS), sat down with Mr. Ravalomanana on July 5 and asked him about these changes and his relationship with the church.
And while Africa witnessed the launching of the African Union last week, it's no secret that many Africans are feeling disillusioned by their governments. This is evidenced, among other things, by numerous instances of civil unrest and even open violence that is now characteristic of life in numerous African countries. Fr Laurent Magesa argues that when one defends African independence and sovereignty - as indeed one must - one must at the same time not be forgetful of these situations and point them out. It would be highly irresponsible to do otherwise and turn a blind eye and a deaf ear to these symptoms of failing States in the continent. Related to this topic is Professor Kenneth Good's new book "The Liberal Model and Africa: Elites Against Democracy" which provides insights into the realities of liberal democracy. As reviewed by Rodrick Mukumbira from Zimbabwe, of particular interest to the author are the ills of the system as he has shrewdly outlined its inequalities and injustices. The focal point of this masterpiece is the issue of elitism. Also discussed in the book is the issue of accountability or lack of it in the liberal democracy.
A real gold rush is sweeping across Zimbabwe, fuelled by drought, widespread retrenchment as the country loses investor confidence, and increased poverty. Women have joined the ranks of gold panners in large numbers, and researchers say the traditional power balance in the family is subtly changing. Rodrick Mukumbira reports.
From Kenya, Zachary Ochieng' files a report on the social, economic and cultural exploitation against women along the Lake Victoria region where HIV/Aids pandemic is spreading like a wild fire. Read these and more stories from Africa.