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Africa Spring: Insights on Senegal from Arame Tall
As some of you probably know, I worked in Senegal for a while with an NGO focused on women and youth rights. I also got the opportunity to interact with many locals and to get a sense of the political situation under Wade's government. Many Senegalese are simply fed up with Wade and want him out. His second term is coming to an end and elections are due on February 26. Like Ghana, a Senegalese president is allowed to have a maximum of two consecutive terms. However, Wade circumvented the constitution and secured a go-ahead from the Supreme Court (whose judges he appointed) to run for a possible third term in office. The result? Mass protests across the country dubbed "Y'en A Marre, Wade Degage!" (We're Fed Up, Wade Get Out!). It should be noted though that all this has been brewing for a very long while, stemming largely from the economic crisis, rising costs of living and the incessant power cuts in Senegal last March. Also, many people - myself included - don't think the 80-something year old Wade is pushing for the third term for himself. Nope, it's part of a larger scheme to get his son Karim Wade - who barely speaks the local language Wolof! - into the driver's seat. Makings of a dictatorship and "monarchy"? Probably.
Arame & I , infamous African Renaissance Statue
There's also the question of whether Senegal could probably be the starting point of an "Africa Spring"? The mainstream media has done a good job of covering the protests, but a lot of the nuances go unmentioned. I wanted to do a post on this myself, but didn't get a chance to. As fate would have it, one of my dearest Senegalese sisters and a climate change activist, Arame Tall recently wrote on what's going on in Senegal, and I only find it befitting to post her article here, so you hear a Senegalese point of view yourself. Arame's not only one of the most inspiring and hardworking Senegalese women I know, but a VERY accomplished one who knows her stuff. She's currently undertaking her PHD with Johns Hopkins and has been conducting research across Africa on climate change. You can find her entire Op-Ed below via Scribd; it's also available on the Democracy in Africa website. On the question of an Africa Spring, I'd suggest listening to the recent BBC debate in Accra.
Thought I was done blogging for the day -- until I came across this BBC photo feature on Ghana's market girls or "kayayo". When I was back in Ghana, I would occasionally go to the Madina market in Accra with my mum and I remember seeing them every time. I often wondered why they weren't in school, why they were doing what they do and why they didn't bargain how much money was paid them. My mum would lament about their situations and each time she patronized their service she would ask them how come they were doing what they did. Unlike my mum, most patrons of the Kayayo's services are not as considerate and don't think twice about having them carry things twice their weight! This is a very sensitive topic to me, because the way I see it, a twist of fate, and I could have been one. I've been meaning to blog on this issue, but somehow it escaped me. Not about to let that opportunity slip by again. Alors, voila.
As part of Lifestylz GH’s interview series, we bring you our premier interview with Sangu Delle.
Profile: Sangu Delle Sangu Delle is a senior at Harvard University. He was born and raised in Ghana, and is the youngest of five children in a bi-religious family (his father is Catholic while his mum is Muslim). He attended Christ the King Catholic School (CTK) and went on to study at the Ghana International School (GIS) until his O-Levels when he transferred to the Peddie School (a college preparatory school in NJ) on scholarship. His areas of concentration in academics are Economics and African studies, with a particular focus on development.
AspirationsTo be involved in the development of Ghana and Africa at large in some capacity. In the past, he was more involved in non-profit and development work, but has increasingly become active in entrepreneurial and business ventures; a testament to his belief that there should be “less foundations and more entrepreneurs” in Africa. In his own wor…
Ciao people! I'm blogging all the way from Bologna, Italy! Beautiful city, interesting experiences so far. This blog was written a couple of days ago and didn't get posted because I got quite self-conscious about what it was about (definitely NOT my grandest moment). But after some thought I decided to post it. I feel it's important to acknowledge both struggles and triumphs, especially if growth is the bottom line objective, and particularly since life does throw us a curve ball from time to time. Alors...I'd say enjoy...but given the subject matter, maybe "I hope this speaks to you in some way" is more appropriate? Here goes.. -- Unplanned "It isn't what you did in the past that will affect the present. It's what you do in the present that will redeem the past and thereby change the future." - Aleph (Paulo Coelho)
It’s been a week and a day since I arrived in Bologna land,
which coincidentally, is the very reason why we have so many foods “Bo…