“Jasmine Revolution”
Symbol of peace: Flowers placed on the barrel of a tank
in very much calmer protests than in recent days in Tunisia

'The Protester' - Time Person of the Year 2011

'The Protester' - Time Person of the Year 2011
Mannoubia Bouazizi, the mother of Tunisian street vendor Mohammed Bouazizi. "Mohammed suffered a lot. He worked hard. but when he set fire to himself, it wasn’t about his scales being confiscated. It was about his dignity." (Peter Hapak for TIME)

1 - TUNISIA Democratic Change / Freedom of Speech (In Transition)

How eyepatches became a symbol of Egypt's revolution - Graffiti depicting a high ranking army officer with an eye patch Photograph: Nasser Nasser/ASSOCIATED PRESS

2 - EGYPT Democratic Change / Freedom of Speech (In Transition)

''17 February Revolution"

3 - LIBYA Democratic Change / Freedom of Speech (In Transition)

5 - SYRIA Democratic Change / Freedom of Speech (In Transition)

"25 January Youth Revolution"
Muslim and Christian shoulder-to-shoulder in Tahrir Square
"A Summary" – Apr 2, 2011 (Kryon channelled by Lee Carroll) (Subjects: Religion, Shift of Human Consciousness, 2012, Intelligent/Benevolent Design, EU, South America, 5 Currencies, Water Cycle (Heat up, Mini Ice Ace, Oceans, Fish, Earthquakes ..), Middle East, Internet, Israel, Dictators, Palestine, US, Japan (Quake/Tsunami Disasters , People, Society ...), Nuclear Power Revealed, Hydro Power, Geothermal Power, Moon, Financial Institutes (Recession, Realign integrity values ..) , China, North Korea, Global Unity,..... etc.) -
(Subjects: Egypt Uprising, Iran/Persia Uprising, Peace in Middle East without Israel actively involved, Muhammad, "Conceptual" Youth Revolution, "Conceptual" (without a manager hierarchy) managed Businesses, Internet, Social Media, News Media, Google, Bankers, Global Unity,..... etc.)
"The End of History" – Nov 20, 2010 (Kryon channelled by Lee Carroll)
(Subjects:Abraham, Isaac, Ishmael, Muhammad, Jesus, God, Jews, Arabs, EU, US, Israel, Iran, Russia, Africa, South America, Global Unity,..... etc.) (Text version)

"If an Arab and a Jew can look at one another and see the Akashic lineage and see the one family, there is hope. If they can see that their differences no longer require that they kill one another, then there is a beginning of a change in history. And that's what is happening now. All of humanity, no matter what the spiritual belief, has been guilty of falling into the historic trap of separating instead of unifying. Now it's starting to change. There's a shift happening."

“ … Here is another one. A change in what Human nature will allow for government. "Careful, Kryon, don't talk about politics. You'll get in trouble." I won't get in trouble. I'm going to tell you to watch for leadership that cares about you. "You mean politics is going to change?" It already has. It's beginning. Watch for it. You're going to see a total phase-out of old energy dictatorships eventually. The potential is that you're going to see that before 2013.

They're going to fall over, you know, because the energy of the population will not sustain an old energy leader ..."

African Union (AU)

African Union (AU)
African Heads of State pose for a group photo ahead of the start of the 28th African Union summit in Addis Ababa on January 30, 2017 (AFP Photo/ Zacharias ABUBEKER)

Nelson Mandela

Nelson Mandela
Few words can describe Nelson Mandela, so we let him speak for himself. Happy birthday, Madiba.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Cape Verde: African good news story

BBC News, 27 December 2011

Contrary to the impression you might have had of African nations,
here is one where democracy flourishes

The remarkable economic and political progress of Cape Verde is seen as a blueprint for the rest of Africa, writes BBC Today programme presenter Evan Davis after a visit to the tiny island state.
I have to admit, I couldn't have told you three interesting facts about Cape Verde until I was asked to go there for the Today programme.

I didn't know where it was - 570km (354 miles) off the coast of West Africa. I didn't even know how to pronounce its name.

And then I found myself sent there on a three-day mission to investigate a startling story: That sub-Saharan Africa is not just a region of starving children and warring dictators.

The assignment was at the behest of guest editor Mo Ibrahim who strongly feels that the Western media portrays Africa in a monotonously negative light. Could that really be true?
Well, my ignorance of how to pronounce Cape Verde's name is forgivable. (I'm still not sure and have heard it pronounced with and without an "ee" at the end of Verde.)

But is it forgivable that I didn't know it is one of only a handful of countries ever to have been promoted out of the UN "least developed nation" category (up to "middle income country" status)? And that it is a well-functioning democracy with government alternating between different political parties?

I should have known these things, and I'm glad to say that my three-day trip more or less confirmed them.

Young Cape Verdeans can expect far
better education than their parents
Contrary to the impression you might have had of African nations, here is one where democracy flourishes; where a president stepped down after two terms in office because that is what the constitution required (take note Mr Putin) and where the opposition freely criticises the government.

It is a country where economic growth has been strong, where literacy is almost universal and two-thirds of the population have a phone.

It is also a country that beats many EU countries in the Transparency International Corruptions Perceptions Index.

Now on a three-day trip, you cannot verify all these assertions but you can get a clear impression.

I went to a square in the capital, Praia, where I saw a dozen young people poring over their laptops, taking advantage of the free wi-fi available in that and other squares.

I saw a tourism training college that had been paid for by Luxembourg's aid programme. It functioned well, there were real students there and no money had gone missing into a Swiss bank account.

I spoke to the founder of a small e-business called Prime Consulting, who spoke highly of the ease with which new business could be established in the country (it takes ten minutes he said).

Property bubbles

These facts - and my lack of awareness of them - suggest there may be something in Mo Ibrahim's point. We know the bad news about Africa, but not the good.

And given the sheer volume of bad that emanates from countries in sub-Saharan Africa, we make generalised assumptions about the entire population of sub-Saharan Africa. 

Evan makes use of a free wi-fi hotspot
in Praia
Now I don't want to paint a ludicrously one-dimensionally optimistic view of the country. It is no paradise.

Many people live in slums. The country is covered in them. The national income per head is about a tenth of that of the UK and I didn't even get out of the towns to see the rural poor.

In addition, some of the recent economic growth appears to have occurred on the back of a ridiculous holiday-property bubble. Irish, British and other investors got overexcited and the result is that many unfinished developments litter the main tourist island of Sal.

But still Cape Verde has come a long way over a short period of time. It is a country that had famines killing tens of thousands of people in the first half of the 20th Century that now worries about property bubbles.

The most telling conversation I had there was with Samira who told me that while her mother had not been to high school (there weren't enough of them at the time) but she, Samira, now goes to university.

It is true that Cape Verde is an unusual off-shore example, but before dismissing it as the exception that proves the rule that the rest of Africa is beyond help or hope, it is worth taking a look at the statistics for per capita national income growth of sub-Saharan African countries over the last decade: Ghana 104% growth; Mozambique 103%; Rwanda 119%; Sierra Leone 99%; Tanzania 95%; Uganda 81%, to name just a few.

I'm not sure these growth rates have made it through to the public at large.

We wouldn't want reporters to act as cheer leaders for a continent and we don't want them to always be seeing glasses as half full. That would perhaps stop us trying fill them to the top.

But if we only ever see half empty glasses, that can be demotivating too. It can nurture a dull fatalism that assumes doing anything is a waste of effort.

So whenever you feel the wearisome drag of compassion fatigue, you can at least remind yourself that Cape Verde does suggest progress in that part of the world is not impossible.

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