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Jul-19-2010 15:30printcomments

Africa: Faces in Words

New weekly update on the breaking stories in the African nations.

Faces of African kids
Photo courtesy: a7.vox.com

(PORTLAND, Ore.) - Unseen, unheard; no one should be the bearer of these two words. Unfortunately, Africa is often in the forefront of this association.

Our common humanity should change this; we should never look away because it is too distant. Our commitment to one another, to human rights, and the ability to learn should always keep us connected no matter the severity and complexity of problems.

Important insights from last week, not to be missed:

Burundi holds journalist for rapping government on Somalia - Burundi authorities have arrested a journalist over an article questioning security forces' ability to respond to attacks by Somalia's al Shabaab insurgents, his relatives said on Sunday. Burundi holds journalist for rapping government on Somalia

4.4 Million children die each year in Africa - Civil society organizations in Africa are crying out loud to be heard on the burden of alarmingly high maternal and infant mortality rates, and are calling for quick intervention to save African lives. At the ongoing civil society meeting in Kampala, ahead of the coming AU summit, civil societies across Africa revealed that 4.4 million children including 1.2 million newborns and 265,000 mothers die every year in Sub-Saharan Africa over maternal, newborn and child health. 4.4 million children die each year in Africa - Ramadji.com

Ivorian trio charged; ailing reporter on hunger strike - Three journalists were formally charged today after refusing to reveal to Ivory Coast’s state prosecutor their sources for a corruption story based on a document leaked from the prosecutor’s office. The journalists could face up to 10 years in prison. Ivorian trio charged; ailing reporter on hunger strike

Court imposes prison sentences on three Rai Al Shaab journalists - A Khartoum criminal court yesterday sentenced three senior members of the opposition daily Rai Al Shaab(People’s Opinion) to jail terms ranging two to five years on charges of “publishing incorrect information” and “attacking the state with a view to undermining the constitutional system.” Court imposes prison sentences on three Rai Al Shaab journalists - Reporters Without Borders

Egypt: a blogger and two human rights activists to be tried this weekend - Two human rights activists – Gamal Eid of the Arabic Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI) and Ahmed Seif El Islam Hamad of the Hisham Mubarak Law Centre (HMLC) – and a blogger, Amr Gharbeia, are to be tried before a criminal court in the Cairo district of Khalifeh on 17 July on charges of insult, defamation, blackmail and “abuse of the Internet service.” Blogger and two human rights activists to be tried this weekend

Kenya: Living Death For Poor Women Sufferers - With about 3,000 Kenyan women and girls developing obstetric fistula each year, you might think the government would have a plan to prevent and treat it. Think again. Africa: Why Investors Should be Thinking from the Ground up - M-Pesa, a mobile money transfer service provided by cellphone operator Safaricom, is very successful in Kenya. A recent study by the Consultative Group to Assist the Poor (CGAP) predicts network operators could earn $7.8b in servicing the mobile financial services industry by end of 2010. This presents a compelling business case for potential investors. Africa: Why Investors Should be Thinking from the Ground up - allafrica.com

Kenya launches text service to stop hate speech - A new text service to report hate speech in Kenya has been launched ahead of a referendum on a new constitution. Kenya launches text service to stop hate speech

Africa: Country Tops Africa’s Literacy Rate - Zimbabwe has been ranked as the country with the highest literacy rate in Africa taking over from Tunisia, the latest UNDP Statistical Digest shows. Africa: Country Tops Africa’s Literacy Rate

All Amison’s men and all Obama’s guns can’t put Somalia together again - Al Shabaab, the African Union and the United States ironically all seem to share the same thinking on one aspect of the Somalia crisis: That the failed state must be put back together again, by force if necessary, and regardless of what ordinary Somalis themselves might think. All Amison’s men and all Obama’s guns can’t put Somalia together again - Medeshivalley.com


Alysha Atma spends many hours working on projects that support and benefit the beleaguered people of African nations who spend way too much time off the western media's radar. This writer explains that she is a culmination of all her experiences, most importantly knowledge she says, and all that she still needs to learn; lessons of love, laughter and the extraordinary giving of both young and old. She says she has the enormous fortune of learning from the best; every person around her, and the amazing strength and fortitude of those she has never met but will always strive to listen to. "I continue to work and write because I believe in the power of community and the power of one, both contradictory to each other and yet can move together in a very powerful way. I feel a responsibility to use my place, freedoms and connections here in the US to stand up and yell for those who need my voice and actions. I have seen such strength in my fellow humans that I cannot even begin to comprehend, they have traveled distances, have gone without food, water, shelter and safety for days and weeks at a time. I have a responsibility as a fellow human to put our common humanity before anything else. Everyone deserves to look towards tomorrow, to dream of a safe future and to have a peaceful present." You can write to Alysha Atma at: alyshann78@comcast.net




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Alysha July 19, 2010 9:47 pm (Pacific time)

Ellen, Thank you so very much!! It is great to hear from you.


Ellen Mays July 19, 2010 7:59 pm (Pacific time)

Thank you Alysha for bringing this information to us.  People need to help this world and they can't see beyond their own problems, glad you are there to dedicate your time this way, kudos to you.

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