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Jul-25-2010 16:08printcomments

Africa: Faces in Words

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

African faces
Courtesy: The BBC

(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:

Guinea-Bissau: Pass Anti-Trafficking Law - (Dakar) - Guinea-Bissau's National Assembly should act quickly to pass a law criminalizing human trafficking, Human Rights Watch, SOS Talibé Children, and the Association of the Friends of Children said today. The draft law, which the Assembly recently placed on its agenda for its October-November session, would empower police, judicial officials, and civil society to improve protection of the country's children, thousands of whom are trafficked from Guinea-Bissau to Senegal and other countries each year. Guinea-Bissau: Pass Anti-Trafficking Law

Africa: Nation tops North Africa and Arab World in Women Economic Empowerment - Tunis — Tunisia ranks 44th out of 113 countries in women's economic opportunities, according to the July 2010 report, titled "Women's Economic Opportunity" published by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) of The Economist magazine research department. According to the recent ratings of EIU, the index of women's economic opportunities in Tunisia went up to 59.7 points out of 100, an appreciable level which places our country first in the Maghreb and Arab World. Africa: Nation tops North Africa and Arab World in Women Economic Empowerment - AllAfrica.com

Botswana bushmen lose right Kalahari water well - San bushmen in Botswana have lost a court case to allow them to re-open a vital waterhole in the centre of the Kalahari desert. Diamonds were found in the Central Kalahari Game Reserve, traditional home to the bushmen, in the 1980s - and the government asked them to leave. Botswana bushmen lose right Kalahari water well

Africa: United Nations Grants Official Status to US-Based International LGBT Rights Group - On July 19, 2010, the full United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) voted in favor of a US-led resolution to grant the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (IGLHRC) consultative status. IGLHRC is only the tenth organization working primarily for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) human rights to gain such status at the United Nations. On July 19, 2010, the full United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) voted in favor of a US-led resolution to grant the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (IGLHRC) consultative status. IGLHRC is only the tenth organization working primarily for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) human rights to gain such status at the United Nations. United Nations Grants Official Status to US-Based International LGBT Rights Group - AllAfrica.com

Sudan curbs BBC radio broadcasts on local frequencies - (KHARTOUM) – Sudanese authorities informed the BBC Arabic service radio that they will no longer be allowed to broadcast on local frequencies citing violations by the widely popular station in the country. Sudan curbs BBC radio broadcasts on local frequencies

Africa: IFJ, African Journalists Call on AU to Make Journalists Safer - Abuja — The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and some 37 journalists' unions and associations are pressing government leaders attending the 15th African Union Summit in Kampala, Uganda, to make safety of African journalists a priority for the African Union. Africa: IFJ, African Journalists Call on AU to Make Journalists Safer - AllAfrica.com

Africa: Day of the African Woman – Preparations Afoot - The Day will be launched in Foumban in the West Region tomorrow. The 48th edition of the Day of the African Woman will be celebrated on July 31, 2010. Ahead of this important event, preparations have begun in the country. The first preparatory meeting took place at the Centre Regional delegation of the Ministry of Women's Empowerment and the Family last Tuesday. The meeting brought together representatives from partner ministries, women's associations and guests. The meeting was presided over by the Minister of Women's Empowerment and the Family, Marie Thérèse Abena Ondoa Obama. The theme for this year's celebration is "The situation of African women: challenges and stakes." Africa: Day of the African Woman - AllAfrica.com

Ghana police criminally prosecute journalist over sources - The Committee to Protect Journalists calls on Ghana’s attorney general to drop prosecution of prominent journalist Ato Kwamena Dadzie under the 1960 criminal code in an attempt to get him to reveal his sources. Ghana police criminally prosecute journalist over sources - Committee to Protect Journalists

Rights Groups, Victims Seek More Damages In Ivory Coast Toxic Dumping Case - Human rights groups and representatives of victims in Ivory Coast have welcomed a Dutch ruling fining an oil trading company over a 2006 dumping of toxic waste. But they want more legal action. Rights Groups, Victims Seek More Damages In Ivory Coast Toxic Dumping Case - Voice of Africa

BP set to begin oil drilling off Libya - Oil giant BP has confirmed it will begin drilling off the Libyan coast in the next few weeks. The deepwater drilling will take place in the Gulf of Sirte following a deal signed in 2007 with Libya on oil and gas development. BP set to begin oil drilling off Libya - The BBC


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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Prof Patt July 26, 2010 9:35 am (Pacific time)

Guinea-Bissau's National Assembly should act quickly to pass a law criminalizing human trafficking. But laws are not enough. A fundamental push is needed at the grassroots level to educate the trusting parents who blindly turn over their young boys to Quranic teachers in residential schools. The boys are typically transported to Senegal, where most are forced to beg and endure conditions akin to slavery. Human Rights Watch reports that many of these boys suffer severe physical and psychological abuse for failing to meet daily quotas of money, rice, and sugar demanded by their teachers. It is also reported that they suffer from severe malnutrition and frequently from disease as a result of long hours on the street, abysmal conditions in the daara, and a lack of medical care. - Prof Patt, http://gvnet.com/humantrafficking/

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